Travis King: A US soldier in North Korea was detained following clashes in Seoul.
Travis King, the American soldier who fled to North Korea, had been imprisoned in South Korea for getting into fights before crossing the border.
According to court documents, he also damaged a police car and had recently spent time in a Seoul correctional facility.
The 23-year-old serviceman had recently been discharged and was being returned to the United States when he bolted.
He took part in a tour of the Joint Security Area before fleeing to North Korea, which has yet to comment.
It’s unclear what his motivation was for crossing the border. Authorities in the United States have stated that he did so “wilfully, of his own volition” and expressed concern for his well-being.
Claudine Gates, the mother of Private 2nd Class (PV2) King, told ABC News that she could not picture her son committing such a thing. He “had to be insane,” she reasoned.
Ms Gates said she had last heard from the US soldier “a few days ago” when he told her he would be going to Fort Bliss, his army base in Texas.
In September 2022, PV2 King was reportedly probed for assault in South Korea. According to local media, he was accused of striking a Korean national in a Seoul nightclub.
He was fined 5 million won ($3,950) for “repeatedly kicking” the back door of a police car and yelling “foul language” at officers attempting to detain him.
According to local sources citing officials, he was freed on July 10 after serving two months in jail on assault charges, but no further details were provided.
Following his release, he was held under military watch in South Korea for almost a week.
He was escorted to Incheon Airport, outside Seoul, for a flight back to the United States, where he would face disciplinary action.