US Student Stole “Propaganda” From North Korean Hotel

US Student Stole “Propaganda”  From North Korean HotelUS Student Stole “Propaganda”  From North Korean Hotel

A US student who was arrested in North Korea has appeared on state media admitting to trying to steal a piece of propaganda from a hotel.

In his first appearance since his arrest last month, an emotional Otto Warmbier said he was asked by a US church to bring back the “trophy”.

Warmbier, a 21-year-old University of Virginia student, had been on a tourist trip to North Korea in January. He was arrested on 2 January as he was about to leave, BBC reported.

At the time, North Korea said the US government had “tolerated and manipulated” him. He was charged with committing a “hostile act”.

At a news conference in Pyongyang, Warmbier said a member of the Friendship United Methodist Church had promised to give him a used car worth $10,000 (£7,200) if he brought back a propaganda sign from his North Korea trip.

“I committed the crime of taking down a political slogan from the staff holding area of the Yanggakdo International Hotel,” North Korea’s KCNA news agency quoted him as saying.

“The aim of my task was to harm the motivation and work ethic of the Korean people. This was a very foolish aim.”

Warmbier said his crime was “very severe and preplanned” and that he “never should have allowed myself to be lured by the United States administration to commit a crime in this country”.

CNN, which received a copy of the video, said he sobbed as he begged for forgiveness, saying he had made “the worst mistake of my life”.