North Korea denies torturing Ohio college student Otto Warmbier

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea has denied it cruelly treated or tortured an American student who was detained for more than a year and died days after being released in a coma.

The article published by the official Korean Central News Agency on Friday was Pyongyang’s first reaction to the death of Otto Warmbier. North Korea released him last week for what it described as humanitarian reasons and he died Monday in a U.S. hospital. His family and others have blamed North Korea for his condition.

KCNA says the North dealt with Warmbier according to domestic law and international standards. He had been accused of stealing a propaganda poster and was serving a sentence of hard labor.

The article also criticized South Korea for using Warmbier’s case to seek the release of other detainees.

Thousands attended the funeral service for Warmbier yesterday in his hometown of Wyoming, Ohio.