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North Korea says Travis King ‘illegally’ entered border but seeks refuge with US military

North Korea said Wednesday that a US soldier who entered the country on July 18 has admitted entering illegally and is willing to seek refuge in the north or a third country, state media reported.

The soldier, Private Travis King, charged north 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 Private King deliberately crossed the border.

Private King, 23, traveled to the ‘peace village’ of Panmunjom where he joined a tour group in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) before crossing the border.

Last month, the United Nations said delicate “talks were underway with Pyongyang about the soldier’s whereabouts.”

Private King joined the US Army in 2021 and was a cavalry scout with the Korean Rotational Force.

While in South Korea, he faced assault charges and paid a fine of £3,097 ($3,933) for damaging a police car.

The soldier had just completed a stint in a detention center for an unspecified offence.

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