FILE - In this March 27, 2018 file photo, A man watches a TV screen showing file footages of U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea. Increased activity at a North Korean nuclear site has once again caught the attention of analysts and renewed concerns about the complexities of denuclearization talks as President Donald Trump prepares for a summit with Kim Jong Un. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)

Trump denies paying North Korea $2M for US detainee’s care

The money was said to be paid to get American college student Otto Warmbier released from detention

President Donald Trump said Friday that the U.S. did not pay $2 million to North Korea in 2017 to get American college student Otto Warmbier released from detention.

Warmbier, a student at the University of Virginia, died in June 2017 shortly after he was flown home comatose after 17 months in captivity. He had been seized from a tour group while visiting North Korea in January 2016 and convicted on charges of trying to steal a propaganda poster and sentenced to 15 years of hard labour.

READ MORE: North Korea says it tested new weapon, wants Pompeo out of talks

North Korea, which has denied accusations by relatives that it tortured Warmbier, has said he was provided “medical treatments and care with all sincerity.”

A former U.S. official told The Associated Press on Thursday that a U.S. envoy sent to retrieve Warmbier signed an agreement to pay the $2 million on Trump’s instructions. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive diplomatic matter. The Washington Post first reported the demand.

Trump dismissed the reports and insisted no money was paid.

“We did not pay money for our great Otto,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “There was no money paid.

READ MORE: Nothing wrong with help from Russians, Trump lawyer says

“There was a fake news report that money was paid. I haven’t paid money for any hostage that I’ve gotten. We don’t pay money for hostages. The Otto case was a very unusual case. But no money was paid for Otto.”

North Korea has denied accusations by Warmbier’s relatives that the student was tortured during captivity.

Deb Riechmann, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Temporary rail trail detour will allow upgrade to Nelson’s water source

City will be laying a water line between Stanley Street and Mountain Station parking lot

Water quality advisory issued for Nelson

Run-off has created a high level of turbidity in the city’s drinking water

Mercer Celgar announces 30 days of downtime at Castlegar mill in July

Sawlog stumpage charges on pulpwood and complex stumpage rules some reasons for downtime

Evacuation orders for Duhamel, Salmo-Ymir and Crawford Creek rescinded

RDCK warns public that streams are still dangerous

Work begins on new affordable housing building in Nelson

The 39-unit project is expected to be complete by July 2021

Help the Nelson Star continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Black Press is now accepting donations to keep its papers operating

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Love flourishes at Peace Arch Park, but COVID-19 concerns loom

South Surrey park becomes only place for international couples to meet

Most Read