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Otto Warmbier’s parents are suing North Korea

Fred and Cindy Warmbier by a staircase in their home.
Fred and Cindy Warmbier in their home. Photo: Maddie McGarvey/For the Washington Post

Weeks before Trump is expected to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Otto Warmbier’s parents are suing North Korea for "brutally" torturing and murdering him, The Washington Post reports.

What they're saying: “This lawsuit is another step in holding North Korea accountable for its barbaric treatment of Otto and our family,” Fred Warmbier, Otto’s father, said in a statement.

The details: A 22-page complaint was filed in D.C.’s district court Thursday. A lead attorney in the case, Richard Cullen, also represents Vice President Mike Pence.

  • The lawsuit states that "North Korea, which is a rogue regime, took Otto hostage for its own wrongful ends and brutally tortured and murdered him. Plaintiffs are Otto’s parents, who bring this lawsuit on their own behalf and on behalf of Otto to obtain justice for the severe injuries North Korea has caused them to endure."
  • The White House supports the lawsuit but did not have a role in drafting the complaint, a source close to both sides told the Post.

Catch up quick: Warmbier went on a trip to North Korea in 2016 but was detained for 17 months. Last year North Korea returned him to the U.S. in a coma, he died shortly after.