North Korea denies torturing American detainee Otto Warmbier

Friends family members and others said goodbye to Otto Warmbier at Wyoming High School Thursday morning

Days after U.S. student Otto Warmbier died, North Korean state media said his death was a "mystery" and dismissed accusations he was tortured during his 17 months in captivity in the country.

The comments of Katherine Dettwyler do not reflect the values or position of the University of Delaware.

The anthropology professor had posted on her personal Facebook page that Otto Warmbier was "typical of a mindset of a lot of the young, white, rich, clueless males" she teaches. Her comments were posted at a time when she was not employed with the university and "in no way reflect the values or position of the University of DE", the statement read.

Pyongyang insisted that Warmbier is a victim of former U.S. President Barack Obama's "strategic patience" policy with North Korea as he refused to have dialogue with Pyongyang.

"Although we had no reason at all to show mercy to such a criminal of the enemy state, we provided him with medical treatment and care with all sincerity on a humanitarian basis until his return to the USA, considering that his health got worse", read the statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

In a statement on the state-run news site, a spokesman said Warmbier's death was a "mystery".

Dettwyler also slammed Warmbier's upbringing, saying "His parents ultimately are to blame for his growing up thinking he could get away with whatever he wanted". He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for trying to steal an item bearing a propaganda slogan from his hotel, North Korea state media said. A spokesman for the family said this week that they chose not to disclose his Judaism during negotiations for his release so as not to antagonize North Korea, which believed he was affiliated with the church. "And of course, it's Ottos' parents who will pay the price for the rest of their lives".

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When the posts came to light, Dettwyler faced a flood of comments calling for her termination, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

As the backlash grew, the university tried to distance itself from the 62-year-old professor.

Doctors there said Warmbier had suffered a severe neurological injury from an unknown cause.

The NBA Hall of Famer added he was sending "prayers and love" to Warmbier's family.

The Review, the independent student newspaper at the university, reported that Dettwyler had a reputation on campus for being outspoken about her political beliefs.

More than a year went by without public word of Warmbier before the State Department learned of his dire condition on June 6.

"I was just so happy to see the kid released ..." His cause of death remains a mystery.

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