North Korea said on Wednesday that a U.S. soldier who fled across the heavily fortified Korean border into the North last month did so because he was frustrated by the injustice in American culture.
Travis King, a Private 2nd Class, was detained by North Korea for the first time, according to an official statement. King crossed the border on July 18 while visiting a village on the Korean border.
He became the country’s first American detainee in almost five years. According to the North Korean official news agency, KCNA, King told investigators that he chose to infiltrate North Korea because he “had animosity against racial discrimination and inhumane treatment in the United States.”
According to the report, King stated that he was eager to seek asylum in North Korea or another nation because he “was disillusioned at the unequal American society.”
The North Korean dictatorship’s propaganda arm, KCNA, frequently publishes statements and articles that have been carefully chosen to reflect the official narrative that the United States is a dangerous foe. King is still under investigation, according to North Korea.
Analysts had previously predicted that North Korea may attempt to exploit King’s case to pressure Washington into making concessions, such as by tying King’s release to a reduction in American military engagements with South Korea.