Just last week Otto Warmbier was released from North Korea. He was a prisoner for 17 months. He was first apprehended by the North Korean government after attempting to steal a propaganda sign which was praising North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The sign was in a hotel. He was finally released last week. When he was released and brought back to the United States, he was in a coma. Otto Warmbier died at a Cincinnati hospital while surrounded by his family.
Here is a statement released from the family.
— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) June 19, 2017
Per The Daily Wire:
The North Korean government, which had sentenced Warmbier to 15 years of hard labor, stated that botulism and a sleeping pill had led to the coma, but U.S. doctors said that was simply not true.
A spokesman for the U.S. State Department said that the sentence meted out to Warmbier was a response to U.S. sanctions against North Korea for its nuclear activities. Warmbier’s father said that his son was forced to confess and he was detained for political purposes.
Warmbier was studying for a double major degree in commerce and economics at UVA; he was active in the Theta Chi fraternity and the Hillel Jewish campus organization and was the salutatorian at his high school. He was detained at the Pyongyang airport; the North Korean claimed he entered the country under the guise of a tourist and plotted to destroy North Korean unity with “the tacit connivance of the U.S. government and under its manipulation.”
Warmbier confessed to stealing a piece of North Korean propaganda; his confession stated he stole the banner for the mother of a friend who wanted it as a souvenir to be hung on the wall of a church in Wyoming, Ohio. He said he was offered a used car worth $10,000 as payment or if he was detained and didn’t return, $200,000 would be paid to his mother in the form of a charitable donation. Warmbier claimed he took the chance because his family was “suffering from very severe financial difficulties.” He said he was urged to steal the poster in order to join the Z Society, a “semi-secret ring society” and philanthropic organization at the University of Virginia.
Warmbier’s confession added:
I never, never should have allowed myself to be lured by the United States administration to commit a crime in this country, I wish that the United States administration never manipulate people like myself in the future to commit crimes against foreign countries. I entirely beg you, the people and government of the DPRK, for your forgiveness. Please! I made the worst mistake of my life!
Since the tragedy occurred, President Donald Trump has made a statement about the incident.
Another disgusting act from North Korea. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Warmbier family.