Dennis Rodman basically takes credit for Otto Warmbier's release

North Korea said on Friday the death of USA university student Otto Warmbier soon after his return home was a mystery and dismissed accusations that he had died because of torture and beating during his captivity as "groundless".

Sen. Rob Portman said Wednesday he met with members of North Korea's mission to the United Nations, the country's only US presence. He said that North Korea had accepted the Trump administration's "repeated requests" for Mr. Warmbier's release and, "in consideration of his bad health, sent him back home on humanitarian grounds".

The bill, introduced late last month by Representatives Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, and Joe Wilson, a South Carolina Republican, would ban tourist travel to North Korea and require a license from the Treasury Department for any other travel to North Korea.

USA doctors said Mr Warmbier had suffered a severe neurological injury from an unknown cause.

Warmbier's father Fred earlier told reporters that his son was lured to North Korea, as other USA tourists have been, by tour groups run out of China.

The University of Virginia student was arrested in North Korea in January 2016, on charges that he stole a propaganda poster from a staff-only level of the Pyongyang hotel where he stayed.

The agency did not provide further details on how Mr Warmbier was treated under detention or what might have caused him to lapse into a coma.

His coma and subsequent death have set off outrage in the United States. "At least I know China tried!"

Two months later, he was found guilty of committing "hostile acts" against the North Korean regime and sentenced to 15 years' hard labor in a trial that reportedly lasted about an hour.

Mr Warmbier's treatment was "appalling", US Senator Rob Portman of OH told reporters outside the memorial.

Wyoming officials say the celebration of life for 22-year-old University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier will be Thursday in the Wyoming High School auditorium.

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman burst into tears during an "Good Morning America" interview Friday, saying he doesn't understand why he's caught so much criticism over his most recent jaunt to North Korea.

Warmbier will be buried later in the day at a local cemetery. "Some good things came of this trip", the flamboyant 56-year-old added.

Rodman told ABC News he didn't know Warmbier was in a coma when he heard the news of his release.

Tillerson said the delegations also had a "frank exchange of views on the South China Sea", where the Chinese military is engaged in a controversial island-building project, which the United States opposes.

On display were his passport, a calculator, and the blazer he wore as he begged for his life to a North Korean court.

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