The American student Otto Warmbier, who was just released from North Korea, is reported to have died. Otto had been detained in North Korea and held in captivity for the past 17 months after being sentenced to 15 years of hard labor and was finally freed and brought back to his home in Ohio, although he had fallen into a coma for unexplained reasons while being held overseas.
Otto Warmbier’s family released a statement on Monday afternoon, explaining the grief they felt over their son’s death, as ABC reported.
“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 2:20 p.m.”
After Otto Warmbier was evacuated from North Korea, he was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. There, doctors stated that Otto had sustained injuries that stemmed from cardiopulmonary arrest and his scans showed that there was an enormous loss to every single region of his brain.
In the family’s statement on Otto Warmbier’s death, his loved ones also heaped praise upon the doctors and nurses and spoke of “the wonderful professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who did everything they could for Otto.”
“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 voice again, within a day the countenance of his face changed, he was at peace. He was home and we believe he could sense that.”
President Donald Trump has strongly condemned the actions of North Korea in the death of US student Otto Warmbier and he and Melania offered their deepest condolences to Otto’s family, according to The Independent.
“Melania and I offer our deepest condolences to the family of Otto Warmbier on his untimely passing. There is nothing more tragic for a parent than to lose a child in the prime of life. Our thoughts and prayers are with Otto’s family and friends, and all who loved him. The United States once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim.”
Senator John McCain held nothing back when he called the death of Otto Warmbier “murder,” and said he had been killed by the Kim Jong-un regime.
John McCain: “Let us state the facts plainly: Otto Warmbier, an American citizen, was murdered by the Kim Jong-un regime.” pic.twitter.com/tVhm5ZNnWQ
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 19, 2017
The tragic death of Otto Warmbier at the hands of North Korea has just intensified the battle with North Korea, who have been internationally condemned for their continued nuclear program and weekly missile tests. While Warmbier had been convicted to hard labor in North Korea for simply taking down a piece of political propaganda hanging up in a hotel, there are many who speculate that Otto had actually done nothing, but was prosecuted simply on the basis of the fact that he was an American citizen.
Now, after Otto Warmbier’s death, it is certainly possible that President Trump or Congress will move to either ban Americans from visiting North Korea, or at the very least restrict them, as the Washington Post reports.
Representatives Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) have created the North Korea Travel Control Act and brought it to the House. This Act would force Americans traveling to North Korea to procure a special license, with tourists unable to obtain the license.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has also hinted that there may now be an executive order which would completely ban all travel to North Korea, especially in light of Otto Warmbier’s unexplained coma and subsequent death.
Do you agree that North Korea need to be held responsible for the death of Otto Warmbier?
[Featured Image by Jon Chol Jin/AP Images]