By MATTHEW LEE
AP Diplomatic Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) – The parents of Otto Warmbier, the American college student who died after being released from a North Korean prison last year, thanked President Donald Trump for the kind words about their son he gave after his historic summit with North Korea’s leader.
Fred and Cindy Warmbier said in a brief statement after Trump met Kim Jong Un in Singapore that they appreciated the president’s comments about their son and family.
“We appreciate President Trump’s recent comments about our family,” they said. “We are proud of Otto and miss him. Hopefully something positive can come from this.”
Trump had said earlier in Singapore that Otto Warmbier was a “very special person” and that his death had galvanized the administration’s determination to deal with North Korea.
“I think, without Otto, this would not have happened,” Trump told reporters. “Something happened, from that day. It was a terrible thing. It was brutal. But a lot of people started to focus on what was going on, including North Korea.”
“Otto did not die in vain,” he said. “He had a lot to do with us being here today.”
Warmbier was a student at University of Virginia who was arrested by North Korean authorities in January 2016 for stealing a propaganda poster and sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor. After suffering still unexplained brain injuries, he was released on June 13, 2017 and died six days later.
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