Otto Warmbier Bio
Otto Warmbier was the student of the University of Virginia Who, was died on June 19, 2017. He was released by North Korea only days ago after being sentenced to hard labor for taking a propaganda poster. He was only 22 years old when he died.
Otto Warmbier was such a promising young man. He was kind, generous and accomplished. He had a bright future ahead of him.
— Rob Portman (@senrobportman) June 19, 2017
Otto Warmbier was born on December 12, 1994, the eldest of three children of Cynthia and Fred Warmbier. He was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio.
His minor was in global sustainability. Warmbier’s mother is Jewish, and Otto was active in Hillel on his college campus. He had an interest in other cultures and had visited Israel, Europe, Cuba, and Ecuador.
Otto Warmbier Education
He attended Wyoming High School, where he was considered popular and studious, and graduated in 2013 as salutatorian.
He went on to enroll at the University of Virginia, where he was pursuing a double major degree in commerce and economics and did a foreign exchange at the London School of Economics.
Warmbier was scheduled to undertake a study-abroad program in Hong Kong in early 2016 and decided to visit North Korea en route over the New Year period.
Otto Warmbier Arrested
On January 2, 2016, Warmbier was arrested at Pyongyang International Airport while awaiting departure from North Korea. Danny Gratton, a British member of Warmbier’s tour group, witnessed the arrest.
Fred Warmbier gave an angry and emotional press conference on June 15, in which he wore his son’s jacket from that propaganda appearance and described North Korea as a pariah regime. We’re thrilled that our son is on American soil, he said then.
Otto was a young university student who was on a tour with other university students. He’s never been in trouble with his life, said his heartbroken and angry father. He fought to stay alive through the worst the North Koreans put him through to return to the family and community he loves.
Warmbier’s parents did have a chance to see their son again and to bring Warmbier back to Cincinnati and hold him in their arms.
Our son is coming home, Fred Warmbier told The Washington Post after news of Otto’s release broke. At the moment, we’re just treating this like he’s been in an accident. We get to see our son Otto tonight.
When Otto was first freed, his parents released a statement that said in part, Otto has left North Korea. He is on a Medivac flight on his way home.
Sadly, he is in a coma and we have been told he has been in that condition since March of 2016. We learned of this only one week ago. We want the world to know how we and our son have been brutalized and terrorized by the pariah regime in North Korean. We are so grateful that he will finally be with people who love him.
Fred and Cindy Warmbier had previously spoken out and claimed they were urged to keep quiet about Otto Warmbier by the Obama administration, according to Fox News.
They feel you don’t get involved that way, Fred said, according to Fox News. It lets the other side solve problems and make things happen. In the June 15 press conference, he repeated this contention but said he and his wife decided in the spring that the time for strategic patience was over.
The results speak for themselves, Fred said, when asked if he felt the previous administration could have done more.
At his funeral, his family displayed items from his travels, including the jacket he wore during the North Korean propaganda video.
Trial and conviction
He was charged with subversion under Article 60 of North Korea’s Criminal Code. The court held that he had committed a crime “pursuant to the U.S. government’s hostile policy toward [North Korea], in a bid to impair the unity of its people after entering it as a tourist.
Otto Warmbier Release
On June 13, 2017, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that North Korea had released Warmbier. Tillerson also announced that the State Department had secured Warmbier’s release at the direction of President Donald Trump, and the State Department would continue discussing three other detained Americans with North Korea.
Death and Cause
Warmbier died in the hospital at 2:20 p.m. on June 19, 2017, at the age of 22. His family issued a statement expressing their sadness, thanking the hospital staff for their actions.
— CNN Philippines (@cnnphilippines) June 19, 2017
President Trump issued a statement regarding Warmbier’s death: “There is nothing more tragic for a parent than to lose a child in the prime of life. Our thoughts and prayers are with Otto’s family and friends, and all who loved him.” He added: “The United States once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim.”
POTUS and FLOTUS statement on passing of Otto Warmbier pic.twitter.com/sf0Q811dYx
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) June 19, 2017
John McCain: “Let us state the facts plainly: Otto Warmbier, an American citizen, was murdered by the Kim Jong-un regime.”
— Dennis Powell (@powelldennis) June 19, 2017