President Donald Trump told reporters in Vietnam he didn’t think North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un was involved in the death of American college student Otto Warmbier.
Trump, speaking at a news conference in Hanoi after the abrupt end to his second summit with Kim, said he was taking Kim’s word for it when the North Korean leader said he didn’t know about Warmbier’s mistreatment at a prison in the isolated country.
TRUMP WASN’T PREPARED TO LIFT US SANCTIONS ON NORTH KOREA LEADING TO SUMMIT’S ABRUPT END
“I believe something very bad happened to him,” Trump said. “I don’t think leadership knew about it.”
Warmbier, a University of Virginia student from Ohio, was in a coma when he was released back to the U.S. North Korean officials said Warmbier was suffering from botulism before slipping into a coma and denied torturing him. He died days later
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He was arrested for allegedly taking down a sign of the late dictator Kim Jong Il while he was in the country with a tour group. Trump asserted in September 2017 that Warmbier was “tortured beyond belief by North Korea.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.