GENEVA, February 20, 2018 – Fred and Cindy Warmbier, parents of American student Otto Warmbier imprisoned and tortured in North Korea, today addressed the 10th Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy — see quotes below.
For links to other speakers’ quotes, videos, photos, livestream, and more, click here.
On Otto Warmbier’s Ordeal in North Korea:
- Cindy Warmbier: “Otto never got to hear our voice, he never got to talk to an American, he never got a trial where he was represented. The tour group left him there. He was basically abandoned, a 21 yr old college kid. The fear he’d had to feel haunts me. And our ability to do nothing as an American citizen shocked me.”
- Fred Warmbier: “The Kim family chose to do this, they used Otto as a pawn, a hostage, and they did this in front of the world. This is their message that if they’ll do this to Otto, imagine what they’ll do to the rest of the world and their own citizens.”
On Otto Warmbier:
- Cindy Warmbier: “Otto had a high intelligence and a charisma, and he was naturally curious… We think he was curious about people who didn’t have rights like him.”
On visiting South Korea:
- “We met with defectors [in South Korea] and that’s tough when you meet a woman who’s been in prison for so many years and we ask how can we help and she says ‘we want you to kill Kim.’”
- Fred Warmbier: “We were able to let go and enjoy South Korea… The spirit of the Olympics is kind of like the spirit we feel here at the Geneva Summit. If you’re going to go for it, do it big. And that’s the spirit of Otto.”
- Fred Warmbier: “We intend to move forward in the world as positive people… the example of South Korea is what the North Korean people are capable of.”