An Irish man named Darragh (who’s asked to keep his surname anonymous), has approached The Independent with information regarding Otto Warmbier, the UVA Theta Chi who was arrested in North Korea for a “hostile act against the state,” and has been detained there since January 2.
As it turns out, Warmbier had been drinking until early into the morning with some of the other young people on his trip, despite a 7am flight the next morning, to which he showed up hungover.
“We were all talking about that and how it was quite strange that you would choose to go to North Korea on your first trip out of your home country,” he said.
“I don’t know if it’s connected at all but my tour group that I was with were a lot older. But the other tour group [the Young Pioneers] were really young. Between 18 and 25. They were up until four or five in the morning drinking vodka and having fun basically. We had to be up at 7am for the actual flight. I don’t know whether there’s any connection there – that he may have just said something if he was hungover or if he did something stupid while he was drunk the night before.
It’s unclear if something happened that night while Warmbier was intoxicated, but Darragh remarked that “the smallest thing was considered a hostile attack.” The tour group was warned not even to fold a magazine in a way that might crease Kim Jong-un’s face as it could be considered an attack on North Korea.
There was also some speculation that the alleged “hostile act” could have taken place in the airport before their flight. Warmbier had such a bad headache that he was asking to go to the hospital. He was advised by his tour group leader to wait until they got to China to seek medical attention, but then there was a questionable conversation between Warmbier and a guard.
“There was another person sitting next to me on the plane. This person said he [Otto] had said something to the guard. At the gate for the plane there was a woman collecting tickets and an armed soldier. According to the person next to me he [Otto] said something to the soldier and then the soldier started yelling at him and dragged him off.
“We don’t know what he said but he kept telling his tour leader – she was sitting right behind me – that he had a headache and needed to go the hospital.”
North Korea has not released any more details at this time..
[via The Independent]
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