According to North Korea state-owned media, the U.S. Army soldier Travis King who crossed into the Hermit Kingdom in mid-July, is in custody and is seeking asylum.
North Korean state-owned media finally confirmed the incident after a media blackout on July 19th. They continued that King was “seeking refuge” from the United States and had many “ill-feelings” about the United States Army. These feelings were due to racial discrimination in the Army, so claims North Korea. The full account reads below:
”According to an investigation by a relevant organ of the DPRK, Travis King admitted that he illegally intruded into the territory of the DPRK.
During the investigation, Travis King confessed that he had decided to come over to the DPRK as he harbored ill feeling against inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination within the U.S. Army.
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.”
King is the first African American defector to North Korea so this type of propaganda was expected. When several U.S. Army soldiers crossed into North Korea during the 1960s, the North Korean government kidnapped Japanese women to be their wives due to strict racial rules on mating. While North Korea seeks to use King as a sharp propaganda tool, it is unlikely they are treating King well, considering their torture of the white U.S. soldiers.
The U.S. DoD commented that they could not confirm King’s allegations.