American Arrestee Interviewed
Korean Central News Agency of DPRK via Korea News Service (KNS)
Pyongyang, February 29 (KCNA) -- Otto Frederick Warmbier, student at the University of Virginia, the U.S., was interviewed with domestic and foreign journalists in Pyongyang Monday. He was arrested for committing anti-DPRK hostile acts.
Present there were domestic and foreign journalists, members of foreign diplomatic missions and missions of international bodies here and overseas Koreans staying in the homeland.
Warmbier spoke first.
On December 29, 2015, I entered the DPRK as a tourist.
On January 1, 2016, I committed severe crimes against the DPRK.
I am 21 years old. I am a student at the University of Virginia. I am in my third year of the university. My residential address is Ohio, United States with my family. At the moment, I lived in a rented apartment near the university. My father owns a very small factory that barely makes enough to support my family. My mother is a housewife. I am the oldest son in my family. My brother and my sister are both high school students.
I committed the crime of taking out a political slogan from the staff-only area of the Yanggakdo International Hotel. The slogan inspires the Korean people's love for their system.
The task was given to me by the Friendship United Methodist Church. At the encouragement of the Z Society and the connivance of the United States Administration, I came to commit this task. The aim of my task was to harm the motivation and work ethic of the Korean people. This was a very foolish aim.
Growing up in the United States, I was taught that the DPRK is a mysterious, 'isolated communist nation' from the mass media and education. This made me an innocent thinking adventurous young man like myself, want to show my bravery in this mysterious country in order to improve my reputation and show Western victory over the DPRK.
I was scheduled to take part in a university-sponsored financial class in Hong Kong and I decided to use this opportunity to visit the DPRK as a tourist.
Based on my application's confirmation, I chose to have my tour at the end of December 2015.
On September 23, 2015, I was having dinner at my friend Stefan Webb's home with him and his mother, Sharon Webb. Sharon Webb is a deaconess in the Friendship United Methodist Church and her son Stefan Webb is an active believer in this same church.
Sharon emphasized that her church does not support the Government of North Korea and that communism should be ended. She said that communist nations rally around political slogans. She asked me to take an important political slogan from North Korea to be hung in her church as a 'trophy'. She continued to say that by taking this slogan, we would harm the unity and motivation of the North Korean people and show this country an insult from the West.
She offered me a used car worth $10,000 if I was successful. And she said if I was detained and not returned, her church would pay $200,000 to my mother in a way of charitable donations.
Since my family is suffering from very severe financial difficulties, I started to consider this as my only golden opportunity to earn money. Most importantly, Sharon said to never mention the Friendship United Methodist Church's involvement or no payments would come.
In early October, 2015, I informed my mother very little of my crime attempt offer, but I told that I planned to steal something precious from North Korea and if I was detained I told her that her bank account would receive transfers for my brother and sister's university tuition. She cried and said not to do anything dangerous. I considered less, not wanting to hurt my mother. But since then, I got several alluring pressures from the Friendship United Methodist Church, leading me to finally decide my crime attempt.
In the meantime, the Z Society also clandestinely encouraged my act. After I came to know that all members become very wealthy with high-paying jobs after they graduate university, I eagerly wanted to join the Z Society. That is why, in late November 2015, I intentionally revealed my plan of my act to a member of Z Society. He said my plan of action would certainly help the Z Society's goal of spreading 'freedom' and eliminating 'tyranny'. He said if I was successful, he promised me that he would help me become a member in the Z Society. And he even said if I was caught, the Z Society could help pressure North Korea for my release. Finally, he said to never mention the Z Society's encouragement.
I arrived in Pyongyang through Beijing and committed my crime against the people and Government of the DPRK.
My crime is very severe and pre-planned.
Then he answered questions raised by journalists.
The politicians and United States Administration use the Friendship United Methodist Church to harm the DPRK by all dirty means and ways. The Friendship United Methodist Church gave me my crime task, which is matched to United States' consistent hostile policy against the DPRK, with aims to spread Christianity in the DPRK and increase the support from the United States Administration.
Therefore, my crime was the expected output of the U.S. Administration's consistent hostile policy against the DPRK and its implementation by the Friendship United Methodist Church.
There is no doubt that the CIA knows the Z Society's encouragement of my crime.
I took many detailed steps to prepare for my crime in the DPRK while I was in the United States.
I have been very impressed by the DPRK Government's humanitarian treatment of severe criminals like myself and of the very fair and square legal procedures in the DPRK.
And I've come to see that the current 'human right issues' in the DPRK, consistently highlighted by the United States Administration is simply nothing more than a hypocritical excuse to eventually overthrow the Government of the DPRK.
I apologize to the people and the Government of the DPRK and beg for forgiveness. -0-
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