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Letter: Youth tour groups should know danger of North Korea

People walk by a TV news program Seoul,

People walk by a TV news program Seoul, South Korea, showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on March 4, 2016. Credit: AP

Sad to see another young American imprisoned in North Korea for a lack of better judgment [“U.S. tourist gets 15 years,” News, March 16].

I guess, at 21, there is still a lot of naivete. A petty crime in our system is not treated as such in other lands. We should know that by now.

But what is most upsetting is how any responsible organization could send its people off on a tour of a hostile country like North Korea, which not only hates us but also looks for any opportunity to flex its muscle and embarrass the United States? The University of Virginia student, Otto Warmbier, was visiting the country with Young Pioneer Tours, an agency specializing in travel to North Korea, which is strongly discouraged by the U.S. State Department.

Sadly and unjustly, this young man’s family must now prepare for a long internment of their son.

Michael Filaseta, Hauppague

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