Otto Warmbier, an American college student from Ohio signed up with Chinese-based Young Pioneer Tours to travel to North Korea in December 2015. The tour company promises an “unparalleled experience” to destinations that “your mother would rather you stay away from”.
The company promises that their tours to the Hermit Kingdom are safe, saying that North Korea is “one of the safest places on the Earth to visit”. However, Otto Warmbier discovered this was not true.
At the beginning of the tour, the young American looked like he was having the time of his life. Photos show him mingling with locals, laughing and drinking beer with the rest of the tour group. However, as he was departing the country, the then 21-year-old was detained at the airport by North Korean officials. Although he had intended to stay just five days in North Korea, Warmbier’s fate was much different.
He was arrested and charged with “hostile acts against the state” for allegedly taking a propaganda sign down from a staff-only hallway of the hotel where he was staying.
North Korea had a video of him “allegedly” taking down the sign. The video was grainy, so it was hard to make out any features of the person in the video. Warmer “confessed” to the crime in an hour-long show trial in North Korea, and sentenced to 15 years of “hard labor” in a North Korean prison camp.
Warmbier family and friends maintain that the “confession” does not sound like something that the student would write. They are adamant that it was made up by someone else for him to read.
Shortly after he was arrested, liberal news sites and media figures mocked Warmbier for his fate. Huff Post ran an article titled “North Korea Proves Your White Male Privilege Is Not Universal”. In the article, author La Sha blames Warmbier for being arrested in North Korea even though the communist state is known for using prisoners as political pawns.
It is quite a coincidence that Warmbier was arrested just days before North Korea tested another missile launch. An American prisoner would no doubt serve as quite the bargaining chip should the United States or other countries attempt to hand down consequences to North Korea for the missile launch.
La Sha seems to either not understand or ignores how politics in North Korea works. She blames Warmbier for his fate and says that he gets what he deserves. She claims that the reason that he ended up in this situation is because of “white privilege”. Rather than white privilege, as the author claims, Warmbier might have believed that it was safe to travel to North Korea because of false marketing claims made by the tour company assuring customers that it is “absolutely” safe to go to North Korea.
Tour agencies entirely downplay the risk that people take in going to these countries. And, more than 800 Americans a year travel to North Korea. Young Pioneer Tours has a 5-star rating on Tripadvisor. It is possible that Warmbier just believed what he read online.
Ironically enough, the author of the Huff Post article complains about the unfair and unjust “state-sanctioned violence” that African Americans receive but turns around, and says that it is okay for Warmbier to be treated unfairly as well for being white and naive. Salon also mocked Warmbier for his fate in an article, calling him an “idiot frat boy” for going to North Korea. Salon, however, has at least taken the article down, unlike Huff Post.
Now, more than one year after the article was published, Warmbier has died after returning home from North Korea in what amounts to a vegetative state. North Korea says that Warmbier fell into a coma after contracting botulism, which American doctors contend is not likely to have happened.
Pyongyang has given no other explanation for Warmbier’s condition. However, another prisoner of the brutal regime believes that it is possible that Warmbier was tortured during his captivity. North Korea’s track record of brutalizing their ethnic Koreans seem to indicate that they are capable of torture and inhumane treatment.
These kinds of articles exemplify what is wrong with much of the liberal media. This type of rhetoric is symbolic of the problem that the left has—hating others while at the same time, condemning others for their hatred.
~ Conservative Zone