Former US ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson demanded answers from North Korean officials on Sunday after the jailed American student returned to the U.S. with severe brain damage.
"North Korea has a lot of explaining to do. Why didn't they notify the United States?" Richardson said in a interview with New York's 970 AM radio. " Why didn't they notify proper international medical authorities - the Swedish government that represents us?"
Richardson's comments come after Otto Warmbier, 22, was released in a coma by North Korea last week. Warmbeir was detained for 17 months for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster.
North Korea officials claim that Warmbier fell into a coma after taking a sleeping pill in March 2016. Shortly after he returned to the U.S. Doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center told the press on Thursday that Warmbier suffered from severe brain injury.
North Korean officials stated that they released the American student on 'humanitarian grounds,' but Richardson is not satisfied with their response and is demanding more answers about Warmbier's medical condition during his time in jail.
“The concern is that he’s a sick young man,” Richardson said to WTOP. “He’s in a coma and the North Koreans have a lot of explaining to do especially since he might have been in a coma for a year.”
Richardson's foundation has been working on Warmbier'r release for over a year.
The former UN ambassador added that North Korea needs to answer for Warmbier’s severe condition and their silence about it.