Otto Warmbier's parents: 'Hopefully something positive' will com - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Otto Warmbier's parents: 'Hopefully something positive' will come of Trump-Kim summit

Posted: Updated: Jun 12, 2018 2:37 PM
Fred and Cindy Warmbier applaud as First lady Melania Trump arrives for the State of the Union. Fred and Cindy Warmbier applaud as First lady Melania Trump arrives for the State of the Union.

Nearly a year after they stood at Cincinnati's Lunken Airport to welcome home their son, the parents of Otto Warmbier said Tuesday they hope "something positive" can come out of the Singapore summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Fred and Cindy Warmbier of Wyoming, Ohio, issued a statement nearly a day after the two leaders met for the first time. At a news conference after the summit, Trump said Otto Warmbier's death "was not in vain" and help spur the nations to reach the diplomatic talks.

"We appreciate President Trump's recent comments about our family," the statement said. "We are proud of Otto and miss him. Hopefully something positive can come from this.'

The statement was released through the Warmbiers' law firm, McGuire Woods, which is representing the family in its lawsuit against North Korea's government. The lawsuit said the government's treatment of Otto Warmbier led to his death nearly a year ago.

Otto Warmbier, 22, traveled to North Korea in December 2015 on a tour. As he was about to leave in January 2016, North Korean authorities arrested him. He was charged and convicted in a show trial of stealing a poster from a hotel. A month later, all communication ceased.

The Warmbiers, with Republican Sen. Rob Portman as liaison, pushed the Obama administration and then the Trump administration to get Otto released. In June, the North Korean government sent Otto Warmbier home as a humanitarian gesture. But when the plane landed at Lunken Airport the night of June 13, Otto had to be carried from the plane. Doctors at the University of Cincinnati who examined him said he suffered brain damage from lack of oxygen.

The North Korean government said Warmbier had suffered from botulism poisoning then took a sleeping pill. The Warmbiers, however, have publicly expressed the view that their son was subjected to a physical ordeal, and the parents have sued North Korea for causing Otto's death.

President Trump has taken the Warmbiers' cause as his own, referring to their son as "beautiful Otto" and inviting the family as honored guests to the State of the Union address in January.

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