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Dynamite News
Dynamite News
DN Bureau

US’ main focus is safe return of soldier, who crossed over into North Korea: White House

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre

Washington DC : The White House on Wednesday (local time) said that the US' main focus is the safe return of Travis King, who crossed the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) into North Korea during a tour to the Joint Security Area (JSA) in the demilitarized zone last month. 

Responding to a question on the status of Private Travis King, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, "We remain focused on his safe return, as we have been saying for these past several weeks. And we’re working through all available channels to achieve that outcome."

"You know, none of it — it doesn’t change anything. We want to make sure that he gets home safely; he’s returned — he returns to his family safely. And that’s going to be our — our focus," she added. 

Her remark came after North Korea claimed that the soldier has admitted “illegally intruding” due to "inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination within the US Army”, Yonhap news agency reported citing the country’s state media KCNA on Wednesday.

North Korea has further claimed that the soldier, Travis King has expressed a willingness to seek refuge there or in a third country.

This was Pyongyang’s first confirmation of the status of King since he crossed the MDL into the North during a tour to the JSA in the DMZ on July 18.

"Travis King confessed that he had decided to come over to the DPRK as he harboured ill feeling against inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination within the US Army," Yonhap news agency quoted the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) stating in an English-language report.

"He also expressed his willingness to seek refugee in the DPRK or a third country, saying that he was disillusioned at the unequal American society," the report added.

The KCNA said its soldiers took custody of King after he "deliberately intruded" into the North's side of the JSA and that the investigation by a "relevant organ" is ongoing.

The incident came as tensions have run high due to North Korea's continued weapons tests, including a Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile launch last month, Yonhap news agency reported. (ANI)

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