Trump offers condolences to family of Otto Warmbier

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President Trump on Monday offered condolences to the family of the American student who died after being detained in North Korea for the last 17 months.

Trump condemned North Korea for its brutality and said Otto Warmbier’s death increases the “Administration’s determination to prevent such tragedies from befalling innocent people at the hands of regimes that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency.”

“Melania and I offer our deepest condolences to the family of Otto Warmbier on his untimely passing. There is nothing more tragic for a parent than to lose a child in the prime of life,” the president said in a statement. 

During a tech industry roundtable at the White House, Trump said “a lot of bad things happened” to Warmbier during his time in North Korea.


“But at least we got him home to be with his parents where they were so happy to see him, even though he was in very tough condition. But he just passed away a little while ago. It is a brutal regime and we’ll be able to handle it,” Trump said.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a statement said he received the news of Warmbier’s death with “deep sadness.”

“On behalf of the entire State Department and the United States government, I extend my condolences to the Warmbier family, and offer my prayers as they enter a time of grief no parent should ever know,” Tillerson said.

“We hold North Korea accountable for Otto Warmbier’s unjust imprisonment, and demand the release of three other Americans who have been illegally detained.”

Warmbier died on Monday after being released by the North Korean regime last week. The University of Virginia student had been detained after allegedly attempting to take a political poster back to the United States while traveling to North Korea on a trip.

Warmbier’s parents in a statement blamed the North Korean regime for their son’s death.

“Unfortunately, the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today,” his parents said in a statement. 

Prior to their son’s death, Warmbier’s parents said he had been in a coma for the last year.

—Jordan Fabian contributed. Updated at 7:35 p.m.

Tags North Korea Otto Warmbier

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