A growing chorus of U.S. lawmakers are declaring the death of American college student Otto Warmbier just days after he was released from a North Korean prison "murder," and all eyes are on the White House as the Trump administration weighs possible responses.
Warmbier, the University of Virginia student detained in North Korea for nearly a year and a half, died on Monday as a result of what his parents called "awful torturous mistreatment... at the hands of the North Koreans." His death came just a week afer he was flown home in a coma-like state with devere brain damage.
"There is nothing more tragic for a parent than to lose a child in the prime of life," a somber President Trump said Monday.
As anger built around the nation at the North Korean regime's deadly brutal treatment of an American, Trump declared North Korea's treatment of Warmbier "a total disgrace," and called the North Korean government is "a brutal regime." The U.S. will "be able to handle it," Trump added.
The administration was already wrestling with option for containing an increasingly belligerent North Korea before the shocking return of a mortally wounded Warmbier. As the rogue regime repeatedly threatened the U.S. and its regional allies, testing missiles at least nine times since Trump's election, the administration looked to China to help.
"Otto Warmbier should never have been in jail for tearing down a stupid banner. And he most certainly should not have been murdered for it," Rubio tweeted.