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American student held in PRK confesses to 'hostile act'
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11249
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 7:37 am    Post subject: American student held in PRK confesses to 'hostile act' Reply with quote

U.S. student detained in North Korea confesses to 'hostile act'
By Will Ripley, CNN | February 29, 2016
Source: http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/28/asia/north-korea-otto-warmbier/

(CNN) North Korea has allowed the world to get its first glimpse of Otto Frederick Warmbier, an American student at the University of Virginia, two months after his arrest. Warmbier is accused of trying to steal a North Korean banner, containing a political slogan that was hanging from the walls of his Pyongyang hotel. A North Korean official with direct knowledge of Warmbier's case says the 21-year-old held a press conference "at his own request" on Monday morning at the People's Palace of Culture in Pyongyang.

The event provided insight into the bizarre charges the 21-year old is facing in the secretive Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), including allegations he was encouraged to commit the "hostile act" by a purported member of an Ohio church, a secretive university organization, and even the CIA.

The U.S. State Department said it was aware of media reports the U.S. citizen was detained in North Korea but declined to comment further "due to privacy considerations." In a video supplied to CNN, North Korean guards escorted Warmbier into the room. He was not restrained, and was wearing dark trousers, a light-colored blazer, shirt and tie. Appearing to read from a statement, Warmbier said: "I committed the crime of taking down a political slogan from the staff holding area of the Yanggakdo International Hotel." It is not known if the student was forced by the DPRK to speak, or whether he was coerced.

"I apologize to each and every one of the millions of the Korean people and I beg that you see how I was used and manipulated," Warmbier said. "My reward for my crime was so much smaller than the rewards that the Z Society and the Friendship United Methodist Church get from the United States Administration."

Warmbier is also seen in the video sobbing and pleading for forgiveness, and bowing deeply to apologize. "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 United States administration never manipulate people like myself in the future to commit crimes against foreign countries. I entirely beg you, the people and government of the DPRK, for your forgiveness. Please! I made the worst mistake of my life!"

North Korea accuses Warmbier of surfing the Internet to study different DPRK political slogans and plotting to steal one by folding it up on a thin rectangular metal sheet, and concealing it in his suitcase. The official says Warmbier put on "quiet shoes" he brought from the United States and just before 2 a.m. on January 1, 2016, entered the staff-only second floor of the hotel intending to steal a sign or banner with a political slogan. "The slogan was bigger than he had thought. So he couldn't take it away and turned it upside down and deserted (it) on the floor when he had pulled it from the hangers," the official said.

Warmbier, a third-year business major at the University of Virginia originally, was detained on January 2 as he was about to board a plane and leave the country, according to Young Pioneer Tours, the China-based travel company that organized his trip.

A North Korean official with direct knowledge of the case tells CNN Warmbier is accused of meeting last year with a member of the Friendship United Methodist Church in Wyoming, Ohio -- a small suburb of Cincinnati. "[The church member] emphasized that North Korea is an anti-Christian communist state and that communism should be ended," said the North Korean official, who CNN has agreed not to identify. According to the same official, the church member allegedly encouraged Warmbier "to take an important political slogan from North Korea in order to weaken the ideological unity and motivation of the North Koreans" and promised to give him a "$10,000 used car" if the "mission" was successful.

CNN spoke with the church's Senior Pastor Meshach Kanyion who did not know the purported church "deaconess" named by North Korean officials. He said Warmbier is not a member of the church, which has a congregation of around 500 people. "I've never met his family. Clearly there are some people who know him and went to school with him. If his family went to our church, we would've been much more involved [in pushing for his release]," Kanyion said.

North Korea also alleges Warmbier met last year with a member of Z Society, a secretive philanthropic organization at UVA which is known to paint their symbol "Z" around university grounds. Warmbier was allegedly told he could gain membership to the selective organization if he carried out his "mission." North Korea alleges that the Z Society has links to the CIA. A member of the Z Society at UVA told CNN the organization sought to anonymously reward students who contributed positively to the university. The source said the group had never had any contact with Warmbier and he'd never been approached to be a member. The source also dismissed suggestions the group had any affiliation with the CIA. "There's just not even the semblance of a relationship between a group of undergrads who get together to eat hummus and write nice things about people, and the CIA," the Z Society member said.

When contacted by CNN, a University of Virginia spokesman said: "The university is aware of recent media reports and remains in close contact with Otto Warmbier's family. We will have no further comment at this time." Warmbier's arrest has once again raised questions about the safety of American tourists traveling to North Korea. Some have accused the regime of using detained U.S. citizens as political pawns.

Days after Warmbier's arrest in January, Pyongyang claimed to test its first H-bomb. The provocative act, followed by a satellite launch weeks later, has resulted in even further isolation of the North. An upcoming U.N. resolution intends to impose heightened sanctions on Pyongyang, which its powerful neighbor and benefactor China has vowed to carry out.

DPRK observers believe the timing of Warmbier's press conference, with new sanctions on the horizon, may be a deliberate move by the regime. North Korean travel agencies stress nearly all Americans who travel to the DPRK return home safely. But there have been several incidents of American tourists detained in recent years. In September 2014, CNN was granted a surprise interview with Matthew Miller and Jeffrey Fowle in Pyongyang after they were detained, along with Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae. Miller admitted to tearing up his tourist visa upon entering the country and Fowle admitted to leaving a Bible in a local club while on a tourist trip -- a criminal offense in North Korea. Both men, along with Bae, were subsequently released after U.S. intervention, including a visit to Pyongyang by U.S. spy chief James Clapper.

On its website, the US State Department "strongly recommends against all travel to the DPRK" citing the "risk of arrest and long-term detention due to the DPRK's inconsistent application of its criminal laws."

(End of article)
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15303

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder what percentage of visitors to North Korea are US spies. 10% ? 30% ? All of them ?
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 13859
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure what the percentage of spies may be, but my guess is the percentage of idiots is darn close yo 100%. Very Happy

Regards,
John
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Idiocy is on the increase. Not only among Americans. It is universal.
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MixtecaMike



Joined: 19 Nov 2003
Posts: 643
Location: Guatebad

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For us over 50's (I think that excludes O.P.) world travel was more exciting 20 years ago, and different countries really were different from those whence we came. The young'uns today have to look a lot harder to find somewhere exotic to escape to, such as hiking in Iraq/Iran border regions, Somalia, and stealing political posters in North Korea.
It possibly also accounts for the teenagers daeshing off for fun and adventure in parts of the Middle East.
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grahamb



Joined: 30 Apr 2003
Posts: 1945

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:19 pm    Post subject: Daesh it! Reply with quote

MixtecaMike wrote:
It possibly also accounts for the teenagers daeshing off for fun and adventure in parts of the Middle East.


Very Happy
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15303

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can offer intern programmes revealing the secrets of life in Coatbridge, Kilmarnock and Liverpool or Belfast. Reasonable prices. These are life-enhancing opportunities opening the doors to exciting and lively communities which are quite different to the ones you grew up in.

As exotic as North Korea or the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11249
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Based on today's news, he's not going anywhere soon:

Quote:
North Korea has sentenced American student Otto Frederick Warmbier to 15 years hard labor for crimes against the state, China's official Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.

The sentence was handed down by the country's Supreme Court, Xinhua said in one-line dispatch datelined Pyongyang.

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/16/asia/north-korea-warmbier-sentenced/index.html
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Knedliki



Joined: 08 May 2015
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I nominate him for a Darwin Award!
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gregory999



Joined: 29 Jul 2015
Posts: 372
Location: 999

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He will be released after one or two years - Uncle Sam will negotiate his release under the table with Uncle Kim.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11249
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deleted by poster

Last edited by nomad soul on Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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gregory999



Joined: 29 Jul 2015
Posts: 372
Location: 999

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trump negotiating with Kim? Impossible.
In one of his speech, Trump the trumpet said he will get China to make Kim disappear from the face of the earth, in one form or another, very quickly!!
Donald Trump vows to make North Korean leader Kim Jong-un 'disappear' and says the 'bad dude' dictator will face a fate worse than assassination
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3442302/Donald-Trump-vows-make-North-Korean-leader-Kim-Jong-disappear-says-bad-dude-dictator-face-fate-worse-assassination.html#ixzz435E6VWXD

Trump if he is a president, he will send a Stealth Bomber with thermonuclear weapons, and by mistake they will bomb and kill both the N. Korean guards with the American prisoner. Crying or Very sad

What a strategy and deal-making prowess from Trump the trumpet! Laughing
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JohnRambo



Joined: 06 Mar 2008
Posts: 182

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This guy wasn't playing with a full deck. Why on Earth would you want to steal a banner in North Korea? And why on Earth would you even want to to go that country?
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some people should stay in Kansas. Foreign travel is not for all.
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sheikh radlinrol



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 1222
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
Some people should stay in Kansas. Foreign travel is not for all.

And some people should stay in Clydebank, Hamilton or Greenock. Foreign travel should not be for them, either. The difference is that when one of our fellow Scots exposes his genitals or urinates in public in Southern Europe he is unlikely to be prosecuted and if he is it´ll be a 200 euro fine and a slap on the the wrist.
The immature young American in question has behaved stupidly, very stupidly indeed. His sentence, however, is out of all proportion when compared with his indiscretion. I hope he is reunited with his family soon. My apologies on behalf of Scot47 to the decent folk of Kansas. Let´s not be so sanctimonious. Mad
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