Breaking News Emails
Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
By Adam Edelman
President Donald Trump on Friday denied that his administration had paid any money as part of a deal to get North Korea to return Otto Warmbier, whom the regime had detained.
“No money was paid to North Korea for Otto Warmbier, not two Million Dollars, not anything else,” Trump tweeted.
The tweet came in response to a Washington Post report on Thursday that North Korea had issued a $2 million bill to the U.S. for the medical care of Warmbier, who was returned to the U.S. in an unconscious state.
The regime, The Post reported, demanded that a U.S. official sign a pledge to pay the bill before Warmbier was allowed to be returned to the U.S.
State Department official Joseph Yun, who had traveled to North Korea in 2017 to help retrieve Warmbier, was instructed to sign the agreement by Trump and did so, The Post said. The bill was sent to the U.S. Treasury Department and remained unpaid throughout 2017. The Post said it was not clear whether the bill was later paid.
Responding to questions from NBC News about the report, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday, “We do not comment on hostage negotiations, which is why they have been so successful during this administration.”
Warmbier, 22, was arrested for taking a propaganda banner from a hotel while on a visit to Pyongyang in January 2016. The University of Virginia student from Ohio was later sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.
The North Korean government released him in June 2017, and when he returned to U.S. soil, doctors found him to be in a state of unresponsive wakefulness. He died days later; the exact cause of death is still not known.
His parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, were told he had been in a coma since shortly after being sentenced.
In February, Trump was slammed by politicians on both sides of the aisle after he absolved North Korean Kim Jong Un of blame in the death of Warmbier. Following a summit with Kim, Trump said at a press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, that it “just wasn’t to (Kim’s) advantage to let that happen.” He added: “He tells me that he didn’t know about it, and I will take him at his word.”
The president later tweeted that his comments had been misinterpreted and said, “Of course I hold North Korea responsible.”
Former Labour MP lashes out at prospect of Corbyn as PM during Brexit chaos
Corbyn to make Africa fact-finding trip while he’s supposed to be masterminding PM bid
JEREMY CORBYN will make a 6,000-mile round-trip to Africa next week at a time when he is trying to build cross-party support in his bid to oust Boris Johnson as Prime Minister and prevent a no deal Brexit.
World2 days ago
Trump to discuss Taliban talks, withdrawing troops from Afghanistan
Latest News1 day ago
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker cuts short holiday for urgent gallbladder surgery | World News
World6 days ago
China central bank close to releasing digital currency: PBOC official
World1 week ago
Top colleges for IT developers
Politics1 week ago
Biden says ‘poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids’
Politics1 week ago
Trump retweets Epstein conspiracy theory, claiming Clinton connection
Latest News1 week ago
Hong Kong protests: Police in no mood for compromise now | World News
World6 days ago
Samsung’s 108-megapixel image sensor highlights China turnaround push