An American student has confessed to “severe crimes” against North Korea. Otto Warmbier, who has been detained in North Korea since January, has confessed crime against the North Korean state. He has pleaded for government’s forgiveness.
Otto is detained for trying to steal an item bearing a propaganda slogan from a Pyongyang hotel. The 21-year-old University of Virginia student was detained in January 2 before boarding his flight to China, reported RT. He said that he was offered a used car worth $14038.04 (US$10,000). He also said that he was motivated by UVA, a secretive philanthropic organization that he wanted to join.
Otto said, “On January 1, 2016, I committed my crime of taking down an important political slogan from a staff-only area in Yanggakdo International Hotel aimed at harming the work ethic and the motivation of the Korean people,”
He confessed, “I understand the severity of my crime, and I have no idea what sort of penalty I may face, but I am begging to the Korean people and government for my forgiveness. And I am praying to the heavens so that I may be returned home to my family.”
CNN showed the video where Otto was sobbing and saying that he made the worst mistake of his life. According to CNN a North Korean official informed the press people that the American student had requested the news conference himself. The conference was arranged in the People’s Palace of Culture in Pyongyang.
A statement issued by his parents Fred and Cindy Warmbier states, “We had not heard from him during these many weeks, so you can imagine how deeply worried we were and what a traumatic experience this has been for us”
The US State Department said that it was aware of the detention of the student, but refused to comment further on the issue stating “privacy consideration”.
Norh Korea, on the other hand, accused Warmbier of surfing the internet to search political slogans of the country. They also charged him of plotting to steal one by folding it up in a rectangular metal sheet. The officials reported that the American student wore a “quite shoe” and entered the staff-only second floor to steal a banner before 2 am, on January 1, 2016.
Kim Jong-un has ordered a trail of execution since he came to power. The latest victim of the dictators wrath was the country’s army chief. Thus, what penalty the American student has to pay for a “severe crime” like stealing a propaganda slogan, is a matter of speculation.