Frank and Cindy Warmbier, parents of the late Otto Warmbier, have come forward in a series of interviews to share their feelings and experiences on their son’s mistreatment, urging the world to recognize Kim Jong Un and his regime as terrorists.
This is the first time the Warmbiers have been this detailed about the barbaric abuse their son received while in North Korean detention; now, they’re condemning the government for the brutality inflicted upon him which ultimately lead to his death.
“We see North Korea claiming to be a victim. We’re here to tell you as witnesses to the terror of their regime that North Korea is not a victim. We felt it was time to tell the truth about the condition that Otto was in,” opened Frank Warmbier.
They explained that they had initially been optimistic, hoping that their son could be healed through “good American healthcare”; their hopes quickly dissipated, however, when they laid eyes upon him for the first time in 17 months.
“Otto was on the stretcher … and he was jerking violently, making these inhuman sounds,” Warmbier said. “Otto had a shaved head. He had a feeding tube coming out of his nose. He was staring blankly into space … He was blind. He was deaf. … It looked like someone had taken a pair of pliers and rearranged his bottom teeth.”
The Warmbiers believed that the timing of their sons’ release was not coincidental.
“He was on his death bed when he came home to us,” remarked Frank Warmbier.
“That’s why they released him,” Cindy Warmbier said. “They didn’t want him to die on their soil.”
When speaking of North Korea, the couple did not hold back.
“These people are terrorists,” Frank said succinctly. “Kim and his regime intentionally injured Otto.”
“Nobody should go [to North Korea] ever,” Cindy pleaded. “Nobody needs to go there! Y’know the Wall Street Journal just went there. They show you what they want you to see. So why are we playing into this? Why do we play into this at all anymore? I don’t want to see anyone else hurt or taken.”
Otto Warmbier visited North Korea with a questionable tour group back in 2016. He was arrested by the North Korean government for stealing a flag from his hotel and was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. After 17 months of detention, Warmbier was released to his parents, but by that point had suffered severe brain trauma. He died shortly thereafter, his parents declined an autopsy, stating that Otto had been through enough already.
“Otto is at peace, and it’s about time,” closed Frank Warmbier.