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

New traffic lanes for Six Mile west of Burns Lake coming soon

Construction to begin on lane extension and traffic improvement

Chamber names new board for 2020

And emphasizes that Houston is open for business

Houston to host high speed electric vehicle charging station

It will be installed and paid for by BC Hydro

Local doc wins national award

Dr. Onuora Odoh recognized for widespread community involvement

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read