US student Otto Warmbier breaks down during a press conference in Pyongyang in 2016. Picture: AFP/KCNA via KNS
US student Otto Warmbier breaks down during a press conference in Pyongyang in 2016. Picture: AFP/KCNA via KNS

Parents sue N Korea over Otto’s ‘brutal’ death

THE parents of a US student jailed in North Korea before returning to America with a fatal brain injury have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the rogue nation.

Fred and Cindy Warmbier filed suit in the US District Court of Washington stating that North Korea's regime tortured and killed their son, Otto.

The 22-year-old university student passed away on June 19, 2017, after North Korea sent him home to die after nearly 18 months of imprisonment.

Otto Warmbier was forced to confess to an “act of subversion on behalf of the United States government” by North Korea. Picture: AFP/KCNA via KNS
Otto Warmbier was forced to confess to an “act of subversion on behalf of the United States government” by North Korea. Picture: AFP/KCNA via KNS

"Otto was taken hostage, kept as a prisoner for political purposes, used as a pawn and singled out for exceptionally harsh and brutal treatment by Kim Jong-un," Fred Warmbier said in a statement.

"Kim and his regime have portrayed themselves as innocent, while they intentionally destroyed our son's life. This lawsuit is another step in holding North Korea accountable for its barbaric treatment of Otto and our family."

 

Otto Warmbier’s parents, Fred and Cindy, have filed a lawsuit against North Korea over the death of their son. Picture: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP
Otto Warmbier’s parents, Fred and Cindy, have filed a lawsuit against North Korea over the death of their son. Picture: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP

Warmbier, a popular student at the University of Virginia, was forced to confess to an "act of subversion on behalf of the United States government," the lawsuit said, and was later held in brutal conditions for 18 months until he was returned to his parents in a coma.

Warmbier died soon after he returned to the US.

Otto Warmbier is carried out from his funeral at Wyoming High School in 2017. Picture: AFP/Getty Images/Bill Pugliano
Otto Warmbier is carried out from his funeral at Wyoming High School in 2017. Picture: AFP/Getty Images/Bill Pugliano

The lawsuit could have serious diplomatic implications for the US as Donald Trump looks to set up a meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in the hopes of denuclearising the country.

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