(From Reuters)

An American student held in North Korea since early January for trying to steal a propaganda slogan from his Pyongyang hotel has confessed to “severe crimes” against the state, the North’s official media said on Monday.

Otto Warmbier

“I committed the crime of taking out a political slogan from the staff-only area of the Yanggakdo International Hotel,” the North’s KCNA news agency quoted Otto Warmbier as telling foreign and domestic media in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.

Warmbier said an acquaintance who belonged to a church had offered him a used car worth $10,000 if he could present the church with the slogan as a “trophy” from North Korea, according to the agency.

The acquaintance also said the church would pay his mother $200,000 if he was detained by the North and did not return, KCNA quoted Warmbier as saying.

“My crime is very severe and pre-planned,” Warmbier, 21,  a student at the University of Virginia, was quoted as saying, adding that he was impressed by North Korea’s “humanitarian treatment of severe criminals like myself.” Read More

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