North Korea is in the dock. There is no doubt that it’s a barbaric regime that in some ways can be compared to Hitler’s Germany. The case of Otto Warmbier, the University of Virginia student is a clear pointer to the state of affairs in North Korea. The Chinese who had backed the North since 1950, when they intervened on their side in the Korean war cannot be absolved for the way the regime handled the case of Warmbier.

The American student was detained in North Korea on a flimsy charge for over a year and a half. He was released when the North Koreans realized that in case he died in their custody, the regime would lose face in the world.

He returned in a coma and has now passed away. CNN International reports the news.


Warmbier was only 22 and had years of a promising life ahead. After release, he was being treated at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. His parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, have obviously been devastated. The president Donald Trump said in a statement: “There is nothing more tragic for a parent than to lose a child in the prime of life, our thoughts and prayers are with Otto’s family and friends, and all who loved him."

Orchestrated arrest

Warmbier was arrested in January 2016 after a brief tourist visit. It was an orchestrated arrest as he was charged with stealing a propaganda poster and sentenced to 15 years hard labor.

The punishment and the alleged crime are out of proportion and China along with North Korea must answer charges that they acted with a motive of revenge against America.

The death of the young man brings into focus the face of a regime that defies international law. There is no doubt that the American student was tortured in custody and not given proper medical treatment.

This inhumane treatment needs a strong response. China must answer as it has a certain amount of leverage over the North and yet chose to just smile like the Buddha.


The death of the student has drawn condemnation from many. John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has called the death a “murder.” Sen.

Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also said North Korea must be held accountable for the “murder.”


Though many in America are appalled and have condemned the North Koreans for the death, most nations of the world have not commented on the incident. This is sad and calls for introspection. It must be ensured that such cases do not take place anywhere, but there is no concerted action on this death. It's sad that the young man has passed away and for the North its business as usual.