The US, concerned about the soldier who crossed into North Korea for the treatment that Pyongyang “has given to other prisoners”

The US, concerned about the soldier who crossed into North Korea for the treatment that Pyongyang "has given to other prisoners"

July 21 (EUROPA PRESS) –

US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller has expressed concern about US soldier Travis King, who crossed the border into North Korea, due to the country’s treatment “of other prisoners in the past.”

“I certainly think that we would always have concern, because of the treatment given by the North Koreans to detainees in the past, we would have that concern. And that is one of the reasons why we ask for more information about their well-being,” Miller told a conference. press.

In 2017, the North Korean authorities released the American Otto Warmbierd in a coma, detained and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for taking a propaganda poster from a hotel. After his death, forensics indicated that it was due to an injury suffered more than a year before his death, although the US authorities attributed it to the conditions of his detention.

The spokesman stressed that this case is of an “extremely high priority” for the department, and that they work together with the Pentagon, the White House and even the UN to “guarantee his safety and return him home to his family.”

“We have transmitted messages to North Korea that Private King crossed on his own and we want him to return safely. We have also requested more information about his well-being,” added Miller, who did not want to reveal more details due to the ” sensitivity” of the matter.

On the other hand, the spokesman has reported that there is no regular contact between North Korea and the United States despite Washington’s attempts to “hold talks about its nuclear program and its violation of UN Security Council resolutions.” , although he has assured that the responses from Pyongyang have been “limited”.

In a note confirming what happened to Europa Press, one of the State Department spokesmen specified on Tuesday that a US soldier “voluntarily and without authorization” crossed the Military Demarcation Line into North Korea.

King’s identity was confirmed by his mother on Wednesday, who said she was shocked after being notified that her son had crossed the border into North Korea. “I can’t imagine Travis doing something like that,” said Claudine Gates, a resident of Racine, Wisconsin.

On the other hand, legal sources cited by the South Korean news agency Yonhap revealed that King was sentenced to a fine of five million won (around 3,520 euros) in February after causing damage to a patrol car in the country’s capital, Seoul.

The man was accused of repeatedly hitting a vehicle door during an incident in October 2022 in the Mapo district, where he was detained. They also reported that King did not cooperate with the agents who asked him to identify themselves and hurled insults against South Korea.

Previously, he was accused of punching a South Korean citizen in the face at a nightclub in September 2022, although he was not charged because the victim said he did not want the soldier to be punished, always according to the sources cited by the Yonhap agency.

On the other hand, Defense Department sources quoted by the television network indicated on Tuesday that the detainee will face disciplinary measures by the Army and specified that he joined a tourist tour as a civilian before returning to the United States. During it, he crossed into North Korean territory without permission.

The Demilitarized Zone separates the two Koreas and its border is one of the most heavily fortified areas in the world. It contains land mines, electric and barbed wire fences, as well as armed guards constantly monitoring the area.

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Written by Editor TLN

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