Otto Warmbier’s parents have filed a claim for a seized North Korean cargo ship to satisfy part of their $500 million judgment against the North Korean regime over the death of their son.
Warmbier was an American student on tour who was detained by the North Korean government and later sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor in March 2016 for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster from a hotel.
The Ohio native, then 21, fell into a coma for unknown reasons while in custody and was held in that condition for another 17 months. North Korean officials did not tell American officials until June 2017 that he had been unconscious the entire time. He died less than a week after he returned to the U.S. the same month.
The parents are now seeking the seized North Korean cargo ship as part of the $500 million judgment awarded by U.S. court after suing the regime over their son’s death.
According to the filing, first reported by CNN, the family is forced to chase down the assets of the regime to recover anything for the crimes.
The claim slams North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and his “cronies” for showing “no regard for human life.”
The North Korean cargo ship that Warmbier family is claiming was reportedly seized back in May amid violations of U.S. sanctions that ban most trade with North Korea and supposedly contains heavy machinery.
“We are committed to holding North Korea accountable for the death of our son Otto, and will work tirelessly to seize North Korean assets wherever they may be found,” the Warmbiers added in a statement.
President Trump recently met with Kim at the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, with Trump becoming the first sitting U.S. president to cross the border into the North.
The North Korean government once demanded $2 million from the U.S. for the hospital care of Warmbier.
Pyongyang authorities insisted the U.S. envoy sent to retrieve the University of Virginia student sign a pledge to pay the bill before allowing Warmbier’s comatose body to return to the United States. Sources familiar with the matter confirmed the bill and the amount to Fox News.
While an agreement was reportedly signed to pay the medical bill, a source told Fox News the U.S. did not pay money to North Korea.