​Fred Warmbier speaks about son in interview

Warmbier said he is relieved to have his son home


Warmbier showed Carlson some of Otto's belongings that came back with him from North Korea in his home.

Courtesy Fox News Channel

Fred Warmbier, father of Otto Warmbier, spoke to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson in an interview broadcast Thursday evening.

The pair talked about Warmbier’s relief at his son’s release from North Korea after being held captive since January 2016. Otto’s doctors described him as being in a state of “unresponsive wakefulness” at a press conference Thursday, and Warmbier said it was “fantastic” to see his son after 18 months despite his physical condition.

“Otto’s not in great shape right now,” Warmbier said. “He’s been through a real tough time and it’s great to have him with us and I’m very proud of him.”

Carlson asked Warmbier if he knew why this happened to Otto. Warmbier said he did not know a good reason.

“The Warmbiers have been living with this situation for 18 months,” Warmbier said. “There’s no meaning here. This is a rogue, pariah regime. They’re terrorists. they’re brutal. There’s no sense to anything here.”

Warmbier also showed Carlson the contents of Otto’s suitcase, which contained clothing, a notebook with a University logo, a calculator for a finance class and his passport.

Warmbier also talked about his experience working with the government to bring Otto home. He said he was thankful towards the people he believes helped bring Otto home. Warmbier said he was especially thankful to Joseph Yoon, an ambassador who helped with Otto’s release.

“We are really thankful for him,” Warmbier said. “And were also thankful to Rex Tillerson and to President Trump. They wanted Otto home and ... Cindy and I believe they made this happen, so we’re thankful for that.”

Warmbier said he did not have any advice to give parents, given he and his wife, Cindy, “tried to do the right thing” and still ended up in the situation with North Korea.

“They’ve crossed a line with my son Otto so it would be very difficult to look for a lesson here amongst this insanity,” Warmbier said. “I’m not looking for a lesson, I want to support Otto. I want to support my other children, my community.”

Otto’s doctors held a press conference Thursday afternoon to discuss his condition. He is said to have no “conscious awareness” and is suffering from “severe loss of brain tissue.” At the request of the family, the doctors would not discuss Otto’s future medical treatment.

The University is working to set up process for people to donate to the Warmbier family. The University is currently accepting messages to send to the Warmbier family which can be sent to vpsa@virginia.edu or to P.O. Box 400303, N.E. Wing of the Rotunda, Charlottesville, Va. 22904.

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