Image 01 Image 03

North Korea Detains American Soldier, U.S. Claims He ‘Willfully and Without Authorization’ Crossed DMZ

North Korea Detains American Soldier, U.S. Claims He ‘Willfully and Without Authorization’ Crossed DMZ

The State Department and United Nations did not identify the soldier.

UPDATE 12:27 PM: Did the soldier defect to North Korea? Here’s an interesting update:

A U.S. Forces Korea spokesperson said the American service member on a joint security area orientation tour “willfully and without authorization crossed the Military Demarcation Line into the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).”

“We believe he is currently in DPRK custody and are working with our KPA (Korean People’s Army) counterparts to resolve this incident,” the spokesperson added.

The soldier was identified by a senior U.S. defense official as Private 2nd Class Travis King, who was serving under U.S. Forces Korea and the U.S. Army and was due to face disciplinary action.

The military separated from him King with cause and planned to ship him back to America.

King crossed the DMZ dressed in plain clothes during a tour of the DMZ with a tour group.

***Previous report:

North Korea has detained a U.S. soldier after he supposedly crossed the DMZ line without authorization, the United Nations Command tweeted this morning.

The JSA refers to the Joint Security Area, also known as the Truce Village (or Panmunjom). It’s where North and South Korean forces face each other.

The State Department and United Nations did not identify the soldier.

Both encourage citizens not to travel to North Korea.

The Truce Village hosted the two countries when they signed the armistice in 1953. The two countries technically remain at war:

After World War II, North and South Korea were divided at the 38th parallel, or line of latitude, creating a de facto international border. The roughly 2.5-mile wide Demilitarized Zone was created as a buffer between the countries in 1953, following the Korean War. Both sides are heavily fortified. About 70 percent of North Korea’s ground forces are stationed along the border, with half of its naval and air forces within 60 miles of the DMZ. There are also 14,000 tubes of artillery that could rain down shells on Seoul if conflict broke out, with 26 million people caught in the crosshairs.

The 155-mile long border has been the site of multiple clashes over the years, including at Panmunjom, where in 1976 two U.S. Army officers sent out to clear some trees and create a better view of the North were attacked by two Koreans and killed with their own axes. Just this past year, a North Korean defector ran across the border and through Panmunjom, drawing gunfire from both sides. He was later found to be suffering with a parasitic infection, with inches-long worms in his digestive system.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


The Biden Admin has proposed a swap: the U.S. soldier in exchange for Robert Kennedy, Jr.

chrisboltssr | July 18, 2023 at 9:35 am

Couple this with the stupid black woman who was arrested in Dubai for screaming in public the US has been taking Ls lately when it comes to its citizens in foreign nations.

And we have nothing of value for either Dubai or the Norks to trade for their freedom.

Just a friendly reminder that the reason it is safe for Americans to travel overseas is because America US strong. That safety goes out the window when America is weak.

Being kidnapped and dragged into N. Korea, sure, but accidentally crossing over? Whatever happened, I’m not buying accident.

    henrybowman in reply to Concise. | July 19, 2023 at 2:45 am

    I don’t see the word accident used anywhere by anybody. Right now, this appears to me to be a deliberate defection. The military was in the process of cashiering this guy.

E Howard Hunt | July 18, 2023 at 10:40 am

The soldier was probably fleeing from all the trannies in his outfit and was seeking a dose of sanity.

CaliforniaJimbo | July 18, 2023 at 10:55 am

Words of advice to all US citizens. Do not go anywhere near the N Korean border. There is nothing to see over there. They don’t sell souvenirs, and you will go to jail (real jail, not US minimum security Martha Stewart jail). If they do release you, it won’t be in one piece. The world is a dangerous place. N Korea doubly so.

    They don’t sell souvenirs
    Actually, they do sell souvenirs in the Army post right there.

    It sounds like this person wandered off from the group (the NorKs can’t snatch you if there’s a group right there to snatch you back over the line) and wandered into the NorK part of Panmunjom. That’s a stupid thing to do, and takes some effort. And the tour guide (they are escorted by active duty soldiers) or his boss will be suffering punishment from his command over this.

I’m sure there is security camera video which will show exactly what happened.

    Paul in reply to pst314. | July 18, 2023 at 12:08 pm

    Like the video of the 2020 election being stolen in Fulton County, GA? Or like the thousands of hours of J6 video that has been memory-holed?

      pst314 in reply to Paul. | July 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

      Irrelevant, distracting snark is not needed. Not everything is about Trump.
      I’m sure the entire Joint Security Area (JSA) is under comprehensive video surveillance.

        Paul in reply to pst314. | July 18, 2023 at 6:11 pm

        Snarky? Yes. But I was also trying to make a point, which is that the video will not be seen if it in any way contradicts the regime’s narrative. It’s a commentary on these disturbing times we’re living through, where the government thinks it can censor en masse, suppress information and control what we think.

          pst314 in reply to Paul. | July 18, 2023 at 6:53 pm

          If you try to turn every news item into something about the election, well, you become tiresome and seem like a less credible obsessive.
          Also: Who would be such a rear-end-of-a-horse as to downvote my first comment expressing confidence that there will be security camera videos? Sheesh.

        henrybowman in reply to pst314. | July 19, 2023 at 2:46 am

        “I’m sure the entire Joint Security Area (JSA) is under comprehensive video surveillance.”
        At least as good as that covering the cocaine hidey-holes in the White House.

By early accounts, the soldier was dressed in civilian clothes, on a tour and purposely walked in. That is fact would be in violation of all three country’s laws.

On the Upside, though, it’s kinda nice to see a country be that diligent in protecting it’s borders from invaders….no free plane-rides or hotel-stays for this guy, I guess.

Will he at least be forced upon a nice Nork Family and stay in their Guest-room, like NYC does?

    GWB in reply to dmo. | July 18, 2023 at 1:15 pm

    One of them in a prison camp, yes.

    JR in reply to dmo. | July 18, 2023 at 6:24 pm

    Yes, we need to be much more like North Korea! After all, Trump is best friends with the dictator of North Korea, and personally embraced him.

The military separated from him King with cause
Huh? It’s not a Biden, but it’s close.

After the new information:
I was wondering if it was an attempted suicide? He figured both sides would shoot him as he ran across?

If he thought the NorKs would treat him right, then he’s the recruit who, when asked by a sergeant why he had a dozen rocks in his pockets, responded, “Sergeant, the DI said it would improve my IQ!”

Breaking: The soldier was facing disciplinary action and fled to North Korea. Given the brutality of the Nork regime, I’ll guess that the soldier was psychologically unbalanced and that this was also what led to the disciplinary action.

If this soldier was facing a bad conduct discharge what was he doing wandering around free in Korea instead of being in confinement awaiting return to the US for incarceration or out-processing?

In any case, this is far from being “a fresh crisis”. It’s the garden variety desertion of a non-mission critical Private. The fact that he decided to run to the Norks is neither here nor there and the only way it becomes a propaganda victory for them is if we overreact to it.

Update: Looks like the soldier (Travis King) was indeed psychologically unbalanced: A relative had died recently and he had spent 2 months in a South Korean prison for assault and damage to a police cruiser.