Nearly a month after the corporal’s defection, the North Korean regime broke its silence. He said the soldier sought refuge to esce “inhumane treatment” by the US military.
Almost a month later, Pyongyang he turned on his propaganda machine to speak for the first time about Travis King, the American soldier who voluntarily crossed the border into North Korea on July 18. The regime said Wednesday that it was a deliberate act of flight to esce “inhumane mistreatment and racial discrimination” by the US military.
King, a wayward soldier who had to return to Texas to face a long list of misconduct, took advantage of a guided tour of the inter-Korean border to run across the demarcation line.
He took refuge in North Korea to flee from the abuses and racism of the US army, according to the North Korean press agency. Pyongyang’s first comments on the case set out the first conclusions of an ongoing investigation.
“Travis King admitted that he entered the territory of the DPRK illegally,” the KCNA news agency said, using the initials of the country’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“During the investigation, Travis King confessed that he had decided to come to the DPRK (People’s Republic of North Korea) because had resentments for inhumane treatment and racial discrimination within the US military,” he added.
King”came under the control of soldiers of the Korean People’s Army“said the state news agency.
“He also expressed his willingness to seek refuge in the DPRK or a third country, saying that he was dispointed with the unequal american societyKCNA added.
a complicated soldier
Travis King had numerous legal problems during his deployment to South Korea. The 23-year-old soldier was charged with assault and admitted to damaging a police car. After two months in custody, he was at the airport on his way back to the United States to face further disciplinary action when he said he had lost his passport, turned around and left the gate of the American flight that was supposed to take him to Texas.
Travis King then made an organized visit to the joint inter-Korean security zone before crossing into the North. His future seems very uncertainalthough the US authorities have declared that they will continue to do everything in their power to bring him back to the United States.
A return that was not
King, a private second class, was reportedly due to face disciplinary action in the United States after being involved in a bar fight, getting into an altercation with police and spending brief time in jail in South Korea. .
The United States had reported that King intentionally crossed the border without authorization. It was not until August 3 that North Korea admitted to the United Nations that it had the soldier in its custody, but gave no further details.
This Wednesday was the first time that the regime publicly provides details about Travis’s alleged motives for defecting.
USA has no formal diplomatic ties to North Korea and, since this country closed its borders at the beginning of the pandemic, most of the embassies with a presence in Pyongyang They withdrew their diplomats.
The United Nations Command, which oversees the armistice that ended the hostilities of the Korean War (1950-1953), reported in July that it had started talks with Pyongyang on this case.
Source: Nicolas Rocca, RFI correspondent in Seoul and AFP