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Parents of Otto Warmbier break with Trump, blame Kim for death of son

President backtracks from Thursday's statement
Posted at 10:16 AM, Mar 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-01 16:33:22-05

The family of Otto Warmbier broke with President Donald Trump on Friday, maintaining that they feel that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is responsible for Warmbier's death.

"We have been respectful during this summit process. Now we must speak out. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that," a statement from Fred and Cindy Warmbier read .

Hours later, President Trump backtracked on his Thursday statement, when he said he took Kim "at his word" that he didn't know Warmbier had been injured while in the custody of North Korea. "Of course I hold North Korea responsible for Otto's mistreatment and death," the president tweeted Friday afternoon.

Warmbier, a Cincinnati, Ohio native and student at the University of Virginia was arrested in January 2016 while visiting North Korea on a guided tour, accused of attempting to steal a propaganda poster. He was released in June of 2017, but had suffered a neurological injury. He was taken off life support shortly after returning home.