Statement by Secretary Tillerson on Otto Warmbier

Today we received with deep sadness the news that Otto Warmbier has passed away.

On behalf of the entire State Department and the United States government, I extend my condolences to the Warmbier family, and offer my prayers as they enter a time of grief no parent should ever know.

We hold North Korea accountable for Otto Warmbier’s unjust imprisonment, and demand the release of three other Americans who have been illegally detained.

Otto Warmbier is dead, and how can that be? He’s dead because he had the misfortune of being killed by a place steeped in deaths too innumerable to individuate anymore, a past and present tragedy ringed with the threat of an even greater one in the future. He was a 22-year-old victim in a place where they’re stacked like cordwood, behind a wall high and far enough that it won’t be breached by the gun with the longest range. He was a person who matters, overwhelmed by the magnitude of untold others who shared the same fate but had a different zip code, whose faces blur into that amorphous sense of humanity we have only when preceded by the words “crimes against.”

For the first time in 60 years South Korean Lim Ok-Nam ® is able to hug her North Korean sister Rim Ok-Rye (L) at an event held in the Mount Kumgang area of North Korea. A few elderly North Koreans are being allowed to meet family members from the South whom they have been forcibly separated from since the country was divided following the 1950-53 Korean war. Credit: Getty Images/The Korea Press Photographers’ Association   

Kim Jong-un’s Crimes Against Humanity Including TORTURE CHAMBERS AND PRISON CAMPS! - UN Letter To Kim Jong Un Warns On Accountability via The World Post 

#kimjongun   #northkorea   #unitednations   #humanrights  

[Photo Credit: HuffPost Splash via Getty Images]

“I experienced life threatening situations several times while I was living in North Korea. One time, I couldn’t eat or sleep for about two weeks. Being alive was so painful. My dream is to make delicious food and share it with others. It doesn’t matter if it is for people I don’t know. It doesn’t matter who it is as long as they want to eat it. I want to cook my favorite soybean paste soup with dried radish leaves(Siraegi Doenjang Jjigae) and ginseng chicken soup(Samgyetang) in an iron furnace in a traditional Korean style house with a huge front yard. I am going to have all the hungry people come in and eat. I will leave the door wide open.”

“북한에서 살 때 죽을 고비를 몇번을 넘겼죠. 한번은 보름동안 먹지도 못하고 자지도 못했어요. 살아있는 게 고통스럽더라구요. 제 꿈이 뭐냐면요, 맛있는 음식을 해서 사람들한테 주는 거예요. 모르는 사람이어도 상관없어요. 먹고 싶은 사람이라면 누구든 괜찮아요. 마당이 넓고 한옥집이 이렇게 넓은 곳에서 무쇠가마 걸어놓고 제가 제일 좋아하는 시래기 된장찌개도 해주고, 삼계탕도 해주고.. 배고픈 사람들 다 들어와서 먹게 할 거예요. 문 활짝 열어놓구요.”


North Korea is often depicted as an entirely regimented and impervious place. Little do we expect to find colour, warmth of hospitality or leisure beyond its self-isolating walls. Exposed in North Korea and developed in South Korea, ‘Colourful Order’ is a photo series that comes from within the limits of a strict itinerary. See more here.