Warmbier bags 15 year sentence

American student Otto Frederick Warmbier, held by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for anti-DPRK crimes, the Supreme Court of the DPRK announced Wednesday.

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Warmbier, 21, was a student of finance from the University of Virginia. He admitted in court to committing the crimes of trying to take a political slogan from a hotel.

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The sentence of hard labor is being served starting from Feb. 4, and the ruling was unappealable, the Supreme Court said.

The Supreme Court said that Warmbier on Jan. 1 attempted to take a political slogan which inspired people’s love for the DPRK from a staff-only area at Yanggakdo International Hotel, where he stayed during his tour in Pyongyang.

But the slogan was too heavy to carry. It dropped to the ground after Warmbier took it down from the wall.
Warmbier escaped from the scene. He was arrested and detained by the DPRK authorities at Pyongyang International Airport on Jan. 2.

Warmbier was charged with following the U.S. hostile policy against the DPRK and undermining the unity of the DPRK people.

Warmbier was quoted as saying that the task was given by the Friendship United Methodist Church, at the encouragement of the Z Society and at the connivance of the U.S. government, with the objective of undermining the unity of the DPRK people and eventually overthrowing the DPRK system.

“The aim was to harm the work ethics and motivation of the DPRK people,” Warmbier said, adding that he was used and manipulated by the church and the Z society.

The Z Society is an organization at the University of Virginia comprising students who give time, talent and financial contribution to groups and individuals that exemplify the spirit of the society and the ideals of the university. Membership is typically anonymous. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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