North Korea Responds to United Nations Command in the Case of Missing American Soldier
KENOSHA, WISCONSIN – The United States Department of Defense revealed on Tuesday that North Korea has finally broken its silence and responded to the United Nations Command regarding the case of missing American soldier, Travis King. The United Nations Command had attempted to contact North Korean officials more than a week ago in an effort to recover King, who crossed the border voluntarily and without authorization.
According to the Department of Defense spokesperson, Ryder, North Korea’s response to the United Nations Command has been “an acknowledgment” of the ongoing investigation led by the United States. Ryder, however, admitted that there has been no substantive progress made thus far. He also stated that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) responded through well-established channels via the Joint Security Agency.
Travis King had crossed the Military Demarcation Line, which separates North and South Korea, as a civilian just one day before he was due to return to the United States. He was scheduled to face disciplinary action for his misconduct while deployed in South Korea, where he had been detained for several days.
US Army sources have maintained that there were no indications of King attempting to defect, and he will be decommissioned once he returns to US soil. Nonetheless, since his border crossing, there has been no communication or updates regarding King’s whereabouts or status.
The United Nations Command is a multinational military force led by the United States, which fought on the side of South Korea during the Korean War. It controls the South Korean side of the Joint Security Area, where Pyongyang and Seoul can meet to negotiate.
Meanwhile, King’s family is struggling to understand the reasons behind his sudden flight to a country known for holding Americans captive for political leverage. His maternal grandfather, Carl Gates, expressed disbelief that King would willingly engage in such behavior. Gates, speaking from his home in Kenosha, Wisconsin, mentioned that King might have been overwhelmed by the legal troubles he was facing and the imminent discharge from the military.
King’s intended return to the United States this week was expected to involve military disciplinary measures following his two-month-long detention in a South Korean prison on assault charges. However, instead of boarding a plane to Texas as planned, King disappeared on Tuesday morning, joining a group of civilian tourists heading towards the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea.
In February, King had been fined 5 million won ($3,950) after being convicted of assaulting an unidentified individual and damaging a police vehicle in Seoul. These details were obtained from the transcripts of the verdict provided to the Associated Press.
The investigation into Travis King’s disappearance continues, with hopes that the United Nations Command will receive more concrete information from North Korea soon.
*With information from Europa Press and AP.