The mother of US Army defector Travis King disclosed that the military forced him to sign an agreement to never disclose anything about his foray into North Korea – and said the family plans to fight the desertion charges.“The actions that the Army is saying that he’s doing is not Travis. He’s not like that. He’s a good boy,” Claudine Gates told ABC News about King, who has been hit a slew of charges, including desertion, assault against fellow soldiers and he solicitation of child porn.The Army claims the private planned to permanently abandon his military duties when he ditched his South Korean post by running across the demilitarized border into the totalitarian country.King is being held in pretrial detention in El Paso, Texas, after being released by the Hermit Kingdom last month.Gates and her husband, Dan Jovanovic, told ABC News that King had to sign paperwork that barred him from providing details of his detainment by the rogue regime and the reasons why he crossed into the country.“He seemed very worried,” Gates said about their reunion with him two weeks ago, adding that they were worried about his mental health and that he appeared “very drowsy and tired.”“I didn’t think that they were doing any harm to him or anything … But he seemed like he was still withdrawn,” Jovanovic told ABC News about his stepson.King, who was held in North Korea for over two months, faces eight distinct charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.He “did remain so absent in desertion until on or about 27 September 2023,” when he was released back to the US, the court records state.The Army’s charge sheet accuses King of broad misconduct before his defection, including an alleged attempted escape from US military custody in October 2022.The Wisconsin native was also allegedly caught possessing child pornography and asked another person over Snapchat to “knowingly and willingly produce child pornography” the same month he fled to North Korea, according to the charges.He was additionally hit with assault charges for allegedly targeting his fellow soldiers and insubordination for leaving his base after curfew and drinking alcohol in violation of Army regulations, the documents state.Gates said she was “blindsided” by the child porn charge, which she said is “100 percent-plus out of character” for King.“That’s not him, period,” Jovanovic said.The couple said King lost his phone in South Korea, which would have made his social media account vulnerable.“If you got all these devices accessible or laying around and everything, God only knows how that manifested itself in there,” Jovanovic told ABC News.They also slammed the Army for not putting King in treatment to address the drinking they say apparently started in South Korea.“They should have given him some type of help and got him off that juice,” Jovanovic told the outlet. “Something had to be done about it so it [didn’t] escalate to being worse, which I think that’s what happened.”Gates said she and her family plan to fight the charges “and fight the charges hard, all the way through.”The Army did not respond to requests for comment by ABC News.Army spokesperson Kimbia Rey told the outlet earlier that “to protect the privacy of Private King, the Army will not comment on the details of ongoing litigation. Private King is presumed innocent of the charges until proven guilty.”Jovanovic said King has to “open up so we can get these matters resolved, and he can go on with his life, you know?“I’m sure the military would like to see that too … I don’t really believe they want to hurt him … They just want to get the truth out there. And if they’re responsible for some of it, I think they’ll own up to it,” he added.
25 Ekim 2023 - 21:00
Army defector Travis King’s mom says he had to sign agreement not to reveal why he decided to go into North Korea
The mother of US Army defector Travis King disclosed that the military forced him to sign an agreement to never disclose anything about his foray into North Korea – and said the family plans to fig…
25 Ekim 2023 - 21:00