Parents of U.S. student Otto Warmbier sue North Korea

Parents of U.S. student Otto Warmbier sue North Korea”

The parents of American college student Otto Warmbier, who died past year shortly after being released from North Korean captivity, have sued dictator Kim Jong Un's government, saying it "brutally tortured and murdered" their son.

Cynthia and Fred Warmbier filed a lawsuit Thursday in the U.S. District Court of Washington, D.C., in which they said North Korea " brutally tortured and murdered" their 22-year-old son.

Fred and Cindy Warmbier filed a lawsuit in a federal court in the United States capital Washington, as the family reported.

Fred Warmbier said his son was used as a political pawn around the time North Korea started resuming its nuclear weapons testing and that the case is a step toward holding North Korea accountable for its "barbaric" actions.

Warmbier was arrested in 2016 for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster. He was released after 17 months, but when he arrived in the U.S., he was in a coma and never regained consciousness - dying six days after his return home.

The lawsuit highlights the claims of human rights abuse by Pyongyang against the backdrop of the historic inter-Korean summit.

With President Trump planning to meet with the North Korean dictator in a matter of weeks, the timing of the suit is noteworthy, if not largely symbolic. "Although this is a private legal action to which the United States government is not a party, Americans remain committed to honoring Otto's memory, and we will not forget the suffering of his parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier".

Otto Warmbier died after spending 17 months detained in North Korea.

Forced to make what his parents said was a "false confession", he was sentenced to 15 years' hard labor. He died in June 2017, days after he was repatriated to the USA with severe brain damage.

In the wake of this incident, the government issued a permanent ban on Americans from traveling to North Korea.

North Korea said it had no knowledge of how Warmbier came to be in a coma, suggesting he could have contracted botulism.

"Otto was blind and deaf".

After having repeatedly castigated Pyongyang previous year over Warmbier's death, earlier this week Trump praised Kim as "very honorable" and "very open". The North Koreans blamed his condition on medicine they said he took for botulism.

Three Americans are still being held in North Korea.

The lawsuit contends that North Korea is liable for Warmbier's wrongful death - describing it as "extrajudicial killing" - and calls for a judgment for both "economic and non-economic compensatory damages" to his parents.

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