Senator Rob Portman honors Otto Warmbier’s life

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDTN) – Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman addressed the Senate Wednesday to honor the life of Otto Warmbier. Senator Portman also talked about North Korea’s unnecessary and appalling detainment and barbaric treatment of Warmbier.

Otto Warmbier was a college student at the University of Virgina. Warmbier was visiting North Korea. While he was there, North Korean officials accused him of trying to steal a propaganda banner while visiting with a tour group and was convicted of subversion.

“Otto’s case is a reminder that we must on the one hand increase pressure on North Korea to force them to change and there will be more to discuss soon on that. But at the same time we’ve got to maintain an open line of communication to deal with the deadly, serious issues we face. Those are some of the lessons I’ve taken from the last 18 months,” Senator Rob Portman said.

Otto Wambier died Monday in the United States. The Warmbier Family asked the Hamilton County Coroner’s office to not perform an autopsy on Otto’s body. The funeral for Otto Warmbier will be Thursday, June 22.

Senator Rob Portman talked about Otto’s family in this difficult time.

“For 18 months and for almost 16 months not knowing of his dire condition, they were steadfast and resilient trying everything they could.” Senator Rob Portman said. “It was incredibly emotional to watch Otto be reunited with his loving family.”

You can watch the full speech here: provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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