North Korea denies torturing American detainee Otto Warmbier

North Korea has accused the USA of conducting a smear campaign against the regime over Otto Warmbier, the American student who was sent home in a coma after 17 months in prison.

In a statement by a DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesman carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the North Korean representative claimed the country has been the victim of a "smear campaign" by the U.S.as part of a "frantic effort" to impose "heinous sanctions".

It accused South Korea of tarnishing North Korea's image with "slanderous talk about cruel treatment and torture" while having no knowledge of the "humanitarian" treatment Warmbier received.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he held North Korea responsible for the student's death.

United States doctors said Mr Warmbier had suffered a severe neurological injury from an unknown cause.

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Mr Warmbier, 22, a student at the University of Virginia, had been travelling with a tour group when he was arrested at Pyongyang airport in January 2016.

The KCNA said the North dealt with Mr Warmbier, 22, according to domestic law and worldwide standards. He was then sentenced to 15 years of hard labour.

USA doctors say there is no evidence he suffered from botulism, and the Warmbier family believe he died as a result of "awful torturous mistreatment".

Warmbier died Monday, just days after he returned to the U.S., and his funeral was held in his hometown in Ohio Thursday. North Korea previously said that shortly after his conviction Warmbier contracted botulism, a bacteria commonly associated with food poisoning, and was given a sleeping pill. "Later that day, that's when we found out he was ill, no one knew that".

Donald Trump also hit out at North Korea, claiming "a lot of bad things happened" to Mr Warmbier during his captivity in the country.

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Mr Warmbier's former football coach, Steve Thomas, said the Jewish student came from a religious family and was involved in mission trips and a birthright trip to Israel.

"I was just so happy to see the kid released", Rodman said. He was released and returned in a coma to the United States on June 13 and died six days later. We jumped up and down.

Choi Sung-ryong, an activist who represents the families of people abducted to North Korea, told Japanese news agency Kyodo that Warmbier was arrested for packing his shoes in old newspaper featuring photographs of the North Korean leader. By the time the North Koreans shipped him home, his brain was so damaged he would never recover, and he died within days.

Rodman told ABC News he didn't know Warmbier was in a coma when he heard the news of his release.

There may be no good options in dealing with North Korea; we have almost 30,000 American troops stationed just miles away from the Demilitarized Zone, and millions of South Koreans could be killed in an attack.

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"Of course, a classic place for that is North Korea".

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