March 4, 2021

Parents of the USA youth who died after coma in Pyongyang ask for compensation

The family of the young Otto Warmbier, who died after entering a coma in North Korea, where he was imprisoned, asked the US Justice that allows him to appropriate a North Korean ship seized by the US Government, in a new attempt to obtain compensation.

Warmbier's parents filed that petition on Wednesday in a five-page legal brief, which Efe agreed to this Sunday.

Through a federal court complaint in New York, Warmbier's parents seek to hold Pionyang responsible for the death of their son, who died after spending 17 months incarcerated in North Korea and having fallen into a coma due to causes they have not been clarified.

In December 2018, a judge in Washington considered that the North Korean authorities were responsible for Warmbier's "torture, hostage-taking and extrajudicial murder" and, therefore, ordered the family to pay an indemnity of 501 million dollars. .

However, that ruling had a symbolic value, as it is highly unlikely that the government of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, will face this payment.

However, the family has not given up and, now, has asked the US to be granted a North Korean ship that was seized in May on suspicion that it was being used to sell coal, in violation of the international sanctions that weigh on Pyongyang.

Warmbier's parents argue that if Washington gives them that ship, then the North Korean authorities would be paying financially for the death of their son.

"We are committed to holding North Korea accountable for the death of our son, Otto, and we will work tirelessly to seize all of North Korea's assets wherever they are," the youth's family said in a statement.

In January 2016, Warmbier, then 21 years old, was arrested while visiting North Korea as a tourist; and was sentenced to 15 years of forced labor for trying to steal a propaganda poster from the hotel where he was staying, which the North Korean government considered a "hostile act" against the State.

The government of the US president, Donald Trump, got Pyongyang to release the young man in June 2017.

When he returned to the US, Warmbier had already been in a coma for more than a year, a state he entered shortly after his last appearance in public, during his trial in Pyongyang in March 2016.

The North Korean authorities maintain that Warmbier suffered an outbreak of botulism and gave him a sleeping pill, but did not wake up again.

The family refutes that version and maintains that their son was tortured to a coma.

. (tagsToTranslate) Parents (t) young (t) USA (t) Pyonyang (t) compensation

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