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North Korea denies torturing US detainee Otto Warmbier

23 June 2017

The Hamilton County Coroner's Office in OH examined Warmbier's body after the 22-year-old University of Virginia student died on Monday.

"I had to come out to support the family, and also just to show, in my opinion, the North Korean government that we are a dignified country, unlike them", said Koss a 70-year-old Wyoming resident.

Pyongyang has called President Donald Trump a "psychopath", while he describes North Korea as a brutal regime.

"North Korea needs to be held accountable for what happened to Otto Warmbier", Portman said. However, he was arrested while trying to board a plane on January 2, 2016 and charged with "hostile acts against the state" for allegedly attempting to take down a large propaganda sign lauding the regime at his hotel in Pyongyang.

The funeral service for Warmbier will be held Thursday morning at Warmbier's alma mater, Wyoming High School in Wyoming, Ohio, and will be open to the public, according to a release from the funeral home.

But in its first statement since the University of Virginia undergraduate's death, North Korea refuted the accusations.

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Fred Warmbier told reporters the North Korean regime deemed his son a "war criminal" and "brutalized and terrorized" him during his detainment.

"The fact that Warmbier died suddenly in less than a week just after his return to the U.S. in his normal state of health ... is a mystery to us as well", the ministry spokesman said, according to the official KCNA news agency.

Warmbier arrived home last week in a coma following more than 17 months in North Korean captivity.

KCNA says the North dealt with Warmbier according to domestic law and worldwide standards.

The agency accused Seoul of tarnishing Pyongyang's image with its "slanderous talk about cruel treatment and torture" while having no knowledge of the "humanitarian" treatment Warmbier received in the North.

"Otto Warmbier's life was cut short but he had so much promise he was everything he was outgoing, athletic, bright, curious", he said.

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United States doctors said Mr Warmbier had suffered a severe neurological injury from an unknown cause.

They say there was no evidence he suffered from botulism.

Warmbier's family have declined a post-mortem examination.

Warmbier's death has raised red flags about Americans traveling to hostile nations.

Pyongyang has called Mr Trump a "psychopath". North Korea said he had contracted botulism and that it was releasing him on "humanitarian grounds".

Warmbier's death has heightened tensions aggravated by dozens of North Korean missile launches and two nuclear bomb tests since past year.

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