U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday stated the USA did now not pay any cash to North Korea because it sought the release of Otto Warmbier, a day after a document said Trump had accepted a $2 million invoice from Pyongyang for the American scholar’s care.
“No money was paid to North Korea for Otto Warmbier, no longer Million Dollars, not anything else,” Trump wrote in a tweet.
The Washington Post stated on Thursday that Trump had accredited charge of a $2 million invoice from Pyongyang to cowl its care of the comatose university scholar, who was held in a North Korean prison for 17 months until June 2017.
Warmbier, a University of Virginia student from Ohio traveling North Korea as a visitor, become imprisoned in January 2016. He turned into sentenced to fifteen years of difficult labor for allegedly trying to steal an item with a propaganda slogan from his hotel, North Korean kingdom media stated.
Warmbier died six days after his release from North Korea. An Ohio coroner said Warmbier died from a loss of oxygen and blood to his brain. North Korea, which has disregarded claims that it tortured the student, blamed food poisoning and a sleeping pill.
The Treasury Department received the invoice from North Korea and it remained unpaid through 2017, the Post stated. It becomes not clear whether the management paid the bill later.
Trump’s tweet did no longer deal with whether any settlement had been made and representatives for the White House did now not right away reply to requests for remark.
Asked whether or not it changed into accurate to mention that no cash turned into paid to North Korea in the Warmbier case, a State Department spokeswoman stated by using email: “We decline to comment.”
The Treasury Department did no longer respond to a request for comment.
The Post said an invoice became handed to then-State Department envoy Joseph Yun hours before Warmbier turned into flown out of Pyongyang in a coma on June thirteen, 2017.
The U.S. Envoy, who turned into sent to retrieve Warmbier, signed an agreement to pay the medical invoice on commands surpassed down from Trump, the Post suggested, bringing up two unidentified people acquainted with the state of affairs.
Yun, who has seen that retired from the State Department, advised CNN on Thursday America did now not pay any ransom for American prisoners held with the aid of Pyongyang at the same time as he was the special representative for North Korea. He left the publish in March 2018.
Last December, a U.S. Court ordered North Korea to pay $501 million in damages for the torture and demise of Warmbier.
In his tweet on Friday morning, Trump defended his managing of hostage negotiations and slammed efforts by using his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama.
Speaking to journalists afterward Friday, Trump said: “that become a fake news report that money becomes paid.”
“I haven’t paid money for any hostage,” he said. “We don’t pay cash for hostages
In his tweet, Trump cited that the Obama management had swapped five Taliban prisoners to cozy the release of Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. Army sergeant who has considering been dishonorably discharged. He accused Obama officers of paying ransom cash in change for the go back of four detained Americans in 2016, a rate the Obama management has denied.
The Obama management had stated the payment of $four hundred million to Iran settled a longstanding Iranian claim at the Hague that coincided with four detained Americans’ return however become now not a ransom.
Obama had also defended the deal that brought about Bergdahl’s launch and later changed the way the U.S. Authorities handles instances in which Americans are detained by means of militant organizations following a six-month review.