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  1. #1
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    US student Otto Warmbier given 15 years hard labour in North Korea



    US student Otto Warmbier has been given 15 years hard labour in North Korea for crimes against the state.

    Warmbier, 21, was arrested for trying to steal a propaganda sign from a hotel while visiting North Korea in January.

    He later appeared on state TV apparently confessing and saying a church group had asked him to bring back a "trophy" from his trip.

    North Korea sometimes uses the detention of foreigners as a means of exerting pressure on its adversaries.

    The BBC's Stephen Evans in South Korea says the 15-year sentence is high compared to those given to foreigners in the past.

    This could be due to the particularly high tensions at the moment between North Korea and the US, he says.

    'Worst mistake'


    North Korean state news agency KCNA said Warmbier was convicted under an article of the criminal code relating to subversion. The verdict was handed down by the Supreme Court.

    Otto Warmbier at press conference in Pyongyang (29 Feb 2016)Image copyrightAFP
    Image caption

    Otto Warmbier said in February that he had made "the worst mistake of my life"
    Warmbier, a student at the University of Virginia, was arrested on 2 January as he was trying to leave North Korea. He was accused of committing "hostile acts".
    KCNA said at the time he had gone to North Korea "to destroy the country's unity" and that he had been "manipulated" by the US government.

    At the end of February, at a tearful press conference in Pyongyang, he said he had "committed the crime of taking down a political slogan from the staff holding area of the Yanggakdo International Hotel".

    "The aim of my task was to harm the motivation and work ethic of the Korean people. This was a very foolish aim," he was quoted as saying.

    He said it was the "worst mistake" of his life.

    North Korea detainees often recant their confessions once out of the country.
    US tourism to North Korea is legal but the US State Department strongly advises against it.

    Foreigners detained in North Korea
    Other recent cases include:


    Hyeon Soo Lim, a Canadian Christian pastor of South Korean origin, was sentenced to a life term of hard labour in December, for "crimes against the state".

    Kim Dong Chul, a businessman who said he made frequent trips to the North's Rason Special Economic Zone, was arrested in October 2015 for "espionage". Pyongyang produced a passport that appeared to show he was a naturalised American.
    Sandra Suh, an American aid worker, was arrested then expelled in April 2015, accused of gathering and producing anti-North propaganda.

    Matthew Todd Miller was sentenced to six years' hard labour in September 2014 for what North Korean state media described as "hostile acts", but was released in November the same year.

    Kenneth Bae was arrested in November 2012 and accused of using his tourism business to form groups to overthrow the government. Sentenced to 15 years' hard labour in May 2013 but was released along with Mr Miller.

    Jeffrey Fowle, held for five months and charged with "anti-state" crimes, was released in October 2014.

    Korean War veteran Merrill Newman, held in October 2013 on charges of "hostile acts", was released in December the same year.

    The sentencing comes a day after veteran US diplomat Bill Richardson met North Korean officials at the UN in New York to try to push for Warmbier's release.
    Mr Richardson has previously been involved in negotiations to secure the release of Americans from North Korea detention.

    Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemned the sentence: "North Korea's sentencing of Otto Warmbier to 15 years hard labour for a college-style prank is outrageous and shocking" said Phil Robertson, deputy director of HRW's Asia division, in a statement.

    North Korean state media took a less lenient view: "The accused confessed to the serious offense he had committed against the DPRK, pursuant to the US government's hostile policy toward it, in a bid to impair the unity of its people, after entering as a tourist," reported the KCNA news agency.

    The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is North Korea's formal name.

    US and South Korean troops on military drills in Pocheon (10 March 2016)Image copyrightAP
    Image caption

    South Korea and US troops are currently engaged in their biggest ever military drills, a routine source of tension

    North Korea has ramped up its hostile rhetoric in recent weeks, after the UN imposed some of its toughest ever sanctions.

    The sanctions were a response to the North conducting its fourth nuclear test and launching a satellite into space, which was seen as a covert test of banned missile technology.

    Pyongyang has also been angered by the US and South Korea carrying out their annual military drills, which this year involve some 315,000 personnel.

    North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un has threatened "indiscriminate" nuclear attacks against the US and the South, and has said his country will soon test a nuclear warhead.

    However analysts still doubt whether the North has the capacity to carry out a nuclear attack.
    US student Otto Warmbier given hard labour in North Korea - BBC News

  2. #2
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    he will do a couple of years, then be released as part of some deal or other, return to the usa a hero with tv appearances, books, films, unlimited pussy etc.

    he is made for life

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile
    he is made for life
    Really ?

    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile
    he will do a couple of years,
    Fuck that. A north Korean jail....

    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile
    return to the usa a hero with tv appearances, books, films, unlimited pussy etc.
    Really ? Tell me about other westerners who have done time in a North Korean, or Iranian, or Russian jail etc ... how famous and rich are they ?

    2 minutes of fame does not set one up for life.

  4. #4
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    He is going to a gated community, tough way to become rich.

  5. #5
    lom
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    Though shalt not steal. This will teach him.

  6. #6
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    Just another pawn to be considered barter against sanctions and American policy.
    Sad story for a student that won't be returning to his studies.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeeCoffee
    Sad story for a student that won't be returning to his studies.
    Not for quite awhile.

    Mind, how stupid can you be ?

  8. #8
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    Jesus told him to do it...Not you, Mr Jones...

  9. #9
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    what does hard labour actually mean in that shithole?

  10. #10
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    ^In his case, I'm not sure - but they do have a system of gulag style camps for political prisoners. Google North Korean Prison Camps - it's pretty horrifying.

  11. #11
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    I did read Escape From Camp 14, surely he wouldn't be put through that shit????

  12. #12
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    ^Foreigners have been held in the worst of the worst before - make Thai prisons look like Club Med. If you do that Google, a number of descriptive articles.

  13. #13
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    Most Americans think N.Korea is one of the last places to go visit, and that Americans that do go are a bit strange.

  14. #14
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    quite a lot of Americans are quite strange, just look at the presidents!!!!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurgen View Post
    I did read Escape From Camp 14, surely he wouldn't be put through that shit????
    Why not?

  16. #16
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    because the principle reason this chaps been sentenced to 15 years is that the north Korean's wanted a hostage and he handed himself on a silver plate.

    therefore they fully expect to release him back into the international community. they would hardly want to put him in popper prison camp for locals and then release him to spill the beans. So I doubt he's going to get house arrest in a 5 start hotel room, but he's not going to see the inside camp 14 either.
    Teakdoor CSI, TD's best post-reality thinkers

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  17. #17
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    fukk me Hazz, that's what I was thinking.
    Does that mean Dr B is a kunt X2 ?

  18. #18
    I am in Jail
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurgen
    Does that mean Dr B is a kunt X2 ?
    He just doesn't think the Koreans view farangs as quite so special & exempt as farangs think of themselves.

  19. #19
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    Nasty little opinion piece.


    You Gon’ Learn Today: On the Revocation of White Privilege in North Korea





    “That’s what the hell he gets. Good for him!” My mother had uttered those words in her typical matter-of-fact tone one morning as she watched the news. “He” was Michael Fay, an 18-year-old from Ohio who had confessed to vandalizing cars in Singapore, and was subsequently sentence to six lashes from a rattan cane. I was in sixth grade and all I could imagine was how horrible the pain would be. My mother was unmoved at the thought, remarking, “He earned that.”

    I thought about my mother’s words a few days ago while watching video of 21-year-old Otto Warmbier, another man from Ohio who last week was convicted of subversion for stealing a propaganda banner in North Korea, and sentenced to 15 years hard labor. Just as in Fay’s case, I was shocked by the severity of the punishment. I’ve tried to imagine spending a decade and a half performing what the North Korean state deems hard labor and I can’t. But I’m not 11 anymore, and now, my mother’s callous reaction to Micahel Fay’s sentence is my reaction to another young white man who went to an Asian country and violated their laws, and learned that the shield his cis white male identity provides here in America is not teflon abroad.

    As shocked as I am by the sentence handed down to Warmbier, I am even more shocked that a grown man, an American citizen, would not only voluntarily enter North Korea but also commit what’s been described a “college-style prank.” That kind of reckless gall is an unfortunate side effect of being socialized first as a white boy, and then as a white man in this country. Every economic, academic, legal and social system in this country has for more than three centuries functioned with the implicit purpose of ensuring that white men are the primary benefactors of all privilege. The kind of arrogance bred by that kind of conditioning is pathogenic, causing its host to develop a subconscious yet no less obnoxious perception that the rules do not apply to him, or at least that their application is negotiable.

    Headline after headline has highlighted that Otto Warmbier is a student. His Linkedin profile states that he is majoring Economics with a minor in Global Sustainability and is a Managing Director of an “alternative investment fund.” A man reared in this country who studies the globe as a part of his higher education curriculum must have been at least passingly aware of the notoriously strained relationship between the United States and North Korea. Surely he had read the stories of Jeffrey Fowle and Matthew Miller, other white American men arrested in North Korea for “petty crimes” who were subsequently sentenced to hard labor.

    Yeah, I’m willing to bet my last dollar that he was aware of the political climate in that country, but privilege is a hell of a drug. The high of privilege told him that North Korea’s history of making examples out of American citizens who dare challenge their rigid legal system in any way was no match for his alabaster American privilege. When you can watch a white man who entered a theatre and killed a dozen people come out unscathed, you start to believe you’re invincible. When you see a white man taken to Burger King in a bulletproof vest after he killed nine people in a church, you learn that the world will always protect you.

    Coming from a country filled with citizens who lambaste black victims of state sanctioned violence by telling us that if we obey the law, we wouldn’t have to face the consequences, Warmbier should’ve listened. If he had obeyed North Korea’s laws, he would be home now. In fact, if he had heeded the US Department of State’s strong advisement against travel to North Korea, he would be home right now. And if Eric Garner is to be blamed for his own death for selling loose cigarettes or if Sandra Bland is dead because she failed to signal when changing lanes, then Otto Warmbier is now facing a decade and a half of hard labor because he lacked both good judgment and respect for the national autonomy of a country which has made its hatred for and vendetta against America unequivocally clear.

    And while I don’t blame his parents for pressuring the State Department to negotiate his release, I wonder where they were when their son was planning a trip to the DPRK. Didn’t they impress upon him the hostile climate that awaited him? Didn’t they rear him to respect law and order? Did they not teach him the importance of obeying authority?

    What a mind-blowing moment it must be to realize after 21 years of being pedestaled by the world simply because your DNA coding produced the favorable phenotype that such favor is not absolute. What a bummer to realize that even the State Department with all its influence and power cannot assure your pardon. What a wake-up call it is to realize that your tears are met with indifference.

    As I’ve said, living 15 years performing manual labor in North Korea is unimaginable, but so is going to a place I know I’m unwelcome and violating their laws. I’m a black woman though. The hopeless fear Warmbier is now experiencing is my daily reality living in a country where white men like him are willfully oblivious to my suffering even as they are complicit in maintaining the power structures which ensure their supremacy at my expense. He is now an outsider at the mercy of a government unfazed by his cries for help. I get it.

    You Gon? Learn Today: On the Revocation of White Privilege in North Korea | THE KINFOLK KOLLECTIVE

    I'm all for black lives matter and all that stuff, but for this lady to suggest that her life in America as a black woman, is like the 15 years in hard labour in NK for this fellow ?

    Sheeesh.

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat Black Heart's Avatar
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    Is he yawning?


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by lom View Post
    Though shalt not steal. This will teach him.
    He forgot the 11th Commandment:

    "Thou shalt not get caught"

  22. #22
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    His surname alone would probably get him 15-life in Australia.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurgen View Post
    what does hard labour actually mean in that shithole?
    Well I doubt there will be any honeys washing cars?

  24. #24
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    not fat,just big boned.

    Gee, that woman who wrote the opinion piece that Kingwilly posted sure has a chip
    on her shoulder,those bloody white men stuffing everything up for her.
    Wonder why she did not mention the ex basketball player, think name is dennis rodman,
    who is black and kissed fat boy not so slim's arse and praised him as a great man.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by reddog View Post
    Gee, that woman who wrote the opinion piece that Kingwilly posted sure has a chip
    on her shoulder,those bloody white men stuffing everything up for her.
    Wonder why she did not mention the ex basketball player, think name is dennis rodman,
    who is black and kissed fat boy not so slim's arse and praised him as a great man.
    Rodman might be the one that gets this boy released.

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