North Korea Billed United States $2 Million For Care Of Otto Warmbier

American student Otto Frederick Warmbier, center, arrives at a court for his trial in Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

The North Korean government billed the United States $2 million to cover the cost of medical care for American Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student who was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for stealing a sign near his hotel. Warmbier fell into a coma for unknown reasons and died not long after his unconscious body was returned to the United States.

Joseph Yun, the former State Department Special Representative for North Korea, was sent to the country to bring Otto's comatose body back and was told by North Korean officials he had to sign a document promising to pay back $2 million to cover the cost of his Warmbier's hospital stay. Yun called then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who reached out to President Donald Trump so they could determine what should be done.

Trump and Tillerson both agreed that Yun should sign the document. While Yun wouldn't confirm if he signed the agreement, he told CNN that he was instructed to "do whatever you can to get Otto back."

The United States government has not paid the bill and has no intention of doing so, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.

"We made clear that they were never going to get anything" the source explained.

Photo: Getty Images


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