The Fascinating Facts Behind the Release of Otto Warmbier
By: Denise Simon | Founders Code
Hat tip to GQ for this summary. While this publication for the most part is all things anti-Trump, the author does provide to the reader the back channel steps in the mission to get Otto home. They do give some praise to President Trump for his aggressive and immediate authorization to fly that plane to Pyongyang. It also does prove that when all lanes are going the same direction, government does not move slowly.
Oh and by the way, shame on Obama and John Kerry as you read this long, but compelling summary.
The Untold Story of Otto Warmbier, American Hostage
President Trump hailed him as a catalyst of the summit with Kim Jong-Un. But what happened to Warmbier—the American college student who was sent home brain-damaged from North Korea—is even more shocking than anyone knew.
On a humid morning in June 2017, in a suburb outside Cincinnati, Fred and Cindy Warmbier waited in agony. They had not spoken to their son Otto for a year and a half, since he had been arrested during a budget tour of North Korea. One of their last glimpses of him had been from a televised news conference in Pyongyang, during which their boy—a sweet, brainy 21-year-old scholarship student at the University of Virginia—confessed to undermining the regime at the behest of the unlikely triumvirate of an Ohio church, a university secret society, and the American government by stealing a propaganda poster. He sobbed to his captors, “I have made the single worst decision of my life. But I am only human.… I beg that you find it in your hearts to give me forgiveness and allow me to return home to my family.” Despite his pleas, he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor and vanished into the dictatorship’s prison system.
Fred and Cindy had so despaired during their long vigil that at one point they allegedly told friends that Otto had probably been killed. On her son’s 22nd birthday, Cindy lit Chinese-style lanterns and let the winter winds loft the flame-buoyed balloons toward North Korea, dreaming they might bear her message to her son. “I love you, Otto,” she said, then sang “Happy Birthday.”