From Travis King/Facebook
Travis King crossed the military demarcation line into North Korea on July 18.
North Korea has decided to “deport” US Army Private Travis King Passed in the north from South Korea during a tour of the Joint Security Area in July, state media KCNA reported Wednesday.
“The relevant body of the DPRK decided to expel US soldier Travis King, who illegally entered the territory of the DPRK under the law of the Republic,” KCNA reported. The report said the investigation into King was “completed.”
KCNA’s statement did not make clear where, when and how King would be expelled.
King crossed the military demarcation line from South Korea to North Korea in July during a tour of the Joint Security Area inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). King, a junior enlisted soldier assigned to U.S. Forces Korea, faces assault charges in South Korea and will return to Fort Bliss, Texas, and was discharged from the military a day before he was due to travel to North Korea, CNN previously reported.
North Korea said on Wednesday that “King admitted to illegally infiltrating DPRK territory because he had a bad feeling against the inhumane abuse and racial discrimination within the US military.”
CNN could not verify whether these were King’s own words.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said last month that North Korea’s use of US soldier Travis King was “out of character”. A propaganda tool or bargaining.
“They certainly could. … We don’t see any indication that that’s what’s going on here, but there’s certainly no character for them,” Kirby told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead.” “What we’re focused on is trying to make sure we get information on him.”
Kirby said King’s whereabouts were unclear at the time, and information about “the conditions under which he is being held” and his health.