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Otto Warmbier: Mass funeral for student jailed in N Korea

26 June 2017

North Korea say his death soon after his return home is a mystery and has dismissed accusations that he died because of torture and beating during his captivity.

The services were being held in his home state of OH, with the funeral at his former high school and burial at a Cincinnati cemetery.

They heard stories about his life, rap music he listened to and his habit of shopping for sweaters at thrift stores.

The service, which lasted a little less than an hour, concluded with Warmbier's casket being carried out as a bag-piper played the spiritual Going Home.

A Hamilton County Coroner has not yet determined Warmbier's cause of death.

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Sentenced to hard labor early a year ago for stealing a political poster from a North Korean hotel, Warmbier was medically evacuated to the United States in a coma last week after almost 18 months in captivity.

Otto had been sentenced to 15 years hard labour for stealing a propaganda poster.

Hundreds of mourners are celebrating the life of an American college student who was detained in North Korea for over a year and died shortly after being returned home to OH in a coma. The front of the funeral program included a quote from Warmbier's 2013 graduation speech: "This is our season finale".

Hundreds of people lined up for the service in OH, which was open to the public but closed to the press, according to ABC.

Donald Trump slammed Warmbier's detention and eventual death as a "total disgrace".

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"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.

The article also criticised South Korea for using Mr Warmbier's case to seek the release of other detainees.

Thousands gathered at Otto Warmbier's alma mater in Wyoming, Ohio, on Thursday to pay respects to the 22-year-old who died last week after returning from 17 months of imprisonment in North Korea.

The agency said: "Our related institutions are treating criminals who committed crimes against (our) republic strictly based on domestic law and global standards, and Warmbier was no different", the KCNA said.

Portman spoke Thursday outside Wyoming High School in Warmbier's hometown, where hundreds of people lined up early for a public memorial service.

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"This process has been a window into both evil, and love and good", one of Ohio's two USA senators, Rob Portman, told reporters before the funeral, which was closed to the media. "Surrounded by his loving family, Otto died at 2:20pm", Warmbier's parents said in a statement Monday, according to an Ohio-based paper.

Otto Warmbier: Mass funeral for student jailed in N Korea