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  • Writer's picturejohn kepler

Army Private jumps border, chooses North Korea, refuses to come back to U.S

The Pentagon says Army Pvt. Travis King fled to North Korea after finishing a South Korean jail sentence.



Officials have said that King, a 23-year-old Army private 2nd class, had been on his way back to the U.S. early last week when, instead, he left the airport in Seoul, joined a tour group visiting the border between North and South Korea -- and then bolted across, entering North Korea on Tuesday.

He had been scheduled to fly to Texas to face a "pending administrative separation actions for foreign conviction" and had recently been released from 47 days in a South Korean detention facility.


Since King entered the country, North Korea -- with whom the U.S. does not have formal relations -- has not responded to inquiries about his status, as the Biden administration says it continues to push. In a statement via the Army, King's family said, "We request privacy as we work toward our son's safe return."

It remains publicly unclear what exactly motivated King to flee, though an official said that last year he said he would not return to America.

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