North Korea gave the United States a $2 million bill to cover its expenses for the care of comatose Otto Warmbier, who died shortly after being returned to his home in Ohio after being held in detention in North Korea, the Washington Post reported Thursday.
The newspaper, citing two people familiar with the matter, said an invoice was handed to a State Department envoy hours before Warmbier, a University of Virginia student, was flown out of Pyongyang in June 2017.
The White House reportedly declined to comment.
“We do not comment on hostage negotiations, which is why they have been so successful during this administration,” press secretary Sarah Sanders told the Washington Post in an email.
This comes months after a U.S. judge ordered North Korea to pay more than $500 million in a wrongful death suit filed by the parents of Warmbier.
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Warmbier was a University of Virginia student who was visiting North Korea with a tour group when he was arrested and sentenced to 15 years of hard labour in March 2016 on suspicion of stealing a propaganda poster.
He died in June 2017, shortly after he returned to the U.S. in a coma and showing apparent signs of torture while in custody.
— With files from the Associated Press