USA

Funeral set for US student freed from N. Korea

Funeral set for US student freed from N. Korea

The China-based travel agency that organised a trip to North Korea for an American college student who died after being released in a coma from detention said it would no longer take USA citizens to the country.

"We have been struggling to process the result", Young Pioneer Tours, a China-based travel agency, said in a Facebook post.

US Senator John McCain says North Korea has murdered Otto Warmbier, an American student who died days after his release from detention there. The 22-year-old American student arrived home in Cincinnati in a coma last week after being detained in North Korea for more than a year.

O'Donnell pointed out that the idea of engaging in dialogue with North Korea before it is denuclearized is at odds with longstanding US policy, but Moon said he does not believe that his position is at odds with that of the United States or President Donald Trump, with whom he will meet next week.

Warmbier's father last week said the family did not believe North Korea's explanation for what happened to his son. Almost a year later, the 22-year-old Otto was finally medically evacuated to USA last week.

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In a related development, the South Korean Defence Ministry said the USA will send two strategic B-1 bombers to the Korean Peninsual to take part in joint drills with the South Korean Air Force, Efe news reported. The Secretary of State has already suggested a ban on Americans traveling to the North.

North Korean officials blamed Mr Warmbier's condition on botulism - a severe form of food poisoning which they said he contracted while in their custody.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has been unable to pursue the engagement with the North he favors because of a string of North Korean missile tests. He returned 17 months later in a #coma on June 13, 2017. Within weeks, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison and hard labor.

"Considering these facts and this tragic outcome we will no longer be organizing tours for USA citizens to North Korea".

The University of Virginia student was accused of trying to steal a propaganda banner while visiting with a tour group. Recently it arrested Korean Americans Tony Kim and Kim Hak Song for alleged hostile acts.

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US Vice-President Mike Pence said his death served as a "tragic example" of the country's 'disregard for human life'.

The American doctors who watched Valmiera, said that he has serious brain damage.

It is believed that North Korea has been using the detentions as a bargaining chip in its negotiations with Washington.

North Korea said he had been in a coma for a year after contracting botulism but his family say he was subjected to "awful torturous mistreatment".

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