North: US military scrambles to determine fate of soldier who fled to N Korea

WASHINTON: The US navy was scrambling Wednesday to find out the destiny of an American soldier who made an unauthorised crossing of the inter-Korean border into North Korea, throwing Washington into a brand new disaster with the nuclear-armed state. Non-public Travis T King was dealing with disciplinary motion. Whereas on an orientation tour on the border between the 2 Koreas, King crossed into North Korea on Tuesday “wilfully and with out authorisation”, US defence secretary Lloyd Austin stated. “We consider he’s in (North Korean) custody,” Austin instructed a briefing.
North Korea’s state media has made no point out ofthe incident. Its mission to the United Nations in New York didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark. The crossing comes at a time of renewed rigidity on the Korean peninsula, with the arrival on Tuesday of a US nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarine, and the take a look at launch early on Wednesday of two ballistic missiles into the ocean by North Korea.
The UN Command had communicated over a hotline with the North Koreans concerning the US soldier, a spokesperson for US Forces Korea stated. “It’s all a part of the armistice settlement,” he stated. The soldier was on a tour of the Panmunjom truce village when he crossed the Navy Demarcation Line that separates the 2 Koreas. His motive is just not recognized. Whereas based mostly in South Korea, he confronted accusations of assault and damaging a police automotive in a October. He pled responsible and was sentenced to a tremendous.
King had completed serving in navy detention and was transported by the US navy to the airport to return to his dwelling unit within the US, officers stated. He had handed alone by safety to his gate after which fled. Civilian excursions of the demilitarised zone are marketed on the airport and King appeared to have determined to hitch one, an official stated. The incident occurred as South Korean and US officers held the primary spherical of talks on upgrading coordination within the occasion of a nuclear battle with North Korea.

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