US urges North Korea to free jailed US student
March 17, Washington: The United States has called on North Korea to immediately release Otto Warmbier, an American student sentenced to 15 years' hard labour for crimes against the state.
Warmbier, 21, was arrested in January while trying to steal a propaganda sign from a hotel on his visit.
A White House spokesman accused North Koreans of using US citizens as "pawns to pursue a political agenda,” reports said.
North Korean state media said Warmbier was convicted under an article of the criminal code relating to subversion.
The verdict was handed down by the Supreme Court.
"We strongly encourage the North Korean government to pardon him and grant him special amnesty and immediate release," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.
North Korea sometimes uses the detention of foreigners as a means of exerting pressure on its adversaries.
The Oslo Times