Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Sacramento's Korean community hopes for peace from US-North Korea summit

Sacramento's Korean community hopes for peace from US-North Korea summit

President Donald Trump said his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "would not have happened" without Otto Warmbier, the American college student who mysteriously died after being sent home from a North Korean labor camp past year. "Hopefully something positive can come from this".

"Otto did not die in vain", Trump said, after the end of talks with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, which saw the two leaders sign a document in which Trump pledged "security guarantees" to the North, and Kim reiterated his commitment to "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula". "But they will be doing things, and I think he wants to do things". "It was a awful thing".

Warmbier was "a very special person and he will be for a long time in my life", he said, adding that the student's parents were "good friends of mine".

North Korean officials accused Trump of overdramatizing Warmbier's condition in an effort to pressure Pyongyang over its nuclear weapons arsenal.

Warmbier's mother Cindy told a United Nations symposium on the human rights situation in North Korea last month: 'I can't let Otto die in vain.

He called Warmbier's death "brutal", but noted that "a lot of people started to focus on what was going on including North Korea".

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'Otto did not die in vain. "He had a lot to do with us being here today".

Trump made the comments about Warmbier after being pressed to expand on his comment that Kim, who leads a country known for many of its human rights abuses, was a "very talented" leader. He was brought back to the U.S.in June 2017 only to die a few days later.

North Korea blamed botulism and ingestion of a sleeping pill and dismissed torture claims.

He had been imprisoned in North Korea from January 2016 after being sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for trying to steal an item bearing a propaganda slogan from his hotel, North Korea state media said.

U.S. Senator Rob Portman of OH said on Tuesday that the day he joined Warmbier's parents to welcome their son home almost a year ago "is a constant reminder to me about the evil nature of this regime".

In April, Warmbier's parents filed a lawsuit against North Korea, alleging that the government tortured and murdered their son. The U.S.is still technically at war with North Korea.

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