Otto Warmbier’s family is suing against North Korea for wrongful death

Otto Warmbier’s family has appeared in court for the first hearing in their case seeking to hold North Korea accountable for his death, as they search for “closure.” 

“I’m going to stand up to evil when I see it. There’s nothing more evil than North Korea,” Otto’s mother Cindy Warmbier told the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Wednesday, according to CNN. “We are not going to be the victims. I want them to feel victimized.” 

Cindy and her husband Fred brought the wrongful death lawsuit against the Kim Jong Un regime in April, after their son was taken into custody while on a trip to North Korea and held in detention for more than a year. 

Warmbier was returned to the U.S. in June 2017, and died days later. 

The family said in court that in the case seeking $1.05 billion in punitive damage and $46 million in compensation for family suffering from Pyongyang, they hope to gain “closure” and “justice” for Otto. 

“I want to be here because we need closure,” Otto’s younger sister, Greta, said, who took the stand to speak to her brother’s character. Otto’s parents and brother, Austin, also spoke during the first hearing in the case. 

The Warmbiers, as American citizens, are able to sue another country under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.


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