The communist country of North Korea sentenced an American tourist to 15 years at a hard labor camp on Wednesday.
Otto Warmbier,21, a student at the University of Virginia was found guilty of crimes against the state. Warmbier admitted that he tried to steal a propaganda banner to bring it back home for a friend to hang in her church.
Warmbier was arrested in January 2nd as he was trying to leave the country. Officials with North Korea accused Warmbier of trying to “destroy the country’s unity” and implicated that he had been “manipulated” by the U.S. Government.
In the one-hour trial, the North Korea Supreme Court convicted Warmbier of subversion saying that he committed a crime ” under the U.S. government’s hostile policy toward (the North), in a bid to impair the unity of its people after entering it as a tourist.”
A diplomat from the U.S. had met with North Korean officials one day before the sentencing to try an nd secure Warmgsbier’s release. It is unclear at this time if the U.S. will continue efforts to get Warmbier’s release.
North Korea has a history of jailing American tourists and charging them crimes against the state.