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Friday, February 23, 2024

N Korea says US soldier crossed border looking for refuge from racism | Navy Information

Travis King slipped away whereas on a vacationer tour across the Joint Safety Space that separates North and South Korea.

North Korea has claimed {that a} United States soldier who crossed the border final month did so as a result of he was looking for refuge from “inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination” within the US.

The feedback, revealed in state media on Wednesday, are Pyongyang’s first public assertion on Travis King who crossed from South Korea into North Korea on July 18 whereas on a vacationer tour of the Joint Safety Space (JSA) that separates the 2 nations.

North Korea stated that King confessed to crossing the border illegally, with the intent to remain in North Korea or in a 3rd nation.

“Throughout the investigation, Travis King confessed that he had determined to come back over to the DPRK as he harbored ailing feeling towards inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination inside the U.S. Military,” state information company KCNA reported, utilizing the acronym for North Korea’s official identify. “He additionally expressed his willingness to hunt refugee within the DPRK or a 3rd nation, saying that he was disillusioned on the unequal American society.”

KCNA stated the 23-year-old was “saved below management by troopers of the Korean Folks’s Military” after his crossing and the investigation continues.

The border between the 2 Koreas is closely fortified however on the JSA, the frontier is marked solely by a low concrete divider and is comparatively simple to cross, regardless of the presence of troopers on each side.

US officers have stated they imagine King crossed the border deliberately and have declined to categorise him as a prisoner of warfare.

INTERACTIVE US soldier flee North Korea Travis King-1689765395
(Al Jazeera)

King slipped away when he was going through disciplinary hearings within the wake of a drunken pub struggle that led to an incident with South Korean police and a spell in a South Korean jail.

The Pentagon stated it couldn’t confirm King’s feedback as reported by KCNA and stays centered on his secure return. It didn’t tackle whether or not it had heard extra particulars from North Korea.

King’s uncle, Myron Gates, advised ABC Information earlier this month that his nephew had skilled racism throughout his army deployment and, after being held in jail, didn’t sound like himself.

The US army has been wrestling with how you can classify King, who joined the US Military in January 2021.

As an active-duty soldier, he would possibly seem to qualify as a POW, given the US and North Korea technically stay at warfare. The 1950-53 Korean Warfare resulted in an armistice reasonably than a peace treaty. The Korean Peninsula technically stays at warfare with the United Nations Command (UNC), offering oversight for the armistice.

However US officers have additionally stated King’s determination to cross into North Korea of his personal free will, in civilian apparel, seems to have disqualified him from POW standing.

July’s incident got here as relations between the 2 Koreas are at considered one of their lowest factors, with diplomacy stalled and North Korean chief Kim Jong Un calling for elevated weapons growth, together with tactical nuclear warheads.

Earlier this month, the UNC stated North Korea had “responded” to efforts to debate the case.

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