We Have An American Student Arrested In North Korea

Discussion in 'In the News' started by Yvonne Smith, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    I just saw this article about the american student from the Univerity of Virginia who went with a tour group of students to North Korea.
    While he was there, he is accused of stealing a political campaign sign off of the wall at the hotel where he was staying, and the police arreted him just as he was getting on the plane to leave North Korea.
    He has given a statement that confesses that he did this crime, and he is sorry, and was crying as he did so, and he has now been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for doing this.

    When I read his supposed confession it seemed strange to me.
    For one thing, the wording seemed an odd choice for an American to use, and the second thing was that he actually blamed his crime on the United states government.
    He goes so far as to assert that the government "lured him" to committ this theft, and says that our administration should not do those kinds of things anymore.

    It looks to me like the North Korean government has written the confesssion and forced the student to sign it.
    While it was not a very smart thing for him to steal anything, even something as simple as a political sign; it certainly should not be the kind of crime that would be punishable by 15 year at hard labor, and he is not likely to survive that unless our government does pull some strings to get him released.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-brief...-student-sentenced-to-15-years-in-north-korea
     
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  2. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Yikes, that's harsh and I'm sure it was a forced confession, this reminds me of that boy in Singapore that did something stupid and I think his punishment was lashings or something like that.

    I feel for this boys family, but I have no idea what the US will do or can do. I'm sure they won't just let him go. They will want something in return.
     
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  3. Bonnie Thomas

    Bonnie Thomas Very Well-Known Member
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    It always amazes me as to what makes people go to such unfriendly countries in the first place.
    Of all the places.... Think and understand all the ramifications of any crazy actions in these countries.
    Stealing a political sign for a souvenir is not only dumb, over there it could be deadly.

    North Korea just loves to look for opportunities to make the US look bad.
     
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  4. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    They could arrest you there for nothing probably, not a place I would go either. And sadly, if indeed there is a law regarding that and the sentence is at the discretion of the judge. Not too much can be done. Their country, their law. They also don't care to play nice, and will only do something if it serves their interest.
     
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  5. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I was just reading some of the comments made after the story on USA Today, seems many aren't very sympathetic.

    Calling him stupid for even visiting there, let alone stealing something.

    If that was my son and he was released, after I hugged him for being safe I would knock his blocks off for being so stupid.
     
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  6. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Going on a tour in North Korea, is not a good idea.
     
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  7. Gary Ridenour

    Gary Ridenour Very Well-Known Member
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    if someone ask me if i wanted to go there i'd ask "what do i look like stupid??" 15 years in a prison camp there is really a death sentence unless they parole him like the others. taking the poster was dumb. they have eyes and ears everywhere. or did he take it?? Yankee stay home !!!! when they arrest the locals it is life. add to it they round up all your relatives who are all imprisoned.and their children born in these concentrations grow up and die there.
    anyone ever hear of Lisa LIng. ?? she's an American journalist, television presenter, and author. She is currently the host of This is Life with Lisa Ling on CNN. many years back she did a program called inside North Korea. I was fascinated while watching it. first time ever I saw what it's like there. ill leave the video. but its long just over 47 mins. i highly recommend it

     
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  8. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Yes, I love all her shows and watched many of them. Not sure if I saw that one though.
     
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  9. Gary Ridenour

    Gary Ridenour Very Well-Known Member
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    I told her on facebook this was one of the best documentary's ive seen and she was one brave gal for doing it. later she came back and said she was never more fearful for her life. she was uptight and very nervous and could not wait to get out of there. had they found those hidden camera's might have been the end of her
     
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  10. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Why would anyone who doesn't have to go there, like this student go? It's just plain stupid. Their leader kills his own family members for no reason. Even if you have no intention of stealing anything, they'll frame you at the drop of a hat if they feel like it. I'm curious to see what will happen. I'm actually angry with this kid for putting his parents through hell right now. I'm sure he's pretty darned scared too. Kim Jong-Un is loving it.
     
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  11. Gary Ridenour

    Gary Ridenour Very Well-Known Member
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    his parent's might be the problem. if they keep up on current events they should know. I wonder about kids today. or the schools that don't teach history anymore
     
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  12. Martin Alonzo

    Martin Alonzo Veteran Member
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    It is made out that all these dictators are so bad and the laws are unjust. I live in the Dominican Republic and a lot of the older Dominicans remember a dictator here call Rafael LeĆ³nidas Trujillo Molina and hold him in high regard. They would say that if you dropped your wallet in the street you could go back tomorrow and pick it up. That I think might have been a little stretch but they claim there was little to no theft because the penalty was so harsh.
    They have been so wishy washy about theft in the US that it has became a joke if you steal from the bank the person who catches you will get a medial but if the bank steal from you they get a raise.
     
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  13. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    There wasn't much crime under communism either that I saw from my brief visits. People lived in fear.
     
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  14. Bonnie Thomas

    Bonnie Thomas Very Well-Known Member
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    Bill Richardson is working with North Korea to release him. It's worked with other high officials in government. ...
    I remember when Bill Clinton went there to help with another release.

    Bill Richardson will likely be among the key players in whatever negotiations take place to free Warmbier. The former New Mexicogovernor served as the American ambassador to the United Nations.

    Richardson said he made contact with North Korean diplomats at the United Nations at the urging of Warmbier's parents, who live in Ohio, and their state's governor, Republican presidential candidateJohn Kasich.


    https://gma.yahoo.com/other-americans-detained-north-korea-170315580--abc-news-topstories.html
     
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    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
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  15. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    None of the comments I read have too much sympathy for the young man, also read most arrested do get released, except for one woman who's been there 3 years.
     
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