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The 21-year-old University of Virginia student arrested in North Korea  was taken before North Korean media to make a "confession" about his crimes today, the Associated Press reports.


Otto Warmbier, an Ohio native, told North Korean media that he had committed a crime and said someone in his home town had put him up to it, offering him a $10,000 reward to steal and bring back a banner with a political slogan on it, also saying he was spurred on by a secret society at the University of Virginia called the "Z Society" according to the AP.

CNN had this video of Warmbier addressing the press in North Korea's capital Pyongyang:


"I committed the crime of taking out a political slogan from the staff-only area of the Yanggakdo International Hotel," said Warmbier, according to North Korea's state-run KCNA news agency.

Warmbier was in North Korea over the new year's period on a tourism package run by a company called Young Pioneer Tours, which arranges visits to the secretive nation. Foreigners are only permitted to visit the country through government-sanctioned tour groups or on government-approved official visits. Some 6,000 western tourists visit the country each year, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Western visitors who are arrested in North Korea often issue "confessions" but usually disavow them after being released, according to the AP. No information was immediately released about the exact charges or punishment Warmbier could face.

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