Otto Warmbier was imprisoned by the North Koreans for allegedly attempting to steal a propaganda poster.
He was detained in the foreign country for 15 month before he was returned to his parents in a vegetative state due to the coma that he fell into during his prison sentence.
Just a few days after his return to the United States, Otto Warmbier passed away. He was 22-years-old. There has been mass outcry toward the North Korean’s dictatorial regime, including U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) who called the actions towards Warmbier murder.
Now, North Korea is saying they’re the “biggest victim” in Warmbier’s death, TIME Magazine reports.
An unidentified Foreign Ministry spokesperson said:
“The fact that Warmbier died suddenly in less than a week just after his return to the U.S. in his normal state of health indicators is a mystery to us as well.
To make it clear, we are the biggest victim of this incident and there would be no more foolish judgment than to think we do not know how to calculate gains and losses.
The smear campaign against [North Korea] staged in the U.S. compels us to make firm determination that humanitarianism and benevolence for the enemy are a taboo and we should further sharpen the blade of law.”
The state-run media in North Korea denied that they treated Warmbier cruelly, and the regime led by Dictator Kim Jong-Un stated that Warmbier’s coma was caused by a combination of botulism and a sleeping pill — a claim that his parents have rejected.
President Donald Trump told reporters that what occurred in the case of Otto Warmbier “never should have happened.”
The situation has already clouded the foreign policy the U.S. has toward North Korea. The South Korean president, a strong ally of the U.S., said that the North is heavily responsible for Warmbier’s death.
A spokesperson for North Korea said that the rogue nation did provide medical treatment for Warmbier and that the accusations against the North are “groundless” speculation.