4. Otto Warmbier – When a 21-year old American, Otto Warmbier, was arrested and sentenced to hard labor in North Korea, it shocked those in America who heard of his crime. This student at the University of Virginia was arrested just before leaving the Pyongyang airport. The charges were perpetrating a hostile act, but the only thing Otto did was attempt to steal propaganda signage from his hotel. Although Otto simply wanted a memento of his trip, North Korean officials charged the American with trying to undermine the North Korean regime. Otto was sentenced to 15 years hard labor, and was not afforded any contact with foreign envoys during his trial. His taped confession appeared to be coercively obtained, where he claims he should not have allowed the United States to lure him into committing such acts. Two years later, Otto was released from detention, but died shortly after under very suspicious circumstances.
According to a statement released by the United States, no American citizen should travel to North Korea, and if there now, should immediately try to leave. The list of Americans that North Korean government arrested will grow as tensions over missile launches only brings the two countries to the brink of war.