North Korea Defends Otto Warmbier's Treatment

Otto Warmbier the American college student who spent 17 months in detention in North Korea died

The casket of Otto Warmbier is carried from Wyoming High School after his funeral, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in Wyoming, Ohio.

His family accused North Korea of "awful torturous treatment", while US President Donald Trump described Mr Warmbier as the "latest victim" of North Korean brutality.

North Korea claimed Friday that it doesn't know why American college student Otto Warmbier's health was so poor that after months of imprisonment he ended up dying - and said it even revived him after his "heart was almost stopped".

North Korea on Friday has denied it cruelly treated or tortured an American student who was detained for more than year and died days after being released in a coma.

Doctors said the released detainee suffered a severe brain damage. Two months later, he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor, accused of committing a "hostile act" by trying to steal a political poster from his hotel in Pyongyang, the capital. "Our relevant agencies treat all criminals thoroughly in accordance with domestic laws and worldwide standards and Warmbier was not an exception", a spokesman for the National Reconciliation Council said.

North Korea reportedly told a USA official that Warmbier contracted botulism and slipped intothe coma after taking a sleeping pill - they claimed to have released the student on "humanitarian grounds".

Less than a week after returning to the United States after 17 months of detention in North Korea, his family announced Warmbier had "completed his journey home".

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Warmbier's release coincided with former basketball star Dennis Rodman's latest visit to North Korea, though United States national security spokesman Michael Anton denied there was a connection between the two.

Rodman said the country has changed over the course of his visits, saying "we've seen a lot of changes", including "the fact that it is so modernized now".

"To make it clear, we are the biggest victim of this incident and there would be no more foolish judgment than to think we do not know how to calculate gains and losses", the spokesman said. Otto Warmbier. And I said to them, "we... would need his... you know, a release, some type of good faith, if we're ever going to do some type of future sports relations".

But it emerged he was in a coma after North Korean officials claimed he had caught botulism, and died on Monday. But U.S. doctors said they found no evidence of the illness.

"When Otto was first taken, we were advised by the past administration to take a low profile while they worked to obtain his release".

Portman said sanctions against North Korea should be tightened, WVXU reports.

Fred Warmbier has called on North Korea to release other American detainees.

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