The parents of Otto Warmbier, the 21-year-old tortured into a coma for stealing a propaganda poster in North Korea, are speaking out for the first time since their son’s death. Otto endured 18 months in a North Korean prison under the direction of brutal dictator Kim Jong-un and just days after the Trump administration struck a deal to finally bring him home, he died.
On Fox & Friends Tuesday, Fred and Cindy Warmbier described how they’ve “processed this horrible situation” over the last three months and to deliver a clear message that North Korea is a terrorist state and should be labeled as such.
“Now we see North Korea claiming to be a victim and that the world is picking on them and we’re here to tell you North Korea is not a victim, they’re terrorists,” Mr. Warmbier said. “They kidnapped Otto, they tortured him, they intentionally injured him. They are not victims, they’re terrorists.”
The Warmbiers then described what it was like seeing their son for the first time after the long ordeal. He arrived at the airport in a coma, though Mrs. Warmbier doesn’t think you could call it that. They were told Otto had severe brain damage. As the family approached the plane for the first time, they could hear Otto screaming over the whir of the plane’s engines.
“We heard this howling, involuntary, inhuman sound,” Mr. Warmbeir explained. “We weren’t really certain what it was.”
As the Warmbiers entered the plane, they saw Otto on a stretcher with a feeding tube coming out of his nose “jerking violently” and “making these inhuman sounds.” Mr. Warmbier discovered that his sone was deaf and blind and looked like “someone had taken a pair of pliers and rearranged his bottom teeth.” There was also a large scar on his right foot.
Two days later, Otto’s fever spiked to 104 degrees. Four days later, he was dead.
“North Korea is not a victim,” Mr. Warmbier repeated. “They’re terrorists.”
“They destroyed him,” Mrs. Warmbier added. She said her worst thoughts center on her son being alone for so long.
The Warmbiers also hold ill feelings toward President Obama for dragging his feet on getting Otto home and telling them to keep quiet. In contrast, they praised President Trump for actually getting it done. But they would like one more thing from the administration, as Mr. Warmbier stated:
“It was astounding to Cindy and I to discover that North Korea is not listed as a state sponsor of terror. We owe it to the world to list North Korea as a state sponsor of terror.”