North Korea Responds to UN on US Soldier, Pentagon Says

WASHINGTON — North Korea has offered a very brief response to the United Nations Command about a U.S. soldier who dashed across the heavily guarded border with South Korea in mid-July and was immediately taken into custody, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.

However, Pentagon spokesperson Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said that North Korea only acknowledged the U.N. Command’s request for information about U.S. Army Private Travis King and did not offer detailed information about him.

“I can confirm that the DPRK has responded to United Nations Command, but I don’t have any substantial progress to read out,” Ryder told a press conference, using the acronym of North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

When pressed, Ryder said that North Korea’s message back to the U.N. Command was just “an acknowledgement” of the U.N. Command’s inquiry.

King sprinted into North Korea on July 18 while on a tour of the Demilitarized Zone on the border, landing the United States in a new diplomatic quandary with nuclear-armed North Korea.

King, who joined the U.S. Army in January 2021, had served as a cavalry scout with the Korean Rotational Force, part of the decades-old U.S. security commitment to South Korea.

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