Audio: Dan Wooding in conversation with Stephen O’Doherty
American student Otto Warmbier was visiting North Korea as a tourist in 2016 when he was arrested and subsequently sentenced to 15 years in prison.
His supposed crime? Stealing a propaganda poster from the lobby of his hotel in the capital Pyongyang. While in custody something happened. Two months into his sentence he suffered a severe neurological injury.
After representations at the highest level, Otto Warmbier was eventually returned to the United States in 2017 where he died from his injury.
While the North Koreans are claiming he contracted botulism and had a bad reaction to a sleeping pill, his parents are none the wiser about the real causes of their son’s fatal condition. Otto Warmbier’s plight brought back significant memories for Dan Wooding.
As a journalist, Dan visited North Korea following the death of the country’s founder Kim Il-Sung.
In this interview with Open House, Dan reflects on his own cavalier behaviour in North Korea and recalls that Kim Il-Sung once had a Christian connection.