Travis King, American Soldier Detained in North Korea Following Combat in Seoul

Travis King, the young American soldier who had faced legal issues in South Korea, was taken into custody there prior to his astonishing escape to North Korea.

According to court records, he had been involved in altercations in South Korea, even damaging a police vehicle, and had recently served time in a detention facility in Seoul.

Upon his release, the 23-year-old serviceman was scheduled to return to the United States, but he made a daring decision to flee during a tour of the Joint Security Area, crossing over into North Korea. As of now, North Korean authorities have remained silent on the matter.

The reasons behind his bold border crossing remain unclear, and American authorities have stated that he did so voluntarily, raising concerns about his well-being.

Travis King’s mother, Claudine Gates, expressed disbelief at her son’s actions, stating that he must have been acting irrationally.

During their last communication a few days prior, Travis had informed his mother that he would soon be heading back to Fort Bliss, his military base in Texas.

Earlier in September 2022, PV2 King was under investigation for an assault incident in South Korea. Allegedly, he was suspected of assaulting a Korean national at a nightclub in Seoul. This led to a fine of 5 million won for causing damage to a police car and using offensive language towards the officers attempting to apprehend him.

Local reports revealed that he had been released on 10th July after serving a two-month jail term related to the assault charges, but no further details were provided.

Following his release from detention in South Korea, PV2 King was subjected to military observation for approximately a week.

As part of the protocol, he was escorted to Incheon airport, near Seoul, where he was expected to board a flight back to the United States to face disciplinary measures.

However, things took an unexpected turn. At the boarding gate, PV2 King approached an American Airlines official and claimed that his passport had gone missing. This led to the airline employee escorting him out of the departures area.

Having separated from his escort, he allegedly left the terminal and somehow managed to join a tour of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea. Normally, obtaining authorization for such a tour takes several days to a week and involves stringent monitoring.

Surprisingly, during the border tour, an eyewitness reported hearing the soldier laughing heartily before suddenly making a daring run across the border.

The United Nations Command, responsible for DMZ operations, asserted that they believed the soldier was now in North Korean custody. Meanwhile, senior US commanders confirmed that they had no direct contact with the soldier and that the incident was under investigation by US Forces Korea.