Travis King Wiki – Travis King Biography
Talks have begun between the United Nations Command and North Korea on the case of US soldier Travis King who crossed into the North, the deputy commander of the US-led multinational command overseeing the Korean War truce said Monday. The talk had been initiated and was taking place with the North Korean military through a mechanism established under the Korean War armistice, UN Command Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. Andrew Harrison said at a briefing.
“The primary concern for us is King’s private well-being,” he said. King, a US Army soldier serving in South Korea, sped into North Korea on Tuesday while on a civilian tour of the Demilitarized Zone on the two-Korean border. US Army Private Travis T. King had finished his nearly two-month detention in South Korea and was being escorted to the airport to fly home and would likely face disciplinary action. But he never made it to his plane.
Instead, about 24 hours later, he ran into North Korea while on a civilian tour of the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on the two-Korean border. Thus began a strange odyssey that landed an active-duty US soldier in the hands of North Korea and created a new problem for Washington in its dealings with the nuclear-armed state.
While much remains unknown, investigations by authorities from Seoul to Washington and eyewitness accounts have slowly begun to piece together a picture of King and what transpired in the final hours before his escape. On Monday, King was scheduled to board American Airlines Flight 280 from Seoul’s Incheon Airport to Dallas, Texas, scheduled to depart at 5:40 p.m., according to a US military report obtained by US website The Messenger and an airport official who spoke to Reuters.
Private Travis King Age
The age of Private Travis King is 23 year.
How Private Travis King crossed into the North
King, 23, was escorted by other US soldiers, who were unable to see him past security, so he went to the departure lounge alone, authorities said. King sent a text message to his Army escort to say that he had arrived at his gate, according to The Messenger report. There, he told American Airlines staff that he lost his passport, the Incheon airport official said.
Escorted by an airline worker with the approval of a South Korean Justice Ministry official, King left the gate area and was seen leaving through gate number 4, returning to the terminal around 7 p.m., the Incheon airport official said. He declined to be named because he is not allowed to speak to the media on the matter.
Flight records show that Flight 280 left almost an hour late that day, but it’s unclear if that delay was due to King skipping his flight. Reuters could not determine how King got back to Seoul from Incheon, which is about an hour away by train or bus, or where he stayed on Monday night.
According to the US military’s “serious incident report” cited by The Messenger, King had booked two different tours of the DMZ in May, prior to his 50-day detention. He was unable to do the first tour, but was confirmed for the second, scheduled for Tuesday. That tour was a 10-hour full-day tour of the DMZ operated by the South Korean company HanaTour ITC. Tours start at $180, according to a TripAdvisor itinerary provided by Sarah Leslie, a tourist from New Zealand who took the same trip with King.
She left at 8 a.m. Tuesday from Namdaemun Market, not far from Seoul’s main train station, according to the itinerary. Leslie told Reuters she doesn’t remember anyone joining from anywhere else. HanaTour ITC declined to comment, referring questions to the United Nations Command (UNC), a US-led force that oversees the JSA on the South Korean side.
Like all DMZ tours that include stops at the Joint Security Area (JSA), the tour was capped at 40 people and required copies of passports or US government ID cards in advance and clearance from UNC. King used his US government ID to register for the tour, The Messenger reported.
When the group arrived at the JSA on Tuesday afternoon, they were nearing the end of the tour, having visited an observation post overlooking North Korea and a tunnel once dug by North Korean soldiers under the DMZ, among other sights. King, who joined the US military in January 2021, served as a cavalry scout with the Korean Rotational Force, part of the decades-old US security engagement in South Korea.
But his publication was plagued with legal problems. He faced two counts of assault and ultimately pleaded guilty to one instance of assault and destruction of public property for damaging a police car during a profanity-filled tirade against Koreans, according to court documents.
From May 24 to July 10, he served a sentence of hard labor at the Cheonan Correctional Center instead of paying a fine, the Yonhap news agency reported. After his release from the prison, which is a designated facility for the US and other foreign military, King stayed at a US base in South Korea for a week, Yonhap said.
A Cheonan prison official confirmed that King had served his hard labor sentence there, but declined to provide further information, citing privacy concerns. US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said King would face military disciplinary action upon his return to his home in Fort Bliss, Texas.
The question of what led King to act as he did on Tuesday remains a mystery. King’s uncle, Carl Gates, told The Daily Beast that King had been distraught over the death of his 7-year-old cousin from a rare genetic disorder earlier this year. “He seemed like he was breaking down. He affected Travis a lot,” Gates said of the death of his son.
King’s exact whereabouts, as well as what happens next, is still unknown. When a US soldier defects, North Korea has to create a security and surveillance team for him, and get an interpreter, a private vehicle, a driver and accommodation, said former North Korean diplomat Tae Yong-ho, who is now a member of the South Korean parliament.
Pyongyang has generally treated American and other Western detainees or defectors well to avoid a political setback, said Andrei Lankov, director of the Seoul-based Korea Risk Group. The notable exception was American college student Otto Warmbier, who died in 2017 shortly after being released from a North Korean prison. Detainees often stay in the North Korean equivalent of a four-star hotel, Lankov said. Still, analysts suggested that King’s stay in North Korea could be prolonged.
“It’s always good to resolve these issues as soon as possible, but I’m not sure that’s the case,” said Victor Cha, a former US official and Korea expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. Reporting by Ju-min Park and Josh Smith in Seoul and Matt Spetalnick in Washington; Written by Matt Spetalnick and Josh Smith; Edited by Don Durfee, Sandra Maler, and Lincoln Feast. Read More……..