Warmbier's Death Prompts Vigil in Charlottesville

Claudine Rigal
Juin 21, 2017

The company that organized the trip that took US student Otto Warmbier to North Korea announced Monday that they would no longer take Americans to the Hermit Kingdom after the 22-year-old died, days after he was released back to his home country.

"I'm sure there are high-ranking North Koreans who regret what happened to Warmbier and who think this was a mistake", Delury said.

As a presidential candidate and in his first months in office, Trump sought to recruit the help of China in reining in North Korea's nuclear and weapons programs.

Mr Warmbier was imprisoned for 17 months before a diplomatic effort from the U.S. secured his early release from prison.

Warmbier was arrested in the capital city, Pyongyang, in January 2016 and was accused of stealing a propaganda poster.

The North Korean government handed Warmbier over to USA authorities in a vegetative state last week and his death has spurred calls for a U.S. response from several lawmakers.

He was salutatorian of his 2013 high school class before attending the University of Virginia. John McCain said that Americans who are "stupid" enough to still want to visit North Korea should be required to sign a waiver absolving the USA government of any blame if they're harmed while there. Doctors said Warmbier suffered a severe neurological injury with extensive loss of brain tissue, likely as a result of a lack of blood to his brain. North Korea sentenced him to 15 years of hard labor.

"Patients who are in a persistent vegetative state after a cardiac arrest have a very low rate of recovery", Dr. Andrew Naidech, a neurocritical care physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, told NBC News. The company says the "tragic outcome" of Warmbier's trip - the American died after being jailed and had been in a coma - prompted the change.

"The U.S. government should not just throw up its hands and say, 'This is just how North Korea is.' But how do you do that in a smart way where there is some modicum of accountability?"

"If the issue of the reunion of families is to be resolved properly, the one who is responsible for the unheard-of abduction of DPRK (North Korean) citizens should be brought to global justice.and the South Korean authorities should repatriate the DPRK women abductees to their parents without further delay".

"They just murdered him", McCain said. And of course, his case has been made worse by the US's hostile policy towards North Korea.

That was the grim and painful message delivered by U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on June 20, regarding the death of Otto Warmbier the day before. North Korea accuses Washington and South Korea of sending spies to overthrow its government.

Tony Kim, who also goes by his Korean name, Kim Sang-duk, is a 58-year-old USA citizen who was temporarily teaching an accounting course at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, North Korea's only private university. "At least I know China tried".

Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., took a different approach to the news, calling for a tourist travel ban to North Korea.

The Trump administration doesn't need an act of Congress to bar Americans from traveling to North Korea.

"Yes, this had happened while Mr Warmbier was in the detention of North Korean authorities", Moon told CBS television's "This Morning".

His death led Young Pioneer Tours to announce it would no longer offer U.S. citizens trips to North Korea.

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