North Korea sentences American student to 15 years hard labour for trying to steal a political banner

North Korea has sentenced an American student to 15 years of hard labour after he was arrested while visiting the repressive country.

Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student, was detained in January for trying to steal a banner bearing a propaganda slogan from his hotel in Pyongyang .

He later appeared on state TV apparently confessing and saying a church group had asked him to bring back a "trophy" from his trip.

Warmbier, who is from Wyoming, Ohio, and was 21 at the time of his arrest, told a press conference in Pyongyang last month that his crime "is very severe and pre-planned."

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

He said it was the "worst mistake" of his life.

The young man was at the end of a five-day New Year's group tour of North Korea when he was seized at airport immigration.

No comments