N Korea's hostage 'playbook' backfires with Warmbier coma

N Korea's hostage 'playbook' backfires with Warmbier comaNorth Korea has a well-thumbed playbook for detained American citizens who are valuable diplomatic bargaining chips for the regime, but the case of Otto Warmbier, flown home in a coma this week, is a glaring exception. The script is simple and familiar: arrest an American, hold a show trial ending with a lengthy jail term, release them in exchange for a high-profile visit — Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have both helped free detainees in the past — which is used for domestic propaganda. “With Otto Warmbier they wanted to play the same game again,” Andrei Lankov, Korearisk.com director and professor at Kookmin University, told AFP.

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