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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

American College Student Detained and Arrested in North Korea

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2016 Jan 22
  • Comments

An American college student has reportedly been detained and arrested in North Korea while in the country on a tourist visa.


CNN News reports that University of Virginia student Otto Frederick Warmbier was detained in Pyongyang on January 2. He was in North Korea with Young Pioneer Tours, a China-based travel company.


Young Pioneer Tours stated it is working with the U.S. State Department, the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Swedish Embassy for the release of Warmbier.


North Korea state media alleges that Warmbier committed “a hostile act against the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea].”


Warmbier entered the country “for the purpose of bringing down the foundation of its single-minded unity at the tacit connivance of the U.S. government," the report continued.


Not much is known of Warmbier’s situation as this time, but University of Virginia spokesman Anthony de Bruyn did say that the school "has been in touch with Otto Warmbier's family and will have no additional comment at this time."


Warmbier is a third-year student at the University, studying commerce.


This is not the first time North Korea has detained an American and accused him of seeking to undermine the government.


Kim Dong Chul, an American from Fairfax, Virginia was also detained by the North Korean government in October 2015 and accused of a similar charge.



Publication date: January 22, 2016