US judge orders North Korea to pay $500M in student's death

District of Columbia said in her ruling.

This story is still developing.

North Korea did not send representatives to argue their case in the Washington, DC, courthouse throughout the duration of the case and it isn't clear whether the country has any intention to comply with the judge's order. When he was returned to the US, there was a large scar on his left foot, his teeth were misaligned, and he couldn't breathe or eat without the assistance of a respirator or feeding tube.

This year, a North Korean spokesman denied that Otto Warmbier had been tortured while in custody, Fox News reported.

"He was blind, deaf, and brain dead when North Korea turned him over to USA government officials for his final trip home", the court's opinion states.

Warmbiers neurologist in OH came rather to the conclusion that the Student suffered probably due to a minute-long under-supply the brain with blood severe brain damage.

Reacting to today's judgment, Fred and Cindy Warmbier said they were thankful the court had found Kim Jong-un's government "legally and morally" responsible for their son's death.

Howell awarded $15 million to each of Warmbier's parents for the emotional anguish of living through their son's disappearance, detention and death.

Visiting the country as a tourist, North Korean state media said he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labour for attempting to steal an item bearing a propaganda slogan from his hotel.

The lawsuit was brought on the Warmbiers' behalf by Richard Cullen, a prominent Virginia lawyer and former USA attorney.

The family was courageous to bring the lawsuit, said Sung-Yoon Lee, a professor of Korean studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Howell's ruling does not guarantee an immediate windfall for the Warmbiers, however.

"Otto excelled at all that he set out to do in his young life", the judge wrote, and his nature "makes highly plausible that this success would have continued".

This week North Korea said it would not denuclearise unless the United States removed its own nuclear "threat" from the Korean Peninsula.

His parents' lawsuit alleged he had arrived in the United States deaf, blind and unable to communicate. North Korea's position on the question has changed little from a Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) statement released February, which accuses "the Trump clan" of "intentionally stoking up the anti-DPRK smear campaign" over Warmbier's death, "tarnishing" North Korea's "international image and finding an excuse for intensifying the worldwide pressure campaign"; in other words, the U.S. is just as ready to use the Warmbier's family tragedy for political ends. "As a family, mother, father, sister and brother, we would like to thank all those who knew and loved Otto, and for all those who supported us and our mission to hold Kim liable for his actions", the statement reads.

  • Rogelio Becker