Otto Warmbier’s family speaks out against Trump’s defense of Kim Jong Un in son’s death

The president defended Kim Jong Un in Hanoi on Thursday.

By Cheyenne Haslett and Katherine Faulders – The parents of Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old student who died after 18 months of imprisonment in North Korea, spoke out Friday against President Donald Trump’s defense of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in their son Otto’s death.

“We have been respectful during this summit process. Now we must speak out. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that,” Fred and Cindy Warmbier said in a statement.

ABC News has reached out to the White House for comment.

The University of Virginia student had been on a tour when he was arrested for tearing down a poster.

On Thursday in Hanoi, despite having publicly supported the Warmbier family, Trump struck a much different tone, saying he believed the dictator who runs North Korea’s ruthless regime when he said he didn’t know Warmbier was being tortured.

“I don’t believe that he would have allowed that to happen,” Trump said of Kim Jong Un. The president relayed what he said Kim had told him — that he “didn’t know about it” — and said he would “take [Kim] at his word.”

“He felt badly about it,” the president said at a post-summit news conference. He knew the case very well, but he knew it later,” Trump added.

ABC News’ Jordyn Phelps and Alexander Mallin contributed to this report.

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