Otto Warmbier, the U.S. student who was held captive by North Korea, tragically died last year after being freed back home to America. Upon his return, the young man was in a coma and it was very clear that he suffered immensely at the brutal hands of North Korea.
Immediately after Otto’s death, President Trump reached out to Otto’s parents to send his prayers and condolences. Previously, Otto’s mother and father were critical of the Obama administration’s efforts in bringing their son home, but they were openly grateful for Trump’s involvement.
At Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, the President—once again—acknowledged the late Otto in a powerful speech. Trump’s message made Otto’s parents, who were present at the SOTU, very emotional.
Trump began, “Otto Warmbier was a hard-working student at the University of Virginia—and a great student he was. On his way to study abroad in Asia, Otto joined a tour to North Korea. At its conclusion, this wonderful young man was arrested and charged with crimes against the state.”
“After a shameful trial, the dictatorship sentenced Otto to 15 years of hard labor,” he continued. “Before returning him to America last June, horribly injured and on the verge of death. He passed away just days after his return.”
The camera shifted to Otto’s parents as Trump addressed them directly, “Otto’s wonderful parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, are here with us tonight, along with Otto’s brother and sister, Austin and Greta.”
The crowd erupted in applause as Fred and Cindy stood up with tears in their eyes. Moments later, they waved to the President and mouthed, “Thank you, thank you.”
Trump ended, “Incredible people—you are powerful witnesses to a menace that threatens our world and your strength truly inspires us all...Tonight we pledge to honor Otto's memory with total American resolve. Thank you.”
Watch Trump’s powerful speech below:
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