On Wednesday (September 27), U.S. officials confirmed that King had been returned to American custody after North Korean state media KCNA reported that the country decided to “expel” King, per CNN.
KCNA reported earlier Wednesday that a North Korean investigation into King was “finished.”
Prior to entering North Korea, King was in South Korea when he was arrested last October for allegedly assaulting a citizen, damaging police vehicles, and verbally abusing officers. U.S. officials previously said he was detained by South Korean authorities and was supposed to board a flight back to Fort Bliss, Texas, where he would’ve been potentially discharged from the army.
King skipped the flight and joined a guided tour during which he crossed the demilitarized zone and went into North Korea without authorization.
KCNA previously reported that King admitted to entering the country illegally in July due to “ill feeling against inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination within the U.S. Army,”
King also said he sought refuge in North Korea because he was “disillusioned” about inequality in America, according to KCNA.