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US Soldier Deported from North Korea After Defection: Identity Secured by US Authorities

North Korea to Deport US Soldier who Defected from South Korea

North Korea has announced its decision to unconditionally deport Private Travis King, a US soldier stationed in Korea who crossed over to North Korea during the Panmunjom mission in July. This comes 71 days after he was sent to North Korea. It has also been revealed that the US authorities have identified Private King.

According to the Korean Central News Agency, the investigation into Private King has been concluded, and “the relevant agency has decided to deport Travis King, an American soldier who entered the territory of the Republic illegally, in accordance with the law of the Republic.”

The statement further explains that Private King admitted to illegally trespassing into North Korea due to anger towards inhumane abuse and racial discrimination in the US military, as well as disillusionment with America’s unequal society.

In response to news of the deportation, a senior Biden administration official stated in a briefing, “We can confirm that Private King is under the protection of the United States.”

Private King had previously received a fine of 5 million won in February for damaging a police patrol car in Mapo-gu, Seoul, and had served 48 days of domestic labor starting in May. On the day of his defection, he was supposed to fly from Incheon to Dallas to face disciplinary action but instead crossed the Military Marking Line at Panmunjom, making his way to North Korea.

Efforts were made by the US government through various channels, including the United Nations and countries with diplomatic relations with North Korea, to secure the release of Private King. The main interlocutor in these negotiations was Sweden, which represents the interests of the United States as a third party. China reportedly assisted Private King in crossing the North Korea-China border but did not play a direct mediating role.

When asked if the United States made any concessions to North Korea for the release of Private King, the senior Biden official responded, “No.” The official also expressed that the US government is still open to the possibility of diplomacy with North Korea following Private King’s release.

It is currently known that Private King was released through the border between North Korea and China and has safely arrived at a US military base.

[신아일보] Reporter Park Jeong-eun
Email: to him565@shinailbo.co.kr

Copyright © Shina Ilbo
Unauthorized reproduction and redistribution prohibited

After receiving a fine in Korea and serving as a laborer, he left for North Korea while being returned to his native country.

Private Travis King, an American soldier who defected to North Korea. [사진=연합뉴스]

North Korea announced on the 28th that it would unconditionally deport Private Travis King, a US soldier stationed in Korea who crossed over to North Korea while on the Panmunjom mission last July, to China, 71 days after he sent to North Korea. In addition, it was discovered that the US authorities had secured the identity of Private King.

North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency reported that the investigation into Private King is over and that “the relevant agency has decided to deport Travis King, an American soldier who entered the territory of the Republic illegally, in accordance with the law of the Republic.”

The Korean Central News Agency continued by explaining, “Private King admitted to illegally trespassing into the Republic’s territory out of anger at inhumane abuse and racial discrimination in the US military and disillusionment with America’s unequal society.”

In response to the news of this deportation, a senior Biden administration official said in a briefing, “We can immediately confirm that Private King is under the protection of the United States.”

Private King was previously sentenced to a fine of 5 million won in February this year for kicking and damaging the door of a police patrol car in Mapo-gu, Seoul in October last year. Last September, he was also indicted on charges of assaulting Korea, but the victim said he did not want punishment.

Because he did not pay the fine, he served 48 days of domestic labor starting on May 24 this year and was released on July 10.

On the day of the defection to North Korea, he was supposed to take a flight from Incheon to Dallas to Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas, to receive disciplinary action (administrative action) related to this, but during his tour of the Joint -security Area (JSA) at Panmunjom, crossed the Military Marking Line (MDL) at Panmunjom, crossed over and defended to North Korea. Accordingly, a team from the Swedish government entered North Korea to secure the release of Private King. It is currently known that Private King was released through the border between North Korea and China and arrived safely at a US military base.

Meanwhile, the US government tried to contact North Korea through the United Nations, the United Nations Command, and countries that had established diplomatic relations with North Korea in order to secure the release of Private King. In particular, Sweden, which has an embassy in North Korea, served as the main interlocutor by representing the interests of the United States. A representative country refers to a third country entrusted with the task of protecting the inhabitants of a country with which it has no formal diplomatic relations.

China reportedly cooperated with Private King’s entry across the North Korea-China border, but did not take a direct mediating role.

Asked if the United States had made any concessions to North Korea for the release of Private King, the senior Biden official said, “No.”

Regarding the possibility that North Korea would engage in dialogue with the United States after the release of Private King, he added, “The US government is still open to the possibility of diplomacy with North Korea.”

to him565@shinailbo.co.kr

Copyright © Shina Ilbo Unauthorized reproduction and redistribution prohibited

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