North Korea arrests US university student for ‘hostile act’
Otto Frederick Warmbier reportedly detained days before controversial nuclear test
A one-sentence dispatch on North’s official KCNA news agency said Otto Frederick Warmbier had entered North Korea as a tourist and “was caught committing a hostile act against the state”.
KCNA said the student’s real intention was to “undermine North Korea’s unity under the US government’s acquiescence and control.”
According to reports from a China-based travel agency, Mr Warmbier was on a tour of North Korea and he was detained on January 2nd, which was four days before Pyongyang tested a nuclear device which it claimed was a thermonuclear device, drawing the ire of the international community.
Westerners are regularly arrested in North Korea, many of them Christian evangelists trying to proselytise.
A 60-year-old South Korean-born Canadian pastor was arrested in North Korea last year and given a life sentence for subversion, while earlier this month, a Korean-American called Kim Dong-chul told CNN that he had been captured for spying for South Korea was in jail.
In 2009, two American journalists were arrested in North Korea and freed after Bill Clinton flew to Pyongyang, while in 2014, Pyongyang released three detained Americans.