The parents of Otto Warmbier, the American citizen who died in 2017 after being imprisoned by North Korea, said Friday that they’re committed to finding illegal North Korean business assets around the world and shutting them down, The Associated Press reports.
“My mission would be to hold North Korea responsible, to recover and discover their assets around the world,” Fred Warmbier said at a press conference in Seoul, according to the news agency.
He added: “We feel that if you force North Korea to engage the world in a legal standpoint, then they will have to ultimately have a dialogue. They are not going to come and have a dialogue with us any other way.”
The Cincinnati couple believe that their son was tortured by North Korea after he was convicted and imprisoned for stealing a propaganda poster in 2016.
Otto Warmbier was returned to the U.S. in a vegetative state in June 2017 and died shortly thereafter. North Korea has denied torturing him.
North Korea was ordered by a U.S. federal judge in December to pay more than $500 million in a wrongful death suit that was filed by the Warmbiers, but it is unlikely that North Korea will ever pay the settlement.
At the beginning of his presidency, President Trump invited the Warmbiers to his 2018 State of the Union address in which he heavily criticized the North Korean government.
However, Trump has toned down his comments about North Korea as he pursues nuclear disarmament talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.