Warmier in March 2016.
Jon Chol Jin / AP
BEIJING — North Korea has released an American college student imprisoned last year for stealing a propaganda poster from his Pyongyang hotel, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced Tuesday.
Otto Warmbier, 22, was detained in the North Korean capital in January last year and accused of committing a “hostile act” while visiting the secretive state with a tour group.
At a tearful press conference in February, Warmbier read a prepared statement and said he tried to take an “important political slogan from the staff-only area of the Yanggakdo International Hotel.” He said that he had been offered a car and membership in a secret society at his school if he brought the political banner home.
In March, the University of Virginia student, who is originally from Cincinnati, was sentenced to 15 years in prison and hard labour after a trial lasting just one hour.
Warmbier's release came as former NBA star Dennis Rodman traveled to North Korea.
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