What happened to Otto Warmbier in North Korea
US student Otto Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years in a North Korean labor camp in 2016.
Warmbier was released the following year, but he died of brain damage shortly after his return to the United States.
Was he really the victim of torture? Otto Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years hard labor in 2016 after being convicted of attempting to steal a propaganda poster during a trip to Pyongyang.
Just over a year on he was dead, having been sent home to the US in a vegetative state. US President Donald Trump tweeted that he had been "tortured beyond belief " in North Korea. The US president blamed both the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the Obama administration for Warmbier’s death - and Trump appeared before the media with the student’s parents.
This was at the peak of the North Korean missile crisis. Later, as relations between Trump and Kim Jong Un became warmer, the US president changed his tune. In 2019 Trump said that he believed that Kim did not know what happened to the US student much to the consternation of Warmbier’s parents. What really happened to Otto Warmbier in North Korea?
Veteran foreign correspondent Klaus Scherer sets out to try to find out. In the documentary, Scherer interviews a number of people with knowledge of the case who have been largely unheard up to now. He shows that a US court investigating a liability case against North Korea brought by Warmbier’s parents also ignored important witnesses, who continue to cast doubt on the torture allegations.
These include the coroner in Cincinnati who examined Warmbier’s body. She believes that the account given by North Korean doctors is credible.
They claim that Warmbier had inadvertently been given too high a dose of sedatives by prison staff. This, the medics say was the cause of his state of unresponsive wakefulness. Could Trump’s initial torture charges simply have been motivated by political opportunism? Carlton Johnston Poor poor guy. His life was really taking off, studying in Hong Kong, there is no doubt that had he not gone to NK he would be alive today enjoying a successful life. Instead his life was ended over nothing. I really feel sad for him and his family.
Sherry Grace My respect to his parents for this; no matter what happened, it’s devastating. It is interesting though how some people when presenting how other people treat American prisoners seem to put it in a way as though America has had the best track encore in treating prisoners, including those that are innocent. I honestly feel horrible for Otto though, I can only imagine his terror, alone there.
Dina Renon I am deeply saddened for this young man and his family. I hate what they did to him. He was a healthy young man and to be given back to his family and see the damage done to his body like that hurts deep. We are human beings hurting this boy did not prove anything.These people are heartless. It created more hate . I am sending my prayers to this poor boy's family . I wish this never happened.
Mae Yes he made the worst mistake of his life by even traveling there, but dang he didn't deserve this.
skyline cyber Lesson learnt :Never visit a country where you government doesnt have an embassy.
Dawn Americans are well aware of what happens in North Korea and citizens are strongly encouraged not to travel to the country. It’s too risky, but some people - including and especially wealthy kids who have always been rescued from their own bad decision by moronic parents - don’t listen.
Melissa Eh! I remember when this all happened. I was so relieved when they announced that he was going home. Then it was just absolute devastation hearing about what kind of condition he was in and then his death. It's so sad.