Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) said on Friday that he will introduce a bill in the coming days to place the blame for the 2017 death of American college student Otto Warmbier squarely on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The congressman broke the news in a tweet, revealing that the bipartisan resolution would emerge next week to signify that Congress holds the ruler responsible:
Malinowski’s announcement comes after President Donald Trump’s denial that Kim played any role in Warmbier’s death, which resulted from fatal injuries he sustained during his time imprisoned for several months in the country.
“He tells me he didn’t know about it, and I take him at his word,” Trump declared on Thursday while ending his Hanoi, Vietnam, summit with Kim.
The remark was delivered on the three-year anniversary of Warmbier’s taped plea for his release during which he made a tearful call for empathy from the country. By the time he was brought home, he was in a vegetative state and died shortly after his return.
On Friday, the student’s parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, stood up to Trump’s rhetoric with a statement given to NBC News:
Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that.
Later that day, Trump took to Twitter to defend his comments, arguing they were “misinterpreted,” crediting himself for Warmbier’s release and adding that he “of course” believes North Korea is responsible, still avoiding pointing the finger at Kim.