U of Virginia Student Detained in North Korea

January 25, 2016

A University of Virginia student is being detained in North Korea for allegedly committing an unspecified “hostile act” against the state, The Washington Post reported. Otto Frederick Warmbier was detained Jan. 2 after participating in a five-day trip organized by Young Pioneer Tours.

An account in North Korean state media accused Warmbier of having 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 and under its ma­nipu­la­tion.”

A U.S. State Department spokesman said the agency is aware of media reports that an American citizen has been detained and that it is working with the Swedish embassy, which represents U.S. interests in North Korea. “The welfare of U.S. citizens is one of the department’s highest priorities,” said Mark Toner, the department's deputy spokesman.

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