KABUL: (MEP) The United States government demanded North Korea to release Otto Warmbier, an American college student sentenced Wednesday to 15 years of hard labor for stealing a propaganda sign from a hotel.
Warmbier, 21, was arrested for trying to steal a propaganda sign from a hotel while on a visit in January.
A White House spokesman, Josh Earnest accused North Koreans of using US citizens as “pawns to pursue a political agenda”.
“We strongly encourage the North Korean government to pardon him and grant him special amnesty and immediate release,” said Earnest.
“The allegations for which this individual was arrested and imprisoned would not give rise to arrest or imprisonment in the United States or in just about any other country in the world.”
Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea have reached a fever pitch after the communist nation tested international patience by launching missiles. The U.S. has sought tougher sanctions against the country.