Former North Korean detainee Otto Warmbier dead at 22


John McCain, R-Arizona.

U.S. President Donald Trump said what happened to Warmbier is a "truly bad thing".

Warmbier's fate has brought home the cruelty and capriciousness of the North Korean regime in a way that dozens of ballistic missile tests and nuclear explosions never did.

However, Cincinnati doctors caring for Warmbier said they found no indication of remaining botulism - but they also said it's likely the toxin would no longer be in the body after more than a year.

"His neurological condition can be best described as a state of unresponsive wakefulness", said Daniel Kanter, a University of Cincinnati Medical Center neurologist who examined Otto.

Reuters/KyodoOtto Warmbier during his trial in North Korea.

It was 20 days before North Korea finally announced he was being detained and being accused of a "hostile act".

He was arrested at Pyongyang Airport on January 2, 2016, before he could board a plane departing the secretive state. Pyongyang contends that Warmbier attempted to pilfer a propaganda poster.

Jonathan Bae, whose father, Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae spent two years in North Korean captivity before his release in 2014, expressed sadness at Warmbier's death. He admitted to the crime and begged for forgiveness and for his release.

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The Republican senator says Warmbier was a promising young man who was kind, generous and accomplished.

North Korean officials seated at long tables watched impassively, with cameras rolling and journalists taking notes, as the adventuresome, accomplished 21-year-old college student from suburban Cincinnati talked animatedly about the "severe crime" that had put him there: trying to take a propaganda banner for someone back home, supposedly in return for a used vehicle and to impress a semi-secret society he wanted to join, and all under the supposed direction of the US government.

"This mugging act of the United States serves as a graphic account telling the world how reckless and despicable the USA hostile policy towards (North Korea) has become", the KCNA report said. Tillerson began the effort and routinely updated the President.

Earlier in the day, Acting Assistant Secretary of State Susan Thornton was asked during a briefing on the upcoming high-level security talks with China if the considering any retaliatory action against the North for mistreating Warmbier, but she avoided a direct answer.

Yun met with the North Korean ambassador to the NY on June 6 and was told of Warmbier's medical status. Yun and two doctors visited Warmbier that morning, marking the first time the United States was able to confirm his status since he was sentenced in March 2016. As he leaving, Warmbier was arrested for subversion.

He was evacuated the next day and reunited with his family in Cincinnati.

"When Otto returned to Cincinnati late on June 13th he was unable to speak, unable to see and unable to react to verbal commands".

It could be that "Warmbier went into a coma very soon after the sentencing, but the intelligence services covered it up or didn't report it up the chain", he told said, adding that apparently even the North's Foreign Ministry had been out of the loop.