In a significant turn of events, Travis King, a US Army private, has sought refuge in North Korea, alleging “inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination” in the United States and the military. North Korean state media confirmed on Wednesday that Travis King had crossed into North Korea from South Korea on July 18.
Allegations of Inhuman Treatment and Racial Discrimination
Asharq Al-Awsat — Travis King, who dashed into North Korea during a civilian tour of the Joint Security Area (JSA) along the Korean border, has been at the center of a growing international incident.
North Korean investigators have concluded that Travis King crossed deliberately and illegally, with the intent to stay in North Korea or another country.
During the investigation, Travis King reportedly confessed that he sought refuge in North Korea due to his resentment towards the “inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination” he faced in the US Army. He expressed disillusionment with the unequal aspects of American society. The North Korean news agency KCNA indicated that Travis King willingly sought asylum in the DPRK or a third country.
While Travis King’s case remains under investigation, the Pentagon and US officials have expressed concern for his well-being and focused on his safe return. The White House and United Nations Command have yet to provide substantial responses to the situation.
With North Korea publicly acknowledging Travis King’s presence, the incident adds a new layer of complexity to diplomatic relations in the region.
Travis King’s decision to seek refuge in North Korea has brought to light issues of discrimination and treatment within the US military, sparking international discussions on the treatment of service members and the broader implications for diplomatic relations — Reuters.