The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Mr Trump approved a $US2 million ($A2.84 million) payment to North Korea to cover its medical care of Warmbier, who died shortly after he was returned to the U.S. after 17 months in a North Korean prison. Upon news that the American had been in a coma for more than a year, Yu and a US delegation arrived in Pyongyang to take him home.
Yun, accompanied by an emergency medicine doctor Michael Flueckiger flew to Pyongyang.
Speaking to reporters at the White House later Friday, Trump again dismissed the report as "fake news".
Otto Warmbier died due to brain damage less than a week after he returned to the USA in a comatose state in June of 2017. After his arrest, North Korean authorities forced Warmbier to admit to the crime. The 22-year-old college student was released from a North Korean prison last Tuesday in a coma after spending 17 months in captivity for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster.
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Trump has previously claimed that his administration will never exchange money for American hostages. "I will take him at his word", Trump said.
"The Western Wall was a truly incredible experience for me", he said. For 15 long months, North Koreans did not reveal his condition and kept the comatose student in a hospital. Warmbier died six days later in a OH hospital on June 19, 2017, after having suffered what doctors said was "severe injury to all regions of the brain".
Reached by phone, Fred Warmbier, Otto Warmbier's father, declined to comment on the report or to confirm the Post's account that he had said the hospital bill sounded like ransom. North Korea has denied any wrongdoing and refuses to pay, insisting that Warmbier was treated in a "humanitarian" way. North Korea said Warmbier had suffered from botulism and slipped into a coma after taking a sleeping pill. Trump said that he spoke to Kim about the death of Warmbier and that Kim "feels badly about it".
The release of the information came as North Korea's Communist Party Chairman Kim Jong-Un met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok, Russia, on Thursday. In the end, he was released without paying any of it.