North Korea denies torturing U.S. student Otto Warmbier

Thousands of family members, friends and supporters of Otto Warmbier have gathered in Cincinnati to say goodbye to the American student who died days after returning to the United States in a coma following 17 months in captivity in North Korea.

Blue and white ribbons, the colors of the high school, were still tied to trees in the city of about 8,000 to show of support for Warmbier's family after Otto's recent return. He added: "China strictly implements United Nations Security Council resolutions and isn't the crux of the North Korean issue".

The U.S. pushed China Wednesday to rein in companies that deal with North Korea after President Donald Trump tweeted ahead of the high-level talks that Beijing's efforts to sway its wayward ally weren't working. A North Korean kangaroo court sentenced Warmbier to 15 years forced labor after he was caught moving a political banner from his hotel.

His parents were told that their son had contracted botulism, a form of food poisoning, soon after his trial.

About 2,000 people packed into a school for Otto Warmbier's funeral Thursday in Wyoming, near Cincinnati.

The exact cause of Warmbier's death remains unclear.

"The United States once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim".

The 22-year-old, who died on Monday just over a week after being flown home to OH, had spent a year suffering from a severe brain injury that North Korean doctors claimed had been caused by a heart attack and taking a pill for botulism.

Pyongyang rebutted allegations by USA that Otto had died because of torture and beating during his captivity as "groundless".

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North Korean officials told USA envoys that Mr Warmbier contracted botulism after his trial and lapsed into a coma after taking a sleeping pill.

"Our related institutions are treating criminals who committed crimes against (our) republic strictly based on domestic law and global standards, and Warmbier was no different", the comments published by KCNA said.

"Those who have absolutely no idea about how well we treated Warmbier under humanitarian conditions dare to utter "mistreatment" and "torture"," he said according to the official KCNA news agency.

"We clicked instantly and the whirlwind of our growing relationship just took off from there", she said.

The US doctors had also said that Warmbier's severe brain injury was most likely - given his young age - to have been caused by cardiopulmonary arrest cutting the blood supply to the brain.

A post-mortem examination was not carried out at the request of the family.

In April, Xi Jinping and Trump met at Mar-a-Lago, Florida, to discuss China- U.S. trade and what to do about North Korea.

The student's death has heightened tensions aggravated by dozens of North Korean missile launches and two nuclear bomb tests since a year ago.

However, analysts noted that Pyongyang's use of inflammatory rhetoric against a USA president was not unusual.

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North Korea denies torturing detained USA student Otto Warmbier
A State Department spokesman has said the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year had nothing to do with Warmbier's release . Like other high-ranking United States officials, Portman also criticised North Korea's treatment of Warmbier as "appalling".