The parents of Otto Warmbier said Friday that Kim Jong Un and his government “are responsible for the death of our son Otto” after President Donald Trump said he believed the North Korean dictator was unaware of how the student was treated while imprisoned there, NBC News reported.
“We have been respectful during this summit process. Now we must speak out. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto,” Fred and Cindy Warmbier said in a statement. “Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that.”
Warmbier, a 22-year-old University of Virginia student, was arrested and convicted for taking a propaganda banner from a Pyongyang hotel in 2016. He was released early — his parents were told he was in a coma since not long after he was sentenced — and died soon after his return to the U.S.
Trump said Thursday that Kim “tells me that he didn’t know about it, and I will take him at his word,” adding that Kim learned of the case later. Those comments prompted bipartisan backlash.
Photo Credit: Jon Chol Jin/AP, File