Conflicts & War

UN, North Korea start talks over US Soldier who crossed border

Seoul, Jul 24 (EFE) – The United Nations Command and authorities in Pyongyang have opened talks after a US soldier crossed the border into North Korea without permission last week, the deputy commander of the UN Command, Andrew Harrison, told reporters on Monday.

Travis T. King, a US army private who was serving in South Korea, on Jul. 18 crossed the border during a visit to the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and Joint Security Area (JSA) between North and South Korea.

“The conversation has commenced with the KPA through the mechanisms of the Armistice agreement,” Harrison told a news conference in Seoul. “I can’t say anything that could prejudice that process.”

The British army officer, who is serving as deputy commander to the multinational force that operates in the DMZ and JSA to safeguard the Korean Armistice Agreement that put an end to the Korean War (1950-1953), declined to give any detail about the exchanges between both sides.

“The primary concern for us is Private King’s welfare,” Harrison added.

The commander also declined to answer questions about the details of King’s escape to North Korea.

The soldier was to be returned to the US after being imprisoned in South Korea, where he had arrived in 2021, after allegedly getting in fights and abusing police officers when he was being detained.

King allegedly fled Incheon International Airport, in Seoul, last Monday when he was due to board a flight to Dallas.

The US soldier reportedly booked a sightseeing tour of the JSA on Tuesday when he crossed the border into North Korea. EFE

asb/ch/ks

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