Tuesday, March 15, 2016
16 March 2016–05H05
North Korea on Wednesday sentenced an American student, who admitted to stealing propaganda material, to 15 years hard labour for crimes against the state, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported.
The sentence was handed down on Otto Warmbier, a 21-year-old student from the University of Virginia, by North Korea’s Supreme Court, Xinhua said in a brief despatch datelined Pyongyang.
There was no immediate confirmation of the sentence on North Korean state media.
Warmbier, who was arrested in early January as he was leaving the country, later said he had removed a political banner from the staff-only area of the Pyongyang hotel being used by his tour group.
His detention came at a sensitive time, as the United States took a leading role in efforts to secure tough international sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear test on January 6 and a long-range rocket launch a month later