The United Nations Command and North Korea are currently in talks over what to do about the US Army Soldier who walked over to the North Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone [DMZ].
Travis King, a US Army private who effectively jumped the border after spending some time in prison prior to his scheduled deportation, is currently in the custody of North Korea.
The UNC and Korean People’s Army have been opening dialogue in order to determine King’s status.
“The primary concern for us is Private King’s welfare,” said Lieutenant General Andrew Harrison, a British army officer with the UNC. “The conversation has commenced with the KPA through the mechanisms of the Armistice agreement. I can’t say anything that could prejudice that process.”
Interestingly enough, North Korean propaganda stations -which, historically speaking, are often quite vocal when a US service member defects- have been silent on King’s crossing.
PVT King was due back in the US last week, where he would have faced disciplinary actions at Fort Bliss, Texas.
According to Reuters, the DMZ border village, known as the Joint Security Area, is to remain open to tours.
“It’s a constant balance between that value (of educating the public) and the risk to the individuals who are in the Demilitarised Zone,” he said.
Tensions between the United Nations and North Korea have been high following a series of missile tests on the part of the latter faction.
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