John McCain: Otto Warmbier 'Was Murdered by the Kim Jong-Un Regime'

| JUN 20, 2017 | 2:05 PM

Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Gage Skidmore/Flickr

On Monday night, in the aftermath of the death of Otto Warmbier, the American who went into a coma while in North Korean custody, one politician was not prepared to mince words one bit.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued a statement about the situation, where he outright said that Kim Jong-Un's regime murdered Warmbier:

I was saddened to learn about the death of Otto Warmbier today following his unjust imprisonment and torture in North Korea. I send my heartfelt condolences to Otto's family and friends as they grieve this tragic loss.

Let us state the facts plainly: Otto Warmbier, an American citizen, was murdered by the Kim Jong-un regime. In the final year of his life, he lived the nightmare in which the North Korean people have been trapped for 70 years: forced labor, mass starvation, systematic cruelty, torture, and murder.

North Korea is threatening its neighbors, destabilizing the Asia-Pacific region, and rapidly developing the technology to strike the American homeland with nuclear weapons. Now it has escalated to brutalizing Americans, including three other citizens currently imprisoned in North Korea. The United States of America cannot and should not tolerate the murder of its citizens by hostile powers.

North Korean officials have claimed that Warmbier has been comatose since taking a sleeping pill during a bout with botulism not long after he was imprisoned for pulling down a propaganda poster. American doctors found no indications that he had contracted botulism in the past.

Whatever happened to Warmbier is likely especially personal to McCain, as he was a victim of torture after the North Vietnamese shot down his plane during the Vietnam War. The torture, which came after he was already injured from his ejections from the plane and botched surgery, has left him with restrictions in the movement of both shoulders and one leg.