Family of Dead College Student Is Holding North Korea Accountable for Human Rights Abuses

Paula Liu
By Paula Liu
November 22, 2019US News
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The parents of the deceased U.S. college student taken hostage in North Korea plan to hold the North Korean regime accountable for its human rights abuses, according to Fox News Business.

While in Seoul, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, who are residents of Cincinnati, Ohio, said that they were on a mission to shut down illicit North Korean business assets around the world, in an attempt to engage the rogue nation regarding its human rights issues, the news outlet reported.

In addition, the Warmbiers called for the Trump administration during a press conference on Nov. 22 to bring up the human rights abuses with North Korea while the two counties talked about the diffusion of nuclear weapons, the news outlet reported.

According to Fox News Business, Fred Warmbier was invited to speak at a forum hosted by a Seoul-based group. The group, the news outlet reported, represented the South Korean families who were abducted by North Korea during the 1950-53 Korean War.

“My mission would be to hold North Korea responsible, to recover and discover their assets around the world,” Fred Warmbier said at the forum, according to Fox News. “We feel that if you force North Korea to engage the world in a legal standpoint, then they will have to ultimately have a dialogue. They are not going to come and have a dialogue with us any other way.”

Cindy Warmbier said that they cannot fold to the power of the North Korean regime, “we cannot give up, we can’t give them a pass. We have to fight with all of our power.”

To advance their mission, Fred and Cindy Warmbier have taken legal steps to shut down a hostel operated on the grounds of the North Korean embassy in Berlin. In addition, they are pursuing similar actions against other hostels that North Korea operates in Europe, Fox News reported. Through this, Fred and Cindy Warmbier hope that they can pressure other governments into enforcing sanctions against Pyongyang, the news outlet reported.

This came after their son, Otto Warmbier, died from brain damage following his return to the United States after being held hostage by the North Koreans. Fred and Cindy Warmbier alleged that the North Koreans had tortured their son after he was imprisoned back in 2016 following charges of stealing propaganda posters, Fox News reported.

In 2017, the college student was returned to the United States in a vegetative state and consequently died from his injuries, to which the parents accused North Korea of abuse, the news outlet reported. The North Korean regime denied the accusations of abuse, and accused both Washington and Seoul of setting up a “smear campaign” against the country.

The Warmbiers have sued the country for the death of their son, saying that North Korea constantly lied to them about their son’s condition, and accused the country of murdering their son, the New York Times reported.

“In fact, North Korea, which is a rogue regime, took Otto hostage for its own wrongful ends and brutally tortured and murdered him,” the complaint read.

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