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Tipsheet

Sick: North Korea Sent the U.S. a Hospital Bill For Otto Warmbier’s Torture

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un sent the United States a hospital bill for Otto Warmbier, the young American college student who was tortured to death by the regime. 

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According to reporting from Fox News, the bill was never paid. 

The U.S. received a $2 million hospital bill from the North Korean government for the care of American Otto Warmbier, who fell into a coma for unknown reasons while he was imprisoned in the country before he died in the U.S. in 2017, Fox News has confirmed.

Pyongyang authorities insisted the U.S. envoy sent to retrieve the University of Virginia student sign a pledge to pay the bill before allowing Warmbier’s comatose body to return to the United States, the Washington Post reported Thursday. Sources familiar with the matter confirmed the bill and the amount to Fox News.

Citing two people familiar with the situation, the Post reported the envoy signed an agreement to pay the medical bill on instructions from President Trump. However, a source told Fox News the U.S. did not pay money to North Korea.

Warmbier was arrested by North Korean authorities in January 2016 for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster. He was returned to the United States in June 2017. He was in a vegetative state with severe brain damage and died days after his arrival. 

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The North Korean government claims Warmbier slipped into a coma after taking a sleeping pill and suffering from botulism. Doctors said their tests do not reveal any evidence botulism was a factor.

"No evidence of botulism," Dr. Brandon Foreman said.

Doctors said they have very limited information about Warmbier's condition before his arrival in the United States and have not had any contact with North Korean medical officials. It is estimated he has been in a coma since April of 2016. They said there is evidence Warmbier suffered a respiratory arrest, which led to a lack of oxygen to the brain. This could have been caused by a traumatic injury or an overdose in medication.

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