Dad of Otto Warmbier Rips North Korea Over Son's Treatment: 'I Don't Believe Anything They Say'
The family had no idea that the University of Virginia student was in a coma.
The father of the 22-year-old college student who returned home this week after nearly a year and a half detained in North Korea has updated reporters on his son's condition while blasting the regime for their treatment of his son.
Fred Warmbier spoke out at a press conference Wednesday while wearing his son Otto’s blazer.
“I'm able to wear the jacket that Otto wore when he confessed,” the emotional father said. “Otto, I love you so much, I’m crazy about you and I’m so glad you're home.
Otto returned home to the U.S. in a coma and had to be carried off a plane and transported to a hospital.
He was detained in North Korea for 17 months after being caught on tape ripping a political poster off the wall at a hotel where he was staying.
The University of Virginia junior looked shell-shocked and downtrodden as he was dragged into court last year, where he tearfully begged for mercy.
According to the North Korean dictatorship, he contracted botulism more than a year ago, was given a sleeping pill and has been in a coma ever since.
His family isn't buying it.
“We don't believe anything that they say,” Fred said. “There's no excuse for the way North Koreans treated our son."
Physicians at the University of Cincinnati said Warmbier suffered “extensive loss of brain tissue” that has left him in a state of “unresponsive wakefulness."
The young man has not spoken or moved since his arrival. Doctors performed a battery of tests including MRIs, CAT scans and X-rays.
Physicians said they don’t know the cause of Warmbier’s brain damage, noting that he doesn’t seem to understand language, doctors said.
His eyes are open and he is breathing on his own. Out of respect to Warmbier’s parents, the doctors said they could not discuss his treatment or prognosis.
Last month, Otto’s parents appeared on Fox News. At the time, they had no idea their son was in a coma and sent him a message to “stay strong.”
Otto's release came on the same day that former basketball and reality star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea, where he brought a gift for Dictator Kim Jong Un, President Trump's 1987 book "The Art of the Deal."
Fred was quick to point out that Rodman did not play a role in his son's homecoming.
“Dennis Rodman had nothing to do with Otto,” he said.
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