Warmbier death: N. Korea accuses US of 'smear campaign'

Warmbier death: N. Korea accuses US of 'smear campaign'

USA college student Otto Warmbier died just days after returning to the United States after spending 17 months imprisoned in North Korea, but the country's state-run media believes the real victim in Warmbier's death has been overlooked.

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman made an appearance on Friday's "Good Morning America" and essentially took credit for North Korea's release of Otto Warmbier, an American college student imprisoned in the country for 18 months.

Warmbier, 22, a University of Virginia student, died Monday in Cincinnati, less than a week after his release from North Korea. Warmbier's doctors said he suffered extensive brain damage.

U.S. President Donald Trump has condemned the "brutality" of the North Korean regime and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson vowed to hold Pyongyang accountable for the death.

North Korea said today the death of Mr Warmbier, who was kept prisoner in the hermit state since last January, was "a mystery to us as well".

American student Otto Warmbier, center, is escorted at the Supreme Court in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Pyongyang said they arrested Warmbier as he was boarding his flight home because he had attempted to steal a propaganda banner. He died June 19 in Cincinnati. However, North Korea is now saying that they are the real victim in all this. KCNA said the North dealt with Warmbier according to domestic law and global standards.

Warmbier died days after his return to the United States, and his funeral was held Thursday in his hometown of Wyoming, Ohio.

Although Rodman appeared to believe he played some role in securing Warmbier's release, he maintained his visits to North Korea were not an attempt to carry out a political agenda or negotiate for detainees' release.

Earlier this week, President Trump said China has tried to help the United States solve increasing tensions with North Korea, but "it has not worked out".

The article said South Korea was tarnishing North Korea's image with "slanderous talk about cruel treatment and torture".

He was 22-years-old. There has been mass outcry toward the North Korean's dictatorial regime, including U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) who called the actions towards Warmbier murder.

The world found out Warmbier was in a coma when he was released June 13 after almost 17 months of detention.

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.

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