Last month we posted the unfortunate news story about a University of Virginia student being detained by fanatical North Korean authorities for a “hostile act” and “bringing down the foundation of [the country’s] single-minded unity”.
Turns out the only thing the young man in question — Otto Frederick Warmbier — did was attempt to steal a political banner, from the hotel where he was staying, for the silly purpose that a church back home in the United States wanted it as a trophy.
Over the weekend, Kim Jong-un and his funhouse fiefdom made Warmbier apologize in front of cameras for the crime:
More on just how he got and why arrested from the Associated Press:
He was arrested while visiting the country with Young Pioneer Tours, an agency specializing in travel to North Korea, which is strongly discouraged by the U.S. State Department. He had been staying at the Yanggakdo International Hotel, which is located on an island in a river that runs through Pyongyang, the capital.
It is common for sections of tourist hotels to be reserved for North Korean staff and off-limits to foreigners.
In his comments, Warmbier said he was offered a used car worth $10,000 by a member of the church. He said the church member told him the slogan would be hung on its wall as a trophy. He also said he was told that if he was detained and didn’t return, $200,000 would be paid to his mother in the form of a charitable donation.
Warmbier identified the church as the Friendship United Methodist Church, which is in his hometown, Wyoming, Ohio.
Warmbier’s parents said they had not heard from their son since his arrest and were greatly relieved to finally see a picture of him.
“You can imagine how deeply worried we were and what a traumatic experience this has been for us,” Warmbier’s father, Fred Warmbier, said in a statement provided by the University of Virginia.
“I hope the fact that he has conveyed his sincere apology for anything that he may have done wrong will now make it possible for the (North Korean) authorities to allow him to return home,” he said.
Warmbier told reporters in Pyongyang that he had also been encouraged in his act by the university’s “Z Society,” which he said he was trying to join. The magazine of the university’s alumni association describes the Z Society as a “semi-secret ring society” that was founded in 1892 and conducts philanthropy, puts on honorary dinners and grants academic awards.
Warmbier said he accepted the offer of money because his family is “suffering from very severe financial difficulties.”
“I started to consider this as my only golden opportunity to earn money,” he said, adding that if he ever mentioned the involvement of the church, “no payments would come.”
Sounds like a ton of dough for a silly banner, doesn’t it? Either North Korea’s team of exceptionally imaginative “writers” crafted the story for Warmbier to recite in this dog and pony show mea culpa or … yeah, that’s the only scenario.
Watch the video again, the UVA pupil calls himself a “severe criminal” and uses the words “fair-and-square” to describe the totalitarian dictatorship’s legal process.
Also, the outfit? It’s as if Warmbier consulted Tom Wolfe AND Willy Wonka on what to wear, and somehow found a way to appease them both.