Otto Warmbier, American student who was detained by North Korea, has died

June 19 (Reuters) - U.S. student Otto Warmbier, who was imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months before being returned home in a coma less than a week ago, has died in a Cincinnati hospital, his family said in a statement on Monday.

"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," the family said in a statement following Warmbier's death at 2:20 p.m. EDT (1820 GMT) at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Otto Warmbier: A timeline of the student's North Korea imprisonment

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Otto Warmbier: A timeline of the student's North Korea imprisonment
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Otto Warmbier: A timeline of the student's North Korea imprisonment

January 2016: Warmbier is imprisoned in North Korea, charged with stealing an item that had a state propaganda slogan on it.

March 2016: Warmbier is sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in North Korea

March 2016 - 2017: The United States advocates for North Korea's allowing Sweden access to Warmbier and three other American citizens, pushing for their release.

January 2017: President Trump is inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States, signaling a seat change in American foreign diplomacy.

February 2017: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson briefs President Trump on the situation surrounding Warmbier's imprisonment in North Korea.Trump directs Tillerson to take all appropriate measures in securing the release of U.S. hostages in North Korea.

May 2017:  The U.S. State Department and North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs hold a meeting in Oslo, Norway, during which they agree to the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang's access to all four detainees. Sweden is later granted these visitation rights, prompting North Korea to request a meeting with the United States.

June 6, 2017 - State Department Special Representative Joseph Yun meets with North Korean ambassador Pak Gil Yon at the United Nations in New York. Yun learns during this meeting that Warmbier has been in a coma for over a year.

June 6-11, 2017: Secretary of State Tillerson instructs Yun to travel to North Korea with the mission of bringing back Warmbier. They travel with a medical team to Pyongyang.

June 12, 2017: Through Yun, the United States is able for the first time to confirm Warmbier's status. The U.S. demands Warmbier be released on humanitarian conditions. North Korea complies.

June 13, 2017: Warmbier is evacuated from North Korea, travels to Ohio where he will reunite with his family.

June 13, 2017: Otto Warmbier arrives home to Cincinnati, Ohio
June 15, 2017: Otto Warmbier's father, Fred, speaks out during a press conference on his son's return home.
June 15, 2017: Doctors give updates on Warmbier's status during a news conference at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
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His family has said that Warmbier, 22, had lapsed into a coma in March 2016, shortly after he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in North Korea.

He was arrested, according to North Korean media, for trying to steal an item bearing a propaganda slogan.

North Korea released Warmbier last week, saying he was being freed "on humanitarian grounds."

The University of Virginia student's father, Fred Warmbier, said last week that his son had been "brutalized and terrorized by the Pyongyang government and that the family disbelieved North Korea's story that his son had fallen into a coma after contracting botulism and being given a sleeping pill.

RELATED: Reactions to the death of Otto Warmbier

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Reaction to the death of Otto Warmbier
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Reaction to the death of Otto Warmbier
.@POTUS and @FLOTUS Offer Their Deepest Condolences, Thoughts and Prayers to the Family and Friends of Otto Warmbie… https://t.co/JEoOCx9El7
Karen & I are so saddened to hear this. We're praying for Otto's family tonight. A tragic example of North Korea's… https://t.co/kvgYAZM2mV
Otto Warmbier should never have been in jail for tearing down a stupid banner. And he most certainly should not have been murdered for it.
Secretary Tillerson: We hold #NorthKorea accountable for Otto Warmbier’s unjust imprisonment. https://t.co/MwHNCuUjyw
Saddened by death of Otto Warmbier, tortured & murdered by #NorthKorea - US should not tolerate such hostile action https://t.co/91GnTgSh1h
Gov. John Kasich on the passing of Otto Warmbier: More details: https://t.co/O58kfBhR8T https://t.co/X63cBvjiLx
This is incredibly sad. https://t.co/YLdjZRQlT5
Just learned that Otto Warmbier, the young man held captive by savage N Korea has died. Heartbroken for his parents. Prayers for the family.
We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Otto Warmbier, a remarkable young Ohioan: https://t.co/qSGnPcJQra
My thoughts and prayers are with Otto, his parents, and the entire Warmbier family. https://t.co/z1b6EbgDoX
Very sad to learn of the passing of Otto Warmbier. As a parent, I can't imagine what his parents have had to go through.
Otto Warmbier, the US student held prisoner and severely mistreated in North Korea for 17 months has died. #RIP #NeverForget
My heart goes out to the loved ones of Otto Warmbier. Thinking of Otto's family & friends, & wishing them strength during this tragic time.
My full statement on the passing of Otto Warmbier: https://t.co/KT538qw6tb
Ambassador @nikkihaley on the passing of Otto Warmbier: "Our prayers are with this fine young man’s family and comm… https://t.co/pHBSlYiKfU
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Doctors who examined Otto Warmbier after his release said there was no sign of botulism in his system.

Warmbier was freed after the U.S. State Department's special envoy on North Korea, Joseph Yun, traveled to Pyongyang and demanded the student's release on humanitarian grounds, capping a flurry of secret diplomatic contacts, a U.S. official said last week.

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have been heightened by dozens of North Korean missile launches and two nuclear bomb tests since the beginning of last year. Pyongyang has also vowed to develop a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland.

Susan Thornton, the U.S. acting assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said earlier on Monday that the United States was concerned for the welfare of the three other U.S. citizens still held in North Korea - Korean-Americans Tony Kim, Kim Dong Chul and Kim Hak Song.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by David Alexander in Washington; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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