ibusinesslines.com March 21, 2018

China: Otto Warmbier's death 'unfortunate'

20 June 2017, 10:55 | Erica Roy

The 22-year-old was medically evacuated to the United States on Tuesday last week suffering from severe brain damage. Reuters file

The 22-year-old was medically evacuated to the United States on Tuesday last week suffering from severe brain damage. Reuters file

GENEVA A senior North Korean official speaking after the death of a US student held prisoner for 17 months by Pyongyang said on Tuesday his country followed national law and worldwide standards in its treatment of detainees.

Reuters How did Otto Warmbier die?

Just days after 22-year-old Otto Warmbier was returned to the USA with severe brain damage, his parents announced his passing on Monday afternoon. He died six days later surrounded by relatives in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.

The organizers of Warmbier's trip say they will no longer take USA citizens to the country.

"There had not been any previous detainment in North Korea that has ended with such tragic finality and we have been struggling to process the result", China-based Young Pioneer Tours said in a statement.

"We hope that North Korea and the United States can handle it appropriately", he added.

What follows is a closer examination of one of the more perplexing and heart-rending developments in North Korea's long, antagonistic standoff with its neighbors and Washington.

Moon said resuming dialogue with the North required certain preconditions without elaborating on what those conditions were.

Warmbier's family said they believed the student had found peace after being flown home. And then, as a second phase, try to achieve the complete dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear program.

The U.S. Department of State warns against travel to North Korea. She added the USA will seek cooperation with Beijing, urging it to fulfill all UN Security Council sanctions and exert its influence on the regime.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States holds North Korea accountable for Warmbier's "unjust imprisonment" and demanded the release of three other USA citizens still held by Pyongyang - Korean-Americans Tony Kim, Kim Dong Chul and Kim Hak Song.

"It seems to me that President Trump has criticized the failed former policies of his predecessor administrations".

"If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely, I would be honored to do it", Trump said in the interview. Moon came into office on May 10.

"It's a brutal regime", he said during a White House event. The North Korean government has vowed to develop a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the USA mainland.

Bae, who ran a company specialising in tours of North Korea, was accused by Pyongyang of plotting to bring down the government through religious activities. His family said he suffered from chronic health issues, including back pain, diabetes, an enlarged heart and liver problems.

"When it comes to North Korea's nuclear missile threat, it is more dire for the Republic of Korea".

His death "reflects a reality that the North Korean people know all too well: the Kim family leadership. will not hesitate to brutalise and kill to maintain their hold on power", it said in a statement.

North Korea must bear "heavy responsibility" for Warmbier's death, said South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

In an interview with CBS News, Moon said that while "We can not know for sure that North Korea killed" Otto Warmbier, "I believe it is quite clear that they have a heavy responsibility in the process that led to Mr. Warmbier's death", according to the television network.

Some outside experts see an internal divide in North Korea between officials who believe solving the long standoff with Seoul and Washington is the best way to improve the country's economy and worldwide standing, and hard-liners who believe that outside pressure, isolation and animosity help keep the ruling Kim family in power by solidifying domestic support. "So I believe President Trump went much further than I did".

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