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A US Soldier Escaped to North Korea

A US soldier below disciplinary motion has fled to North Korea throughout the border with South Korea, Reuters reported, citing US officers.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin expressed concern in regards to the soldier, who the US army in Korea mentioned joined an orientation tour of the North-South Joint Security Area and “deliberately and without authorization crossed the military demarcation line into the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)”.

The US Army has recognized the soldier as Private Second Class Travis T. King, who spent almost two months in a South Korean jail, the Associated Press reported. He was arrested on assault expenses and launched on July 10 after serving his sentence. On Monday, he was to be despatched house to Fort Bliss, Texas, to face further army disciplinary motion and be dismissed from service.

According to officers, King, 23, was taken to the airport and escorted to customs. But as an alternative of boarding the airplane, he left the airport and later joined a tour of the Korean border village of Panmunjom. Yesterday afternoon native time in Korea, he crossed the border, which is guarded, but additionally usually crowded with vacationers. It is just not but clear how King received to the border and the way he spent the hours between leaving the airport on Monday and crossing the border a day later.

“There’s a lot we’re still trying to learn,” Austin mentioned at a media briefing. “We believe he is in (North Korean) custody and therefore we are closely monitoring and investigating the situation and working to notify the soldier’s next of kin,” he added.

The border crossing comes at a time of excessive stress on the Korean peninsula with the arrival of a US nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine in South Korea for an uncommon go to aimed toward sending a warning to North Korea about its personal army actions, Reuters mentioned.

North Korea has been testing more and more highly effective missiles able to carrying nuclear warheads, together with a brand new solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile launched final week. It fired one other ballistic missile into the ocean close to Japan on Tuesday, South Korea’s Yonhap news company reported, citing the nation’s armed forces.

Col. Isaac Taylor, a spokesman for US Forces Korea, mentioned the army was “working with our KPA colleagues to resolve this incident,” referring to the North Korean People’s Army.

White House spokeswomanKarine Jean-Pierre mentioned US officers on the Pentagon, the State Department and the United Nations had been working to “obtain more information and resolve this situation.”

“We are in the initial stage,” she mentioned, including that a very powerful factor is to seek out out what the soldier’s situation is.

North Korea’s mission to the United Nations in New York didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark, famous Reuters, quoted by BTA.

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