Otto Warmbier's Parents to Meet Families of Abductees

  • By Kim Eun-joong

    October 31, 2019 11:32

    Fred and Cindy Warmbier

    The parents of Otto Warmbier, an American college student who was held in a North Korean jail for more than a year and died five days after his return to the U.S. in 2017, will visit South Korea next month.

    Fred and Cindy Warmbier have accepted an invitation from the Korean War Abductees' Family Union to an event on Nov. 22 with South Korean and Japanese families of people who were abducted by North Korea, a spokesman said Wednesday.

    Since it was founded in November 2010, the group has worked to raise awareness of more than 80,000 South Koreans who were kidnapped by the North during the 1950-53 Korean War. The Warmbiers will meet more than 100 relatives of the victims.

    The couple also accompanied U.S. Vice President Mike Pence to the opening ceremony of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February last year.

    Otto Warmbier was arrested for allegedly attempting to steal a propaganda poster from a hotel in Pyongyang in January 2016. He was sentenced to hard labor for 15 years in March that year.

    In June the following year, he was released by the North but was in a coma apparently caused by beatings from guards and died five days after his return. Since then, his parents have toured the world publicizing the North Korean regime's violations of human rights.

    Last December, a U.S. court ordered the North to pay them US$500 million in compensation for Otto's wrongful death.

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