The Warmbiers are Right: North Korea Should be Back on the State Sponsors of Terror List

In their first television interviews since their son Otto’s death, Fred and Cindy Warmbier described the horror of first seeing their son on his return after a year-and-a-half of North Korean captivity. The Washington Post reports:

“We walked over to the plane; the engines are still humming,” Fred Warmbier said. “When we got halfway up the steps, we heard this howling, involuntary, inhuman sound. We weren’t really certain what it was. … Otto was on the stretcher across in the plane, and he was jerking violently, making these inhuman sounds.”

Fred Warmbier said his wife and daughter ran off the plane, while he and his other son walked over to the stretcher. Otto Warmbier now had a shaved head, a feeding tube emerging from his nose, and was blind and deaf.

“As we looked at him and tried to comfort him, it looked like someone had taken a pair of pliers and rearranged his bottom teeth,” Fred Warmbier said.

“They destroyed him,” Cindy Warmbier added, shaking her head.

In the months since his death, the Warmbiers made a shocking discovery.  “It was astounding to Cindy and I to discover that North Korea is not listed as a state sponsor of terror,” said his father Fred.  “We see North Korea claiming to be a victim and that the world is picking on them, and we’re here to tell you: North Korea is not a victim. They’re terrorists. They kidnapped Otto. They tortured him. They intentionally injured him. They are not victims.”

Watching the Warmbiers talk about their son, your heart breaks.  It’s impossible to imagine what it is like to see your beloved child in that condition.

And they are absolutely right, North Korea is not a victim.  It is a terrorist state.

Indeed, it was designated as such for more than two decades, placed on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list in 1988 by the Reagan administration after the 1987 bombing of a South Korean airliner, which killed more than 100 people.

Two decades later, the Bush administration removed North Korea from list in 2008 — not because the North Koreans had given up their support for terror, but because they promised to give up their nuclear weapons.  The designation was rescinded as part of a terrible deal negotiated by Secretary of State Condi Rice and Ambassador Chris Hill in exchange for a promise by North Korea to dismantle a plutonium facility and allow inspections of its Yongbyon nuclear facility.

North Korea obviously did not keep up its end of the bargain.  So the Trump administration should put North Korea back on the list.  They more than qualify.

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