SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said Wednesday that it will expel a U.S. soldier who crossed into the country through the heavily armed border between the Koreas in July.
The North’s official Korean Central News Agency said that authorities have finished their questioning of Pvt. Travis King. It said that he confessed to illegally entering the North because he harbored “ill feeling against inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination” within the U.S. Army and was “disillusioned about the unequal U.S. society.”
Verifying the authenticity of the comments attributed to King is impossible.
The agency did not say when authorities plan to expel King or to where.
King, who had served in South Korea, sprinted into North Korea while on a civilian tour of a border village on July 18, becoming the first American confirmed to be detained in the North in nearly five years.
At the time he joined the civilian tour and crossed the border, he was supposed to be heading to Fort Bliss, Texas, following his release from prison in South Korea on an assault conviction.
Following weeks of silence, North Korea confirmed in August that it had detained King and was questioning the circumstances surrounding his border crossing.
In an interview last month with The Associated Press, King’s mother, Claudine Gates, said her son had “so many reasons” to want to come home.
“I just can’t see him ever wanting to just stay in Korea when he has family in America. He has so many reasons to come home,” she said.