Mar 1, 2019

Fred Warmbier on stage with HRF’s president Thor Halvorssen during the 2018 Oslo Freedom Forum


NEW YORK (March 1, 2019) — Earlier this week, the second summit between North Korea and the United States was held in Hanoi, Vietnam. At this time, we believe that it is important to give wide distribution to the 2018 Oslo Freedom Forum interview of Otto Warmbier’s father, Fred Warmbier. Otto Warmbier passed away in 2017 after being tortured while arbitrarily imprisoned by Kim Jong-un’s regime.

Today, the Warmbier family released the following statement:

“We have been respectful during this summit process. Now we must speak out. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that.”

The Human Rights Foundation supports the Warmbier family’s statement and believes that the human rights violations committed by the North Korean dictatorship should not be ignored during the negotiation process. Unfortunately, human rights in North Korea has not been prioritized in the recent peace talks between North Korea, the United States, and South Korea. There are currently hundreds of thousands of North Koreans in prison camps, and millions have been starved, raped, tortured, and murdered by the Kim regime. Last week, the North Korea Strategy Center released a detailed report documenting that Kim Jong-un has brutally executed and exiled over 420 officials since he came to power in 2011.

If you’d like to act today and help those living under the North Korean dictatorship, please visit to learn more about our efforts of getting information and technology inside North Korea. Our Flash Drives for Freedom program helps provide windows to the outside world to a population cut off from the internet by their authoritarian rulers.

If you’d like to learn more about the human rights abuses happening daily under Kim Jong-un’s regime, please watch past Oslo Freedom Forum talks by Yeonmi Park, Thae Yong-ho, Hyeonseo Lee, Grace Jo, Jung Gwang-il, Kang Chol-hwan, Ji Seong-ho, and Park Sang Hak.

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.

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