Donald Trump: ‘No Money Was Paid to North Korea for Otto Warmbier’

American student Otto Warmbier speaks as Warmbier is presented to reporters Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea announced late last month that it had arrested the 21-year-old University of Virginia undergraduate student. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)
AP/Kim Kwang Hyon

President Donald Trump said Friday the United States did not pay North Korea $2 million for American hostage Otto Warmbier’s hospital bills.

“No money was paid to North Korea for Otto Warmbier, not two Million Dollars, not anything else,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Trump was responding to reports that North Korea demanded that the United States pay the $2 million medical bill for Warmbier’s care, as the American student was comatose.

The Washington Post reported that the American envoy signed an agreement to pay the bill after he was ordered to do so by President Trump, but that it went unpaid.

Trump emphasized the difference between his administration and the Obama administration when it came to hostage negotiations.

“This is not the Obama Administration that paid 1.8 Billion Dollars for four hostages, or gave five terroist (sic) hostages plus, who soon went back to battle, for traitor Sgt. Bergdahl!” he wrote.

Trump also quoted an anonymous chief hostage negotiator, but it was unclear whether the official was Robert C. O’Brien, the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

In March, O’Brien praised the president’s efforts at bringing Americans home.

“The President has had unparalleled success in bringing Americans home without paying concessions, without prisoner exchanges, but through force of will and the goodwill that he’s generated around the world,” he said at the White House.

 

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