N Korea sentences US student to 15 years in jail

Seoul: North Korea yesterday sentenced an American student who admitted to stealing a propaganda banner from a hotel, to 15 years’ hard labour for subversive activities, state media said.

The judgment was handed down on Otto Warmbier, a 21-year-old student from the University of Virginia, by North Korea’s Supreme Court, the North’s official KCNA news agency said.

Warmbier was arrested as he was leaving the country with a tour group.

He later said he had removed a political banner from the staff-only area of the Pyongyang hotel where the group had stayed.       

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