We recently reported about an incident in North Korea where a soldier from the US army crossed the border between South Korea and North Korea and entered the North Korean territory which caused a lot of controversy in the US due to the threat of leaking state secrets from the US army to North Koreans. It is also known that North Koreans don’t have any extradition treaty with the US which means that the soldier can’t be brought back to the US as well. It is also known that North Korea was quiet about the whole incident until recently.
But now, North Korea has released a statement saying that the US soldier named Travis King crossed the border and entered North Korea in order to escape racism in the US army that he was subjected to. North Korea’s state media also claimed that King expressed “his willingness to seek refugee” as “he harbored ill feeling against inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination within the U.S. Army.” However, officials in the US defence have said that “The department’s priority is to bring Private King home, and that we are working through all available channels to achieve that outcome”. King’s mother appealed to North Koreans asking them to treat his son “humanely” and “would be grateful for a phone call from him,” but it is highly unlikely that NK would allow a phone call from their country to the US.
CNN also reports that “The US has repeatedly tried to contact the North Koreans for an update on King’s condition, but as of last week had still not received a substantive response”. There is also the fact that King was escaping the punishment he would face in South Korea as “(H)e had assaulted an individual in South Korea and had been in the custody of the South Korean government and was going to come back to the United States to face the consequences in the Army”, as per a report. Biden administration is also thinking of designating King as “a prisoner of war, which could afford him greater protections under the Geneva Convention”.