American soldier Travis King was to return to the United States after having had trouble with the South Korean justice, but he crossed the border with the North on July 18 while mingling with a group of tourists. Pyongyang says it wanted to flee “racial discrimination in the US military”.
The US soldier who defected to North Korea in July sought to escape “mistreatment and racial discrimination in the US military”, North Korea’s state news agency KCNA said on Wednesday, the first official confirmation. of Travis King’s detention by Pyongyang.
“According to an investigation by a competent organ of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, editor’s note), Travis King admitted to having entered the territory of the DPRK illegally,” KCNA reported, using the official name of North Korea. .
“Disillusioned with the unequal American society”
This is Pyongyang’s first public statement since the start of the King affair. This American soldier was supposed to return to the United States after having had trouble with the South Korean justice, but he crossed the border with the North on July 18 while mingling with a group of tourists who visited the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas .
“During the investigation, Travis King said he decided to come to the DPRK because he abhors inhumane treatment and racial discrimination in the US military,” KCNA said.
Travis King “was kept under control by Korean People’s Army soldiers as he deliberately entered” a North Korean area, the agency added, confirming the military’s detention for the first time. King “expressed his willingness to seek refuge in the DPRK or in a third country, saying he was disillusioned with the unequal American society,” KCNA said, adding that an investigation by the regime was still ongoing.
Private Travis King was released from prison in South Korea after a brawl in a bar and an altercation with the police. He had to return to the United States to face disciplinary sanctions.
North Korean propaganda
On Thursday August 3, the American command had indicated that Pyongyang “responded” to requests concerning the soldier. The United Nations Command, which oversees the armistice that ended the Korean War fighting, said last month it had started a conversation with the North about Travis King.
The head of diplomacy Antony Blinken, who had also confirmed that contact had been established with Pyongyang, had however said that he had no information concerning the location or the state of health of the soldier.
North Korea’s first official comment on Private King is pure propaganda, former CIA analyst Soo Kim, an expert in political practice at LMI Consulting, told AFP. “King’s stint in North Korea provided the Kim regime with a multi-entry opportunity, the first opening, of course, into possible negotiations with the United States for King’s release,” she said. said, pointing out that the North Koreans were “tough negotiators”.
“It is also an opportunity for the regime’s propaganda to make its honey, to spin the situation in a way that criticizes the United States and expresses Pyongyang’s deep-seated hostility towards Washington,” he said. she adds.
Source: BFM TV