Hours after American university student Otto Warmbier passed away after being held captive by North Korea for 17 months, South Korean President Moon Jae-in urged Pyongyang to free the American and South Korean citizens it is detaining.







South Korean President Moon Jae-in

South Korean President Moon Jae-in Photo Credit: EPA

South Korean President Moon Jae-in urged Pyongyang today (Tuesday) to quickly return the South Korean and U.S. nationals who are being detained by the isolated dictatorship. Moon’s demand comes just a few hours after American university student Otto Warmbier, who was held captive by North Korea for over a year, passed away in Cincinnati. A few days ago, North Korea released Warmbier, who was in a coma, citing “humanitarian reasons.”

At the moment, North Korea has three Korean-Americans and six South Koreans in custody. Two of the Korean-Americans were recently detained and the third was arrested in March 2016. Warmbier was arrested at the airport in Pyongyang in January 2016 for allegedly trying to smuggle a propaganda poster out of the country.

Meanwhile, defense officials in Seoul said that the South Korean military plans to conduct a joint exercise with two U.S. bombers on Tuesday over the skies of the Korean Peninsula. The officials said that this joint drill is part of a scheduled exercise.