Before the event took place, President Trump said his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un showed Otto Warmbier "has not died in vain." He upped that rhetoric Tuesday. "Without Otto Warmbier, this summit wouldn't have happened," Trump said, per Time. "It was a terrible thing," the president added of the US college student's death almost exactly a year ago after he returned unresponsive from a stint in a North Korean prison camp. But "something happened from that day," Trump said. "A lot of people started to focus on what was going on—including North Korea."
After referencing North Korea's human rights record, Trump repeated, "Otto did not die in vain," per Fox News. Cincinnati Enquirer columnist Byron McCauley suggests it was more than a passing reference. Writing Monday, McCauley noted "Warmbier's blood covers the hands of Kim and his regime," so "if President Trump comes away with a positive narrative from the summit … the Warmbiers need to be part of the story." (Warmbier's parents claim their son was "brutally tortured and murdered" by North Korea.)