President Trump Honors Otto Warmbier as He Welcomes 3 Americans Released From North Korea Prison

Warmbier's parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, said they are "happy for the hostages and their families."

It was a bittersweet moment for the family of Otto Warmbier Wednesday night as three Korean-Americans were freed from captivity in North Korea Wednesday night and greeted by President Trump.

The homecoming of Warmbier, a 22-year-old college student from Ohio, was very different. He was returned to America in a virtually vegetative state last June after 17 months in a North Korean jail.

His crime was the theft of a propaganda poster. 

"I made the worst mistake of my life," he said in a 2016 press conference as he broke down in tears. 

The young man died six days after his return to the U.S. 

"I want to pay my warmest respects to Otto Warmbier, who was a great young man who really suffered," Trump said as he took a moment Thursday to remember the college student.

Trump also paid tribute to his devastated parents.

“His parents have become friends, spectacular people — they are really incredible people,” he said. 

Reacting to the release of the three Americans, Fred and Cindy Warmbier said in a statement that “we are happy for the hostages and their families."

The family plans to sue the country of North Korea over their son's treatment. 

The newly released Americans are being checked out at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.