Father criticizes Obama administration for handling of son's imprisonment in North Korea

Father criticizes Obama administration for handling of son's imprisonment in North Korea
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The father of the American student recently released from North Korea appeared on Thursday to criticize the Obama administration for its handling of his son's imprisonment.

During a press conference, Fred Warmbier, the father of Otto Warmbier, said he feels relief that his son is now home, but anger about the way his son was treated. Otto Warmbier is currently in a coma after being held by the North Korean regime for more than 17 months.

Fred Warmbier said when his son was first detained in North Korea, he was told by the previous administration to maintain a "low profile."

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"We did so without resolve. Earlier this year, Cindy and I decided the time for strategic patience was over," he said.

"And we made a few media appearances and traveled to Washington."

Warmbier offered praise for the Trump administration for its work in bringing home his son. He said there is no excuse for the way North Korea treated his son or others.

When asked whether he thinks the Obama administration should have been doing more to help his son, he said: "I think the results speak for themselves."

During the time his son was detained, Fred Warmbier said he had been to Washington, D.C., several times and worked with many lawmakers.

"We relied on this false premise that they would treat Otto fairly and let him go," he said. "Otto was held as a war criminal.

"We knew the dynamic was changing and, honestly, nothing was happening in our world for Otto, no communication, no letter, nothing."

He said he did what he could and tried to "stay low."

"We were advised that it was important that you don't upset the North Koreans," he said.

"And so, we followed that logic, and then at this, there came a time where that — doesn't seem to have any impact, so we went public with an interview on Tucker Carlson's show and then did a couple written pieces and then, very quickly, we have Otto home."

He added that he never had a face-to-face meeting with former President Obama.
 
"Never, never, absolutely not," he said when asked.
 
North Korea's high court last year sentenced Warmbier, a student at the University of Virginia, to 15 years in prison with hard labor after he tearfully said in a videotaped "confession" that he had tried to steal a political banner.

The court held that Warmbier had committed a crime "pursuant to the U.S. government's hostile policy toward [the North], in a bid to impair the unity of its people after entering it as a tourist."