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US coroner investigating death of student freed from N Korea

20 June 2017

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday said North Korea should swiftly return South Koreans and Americans detained in the reclusive nation and that Pyongyang had "a heavy responsibility" in the death of a USA university student. A North Korean defector later said she had met Kim in the United States and that he had told church gatherings he was a missionary helping North Koreans. "It's worth a forceful response".

It may never be known, but there are some clues - as well as widespread speculation.

Warmbier was convicted of subversion after he tearfully confessed that he had tried to steal a propaganda banner while visiting with a tour group from China. The North Korean government has vowed to develop a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the USA mainland. Warmbier's death undercuts any progress from those meetings. Doctors in Cincinnati said they found no active sign of botulism or evidence of beatings.

They said Warmbier's severe brain injury was most likely - given his young age - to have been caused by cardiopulmonary arrest cutting the blood supply to the brain. Yun then was dispatched to North Korea and visited Warmbier June 12 with two doctors and demanded his release on humanitarian grounds.

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Mr Lighthizer said: "As the United States' fifth largest export market, the United Kingdom is an invaluable trading partner". He also stuck to May's position that Britain will pursue a completely new trade agreement with the union.

The US student held in captivity for more than 15 months in North Korea has died a week after returning home. The U.S. government says North Korea is using such detainees as political pawns. Poor hygienic conditions, diet or bad medical care may have been responsible for a coma that North Korean doctors couldn't handle.

"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", Young Pioneer Tours said in a statement on its website.

The last thing conservatives want, the argument goes, is curious American tourists talking with citizens and undercutting decades of propaganda that assures North Koreans that they are the envy of the world.

The furor in the USA over Warmbier's death recalls the raw emotions felt after a chemical weapons attack in Syria killed children, which prompted Trump to fire cruise missiles at Bashar Assad's regime. China has backed the Kim dynasty since the Korean War, in part to keep US troops away from its border.

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Trump said he had spoken with Warmbier's parents, telling reporters in the Oval Office that it was "incredible what they've gone through". "You've got to capitalize on this, and influence their internal debates to get them to recognize and acknowledge what happened". "He mentioned that it would be an honor to be able to meet Kim Jong Un", Moon told CBS.

The death may make it harder for South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who took power last month, to convince Trump of the benefits of greater engagement with North Korea.

Warmbier's sophomore English teacher said he would be "dearly missed". Yet dropping bombs on Kim Jong Un's nation - an option Trump's administration says is still on the table - is so risky that many analysts see it as implausible.

"Unfortunately, the very bad, torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today", his parents said. The country may not worry about much of anything externally, even the death of a young tourist, until it reaches its goal of building a nuclear ICBM that can ease what it sees as decades of USA and South Korean hostility.

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His parents thanked the medical professionals at the hospital who they said had done everything they could for their son. Doctors in the United States said he'd suffered severe brain damage, but were not able to pinpoint a reason.

Whether North Korea will actually respond to pressure or talks is unclear.