Otto Warmbier: Mass funeral for student jailed in N Korea

Some 2,500 family, friends and well-wishers gathered for the funeral of Otto Warmbier, the US student who died after falling into a coma while in prison in North Korea.

The service was held at the 22-year-old’s school in Ohio, before his burial at a nearby cemetery.

His death has heightened tensions between the US and North Korea.

Pyongyang has called President Donald Trump a “psychopath” while he describes N Korea as a brutal regime.

Pyongyang’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper claimed Mr Trump might launch a pre-emptive strike on North Korea to divert attention from his domestic difficulties, and warned South Korea “that following psychopath Trump… will only lead to disaster”.

Earlier in the week, after announcing Mr Warmbier’s death, President Trump said he was determined 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 thousands of funeral goers formed two lines as the coffin carrying Mr Warmbier was carried in to Wyoming High School for the 45-minute service.

There was only space for 800 people inside the school’s auditorium so most attendees watched the service on monitors in overflow rooms, CNN reports.

Speaking to reporters assembled outside the school, Ohio Senator Rob Portman praised the support the Warmbier family had received from the community in Wyoming city, a suburb of Cincinnati.

“This process has been a window into both evil, and love and good. Today we’re seeing the good,” he said, adding that the North Koreans “need to be held accountable” for Mr Warmbier’s “appalling” treatment.

 

BBC

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