The parents of Otto Warmbier pushed back on President Donald Trump’s claim that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had nothing to do with their son’s death after he spent nearly a year and a half in captivity there.
“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, according to NBC News .
Image shows Fred and Cindy Warmbier
The aggrieved couple added, “Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that.”
The Warmbiers were referencing Trump’s acknowledgment that he believed Kim when the latter said he didn’t know about Otto being mistreated and falling ill while he was serving a 15-year sentence for trying to steal a propaganda poster during a visit to North Korea in 2016.
Otto Warmbier was returned to the U.S. in June 2017 in a comatose state. He died a few days later.
“In those prisons and those camps you have a lot of people, and some really bad things happened to Otto, some really, really bad things,” Trump said at this week’s summit in Hanoi, Vietnam between himself and Kim. “But [Kim] tells me he didn’t know about it, and I will take him at his word.”
Trump said Kim “felt bad” about the episode.
Warmbier, a University of Virginia student, was 22 when he died.