The American soldier who sprinted into North Korea across the heavily fortified border between the Koreas two months ago arrived back in the US early Thursday, video appeared to show.Pvt. Travis King’s release was secured with the help of ally Sweden and rival China, the White House said Wednesday. North Korea abruptly announced earlier that day that it would expel the soldier.While officials have said King is in good health and the immediate focus will be on caring for him and reintegrating him into US society, his troubles are likely far from over.King, who had served in South Korea, ran into the North while on a civilian tour of a border village on July 18, becoming the first American confirmed to be detained in the isoin nearly five years.At the time, he was supposed to be heading to Fort Bliss, Texas, following his release from prison in South Korea on an assault conviction.He has been declared AWOL from the Army. In many cases, someone who is AWOL for more than a month can automatically be considered a deserter.Punishment for going AWOL or desertion can vary, and it depends in part on whether the service member voluntarily returned or was apprehended.King’s handover by the North Koreans makes that more complicated.Video aired Thursday by a Texas news station appeared to show King walking off a plane in San Antonio. Dressed in a dark top and pants, he could be seen speaking briefly with people waiting on the tarmac.He shook hands with one before being led into a building.On Wednesday, Swedish officials took King to the Chinese border, where he was met by US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns, the Swedish ambassador to China, and at least one US Defense Department official.He was then flown to a US military base in South Korea before being returned to the US.It was not clear why the North — which has tense relations with Washington over Pyongyang’s nuclear program, support for Russia’s war in Ukraine and other issues — agreed to turn him over or why the soldier fled in the first place.Biden administration officials insisted they provided no concessions to North Korea to secure his release.
28 Eylül 2023 - 13:00
US soldier Travis King who crossed into North Korea arrives in Texas
The American soldier who sprinted into North Korea across the heavily fortified border between the Koreas two months ago arrived back in the US early Thursday, video appeared to show.
28 Eylül 2023 - 13:00