What do we know about the US soldier who fled to North Korea – Times of India

About 20 Americans have been detained North Korea Since the end of the 1950-1953 Korean War, including a US soldier who crossed the border into a truce village set up to help prepare Tuesday’s armistice. There’s never been an easy way for Washington to win its comeback.
The two countries do not have direct diplomatic relations and have been hostile to each other for decades. Pyongyang often uses detained Americans – the last was almost five years ago – as political pawns and seeks maximum concessions for their release.
Who is the American soldier detained in North Korea?
The Army identified him as Private Second Class. travis king, 23, a cavalry scout from Wisconsin who had been in the military since January 2021. He had been jailed for nearly two months in South Korea for the assault and was set to move to Texas, where he faced expulsion from the military. But instead he left the airport, joining a tour of the Joint Security Area in the Panmunjom ceasefire village. It’s the only place on the peninsula where US and North Korean military personnel can regularly stand face-to-face on their respective sides of the border – a concrete slab the height of a cigarette lighter.
A person on the tour said the man laughed out loud and ran between some buildings on the border. King’s mother, Claudine Gates, told ABC News she spoke to her son a few days ago when he told her he was returning to Fort Bliss in Texas, adding that she could not imagine her son being in North Korea. will enter.
Has this ever happened before?
This type of crossing is rare. Many of the other Americans detained in North Korea were either already in the country as part of a tour for some sort of work assignment. The unauthorized crossings have almost all started in China, which shares a long border with North Korea, which is sparsely patrolled compared to the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas, where hundreds of thousands of people on either side of razor-wire barricades Soldiers are deployed. The most similar incident happened nearly 60 years ago when then-Army Sergeant Charles Jenkins said he drank about 10 beers and fled his post in 1965 to North Korea so he wouldn’t have to serve in the Vietnam War. According to his 2017 obituary in the New York Times, he had been in North Korea for nearly 40 years and, soon after crossing the border, realized he had made a terrible mistake.
Who else has been detained from the US?
These include devout Christians who were there for humanitarian reasons, university students on tours, a pair of journalists on a story and some who have been described by their relatives as troubled individuals. North Korea detained US citizen Bruce Byron Lawrence for nearly a month in 2018, accusing him of illegal entry from China.
On the other hand, thousands of Americans have made trips to North Korea without incident, where they are closely monitored by ideologues and confined to the places they can go. The country is now off limits to Americans unless permitted at a higher level, with the State Department telling citizens not to travel there “due to the serious risk of arrest and prolonged detention of US citizens”.
What happens in custody?
Americans are housed in everything from dilapidated shanties to hotel rooms. They are usually interrogated for hours and pushed to the point of mental breaking. Kenneth Bae, an American missionary, was arrested in November 2012 in the northeastern city of Rason and sentenced to 15 years in a labor camp by the North Koreans for planning to overthrow the regime. They were forced to break rocks and dig coal. His detention of almost two years was the longest detention for an American. In 2014, Jeffrey Faul, a tourist who was detained for nearly six months for leaving a Bible at a sailor’s club, was held at the guest house. Otto WarmbierIn January 2016, a 21-year-old University of Virginia student on a group tour was seized by North Korean officials and accused of trying to steal a propaganda poster. He was initially sentenced to 15 years’ hard labor, but in June 2017 he was returned to the US in a state of unconsciousness – brain dead, blind and deaf. He died a few days later.
How are they released?
North Korea often conducts sham trials for foreigners and arrests them for many years in prison. But most of the Americans he has detained have been in custody for a year or less. The state has asked the US to send high-level envoys, including former President jimmy carter and Bill Clinton to move detainees out of the country, typically allowing a release that would score points for its leader domestically.
What will happen to the king now?
North Korea has yet to respond to US requests to speak about King and has not commented on the matter on its official media as of early Thursday. The current detention comes as nearly all Western diplomats have left the country because of the pandemic, leaving the US with few allies. Sweden’s embassy in Pyongyang has served American interests in the past, but it is now short of staff. The US has used a back channel through the North Korean mission to the United Nations a few times, but Pyongyang rejected the Biden administration’s offers of talks this year, making King’s position more problematic than previous detentions.