June 20th, 2017

Otto Warmbier…

has died.

Very sad indeed. RIP.

The tour company that sponsored Warmbier’s trip has now decided it will no longer offer this service:

For years, Young Pioneer Tours has happily boasted: “We provide budget travel to destinations your mother would rather you stayed away from.” On Monday, after Warmbier’s family announced he’d died that afternoon at a Cincinnati hospital, the message that the China-based tour company sent via e-mail to USA TODAY wore a darker and more anguished tone.

“Our deepest sympathies are with Otto Warmbier and those who loved him,” the e-mail read. “We had held onto hope that he might recover, and have the life that he should have had, but now those hopes are gone, and we too are reeling with the shock of a young man’s life taken well before his time.”

Considering these facts and this tragic outcome we will no longer be organizing tours for U.S. citizens to North Korea.”

I think it’s a wise decision. If people are determined to go there, I suppose they will, however.

28 Responses to “Otto Warmbier…”

  1. Tatterdemalian Says:

    Might want to add the UK to that list. They just arrested the son of the guy who rented the van to the Finsbury Park attacker, as part of their first Islamophobia sweep.


    1984, here we come.

  2. parker Says:

    What a waste of a young life. I would like to know what motivated him to go to NK and do such a stupid thing in the harshest dictatorship in the world.

  3. neo-neocon Says:


    You’re assuming he actually did what the North Koreans accused him of doing. His roommate says he was framed, and never did anything of that sort.

  4. T Says:

    “The tour company that sponsored Warmbier’s trip has now decided it will no longer offer this service . . . ” [Neo]

    “You’re assuming he actually did what the North Koreans accused him of doing. His roommate says he was framed . . .” [Neo @ 2:50]

    It still prompts the question, knowing that this is how thuggish dictatorships act, who in their right mind would ever want to go there and who in their right mind would ever allow their tour agency to sponsor such a tour?

    That this was avoidable makes Warmbier’s death even more of a tragedy.

  5. parker Says:

    Yes I did make that assumption. I haven’t read much about this except a brief summary of the situation. Was his friend there to see that he was framed? If so, wouldn’t his friend also have been detained?

  6. huxley Says:

    Actually thousands of Americans have visited NK without a problem. Which isn’t to say one ought not think twice — I sure wouldn’t do it — but it’s not like jumping out of a plane without a parachute.

    I have jumped from a plane with a parachute. It was a risky thing to do, but I wanted to do it once because my father had been a paratrooper and I was OK. However, one guy in our group did break his ankle. I understand if you skydive regularly, your odds of death from it go up to one out of a hundred. People take risks.

    As I understand the story, Otto was already on a trip to Hong Kong and the opportunity to visit NK presented itself. Being young and adventurous, he took the risk.

    From what I’ve read he was bright, responsible lad from a good home. He was the salutatorian of his high school class, as well as the homecoming king and an athlete. He was doing well in college. Some have suggested the NK siezed him because he was such an all-American kid.

    I believe the roommate that the poster stealing charge was trumped up. The only hard evidence was a dark video of a shadowy figure tampering with the poster.

    Otto confessed in the show trial and hoped for the best. Somehow it got much worse after that. We may never learn what happened.

  7. huxley Says:

    Was his friend there to see that he was framed? If so, wouldn’t his friend also have been detained?

    His friend just saw Otto pulled out of line for some reason as they were about to board the plane to leave NK.

    It didn’t look like a big deal. The friend even joked to Otto, “Well, that’s the last time I will be seeing you.”

  8. Dave Says:

    what do Americans expect from a regime headed by a man who executed his uncle by feeding him alive to a dozen hunting dogs? We asians don’t just put a bullet in your head if we hate you, we abduct you, we torture you with the most unimaginably painful methods while keeping you alive for eternity. We sever your tendons, chop off all your limbs, gouging your eyeballs, cut off your tongue and deafening your ears while keeping you alive. Americans have never seen evil, I encourage liberal Americans to visit these brutal regimes more to witness first hand what evil truly is.

  9. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    Are you implying that when Asians hate someone; compassion, mercy and conscience go out the window? That as a culture, the moral stance toward others is based in the degree of and quality of the relationship? Rather than a cultural respect for the inherent dignity and worth of the individual?

  10. Dave Says:

    What i was trying to say is americans live in this bubble that they believe the worse one person can experience is death,there are things worse than death that americans cant even imagine that had existed in this curel world, especially acts driven by hate and jealousy. When mao took over china you know how he would torture the evil capitialists?how about killing his children and gang raping his wife and daughters one by one and made him watch as a punishment for oppressing the working people before the regime change.

  11. Dave Says:

    The thing i hate the most about the left is that they like to preach diversity but in reality they divide people into different groups and make them hate each other, making true unification and assimilation never possible because the seeds of hate between groups have already been planted. Humans never forgive, that’s man’s biggest fault, once hatred take hold it can transcends generations if not eternity.

  12. JuliB Says:

    I find it puzzling that his family requested that he not be given an autopsy. I believe that I would want to know if I were in their shoes.

  13. huxley Says:

    JuliB: I would too.

    There are mysteries here. It’s possible the Wambiers were so heartsick, they just pulled life support on him as a vegetable.

    I don’t claim to know.

    I still blame North Korea for this young American’s death. And I kinda hate them for it.

  14. Simon Says:

    I lived in Seoul for a year back in 2002 and once went close to the border with the north. There was a kiosk selling North Korean liquors for some reason. We looked over the border and tried to imagine what it must be like to be a prisoner there. I would never under any circumstances have crossed the border. I’ve never had any desire to visit evil, and that is what North Korea is. I feel so sorry for its population and frustrated by the lack of options we have to help them. Otto was no doubt a sweet boy and those monsters murdered him. I hope I live to see their downfall.

  15. huxley Says:

    I hope I live to see their downfall.

    Simon: Me too. I am no doubt too idealistic for this world, but deep down I don’t understand why we allow such an absolute hellhole to continue torturing and killing other human beings.

    It’s like Auschwitz was still in operation but it was too inconvenient to stop it.

  16. Stubbs Says:

    huxley Says:
    June 19th, 2017 at 2:49 am

    Stubbs: Actually thousands of Americans have visited NK without a problem. Which isn’t to say one ought not think twice — I sure wouldn’t do it — but it’s not quite the same as kissing a cobra.

  17. huxley Says:

    Stubbs: Yeah, I rewrote that response to you. I think I made it better.


  18. Stubbs Says:

    I wonder if the release of Warmbier indicates that the North Korean dictator is fearful. After he murdered his half brother recently the international spotlight of opprobrium shined on the Chinese leadership, who alone keep him alive and in power. It brought back memories of the sacrifice of innocents of their own. There must have been warnings issued by China then, and the “accidental” slow-motion killing of the American must have made the dictator fearful. Maybe the United Nations will take the lead in punishing this human rights abuse.

  19. huxley Says:

    A stray benefit to Otto’s death is that the blame-the-victim crowd, after Otto was taken into the tender mercies of the North Korean state, are now less likely to crow about how stupid Otto was to sign on to the NK tour.

    The left has been (of course) worse but the right has had its share of bobbleheads refusing Otto any sympathy because anyone should have known better than to visit North Korea.

    That’s their right. But they don’t have a shred of my sympathy.

    A friend, a brother, a son, or a nephew of mine is dead for reasons of power and cruelty.

    I won’t forget.

  20. blert Says:

    And Clint Eastwood has passed, too.

    The icons of the 60s are passing on.

  21. blert Says:

    I’ve been hoaxed.


  22. Barry Meislin Says:

    Quibble alert:

    “…[the tour company] has now decided it will no longer offer this service:…”

    To American citizens, that is.

    However, the company will continue to allow those of other nationalities to play NORK roulette.

  23. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    Plenty of people in the West are only too ready to forgive and forget. Many people, especially among liberals fail to understand that forgiveness is reactive. It’s only appropriate when the offender expresses remourse. Yes, when the victimized dwells upon the offense is harmful to the victim

  24. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Dang it! Stupid android tablet.

    But there’s a difference between dwelling upon an offense and recognizing the unethical nature of the offender.

  25. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I’m doutful that Kim acted out of fear. He personally approved that torture and, I suspect was happy to ‘stick us in the eye’ with Wambier.

    However, we can stop this at any time, IF we are willing to pay the price, which understandably we’re not.

    History demonstrates that the greater the evil, the greater the price good must pay to defeat it. History also reveals that the longer good delays in confronting evil, the greater the price good must eventually pay to defeat it.

  26. Dave Says:

    forgiveness is a white trait. i have been labeled many time online as a white supremacist even though i am a 100% chinese with not a drop of white blood in my vein and i only moved to America when i was 16. White people and Japanese people are the only people in this world who are virtuous, even Chinese we are simply vicious. White race can not fall, conservatives need to realize losing to the left and islam isn’t just an ideology change, it will be a worse than death situation for white. white women will be tortured gang raped by hundreds of invaders night in night out, children getting chop off into pieces in front of parents and parents are forced to eat their children’ meat. white people cannot fall, they are the people who made this cruel world livable because you people were the creators of virtue and liberty and freedom and human rights. White people are creators while most of the other races are destroyers. Otto’s fate should serve as a cautionary tale that if the white race fall and socialism won Otto’s fate will be our fate. the existence of the conservatives in the west countering socialism left in a democratic society is the only reason Communism hadn’t done as much harm in the west than every place else where the left enjoyed a monopoly.

  27. huxley Says:

    I’m doutful that Kim acted out of fear. He personally approved that torture and, I suspect was happy to ‘stick us in the eye’ with Wambier.

    GB: I’m not sure what happened with Otto.

    I can certainly imagine an NK desire to torture Warmbier. OTOH I’ve read they usually treat Americans better than their own because they intend to use Americans as bargaining chips. You don’t want to damage the merchandise.

    In which case the NKs screwed up with Otto.

    Of course there are tortures which don’t leave marks. The NKs sometimes subject prisoners to cold water so deep the prisoner can barely breathe through the nose. Perhaps they tortured Otto this way and he drowned while they weren’t looking and stayed drowned long enough so much of his brain tissue died.

    Then there’s the possibility Otto managed to hang himself and was “rescued” too late.

    I don’t believe this outcome was what the NKs planned.

  28. Stubbs Says:

    There is a lot of detail regarding Warmbier’s tour in NK at Politico.http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/06/23/otto-warmbier-north-korea-tour-company-215299

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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