US demands release of jailed student
The White House demanded that North Korea pardon and release Otto Warmbier, the 21-year-old American student who was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. White House spokesperson Josh Earnest accused North Korea's government of exploiting U.S. citizens as "pawns to pursue political agendas." The White House's comments coincided with the issuance of an executive order that renewed U.S. sanctions against North Korea.
American tourist detained in North Korea
Otto Fredrick Warmbier, a college student from the University of Virginia, had been arrested in North Korea and was accused of committing a hostile act against the North Korean state. Young Pioneer Tours, the Chinese travel company that had organized Warmbier's trip informed officials about his arrest. The company had stated that he was detained at Pyongyang Airport while going through customs.
Reason behind detaining Warmbier
The North Korean state media had reported that Warmbier, who entered North Korea on a tourist visa was accused of committing a hostile act against the DPRK. Reportedly, he had entered North Korea with the purpose of bringing the country's unity down with the assumed connivance of the US government. The tourist company had stated that Warmbier's family was informed of his arrest.
Details about Warmbier
Otto Fredrick Warmbier, the detained 21-year-old, is a third-year double major student in commerce and economics at the University of Virginia. He had visited North Korea along with many other American citizens and stayed at the Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
Detained American tourist confesses to crime
Two months after his arrest and following his request, Warmbier was given the consent to hold a press conference at People's Palace of Culture, Pyongyang. He confessed that he had committed the crime of taking a banner down from the restricted area of the Yanggakdo International Hotel. He was accused of attempting to steal a banner that contained a political slogan.
Warmbier regrets, pleads for forgiveness
"I never, never should have allowed myself to be lured by the United States administration to commit a crime in this country. I wish that the US administration never manipulates people like myself in the future to commit crimes against foreign countries."
North Korea’s allegations against Warmbier
Warmbier was accused of browsing the Internet to study various political slogans of North Korea and intending to steal one of the political propaganda banners. Warmbier had allegedly put on 'quiet shoes' and entered the staff-restricted area on the second floor of the hotel. He then stole a banner and folded it up on a thin metal sheet and concealed it in his suitcase.
Detained American tourist in N-Korea gets 15 years jail
Otto Warmbier, the detained American-student-tourist, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labour in prison by North Korea's Supreme Court. Warmbier, who was charged with subversion under Article 60 of North Korea's criminal code, was found guilty and sentenced during a one hour trial. Warmbier stated that he stole a propaganda sign for an acquaintance who wanted to put it in her church.