Speaking in Seoul, South Korea, on Friday, Cindy Warmbier, the mother of Otto Warmbier, who was detained in North Korea and allegedly tortured by North Korea after he was convicted in 2016 of trying to steal a propaganda poster, then died after he returned to the United States in 2017, lashed out at North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, saying at a news conference, “I’m hoping to visit the DMZ and say, ‘Hello, I’m Otto’s mom. I hate you. I hate you so much, but you can’t hurt me anymore … I want to look you in the eye and see evil and face it and know that as good people, we will win.’”
As The Daily Mail reports, Cindy Warmbier and her husband Fred are determined to find and eliminate illicit North Korean business assets around the world. The Warmbiers appealed to President Trump to address North Korea’s human rights abuses while the U.S. negotiates with North Korea.
Fred Warmbier stated, “We feel that if you force North Korea to engage the world in a legal standpoint, then they will have to ultimately have a dialogue. They are not going to come and have a dialogue with us any other way.”
The Daily Mail notes:
In December 2018, a U.S. federal judge ordered North Korea to pay more than $500 million in a wrongful death suit filed by the Warmbiers over their son, although they are unlikely to collect on the judgment … The Warmbiers have been pushing legal action seeking the closure of a hostel operated on the grounds of the North Korean Embassy in Berlin and plan to go after other hostels the country operates in Europe, which they say are aimed at pressuring governments to tighten their enforcement of sanctions against Pyongyang.
Cindy Warmbier asserted, “We cannot give up, we can’t give them a pass. We have to fight with all of our power.”
Three months after Otto’s death, his parents gave their first interview since his passing. In a wrenching recollection, Fred Warmbier recounted how they greeted their son when he came home from South Korea:
We walked over to the plane, the engines are still humming, they had just landed. We walked up the steps. When we got half way up the steps, we heard this howling, involuntary, inhuman sound. We weren’t really certain what it was. We climbed to the top of the steps, and we looked in, and Otto was on the stretcher, across — in the plane, and he was jerking violently, making these inhuman sounds.
Cindy and Greta ran off the plane; Austin and I walked over to Otto. Otto had a shaved head, he had a feeding tube coming out of his nose, he was staring blankly into space, jerking violently; he was blind, he was deaf. As we looked at him and tried to comfort him, it looked like someone had taken a pair of pliers and rearranged his bottom teeth.
Fred Warmbier stated, “I knelt down by his side and I hugged him and I told him I missed him and I was so glad that he made it home.”