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
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
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
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-