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Ex-North Korea prisoner denounces death of American student

LYNNWOOD, Wash. — A Washington man who was once held prisoner in North Korea has offered his condolences to the family of 22-year-old Otto Warmbier, an American college student who was imprisoned in North Korea and recently died after his release.

The Daily Herald reported Tuesday that 48-year-old Kenneth Bae posted a statement about Warmbier’s death on his Facebook page.

Warmbier was convicted of stealing a political propaganda poster and was sentenced to 15 years hard labor. Warmbier lapsed into a coma while in North Korean custody. He was held prisoner more than a year.

Bae also had been given a 15-year sentence for anti-government activities. He was detained in 2012 while leading a tour group to a North Korea economic zone. He was released in 2014 with fellow captive Matthew Miller.

Bae urged the U.S. government, the international community and leadership in North Korea to value human life.