North Korean officials, in their first remarks responding to the death of American student Otto Warmbier, are calling themselves the "biggest victim" in the tragedy and accusing the U.S of corroborating with South Korea in a "smear campaign".
"This college kid never should have been detained in the first place", said Portman, who met secretly with North Korean officials in NY last December to press for Warmbier's release. Warmbier, whose parents say has been in a coma while serving a 15-year prison term in North Korea, was released and returned to the United States Tuesday, June 13, 2017, as the Trump administration revealed a rare exchange with the reclusive country.
But the state-run Korean Central News Agency said Friday said that Warmbier was treated in accordance with domestic law.
Warmbier, who had been sentenced to 15 years hard labor by North Korea last March, died on Monday. It called allegations of torture during his incarceration "groundless", and said that vital health indicators were normal when he was examined by USA doctors in North Korea.
North Korea is now holding three other USA citizens.
The funeral for student Otto Warmbier, held on June 22 at his alma mater of Wyoming High School in Ohio.
Some 2,000 people attended the public service at the high school and more mourners lined the street.
The United States has demanded North Korea release three other U.S. citizens it holds in detention: missionary Kim Dong Chul and academics Tony Kim and Kim Hak Song.
Rodman said, becoming visually emotional. The North previously released a short dispatch which said it released him on humanitarian grounds.
Rodman said he didn't meet with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-Un, during his most recent visit, but considered him a friend and has spent time with him in the past. The attendees included Ambassador Joseph Yun, the USA special envoy who traveled to Pyongyang to bring Warmbier back.
"The very bad torturous mistreatment our son experienced at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today", reads a statement issued by Warmbier's family after his death.
"The U.S. totally distorted this truth and dared to clamor about "retaliation" and "pressure" on the dignified DPRK while deliberately kicking up the smearing campaign against the DPRK", the foreign ministry argued in a statement, "This is a frontal challenge and political plot against us".