Update (1402 EST): At approximately 0903 EST, the United States government confirmed that King was returned to military custody and transferred to an overseas medical facility for evaluation. U.S. National Security Adviser Sullivan confirmed that King would be medically evaluated then processed for administrative action. The U.S. State Department also thanked Sweden and China for helping negotiate the release of King to U.S. custody. Sullivan also claimed that no concessions were made for King’s release.
(Update 0736 EST): North Korean media has confirmed the expulsion. Their announcement reads below:
“According to the investigation by a relevant organ of the DPRK, Travis King confessed that he illegally intruded into the territory of the DPRK as he harbored ill feeling against inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination within the U.S. army and was disillusioned about the unequal U.S. society.
The relevant organ of the DPRK decided to expel Travis King, a soldier of the U.S. Army who illegally intruded into the territory of the DPRK, under the law of the Republic.”
According to South Korean media, North Korea has expelled U.S. soldier Travis King. Yonhap reports:
“North Korea decides to expel US soldier Travis King for illegal intrusion”
This is a single source report as of this publication and there has been no announcement from North Korean state owned media or the U.S. State Department. It is not clear if King will be expelled to South Korea, China or Russia. North Korean state owned media acknowledged that King sought asylum in a third-party nation when he defected.
King defected to North Korea on August 15th, 2023 after posing as a tourist as the Joint Security Area. He was reportedly to be flown back to the U.S. after a string of disciplinary issues while stationed in South Korea.
This is developing.