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The Washington Post just cast doubt on President Trump's assertion that Kim Jong Un was unaware of American college student Otto Warmbier's brutal treatment at the hands of the North Korean state by revealing that the US officials who negotiated for Warmbier's release were presented with a $2 million bill for his medical care.
In a report that seems suspiciously ill-timed (hitting just hours after Kim wrapped up his first summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin), WaPo reported that the North wouldn't release Warmbier until the negotiators had signed a document promising to pay for his medical care, which they were instructed to sign by President Trump, who had discussed it with former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Warmbier - Detention - State - Hospital - Patients
Warmbier's detention in an exclusive state hospital reserved for foreign patients, the presence of the massive bill, and the quality of care the young man received - which an American doctor begrudgingly admitted was "excellent" - all suggest that Kim likely knew about Warmbier's case, and had probably been following it closely.
Once it arrived in the US, the bill was forward to the Treasury Department, where it remained unpaid through 2017. It's unclear whether the administration paid it, though however it was handled, the fact that Trump has now held two summits with Kim suggests that the issue has been settled.
Warmbier - Family - Bill - Ransom - White
Warmbier's family speculated that the bill might have been intended as a ransom. The White House refused to comment on the story.
The bill went to the Treasury Department, where it remained unpaid - throughout 2017, the people said. However, it is unclear whether the Trump administration later paid the bill, or whether it came up during preparations for Trump’s two summits with Kim Jong Un.
White - House - Hostage - Negotiations
The White House declined to comment. “We do not comment on hostage negotiations, which is why they have been...
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