NKorea releases CCTV footage of US stude

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SEOUL: North Korea has released CCTV images showing American student Otto Warmbier removing a political banner from a wall in a hotel—a “crime” that saw him sentenced to 15 years hard labor. The brief CCTV clip, taken in a staff-only area of the Yanggakdo International Hotel in Pyongyang, was submitted as evidence during Warmbier’s trial on Wednesday. The grainy, black-and-white footage showed the 21-year-old student from the University of Virginia removing the meter-long, mounted poster from the wall and laying it on the ground. The banner carried a slogan in bold white lettering on a red background. Part of the banner was blanked out at the trial, but it appeared to read: “Let us strongly arm ourselves with Kim Jong-il’s patriotism.” The United States has accused the North of using Warmbier as a political pawn and condemned the sentence as way out of proportion to what amounted to little more than a misdemeanor.

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