Otto Warmbier, US student released from North Korea has died
Otto Warmbier, who was released by North Korean authorities and returned to the United States on June 13, was comatose. He was hospitalized in Cincinnati, Ohio. The family and the hospital have both stated that he has died. He was 22, APA reports quoting sputniknews.
The student had been detained by North Korean authorities for 17 months. He had suffered severe brain damage during his captivity.
The family thanked the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for treating Otto. "Unfortunately, the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today," they said in a statement.
Dr. Daniel Kanter, the director of neurocritical care for the University of Cincinnati Health system described Warmbier's state as one of "unresponsive wakefulness". Other doctors said that Warmbier had suffered "severe neurological injury", with an extensive loss of brain tissue. He did not seem aware of his surroundings, in spite of his open and blinking eyes.
DPRK authorities claimed that the brain damage was caused by botulism, a disease usually caused by consuming rotten food or getting filth inside an open wound. American doctors found no evidence of the disease. However, there also was no sign of fractures that would indicate that he was beaten during his captivity. Instead, his neurological injuries are consistent with oxygen deprivation. He had also suffered "profound weakness and contraction" in his muscles and limbs.
Warmbier, a student at the University of Virginia, traveled to China as part of a study abroad program. A Chinese travel company offered trips to North Korea, which appealed to Warmbier, described as "thrill-seeking" by his father Fred. But when Warmbier attempted to leave the DPRK in January 2016, he was detained and accused of anti-state activities: taking a propaganda banner as a souvenir. The North Koreans claimed that he did this as part of an initiation ritual into a secret society, under the direction of the US government. He was sentenced to 15 years hard labor.
The Trump administration placed intense pressure on Pyongyang to release Warmbier when they learned of his condition.
"He was generous, outgoing, sweet, smart as a whip; just an overall good guy," said Danica White, Warmbier's high school English teacher.
Related news releases
- 22.07.2017Trump warns Iran over detained Americans: White House
- 22.07.2017US Defense Secretary says Daesh chief likely alive
- 21.07.2017US to prohibit citizens from traveling to North Korea
- 21.07.2017Sean Spicer resigns as White House spokesman
- 21.07.2017Brazil to raise taxes, freeze spending to meet target
- 21.07.2017UN treaty on nuclear arms ban may hinder IAEA work - Russian Foreign Ministry
- 21.07.2017Millions heed anti-Maduro shutdown in Venezuela
- 20.07.2017Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington commits suicide in his 41
- 20.07.2017Trump's son, close associates to appear before Senate
- 20.07.2017Trump cancels military support for Syrian rebels
- 20.07.2017Senator McCain diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer
- 20.07.2017U.S., Canada, Mexico agree on fast-paced NAFTA talks
- 19.07.2017U.S. Supreme Court partly rejects Trump in latest travel ban fight
- 19.07.2017Number of terrorist attacks globally dropped in 2016: U.S. government
- 19.07.2017Mexico concerned with US desire to cut trade deficits
- 19.07.2017Trump, Putin met for nearly an hour in second G20 meeting
- 19.07.2017U.S. prepares sanctions against senior Venezuelan officials
- 19.07.2017US Senate to Hold Hearings on Individual Health Insurance Market
- 18.07.2017U.S. puts new sanctions on Iran over ballistic missile program
- 18.07.2017Strong earthquake strikes off Peru, no tsunami risk seen
- 18.07.2017Tillerson Recertifies Iran's compliance to nuclear agreement
- 18.07.2017US Navy tests laser weapons system in Persian Gulf
- 18.07.2017US to maintain dialogue with Israel on halting Iranian ambitions in Syria
- 18.07.2017Oil prices ease on signs of steady output from some producers
- 16.07.2017US Navy commissions new Arleigh Burke-class destroyer at Pearl Harbor base
- 16.07.2017Turks in Germany mark anniversary of defeated coup
- 16.07.2017Cat killer jailed for 16 years in San Jose, California
- 15.07.2017Russian-American lobbyist attended Trump Jr. controversial meeting
- 15.07.2017Oil up 1 percent, posts weekly gain of 5 percent
- 15.07.2017US cannot confirm Daesh leader Baghdadi’s death
- 15.07.2017Trump, Saudi king discuss resolution of Qatar row
- 14.07.2017Mexico gun attack on children's party in Tizayuca kills 11
- 14.07.2017Trump says he would invite Putin to White House, but not now
- 14.07.2017US: Qatar crisis may take long time to resolve despite subtle Progress
- 13.07.2017Yellen says 3 percent U.S. growth 'quite challenging' in coming years
- 13.07.2017Ex-US president Jimmy Carter hospitalized in Canada - Carter Center
- 13.07.2017Grassley to send Trump Jr. letter asking him to testify
- 13.07.2017Democrats introduce new bill on Russia and Iran sanctions
- 13.07.2017Trump says he does not fault son for meeting Russian lawyer
- 13.07.2017Rising seas threaten hundreds of coastal US towns
- 20.06.2017Four Mexican federal police killed in ambush in Guerrero
- 20.06.2017Argentina police seize cache of hidden Nazi artifacts
- 20.06.2017U.S. State Department 'mystified' by Gulf states on Qatar
- 19.06.2017Cuba calls Trump speech on island 'grotesque spectacle'
- 18.06.2017Several sailors' bodies found on stricken Navy destroyer
- 18.06.2017Explosion in Bogota shopping center kills at least three, wounds nine