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Otto Warmbier, a student from Ohio, has been sentenced to undergo 15 years’ hard labour for trying to steal a propaganda banner in North Korea. Warmbier was convicted on charges of subversion, in a move which has showcased the secretive and unforgiving North Korean regime and further deteriorated relations with Washington. The American student has admitted his crime of taking down a political slogan from the staff holding area of the Yanggakdo International Hotel. Crying in a broadcast video, he said he had been “lured by the United States administration to commit a crime in this country.” This issue has raised questions around the risk to American tourists travelling in the country of being used as political pawns by the regime.

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