US National’s Arrest in North Korea Sparks Global Outrage

( – A US national is reportedly in foreign custody after crossing the Military Demarcation Line, which separates the edge of a demilitarization zone between North and South Korea. UN leaders have been attempting to negotiate the man’s release but haven’t offered any additional public details. Meanwhile, tensions between the US and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) dictatorship remain at an all-time high.

CBS News talked to US officials, who named the individual as Private 2nd Class Travis King. The US soldier was reportedly being forced to leave South Korea, where he was serving time at a military detention facility, as part of disciplinary action against him.

King disappeared after passing through an airport security checkpoint in Seoul, according to BBC News. The man reemerged, wearing plain clothes, in a bus tour group slated to pass near an unusually unguarded area of the Korean border. A witness stated that the region had been devoid of North Korean guards since the 2020 health crisis. They noted that the man yelled out, “ha ha ha,” before taking off between the nearby buildings. Initially, onlookers thought King was playing a practical joke. Military members from the south side acted almost immediately, but by then, the private was gone.

The relationship between the US and the DPRK has been shaky throughout President Joe Biden’s administration, with both sides taking turns threatening action against the other in the wake of any perceived offensive move. The US and South Korea have been allies for 70 years.

King is the only known US citizen currently under detention in North Korea, and the task of getting him back stateside could put American leaders in a tough position. BBC reports that six South Korean individuals are also in DPRK custody.

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