The parents of a U.S. college student who died after more than a year in detention in North Korea spoke out Tuesday about the rogue regime’s brutal treatment of their son.
North Korea arrested Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student who visited the North as a tourist, in January 2016 for alleged hostile acts against the state. Pyongyang contends that Warmbier attempted to pilfer a propaganda poster. He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in a tearful public trial two months after his arrest.
The young man returned home in June in horrible condition, and he passed away one week later.
President Donald Trump, responding to an interview on Fox & Friends, said Otto Warmbier “was tortured beyond belief by North Korea.”
Great interview on @foxandfriends with the parents of Otto Warmbier: 1994 – 2017. Otto was tortured beyond belief by North Korea.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2017
“North Korea is not a victim. They kidnapped Otto. They tortured him. They intentionally injured him,” the young man’s father said on “Fox and Friends” Tuesday, adding, “They are terrorists.”
When Warmbier returned home, it was reported that he was in a coma having suffered severe brain damage, but his parents suggest that this is a somewhat inaccurate description. His parents said that when they saw him on the plane, he was jerking violently and screaming.
“He was blind, he was deaf,” his father said, adding that it looked like someone had taken a pair of pliers and “rearranged his bottom teeth.” Warmbier also had a large scar on his body.
“They destroyed him,” Warmbier’s mother explained on air.
The U.S. obtained intelligence reports after Warmbier’s return home suggesting that North Korean authorities brutally beat him while in custody, a senior American official told The New York Times.
The Warmbiers argued that North Korea should be listed as a state sponsor of terror for its crimes against humanity. It is unclear exactly what happened to the young college student, but it appears he was made to suffer.
The Trump administration made a concentrated effort to bring Warmbier home, but it was too late to save him, as he had reportedly been brutalized for over a year.
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