Via – WCPO
North Korea announced Friday the arrest of a man who graduated from high school in Cincinnati for what it called a “hostile act” orchestrated by the American government to undermine the authoritarian nation.
Pyongyang’s state media said Otto Frederick Warmbier, a University of Virginia student and Wyoming High School graduate, entered the country under the guise of a tourist and plotted to destroy North Korean unity with “the tacit connivance of the U.S. government and under its manipulation.”
The North’s official Korean Central News Agency said in a short report that Warmbier was “arrested while perpetrating a hostile act,” but didn’t say when he was detained or explain the nature of the act.
Wyoming City Schools spokeswoman Susanna Max said Warmbier was the salutatorian of his 2013 graduating class and played soccer for Wyoming High School, a highly rated public school north of Cincinnati
Max says school officials are in communication with Warmbier’s family, which includes two sisters in Wyoming schools. She says the school district asks that everyone respect the family’s privacy.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, campaigning in New Hampshire as a Republican presidential candidate, called the arrest “inexcusable.” His Columbus office released a letter he sent to President Barack Obama, urging his administration “make every effort to secure Mr. Warmbier’s immediate release and keep (his) family constantly apprised.” Kasich said North Korea should either provide evidence of alleged anti-state activities or immediately release Warmbier.
The U.S. State Department said in an earlier statement that it was “aware of media reports that a U.S. citizen was detained in North Korea,” but had “no further information to share due to privacy considerations.”
A China-based tour company specializing in travel to North Korea, Young Pioneer Tours, confirmed that one of its customers, identified only as “Otto,” had been detained in Pyongyang, the North’s capital, but provided no other details.
Biggest flirt, most likely to become a millionaire, most likely to be detained while vacationing in North Korea? Not exactly something you think you’d see in the Senior superlatives section of your class yearbook and not exactly a headline I thought I was going to see when I woke up this morning. Normally I probably wouldn’t write about a US citizen being detained by the Hermit Nation ‘cause that’s not really funny or something to be taken lightly, but this kid grew up in my neck of the woods. Wyoming is literally like two minutes away from my parent’s house. Eat there, shop there, worked with kids from there, have friends from there, dated chicks from there. Never in a million years would I figure a kid that grew up in suburban Ohio like me would be considered an enemy of the state in a far eastern communist nation yet here we are. For those of you unfamiliar with the Wyoming area, it’s a largely rich, largely Jewish part of town where kids often move out west or go overseas somewhere after high school or college graduation. I’ve known quite a few kids that have done it. They think they’re all worldly and cultured and just sit around smoking weed trying to find themselves ‘cause they don’t really have real jobs and they’re living on mommy and daddy’s dime. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I’d probably do the same thing if I could, that’s just the type of people we’re dealing with. So while this story makes zero sense, it kind of makes perfect sense, actually. My high school had a bit of a beef with Wyoming High School between some of the kids a year or two older than me, but I’m willing to let bygones be bygones and play Tom Hanks in Bridge of Spies if that’s what it takes to get this kid the FUCK OUT OF NORTH KOREA.
Glad we’re dealing with a country full of straight shooters that seems to keep a level head about everything going on in the world.*
I need me a bottle of that Kim Jong Un fragrance for men and I need it STAT
*I have no idea if this is an officially sanctioned North Korean news outlet or not. My guess is not because I’m pretty sure they don’t even have Internet let alone electricity over there, so if someone wants to print this out and attach it to a carrier pigeon so that Kim can read this that’d be swell.