A CORONER’s report found no signs of torture on the body of student Otto Warmbier after he was flown home from North Korea, according to reports in the US.
Otto’s mum Cindy said in a TV interview on Tuesday: “They destroyed him”.
Her husband Fred accused North Korean officials of torturing their son to the point where “it looked like someone had taken a pair of pliers and rearranged his bottom teeth”.
The claims prompted Donald Trump to say on Twitter: “Great interview on @foxandfriends with the parents of Otto Warmbier: 1994 – 2017. Otto was tortured beyond belief by North Korea.”
However, a post-mortem report by deputy county coroner Dr Gretel Stephens found: “The teeth are natural and in good repair.”
It also said Otto’s nose and ears showed “no remarkable alteration” and his body was “well-developed, well-nourished”, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Great interview on @foxandfriends with the parents of Otto Warmbier: 1994 – 2017. Otto was tortured beyond belief by North Korea.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2017
The doctor found ten scars in the examination, none of which were signs of torture. At least half had faded and were probably old.
Newer marks with bruising, such as one on the right side of his neck, could have come from medical treatment such as for an intravenous drip.
Another at the top of Warmbier’s breast-bone is “consistent with a tracheotomy scar” made to insert a breathing tube, according to the report dated September 11.
The cause of death was recorded as brain damage from lack of oxygen “due to an unknown insult more than a year prior to death”.
Otto’s family did not allow a full autopsy on their son, who died six days after he was flown home to Cincinnati in June.
Doctors in the US city said there were no broken bones or other signs of trauma but his brain damage was severe.
The University of Virginia student, 22, was sentenced to 15 years in a labour camp for allegedly taking a poster while on an organised tour of the hermit state in 2016.
Earlier this year North Korean authorities said he was struck down with botulism and fell into a coma soon after his trial.
They said they were puzzled at his sudden death after he arrived home and denied he was tortured.
Kim Jong-un’s regime said: “Although we had no reason at all to show mercy to such a criminal of the enemy state, we provided him with medical treatments and care with all sincerity on a humanitarian basis until his return to the US.”
In their Fox and Friends interview on Tuesday, Mr and Mrs Warmbier told how their son came home blind, deaf, howling and jerking violently on the aircraft.
Fred said: “We walked over to the plane, the engines are still humming, they had just landed.
“When we got halfway up the steps we heard this howling, involuntary, inhuman sound.
“We weren’t really certain what it was.”
To their horror they quickly realised it was their son who was screaming and jerking on a stretcher.
Fred said: “Otto had a shaved head, he had a feeding tube coming out of his nose, he was staring blankly into space, jerking violently.”
He added of Otto’s North Korean captors: “They kidnapped Otto, they tortured him, they intentionally injured him.
“They are not victims, they are terrorists.”
His comments came amid heightened tensions after North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapon tests as Kim and Trump warn they are ready to annihilate each other.