Fred Warmbier, left, listens to Ji Seong-ho, a North Korean defector, during a meeting at the South Korean Navy 2nd Fleet Command on Feb. 9 in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. (Woohae Cho/Getty Images)

When I saw Fred Warmbier at the Winter Olympics, I did not think of President Trump as Christine Emba suggested in her Feb. 10 op-ed, “Fred Warmbier’s compelling and confounding act.” I thought of the path of a parent under the worst circumstances imaginable and the horrific treatment by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un that Mr. Warmbier alleges led to Otto Warmbier’s death. Had Vice President Pence amiably chatted with Kim Jong Un’s sister, the critics would have warbled about the disgustingness of such chatter when dealing with one of the most venomous leaders in the world. I think Mr. Pence got it absolutely right, just like former president Bill Clinton did when he went to North Korea to retrieve incarcerated citizens. He looked somber next to Kim Jong Il, and rightly so. Who has given Fred Warmbier any notice since his son’s tragic death? 

I absolutely liked the reminder during these Winter Olympics. The media has been warbling about North and South joining in a neat little kumbaya. Mr. Warmbier’s presence reminds us that “Kumbaya” was never sung for Otto Warmbier. Ms. Emba’s column reflected a total misunderstanding of optics. 

To somehow suggest Fred Warmbier’s decision to join Mr. Pence was a wasted effort was incredibly arrogant, insensitive and part of the perpetual effort to remove dignity from anything done by our political leadership right now.

Betty Walter, Annandale