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Otto Warmbier in Pyongyang on Feb. 29, 2016. Photo: Xinhua/Lu Rui via Getty Images

North Korea issued the U.S. a $2 million hospital bill before releasing then-comatose American student Otto Warmbier, according to 2 anonymous sources familiar with the situation who spoke to the Washington Post's Anna Fifield.

The bottom line: President Trump reportedly ordered a U.S. envoy tasked with retrieving Warmbier to sign an agreement to pay the medical bill, but it remains unclear if the administration actually paid it, or if it was a matter of discussion during the 2 summits between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The bill reportedly remained with the Treasury Department through 2017.

The backdrop: Warmbier was detained in North Korea for 17 months and died in 2017 shortly after being flown back to the U.S. in a comatose state. North Korea attributed Warmbier's poor health and subsequent death to botulism, but doctors found no evidence to corroborate those claims. A federal judge ordered North Korea to pay Warmbier's family $501 million in a wrongful death lawsuit last year.

  • The Warmbiers have said they hold Kim responsible for the death of their son, but earlier this year, Trump said he takes the North Korean leader "at his word" when asked about incident.
  • The White House declined to comment on this story, per the Post.

Go deeper: Otto Warmbier dies after detainment in North Korea

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Iran rejects nuclear talks with U.S., for now

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif at Iran/EU talks in 2015. Photo: Carlos Barria/POOL/AFP via Getty

A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that conditions are not ripe for informal nuclear talks between Iran, the U.S. and other world powers.

Why it matters: The Biden administration had proposed the talks as part of its efforts to negotiate a path back to the 2015 nuclear deal. The White House expressed disappointment with Iran's response, but said it remained willing to engage with Tehran.

2 hours ago - Health

U.S. sets weekend records for daily COVID vaccinations

A driver waits to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in Inglewood, California on Feb. 26. Photo: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Just over 2.4 million coronavirus vaccinations were reported to the CDC on Sunday, matching Saturday's record-high for inoculations as seen in Bloomberg's vaccine tracker.

Why it matters: Vaccinations are ramping up again after widespread delays caused by historic winter storms. Over 75 million vaccine doses have been administered thus far, with 7.5% of the population fully vaccinated and 15% having received at least one dose.

GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy: "We will lose" if we continue to idolize Trump

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday he does not believe that former President Trump will, or should, be the Republican nominee for president in 2024.

What he's saying: Cassidy pointed out that "over the last four years, [Republicans] lost the House of Representatives, the Senate and the presidency. That has not happened ... since Herbert Hoover."