The United Nations Command (UNC) has confirmed that North Korea is holding U.S. Army Private Travis King, 23, in the Joint Security Area (JSA) of Panmunjom, the BBC reports.
According to the BBC on March 3 local time, the UNC confirmed the detention of Private King when North Korea responded for the first time to a request for information on his whereabouts.
However, the UN agency declined to provide details of the North Korean response so as not to “interfere with our efforts to bring him home,” the BBC reported.
The BBC also interpreted the response as indicating that North Korea was ready to begin negotiations regarding Private King.
The U.S. State Department said on Feb. 2 local time that North Korea had responded again to the U.N.’s contact regarding King’s case, but only to confirm that it had received the U.N.’s message and that meaningful communication was still not taking place.
“There was a call to the UN Mission in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and it was within the last 48 hours,” State Department spokesperson Marshall Miller said at a briefing that day, but it was “not a substantive call.”
“It was a call to confirm that they had received (the UN’s message), and our contact with North Korea through diplomatic channels has not yet been answered,” Miller said.
After nearly two months in detention for assault in South Korea, Private King was scheduled to fly to Texas, U.S., to face further disciplinary action on March 17, 카지노사이트넷 but instead of boarding his flight at Incheon Airport, he fled.
He then traveled to North Korea under the guise of a civilian while participating in a JSA tour.