'A lot of bad things happened' - Trump on Otto Warmbier's death

US President Donald Trump has acknowledged the passing of Otto Warmbier, 22, who died on Tuesday just days after being released by North Korea.

The Cincinnati student was released last week after US officials flew to North Korea, demanding his release on humanitarian grounds.

Mr Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years hard labour in March 2016 after authorities accused him of attempting to steal a banner from his hotel.

"A lot of bad things happened, but at least we got him home," President Trump says.

"[His parents] were so happy to see him even though he was in very tough conditions.

"It's a brutal regime [in North Korea] and we'll be able to handle it."

Mr Warmbier's family released a statement following his passing.

"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," a statement released by his family read.

North Korea, Otto Warmbier
Otto's father, Fred, spoke to media last week wearing the same jacket his son appeared before a North Korean court in. Photo credit: Image - Getty

"We would like to thank the wonderful professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who did everything they could for Otto.

"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."

A statement from US President Donald Trump offered "thoughts and prayers" to Mr Warmbier's family and friends.

"Melania and I offer our deepest condolences to the family of Otto Warmbier on his untimely passing.  There is nothing more tragic for a parent than to lose a child in the prime of life," he said.

"Otto's fate deepens my administration's determination to prevent such tragedies from befalling innocent people at the hands of regimes that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency.

"The United States once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim."

Upon his release, North Korean officials told US officials he had to be in a coma for more than a year after suffering from a botulism infection.

However after landing back in the United States, doctors held a press conference to explain the reality of his injuries, revealing he had suffered extensive loss of brain tissue in all regions of the brain.

Mr Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years' hard labour in March 2016 after authorities accused him of attempting to steal a banner from his hotel.


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