On Thursday morning, Fred Warmbier, whose son Otto was recently released by North Korea, held a news conference to talk about the issues surrounding the last 18 months in which his son was in the so-called Hermit Kingdom. The North Koreans arrested Otto in January of 2016, saying that he stole a banner with a political slogan from the walls of his hotel. He was sentenced to 15 years in a labor camp.
Otto Warmbier, who is now in a coma, returned to the United States on Wednesday. The North Koreans claimed that the former University of Virginia student went into the coma after contracting botulism. However, a spokeswoman for the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said on Thursday that the 22-year-old suffered a “severe neurological injury.”
In the press conference, Warmbier appeared wearing the jacket that his son wore during his trial in North Korea. On a number of occasions, Fred Warmbier thanked the people who worked to bring his son home and said that he was “proud” of Otto. He described Otto as being held “hostage” in the “pariah regime.” He condemned the North Korean regime, saying, “They’re brutal and their terroristic. We don’t believe anything they say.”
When asked if Dennis Rodman’s trip to North Korea had anything to do with Otto’s release, Warmbier responded, “No he didn’t. It’s a diversion. This is all planned.” He also said that he “doesn’t see a tough approach to North Korea. They’re still able to take Americans hostage and abuse them. They’re still able to be terrorists in the world.” One reporter asked if Warmbier thought the Obama administration could have done more for Otto, and the teary-eyed father responded critically, saying, “The results speak for themselves.”
Fred Warmbier also stated that President Trump called him on Wednesday night, saying, “It was a really nice conversation. It was kind, and ‘Are you taking care of yourself?'” Warmbier will be on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday to talk more about Otto’s condition.