Travis King Back In American Custody After Crossing Into North Korea


Photo: ANTHONY WALLACE / AFP / Getty Images

Travis King, the U.S. soldier who fled to North Korea, is back in American custody. U.S. officials confirmed the news after North Korean state media KCNA announced the country had decided to "expel" King following their investigation.

North Korea claimed that King "confessed that he illegally intruded into the territory of the DPRK as he harbored ill feelings against inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination within the U.S. army and was disillusioned about the unequal U.S. society."

King was transferred to China and handed over to U.S. authorities.

"U.S. officials have secured the return of Private Travis King from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea," Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said in a statement. "We appreciate the hard work of personnel in the Army, United States Forces Korea, and across the Department of Defense to bring Private King home, and we thank the governments of Sweden and the People's Republic of China (PRC) for their assistance."

On July 18, King joined a commercial tour of the Joint Security Area between North and South Korea. During the tour, he ran across the border into North Korea, where he was detained.

King was scheduled to return to Fort Bliss, Texas, to face punishment after spending time in a South Korean prison on assault charges.

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