Moment US soldier Travis King arrives back in America after touching down in Texas a day after North Korea expelled him for 'trespassing' into the rogue state

  • Post category:news
  • Reading time:4 min(s) read

  • North Korea abruptly announced Wednesday that it would expel the 23-year-old 
  • READ MORE: Who is Travis King and why did North Korea expel him? 

The moment Private Travis King touched back down on American soil after being held in North Korea for two months has been released. 

King, 23, made a brazen run for North Korean soil back in July when he broke away from a tour group that was viewing the demilitarized area between the rogue state and the South. Since then, the Wisconsin-native had not been heard from. 

In the clip, King appeared to calmly walk off a plane in San Antonio, Texas. He landed around 1:30am local time. 

Dressed in what seemed to be civilian clothes, he spoke briefly with people waiting on the tarmac, one wearing military fatigues and one in street clothes. A nearby photographer snapped pictures of the conversation.

King shook hands with one before being led into a building without the apparent presence of an armed guard. 

His release was secured with the help of ally Sweden and rival China, the White House said Wednesday. North Korea had abruptly announced that it would expel King.

King walks off the jet after arriving in San Antonio, Texas, at around 1.30am local time

King walks off the jet after arriving in San Antonio, Texas, at around 1.30am local time

The new video shows Travis King, 23, casually conversing with officials before being led away

The new video shows Travis King, 23, casually conversing with officials before being led away 

King appears calm, wearing casual clothes, and being photographed during the clip

King appears calm, wearing casual clothes, and being photographed during the clip 

King was flown to a U.S. military base in South Korea before being returned to the U.S.

King was flown to a U.S. military base in South Korea before being returned to the U.S.

It was not clear why the North — which has tense relations with Washington over the Pyongyang’s nuclear program, support for Russia’s war in Ukraine and other issues — agreed to turn him over or why the soldier had fled in the first place.

King, who had served in South Korea, ran into North Korea while on a civilian tour of a border village on July 18, becoming the first American confirmed to be detained in the North in nearly five years.

At the time, King was supposed to be heading to Fort Bliss, Texas, following his release from prison in South Korea on an assault conviction.

His release almost certainly does not end his troubles. He has been declared AWOL from the Army, a status that can be punished by detention in military jail, forfeiture of pay or a dishonorable discharge.

In many cases, someone who is AWOL for more than a month can automatically be considered a deserter.

Punishment depends in part on whether the service member voluntarily returned or was apprehended. King’s handover by the North Koreans makes that more complicated.

On Wednesday, Swedish officials took King to the Chinese border, where he was met by the U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns, the Swedish ambassador to China, and at least one U.S. Defense Department official.

Biden administration  officials insisted they provided no concessions to North Korea to secure the soldier’s release.

King was flown to an American military base in South Korea before being returned to the U.S.

US Army Private 2nd Class Travis King, circled, is pictured during the tour moments before his dash across the border into North Korea. His hat was purchased from a gift shop at the demilitarized zone

US Army Private 2nd Class Travis King, circled, is pictured during the tour moments before his dash across the border into North Korea. His hat was purchased from a gift shop at the demilitarized zone

Earlier, North Korea announced without warning that it would expel King, surprising observers who had expected the rogue state to drag out his detention

Earlier, North Korea announced without warning that it would expel King, surprising observers who had expected the rogue state to drag out his detention 

Earlier, North Korea announced without warning that it would expel King, surprising observers who had expected the rogue state to drag out his detention in the hopes of squeezing concessions from Washington.

The North Korean state news agency KCNA reported early Wednesday that King was being removed from the country because of his ‘illegal entry’ in July when he broke free from a tour group viewing the DMZ and made a dash to the communist country. 

King, 23, had been recently released from a South Korean prison after an assault conviction in that country, and been due to return to Texas, where he faced a dishonorable discharge.

According to KCNA, North Korean officials said they had concluded their ‘questioning’ of King and said he sought refuge in North Korea because he harbored ‘ill feeling against inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination’ in the US military. 

There was no way to immediately confirm North Korea’s account of King’s remarks. 




#Moment #soldier #Travis #King #arrives #America #touching #Texas #day #North #Korea #expelled #039trespassing039 #rogue #state