North Korea arrests U.S. university student for alleged 'hostile' acts

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - North Korea announced Friday the arrest of a U.S. university student for what it said was a "hostile act" orchestrated by the American government to undermine the authoritarian nation.

See Full Article

In language that mirrors past North Korean claims of outside conspiracies, North Korean state media said the University of Virginia student entered the country under the guise of a tourist and plotted to destroy North Korean unity with "the tacit connivance of the U.S. government and under its manipulation."

The North's official Korean Central News Agency said in a short report that the student, whom it identified as Warmbier Otto Frederick, was "arrested while perpetrating a hostile act," but didn't say when he was detained or explain the nature of the act. North Korea has sometimes listed English-language surnames first, in the Korean style. The University of Virginia's online student directory lists someone named Otto Frederick Warmbier as an undergraduate commerce student.

A China-based tour company specializing in travel to North Korea, Young Pioneer Tours, confirmed that one of its customers, identified only as "Otto," had been detained in Pyongyang, the North's capital, but provided no other details.

North Korea's announcement comes amid a diplomatic push by Washington, Seoul and their allies to slap Pyongyang with tough sanctions for its recent nuclear test. In the past, North Korea has occasionally announced the arrests of foreign detainees in times of tension with the outside world in an apparent attempt to wrest concessions or diplomatic manoeuvring room.

North Korea regularly accuses Washington and Seoul of sending "spies" to overthrow its government to enable the U.S.-backed South Korean government to control the entire Korean Peninsula. Some foreigners previously arrested have read statements of guilt that they later said were coerced.

North Korea has previously released or deported U.S. detainees after high-profile Americans visited the country. In late 2014, for instance, North Korea released two Americans after a secret mission to the North by James Clapper, the top U.S. intelligence official. Critics say such trips have provided diplomatic credibility to the North.

The Korean Peninsula remains in a technical state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. About 28,500 American troops are stationed in South Korea.

North Korea is holding at least three South Koreans and one Canadian.

Last month, North Korea's Supreme Court sentenced a Canadian pastor to life in prison with hard labour for what it called crimes against the state. The offences he was charged with included harming the dignity of the North's leadership and trying to use religion to destroy the North Korean system, according to the North's state media.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Manchester attack a tough test for British PM Theresa May

    World News CTV News
    MANCHESTER, England -- It's a moment all leaders dread: Standing on television to tell the nation there has been a bombing -- and another attack might be coming. British Prime Minister Theresa May, an unelected leader in office for less than a year, handled this week's bombing in Manchester with a sombre dignity that reassured many Britons, and will likely give her a boost when voters go to the polls on June 8. Source
  • Trump choosing caution over chaos on first big trip

    World News CTV News
    BRUSSELS -- In his first big tour on the world stage, U.S. President Donald Trump is choosing caution over his usual brand of chaos. The early morning Twitter rants that so often rattle Washington have disappeared as Trump travels through the Middle East and Europe. Source
  • Daughter of B.C. winery owner jailed in China seeking Ottawa's help

    Canada News CTV News
    The daughter of a British Columbia couple jailed in China last year while on a business trip is calling on the Canadian government to take action and bring her parents home. Lulu Island Winery owner John Chang and his wife Allison were arrested in China in March 2016 for allegedly underreporting the value of their wine, Chinese officials said. Source
  • Dog dies after being found buried alive in Quebec

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    MONTREAL — An injured dog found buried alive on Montreal’s South Shore appears to be in stable condition as the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals investigates what happened to the animal. The Monteregie SPCA says the dog, a Boxer, was extremely dehydrated when it was first brought in for care Tuesday and couldn’t even lift its head. Source
  • Lethbridge mom fired while caring for son with cancer welcomes proposed law

    Canada News CTV News
    A Lethbridge, Alta. mother who was fired while caring for her son with cancer is applauding new provincial legislation designed to make sure other parents like her don’t lose their jobs during one of the toughest times of their lives. Source
  • N.B. government signs collective agreement with teachers, includes wage hike

    Canada News CTV News
    FREDERICTON -- The New Brunswick government says it has reached a five-year contract with the province's teachers' federation. In a statement Wednesday, the province says the deal will cover nearly 8,000 teachers, supply teachers, vice-principals and principals and will provide annual wage hikes of one per cent. Source
  • Queen Elizabeth visits victims of Manchester terror attack [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    British authorities say an 8-year-old girl, Saffie Roussos, was among the 22 who died in the Manchester bombing. Medical officials say 12 children under the age of 16 were among those injured in the suicide bombing attack at a pop concert in Manchester, England. Source
  • British officials enraged after New York Times publishes photos detailing Manchester suicide bombing [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    MANCHESTER, England — British police arrested two more people and searched a new site in Manchester suspected of links to the concert bombing that left 22 people dead, as British authorities complained bitterly Thursday about investigation leaks blamed on U.S. Source
  • Obama gets rock-star welcome in Berlin, praises Merkel

    World News CTV News
    BERLIN -- Barack Obama received a rock-star welcome in Berlin as he appeared at a public debate Thursday with Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom he praised as one of his "favourite partners" during his presidency. Security was tight in front of the German capital's iconic Brandenburg Gate, where Obama and Merkel appeared on a podium before thousands of people attending a gathering marking the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Source
  • Georgia: Sheriff suspends self after indecency allegation

    World News CTV News
    ATLANTA -- A Georgia sheriff recently arrested by an officer who accused him of exposing himself in a park has suspended himself for one week. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann emailed sheriff's office employees Tuesday, saying he imposed the maximum penalty for conduct that "has a tendency to destroy public respect. Source