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American soldier who ran across North Korean border is back in the US

U.S. Army Pvt. Travis King will get a chance to meet with his family but will remain in military custody while his case is evaluated.
American soldier who ran across North Korean border is back in the US
Posted at 6:07 AM, Sep 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-28 08:19:54-04

U.S. Army Pvt. Travis King is now back on American soil after spending the last two months in North Korean custody.

An official with the U.S. Defense Department said King arrived at a military base in Texas early Thursday morning. A video from CNN shows King arriving in San Antonio.

During a civilian visit to an inter-Korean truce village in July, King crossed the demilitarized zone. This made him the first American to be detained by North Korea in almost five years.

The Pentagon says it has spent weeks trying to get King released through "intense diplomacy" involving Sweden and China.

Swedish authorities escorted King to the Chinese border on Wednesday. There, he was met by U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns, the Swedish ambassador to China, and a U.S. Defense Department official, according to reports by the Associated Press.

Officials confirm King, 23, is in good health, but he has been declared AWOL by the Army. The consequences of going AWOL or deserting vary based on how a person returns — whether voluntarily or if caught. In King's case, North Korea's handover could complicate his case.

At the time of the incident in North Korea, King was set to return to the U.S. to face military discipline after being released from prison in South Korea, where he was serving, due to an assault conviction.

Although King will get a chance to meet with his family, he will remain in military custody while his case is evaluated.

SEE MORE: North Korea releases US soldier who ran across border


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