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 Very Well-Known Member
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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 Very Well-Known 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 Leónidas 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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  16. Bonnie Thomas

    Bonnie Thomas Very Well-Known Member
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    I guess people are just fed up with stupidity! ... After all, this country will have to promise North Korea something that we don't want to do .... and it ends up harming the US in the end.
    So, no, other than his family, the guy isn't going to be cheered if/when he gets home.
     
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  17. Martin Alonzo

    Martin Alonzo Very Well-Known Member
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    Bonnie Thomas
    I remember when Bill Clinton went there to help with another release.
    He also gave them two nuclear reactors to allowing them to make nuclear weapons he was a great guy.
     
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  18. Krissttina Isobe

    Krissttina Isobe Very Well-Known Member
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    #18
  19. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    "‘They are intentionally starved and worked to death’: The horrific conditions in North Korean labor camps"

    There was a time, way back when, that any American so detained for a minor infraction constituted CAUSE for the U.S. Government to enact sudden and harsh response aimed at securing that American's quick release. PC no longer allows such precedent, evidently.

    Relatives of such incarcerees interviewed revealed tales of horrible conditions, including starvation and torture.
     
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  20. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    I know the comments seem harsh (I haven't read them, but have seen similar ones in the past), but when will people wake up? Not every country is as lax with criminals as we are here in the U.S.

    Here's another documentary on North Korea. This one's from PBS/Frontline. I would never even go near the place. I think many people are raising their children to be dangerously naive about a lot of things, including foreign countries. They aren't learning about our own country and U.S. history, let alone how other systems of government operate. Hopefully this situation will open some eyes, but it's doubtful, and things like this will keep happening, out of ignorance. Regarding the wording, I have no doubt the confession was written by the government, but also, any translator is probably native to NK, and would most likely use wording different than an American youth would use. North Korea is unhappy with the U.S. and South Korea right now, and has no doubt jumped on this situation to turn the screws and get back at our government.
     
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  21. Martin Alonzo

    Martin Alonzo Very Well-Known Member
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    They are always ready to point at other counties and say how bad it is and we have freedom . You have freedom when it is convenient for our masters. Google Japanese Americans in 1942 and you will see what freedom you have. If you live in Canada and your child takes two stick and hooks them together with a string or chain you could be put in jail because nunchakus are consider a prohibited weapon along with pea shooter [blow gun]. Or tell someone at the airport that you do not have a bomb which is probably telling the truth.
    Most people in the world are satisfied with what they have but would like it better.
    Freedom to me means riding down the highway without seat belts going 6 miles over the speed limit. If I do that in Canada or US I will be reminded by the police about my freedom.
     
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  22. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    @Martin Alonzo , you can do that here in the US and you still be free, but you will have to pay a fine.

    We can't have total freedom, it would be chaos.:)

    As for seat belts, I wear them for my safety not because I have to. Everybody speeds 6 miles over the speed limit but going 30 miles over the speed limit is wreckless and your freedom to do so would violate my right to assume I'm safe on the same road with you. :)
     
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  23. Karen McKenzie

    Karen McKenzie Well-Known Member
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    Chrissy...I got a ticket last year doing a very fast speed on an "I thought" desolate highway..haha..lights came on and I was caught. It was $185 dollars plus online traffic school. I hadn't had a ticket since my 20's. Guess what..that served as a good reminder to watch my lead foot..lol
     
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  24. Karen McKenzie

    Karen McKenzie Well-Known Member
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    :rolleyes: image.jpeg

    I apologize in advance for being off topic..but I couldn't resist.
     
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  25. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Ha ha, I have a lead foot too. I got a speeding ticket for going 83 mph in 65 mph zone. A long boring empty stretch of hwy152. My fine was $370 plus a whole Saturday at traffic school.
     
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