Detained American in North Korea Makes 'Public Confession'
An American college student detained in North Korea has publicly confessed to attempting to steal a political banner from a Pyongyang hotel.
Otto Warmbier appeared before a group of domestic and foreign journalists Monday in the North Korean capital, accompanied by North Korean guards. The 21-year-old University of Virginia student, who was visiting North Korea with a tour group, was arrested last month before boarding a plane out of the country. He has been charged with committing a hostile act against the state, with the help of the United States.
Warmbier told reporters he removed a political slogan from a staff-only area of the hotel where the group was staying to give to a member of his church who wanted the banner to display as a "trophy."
He said the church member offered him a used car worth $10,000 and told him that if he was caught and unable to return, Warmbier's mother would get $200,000.
China Arms Exports Double as Regional Tensions Mount
A research group says China’s arms exports have almost doubled in five years as the country has moved to become a major player in the global industry.
Chinese exports of major arms grew by 88 percent between 2011 and 2015, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
“China is actively pushing for exports. A lot of the exports are going to countries where China has had good relations for a long time, so there’s also a strategic incentive for China to supply weapons. Pakistan for example, Bangladesh, Myanmar,” said Siemon Wezeman, a senior researcher with the institute.
China is now the world’s third largest arms exporter behind the U.S. and Russia, and the country accounted for nearly six percent of arms exports between 2011 and 2015.