North Korea says Travis King, detained U.S. soldier, fled U.S. Army

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SEOUL — North Korea said Wednesday that a U.S. soldier who fled into its territory across the heavily fortified border did so because he was disillusioned with the “unequal American society.”

It is the first time North Korea has publicly acknowledged the status of Pvt. 2nd Class Travis King, who bolted into the North during a civilian tour of the Panmunjom border village last month.

King told North Korean investigators that he decided to cross into North Korea, citing his “ill feeling against inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination within the U.S. Army,” according to the Korea Central News Agency, a North Korean state media outlet. He also expressed his willingness to seek refuge in North Korea or a third country.

U.S. defense officials have previously said that the American serviceman “willfully and without authorization,” crossed into the North.

This story is breaking and will be updated.


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