McCain: Americans 'stupid' to travel to North Korea


21 June, 2017

Trump said on Twitter on Tuesday he appreciated efforts by Chinese President Xi Jinping "to help with North Korea", adding "It has not worked out".

The Trump administration is considering banning travel by US citizens to North Korea, officials said Tuesday, as outrage grew over the death of American student Otto Warmbier and President Donald Trump declared it a "total disgrace". Yet his delivery of the news, which was read awkwardly from what seemed to be a pile of index cards, made it seem as if he knew little about the situation, or was just too distracted by his own self-inflicted scandals to deliver it with the appropriate amount of solemnity. The U.S. has been pressing Pyongyang to halt its nuclear weapons development and urging China and other countries to starve the North of funding for the program.

On Monday, the Warmbier family released a statement saying: "It is our sad duty to report that our son, Otto Warmbier, has completed his journey home".

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis will head up negations with China's top diplomat, State Councilor Yang Jiechi.

The company Otto Warmbier travelled with, China-based company Young Pioneer Tours, has announced it will no longer take visitors from the USA to the country. "And we will continue to, hopefully, build on the relationship and the dialogue that we've had with China". It said the flights demonstrated solidarity among South Korea, Japan and the United States "to defend against provocative and destabilizing actions in the Pacific theater".

But they acknowledged that the administration has few other options.

The government of China, North Korea's main ally, said Warmbier's death was a tragedy. He is believed to have slipped into a coma shortly after his trial. I'm sure there's a lot of serious thinking in China on this.

Asked whether Trump would still consider meeting with Kim Jong Un - as he previously said he would be willing to do, given the right conditions - Spicer said: "Clearly, we're moving further away, not closer, to those conditions being met".

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Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson says he's saddened and angry about the death of an American college student from OH who was released by North Korea in a coma last week.

Investigators were also reviewing radiological images and awaiting additional medical records requested by the coroner, Zornes said.

"The emotional strain was high, especially during the early part of my detention when I was coached on how to formulate my admission of guilt", Fowle said, adding, "I was never physically abused".

Suggesting former President Barack Obama bears some blame, Trump said "the result would have been a lot different" had Warmbier been brought home sooner. They literally hung up the phone on the USA - dismantling a hotline - after our military shot down a Syrian jet. "I think there's some positive steps that they've taken, both at the United Nations and economically, to help strengthen the case against North Korea". "Bad things happened but at least we got him home to his parents". John McCain said that Americans who are "stupid" enough to still want to visit North Korea should be required to sign a waiver absolving the US government of any blame if they're harmed while there.

But some analysts believe negotiations could happen because of USA worries about the safety of the three other Americans still detained in North Korea. The tours offer themes ranging from politics to biking along the DMZ demilitarized zone between North and South Korea to scuba diving.

"Generally, Congress doesn't like to do that", said Victor Cha, a Korea expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies who served as senior Asia director at the National Security Council in the Bush administration. They did not believe the loss was due to head trauma. "But it's pretty obvious it's necessary at this point".

Warmbier was released from North Korea with severe neurological damage last week.

The Trump administration secured Warmbier's release from North Korea last week on humanitarian grounds after almost 18 months of imprisonment. "It makes the prospect of diplomacy, if that's something the administration is seriously entertaining, much more hard".

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