North Korea Denies Responsibility in Warmbier's Death, Slams Washington

In an article published by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) Pyongyang said they treated the 22-year-old according to domestic law and worldwide standards.

"Although there was no reason for us to have compassion for hostile criminals, taking into consideration his worsening health we provided care to the utmost, on humanitarian grounds, until he was repatriated to the United States", the spokesman said.

22-year-old American Otto Warmbier died less than a week after his return to the USA after almost a year and a half in North Korean detention. Instead, they said it appeared he had suffered severe neurological damage, possibly as a result of cardiopulmonary arrest.

Warmbier had been on a tourist trip to North Korea when he was detained and sentenced to hard labour early previous year for allegedly stealing a political poster from a North Korean hotel.

The agency said: "Our related institutions are treating criminals who committed crimes against (our) republic strictly based on domestic law and worldwide standards, and Warmbier was no different", the KCNA said.

Sun said that he was unfamiliar with the hotel hallway that appeared in the surveillance tape released by North Korean officials allegedly showing Warmbier's removing a poster from the wall.

Warmbier's death caused a public furor in the USA, bringing home the threat posed by North Korea to average citizens more than dozens of ballistic missile and nuclear tests over the past few years.

The North Korean statement said the country was a victim of a "smear campaign" by the United States as a part of a "frantic effort" to impose "heinous sanctions", the NK News website reported.

North Korea has often detained visiting Americans on charges of anti-state and other crimes.

"We were very nervous in terms of, 'Are we supposed to be here, or are we not supposed to be here?'" he recalled.

"Maybe in the USA, where young, white, rich, clueless white males routinely get away with raping women".

"I was just so happy to see the kid released".

He added: "I addressed ..." Later that day, that's when we found out he was ill.

He was sent to his home in OH on Tuesday, June 13, on "humanitarian grounds", but died just six days later having been sent home in a coma.

Dettwyler went on to say Warmbier was "typical of a mindset of a lot of the young, white, rich, clueless males who come into my classes".

The official accused Washington of conducting a "smear campaign" against North Korea.

China, North Korea's main ally and trading partner, previously bought the commodity under exemptions that allowed trade for "livelihood" purposes. "To make it clear, we are the biggest victim of this incident", he said, calling the accusations of abuse "groundless".

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