The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Wednesday that U.S. military soldier Travis King, who had “illegally entered” North Korea, is to be expelled in accordance with North Korean law.
North Korean state media announced that the investigation into Pvt. 2nd Class King, who had been held in custody since crossing the border in July, has concluded.
While North Korean authorities have not provided detailed reasons for their decision, KCNA stated that King claimed he defected due to what he perceived as inhumane treatment by the U.S. military, racism, and social inequality in the United States.
This assertion had also been made in August.
This marks the first instance of an American soldier who had crossed over to North Korea being expelled.
There have been an estimated six American soldiers who crossed the border to North Korea.
The first case was Larry Abshier in May 1962.
However, the family of one American soldier, whom the North Korean government claimed had defected in 1979, argued that he was kidnapped.
King reportedly crossed the inter-Korean border during a group tour at the Joint Security Area (JSA) on July 18. KCNA reported that King expressed a willingness to defect.
King faced accusations of assault against a Korean national on Sept. 25 and damaging a patrol vehicle on Oct. 8.
He was scheduled to depart Korea on a flight to Fort Worth, Texas, to face military discipline.
However, he managed to evade authorities and booked a tour to the demilitarized zone (DMZ).
BY LEE HO-JEONG [email@example.com]