Pentagon chief blasts North Korea over death of USA student

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that Warmbier's death after his lengthy detention in North Korea was a "total disgrace" and that if the college student had been returned home to the US earlier, "I think the result would have been a lot different".

Moon's spokesman Park Soo-hyun told the media that the President expressed regrets for the U.S. university student's death in the letter sent to the Warmbier family.

Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor, convicted of subversion after he tearfully confessed he had tried to steal a North Korean propaganda banner. No ban is imminent, but deliberations gained new urgency after Warmbier's death, said the official, who requested anonymity to discuss internal diplomatic discussions.

North Korea has detained two Korean-American academics and a missionary, a Canadian pastor and three South Korean nationals who were doing missionary work there.

13 June 2017 - He is released from North Korea and medically evacuated to the US.

Bae said he hopes President Donald Trump will "take a stand with the North Korean government", demand the release of all detainees and deal with "human rights violations".

When a senior U.S. official visits North Korea, it is usually taken as a sign that tensions between the adversaries are easing somewhat.

North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests over the past decade.

Trump had personally lobbied Chinese President Xi Jinping to take stronger action on Chinese banks and other entities that do business with North Korea during a summit in Florida in April.

Kenneth Bae, the U.S. citizen detained by North Korea for two years, says he believes it is possible the late Otto Warmbier could have been tortured during his captivity in the communist country.

"China understands that the United States regards North Korea as our top security threat", Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters following meetings with Chinese counterparts.

Beijing, which wants resumed USA negotiations with North Korea, was hoping for "positive outcomes" from Wednesday's dialogue, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.

Yun is a USA special envoy.

Young Pioneer Tours said Tuesday on its Facebook page that the death of 22-year-old Otto Warmbier shows that the risk American tourists face in visiting North Korea "has become too high".

American concern is growing over North Korea's acceleration toward having a nuclear missile that can strike the USA mainland.

There are no indications so far, however, what the United States plans to do in response to Warmbier's death.

No cause of death has been determined for student Otto Warmbier (WARM'-beer).

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