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US Government’s Top Priority: Bringing Missing Soldier Home from North Korea

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Officials from the United States have revealed more details about Travis King’s situation before his escape to North Korea while admitting Washington has yet to make contact with counterparts in the Hermit Kingdom.

Christine Wormuth, Army Secretary at Aspen Security Forum said: “I don’t believe very much is known.” She admitted that the U.S. has not “successfully” made contact with North Korean authorities.

She said: “We know that he ran into North Korean territory willfully.”

On Tuesday, King, a 2nd Class Army Private, was seen sprinting along the Military Demarcation Line separating North Korea and South Korea while viewing the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), alongside a group of tourists. Eyewitnesses reported seeing him smile as he ran, and they thought it was a “stunt”.

King spent about two months in South Korea’s detention facility after a physical altercation. Wormuth expressed concern for King’s safety and recalled the tragic case of Otto Warmbier.

Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh confirmed on Wednesday that King was alive and in North Korean custody, but she could confirm no other information.

Singh confirmed that King wasn’t in custody when the authorities escorted him through the airport where they left him to get to the gate and he escaped to the DMZ.

Singh refused to call King’s actions “defective” and said that the military authorities should conduct an investigation. However, she did mention that King is currently “absent without leaves.”

“I hesitate to use this word.” She said that she was confident the investigation would reveal this.

Wormuth said that King’s return to the U.S. was the top priority, “regardless that there is misconduct”. He also acknowledged that he would “absolutely have” faced “additional penalties” for the assault.

The Department of Defense, State Department, White House, and U.N. channels have all been in contact with the DPRK, to find out about their status and work together. . . Bring him back,” said she.

She didn’t want to “speculate” on King anymore, especially since Kim Jong Un and the country’s legislative assembly have not addressed the issue publicly through state-run media or government offices.

“I don’t think people knew exactly what was going on in his head,” she said. She noted that he probably had “a lot of negative feelings” regarding his time spent in South Korea’s jail. “He might not have thought clearly, but frankly, we don’t know.” “I don’t wish to speculate any further.”

Matt Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, said the case is still an “extremely important” issue to the administration. All departments are working together to “ascertain” information regarding the whereabouts and well-being of King.

Miller stated, “I’ll say that we have a variety of channels by which we can communicate with the DPRK.” “As I stated yesterday, these discussions are sensitive. Such discussions are sensitive.”

He added, “I won’t go into more details, but I will say that we are still engaged in the matter and that it is our priority to ensure his safe return.”

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