The relevant organ of the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] decided to expel Travis King, a soldier of the U.S. Army who illegally intruded into the territory of the DPRK …North Korea state news agency announcing the release of a United States soldier who crossed into the isolated country in July. The U.S. confirmed his release on Wednesday.
Why It Matters: U.S. Army Private 2nd Class Travis King (23) unexpectedly and purposefully crossed over into North Korea territory in July. On Wednesday, North Korea’s official news agency reported that the country decided to expel King, and that authorities had finished questioning him. Later on Wednesday, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement: “U.S. officials have secured the return of Private Travis King from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) … we thank the government of Sweden for its diplomatic role serving as the protecting power for the United States in the DPRK and the government of the People’s Republic of China for its assistance in facilitating the transit of Private King.”
State Department Spokesman Matthew Miller said the U.S. “made no concessions as a part of securing” the return of King, who is expected to arrive in the U.S. overnight.
King – who has been described as being “in good spirits and good health” at his release – is the first American to be detained in North Korea in nearly five years. The country’s official Korean Central News Agency reported that King confessed to illegally entering the country due to “ill feeling against inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination” in the U.S. Army. These comments cannot be verified.
by Emily Hooker, based in Texas