North Korea has announced its decision to expel US Army Private Travis King, who had crossed into North Korea from South Korea during a tour of the joint security area in July. The state media KCNA reported that the relevant organ of North Korea made this decision under the law of the Republic, stating that the investigation into King has been completed. However, it remains unclear from the report where, when, and how King will be expelled.
It is important to note that King had faced assault charges in South Korea and was scheduled to return to Fort Bliss, Texas, and be removed from the military just one day before he crossed into North Korea. North Korea claims that King has confessed to illegally intruding into their territory due to ill feelings towards the inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination within the US army, as well as disillusionment with the unequal US society. However, CNN cannot verify whether these are King’s own words.
The National Security Council spokesman, John Kirby, has previously stated that it would not be surprising for North Korea to use King as a propaganda tool or bargaining chip. The focus now is to obtain more information about King, including his location, the conditions of his detention, and his health.