North Korea denies torturing American detainee Otto Warmbier

The article published by the official Korean Central News Agency was Pyongyang's first reaction to Otto Warmbier's death in a USA hospital on Monday after North Korea released him for what it said was humanitarian reasons.

The agency accused Seoul of tarnishing Pyongyang's image with its "slanderous talk about cruel treatment and torture" while having no knowledge of the "humanitarian" treatment Warmbier received in the North.

USA doctors who had traveled to the North last week to evacuate Warmbier had recognized that the North had "provided him with medical treatment and brought him back alive whose heart was almost stopped", the unnamed ministry spokesman said.

Sentenced to hard labour early past year for stealing a political poster from a North Korean hotel, Warmbier was medically evacuated to the United States in a coma last week after almost 18 months in captivity.

THOMPSON: Portman says the next step is tightening sanctions for North Korea.

In the regime's hour-long trial of Warmbier, they accused him of planning to trade the poster to Friendship United Methodist Church in Wyoming, Ohio, in exchange for a used vehicle. KCNA said the North dealt with him according to its domestic laws and worldwide standards.

"The fact that Warmbier died suddenly in less than a week just after his return to the his normal state of health indicators is a mystery to us as well", the spokesman was quoted by KCNA as saying.

"To make it clear, we are the biggest victim of this incident and there would be no more foolish judgment than to think we do not know how to calculate gains and losses", the spokesman said.

He claimed that Warmbier had been the victim of Barack Obama's policy of "strategic patience" towards the regime, since he had never requested the student's release during his presidency.

Warmbier, 22, died on Monday after returning home to Cincinnati, Ohio, on June 13 in a coma.

Many raised concerns regarding the health and condition of those still imprisoned in North Korea, and for the people who live there.

The spokesman didn't describe how Hunziker died, but claimed that the United States then "totally ignored" his death.

In a press release, Rep. Tom Garrett (R-Va.) shared his condolences for the death of University student Otto Warmbier and denounced the North Korean regime that detained Warmbier for 17 months.

Washington has also stepped up its muscle-flexing in the region, flying two B-1 bombers over the Korean peninsula Tuesday in a planned training mission with Japan and South Korea as its latest show of force.

The United States, South Korea and others often accuse North Korea of using foreign detainees to wrest diplomatic concessions.

North Korea denies any mistreatment.

"Today we're seeing the good, and the love that will be expressed through this outpouring of support for Otto and his family".