July 20th, 2024

Army private who fled to North Korea charged with desertion, held by US military, officials tells AP

By Lolita C. Baldor And Eric Tucker, The Associated Press on October 19, 2023.

FILE - A TV screen shows a file image of American soldier Travis King during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea on Aug. 16, 2023. The American soldier who sprinted into North Korea across the heavily fortified border between the Koreas two months ago arrived back in the U.S. early Thursday, Sept. 28, video appeared to show. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – An Army private who fled to North Korea before being returned home to the United States earlier this month has been detained by the U.S. military, two officials said Thursday night, and is facing charges including desertion and possessing sexual images of a child.

The eight counts against Pvt. Travis King are detailed in a charging document seen by The Associated Press. The officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the charges have not been publicly announced.

King’s mother, Claudine Gates, said in a statement that her son should be “afforded the presumption of innocence.”

“A mother knows her son, and I believe something happened to mine while he was deployed,” she said.

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