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US military charges Travis King with desertion for crossing into North Korea: report


Private Travis King, who fled to North Korea earlier this year, has been charged with numerous crimes in the United States, ranging from desertion to possession of child pornography, according to a Reuters report.

King faces eight total charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which also include making false statements and disobeying superior officers.

This undated photo shows Travis King, the American soldier who authorities say is currently detained in North Korea. (Facebook)

According to Reuters, the military accused him of serious misconduct before his flight to North Korea, including a previous attempt to escape from U.S. military custody in October 2022.

US OFFICIALS SAY TRAVIS KING IS IN US CUSTODY AFTER MONTHS OF DETENTION IN NORTH KOREA

King was also accused of soliciting a Snapchat user in July 2023 to “knowingly and willfully produce child pornography.” He was also charged with possession of child pornography.

He was also accused of insubordination for leaving his base after curfew and consuming alcohol in violation of army regulations.

Travis King

This family photo shows a portrait of U.S. Soldier Travis King on display at the home of his grandfather Carl Gates, Wednesday, July 19, 2023, in Kenosha, Wis. Pvt. King fled to North Korea during a tour of the demilitarized zone on Tuesday, July 18, a day after he was supposed to visit a base in the United States. (Family photo via AP)

According to a statement obtained by Reuters, a family spokeswoman said King’s mother, Claudine Gates, asked that her 23-year-old son “be given the presumption of innocence.”

“The man I raised, the man I dropped off at boot camp, the man who spent the holidays with me before deployment didn’t drink,” Gates said. “A mother knows her son and I believe something happened to mine while he was deployed. The military has promised to investigate what happened at Camp Humphreys and I’m awaiting the results.”

Pentagon disputes PYONGYANG’s claim that US soldier Travis King voluntarily sought ‘safe haven’ in North Korea

King, a U.S. Army Private 2nd Class who has been serving since 2021, entered North Korea on foot on July 18, when he reportedly sprinted away from a group of tourists in the demilitarized zone between the North and the North. South Korea.

The incident occurred after King spent about two months in a South Korean detention center following a physical altercation with residents, a senior defense official told Fox News. Throughout his detention at the facility, he said he did not want to return to America, according to a U.S. official.

Korean Peninsula Demilitarized Zone

A United Nations Command soldier (left) and a South Korean soldier (right) stand near North Korea’s Panmon Hall (top back C) in Panmunjom, Joint Security Area of the demilitarized zone (DMZ), October 4, 2022. (ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Image)

North Korean state media reported that King admitted to crossing to the North due to “inhumane mistreatment and racial discrimination within the US military”.

US ‘WORKING VERY HARD’ TO DETERMINE STATUS OF CAPTURED SOLDIER TRAVIS KING IN NORTH KOREA, DIPLOMAT SAYS

“During the investigation, Travis King admitted that he decided to come to the DPRK because he harbored resentment against inhumane mistreatment and racial discrimination within the US military,” the agency reported. Korean official press (KCNA). “He also expressed his willingness to seek refuge in the DPRK or a third country, saying he was disappointed by the inequality of American society.”

King and officials exiting a plane

American soldier Travis King arrives in the United States after being released from North Korea. (Reuters)

King was finally handed over to US authorities in September.

“The competent organ of the (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) has decided to deport Travis King, a soldier of the United States Army who illegally entered the territory of the DPRK, under the law of the Republic,” wrote KCNA, according to the translations provided. by Yonhap News Agency.

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King was flown to a military hospital in Texas on September 28 for medical and mental health evaluations.

Details are still scarce about King’s treatment while detained in North Korea, and the soldier has not publicly explained why he fled to one of the world’s most reclusive countries.

Reuters, Timothy Nerozzi and Liz Friden contributed to this report.


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