Washington (June 13, 2017) –Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), the top Democrat on the East Asia Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that North Korea had released American college student Otto Warmbier, who had been detained in North Korea since March 2016.


“I welcome the release of American citizen Otto Warmbier and hope that he is soon reunited with his family. I am very concerned by reports that Mr. Warmbier is in a coma, and we all pray for his full recovery. The North Korean regime’s prolonged detention of Mr. Warmbier despite his serious and potentially life-threatening medical condition violates universal humanitarian norms and is entirely unacceptable. I call on the North Korean regime to immediately and unconditionally release other detained Americans. The brutality and ruthlessness of Kim Jong Un’s regime, demonstrated by the imprisonment of Mr. Warmbier and other Americans, underscores the urgency of fully and completely implementing all sanctions on North Korea. We must engage in serious and tough-minded diplomacy to bring about the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”