FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 19, 2017
VICTIMS OF COMMUNISM REACTS TO OTTO WARMBIER DEATH
“Warmbier didn’t just ‘die.’ He was murdered by the North Korean regime. Let’s call it what it is.”
Washington, D.C. – The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) Executive Director Marion Smith has been calling for both the Obama and Trump administrations to secure the release of Otto Warmbier and the three other Americans who remain captives of the North Korean regime. Smith said the following:
“Kim Jong Un and the communist North Korean regime now have the blood of another American on their hands. Otto Warmbier has just become the latest victim of communism.
Otto was arrested, tortured, and finally sentenced to more than a decade of hard labor for an allegation that, in the United States, would not even amount to a misdemeanor. He was returned to the United States and his family in a coma and died six days later. Warmbier didn’t just ‘die.’ He was murdered by the North Korean regime. Let’s call it what it is.”
The barbarous treatment that Otto received at the hands of his North Korean captors is sadly not a unique act. North Korea’s government has a record of forcing innocent American tourists into decades of hard labor and of beating and torturing them to the point of death. We must remember that North Korea still considers itself to be in a state of war with the United States. For them, the Korean War never ended.
The North Korean regime also wages war on their own citizens. The North Korean gulags, known as kwanliso, are the sites of some of the most horrifying human rights abuses in the world today. According to a 2014 United Nations report, as many as 120,000 people are detained in this network of forced labor camps. Indeed, for its 25 million inhabitants, daily life in North Korea is very much akin to being in a labor camp.
Whether it’s a complacent Dennis Rodman getting the red carpet treatment in Pyongyang or absurd clothing bearing the image of Kim Jong-un or YouTube stars being used for propaganda, it’s time to stop romanticizing and making light of how dangerous North Korea is to its own people and to Americans.
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation expresses our condolences to the Warmbier family. And we will continue to educate Americans about the nature and record of the North Korean regime and the communist regimes that defend and fund it such as the People’s Republic of China.”
For more information or to schedule an interview with Marion Smith, VOC Executive Director, please contact Ayla.Ybarra@victimsofcommunism.org or 202-629-9500.