Travis King, Korea

U.S. Soldier Blames Racism and Abuse As Reason Behind Crossing Into North Korea

Since North Korea has confirmed that U.S. soldier Travis King is in their territory, the state-run and -owned Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) is revealing why he did it.

KCNA is blaming racism and abuse at the hands of the U.S. military as King’s reasoning for crossing into the heavily restricted North Korea border, NPR reported. According to the official Korean Central News Agency investigation, he was motivated by “ill feeling against inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination within the U.S. Army.”

KCNA said the troubled soldier decided to take refuge in North Korea or another country after being “disillusioned” by the status of American inequality.

BLACK ENTERPRISE reported King was recently released from prison in South Korea and was being escorted by the military to Incheon International Airport outside Seoul, where he joined a tour group headed for the joint security area instead of going to his gate. A tourist group member, Sarah Leslie, said she noticed a man “running what looked like full gas toward the North Korean side.” With the border being highly off-limits, Leslie and the rest of the tourists assumed King’s actions were a prank.

King is the first known American to be detained in North Korea since 2018; but since the end of the Korean War in 1958, several U.S. soldiers have crossed over into the country, sometimes being used in North Korean propaganda attacking the United States. America is often described by North Korea as a country of low moral standards and unchecked crime. One of North’s top foreign delegates recently called America an “anti-people empire of evils,” according to Business Insider.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had described King’s crossing into North Korea as done “willfully and without authorization,” however, his family isn’t buying the story. About a month after the incident occurred, King’s sister, Jaqueda Gates, said her family hadn’t received any information on her brother’s whereabouts, leaving the family curious if there is more to the story.