Warmbier verdict mailed to North

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Warmbier verdict mailed to North

A U.S. court has mailed North Korea its decision that the communist state should pay $500 million in damages to the parents of an American student for his death shortly after his return from the country in a coma, a news report said Friday.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia made the ruling last month, saying Pyongyang was responsible for the death of Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student who died in 2017, just six days after his return from the North.

Warmbier had been held in the North for 17 months after being sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster from his hotel during a trip to Pyongyang in early 2015. The North has denied any responsibility for his death.

According to a Voice of America report, the court sent the ruling to the North’s foreign ministry via DHL courier service on Wednesday. The document, addressed to Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, is expected to reach the North around Jan. 30, it said. Despite the ruling, chances are slim that the North will comply with the decision.

Warmbier’s parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, filed the suit seeking compensation worth about $1.1 billion. The court ordered North Korea to compensate his parents for damages for pain, suffering and medical expenses.

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