To North Korea and back: Otto Warmbier's strange, sad trip

The medical team treating him at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said he had brain damage consistent with respiratory arrest cutting off oxygen to the brain.

In the end, he spent 17 months in North Korea before he was released and returned to the United States by a medical aircraft.

In pictures and videos from his time in North Korea, Warmbier can be seen smiling and enjoying himself. News photos showed the comatose Warmbier being carried off an airplane.

North Korean authorities detained Warmbier in March 2016 as he visited the isolated, authoritarian state as a tourist.

U.S. President Donald Trump offered condolences to the Warmbier family and denounced North Korea as a "brutal regime" with no respect for "basic human decency" and said Warmbier faced tough conditions.

North Korea says delegates it sent to a United Nations' conference in NY were "literally mugged" by U.S. authorities as they tried to leave John F. Kennedy International Airport on Friday.

Warmbier wasn't seen or heard from until last week, when the USA secured his release.

Kim Jong-Un's regime said Warmbier fell into a coma soon after he was sentenced past year, claiming the college student had contracted botulism and been given a sleeping pill.

Warmbier's father has accused the tour company of helping lure Americans to North Korea.

"He looked very uncomfortable - nearly anguished", family members said.

The 22-year-old returned to the United States last week and had not spoken or moved in any purposeful way since.

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Warmbier's death could chill efforts to restart a dialogue with North Korea. Warmbier was visiting North Korea previous year when he was arrested for taking a propaganda poster from his hotel before attempting to leave the country.

Warmbier's fate has brought home the cruelty and capriciousness of the North Korean regime in a way that dozens of ballistic missile tests and nuclear explosions never did.

The North is now holding three other U.S. citizens.

"A fabulous young man", said Jenni McCauley, a Wyoming councilwoman.

Warmbier passed away Monday afternoon.

Otto Warmbier, sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for "anti-state" crimes that amounted to trying to steal a poster from a hotel, learned this lesson the hard way. As he leaving, Warmbier was arrested for subversion.

Many questions remain about just what the North Koreans did to Warmbier and why.

The convention also says any person claiming courier status must carry proper accreditation and any courier bags they carry must be visibly marked as such.

The State Department warns against travel to North Korea.

"I have made the worst mistake of my life!" he exclaimed as his formally staged February 29, 2016, "confession" to anti-state activities ended in Pyongang. Otto Warmbier's parents' statement about their son's death focuses on being grateful for both the time they had with their son and the "outpouring of emotion from the communities that he touched".

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