$2 Million Was Never Paid to North Korea for Otto Warmbier, Trump Says
North Korea reportedly insisted that the United States agree to pay a $2 million hospital bill before returning American prisoner Otto Warmbier, who was in a coma at the time of his release and later died.
A U.S. envoy signed an agreement to pay the bill at the instruction of President Donald Trump, two unnamed sources told the Washington Post. But Trump tweeted on Friday that the bill was never paid.
“No money was paid to North Korea for Otto Warmbier, not two Million Dollars, not anything else,” Trump tweeted Friday morning.
In 2016, 21-year-old Warmbier fell into a coma at the time he was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
The University of Virginia student was convicted in North Korea of a “hostile act against the state” after he pulled down a propaganda sign in Pyongyang.
Warmbier’s parents spoke out against Trump in March after the president said he took Kim Jong Un “at his word” that he had no role in their son’s torture.
“Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto,” Fred and Cindy Warmbier said in a statement at the time. “Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that.”