N. Korea sentences U.S. student to 15 years of hard labor: Xinhua
- Added: Year ago
- "북한 억류 미 대학생, 15년 노동교화형"
North Korea has sentenced a detained American to 15 years of hard labor.
But given the North′s history of using detained Americans to bring in high－profile figures， this seems to be another bid for attention.
Connie Kim fills us in.
North Korea has sentenced another American，...China′s official Xinuhua news agency reported Wednesday Otto Warmbier has been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for crimes against the state.
Xinhua said North Korea′s Supreme Court handed down the sentence to the 21－year－old student from University of Virginia， who is accused of stealing a propaganda banner from Yanggakdo International Hotel.
Warmbier had entered North Korea as a tourist in late December but was arrested on January 2nd while he was trying to leave.
He confessed to the crime in an emotional press conference last month.
His claims have not been verified... and other people detained in North Korea have been known to have retracted their confessions after their release.
″I regret my actions more than anything. I apologize to both the Korean people and the government. I beg for forgiveness and I beg for help in any way possible to save my life.″
News of the sentence came as veteran U.S. diplomat Bill Richardson was meeting with North Korean officials at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday to push for Warmbier′s release.
Detaining and jailing U.S. citizens have been North Korea′s way of drawing high－profile visits， including one by former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
Warmbier is one of three Americans currently detained in the North.
However， his imprisonment comes just after heavy UN sanctions were imposed on the North following its nuclear and ballistic missile tests.
Pyongyang could see Warmbier′s detention as a valuable political tool for ratcheting up tensions... amid its threats of another nuclear provocation.
Connie Kim， Arirang News.
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