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Donald Trump blames Obama inaction for Otto Warmbier's death

22 Juin 2017

Trump has been counting on China to use its economic leverage with the government of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as American concern grows over the North's acceleration toward having a nuclear missile that can strike the USA mainland.

Otto Warmbier, the American college student who spent 17 months in detention in North Korea, died on June 19, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio, his family said in a statement.

Spicer said Trump would be willing to meet Kim under the right conditions, but "clearly we're moving further away, not closer to those conditions".

Warmbier's surprise release last week raised initial speculation that the Trump administration, which sent US diplomat Joseph Yun to Pyongyang to oversee Warmbier's medical evacuation, would open a direct communications channel with Pyongyang aimed at paving the way for negotiations over the nuclear and ballistic missile programs that have made North Korea an worldwide pariah.

"What happened to Otto is a disgrace".

The president on Tuesday said that if Warmbier had been returned home to the United States earlier, "I think the result would have been a lot different".

The Warmbier family's "objection to an autopsy was honoured", the office said, according to the report.

Three US citizens are now being held by North Korea, including two men who taught at a Pyongyang university funded by overseas Christian groups, and a Korean-American pastor who was accused of espionage for the South.

She said the U.S. is considering putting a travel restriction in place to stop all United States citizens going to North Korea, but declined to comment further.

"I think the president is signalling some frustration", Christopher Hill, a former US ambassador to South Korea, told MSNBC.

9am BST: There are growing concerns over what Donald Trump could do next after he yesterday tweeted that China's efforts to "help with North Korea" have not worked.

However, it said in a statement on its website yesterday that Mr Warmbier's death had "led us to reconsider our position on accepting American tourists".

Relatives have said USA envoys told them that North Korean officials said Warmbier contracted botulism after his trial and became comatose after taking a sleeping pill.

Warmbier was returned to OH on June 13 after being held for more than 17 months.

Over the past weeks, Washington and Pyongyang have traded a barrage of military threats. "We will continue to apply economic and political pressure and try to continue to work with our allies". "At least I know China tried!" the USA president said.

However, in the eyes of North Korea, where Kim Jong Il is revered as a demigod and proselytizing is seen as an assault on the state, the two had committed heinous crimes.

The U.S. government has been banking on China to rein in North Korea from conducting nuclear tests.

"It didn't happen to me", Bae said.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has flagged a potential travel ban to North Korea. Warmbier's death could make it even harder, although some analysts think Moon could offer talks with the North as a way to get other detainees out of North Korea.

"We do have a whole lot of high hopes that the meeting between Moon and Trump will yield a stronger ROK-U.S. alliance", Brooks noted.

Donald Trump blames Obama inaction for Otto Warmbier's death