Model risks jail for stealing soldier's hat in North Korea

Ms Gutierrez risked arrest during her recent trip to North Korea [Photo: Pen News]

A model who sued singer Chris Brown risked arrest in North Korea by drunkenly stealing a soldier's hat and posing naked for photos.

Liziane Gutierrez, 33, was forced to change clothes after wearing a "USA" skirt in public during her trip to leader Kim Jong-un's secretive state.

The Brazilian posed for naked pictures in her suite at a Pyongyang hotel, flouted a selfie ban at a monument honouring past leaders and broke rules that forbid visitors from photographing the statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il separately.

Ms Gutierrez, who defied a US travel ban to make the trip, said she drunkenly stole the soldier's hat for a selfie while he was in the toilet on a train.

She boasted afterwards: "We were on the train, me and the rest of the group, and we were drinking, and it's like six hours on the train.

"So we were drinking, we had a bottle of tequila, we had Jack Daniel's, we had beer - everything you can imagine.

"I went to the bathroom and then I saw the door was locked, and I saw the hat right outside.

"And then I got the hat, and I took it to my cabin on the train and I showed it to the people. 'Hey, look what I found. Look what I found'.

Ms Gutierrez risked arrest during her recent trip to North Korea [Photo: Pen News]

And everyone was like, 'you're crazy. You can't do that'.

"And then I just took some pictures, I did the video and then I put it back. He [the soldier] didn't see it."

Ms Gutierrez also broke the rules at Mansu Hill Grand Monument in Pyongyang, where there are giant statues of Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung, the current leader's father and grandfather, respectively.

Visitors are forbidden from taking selfies there and all photos must show both statues in their entirety, but Ms Gutierrez unwittingly defied both decrees.

She said: "You have to have both leaders and I didn't know that. I took it just with one."

"I was just taking a selfie, I didn't even realise."

In the past, North Korea has shown little tolerance for US visitors misbehaving.

In 2015, American student Otto Warmbier was arrested and imprisoned after allegedly attempting to steal a propaganda poster from his hotel.

He fell into a coma shortly after his sentencing and never regained consciousness, and died within a week of his return to the US in 2017.

A North Korean guide told the model that she was a "troublemaker" (Image: Pen News)

So Ms Gutierrez was horrified when North Korean border guards demanded to inspect her photos before she could leave the country.

Ms Gutierrez visited North Korea on a guided tour [Photo: Pen News]

She said: "When he was looking at my phone, I was sweating.

"I started freaking out because I didn't realise, until that moment, that all my pictures, everything that I was doing would be seen.

"I was extremely nervous because I could end up in jail. I was very lucky that they didn't check the album containing all the pics I took there."

Ms Gutierrez is a US resident, but was born in Brazil and was therefore able to circumvent Donald Trump's ban on travel to North Korea.

But she gave her guides a clue when she went out in Pyongyang wearing a skirt marked "USA".

The model said: "The guide actually came and talked to me, and they are extremely nice people.

"She said, 'I know you're from Brazil and you don't know what happened between USA and North Korea' and then we had to go back to the hotel because I had to change."

The locals were also surprised at her swimwear.

When using the pool at the Chongnyon Hotel, she was offered - and declined - a more modest alternative to her Brazilian bikini.

Ms Gutierrez added: "Because of the skirt and [because] I was always drinking on the street, the guide said 'she's the troublemaker. This one's a troublemaker. We've never, ever had someone like you.'"

The model poses with a newspaper in a street in Pyongyang [Image: Pen News]

However, the 33-year-old insists she had no intention of being disrespectful.

She said: "I loved North Korea and I'm going back for sure. The people are super friendly, the drinks are very cheap, and from what I saw of North Korea it's a very nice country."

Ms Gutierrez made headlines around the world when she sued rapper Chris Brown over an alleged altercation in her adoptive hometown of Las Vegas.

She was said to have received around £56,000 in compensation after claiming a member of Brown's entourage assaulted her at a luxury party hosted by the musician.

Foreigners can only visit North Korea on guided tours, where they are shown a sanitised version of what life is like in the country and banned from exploring unaccompanied.


JOIN THE CONVERSATION


next