The Warmbiers expressed their joy at their reunion with Otto, as well as their pride in the life he led, in parallel with the sadness they felt at the loss of their son and brother.
Physicians at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he died, said last Thursday that Warmbier showed no sign of understanding language or awareness of his surroundings, and had made no "purposeful movements or behaviors", though he was breathing on his own.
For his alleged crime, Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.
Otto Warmbier was a University of Virginia student when he was detained in January 2016. He had had planned to study in China in his third year of college and heard about Chinese travel companies offering trips to North Korea. There had not been any previous detainment in North Korea that has ended with such tragic finality and we have been struggling to process the result.
The North Korean government said botulism is to blame for Warmbier's condition, but doctors haven't found any evidence of the illness in the now 22-year-old. Warmbier died Monday, June 19, 2017.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Otto Warmbier's death as a result of his treatment in North Korea could increase calls for the United States to take a tougher line on China, as the two nations prepare to meet in Washington on Wednesday. "What's happened to him is a truly bad thing, but at least the ones who love him so much can now take care of him and be with him".
The University of Virginia student was held for more than 17 months and medically evacuated from North Korea last week.
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Warmbier was sent back to the United States on Tuesday in a coma.
Warmbier, then 21, was accused of stealing a propaganda poster hanging from the wall of the hotel he was staying in.
HIs father Fred Warmbier spoke after his release, he said: "There's no excuse for the way the North Koreans treated our son and the way they have treated so many others". "We are at peace and at home too".
North Korea's explanation for the death was that he took a sleeping pill and ended up in a coma.
The younger Warmbier grew up in the northern Cincinnati suburb of Wyoming. He was salutatorian of his 2013 class at the highly rated high school there, and he was on the soccer team, among other activities. Five days later, North Korea responded by firing four anti-ship missiles into the sea east of the Korean peninsula. Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown called the country's actions "despicable". Portman added that the Warmbiers have "had to endure more than any family should have to bear".
North Korea slammed the US agents for behaving like "gangsters", calling the confrontation "an illegal and heinous act of provocation". North Korea accuses Washington and South Korea of sending spies to overthrow its government. The next time the world saw Warmbier he was distraught, breaking down in front of Korean journalists in a video released by North Korea in February of 2016. Such direct consultations between the two governments are rare because they do not have formal diplomatic relations.
Former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have previously visited North Korea in the past to negotiate the release of prisoners.