American sentenced to 15 yrs of hard-labor in N. Korea

 PYONGYANG, March 16, 2016 – A University of Virginia student has been sentenced by North Korea’s Supreme Court to more than 15 years of hard labor. Otto Warmbier, a 21-year-old U.Va. undergraduate hailing from Wyoming, Ohio, was arrested in January for allegedly “perpetrating a hostile act” against the regime.

Warmbier was convicted and sentenced Wednesday in a one-hour trial. Prior to the court date, he made a media appearance in North Korea weeks before his trial, where he apologized for stealing a banner from a staff-only area of the hotel where he was staying.

Warmbier was arrested while visiting the country with Young Pioneer Tours, an agency specializing in travel to North Korea. The State Department warns against travel to the North. North Korea said he traveled to the country as a tourist but with the real aim of destroying the unity of North Korea with “the tacit connivance of the U.S. government.”

The North Korean government alleges Warmbier was encouraged to commit the “hostile act” by a purported member of an Ohio church, a secretive university organization and even the CIA. The tour company he traveled with said on its website it is aware of his sentencing.

Continue reading at Communities Digest News


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