North Korea has accused “old lunatic” Donald Trump of exploiting the death of US student Otto Warmbier. Warmbier was released in June after 17 months in North Korean custody and died in a US hospital a few days later.
Warmbier suffered no torture during his detention, said North Korea’s foreign ministry spokesman as cited by KCNA news agency. The spokesman insisted that Pyongyang had provided medical care to the US student despite his “hostile acts“.
Earlier on Wednesday Hamilton County Coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco confirmed that Warmbier’s body had no evident signs of torture.
There is no evidence of trauma to the lower teeth or mandible on imaging or by physical examination,” Sammarco said. “Now, that being said, I will tell you that the forensic dentist did let me know that the front incisors often will have a rounded root and they will sometimes twist as they’re developing, but I’m not an expert on that. But I can tell you that we didn’t see any evidence of trauma to the teeth.”
According to Sammarco, Warmbier had brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen.
“The fact is that he had anoxic encephalopathy, or brain damage caused by the lack of oxygen to the brain; we don’t know what the root cause of that is,” Sammarco said.
Yet there “a couple of ways” to get this brain damage, not only torture, she added.
“So, you either have to discontinue blood flow to the brain or stop breathing. And what caused either one of those possible events we wouldn’t know. I mean, could that have been torture at the time? We don’t know. We don’t have enough information about what happened” Sammarco concluded, adding that no definite conclusions could be drawn without knowing what had happened in the first instance.
Warmbier, the 22-year-old University of Virginia student came to North Korea for a short visit in late 2015 as a tourist and was arrested in January 2016 on charges of stealing a propaganda poster from a staff-only level of the Pyongyang hotel at which he was staying.
He was later charged with “hostile acts” towards the North and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor, but was released and medically evacuated in June this year. He passed away at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in Ohio several days later.