North Korea Demanded $2 Million Before Releasing Comatose U.S. Student

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WASHINGTON — North Korea billed the Trump administration $2 million for the medical care of Otto F. Warmbier, an imprisoned American student who had fallen into a coma, before agreeing to release him in 2017.

A senior American diplomat negotiating for Mr. Warmbier’s freedom accepted the bill, and Mr. Warmbier was released. He died six days later in the United States, after his parents decided to end the life support that was sustaining his vegetative state.

The bill was passed from the State Department to the Treasury Department. As of early 2018, the bill had not been paid, and it is unclear if the Trump administration has since sent any of the amount to North Korea. A payment would be widely seen as handing over ransom money, running counter to the administration’s stated policy for hostage negotiations.

The account of the bill from North Korea was first reported by The Washington Post on Thursday. A person familiar with the events confirmed the details to The New York Times.

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Author: ApnayOnline

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