Trump denies paying North Korea $2M for US detainee’s care

In this March 16, 2016, file photo, American student Otto Warmbier, center, is escorted at the Supreme Court in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea reportedly insisted the U.S. pay $2 million in medical costs in 2017 before it released dWarmbier while he was in a coma. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says the U.S. did not pay $2 million in medical costs to North Korea in 2017 to get American college student Otto Warmbier released.

Warmbier died shortly after he was flown home comatose after 17 months in captivity

A former U.S. official told The Associated Press on Thursday that a U.S. envoy sent to retrieve Warmbier signed an agreement to pay the $2 million on Trump’s instructions. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive diplomatic matter. The Washington Post first reported the demand.

Trump insisted in a tweet Friday that “no money was paid to North Korea for Otto Warmbier, not two Million Dollars, not anything else.”

North Korea denies accusations by Warmbier’s relatives that it tortured him.

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