Unspeakable Times

College Student Held Captive For More Than A Year By North Korea Dies

Otto Warmbier, a college student held captive by North Korea for nearly a year and a half, died on June 19, 2017. He was 22. The story of Warmbier and his imprisonment is seriously sad, infuriating, and mystifying. 

Warmbier was a student at the University of Virginia when he visited North Korea on a guided tour in March 2016. He was convicted of hostile acts after he stole a political propaganda poster and was sentenced to 15 years hard labor. American officials and his parents fought for his release, but, when he was finally returned to the US, he was irreversibly damaged. Warmbier suffered a severe neurological injury and was in a coma, which North Korean officials said was a result of botulism and a sleeping pill. His parents believe he was brutally beaten.