Otto Warmbier: Parents sue North Korea for 'brutal torture and murder'

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 27, 2018

Fred and Cindy Warmbier filed the lawsuit Thursday in the US District Court in Washington.

Otto Warmbier was arrested in early 2016 after allegedly trying to steal a poster while on a group sightseeing tour in North Korea.

The wrongful-death suit comes at a diplomatically delicate time, just weeks ahead of an expected meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump.

"Kim and his regime have portrayed themselves as innocent, while they intentionally destroyed our son's life".

Parents of Warmbier said that he had gone to North Korea on a tourist visit in Feb 2016.

North Korea claimed that Warmbier had contracted botulism but his physicians in the USA found no evidence of that, according to the lawsuit which says that the North's false explanations for Otto's condition demonstrate that is it "covering up its torture and mistreatment of Otto while he was in North Korean custody".

The parents of Otto Warmbier have filed a lawsuit against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Otto's father said in a statement on Thursday: "Otto was taken hostage, kept as a prisoner for political purposes, used as a pawn and singled out for exceptionally harsh and brutal treatment by Kim Jong Un".

The suit alleged that "as a direct and proximate result of North Korea's actions, Otto died at 22, mere days after his release".

It claims a "confession" broadcast to legitimise the tourist's "lawless hostage tagging" before he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labour were "the words of the North Korean regime forced through Otto's mouth". "This lawsuit is another step in holding North Korea accountable for its barbaric treatment of Otto and our family". "Although this is a private legal action to which the United States government is not a party, Americans remain committed to honoring Otto's memory, and we will not forget the suffering of his parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier".

The law suit alleges that as a result of their son's torture and death, the Warmbiers have each experienced the loss of their son's "companionship, comfort, advice and counsel".

His parents said that when Otto arrived, he was making "inhuman noises" like "howling" and "jerking violently". He was blind. He was deaf.

This week after North Korea announced denuclearization, Trump praised Kim as "very honourable" and "very open". He added, "A lot is happening right now, and I think it's going to be very positive".

He placed North Korea on the state sponsors of terror list in November.

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