>> How I have made the worst mistake of my life.>> A US court is ordering North Korea to pay over $500 million to the family of Otto Warmbier. The American college student died last year shortly after being released from a North Korean prison. The judge, on Monday, said North Korea is liable for, quote, the torture, hostage taking and extrajudicial killing of Otto, and injuries to his parents.
The parents sued the country in April over their son's death. The 22 year old was imprisoned in North Korea while there as a tourist. State media said he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for trying to steal something with a propaganda slogan from his hotel. He returned home in a coma after 17 months and died days later.
North Korea has dismissed claims of torture, blaming illness and a sleeping pill for his death. A US coroner ruled that the cause was a lack of oxygen and blood to the brain. His family said in a statement that they were thankful for the ruling. Though judgments like these where a foreign defendant doesn't appear in court are often difficult to collect.
US President Trump has said Warmbier didn't die in vain and that his death helped initiate the unprecedented talks between Trump and Kim this year. The President tweeted on Christmas Eve, saying progress was being made on North Korea, and that he's looking forward to another summit with Chairman Kim.
US officials have said that's likely in 2019.