By Olyviah Moriguchi
American student Otto Frederick Warmbiner age 21, was arrested on January 2nd, 2016 in North Korea. Arrested for taking down a propaganda poster, he is now sentenced to 15 years hard labor. I think that is ridiculous 15 years for taking down a poster! I believe North Korea needed a way to get America to notice them and pay attention. Warmbiner’s confession stated “I should have never allowed myself to be led by the United States administration to commit a crime in this country.” The words he uses make it seem like they are not his words and someone either forced him to say it, or a Korean propagandist wrote and signed it as Warmbiner’s.
The U.S. has gone through similar situations with multiple American students visiting the country and being accused of ‘hostile’ acts. Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller, are the most recent “American detainees” who were held captive by North Korea and have been released. Both were facing extended time, but were released before they had served half of their sentence. Warmbiner is said to stay for 15 years but North Korea’s government will most likely release him before his entire sentence has been served .North Korea’s goal when they hold American students for extended amounts of time is usually to use the students as bribery to get money or resources from America. When they are unsuccessful they let the students go.
Warmbiner was arrested because he took down a poster in a hotel room before he left the country, he now has been sentenced to 15 years hard labor. That is because he can be used to bribe America so North Korea can get something that they want. I believe that America should wait it out, just like they did with the other student who were captured. At least until the situation gets more serious or threatening. North Korea will probably release him as they did with the other students when they realize that they won’t get what they want. Using one student won’t make America give away really anything because he is just a student. If he were more powerful than they might get better results using a person as bribery. This isn’t fair locking someone up and forcing hard labor on that person because they took down a poster is inhumane in my opinion they should let him go. If North Korea needs to punish him in someway they should give him a ticket for defacing property, but nothing more than that.