On July 18, North Korea released Private Travis King먹튀검증, an American soldier who crossed the Military Demarcation Line at Panmunjom into North Korea, without any conditions, 71 days after he defected to North Korea.
Currently, the U.S. authorities have safely secured Private King, who was deported through the North Korea-China border.
Previously, the US Biden administration requested mediation from Sweden, which has established diplomatic relations with North Korea and has an embassy.
The Swedish government accepted this and, as a country representing the interests of the United States, sent a dedicated team directly to North Korea to secure the release.
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said he was grateful for the Swedish government’s diplomatic role and also expressed gratitude to the Chinese government for helping Private King pass through the country.
Private King was sentenced to a fine of 5 million won in February of this year for kicking and damaging the door of a police patrol car in Mapo-gu, Seoul in October last year.
However, he did not pay the fine, so he was sentenced to 48 days of hard labor.
The U.S. military authorities planned to repatriate Private King to Texas after completing his military service and subject him to further disciplinary action.
However, Private King disappeared on July 17th, the day of his departure, without boarding a flight to his home country.
He then defected to North Korea the next day while on a JSA tour of the Joint Security Area.
The North Korean authorities appear to have felt burdened by keeping Private King because he was a US soldier and not an ordinary American civilian.