US Hits Travis King With Charges Over Defection To North Korea

( — The US soldier who deserted to North Korea rather than return home to face disciplinary action from the Army is now facing charges including assaulting his fellow soldiers and solicitation and possession of child pornography, CBS News reported.

US Army Pvt. 2nd Class Travis King faces eight charges under the Army’s Uniform Code of Military Justice, including desertion, making false statements, and disobeying senior officers.

In July, King crossed the demilitarized zone from South Korea into North Korea after hiding among a tour group in the South Korean border village of Panmunjom.

A week before his escape into North Korea, King, who was serving in South Korea as part of the regular Korean Force Rotation at the time, was being escorted to the airport in Seoul to fly back to Fort Bliss, Texas, to face disciplinary actions and a discharge.

After his escort left him at the gate, King fled the airport and eventually made his way to Panmunjom, where he crossed into North Korea.

King had earlier spent about two months in a South Korean jail after he attacked a police patrol car and shouted obscenities at police officers.

King remained in North Korea for about two months. But in September, Pyongyang announced that it was expelling King following weeks of negotiations led by Sweden. The Swedish government brought King across the Chinese border, where he was turned over to the US ambassador to China and then flown to Texas.

According to the Army’s charge sheet obtained by Reuters, King’s charges relate to misconduct that occurred long before the private fled to North Korea.

The charges stem from several incidents, including an attempt to escape from military custody in October 2022, soliciting child pornography from a Snapchat user in July 2023, and possession of child pornography. King is also charged with illegal possession of alcohol and insubordination for being off base after curfew.

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