May 12 (UPI) -- The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the disclosure of information on $23 million in frozen North Korean assets at three U.S. banks to the parents of Otto Warmbier, the University of Virginia student who died after North Korean imprisonment.
The court granted a protective order that calls on banks JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of New York Mellon to disclose details on frozen North Korean funds, Voice of America's Korean service reported Tuesday.
JPMorgan Chase retains the bulk of the North Korean assets, or $17.57 million. Wells Fargo holds $3.01 million and New York Mellon another $3.21 million.
The U.S. court has ordered the banks to disclose account numbers, the names of the account holders, their address and information on past account activity, according to the report.
Fred and Cindy Warmbier are in a potential position to collect the money, but it is not clear whether they will be able to take the funds as compensation for North Korean state actions that culminated in the death of their son.
Joshua Stanton, the Warmbiers' attorney, told VOA the court decision does not mean the Warmbiers are guaranteed to receive the money due to several factors, including the involvement of a third party in the relevant accounts, according to the report.
The Warmbiers have been tracking North Korean assets held in the United States since 2019, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.
In 2018, a U.S. federal court ordered Pyongyang to pay about $500 million in damages to the plaintiffs. That order came after the Warmbiers initially demanded the North Korean government pay as much as $1.1 billion in compensation for Otto's death.
Otto Warmbier was arrested in 2016 after he was accused of stealing a North Korean propaganda banner in his hotel. After being released in 2017, he was found to have suffered coma and brain damage. Warmbier died shortly after being repatriated to the United States.