This is Pyongyang’s first public confirmation of King’s crossing from South Korea on 17 July. The KCNA news agency also said that North Korean investigators concluded that Private King had intentionally and illegally crossed the border with the intention of staying in North Korea or a third country.
According to KCNA, Travis King is disillusioned with the unequal American society and the investigation is still ongoing.
Earlier, Private King had traveled to North Korea on a tour of the Joint Security Area (JSA) on the border of the two Koreas. US officials believe that King intentionally crossed the border and have so far refused to classify King as a prisoner of war.
North Korea said that US soldier Travis King is seeking asylum there or in another country. Photo:: Reuters
As an active-duty soldier, King may be eligible for prisoner of war since the US and North Korea are technically still at war.
However, US officials argued that several factors, including King voluntarily crossing the border into North Korea in civilian clothes, disqualified him to be a prisoner of war.
According to the news agency reutersThe Pentagon said it was unable to verify King’s comments. KCNA Reporting and focusing on getting the soldier back safely.
In another related development, speaking at the Moscow Security Conference on 15 August, North Korean Defense Minister Kang Sun-nam said that the world is getting very close to a nuclear conflict. Mr. Kang blamed the US desire for regime change in Pyongyang for the rise in tensions.
The North Korean Defense Minister also accused the US of increasing its military presence in the region by deploying nuclear-capable aircraft and submarines in the region.
This year alone, Kang said, the US has sent “a large amount of strategic weapons” to the region, including nuclear-capable submarines, an aircraft carrier battle group and capable bombers.
Kang criticized the US for interfering in North Korea’s independent development and security interests and for pushing the situation in Northeast Asia to the brink of nuclear war.
He said that if Washington really wanted to resolve the crisis peacefully, it should give up its confrontational attitude. He emphasized that until America cannot do this, there can be no talks.