Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., declared the Monday death of former North Korean prisoner Otto Warmbier – just days after the comatose Ohio student was flown home – a murder 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," Sen. McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, said in a statement.
"Let us state the facts plainly: Otto Warmbier, an American citizen, was murdered by the Kim Jong Un regime."
"North Korea is threatening its neighbors, destabilizing the Asia-Pacific region, and rapidly developing the technology to strike the American homeland with nuclear weapons," the statement said.
"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."
Warmbier, who was convicted for stealing a propaganda poster at a hotel in January 2016, returned home June 13 after reportedly being in a coma for a year.
He died at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center on Monday afternoon, his family announced.
McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Service Committee, has been a blunt critic of the North Korean regime and its leader, calling him a "crazy fat kid" last March and advocating more pressure be placed on him.
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