Speaking to the press Thursday following Otto Warmbier’s recent release from North Korea, Fred Warmbier, his father, voiced frustration over how his son’s situation was ignored.
“We went for 15 months without a word for, or about Otto,” he said. “It was only a week ago that we were informed that the North Korean government now claims he was in a coma for almost all of that time.”
“When Otto was first taken, we were advised by the past administration to take a low profile, while they worked to obtain his release. We did so without resolve,” said Warmbier, speaking in reference to the Obama administration.
“Even if you believe their explanation of botulism and a sleeping pill – and we don’t – there is no excuse for any civilized nation to have kept his condition secret and denied him to-notch medical care for so long,” said Warmbier.
Warmbier wore the same cream-colored sport coat that his son wore during his televised trial in North Korea. In a CNN report, hospital spokeswoman Kelly Martin from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where Otto Warmbier is in stable condition, said that he has suffered severe neurological damage.
Fred Warmbier called on North Korea to release other American detainees. “There’s no excuse for the way the North Koreans treated our son,” he said. “And no excuse for the way they’ve treated so many others. No other family should have to endure what the Warmbiers have.”
He thanked the Trump administration for helping bring him his son, and noted that he received a personal phone call from President Trump Wednesday evening.
There has been some speculation that the arrival of Dennis Rodman in North Korea was coordinated with the release of Otto Warmbier, but Warmbier’s father adamantly refuted this Thursday.
“Dennis Rodman had nothing to do with Otto,” he said. “It’s a diversion. I’m sure this is all planned,” and he noted that he could care less about Rodman’s trip to North Korea.