Otto Warmbier, the US student who was released from North Korea with severe neurological damage last week, has died.
The 22-year-old’s death was confirmed in a family statement via the hospital he was staying in.
It reads: ‘It is our sad duty to report that our son, Otto Warmbier, has completed his journey home. Surrounded by his loving family, Otto died today at 2.20pm.’
Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years’ hard labour in March 2016 for stealing a propaganda poster.
Right before the University of Virginia student was flown back, the regime revealed he had been in a coma since the day after he was sentenced.
The family thanked the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for treating him, but said: ‘Unfortunately, the awful 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.’
Doctors said he returned with severe brain damage, but it wasn’t clear what caused it.
Ohio’s US senators sharply criticized North Korea soon after his release.