As Tony Talbott with the University of Dayton explains, one of the biggest takeaways from the summit, especially for people in our area, was when President Trump mentioned Otto Warmbier.
“Otto Warmbier is a very special person,” President Trump said. “And he will be for a long time in my life. His parents are good friends of mine. I think without Otto, this would not have happened.”
Jordan: “What do you think he meant by saying that?”
Talbott: “With all due respect to Mr. Warmbier and his family, I think it was a triggering event I think it drew attention to the atrocities to what happened. It made North Korea front and center and it really made it actually real and personal for the President.”
The historic summit came nearly 1 year after Otto Warmbier’s death. The American college student from Cincinnati was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in January 2016 for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster from his hotel.
He was released after 15 months, but returned home in a state of unresponsive wakefulness and later died six days after being released. His parents beleive his death was the result of torture.
“If anything what happened to Otto Warmbier should have been a lesson,” Talbott said. “In how dangerous it is to deal with North Korea.”
Currently, Otto Warmbier’s parents have a pending lawsuit against the North Korean regime, saying their son was tortured and murdered.