North Korea issued its first official statement after the death of U.S. student, Otto Warmbier. He was detained for 17 months after being arrested in January 2016 on charges of stealing a propaganda poster from a hotel. He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.
In a statement issued on Friday, North Korea claimed that the sudden death of Otto Warmbier was a mystery even to their nation as his health indicators were normal, as reported by Yonhap News. It claimed that Pyongyang provided medical care and treatment with “sincerity.”
The statement issued by North Korea’s foreign ministry was aimed at defending the hermit nation against the accusation of torturing Otto Warmbier. The statement further blamed former-President Barack Obama.
Obama’s policy of “strategic patience” with North Korea and avoiding dialogue with Kim Jong-un was suggested as the real reason for the death of Otto Warmbier in the statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
North Korea’s statement mentioned that it showed mercy to a criminal who was the enemy of the state, even though there was no need to do so. Pyongyang claims to have provided Warmbier with medical treatment and care on a humanitarian basis.
North Korea has claimed that Otto Warmbier fell ill from botulism and was in a coma after taking a single sleeping pill. However, his father has insisted that he was “brutalized and terrorized” in the North Korea.
Otto Warmbier’s parents have blamed the brutal regime and Barack Obama for the death of their son. His father criticized the soft approach of Obama administration towards the entire situation, and Mr.Warmbier lauded Trump for securing their son’s release.
“When Otto was first taken, we were advised by the past administration to take a low profile while they worked to obtain his release. We relied on this false premise they would treat Otto fairly and let him go, I think the results speak for themselves.”
Shockingly, the spokesperson told KCNA that North Korea was the biggest victim of this incident as Washington had distorted truth and had called for more sanctions. The statement further condemned American tactic of “pressure” and “retaliation” on the “dignified” nation.
North Korea is known for illegally detaining U.S. citizens on false allegations of spying and anti-state crimes. Pyongyang uses the detentions as leverage to initiate a dialogue with Washington. At present, there are three American citizens held in North Korea.
Meanwhile, funeral services were held for Otto Warmbier in the auditorium of Wyoming High School in his hometown, as reported by USA Today. Over 2000 people attended the funeral to pay their respects to the 22-year old student who lost his life to the brutal regime of North Korea.
[Featured Image by Jon Chol Jin/AP Images]