Otto Warmbier was an American college student who went on a trip to Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea back in 2016. On this trip he found himself caught up in some real trouble as he was put on trial and sentenced to 15 years hard labor after being convicted of attempting to steal a propaganda poster.
A year on from the trial Otto would succumb to the punishment he received whilst in North Korea, after having been sent home to the US in a vegetative state he died with the coroner declaring severe brain damage as the cause of death. US President Donald Trump tweeted that Otto had been “tortured beyond belief” by the North Koreas, blaming both Kim Jong Un and the Obama administration for his death. He even made several media appearances with Otto’s parents. However, they just became pawns in a political game being played by Trump.
This all occurred at the peak of the North Korean missile crisis, but as tensions eased between the two nations Trump became warmer towards Kim Jong Un and would eventually change his tune. In 2019 he stated that he believed Kim had no knowledge of what happened to the US student which deeply upset his parents.
What really happened to Otto Warmbier in North Korea? In this film, we see veteran foreign correspondent Klaus Scherer attempt to find out through a number of interviews with those who worked closely on the case but have been largely unheard up to now.
Directed by: Klaus Scherer