지난 13일 석방돼 의식불명 상태로 고향으로 돌아온 지 6일 만에 숨진 미국 대학생 오토 웜비어(Otto Warmbier)가 평양 도착 전 이미 뇌 손상을 입은 것으로 알려졌다.
베이징공항에서 평양행 비행기에 탑승하기 전 영국의 여행프로젝트팀장에게 두통을 호소하며 여행을 취소하고 싶다는 뜻도 밝힌 것으로 나타났다.
특히 그의 고향인 미국 신시내티大 메디컬센터의 뇌신경의학자인 다니엘 캔터 박사(Dr Daniel Kanter)는 "웜비어가 스폰지 펌같은 뇌병증이 있거나 아니면 일명 인간 광우병으로 부르는 '크로이츠펠트 야콥스병(Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. CJD)일 수도 있다"고 소견을 낸 것으로 밝혀졌다.
미국의 인터넷 대안매체 등에서만 웜비어에 관한 소식이 정확하게 전해지면서 웜비어 사망의 원인을 북측에서의 학대와 고문이라고 몰아간 트럼프 행정부의 주장에 신뢰성 논란이 일고 있다.
평양행 비행기에 몸을 싣기도 전에 이미 뇌손상과 두통을 호소한 것이다. 웜비어는 또 그레코로만형 레슬링 팀에 속해 있었고 경기 중에 뇌진탕의 장기적인 효과가 진전되는 것을 겪고 있었던 것이란 게 외신의 전언이다. 해당 레슬링팀의 리더는 자살했다고 이 매체는 전했다.
유력 매체들은 물론 남한 보수언론들은 웜비어의 죽음을 조선의 인권 상황과 연결지으려는 의도로 보도하고 있다는 사실이다.
미국의 뇌신경 전문 의료진은 특히 인간광우병에 걸렸을 가능성이 미국 의료진에 의해 제기해 주목된다.
윔비어가 입원해 치료를 받은 미국의 신시내티주립대학교의 메디컬센터의 뇌신경의학 전문가는 "그의 뇌세포가 심하게 소실(brain-wasting)됐는데, 스폰지펌 같은 뇌병증(encephalopathy)이 있거나, 아니면 혈액감염에 의한 인간광우병('크로이츠펠트 야콥스병. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. CJD)일 수 있다"고 말했다.
이 매체는 부제에서 웜비어의 희생은 북한 사람들에 의한 것이 아니라 대북 간섭에 실패한 미국 관료들에 의한 것이라고 밝혔다.
앞서 오토 웜비어는 버지니아 주립대 재학 중인 2016년 1월 평양 관광에 나섰다가 평양시내한 호텔에서 정치 선전물을 훔치는 장면이 호텔 CCTV에 포착돼 스파이(간첩) 혐의로 체포괬다.
그는 같은 해 3월 재판을 거쳐 15년의 노동교화형을 선고받고 복역하다 뇌 호흡에 문제가 발생해 간호와 치료를 받아오다 지난 13일 전격 석방돼 그의 인도를 위해 방북했던 미국 의료진과 함께 고향인 미국 신시내티로 돌아와 신시내티 대학 메디컬센터에서 치료를 받다 6일만에 숨졌다.
당시 의료진은 식중독 증상은 없었으며 북측의 식중독 감염 주장을 반박하면서도 미국 행정부가 제기한 고문 등 가해 흔적은 찾아볼 수 없었으며 뇌에 심한 손상이 있었다고 밝혔다.
한편 국내외 유력언론들은 미국 정부당국의 일방적 주장만을 단순 전달하면서 김정은 정권의 잔혹성을 부각하는 보도에 혈안이 된 채 진실에는 접근하려 하지 않고 외면하는 태도를 보이고 있다는 지적이 나오고 있다.
통일부는 "오늘 판문점 개시통화시 북측 풍계리 핵실험장 폐기 현장을 방문하여 취재할 우리측 2개 언론사 기자 8명의 명단을 북측에 통보하였으며, 북측은 이를 접수하였다"고 밝혔다.
통일부는 "북측을 방문할 기자단에 대한 방북 승인 및 수송지원 등 필요 조치를 조속히 취해 나갈 계획"이라고 덧붙였다.
정부는 남측 취재진을 이르면 이날 직항편을 통해 원산으로 수송하는 방안을 추진하고 있는 것으로 전해졌다. 통일부는 전날 밤 "북한이 (명단을) 수용한다면 남북 직항로를 이용해 원산으로 이동할 수 있을 것"이라고 밝힌 바 있다.
성남 서울공항에서 특별기를 통해 원산으로 향할 가능성도 검토되고 있는 것으로 전해졌다.
미국과 영국, 러시아, 중국 등 4개국 외신기자단은 핵실험장 폐기행사 취재를 위해 이미 전날 베이징에서 고려항공 전세기를 통해 원산으로 들어갔다.
앞서 북한은 지난 12일 외무성 공보를 통해 23∼25일 풍계리 핵실험장 폐기 의식을 진행한다며 남측과 미국, 영국, 중국, 러시아 언론에 취재를 허용할 용의가 있다고 밝힌 바 있다.
<제 4 미디어 기사 원문>
Otto and the Warmbier family are victims not of the North Koreans but of American officialdom, which failed to intervene on his behalf and, if the unpleasant truth be told, wanted him silenced. …
The gaping holes in the story of Otto Warmbier, the American university grad who suffered a severe brain disorder while imprisoned in North Korea, are a source of public puzzlement, since it seems irrational for a tourist to be imprisoned for theft of a mere banner from a hotel wall. The actual issues behind his arrest have been covered over by the Western media and are a confusing issue to Koreans. The undercover role of the ambitious graduate has been swept under the rug, a routine response from the manifold nexus of U.S. intelligence agencies and a Zionist-influenced Treasury Department.
This sad tale of an eager but misguided youth is not the first nor shall it be the last embarrassing episode of bureaucratic bungling, inter-agency rivalry, conflicted foreign policy and international intrigue. A prisoner swap or partial sanctions-lifting in exchange for his early release was never attempted by the Barack Obama administration, which abandoned Warmbier in his hour of need.
The imprisonment, along with the further advance of the brain disease that killed Otto Warmbier, casts a searing spotlight on the U.S. Treasury Department’s fanatical pursuit of money-laundering, which has sidelined urgent diplomatic dialogue with North Korea, Russia, Iran, Syria and dozens of developing nations, while sheltering the most blatant violator of international financial rules, Israel.
Otto and the Warmbier family are victims not of the North Koreans but of American officialdom, which failed to intervene on his behalf and, if the unpleasant truth be told, wanted him silenced.
The salient points in the Warmbier case, discussed below, include:
– his education at University of Virginia (UVA, Charlottesville) and the London School of Economics (LSE, UK) which accounted for his expertise in econometrics, or mathematical methods for measuring and assessing trends in commerce, trade financing, investment and the general economy, which are the measuring tools in economic intelligence;
– his recruitment and visit to Israel, despite a Christian family background, sponsored by Hillel International, the Zionist college organization funded by the Bronfman-Seagram’s fortune, which financed the formation of the modern Jewish State of Israel;
– Warmbier’s intelligence-related travels to Cuba and North Korea, which are implacable foes of Israel, and to Ireland, where an increasing majority of Irish voters support Palestinian statehood;
– a neoconservative agenda implemented at the highest levels of the U.S. Treasury Department, which aggressively sabotaged the many attempts by the State Department’s East Asian desk to resume the 6-party non-nuclear talks with Pyongyang and establish Track II (partial) diplomatic status between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK); and
– his ambition to achieve fame from the North Korean caper to gain admission to the Z secret society at UVA, a key to gaining a high-ranked position in one of US intelligence agencies involved in economic analysis or with the Department of Commerce.
An old folk saying goes: “Ambition is a good servant but a bad master.” Otto Warmbier allowed his personal ambitions to put himself in service Jews with money, that is, Israeli interests filtered through U.S. Treasury Department. In bondage to Mammon, the aspiring economist conducted covert research in Ireland, Cuba and North Korea to identify vulnerabilities in their relatively small economies.
Nothing succeeds like enforced impoverishment to convince hostile governments to yield to the geopolitical demands of the Israelis and their Zionist minions, including the Treasury, IMF and World Bank.
Perils of Propaganda
As in the case of the fabricated and slanted “Russia Dossier” against Donald Trump’s presidential campaign team, the Warmbier case is linked with anti-Kremlin British and the pro-Israeli lobby in London and Washington D.C., which oppose normalization of U.S. relations with Russia and North Korea and instead support sanctions aimed at regime change.
Warmbier, by attending an exchange program at the London School of Economics (LSE), was following in the footsteps of a controversial DPRK tour of 10 LSE students, who were duped into accompanying a producer with the BBC Panorama program and his Japanese wife, who organized and led the tour. During that North Korean visit, Panorama reporter Sweeney posed as a professor from LSE.
In July 2014, following a critical review of ethical misconduct in the fraudulent DPRK visit, the BBC board fired Sweeney and all reporters with Panorama. Sweeney* is notoriously pro-Israeli aggression and an opponent of the Palestinian rights.
(*Sweeney later produced “Trump: The Kremlin Candidate?” with anti-Putin journalist Andrei Soldatov, releasing the documentary four days before the Inauguration.)
Here’s an excerpt from the Guardian:
“The dispute (with the London School of Economics) is over whether the BBC had given the 10 students on the Pyongyang trip enough information about the risks of traveling with undercover journalists. . . . The students said they were told in London that a journalist would accompany them and that they risked deportation or detention if they were rumbled. In Beijing, before they flew to Pyongyang, they were informed that John Sweeney was the journalist and that he worked for the BBC, they said. They were also joined by Sweeney’s wife, Tomiko Newson (who organized the trip) and a BBC cameraman.”
By no coincidence, then, Warmbier was also guided by British operatives onto a tour of North Korea. On a winter holiday stopover in Beijing en route to Hong Kong, he was introduced to Xian-based Young Pioneers Tours by a mysterious 40-year-old Briton named Danny Gratton, who claims to be a sales manager from Stone, England. (The small town’s robust social media page contains zero mention of anyone with the surname Gratton.) Warmbier’s roommate in Beijing and North Korea, and last man to see Warmbier, Gratton was never contacted subsequently by the State Department or Young Pioneers Tours, which is operated by British citizen Gareth Johnson.
Brain Damage Before Arrival in Pyongyang
A significant fact, unreported in all media except The Washington Post, Warmbier had reportedly complained to the Pioneers’ British tour guide Charlotte Gutridge of suffering a severe headache at Beijing Airport and wanted to cancel his participation in the tour.
His brain damage likely originated long before his flight to Pyongyang. At UVA, he had been on the Greco-Roman wrestling team and may have suffering the long-term effects of a concussion incurred during a fight. (Also, the captain of his wrestling team committed suicide.)
The medical diagnosis from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center on his return to the USA indicated Warmbier suffered severe loss of brain tissue. This could mean that he had contracted a brain-wasting disease resembling spongiform encephalopathy, aka Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD, or mad cow disease), which is usually transmitted by blood infusions.
On New Year’s Day and the night of January 1 in Pyongyang, other tour members reported that Warmbier had been drinking vodka until 5 a.m. His fraternity Theta Chi has repeatedly been cited for encouraging and sometimes forcing excessive drinking.
Joining Mission Implausible
Another fact that demands mention is that the price of a tour to North Korea from Beijing exceeds 2,000 U.S. dollars. Warmier was planning to join an overseas study program in Hong Kong (an expensive city), and his family is reportedly not wealthy. Where then did he get the money to join the Young Pioneers Tour?
As in the case of the LSE students recruited for a BBC Panorama documentary hostile to Pyongyang, Warmbier was probably lured by Israeli intelligence and British handlers with a well-paid offer to conduct economic espionage inside the DPRK. Whether his actual espionage assignment was to hack the domestic North Korean financial networks will probably never be revealed by any of the involved intel agencies. If he was given a smartphone loaded with malware to capture the encrypted codes of wifi networks or ATM cash dispensers will be kept classified.
Instead of completing his covert assignment and rising up the ranks of the U.S. Treasury, Otto Warmbier ended his short life as a patsy, another “victim” to be used for propaganda purposes against North Korea by the Zionist lobby in Washington D.C.
Israel Agents inside the US Treasury Department
At the time of his supposedly impulsive decision to join a British-operated China-based tour to North Korea at the end of December 2016, the U.S. Treasury Department and the British Exchequer-Bank of England was zealously focusing their money-laundering campaign against North Korea.
(Note: The collaboration of the USA and UK in global financial domination is rooted in the postwar Bretton Woods system, under which nation-states were forced to report and later cede their gold reserves, and eventually surrender to a paper currency global regime based on the floating value of the U.S. dollar. The financial tyranny of Bretton Woods, which enshrined the unrepresentative Federal Reserve and major European central banks represented the most devastating loss of national sovereignty and defeat for democracy ever in world history.)
The anti-DPRK point-man at Treasury was Adam Jacob Szubin, the director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), whose powers stem from the Patriot Act and the 2008 Wall Street bailout bill. Previously, in the wake of 911, he was positioned by the Pentagon neoconservatives (who were neck-deep in the WTC attack) as senior adviser to the Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, the catbird’s seat for the then-coming assault against Arab and other Muslim states and Islamic banking. Raised in an Orthodox Jewish family, Szubin received his childhood education at the Yavnev Academy in Dallas, the Ramaz School in Manhattan, and went on to Harvard Law, the bailiwick of Zionist propagandist Professor Alan Dershowitz.
Several Treasury bureaus, especially the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) under the supervision of Jennifer Shasky Calvery, a hard-nosed prosecutor and former women’s basketball player were equally devoted to the Zionist project to enforce sweeping trade sanctions on Pyongyang and cut off every foreign banking relationship with North Korea, especially in the Chinese-speaking realm (Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and PR China). The Zionist financial Inquisition culminated in the Foreign Account Compliance Act (FATCA), a bureaucratic exercise in legalism and accounting as egregious as the tea tax of King George III, which essentially deprived millions of American citizens, residents and even foreigners who have resided in the USA for only two years of their business accounts with non-US banks.
Global financial persecution was given the White House blessing from Jason Furman, the Obama-appointed Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), which provides policy direction and confidential research to the CIA and NSA. The anti-DPRK crusade culminated in the virtual elimination of North Korea’s banking and finance sector from the worldwide SWIFT interbank fund transfer system.
The links of the Hillel Foundation for Campus Life to anti-DPRK initiatives was cemented by the group’s President and CEO, Eric Fingerhut, who is the former Congressman from Cincinnati and Wyoming, Ohio, hometown of the Warmbiers. Fingerhut was a lead author of House Resolution 1407, which opposed the international boycott of Israel, “To prohibit government-to-government and commercial arms sales to any country that is participating in or cooperating with the boycott of Israel by Arab countries.” That includes North Korea and Cuba, countries Warmbier happened to visit.
The full-court press by the Treasury cabal failed to crush North Korean economy, which has emerged stronger due to the country’s national program of economic self-reliance and lack of sovereign debt to the IMF and World Bank. The endless stream of deceit and intrigue have only made countries like Iran, Syria and North Korea more determined to combat the menace of Zionist domination. The courage of these small nations against guilt-tripping and threats of annihilation should encourage Americans, Europeans, Russians, Chinese and Japanese to break with the arrogant Zionist regime and its Wall Street brethren and instead support the basic rights of the rightful owners of the Holy Land, the Palestinian people.
Yoichi Shimatsu, Senior Advisor and Contributing Editor for The 4th Media, is an independent Hong Kong-based investigative journalist and documentary producer.
The 4th Media