Trump gets 20 hostages freed with no ransom, denies $2m for Warmbier

28 Avril, 2019, 03:30 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Trump gets 20 hostages freed with no ransom, denies $2m for Warmbier

The American president was responding Friday to a report that he agreed to pay $2 million bill presented by North Korea to cover the medical costs for Otto Warmbier, an American college student, jailed for spying.

Warmbier was in a comatose state at the time of his release from North Korean custody and died a few days after returning to the US.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that, according to two sources familiar with the situation, State Department envoy Joseph Yun signed the agreement to pay the invoice per instructions from President Donald Trump.

The bill was sent to the Treasury Department and remained unpaid through 2017, the Post reported.

"No money was paid to North Korea for Otto Warmbier, not two Million Dollars, not anything else", Trump tweeted.

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This comes after reports of North Korea slapping a U.S. dollar two million medical bill on the United States for Warmbier emerged in American news outlets on Thursday. An Ohio coroner said Warmbier died from a lack of oxygen and blood to his brain.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said the United States doesn't owe North Korea anything. The Warmbiers sued North Korea in April 2018, accusing the regime of hostage-taking and torture.

"Otto Warmbier was mistreated by North Korea in so many ways, including his wrongful conviction and harsh sentence, and the fact that for 16 months they refused to tell his family or our country about his dire condition they caused", Portman said.

Reached by phone, Fred Warmbier, Otto Warmbier's father, declined to comment on the report or to confirm the Post's account that he had said the hospital bill sounded like ransom.

Trump is the greatest hostage negotiator that I know of in the history of the United States. "No money was paid.' Cheif [sic] Hostage Negotiator, USA", he said. "There was no money paid". He accused Obama officials of paying ransom money in exchange for the return of four detained Americans in 2016, a charge the Obama administration has denied. "There was no money paid", he said.

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