University of Virginia Student Captured in North Korea

Posted: Jan 22, 2016 10:00 AM

An American student has been detained by North Korean officials in Pyongyang, according to Young Pioneer Tours, the student touring company that is based out of China.  

"We can confirm that the reports that one of our clients is being detained in Pyongyang are true. Their family have been informed and we are in contact with the Swedish Embassy, (who act as the protecting interest for U.S citizens), who are working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to address the case. We are also assisting the U.S Department of State closely with regards to the situation. In the meantime we would appreciate Otto’s and his family’s privacy being respected and we hope his release can be secured as soon as possible," a statement reads from Young Pioneer Tours.  

Otto Frederick Warmbier's family has been informed and is working with the US State Department.  Warmbier is a third-year student studying commerce at the University of Virginia, according to The Cavalier Daily, the school's student newspaper.

North Korea says that Warmbeir entered the country maliciously and had the intent of gathering information.  

Warmbier entered the country "for the purpose of bringing down the foundation of its single-minded unity at the tacit connivance of the U.S. government," the report said.