North Korea has broken its silence about the death of U.S. student Otto Warmbier after his release from custody.
The authoritarian communist regime denies the claim that they tortured Warmbier.
The official Korean Centre News Agency (KCNA) published Pyongyang’s the official response to Warmbier’s death:
Our agencies treat all criminals… thoroughly in accordance with domestic laws and international standards.
As reported by The Daily Star, a previous statement from Kim Jong-un’s government said that Warmbier had been released back to the U.S. on ‘humanitarian grounds.’
22-year-old Warmbier spent 15 months in a North Korean prison after being sentenced to 15 years of hard labour for attempting to steal a propaganda poster from a hotel in January 2016.
He returned to his family in Cincinnati, Ohio, on June 13 unable to communicate as it emerged he had been in a coma for over a year.
He passed away on Monday.
His parents condemned the ‘awful tumultuous treatment’ their son received at the hands of North Korea.
U.S. President Donald Trump also criticised ‘the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim’ and added that ‘Otto’s fate deepens my Administration’s determination to prevent such tragedies from befalling innocent people at the hands of regimes that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency.’
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.