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Exclusive: New York City’s message to Kim Jong Un to honor Otto Warmbier



New York City has a powerful yet gripping message to Kim Jong Un.

The street where the North Korean regime’s mission to the United Nations is located could soon be named “Otto Warmbier Way” after the 22-year-old American university student who was brutally tortured and sent home to die by Kim’s regime in 2017.

“We are a symbol of human rights around the world, and we have historically confronted dictators and tyrants in this city,” said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This is a place that has really led the international effort against oppression.”

Otto Warmbier went on a study trip abroad to the hermitage and returned home

Otto Warmbier went on a study trip abroad to the hermitage and returned home “with severe brain damage and in a non-responsive state” on June 13, 2017. (Family of Otto Warmbier)

The mayor told Fox News at a news conference at City Hall that he “absolutely” supports naming the street after Warmbier.

Warmbier planned to move to New York City in the summer of 2016 and work in a paid internship at finance firm Millstein & Co. He was put to live in Manhattan after graduating from the University of Virginia. Instead, he was arrested on false charges as he was about to leave North Korea with his fellow students who were on a foreign study trip in the country. During his nearly 18 months in prison, Warmbier was tortured and eventually sent home to Cincinnati, who suffered severe brain damage and was unable to see or hear. He died on June 19, 2017, just days after returning home.

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Now, Warmbier’s name could be a permanent reminder of Kim’s regime’s savagery and a symbol of human rights if the New York City Council approves the proposal to name the street for the North Korean mission after him.

“There is no government that is more oppressive than the North Korean government,” de Blasio said. “And the fact that an American lost his life there is something we need to remember. And we have to honor his family, and we have to speak out against the oppression that the North Korean people are going through every single day.”

Otto Warmbier seen sitting in the Churchill apartment complex in Manhattan, on 40th Street and Second Avenue, just three blocks from what could be

Otto Warmbier seen sitting at the Churchill apartment complex in Manhattan, on 40th Street and Second Avenue, just three blocks from what could be the “Otto Warmbier Way” on 43rd Street and Second Avenue in front of the North Korean mission to the UN
(Warmbier families)

The North Korean government maintains its diplomatic headquarters in the office building at 820 Second Avenue on the East Side of Manhattan, a block from the United Nations. The stretch in front of the building, along 43rd to 44th streets, would be named in Warmbier’s honor, and a street sign would be erected – a blunt and lasting reminder to North Korean diplomats and the UN international community of the regime’s inhumanity and the killing of a young American.

De Blasio is the latest official official to join the “Otto Warmbier Way”, which receives broad bipartisan support.

The name of the street of honor was first proposed by New York City Councilman Joe Borelli, R-Staten Island, in 2019 and has attracted several high-ranking names to his cause, including two former state secretaries, former UN ambassadors and the local congresswoman.

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Otto’s parents, Cindy and Fred Warmbier, support the efforts to name the street after their son.

President Biden’s special presidential envoy for climate change, John Kerry, who served as secretary of state when Otto was arrested, told Fox News: “I think it’s more than appropriate. It’s important. Otto’s family and friends in Ohio remember him every day. They We will always mourn. But in New York, in the United Nations, North Korea must see the name every day of a young man who must still be alive today. The world must know that we remember and we care – “It’s part of how you insist that no one is ever allowed to forget the tragedy of Otto Warmbier. You always have to fight the oblivion.”

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the tragic death of “Warmbier” at the hands of Kim Jong Un should remind us all how precious freedom and life is. “

“It should also remind us all of what is too easy to turn away from: there is evil in the world, and the barbarians leading North Korea are part of it,” Pompeo said. “One of the highlights of my time as Secretary of State was bringing three Americans home from the clutches of such a regime. But the joy I felt that night was tempered by the knowledge that we could not do the same for Otto and his family. Otto’s promising future was shattered by North Korea’s inhumanity. This makes our duty to remember him so real to me. It would be appropriate to name this street in New York City in honor of Otto as a reminder to the North Koreans and to the world that America will never suffer brutal dictators without reacting that we value life and that we will not rest until they responsible for heinous acts as theirs have been confronted. “

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, DN.Y., representing the district, said: “We must never forget Otto Warmbier’s death and the brutality of his conquest of the North Korean government. I support the… () mission to create the” Otto Warmbier Way “and commemorate the North Korean mission to the UN on the values ​​of our county and strong stance against authoritarian dictatorships. Otto was a young man who was taken from this earth far too soon and I hope we will continue to remember his name for many years to come. “

City officials have recently backed recent names of honor ranging from the Black Lives Matter movement to a teenager killed in a 1989 racially motivated attack on former Yemeni President Ibrahim al-Hamid, who was assassinated in 1977.

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Past renaming of the street has included the corner of 42nd Street and 12th Avenue, where China’s consulate building, “Heavenly Peace Heaven,” is located, to honor the 1989 victims of Tiananmen Square protest. The corner of 67th Street and Third Avenue, where the Russian mission to the United Nations is located, is called “Sakharov-Bonner Corner,” honoring the late Soviet dissident activist Andrei Sakharov and his wife, human rights activist Yelena Bonner.

Former New Mexico Governor and US Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson worked to secure Otto’s release and met with Kim’s diplomats in Manhattan. Richardson, a Democrat, told Fox News: “It is fitting that the legacy of Otto Warmbier be honored and that such a tragedy not happen again, especially in North Korea. It is important that North Koreans remember Otto Warmbier every time they sees his name near their diplomatic mission in New York. “

Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft, a Republican, said: “For generations, New York City has been a global symbol of human rights, freedom and tolerance. Otto Warmbier was becoming a New Yorker, but his future was sharply cut short by a vicious dictatorship that killed him because he was American.Otto’s name, which adorns the corner of 44th Street, will serve as a poignant reminder to representatives of Kim Jong Un’s murderous regime, the UN and the international community, of the cruel results of tyranny, while upholding the humane values ​​that all New Yorkers and Americans across the country hold. “

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The bill must, as with all honorary names on the street, pass New York City Council with 51 members and then be signed into law by de Blasio.

“We have a good history of standing up for trials and we must continue to do so,” de Blasio said. “Whether it was to confront apartheid from the South African regime or so many others who oppress their people, in this city we stand up for human rights and dignity. And I think, again, there is none – there is literally no a worse regime on earth than North Korea, so I’m very comfortable, we also need this to end with them. “

Fox News’ Ben Evansky contributed to this report.

Follow Eric Shawn on Twitter: @EricShawnTV




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