In a startling turn of events, North Korea has announced the expulsion of US Army Private Travis King, who, in a highly unusual incident, crossed into North Korean territory from South Korea during a tour of the Joint Security Area in July. This development was reported by state media outlet Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Wednesday. At the time this is being written, he has been returned to US custody and is now on a flight back to the United States.

Expulsion Under North Korean Law And Return To The US

According to an official statement from North Korea, “The relevant organ of the [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)] decided to expel Travis King, a soldier of the US Army who illegally intruded into the territory of the DPRK, under the law of the Republic.”

The report further stated that the investigation into King’s case has been concluded.

The following press statement was later put out by US Department of State Spokesman Matthew Miller:

The United States has secured the return of Private Travis King from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. We appreciate the professionalism of our diplomats who worked with their counterparts at the Department of Defense and coordinated with the governments of Sweden and the People’s Republic of China, and we thank Sweden and the People’s Republic of China for their assistance in facilitating the transfer. U.S. Ambassador Nicholas Burns and Brigadier General Patrick Teague received Private King today in the People’s Republic of China and he will soon be on his way to the United States.

King’s Unauthorized Crossing and Alleged Confession

King’s unauthorized crossing occurred when he breached the military demarcation line that separates South Korea from North Korea. At the time of the incident, King, a junior enlisted soldier assigned to US Forces Korea, was facing assault charges in South Korea. Astonishingly, he was scheduled to return to Fort Bliss, Texas, and be discharged from the military and face possible additional disciplinary actions a mere day before he made his fateful move into North Korean territory, as previously reported.

North Korean authorities have asserted that King confessed to the intrusion, citing reasons of harboring resentment towards alleged inhumane treatment and racial discrimination within the US Army, coupled with disillusionment about what he perceived as an unequal American society. However, it should be noted that most Western media outlets have not independently verified these statements as being King’s own words.