AMERICA has released a furious statement in the wake of Otto Warmbier’s death, warning Kim Jong-un they hold North Korea responsible for the US prisoner’s death.
The student died yesterday after being released from the hermit state in a coma with severe brain damage after 17 months in captivity.
He had been held in Kim Jong-un’s kingdom after attempting to take a propaganda sign from a hotel in Pyongyang as a souvenir, a move which led North Korean officials to charge him with espionage.
The University of Virginia student was seized on December 31, 2015, and forced to plead guilty in a show trial in front of the North Korea’s media.
He died yesterday after finally being returned in a terrible state following respiratory arrest – possibly as a result of water-boarding.
Now US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has issued a heartbroken statement of condolence for Mr Warmbier’s family and a warning to North Korea.
He said: “Today we received with deep sadness the news that Otto Warmbier has passed away.
“On behalf of the entire State Department and the United States government, I extend my condolences to the Warmbier family, and offer my prayers as they enter a time of grief no parent should ever know.
“We hold North Korea accountable for Otto Warmbier’s unjust imprisonment, and demand the release of three other Americans who have been illegally detained.”
It followed a statement by the US ambassador to the UN which said Mr Warmbier’s death highlighted the “barbaric nature” of Kim’s rogue state.
Nikki Haley said: “The inhumanity of the North Korean regime has been known to the world for decades.
“Numerous investigations have been conducted and endless volumes have ben written how that outlaw government has tortured and murdered generations of its own citizens.
“Countless innocent men and women have died at the hands of the North Korean criminals, but the singular case of Otto Warmbier touches the American heart like no other.
“Our prayers are with this fine young man’s family and community.
“While Otto Warmbier’s memory will always be a blessing to his loved ones, it will also serve as indelible reminder to us of the barbaric nature of the North Korean dictatorship.”