Otto Warmbier’s parents said they hope “something positive” will come out of President Trump’s summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
Fred and Cindy Warmbier said they appreciated Trump’s statement that their son did not die in vain.
“We are proud of Otto and miss him,” the parents, who are Jewish, said in a brief statement. “Hopefully something positive can come from this.”
After meeting Kim, Trump called Warmbier’s death a key impetus for the summit, although he did not elaborate. He also did not explain how or if the warming ties might affect North Korea’s status as one of the most repressive regimes in the world.
Warmbier, from Wyoming, Ohio, and a student at the University of Virginia, died at the age of 22 days after he was returned to the United States in a coma.
He had been imprisoned in North Korea from January 2016 after being sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for trying to steal an item bearing a propaganda slogan from his hotel, North Korea state media said.
U.S. Senator Rob Portman of Ohio said on Tuesday that Otto Warmbier’s death “is a constant reminder to me about the evil nature of this regime.”
“Following this historic summit, I remain skeptical but hopeful that this new dialog can translate into meaningful progress,” Portman said.—Reuters