HISTORY | NORTH KOREA
The Tragic Story of Otto Warmbier
Otto Warmbier’s story of wrongful conviction abroad is one that shook the world. Discover more about the tragedy and which steps have been taken since then.
Who Was Otto Warmbier?
Otto Warmbier was a United States citizen who studied economics and finance at the University of Virginia. He was arrested in North Korea in January 2016 while on a trip visiting the country as a member of a student tour group.
He was then convicted and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor after North Korean authorities found him guilty of “hostile acts“. Sadly, he passed away on June 19th, 2017 at the age or 22 after being released from prisoner and returned home to his family due to poor health conditions.
Otto was remembered as an adventurous, intelligent and loyal friend who enjoyed traveling with his family and friends. He had a vibrant personality that brightened up any room with his infectious smile and endearing charm.
During his life, he gave back to the community by helping out at homeless shelters, even setting up a forum online for exchanging resources within the University of Virginia campus community and inspiring other students to do the same.
After his death, his legacy was carried on by the Otto Warmbier Memorial Scholarship Fund which gives scholarships to other students interested in traveling abroad like Otto did.
The Alleged Crimes and Punishment
North Korea claimed that Otto Warmbier had committed “hostile acts” against the country and its government, allegedly in the form of stealing a propaganda poster.
He was convicted in March of 2016 and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in a North Korean prison. Warmbier was only released due to deteriorating health conditions following what was described as his coma-state that he arrived in after release from prison.
According to reports, Warmbier was savagely beaten by North Korean interrogators and then thrown into a solitary confinement cell.
While in prison, he endured torture, verbal abuse, and was kept in absolute darkness with little food or water. The guilt and trauma of his ordeal caused the coma-like state he entered upon his release.
What Happened to Warmbier in North Korea?
Although details of Warmbier’s time in North Korea remain scarce, it has been suspected that he was subjected to inhumane treatment during his imprisonment.
Reports suggest that Warmbier was savagely beaten while in captivity, which resulted in a severe brain injury that ultimately led to his coma-like state upon his release. Ultimately, Otto Warmbier died soon after due to the injuries sustained while imprisoned.
The circumstances surrounding Warmbier’s death are deeply troubling and it is still completely unknown why he was so brutally assaulted in North Korea.
Warmbier’s parents reported that their son was blind and barely conscious when they went to collect him upon his release. Although human rights organizations condemned the treatment of Otto Warmbier during his imprisonment, North Korean officials denied any mistreatment or abuse.
Regardless, Warmbier’s death brought attention to the violence and brutality inflicted on prisoners in North Korea and puts a face on the devastation these inhumane tactics inflict on innocent people.
The Return Home and Aftermath
Reports indicated that Otto had suffered a severe neurological injury as a result of his treatment while in captivity.
After 18 months in captivity, Otto Warmbier was medically evacuated from North Korea and returned home to the United States. Although he was reunited with his family, his health continued to deteriorate rapidly.
After a few days in the hospital, Otto Warmbier died at the age of 22 due to the catastrophic injuries he suffered while held as a prisoner in North Korea. His death provoked an international outcry and raised questions about human rights violations in the regime-controlled country.
After being returned to the United States, Otto’s family and doctors expressed outrage at North Korea for failing to care for him properly during his imprisonment.
Reports indicated that Otto had suffered a severe neurological injury as a result of his treatment, leaving him in an unconscious state until he ultimately passed away about one week after arriving back in the United States.
The Warmbier family pressed for justice and the US government imposed travel bans and other economic sanctions on North Korea afterwards.
While these measures have been taken to protect US citizens, more work needs to be done to ensure that this tragedy never repeats itself.
Share this article
Turtle With $53 Million Worth of Cocaine Was Found By The US Coast In The Eastern Pacific
Turtle With $53 Million Worth of Cocaine Was Found By The US Coast In The Eastern Pacific In an unexpected …
Mysterious Flesh Pit National Park
Mysterious Flesh Pit National Park “Discover verdant forests, majestic scenery, and cosmic terror.” That’s the tagline on this eye-catching poster …
How ‘Flat Earthers’ Persist After Being Proven Wrong Over And Over Again
How ‘Flat Earthers’ Persist After Being Proven Wrong Over And Over Again Flat-earthers believe one of the most curious conspiracy …
This Is The Only Existing Photo of Chernobyl Taken On The Morning of The Nuclear Accident
This Is The Only Existing Photo of Chernobyl Taken On The Morning of The Nuclear Accident The heavy grain is …
In 1979 Air New Zealand Flight 901 Flew Into Mount Erebus in Antarctica Killing All 237 Passengers And 20 Crew
In 1979 Air New Zealand Flight 901 Flew Into Mount Erebus in Antarctica Killing All 237 Passengers And 20 Crew …
The FBI Tried To Convince Martin Luther King Jr. To Kill Himself
The FBI Tried To Convince Martin Luther King Jr. To Kill Himself Uncover the government-sponsored targeting of Dr. Martin Luther …
American YouTuber Styropyro Built A Homemade Tesla Coil
American YouTuber Styropyro Built A Homemade Tesla Coil This guys level of insanity is well deserving of your time – …
The Ohio Train Derailment May Be Worst Environmental Disaster In US History
The Ohio Train Derailment May Be Worst Environmental Disaster In US History Health and environmental concerns are mounting after the …
So You Fucked Up Valentines Day – These Videos Will Make You Feel Better About Yourself
So You Fucked Up Valentines Day – These Videos Will Make You Feel Better About Yourself Think you messed up? Watch these people’s valentines day fails and start feeling better about yourself. Just make sure you learned your lessons. Facebook Twitter Reddit How Not to Buy a Valentines Day Gift Buying the right gift for your significant other on Valentines …
Bard’s Botched Rush To Launch Prompts Backlash From Googlers
Bard’s Botched Rush To Launch Prompts Backlash From Googlers The ‘botched’ debut of Google’s Bard, their ChatGPT rival, drew criticism …
A Nuclear Bomb Explosion So Powerful It Was Top Secret For Decades
A Nuclear Bomb Explosion So Powerful It Was Top Secret For Decades Footage of the biggest nuclear explosion ever seen …
‘Fungal Zombies’ Only 3 Steps From Reality According To Mycologist Report
Fungal Zombies Only 3 Steps From Reality According To Mycologist Report The Last of Us on HBO is hailed as …
Snake Island In Brazil Is The Stuff Of Nightmares
Snake Island In Brazil Is The Stuff Of Nightmares The snake-infested Ilha da Queimada Grande, better known as Snake Island, …
Italian Mobster Caught Working At A Pizzeria In France After 16 Years On The Run
Italian Mobster Caught Working At A Pizzeria In France After 16 Years On The Run Edgardo Greco, a convicted killer …
Joe Cappa’s Animations Make Me Feel Uncomfortably Good
Joe Cappa’s Animations Make Me Feel Uncomfortably Good Joe Cappa’s animations have taken TickTok by storm – but the origins …
The Mysterious Case of The Torso Killer Unsolved to this Day
The Mysterious Case of The 1930’s Torso Killer Unsolved to this Day Unsolved to this day, the Torso Killer was …
Wall of Lasers Likely From Chinese Satellite NASA Confirms
Wall of Lasers Likely From Chinese Satellite NASA Confirms The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan has said that NASA believes the bright green wall of lasers were likely from a Chinese satellite. Facebook Twitter Reddit What is Known About the Lasers? Scientists from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan recently reported an incredible discovery: a mysterious wall of lasers spanning …
The Story Behind Jennifer Coolidge and Her Role On Seinfeld
TV HISTORY The Story Behind Jennifer Coolidge and Her Role On Seinfeld Take a deeper look into the story behind …
Dennis Nilsen: Britain’s Most Prolific Serial Killer
In 1983, British serial killer Dennis Nilsen was convicted of six counts of murder and two of attempted murder. Discover the incredible backstory behind this monstrous criminal.
Inside the World of Mexican Drug Cartels
Discover the true nature of Mexican drug cartels and what motivates them to keep thriving in a dangerous world. Get an inside look at their tactics, structure, and operations.
Recent Earthquakes Are Getting Worse After 7.8 Magnitude Decimates Turkey and Syria
Volunteer rescuers said they have nowhere to put victims in the frigid temperatures even if they can get individuals out of the rubble.
The 10 Best Netflix Movies Ever Made
These Netflix originals are some of the best the studio has ever made. Stop doomscrolling and peep the list before they stop password sharing.
How To Celebrate Black History Month As A White Person
You can do more than recycle a BLM post on Instagram.
Time To File For Taxes: Get The Most Out of Your 2022 Return
Everything You Need to File For Taxes in 2023
Melting Permafrost Is Reviving Ancient Viruses Like The 48,500 Year Old Pandoraviruses
Researchers warn that melting permafrost due to climate change may awaken “zombie” viruses.
5 Serial Killer Movies Based on Horrifying True Stories
Sit back and prepare to be disturbed! From biopics to psychological dramas, check out five of the most haunting serial killer movies based on true stories compiled here.
AI Found Potential Alien ‘Technosignatures’ Hidden in Radio Signals From Deep Space
AI promises to be an invaluable tool in the exploration of deep space.
What Are Plague Doctors and the Role They Played in History?
From the Middle Ages to the early 20th century, plague doctors were tasked with treating those infected with pandemics. Learn their history and why they wore those weird masks.
The Eruption of Mt Pinatubo in The Philippines in 1991
The Mt Pinatubo eruption caused lahars, which are volcanic mudflows, that killed more than 800 people.
Meta Lifts Trump’s Facebook and Instagram Ban After 2 Years
Meta imposed a Facebook and Instagram ban on Trump after inciting violence when his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
The Back To The Future Car From 1989 Goes Electric
The Back To The Future Car AKA the Delorean has been re-imagined as an electric car. Would you buy one?
Government Scientists Discover a Completely New Form of Quantum Entanglement
The discovery made by experts at the Brookhaven National Laboratory could provide insight on a variety of areas, including quantum computing and astrophysics.
The Inspiring Story of Paul Alexander and His Life in an Iron Lung
The sheer will it must have taken to go on living life in an iron lung is truly inspiring.
Someone Just Hacked The BBC With Porn Noises
9BBC needs to change their acronym. The porn noises went on for several minutes live on the air.