President Donald Trump said his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "would not have happened" without Otto Warmbier, the American college student who mysteriously died after being sent home from a North Korean labor camp a year ago.
Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un concluded their extraordinary meeting by signing a document in which Trump pledged "security guarantees" to the North and Kim recommitted to the "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula". "I think without Otto, this would not have happened", Trump told reporters at a Tuesday news conference in Singapore.
"We appreciate President Trump's recent comments about our family", Fred and Cindy Warmbier said in a statement. "Something happened from that day, was a bad thing".
"But a lot of people started to focus in what was going on, including North Korea".
"Today I assured his dad, as the president said two days ago, their beloved son, Otto Warmbier, will not have died in vain", Pence said.
'Otto Warmbier is a very special person and he will be for a long time in my life.
Although human rights was not included in the joint statement signed by Trump and Kim, the US president said he raised the issue and he believed the North Korean leader wanted to "do the right thing".
"Well, he is very talented", Trump replied. 'People say why are you doing this?
The Kims have ruled North Korea since the Soviet Union designated Kim Jong Un's grandfather, Kim ll-Sung, as Communist leader in 1948.
In May 2015, South Korea's spy agency told lawmakers that Kim had ordered his defense chief executed with an anti-aircraft gun for complaining about the young ruler, talking back to him, and sleeping during a meeting over which he was presiding.
Warmbier's parents have sued North Korea, alleging that the nation's government brutally tortured and murdered their son.
"It's important for us to remember that it's largely words at this point, and that we have to look for actions, particularly from North Korea", Panetta said during an interview with FOX Business' Neil Cavuto on Tuesday.
He had been imprisoned in North Korea beginning in January 2016 after being sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for trying to steal a poster bearing a propaganda slogan from his hotel, North Korea state media said.