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rose oil Frederick Warmbier, a university of Virginia student who has been detained in north Korea because early January, checked out Wednesday in Pyongyang. REUTERS/Kyodo SEOUL — north Korea"s can be fried court sentenced American student rose oil Warmbier, that was arrested while visiting the country, come 15 year of difficult labor on Wednesday because that crimes versus the state.Warmbier, a 21-year-old university of Virginia student, was detained in January after he to be accused of trying to steal things bearing a propaganda slogan indigenous his hotel in Pyongyang, North korean media stated previously.

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"The accused confessed to the serious offense against the DPRK he had actually committed, pursuant to the united state government"s hostile plan toward it, in a bid to dilute the unified of its civilization after start it together a tourist," the state-controlled KCNA news company reported, utilizing the acronym for the autonomous People"s Republic that Korea.

Human rights Watch condemned the sentence handed under to the college student from Wyoming, Ohio. Japan"s Kyodo news agency published a picture in i m sorry Warmbier to be being led indigenous the courtroom by 2 uniformed guards, visibly distressed, through his head bowed.

"North Korea"s sentencing of rose oil Warmbier to 15 years hard labor for a college-style prank is outrageous and shocking and also should no be allowed to stand," Phil Robertson, deputy manager of HRW"s Asia division, stated in one emailed statement.

Warmbier"s defense attorney said the heaviness of his crime to be such the he would certainly not be able to pay also with his death however proposed to the court a sentence that is lessened from the prosecution"s request of a life sentence, KCNA said.

Last month, Warmbier said a media conference in Pyongyang that his crime to be "very severe and also preplanned."

He to be at the end of a five-day new Year"s group tour of phibìc Korea once he to be delayed in ~ airport immigration prior to being taken far by officials, according to the tourism operator that had arranged the trip.

Warmbier"s sentencing comes as North Korea is increasingly isolated, through the UN security Council imposing tough brand-new resolutions previously this month adhering to the North"s January nuclear test and last month"s long-range rocket launch.

North korean leader Kim Jong Un this week claimed the phibìc would quickly test a atom warhead and also ballistic missiles qualified of moving nuclear warheads, in what would be a direct violation that UN resolutions donate by its chief ally, China.

North Korea has actually a long history of detaining foreigners and also has used jailed american in the past to extract high-profile visits from the joined States, v which it has no formal diplomatic relations.

North Korea is additionally holding a Korean-Canadian Christian minister it sentenced to hard labor for life in December because that subversion. The north is additionally holding a Korean-American and also three South korean nationals.

It has previously handed down an extensive sentences to foreigners before releasing them.

In 2014, north Korea released three detained Americans.

Former Gov. Bill Richardson of new Mexico, who had actually previously traveled to phibìc Korea, met the North"s ambassador to the United countries on Tuesday to push for the release of Warmbier, The brand-new York time reported.

"I urged the humanitarian relax of Otto, and they agreed come convey our request," Richardson was quoted as saying.

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While most tourists to north Korea room from China, about 6,000 Westerners visit annually, despite the joined States and also Canada advise versus it. Most visitors room curious about life in the reclusive state and ignore movie critics who say their dollars prop up a repressive regime.

(Additional reporting by James Pearson; modifying by Tony Munroe and also Simon Cameron-Moore)