Trump: Otto Warmbier's death 'deepens determination' to 'prevent such tragedies'
The death Monday of American student Otto Warmbier, released by North Korea last week after 17 months of imprisonment, "deepens [the] administration's determination to prevent such tragedies," President Donald Trump said in a statement.
"Otto’s fate deepens my Administration’s determination to prevent such tragedies from befalling innocent people at the hands of regimes that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency," Trump said. "The United States once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim."
Trump also offered his condolences to Warmbier's family and friends.
"Melania and I offer our deepest condolences to the family of Otto Warmbier on his untimely passing," Trump said. "There is nothing more tragic for a parent than to lose a child in the prime of life.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Otto’s family and friends, and all who loved him."
With Otto in a coma following 17 months of imprisonment in a North Korean facility, his father Fred Warmbier said at a June 15 press conference that there was "no excuse" for his treatment.
"I know you have many questions about what transpired; so do we," Warmbier said. "There's no excuse for the way the North Koreans treated our son."
The 22-year-old, then a student at the University of Virginia, was sentenced in March 2016 after a televised public confession to attempting to steal a propaganda banner.
Credit for his son's release belongs to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the rest of the U.S. State Department, Warmbier said at the press conference.
Speaking June 13, Tillerson said the State Department had secured Warmbier's release at President Donald Trump's direction.
The president called Fred Warmbier immediately following his son's homecoming, Warmbier said.
"Last evening, we received a very nice phone call from President Trump," Warmbier said at the press conference. "We are extremely grateful for their efforts and concern."