T he parents of Otto Warmbier, the American student who suffered a fatal brain injury during the hostage-taking of the North Korean government, filed a lawsuit against a North Korean vessel seized by the US government.
The lawsuit is part of their ongoing efforts to collect the $ 501 million in damages awarded to them by a US federal court in a ruling issued last December by the North Korean government for Otto's death within days The United States in June 2017.
Fred and Cindy Warmbier, Otto's parents, said in a statement: "We are committed to bringing North Korea to justice for the death of our son Otto work tirelessly to seize North Korean assets everywhere they could be found. "
Benjamin Hatch, one of the Warmbier family lawyers, said in his statement that" despite receiving all the necessary communications and services, North Korea has never met, defended, or participated in settlement talks in connection with the civil suit on the other hand, "and therefore", the Warmbiers are forced to hunt North Korea's assets to recover for the torture and death of their son in North Korea what they can hands of the North Korean dictator, who with & # 39; his cronies & # 39; [s] shows no regard for human life. "
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In their decision on the case on Christmas Eve 2018, Judge Beryl Howell of the District Court for the District of Columbia said that warmbiers had "established North Korea's liability to them" and awarded a punitive damages of $ 501,134,683.80 "North Korea responsible for the torture, kidnapping and extrajudicial killings of Otto Warmbier and for the injuries to his mother and father Fred and Cindy Warmbier. " This week, Judge Howell had decided that the warmbiers "firsthand experienced the brutality of North Korea when North Korea seized its son to use it as a plaything in the global gambling of this totalitarian state and against the United States."
The attorney He noted that Judge Howell had "authorized the Warmbiers to enforce their judgment against North Korea pursuant to sections 1610 (a) – (b) of the Foreign Office by seizure or execution Sovereign Immunities Act.
The North Korean ship named Wise Honest was confiscated by the US government this year and is said to have been one of the "main ships" of the "Korea Songi Scheme." North Korean companies were allowed to export raw materials, notably coal, which is an important source of revenue for companies from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the North Korean government. This violated the prohibitions of the United Nations Security Council and US sanctions.
When the seizure of the vessel was announced in May, Deputy US Attorney General John Demers said that "this ship, which violates the sanctions, is now out of service" and the Justice Department would do everything in its power, to enforce US-imposed sanctions and the world community "and continue to" put maximum pressure on the North Korean regime to end its warfare. "
US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said this was" the first seizure of a North Korean cargo ship for breach against international sanctions, "and the system they broke had" not only allowed North Korea to evade sanctions, "but also helped" expand North Korea. "Following a meeting with Kim Jong Un in February this year, President Trump declared At a press conference in Vietnam, the two leaders would have the death of Warmbi he discussed in private. He felt bad about it. He felt very bad, "Trump insisted. "He tells me he did not know about it and I'll take him at his word."
Warmbier's parents responded that they felt they needed to "say something" and that "Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death." from our son Otto. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that.
Trump followed the same day and tweeted : "I never like being misinterpreted, especially when it comes to Otto Warmbier and his great family. Remember, I released Otto along with three others.