An unidentified American soldier has been detained in North Korea.
U.S. officials have confirmed that the American crossed= the Military Demarcation Line while on a tour to the joint security area between North and South Korea.
North Korea appears to believe the U.S. soldier did not have authorization and is now believed to be in detained.
An American soldier who was stationed in South Korea is believed to be in custody in North Korea, after crossing the border on Tuesday.
He was being sent back to the U.S. to face possible military discipline and discharge, but instead, joined a tour group headed for the DMZ. pic.twitter.com/zOwDKJnfUl
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) July 19, 2023
“A U.S. National on a JSA orientation tour crossed, without authorization, the Military Demarcation Line into the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK),” the peacekeeping force said in a tweet.
“We believe he is currently in DPRK custody and are working with our Korean People’s Army counterparts to resolve this incident.”
The State Department advises Americans not to travel to North Korea.
There is a serious risk of arrest and long-term detention of U.S. nationals in North Korea.
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— Sky News (@SkyNews) July 19, 2023
“The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in North Korea as it does not have diplomatic or consular relations with North Korea,” the State Department advises.
Relations between North Korea (DPRK) and the United States have been historically tense and hostile. The two countries have no formal diplomatic relations, and there have been a number of incidents that have strained relations, including the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program, its human rights record, and US sanctions against the DPRK.
Court documents and a lawyer representing US soldier Travis King, who made an unauthorized crossing into North Korea, revealed he faced two assault allegations and was fined by a South Korean court for damaging a police car https://t.co/120V8eCJpO pic.twitter.com/FlDJumBPuj
— Reuters (@Reuters) July 19, 2023
In 2018, there was a brief thaw in relations when then-President Donald Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore. However, the talks ultimately broke down, and relations have since deteriorated.
In 2022, the DPRK conducted a series of missile tests, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
The US condemned these tests, and has warned that it will take action if the DPRK continues to develop its nuclear weapons program.
The future of relations between the DPRK and the US is uncertain. However, it is clear that the two countries have a long way to go before they can achieve a lasting peace.