President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the death of American hostage Otto Warmbier led to the summit with Kim Jong-un taking place.
“I think without Otto, this would not have happened,” Trump said. “Otto is someone who did not die in vain.”
Warmbier died shortly after he was freed by North Korea in June 2017, after suffering terrible treatment while he was detained.
Trump said that he was friends with Warmbier’s parents, and said that they were “special people.”
He defended calling Kim a “very talented” leader, despite the atrocities that he committed and his government’s treatment of Warmbier.
Trump said that “anybody that takes over a situation like he did at 26 years of age and is able to run it and run it tough,” was very talented, adding that “One out of 10,000” could do it.
The president discussed his meeting with Kim for over an hour with members of the press, prior to his departure to return to the United States.