Warmbier’s father: Son was ‘brutalized’ by North Korea, hits MB Obama inaction
June 15, 2017 By Cristina Corbin
CINCINNATI, Ohio – The father of Otto Warmbier said his son, who was imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months before being returned home in a coma this week, “fought to stay alive” during his ordeal.
Fred Warmbier also dismissed whatever efforts were made on behalf of his 22-year-old son Otto by the Obama administration, which asked the family to keep a low profile when news of Otto’s arrest became public.
“The results speak for themselves,” he said in a news conference.
At the same news conference a spokeswoman for the University of Cincinnati Medical Center reported that Otto suffered a “severe neurological injury” and was in “satisfactory” condition.
Warmbier said his son “fought to stay alive” while in capitivity since January 2016.
“Otto is a fighter,” he said. “I’m so proud of Otto, my son, who has been in a pariah regime for the last 18 months – brutalized and terrorized.”
“His spirit is with us and I can share his spirit with my spirit,” said Warmbier, who was wearing the very same light-colored blazer his son wore during his trial in North Korea in March 2016.
Warmbier, a University of Virginia student, was detained on Jan. 2, 2016, at Pyongyang International Airport, while visiting the country as a tourist with Young Pioneer Tours. He was charged with stealing the sign from a staff-only floor in the Yanggakdo International Hotel in Pyongyang and committing “crimes against the state.” He was given a one-hour trial in March 2016, when the government presented fingerprints, CCTV footage and pictures of a political banner to make its case against the American student.
North Korea is a pariah regime. They’re brutal and they’re terroristic… We can’t believe anything they say.
“I beg that you see how I am only human,” Warmbier said at his trial. “And how I have made the biggest mistake of my life.”
Despite his pleas, the college student was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. In a post-trial video released to the world, Warmbier, under obvious duress, praised his captors for his treatment and for handling of the case “fair and square.”
The next day, he slipped into a coma, his father said.
“The day after he was sentenced, he went into a coma,” Warmbier told Fox News, saying the family was shocked when they learned of Otto’s condition in a phone call from Yun on Tuesday of last week.
A U.S. official told Fox News that Warmbier was in a coma for “over a year.” The official added that the North Koreans told the U.S. that Warmbier contracted botulism and slipped into a coma after taking a sleeping pill. Neither the family nor doctors treating Warmbier have commented on that claim.
In Wyoming, Ohio, a Cincinnati suburb, friends and neighbors of Warmbier said they were elated the young man was home but expressed grave concern over his condition.
“We’re very concerned for his health and future,” said neighbor Tom Purdy. “We hope he can return to normal. We’ve been praying for him every night.”
At Wyoming High School, where Warmbier attended, students described him as an “outstanding person” who was known in the community for his academic achievements and athleticism.
Foreigners who have been detained or imprisoned in the Hermit Kingdom often have a shared experience: confusion, forced confessions, communication blackouts and isolation.
Warmbier’s release leaves three U.S. citizens currently known to be held in North Korea: accounting professor Kim Sang Duk, businessman Kim Dong Chul and Kim Hak-Song, who worked at Pyongyang University.
When asked what advice he might have for their families, Warmbier said he had none.
“I wouldn’t know what to say to them,” he said. “This is, I’ve been told, not precedented.”
Otto Warmbier’s Father Holds Press Conference Following Son’s Return Home From North Korea | TIME
PREVIEW: Tucker’s EXCLUSIVE Interview With Father of Student Held Captive in North Korea
Tucker Carlson sat down with the father of Otto Warmbier, an American student held captive by North Korea for more than a year.
The interview will air THURSDAY at 8 p.m. ET during Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News Channel.
Warmbier was released by the North Koreans last week, however he has reportedly been in a coma for several months.
Warmbier’s father, Fred, told Carlson that the North Korean regime are “terrorists.”
“They’re brutal. There’s no sense to anything here,” he said. “They’ve crossed a line with my son, Otto.”
Mr. Warmbier said the lessons from Otto’s captivity will be for others to decide.
The Warmbier family held a news conference on Thursday morning, with Mr. Warmbier saying he doesn’t believe anything that the “pariah regime” says about his son’s time in captivity.
He also said former NBA player Dennis Rodman, who arrived in North Korea a day before Warmbier’s release, had “nothing to do with” the matter of his son’s detention.
The family of Otto Warmbier said Wednesday they are “adjusting to a different reality” following their son’s return from North Korea, where he was “brutalized” by his captors and held for more than a year in a coma — the cause of which is still unknown.
“Otto is not in great shape right now,” his father, Fred Warmbier, told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson in an exclusive interview Wednesday afternoon from his Cincinnati home. “Otto has been terrorized and brutalized for 18 months by a pariah regime in North Korea.”
The 22-year-old college student was medically evacuated from North Korea and flown to a hospital in his hometown of Cincinnati late Tuesday following a brief flurry of diplomatic activity that involved the highest levels of U.S. government.
The elder Warmbier singled out Joseph Yun, the U.S. special envoy on North Korea, as a key player in his son’s release as well as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and President Trump.
Watch a preview clip from the exclusive interview.
Doctors confirm horrifying, tragic state of Otto Warmbier
June 15, 2017
During a short news conference Thursday, doctors treating Otto Warmbier described his medical condition, indicating he suffered extensive brain damage during his imprisonment in North Korea.
Following Warbier’s release from the North Korean prison, he was described as being in a coma, and the family says they were informed that he had been in that state for the past 15 months. Thursday, doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center gave additional details about Warmbier’s condition.
Dr. Daniel Kanter gave the first statement, telling reporters that Warmbier arrived with stable vitals, and no dysfunction in any major, non-neurological organs. Dr. Kanter said Warmbier showed no signs of infection, but that doctors had found a neurological problem.
“His neurological condition can be best described as a state of unresponsive wakefulness,” Dr. Kanter said. “He has spontaneous eye opening and blinking, however he shows no signs of understanding language, responding to verbal commands or awareness of his surroundings.”
Dr. Kanter went on to describe Warmbier’s behaviors. Warmbier does not move or speak, and he “has not engaged in any purposeful movements or behaviors” and has “profound weakness in contraction of the muscles of his arms and legs.”
An MRI of Warmbier’s brain showed “extensive loss of brain tissue in all regions of the brain,” Kanter said. Doctors do not know the cause of the damage, however Kanter said, “This pattern of brain injury is usually seen as result of cardiopulmonary arrest where the blood supply to brain is inadequate for a period of time resulting in the death of brain tissue.”
Doctors don’t know the extent of any medical care Warmbier received in the North Korea, but they were given images from an MRI taken in the country in April 2016, which indicate that Warmbier’s brain injury occurred shortly before the images were taken.
According to the family’s wishes, doctors could not elaborate on Warmbier’s treatment options or prognosis.
During a question and answer session, a panel of three doctors was asked what could have caused the cardiopulmonary arrest, and one of the doctors said the condition is “Generally caused by something like an intoxication or traumatic injury.”
Doctors say that Warmbier’s family has been by his side since he arrived at the hospital, and they are being updated regularly.
During a press conference where he also criticized the Obama administration on their handling of his son’s imprisonment, Otto Warmbier’s father, Fred Warmbier, said, “We went for 15 months without a word for, or about Otto.”
Mr. Warmbier was unconvinced by claims from North Korea about the cause of his son’s condition.”Even if you believe their explanation of botulism and a sleeping pill – and we don’t – there is no excuse for any civilized nation to have kept his condition secret and denied him top-notch medical care for so long,” Mr. Warmbier said.
Doctors could not find any signs of active botulism.