Hundreds of mourners attend Otto Warmbier's funeral

FILE- In this Feb. 29 2016 file
EXCLUSIVE-S.Korea president calls on China's Xi to do more on N.Korea nuclear program
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24 June, 2017

Speaking to Michael Strahan on "Good Morning America", the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year said that "good things" happened as a result of his trip.

More than 2500 family, friends and well-wishers gathered for the funeral of Otto Warmbier, the United States student who died after falling into a coma while in prison in North Korea.

North Korea on Friday accused the United States of waging a "smear campaign" over the death of a student who was sent back home in a coma, denying he was tortured or abused.

Warmbier, a 22-year-old Wyoming native, died Monday at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

The diplomat said Warmbier "had been provided with the necessary treatment, although North Korea had no reason at all to show mercy to such a criminal of the enemy state".

"Our relevant agencies treat all criminals who committed crimes against (our) republic strictly based on domestic law and worldwide standards, and Warmbier was no different", declared North Korea's National Reconciliation Council, as quoted by Sky News.

KCNA said the North dealt with him according to its domestic laws and worldwide standards. He was sentenced two months later to 15 years of hard labor for trying to steal an item bearing a propaganda slogan from his hotel, North Korea state media said.

Mr Warmbier's brother and sister spoke at Thursday's memorial, as did a number of his friends, said attendee Fred Koss.

Warmbier returned home to OH on June 13 with severe neurological injuries.

The South Korean president, a strong ally of the USA, said that the North is heavily responsible for Warmbier's death.

The United States has demanded North Korea release three other USA citizens it holds in detention: missionary Kim Dong Chul and academics Tony Kim and Kim Hak Song.

The 22-year-old student was released from North Korea and handed over to the U.S. authorities on June 13, but he passed away in Cincinnati on June 19. My goal in life is to one day write a Batman screenplay. USA doctors who traveled to the North last week to bring Warmbier home recognized that the North had provided him with medical treatment, the spokesman said.

It demanded that South Korea return 12 restaurant workers who defected to the South a year ago.

They say there was no evidence he suffered from botulism.

Rodman's recent visit to North Korea coincided with Warmbier's release, although the former basketball star claimed he was traveling as a private citizen. The Obama administration, the spokesman said, never asked for his release. A spokesman for the family said this week that they chose not to disclose his Judaism during negotiations for his release so as not to antagonize North Korea.

North Korea also further reemphasized their stance that Otto's sentence was deserving of his offense, which they maintain was an act of subversion against the government while also attempting to ward off "groundless" accusations that Otto was tortured or beaten.


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