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North Korea Incident Otto Warmbier

Updated on March 17, 2016

So now the United States representatives are making efforts to work with North Korea to free a United States Citizen. Being sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for attempting to steal a propaganda slogan from his hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea is excessive-I agree.

Here is another perspective regarding the actions of Otto Frederick Warmbier former University of Virginia student – Why did you do this? Knowing you are in North Korea, not in the United States, why would you think on foreign soil it would be appropriate to steal something? I find it interesting that media mentions the term “removal of propaganda” when depending on one’s color others call it “stealing.” (Sorry to point out the obvious but it is obvious).


When you travel one of the first things you do is familiarize yourself with the traditions, customers, basic laws of the land.

First of all you are on foreign soil. Most if not all visitors in another country familiarize themselves with the cultures, laws, and mentality of those they will encounter in the country before they embark upon their trip. There are some places you can-not simply afford to goof off or engage in mischief. What happened to honoring your mother’s rules? What’s mom rules? The same rules and instructions you were given anytime you went over to visit your friend’s house.

The Rules:

  1. Respect the adults and follow their rules.
  2. If something doesn’t seem right then call me.
  3. Put away your toys and offer to help clean the dishes if you eat something over someone’s house.
  4. If you spend the night make sure you make the bed the next morning.
  5. Don’t break anything and mind your manners.
  6. Finally-I better not get any reports that you acted up or were a “problem” to another parent.

Now that being said I do not understand the thought behind Otto Warmbier’s actions. When you choose to visit another country, like it or not, you are representing the United States simply by visiting. You should carry and conduct yourself showing respect for other people’s country, customs, and laws. You don’t have the right to steal things and tell other people to tell other people to be over your actions.

Do you think foreign laws are too strict regarding crimes committed by U.S. citizens?

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Michael Fay -Singapore

Michael P. Fay

This story reminds me of the teenager that was caned in Singapore for vandalizing vehicles. This incident in 1994 reportedly strained Singapore’s relationship with the United States over this punishment-4 strokes of the rattan cane. My first thought was you had no right to decide to vandalize someone’s property with no consequences. People work hard for what they have and Michael Fay had no right to decide others should have their property damaged and pay for damages just because he felt like it. If you recall-The New York Times reported the story:

The teen-ager, Michael P. Fay, said in an interview on Saturday that the four strokes with a rattan cane on May 5 had left three dark-brown scars on his right buttock and four lines each about half an inch wide on his left buttock.

Bottom line, governments work different ways in other countries. It is extremely arrogant and disrespectful to visit someone else’s country and disrespect their laws and way of life simply expecting other countries to let it slide. You shouldn’t break laws in the United States let alone another country with laws that are notorious for ensuring you are a law abiding citizen. Just as you would want others to respect “your house” you need to respect “other people’s house.”


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