When 22-year-old American student Otto Warmbier was released from North Korean captivity last week after being held as a war criminal for 17-months, his family praised President Trump for getting him out.
"When Otto was first taken we were advised by the past administration to take a low profile while they worked to obtain his release. We did so without result," Otto's father, Fred Warmbier, said during a press conference in Ohio last week. "Earlier this year, Cindy and I decided the time for strategic patience was over. It is my understanding that Ambassador Yun and his team, at the direction of the president, aggressively pursued resolution of the situation."
"I think the results speak for themselves," he continued.
Speaking from the White House Monday night, President Trump announced Otto had died after coming home from North Korea in a coma. The regime claims he went into a coma after taking a sleeping pill and experiencing botulism. American doctors who examined him upon arrival said there was no evidence of those claims and that Otto had suffered severe brain damage, possibly due to a traumatic injury.
“I just want to pass on the word that Otto Warmbier has just passed away. He spent a year and a half in North Korea. A lot of bad things happened," Trump said. "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."
He also implied there will be consequences for what the regime has done.
"It is a brutal regime and we’ll be able to handle it,” he continued.
The President called Otto's treatment a "disgrace" during brief remarks Tuesday.
Warmbier's parents describe Otto's captivity as brutal and extremely inhumane. The North Korean regime is still holding three American citizens hostage.
"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," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement. "We hold North Korea accountable for Otto Warmbier’s unjust imprisonment, and demand the release of three other Americans who have been illegally detained."
This post has been updated with additional information.