Otto Warmbier was seen emotionally begging for forgiveness at a press conference
An American student detained in North Korea since January has been paraded in front of the media, where he tearfully confessed to "severe crimes" against the state.
Otto Warmbier was seen emotionally begging for forgiveness during the news conference.
He said he had made "the worst mistake of my life" by stealing a propaganda banner from the staff-only area of a Pyongyang hotel.
The 21-year-old was allegedly being offered a car worth $10,000 (€9187) if he successfully returned to the US with the political slogan.
As Mr Warmbier attempted to board a flight from Pyongyang to Beijing on 2 January, he was detained by two airport officials.
North Korea's state media claimed the tourist had committed a "hostile act against the state" which was "tolerated and manipulated by the US government".
It has not been confirmed which charges Mr Warmbier is facing, and during his statement he said he had "no idea what sort of penalty" he may face.
The student, from Ohio, added: "I am begging to the Korean people and government for my forgiveness, and I am praying to the heavens so that I may be returned home to my family.
"I have been very impressed by the Korean government's humanitarian treatment of severe criminals like myself, and of their very fair and square legal procedures."
Foreigners who have been freed from detention in North Korea have claimed they were pressurised into apologising for their actions and coached on what to say in public.
Ohio governor John Kasich, who is campaigning to be the Republican candidate in the US presidential election, has described the student's arrest as "inexcusable" and demanded his immediate release.
Mr Warmbier was travelling with a China-based tour company called Young Pioneer, which describes itself as providing trips "to destinations your mother would rather you stayed away from".
Following his arrest, Young Pioneer insisted North Korea is actually "one of the safest places on Earth to visit".
It said out of 7,000 tourists who had visited Pyongyang with the firm over the past eight years, he was the first to be arrested.
Previously, senior US officials have had to visit North Korea to bail out American citizens in person.
In 2009, two US journalists who had illegally entered the secretive state were freed after former president Bill Clinton flew to Pyongyang.
The US State Department advises against all travel to the country.