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North Korea censures U.S. for ‘smear campaign’ over student’s death

North Korea has accused the USA of conducting a smear campaign against the regime over Otto Warmbier, the American student who was sent home in a coma after 17 months in prison.North Korea said Friday that the death of Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old American imprisoned in the country for 17 months, is a “complete mystery” to them.Warmbier’s parents said their son had been in a coma for more than a year before he was medically evacauted from North Korea. The 22-year-old died in an OH hospital on Monday after North Korea released him for what they described as humanitarian reasons.Otto Warmbier was returned by North Korea to the U.S. last week, more than a year after he had been sentenced to 15 years’ hard labour.The US doctors had also said that Warmbier’s severe brain injury was most likely – given his young age – to have been caused by cardiopulmonary arrest cutting the blood supply to the brain.”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. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison by North Korea’s Supreme Court. He will be buried later in the day at a local cemetery.The life of a 22-year-old college student who died this week after being detained for almost a year and a half in North Korea will be celebrated in an OH hometown still stunned by his loss. Warmbier graduated from the school in the Cincinnati suburb of Wyoming as salutatorian in 2013.This death and the public condemnation by the Warmbier family on television keeps the regime’s behaviour squarely in front of the American public, our correspondent adds.”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 situation has already clouded the foreign policy the USA has toward North Korea.The Hamilton County coroner is still trying to determine the cause of Warmbier’s death Monday.North Korean officials told US envoys that Warmbier contracted botulism after his trial and lapsed into a coma after taking a sleeping pill.Warmbier, whose mother is Jewish, became active in the Hillel after a Birthright trip to Israel, during which he received a Hebrew name.The North Koreans had told USA officials that Warmbier slipped in a coma after contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill.”North Korea needs to be held accountable for what happened to Otto Warmbier”, Portman said.