The U.S. court ordered Pyongyang to pay 501 million dollars of compensation for the torture and the death of American college student Otto Warmbier, who died in 2017 right after his release from the prison in North Korea, Reuters reports.
Warmbier’s parents sued North Korea in April over their son’s death. The 22-year-old student died days after he was returned to the United States in a coma, and an Ohio coroner said the cause of death was lack of oxygen and blood to the brain.
“North Korea is liable for the torture, hostage taking, and extrajudicial killing of Otto Warmbier, and the injuries to his mother and father, Fred and Cindy Warmbier,” Judge Beryl Howell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said in her ruling.
Pyongyang has blamed botulism and ingestion of a sleeping pill for Warmbier’s death and dismissed torture claims.
The student of the University of Virginia was in North Korea for 17 months, starting from January 2016. He was there as a tourist. North Korean state media reported that he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for the “attempted stealing of an item with propaganda slogan on it in his hotel”.