North Korea announces major decision on US soldier who defected
Pyongyang, North Korea - North Korea has decided to expel US soldier Travis King, who was detained after crossing the border from the South in July.
King ran across the border on July 18 after joining a sightseeing tour of the Demilitarized Zone located between the two Koreas.
Last month, Pyongyang confirmed it was holding the soldier, saying King had defected to North Korea to escape "mistreatment and racial discrimination in the US Army."
After completing its investigation, Pyongyang has "decided to expel Travis King... who illegally intruded into the territory of the [Democratic People's Republic of Korea], under the law of the Republic", the Korean Central News Agency said Wednesday, using the North's formal name.
Private Second Class Travis King was being taken to the airport in July to fly back to Texas after a string of disciplinary issues. Instead of travelling to Fort Bliss, King snuck away, joined a Demilitarized Zone sightseeing trip, and slipped over the border.
King's border crossing came as relations between the two Koreas are considered to be at one of their lowest points ever, with diplomacy stalled. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is calling for increased weapons development, including tactical nuclear warheads, while South Korea and the US have ramped up defense cooperation in response, staging joint military exercises.
North Korea has yet to give any details about where or when King would be released.
Cover photo: Collage: Anthony WALLACE / AFP & IMAGO / ZUMA Wire