WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday stated the US didn’t pay any cash to North Korea because it sought the discharge of Otto Warmbier, a day after a report stated Trump had accredited a $2 million invoice from Pyongyang for the American pupil’s care.
“No cash was paid to North Korea for Otto Warmbier, not two Million , not the rest,” Trump wrote in a tweet.
The Washington Put up reported on Thursday that Trump had accredited cost of a $2 million invoice from Pyongyang to cowl its care of the comatose faculty pupil, who was held in a North Korean jail for 17 months till June 2017.
Warmbier, a College of Virginia pupil from Ohio visiting North Korea as a vacationer, was imprisoned in January 2016. He was sentenced to 15 years of laborious labor for allegedly making an attempt to steal an merchandise with a propaganda slogan from his resort, North Korean state media stated.
Warmbier died six days after his launch from North Korea. An Ohio coroner stated Warmbier died from an absence of oxygen and blood to his mind. North Korea, which has dismissed claims that it tortured the coed, blamed meals poisoning and a sleeping tablet.
READ MORE: North Korea gave U.S. a $2M hospital invoice for Otto Warmbier earlier than his dying. report says
The Treasury Division obtained the invoice from North Korea and it remained unpaid by way of 2017, the Put up reported. It was not clear whether or not the administration paid the bill later.
Trump’s tweet didn’t tackle whether or not any settlement had been made and representatives for the White Home didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
Requested whether or not it was correct to say that no cash was paid to North Korea within the Warmbier case, a State Division spokeswoman stated by electronic mail: “We decline to remark.”
The Treasury Division didn’t reply to a request for remark.
WATCH: Otto Warmbier’s household dispute Trump’s feedback at U.S.-North Korea summit
The Put up stated an bill was handed to then State Division envoy Joseph Yun hours earlier than Warmbier was flown out of Pyongyang in a coma on June 13, 2017.
The U.S. envoy, who was despatched to retrieve Warmbier, signed an settlement to pay the medical invoice on directions handed down from Trump, the Put up reported, citing two unidentified folks aware of the scenario.
Yun, who has since retired from the State Division, instructed CNN on Thursday the US didn’t pay any ransom for American prisoners held by Pyongyang whereas he was the particular consultant for North Korea. He left the submit in March 2018.
Final December, a U.S. courtroom ordered North Korea to pay $501 million in damages for the torture and dying of Warmbier.
READ MORE: Otto Warmbier’s dad and mom say he was ‘jerking violently,’ ‘howling’ upon return from North Korea
In his tweet on Friday morning, Trump defended his dealing with of hostage negotiations and slammed efforts by his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama.
Talking to reporters afterward Friday, Trump stated “that was a pretend information report that cash was paid.”
“I haven’t paid cash for any hostage,” he stated. “We don’t pay cash for hostages.”
In his tweet Trump famous that the Obama administration had swapped 5 Taliban prisoners to safe the discharge of Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. Military sergeant who has since been dishonorably discharged. He accused Obama officers of paying ransom cash in trade for the return of 4 detained Individuals in 2016, a cost the Obama administration has denied.
WATCH: Pompeo says he’s nonetheless in command of U.S. diplomatic efforts with North Korea
The Obama administration had stated the cost of $400 million to Iran settled a longstanding Iranian declare on the Hague that coincided with 4 detained Individuals’ return however was not a ransom.
Obama had additionally defended the deal that led to Bergdahl’s launch and later modified the best way the U.S. authorities handles circumstances wherein Individuals are detained by militant teams following a six-month evaluation.
A spokeswoman for Obama’s workplace had no speedy touch upon Trump’s tweet.