Family members of Otto Warmbier, the American student who fell into a coma while imprisoned in North Korea, said that Otto was Jewish but that they had hidden his Jewishness up to this point.
In his confession, Warmbier had said that he tried to steal a propaganda sign from a hotel as a “trophy” for a US church with the “connivance of the US administration” in order to “harm the work ethic and motivation of the Korean people”.
Had Otto’s Jewish identity been revealed this would have embarrassed the North Koreans as it would have demonstrated how ridiculous this confession was.
Warmbier participated in a Birthright trip in 2014 and became more involved in Jewish activity after his trip
Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years hard labor after his confession in 2016. It is not known why he fell into a coma.