December 19, 2018 13:48
The family of Otto Warmbier, the American student who died a week after being sent home in a coma from detention in North Korea, are demanding US$1.1 billion in compensation from Pyongyang, Voice of America reported on Monday.
The figure was submitted by counsel for the Warmbiers in a federal court filing in Washington, D.C. in October. The suit they filed against the regime in April consists of four complaints.
The largest portion or $1.05 billion goes to punitive damages, $350 million each to the victim and his parents Fred and Cindy.
The family's lawyers said if the $300 million awarded in the case of Kim Dong-shik, a Korean-American pastor who died after being kidnapped by the regime in 2015, was not enough to deter the regime, "more must be awarded here to send a message to North Korea that its continuing heinous acts will be met with ever increasing penalties."
The compensation demand amounts to $1.096 billion in total, including extra compensation for pain and suffering and economic loss.
There is little chance that the regime will pay up even if the court orders it to do so, but the ruling could be a new means of pressuring the North if the Warmbiers' lawyers apply for the seizure of North Korean assets overseas.
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