He wanted asylum in North Korea, but Pyongyang ultimately decided otherwise. North Korea is preparing to deport US soldier Travis King, who entered its territory illegally in July from South Korea, the North Korean state agency KCNA announced Wednesday (September 27th).
After completing its investigation, "the relevant body of the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) decided to deport Travis King, a US military soldier who had illegally entered the territory of the DPRK," KCNA said, using the acronym for North Korea's official name.
The US soldier, who defected to North Korea in July, had just spent two months in a South Korean prison.
Travis King faced disciplinary action
By crossing the border, Travis King sought to escape "mistreatment and racial discrimination in the US military," KCNA said in August, confirming that the soldier was being held by Pyongyang.
Travis King was due to return to the United States after getting into trouble with South Korean law, but he crossed the border with the North on July 18 by mingling with a group of tourists visiting the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas.
A second-class soldier, he was released from prison in South Korea after a bar brawl and an altercation with police. He had to return to the United States to face disciplinary action.
The two Koreas have technically always been at war since 1953, because it was an armistice and not a peace treaty that ended the armed conflict.
Fortifications abound on the border, but only a concrete wall separates the two countries at the level of the Common Security Zone (JSA), which remains less difficult to cross despite the presence of soldiers.
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