North Korea denies torturing American detainee Otto Warmbier

FILE - In this March 16, 2016, file photo, American student Otto Warmbier, center, is escorted at the Supreme Court in Pyongyang, North Korea. Warmbier, an American college student who was released by North Korea in a coma last week after almost a year and a half in captivity, died Monday, June 19, his family said. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin, File)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has denied it cruelly treated or tortured an American student who was detained for more than 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.

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