University of Virginia Student and 22-year-old Otto Warmbier passed away on Monday, only days after he was released to the care of his family in the United States from a North Korean prison. Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in 2016 after he was accused of trying to steal a propaganda poster while on a trip.
When Warmbier was returned to his family, he was comatose.
Many were shocked by the news of his death, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
McCain shared his condolences to the family in a press release.
“I was saddened to learn about the death of Otto Warmbier today following his unjust imprisonment and torture in North Korea,” he said. “I send my heartfelt condolences to Otto’s family and friends as they grieve this tragic loss.”
McCain used the rest of his statement to criticize North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and the North Korean government:
Let us state the facts plainly: Otto Warmbier, an American citizen, was murdered by the Kim Jong-un regime. In the final year of his life, he lived the nightmare in which the North Korean people have been trapped for 70 years: forced labor, mass starvation, systematic cruelty, torture, and murder.
North Korea is threatening its neighbors, destabilizing the Asia-Pacific region, and rapidly developing the technology to strike the American homeland with nuclear weapons. Now it has escalated to brutalizing Americans, including three other citizens currently imprisoned in North Korea. The United States of America cannot and should not tolerate the murder of its citizens by hostile powers.