Mourners line the street after the funeral of Otto Warmbier in Wyoming, Ohio.
Mourners line the street after the funeral of Otto Warmbier in Wyoming, Ohio. Bryan Woolston

Kim dubs Trump 'psychopath'

NORTH Korea has lashed out at US President Donald Trump as a "psychopath” as a war of words escalates after the death of American student Otto Warmbier.

The 22-year-old was returned comatose to the US last week with a severe neurological injury after 18 months in captivity.

Leader Kim Jong-un's mouthpiece, the Rodong Sinmun newspaper, claimed Mr Trump was mulling a pre-emptive strike on North Korea to divert attention from a domestic political crisis, Agence France-Presse reported.

"South Korea must realise that following psychopath Trump ... will only lead to disaster,” an editorial in the paper said.

The death of Warmbier - who was sentenced to 15 years for stealing a propa- ganda poster from a hotel - spiked tensions that had already been high because of the rogue nation's ballistic missile tests.

Mr Trump slammed the "brutal regime” in Pyongyang, saying he was determined to "prevent such tragedies from befalling innocent people at the hands of regimes that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency.”

Washington has also flexed its muscle in the region, flying two B-1 bombers over the Korean Peninsula on Tuesday in a planned training mission with Japan and South Korea as its latest show of force.

The North has often used inflammatory rhetoric against other world leaders for actions that displeased the regime.

Pyongyang compared Barack Obama to a monkey after he supported the 2014 cinematic release of The Interview, a Hollywood flick mocking the North Korean leadership.

- New York Post