U.S. soldier in N Korea custody after crossing inter-Korean border

United Nations Command has revealed that an American citizen is believed to be under North Korean custody after crossing the inter-Korean border without authorization during a tour.

The individual was participating in a tour of the Joint Security Area, a border village situated in the demilitarized zone that serves as a dividing line between the two Koreas.

As reported by South Korea’s Dong-a Ilbo daily, the South Korean army has identified the individual as Travis King, a U.S. Army soldier holding the rank of private second class.

“A U.S. National on a JSA orientation tour crossed, without authorization, the Military Demarcation Line into the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK),” the U.N. Command said on Twitter.

“We believe he is currently in DPRK custody and are working with our KPA counterparts to resolve this incident,” it added.

South Korea’s defense ministry stated that it currently does not have any information regarding the incident.

U.S. State Department travel advisory bans U.S. nationals from entering North Korea “due to the continuing serious risk of arrest and long term detention of U.S. nationals.”

The imposition of the ban took place following the detention of U.S. college student Otto Warmbier by North Korean authorities during his visit to the country in 2015.

Tragically, Warmbier passed away in 2017, just days after being released from prison and repatriated to the United States in a coma.

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