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Soldier Travis King detained in North Korea after crossing DMZ on wild escape from superiors – latest


US soldier crossed into North Korea ‘without authorisation’, defence secretary confirms

A US soldier has been arrested after crossing the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between South Korea and North Korea.

Colonel Isaac Taylor of United States Forces Korea Public Affairs told The Independent: “A U.S. Service member on a JSA orientation tour willfully and without authorization crossed the Military Demarcation Line into the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). We believe he is currently in DPRK custody and are working with our KPA counterparts to resolve this incident.”

The soldier has been identified as Private 2nd Class Travis King.

US officials told CBS News that Private King had been released from military detention in South Korea and that he was being sent out of the country following disciplinary issues.

The soldier was part of a group taking a tour of the Joint Security Area – the border village in the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, which is heavily guarded by soldiers from both sides.

An anonymous official told The Washington Post that “This was a deliberate decision on part of the service member to cross”.

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VIDEO: US soldier crossed into North Korea ‘without authorisation’, defence secretary confirms

US soldier crossed into North Korea ‘without authorisation’, defence secretary confirms

The Independent18 July 2023 19:00

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A closer look at Panmunjom, the famous border town where a US soldier crossed into North Korea

Low-slung buildings, blue huts and somber soldiers dot the border village of Panmunjom inside the DMZ, or demilitarized zone, the swath of land between North and South Korea where a U.S. soldier on a tour crossed into the North under circumstances that remain unclear.

The soldier was on a tour of the storied border town, inside the heavily fortified 154-mile-long (248-kilometer-long) DMZ, when the crossing happened, U.S. officials said Tuesday. It remained unknown what prompted the soldier’s actions or what the motivations might have been. The soldier was believed to be in North Korean custody.

The DMZ is lined with observation posts on both sides, whose soldiers watch the border and each other carefully for any signs of transgression. North and South Korea remain technically in a state of war since the hostilities in Korean War ended and an armistice was signed — at Panmunjom — in 1953. Neither nation has direct jurisdiction over Panmunjom, where a concrete slab divides the two nations.

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US soldier who crossed border into North Korea after fleeing airport identified as Travis King

The US soldier who departed from a civilian tour group in the DMZ into North Korea has been identified as Private 2nd Class Travis King.

US officials told CBS News that Private King has been released from military detention in South Korea and that he was being sent out of the country following disciplinary issues.

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Gustaf Kilander18 July 2023 18:00

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‘We believe he is currently in DPRK custody and are working with our KPA counterparts to resolve this incident’

Colonel Isaac Taylor of United States Forces Korea Public Affairs told The Independent: “A U.S. Service member on a JSA orientation tour willfully and without authorization crossed the Military Demarcation Line into the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). We believe he is currently in DPRK custody and are working with our KPA counterparts to resolve this incident.”

Gustaf Kilander18 July 2023 17:30

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‘This was a deliberate decision on part of the service member to cross’

An anonymous official told The Washington Post that “This was a deliberate decision on part of the service member to cross”.

Colonel Isaac Taylor told Reuters that “We’re still doing some research into this, and everything that happened”.

The Independent has reached out to the US Army for comment.

Gustaf Kilander18 July 2023 17:00

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‘This man gives out a loud ‘ha ha ha,’ and just runs in between some buildings’

A US official told CBS News that the service member was being escorted back to the US following disciplinary issues but was able to return and join the border tour after going through airport security.

According to the local press, a foreign national crossed the border at 3.27pm local time – 2.27am ET.

An individual who said they witnessed what took place and was taking part in the tour along with the US soldier told CBS News that they had visited one of the buildings in the area when “this man gives out a loud ‘ha ha ha,’ and just runs in between some buildings”.

“I thought it was a bad joke at first, but when he didn’t come back, I realised it wasn’t a joke, and then everybody reacted and things got crazy,” they told the outlet.

The witness told the network that no North Korean soldiers could be seen where the man ran, adding that they had been told that there hadn’t been any present since the pandemic as North Korea attempted to fully close its borders.

The witness said that after the man had crossed the border, the tour group was taken to Freedom House to give statements and then to be taken to their bus.

“I’m telling you this because it actually hit me quite hard,” the witness told CBS News. “It was on the way back in the bus, and we got to one of the checkpoints … Someone said we were 43 going in and 42 coming back.”

Gustaf Kilander18 July 2023 16:30

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US soldier gave out loud ‘ha ha ha’ before crossing DMZ into North Korea, witness says

The US soldier arrested after crossing the demilitarized zone (DMZ) from South Korea into North Korea gave out a loud “ha ha ha” as he ran towards the border, a witness has said.

The soldier was part of a group taking a tour of the Joint Security Area – the border village in the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas, which is heavily guarded by soldiers from both sides.

The UN Command in a statement said: “A US National on a JSA (Joint Security Area) orientation tour crossed, without authorisation, the Military Demarcation Line into the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).”

The American national is believed to be currently in custody in the North, the authorities said, adding that “we are working with KPA (North Korean army) counterparts to resolve this incident”.

US officials later confirmed that the individual was a US service member and that he was thought to be in the custody of North Korean forces.

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Gustaf Kilander and Alisha Rahaman Sarkar18 July 2023 16:00

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The American detained in North Korea after crossing the border was a US soldier, officials tell AP

U.S. officials say an American detained after crossing the border from South Korea into North Korea was a U.S. soldier.

There were no immediate details about how or why the soldier crossed the heavily fortified border or whether the soldier was on duty. The four officials spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on the condition of anonymity to discuss the matter ahead of a public announcement.

Cases of Americans or South Koreans defecting to North Korea are rare, though more than 30,000 North Koreans have fled to South Korea to avoid political oppression and economic difficulties since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

The crossing happened during heightened tensions over North Korea’s nuclear program. The American-led U.N. Command overseeing the area tweeted earlier Tuesday that the detained U.S. citizen was on a tour to the Korean border village of Panmunjom and crossed the border into the North without authorization.

It said that he is currently in North Korean custody and that the U.N. Command is working with its North Korean counterparts to resolve the incident.

North Korea’s state media didn’t immediately report on the border incident.

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VIDEO: U.S. Army Soldier Taken Into Custody by North Korea After Crossing Joint Security Area Border

U.S. Army Soldier Taken Into Custody by North Korea After Crossing Joint Security Area Border

Gustaf Kilander18 July 2023 15:20

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US nuclear-armed submarine visits South for first time since the 1980s

Ohio-class USS Kentucky submarine arrived at the port of Busan on Tuesday afternoon, the South’s defence ministry said. It is the first visit by a US nuclear-armed submarine to the South since the 1980s, it added.

Periodic visits by US nuclear ballistic missile-capable submarines to the South were one of the agreements reached by both countries in April. They also agreed to establish a bilateral Nuclear Consultative Group and expand military exercises.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar18 July 2023 15:00


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