More details emerge on U.S. soldier who bolted across border into North Korea
2023/07/23

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Pvt. 2nd Class Travis King, a 23-year-old Army private, crossed the inter-Korean border into North Korea without authorization. He is currently in North Korean custody. The North Korean government has not provided any updates or statements regarding his status.

North Korea also launched two short-range ballistic missiles from its west coast. The missiles were fired eastward and landed outside Japan's exclusive economic zone. There were no reports of damage to aircraft or vessels in the area.

Pvt. 2nd Class Travis King had recently been released from a South Korean prison and was being escorted by the military to Incheon International Airport for possible further disciplinary action in the United States.

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However, instead of proceeding to his gate, he joined a commercial tour group headed for the joint security area at the inter-Korean border. He then ran across the border into North Korea, evading pursuit by South Korean and American soldiers.

King had a history of legal issues in South Korea, including an assault and damaging public property. He served almost two months in a South Korean prison after declining to pay a fine related to the assault investigation.

The United States, which does not have official relations with North Korea, is engaging with South Korea and Sweden (which represents U.

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S. interests in North Korea) to ascertain Pvt. 2nd Class Travis King's well-being and gather more information about the incident.

North Korea has not mentioned the border crossing in its state media but continued with weapons testing, launching the two short-range ballistic missiles. These launches are seen as unrelated to King's border crossing, but they contribute to the ongoing concerns about North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

The situation highlights the need for diplomatic channels between governments and regular communication between militaries to address unexpected events and maintain stability in the region.

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