The Latest: Trump tweets about Otto Warmbier, but not Kim

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Latest on Otto Warmbier’s parents’ reaction to Donald Trump’s comments on Kim Jong Un’s role in his death (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump says his view on North Korea’s role in an American college student’s death is being misinterpreted, while steering clear of citing that country’s leader.

Trump took to Twitter on Friday afternoon after a statement by the late Otto Warmbier’s (warm-BEER’) parents contradicting him by blaming Kim Jong Un (gihm jung oon) “and his evil regime.” A Trump tweet says: “Of course I hold North Korea responsible for Otto’s mistreatment and death.”

Trump praised the Warmbiers as “a tremendous symbol of strong passion and strength.”

Trump didn’t walk back his earlier comments that he took Un “at his word” that he wasn’t aware of how the Ohio young man was being treated during 17 months in captivity. Warmbier died soon after his 2017 release.


2:40 p.m.

A White House counselor says President Donald Trump blames North Korea for alleged mistreatment of an American college student, while insisting the country’s leader didn’t know about it.

Kellyanne Conway responded Friday to a statement by the parents of Otto Warmbier (warm-BEER’) that “Kim and his evil regime are responsible” for the 22-year-old Ohio man’s death in 2017 soon after his release after 17 months of captivity.

That countered Trump’s comments that he took Kim Jong Un “at his word” he wasn’t aware of Warmbier’s treatment.

Conway said on “America’s Newsroom” on Fox News that Trump has “deep affection” for the Warmbiers, shares their grief and agrees North Korea is responsible.

She says Trump “is saying is that there’s no indication Chairman Kim knew what happened to Otto Warmbier when it happened.”


10:25 a.m.

The parents of an American college student who died after being detained in North Korea say Kim Jong Un (gihm jung oon) “and his evil regime” are responsible for his death.

Fred and Cindy Warmbier (WARM’-beer) rebuked President Donald Trump in a statement Friday. After meeting with Kim this week, Trump said he takes Kim “at his word” that Kim was unaware of alleged mistreatment of Otto Warmbier.

The Warmbiers say they remained silent during the Trump-Kim summit but “now we must speak out.”

They say “Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto” and for “unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity.” They said “no excuses or lavish praise can change that.”

Otto Warmbier died in June 2017 after being returned home in a vegetative state.

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