US Soldier Detained After Crossing North Korean Border Without Permission

US Soldier DETAINED In NKorea!

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According to the United Nations Command, a US Army soldier who had faced disciplinary action while stationed in South Korea and was instructed to return home, has been apprehended in North Korea after illegally crossing the border during a tour. The individual in custody has been identified as Travis King, a private second class in the US Army, as reported by South Korea’s Dong-a Ilbo newspaper, citing the South Korean army. Officials stated that while participating in a visit to the Joint Security Area, which is the border village located in the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas, and guarded by soldiers from both sides, King made a conscious choice to cross the border at approximately 3:27 p.m. local time.

Authorities have not provided information regarding how King managed to evade airport officials and reach the demilitarized zone to participate in the tour. A witness who was part of the same tour group as King shared with CBS News that after visiting one of the buildings in the JSA village, King suddenly exclaimed loudly with laughter and swiftly ran between some nearby buildings. The witness stated that both the tour organizers and fellow travelers did not immediately respond to the individual’s unexpected behavior.

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“I thought it was a bad joke at first, but when he didn’t come back, I realized it wasn’t a joke, and then everybody reacted and things got crazy,” the witness mentioned.

At the time of the incident, the private second class, who holds the second-to-lowest rank in the US Army, was not dressed in his military uniform. According to US officials, he had recently missed a flight back to the United States before deliberately choosing to cross the border into North Korea. The reasons behind his missed flight and his decision to enter North Korea are not clear. Although officials confirmed the intentional nature of the border crossing, as of late Tuesday morning, it remained uncertain whether the soldier had intended to defect to the isolated nation.

The Defense Ministry of South Korea stated that they currently lack any immediate information regarding the detention of the American soldier by Kim Jong-un’s regime. Although there are certain areas within the demilitarized zone designated for visitors to learn about the Korean War, it is uncertain whether King was in that specific area when he was apprehended. The State Department has issued a travel advisory prohibiting US citizens from entering North Korea due to the ongoing and significant risk of arrest and prolonged detention of US nationals.

The prohibition was put into effect following the detention of American college student Otto Warmbier by North Korean authorities during his visit to the country in 2015. Tragically, Warmbier passed away in 2017 shortly after being released from prison and returning to the US in a coma.

The State Department cautions that due to the absence of diplomatic relations with Pyongyang, the US government is unable to offer any emergency services to citizens detained in North Korea.

King’s detention occurred while US and South Korean officials were gathered in Seoul for discussions to reaffirm their commitment to defending South Korea, a democratic nation, in the event of an attack from their communist neighbors.