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John Bolton Confirms Trump Agreed To Pay North Korea $2 Million For Otto Warmbier’s ‘Care’

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John Bolton Confirms Trump Agreed To Pay North Korea $2 Million For Otto Warmbier’s ‘Care’





National security adviser John Bolton confirmed on “Fox News Sunday” that a Trump administration official signed a document in June 2017 pledging to pay North Korea a $2 million hospital bill for the release of comatose American student Otto Warmbier, though he said no money was ultimately transferred.

Bolton said State Department envoy Joseph Yun, who was sent to retrieve Warmbier, had agreed to make the payment at the time.

Asked if the U.S. followed through with the agreement, Bolton said “absolutely not.”

“I think that’s the key point,” Bolton told host Chris Wallace. “The president’s been very successful in getting 20-plus hostages released from imprisonment around the world and hasn’t paid anything for any of them.”

Wallace pressed Bolton, asking him whether the U.S. essentially “signed a document fully intending not to honor it.”



“Well, I don’t know the circumstances,” Bolton responded. “I think when people leave government sometimes their recollections of things that happened inside tend to be a little different from what actually happened. It’s very clear to me from my looking into it in the past few days, no money was paid.”

The Washington Post first reported on the previously undisclosed agreement between the U.S. and the authoritarian regime on Thursday.

North Korea had insisted Yun sign a document pledging to pay a so-called medical bill for $2 million before allowing Warmbier to be flown back to the U.S., according to the newspaper.



According to the Post, President Donald Trump passed down instructions for Yun to sign the pledge. After spending 17 months in prison, Warmbier was medically evacuated to the U.S. He arrived in a vegetative state on June 13, 2017, and died roughly six days later.

Trump told reporters outside the White House a day later that the U.S. “did not pay money for our great Otto.”

“There was no money paid,” the president said. “There was a fake news report that money was paid.”

Bolton on Sunday also discussed a possible third summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying the president is open to one and “feels strongly” that he believes he has a good relationship with the authoritarian leader.



“I think Kim Jong Un, at least up until now, has wanted the one-on-one contact with the United States, which is what he has gotten,” Bolton said.


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