Trump said during a technology roundtable event that Warmbier faced tough conditions in detention and called North Korea a “brutal regime,” Reuters reports.
“Melania and I offer our deepest condolences to the family of Otto Warmbier on his untimely passing,” the president said in an official statement. “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.”
“Otto’s fate deepens my Administration’s determination to prevent such tragedies from befalling innocent people at the hands of regimes that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency,” the statement continues. “The United States once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim.”
The United States once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim. President Donald Trump
Trump directed the State Department to secure Warmbier’s release last week. Warmbier left North Korea in a Medivac flight because he had been in a coma since March 2016, according to his family.
Doctors who examined Warmbier after his arrival in the U.S. said he suffered a severe brain injury and was in a state of “unresponsive wakefulness.” His parents confirmed his death on Monday.
Warmbier was first apprehended at Pyongyang International Airport when he was a 21-year-old junior at the University of Virginia and on a group tour to North Korea. He was accused of “perpetrating a hostile act against the DPRK” and sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor.
Other lawmakers mourned his death, including Sen. Rob Portman (R), who represents Warmbier’s home state of Ohio.
“He was kind, generous and accomplished,” Portman said. “He had all the talent you could ever ask for and a bright future ahead of him.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.