Moon deplores N.Korea's rights violations after U.S. student's death

South Korean President Moon Jae-in deplored North Korea's human rights violations Tuesday, expressing condolences to the family of a U.S. student who died following 17 months of captivity in the communist North.

"President Moon Jae-in expressed regrets after hearing the news of (Otto) Warmbier's death, and the president plans to send his condolences and consolation to his family and relatives," Park Soo-hyun, spokesman for the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, told a press briefing.

A Cheong Wa Dae official later said the president has sent a letter of condolence to Warmbier's family.

The 22-year-old University of Virginia student returned home last week after 17 months of detention in the North, but in a coma. He died Monday (U.S. time) due to what his family has called the "awful torturous mistreatment" by North Korea.

Moon, in a recent interview with a foreign news outlet, said it was "deplorable that North Korea does not respect human rights, which are the universal norms and values of humankind," according to Park.

"The president has also raised questions whether the North had fulfilled its human rights duties, such as notifying Warmbier's family of his condition when it worsened and allowing him to receive the best treatment," the Cheong Wa Dae spokesman said.

The presidential office also urged the North to quickly release South Korean and U.S. citizens held there.

"North Korea continues to detain our people and U.S. citizens, but it will have to quickly return them to their families, and the (Seoul) government will do its utmost to that end," Park said.

The North is said to be holding at least six South Koreans and three U.S. citizens on various charges that include anti-state activities, source from the Yonhap..

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