FILE - In this March 27, 2018 file photo, A man watches a TV screen showing file footages of U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea. Increased activity at a North Korean nuclear site has once again caught the attention of analysts and renewed concerns about the complexities of denuclearization talks as President Donald Trump prepares for a summit with Kim Jong Un. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)

Trump denies paying North Korea $2M for US detainee’s care

The money was said to be paid to get American college student Otto Warmbier released from detention

President Donald Trump said Friday that the U.S. did not pay $2 million to North Korea in 2017 to get American college student Otto Warmbier released from detention.

Warmbier, a student at the University of Virginia, died in June 2017 shortly after he was flown home comatose after 17 months in captivity. He had been seized from a tour group while visiting North Korea in January 2016 and convicted on charges of trying to steal a propaganda poster and sentenced to 15 years of hard labour.

READ MORE: North Korea says it tested new weapon, wants Pompeo out of talks

North Korea, which has denied accusations by relatives that it tortured Warmbier, has said he was provided “medical treatments and care with all sincerity.”

A former U.S. official told The Associated Press on Thursday that a U.S. envoy sent to retrieve Warmbier signed an agreement to pay the $2 million on Trump’s instructions. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive diplomatic matter. The Washington Post first reported the demand.

Trump dismissed the reports and insisted no money was paid.

“We did not pay money for our great Otto,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “There was no money paid.

READ MORE: Nothing wrong with help from Russians, Trump lawyer says

“There was a fake news report that money was paid. I haven’t paid money for any hostage that I’ve gotten. We don’t pay money for hostages. The Otto case was a very unusual case. But no money was paid for Otto.”

North Korea has denied accusations by Warmbier’s relatives that the student was tortured during captivity.

Deb Riechmann, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

College finds a new president

Promotion comes from within

Blending traditional art with realistic life-form

Haida Gwaii artist, Josh Davidson on display at ANBT

Skidegate Saints return to top of the Seniors Division with comeback effort against Metlakatla AK

Jesse Barnes wins MVP as Saints get revenge on Alaska side in All Native finale

Haida Gwaii teams well in contention at All Native

Haida Gwaii teams well in contention at All Native

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Maggie and Tim: A residential school survivor and her son who died on B.C. streets

Part one of a two-part series on a young man’s tragic death and his mother’s survival through hardship

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Most Read