Otto Warmbier’s Parents File Claim for Siezed North Korean Ship

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
July 7, 2019US News
Otto Warmbier’s Parents File Claim for Siezed North Korean Ship
American student Otto Warmbier's parents Fred and Cindy Warmbier cry as U.S. President Donald Trump talks about the death of their son after his arrest in North Korea during the State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 30, 2018. (Reuters/Leah Millis)

The family of Otto Warmbier has filed a claim for a North Korean cargo ship seized by the United States in May as part in the $500 million judgment awarded to them by a U.S. court against the North Korean regime, reported Fox News.

Warmbier, an American student of the University of Virginia, died less than a week after being released in a comatose state by North Korea with the help of President Donald Trump and then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. North Korean officials didn’t tell U.S. officials that Warmbier had been comatose for 17 months.

The Ohio native was detained while traveling in North Korea and sentenced to 15 years of prison with hard labor in March 2016 for allegedly attempting to steal a propaganda poster from a hotel.

Then in 2017, North Korea reportedly presented a $2 million medical bill for Warmbier.

According to the new filing, North Korea did not engage in settlement discussions, reported CNN, “Hence, the Warmbiers are left to chase down the assets of North Korea to recover what they can for the torture and death of their son at the hands of North Korea’s dictator, who with ‘his cronies, show(s) no regard for human life.'”

“We are committed to holding North Korea accountable for the death of our son Otto, and will work tirelessly to seize North Korean assets wherever they may be found,” Parents Fred and Cindy Warmbier said in a statement.

Otto’s parents said in an interview with Fox in September 2017 that they believed North Korea purposefully injured him. They said that when he came back, he was blind, deaf, and in a vegetative state.

North Korea has rejected accusations by relatives that it tortured Warmbier and said he was provided “medical treatments and care with all sincerity.”

President Donald Trump has condemned Warmbier’s treatment but said earlier this year he did not believe North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, knew about it or would have allowed it to happen if he did.

North Korea did not respond to the wrongful death lawsuit that accused it of detaining Warmbier at the Pyongyang airport “in an attempt to extract various concessions from the United States government.”

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled last year that North Korea “more likely than not barbarically tortured Otto to extract a false confession” and used his lengthy prison sentence as leverage to further its foreign policy objectives.

She ordered North Korea to pay $501 million for its “barbaric mistreatment” of Warmbier, saying the student’s family “experienced North Korea’s brutality first-hand.”

Cindy Warmbier, Otto’s mother, said in an interview at the Hudson Institute in Washington that North Korea is a “cancer on earth.”

“North Korea to me is a cancer on the earth and if we ignore this cancer it’s not going to go away it’s going to kill all of us,” she said at the Seminar on the North Korean Abductions Issue, reported Fox news.

She said that her “gorgeous boy, who every girl had an immediate crush on, looked like a monster” when she last saw him.

“I swear—the look in his eyes, which I didn’t know he was blind at the time, was absolute horror. Horror—like he had seen the devil, and he had. He was with the devil,” she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.