The United States signed a document agreeing to pay North Korea for the care of American Otto Warmbier but never paid the $2 million Pyongyang demanded, White House national security adviser John Bolton said on Sunday.
Bolton, who said he was not part of the administration at the time, confirmed newspaper reports that North Korea demanded the money before Warmbier was flown out of Pyongyang in a coma on June 13, 2017.
Asked whether US envoy Joseph Yun signed the document when he went to retrieve Warmbier, Bolton told “Fox News Sunday” in an interview: “That is what I am told, yes.”
He said no payment was made. “It is very clear to me from my looking into it in the past few days that nobody was paid. That is clear,” Bolton said.
Warmbier, a University of Virginia student visiting North Korea, was imprisoned in January 2016. North Korea state media said he was sentenced to 15 years hard labor for trying to steal an item bearing a propaganda slogan from his hotel.
US envoy ‘signed’ North Korea document to pay for Warmbier’s care