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Defense Dept confirms North Korea responded to outreach about Travis King

North Korea has responded to outreach about Private Travis King, who crossed into the DPRK in July, according to the Pentagon, marking what appears to be the U.S.’ first public acknowledgment of Pyongyang’s response to King’s situation. 

The U.S. communicated through established channels after King crossed from South Korea into North Korea but had been waiting for a response from the North for weeks. 

“There was the initial passing of the information, and this was essentially an acknowledgement from the DPRK government that yes, we have received your request for information,” Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder told reporters on Tuesday. 

The Pentagon used established channels with North Korea at the United Nations Command to make the requests about King. 

“I can confirm that the DPRK has responded to United Nations Command, but I don’t have any substantial progress to read out,” Ryder said. He did not say when North Korea sent the response. 

King crossed into North Korea in July after breaking from a group tour of the demilitarized zone. He had been scheduled to go back to the U.S. for separation from the Army after serving time in a South Korean detention facility for assaulting two South Koreans and kicking a patrol car. 

He was escorted to the commercial airport outside Seoul but said goodbye to his escort at customs. Once he went through customs, King skipped the flight and found his way to a tour instead. 

Army counter-intelligence is conducting a joint investigation with U.S. Forces Korea about King’s actions, the Pentagon said in July

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