BREAKING: US student Otto Warmbier dies after 'torturous treatment' by North Korea

Mr Warmbier’s family announced the news via an emotional statment from Ohio.

Warmbier, who was imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months, was returned home in a coma less than a week ago.

He died in a Cincinnati hospital, his family said in a statement on Monday.

Otto was returned from North Korea in a coma, not able to understand language and had severe brain damage.

Authorities in Kim Jong-Un’s North said he had fallen ill with food poisoning and taken a sleeping tablet – which doctors in the US find no evidence of.

“Unfortunately, the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today,” the family said in a statement.

The statement said: “It is our sad duty to report that our son, Otto Warmbier, has completed his journey home. Surrounded by his loving family, Otto died today at 2.20pm.

“It would be easy at a moment like this to focus on all that we lost – future time that won’t be spent with a warm, engaging, brilliant young man whose curiosity and enthusiasm for life knew no bounds. 

“But we choose to focus on the time we were given with this remarkable person.”

Otto’s family said they believed he knew he was back in the US, before he died, despite his vegetative state.

The statement said: “When Otto returned to Cincinnati late on June 13th he was unable to speak, unable to see and unable to react to verbal commands. He looked very uncomfortable – almost anguished.

“Although we would never hear his voce again, within a day the countenance of his face changed – he was at a peace. He was home and we believed he could sense that.

“We thank everyone around the world who has kept him and our family in their thoughts and prayers. We are at peace and at home too.”

The student was accused by North Korea of being involved in a plot to overthrow the Jong-Un regime.

In fact, he stole a sign in a hotel in the secretive nation while on a trip.

The Warmbiers are from Wyoming in Cincinnati, Ohio, where father Fred owns a small company.

Otto attended the best high school in the state, and was prom and homecoming king.

He graduated and studied economics and commerce with a minor in global sustainability.

The 22-year-old was in his third year of university when he was detained in North Korea.

On the second night of a three day trip to the North, Otto is said to have tried to take the sign from within a staff-only area of the 1,000-room Yanggakdo International Hotel.

It was New Year’s Eve 2015.

Otto was held at Pyongyang International Airport on 2 January 2016 and was later accused of attempting to tear down the Government.

The news comes just hours after Kim Jong-Un threatened war with the US.

Japan’s chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga reassured the public that both Japan and the US were committed to maintaining regional deference in the face of the North Korean threat, despite the naval incident on Saturday.

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Daily Express :: World Feed

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