North Korean soldier’s mother tells AP her son “has many reasons to come home”
Washington (AFP) – A soldier in the US Army Ran mysteriously across the border His mother said Wednesday that his father, who arrived in North Korea last month, “has many reasons to return home,” and she doubts whether he will ever arrive in North Korea. last statement Which suggests her son, Travis King, may be seeking refuge there or in a third country.
Claudine Gates spoke to The Associated Press a week after North Korea issued the statement through state media in which it confirmed for the first time that it had detained the soldier and attributed comments critical of the United States to him.
“I can’t see him wanting to stay in Korea when he has family in America. He has so many reasons to come home,” Gates said of Racine, Wisconsin.
King, 23, had served in South Korea and quickly flew to North Korea while on a civilian tour at an airport. Border Village on July 18th. US officials said they were working to bring him home.
The official Korean Central News Agency said King, who is black, said he decided to enter North Korea because he “had bad feelings against the inhumane mistreatment and racial discrimination within the US military.” The report also said that King said he was “disappointed with the unequal American society” and expressed a willingness to seek asylum in North Korea or a third country.
US officials said last week that they could not verify the statements attributed to him, while White House Press Secretary Karen Jean-Pierre asked reporters to “look at the source.” The Korean Central News Agency is the official voice of leader Kim Jong-un’s government and its content reflects North Korea’s official position that the United States is an evil adversary.
Gates, in the interview with the Associated Press, said she had never heard her son express the sentiments attributed to him.
“My son, he was proud to be American. He’s not even the racist type. That’s why I can’t see him saying that,” she said. But, she added, “I’ve been told he said something like that to his uncles” and that “their approach to him was a little different than mine.” I’am Illiterate.
Gates said she was still baffled by her son’s actions. She said birthdays are major milestones in the family, and she could not imagine her son purposely missing an opportunity to speak to her on July 26, her birthday.
She noted that in the months leading up to his escape across the border into North Korea, he had become significantly less able to communicate than he had been in his early days in the army. Family members have previously said he may have felt overwhelmed because he faced legal troubles and the prospect of being discharged from the army.
King was supposed to be brought back to the United States to face military discipline after serving nearly two months in a South Korean prison on assault charges. But instead of boarding a flight to Texas, as had been planned, King slipped away and quietly joined in. Civic tour group headed for Demilitarized Zonewhich divides South and North Korea.
No matter what, Gates said, speaking directly to her son, “I’m not mad at you, Travis. I just want you to come home. He’s got a whole life ahead of him. He’s still young. I just want my kid to come home.”
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This article originally appeared on apnews.com