Perhaps we should call this President Trump’s finest hour if true, in that North Korea sent the U.S. a 2 million dollar hospital bill for murdering Otto Warmbier, on condition that an envoy sign a pledge to pay the bill, before allowing Warmbier’s comatose body to be returned to the United States.
However, the President may have actually pulled a brilliant “sting” by purposely reneging on the deal leaving the brutal regime empty-handed, which would truly be the President’s ultimate “ART OF THE DEAL.”
The Washington Post reported on Thursday that a U.S. envoy was sent to retrieve the University of Virginia student with an understanding that he would “sign off” pledging to pay a bogus “hospital bill.” The bill went to the Treasury Department, where it remains thus far unpaid.
The University of Virginia student was on tour in North Korea when he allegedly stole a propaganda sign from a hotel. For that minor infraction Otto was arrested and sentenced to 15-years hard labor. However the Ohio native for some unknown reason fell into a coma and remained in that condition while in custody for over 17-months. His condition was not disclosed until negotiations to bring him home began.
When it was revealed he was in a coma, emergency efforts were made by Joseph Yun, the State Department’s point person on North Korea at the time, to get Otto home as quickly as possible.
Arraignments were made through State Department channels to have both Yun and Doctor Michael Flueckige travel to the North Korean capital on an American medical evacuation plan, then travel to the Friendship Hospital located somewhere within the capital of Pyongyang. There they found Otto lying in a room marked “intensive care unit.” Upon entering the hospital room, they noticed Otto could not respond and that he had a feeding tube in his nose.
Yun was asked to sign the pledge for payment when he went to retrieve Otto; he, in turn, called then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who in turn called the President.
However, the President on Friday denied giving North Korea any money in exchange for bringing home Otto Warmbier.
Taking to twitter the President posted, “No money was paid to North Korea for Otto Warmbier, not two Million Dollars, not anything else. This is not the Obama Administration that paid 1.8 Billion Dollars for four hostages, or gave five terroist hostages plus, who soon went back to battle, for traitor Sgt. Bergdahl!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 26, 2019
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, told Fox News: “Otto Warmbier was mistreated by North Korea in so many ways, including his wrongful conviction and harsh sentence, and the fact that for 16 months they refused to tell his family or our country about his dire condition they caused. No, the United States owes them nothing. They owe the Warmbier family everything.”
Yun told CNN on Thursday that he couldn’t discuss the specifics regarding Otto Warmbier nor confirm any media reports. However, he did acknowledge his orders were to “completely do whatever you can to get Otto back.”
Adding that it was his understanding that in pervious exchanges that money “which was justified on the basis of hospital costs, so I know that in previous prisoner releases there was money handed over,” he said, adding that he understood the orders to be directly from the President.
This brings us back to President Trump perhaps pulling the biggest con-job to date on the pint-sized despot. Promise him anything, get Otto back and then tell him “try and collect.”
Kim Jong-un is a ruthless dictator, and we finally have someone in the Oval Office who knows how deal with this character and isn’t afraid to play his game.