SEOUL: North Korea said that Travis King confessed to crossing into the North because of “inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination within the US Army”, state media reported on Wednesday (Aug 16), the first public acknowledgement of the incident by Pyongyang.
The soldier, Private Travis T King, dashed into the North while on a civilian tour of the Joint Security Area (JSA) on the heavily fortified border between the two Koreas. US officials have said they believe King crossed the border intentionally.
North Korean investigators have also now concluded that King crossed deliberately and illegally, with the intent to stay in the North or in a third country, state news agency KCNA said.
“During the investigation, Travis King confessed that he had decided to come over to the DPRK as he harboured ill feeling against inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination within the US Army,” KCNA reported, using the initials of North Korea’s official name.
“He also expressed his willingness to seek refugee in the DPRK or a third country, saying that he was disillusioned at the unequal American society.”