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Otto Warmbier’s death ‘is a mystery to us,’ North Korea says

SEOUL-North Korea said on Friday the death of US university student Otto Warmbier soon after his return home was a mystery and dismissed accusations that Warmbier had died because of torture and beating during his captivity as “groundless”.This is in response to the tragic demise of Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old student who was returned to the USA in a coma last week after being imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months.After he returned to OH, doctors determined he had suffered a “severe neurological injury” of unknown cause.The North Korean official denied that the country had tortured Warmbier, contending that the 22-year-old left North Korea in “his normal state of health indicators”, and that his death is a “mystery”. Three Americans also remain in custody in the North.The death of Warmbier has inflamed already high tensions between the USA and North Korea.US officials have not been able to provide a cause of death for Warmbier, in part because his family objected to an autopsy being performed.His family and others have blamed North Korea for his condition, saying he was “brutalised and terrorised by the pariah regime”.Just a few days after his return to the United States, Otto Warmbier passed away.Rodman’s agent, Chris Volo, says his client personally lobbied the Pyongyang government for Warmbier’s return home.The article said South Korea was tarnishing North Korea’s image with “slanderous talk about cruel treatment and torture”.The official accused Washington of conducting a “smear campaign” against North Korea. But officials at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where Warmbier was treated after his return, said they had found no trace of the disease.Otto Warmbier was imprisoned by the North Koreans for allegedly attempting to steal a propaganda poster.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. He had been in a comatose state since at least April 2016, according to two MRI scans that were on a disc that arrived with the student from North Korea, Dr. Daniel Kanter told reporters earlier in June.After his trial, North Korea told the United States that he had come down with a case of botulism and was given a sleeping pill, which he never woke up from.He blasted South Korea, accusing it of seeking to exploit Warmbier’s death to press its own demand for the release of six South Korean detainees.His language was echoed by South Korean President Moon Jae-In, who said in an interview ahead of a White House visit next week that North Korea bears responsibility for the student’s death.