Trump agreed to pay $2 million ransom to North Korea for American hostage


Trump ignored longstanding U.S. policy to not pay ransom for hostages when he agreed to pay a $2 million bill to North Korea for the medical care of Otto Warmbier.

Trump has taken many victory laps since 2017, touting the return of comatose American student Otto Warmbier from North Korea as a major diplomatic achievement.

However, new reporting from the Washington Post shows that the return of Warmbier, who died shortly after returning to U.S. soil, wasn't quite the diplomatic feat Trump claimed.

Rather, Trump ignored the United States' longstanding "no-concessions" policy and agreed to pay $2 million for what was essentially a ransom fee to North Korea for Warbier's return.

The brutal regime insisted the United States pledge to pay an "invoice" for Warmbier's hospital care, an outrageous requirement from North Korea given that the regime terrorized Warmbier and beat him so bad he became comatose.

The decision to agree to the payment of $2 million to North Korea came directly from Trump himself, according to the Washington Post.

The bill went unpaid through 2017, and according to Bloomberg News reporter Jennifer Jacobs, it remains unpaid.

The White House has not denied that Trump agreed to pay ransom.

"We do not comment on hostage negotiations, which is why they have been so successful during this administration," press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told CBS News.

The revelation that Trump agreed to North Korea's ransom for Warmbier catches Trump in yet another lie, as he asserted that his administration paid "nothing" in return for American hostages being held in North Korea, according to the Washington Post.

Trump's agreement to the $2 million ransom is also hypocritical, given that he's accused former President Barack Obama of paying a $400 million ransom to Iran — an accusation that is completely false.

Now it turns out Trump actually did agree to pay ransom to a hostile power, though a source tells Bloomberg News that the U.S. didn't actually pay it.

This is the latest self-inflicted brouhaha Trump has faced surrounding Warmbier in recent months.

In March, Trump heaped lavish praise on North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and cast doubt on assertions that Kim would have had anything to do with Warmbier's death. Warmbier's parents issued a scathing statement hitting Trump for his remark.

Now, Democratic lawmakers are calling Trump out for agreeing to pay ransom to a violent dictator.

"Outrageous that North Korea would demand a ransom," Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) tweeted. "Outrageous that President Trump would agree."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.