In North Korea US student sentenced to 15 years in prison

The arrest would have served the country (North Korea) a great satisfaction, as it aims to retaliate against the western powers who are against it.

  • Published:
Otto Warmbier play

Otto Warmbier, being escorted by North Korean military officers

(BBC)
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A student from the United States of America, Otto Warmbier, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison by the North Korean government for attempting to steal propaganda sign from a hotel while visiting North Korea earlier in January 2016.

He confessed to the crime on state television saying a church group had asked him to bring back a "trophy" from his trip.

Otto Warmbier play

Otto Warmbier, making a statement on state television

(BBC)

 

North Korean state news agency KCNA said Warmbier was convicted under an article of the criminal code relating to subversion. The sentencing was given by the Supreme Court.

Warmbier, who is a student at the University of Virginia, was arrested on January 2, 2016, as he was trying to leave North Korea.

READ: North Korean leader says will soon conduct nuclear, missile tests

He spoke at a press conference in Pyongyang amidst tears, where he said he had "committed the crime of taking down a political slogan from the staff holding area of the Yanggakdo International Hotel".

"The aim of my task was to harm the motivation and work ethic of the Korean people. This was a very foolish aim".

He affirmed that "it was the worst mistake of his life".

North Korea is at odd ends with most western powers, using its nuclear energy capability to frustrate them. This has seen it severe relationship with these countries, including direct neighbour, South Korea.

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