Back in the DPRK

It’s a big world out there, and I’ve seen my fair share of it. If there is one place that I would not be interested in making a mad dash across the border and wanting to be integrated into society, that would be the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or the DPRK. It’s more commonly referred to as North Korea, so we’ll stick with that.

Twenty-three-year-old Army Private Travis King is obviously not me. On a sightseeing tour of Panmunjom, he dashed across the border and into a nation that is technically still at war with the South.  This, of course, is not normal behavior. I mean, most people don’t make mad dashes into the “Hermit Kingdom” unless they are Dennis Rodman. But I digress.

King at the border
King, highlighted, wearing a black shirt and a black hat that reads “DMZ” on the front, is shown here shortly before he made a run for it. Screenshot from YouTube

A little digging revealed that King was having some issues, as they say. He had just done a two-month stint in a South Korean prison while being held on assault charges. The young soldier was supposed to be heading back to Fort Bliss in the States, where he was looking at facing additional disciplinary measures and possible discharge from the service. King had been escorted to the airport Monday, where he was to catch a flight back to Texas.

Instead of taking that flight, he bolted and decided to take a tour of the border city of Panmunjom. Panmunjom used to be a quiet farming village, but it now finds itself as a kind of bizarre tourist attraction smack dab in the middle of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas.