The U.S. soldier who ran into North Korea earlier this year before being detained and released back to the U.S. military is facing charges of soliciting child pornography, as well as desertion, insubordination, and brawling with his superiors.
Private Travis King joined the Army in November 2020 and was involved in multiple alleged assaults between 2020 and 2022, according to charging documents reviewed by the Wall Street Journal.
In July 2023, the American soldier asked a minor to expose herself for money on Snapchat to “knowingly and willingly produce child pornography.”
The Army said King is being held in pretrial detention in Texas.
“U.S. officials have secured the return of Private Travis King from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). We appreciate the dedication of the interagency team that has worked tirelessly out of concern for Private King’s wellbeing,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan also thanked the Swedish government for “its diplomatic role serving as the protecting power for the United States in the DPRK,” as well as the Chinese government’s help in “facilitating the transit” of King.
North Korean state media, KCNA, reported the nation decided “to expel” King after concluding their investigation, according to the Yonhap News Agency. King’s initial entrance into North Korea was during a tour of the Joint Security Area (JSA) between North and South Korea.
“The relevant organ of the DPRK decided to expel Travis King, a soldier of the U.S. Army who illegally intruded into the territory of the DPRK, under the law of the Republic,” the announcement stated.
The Pentagon expressed gratitude to the governments of both Sweden and China for their roles in the release process.
According to CNN, Pentagon press secretary Brig. General Pat Ryder commented, “We appreciate the hard work of personnel in the Army, United States Forces Korea, and across the Department of Defense to bring Private King home.”