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North Korea Confirms Detention of US Soldier for Unauthorized Crossing of Demilitarized Zone Border


North Korea has confirmed it is holding US soldier in custody in its first response to requests for information on the officer’s whereabouts, the UN Command has said.

Private King, 23, sprinted into North Korea on July 18 while on a tour of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on the border and was immediately taken into custody.

The UN Command said it would not give more details about Pyongyang’s response at this time.

It said it ‘did not want to interfere with the efforts to bring him home’.

However, the reply suggests that Pyongyang could be ready to begin negotiating.

From May 24 to July 10 he served a sentence of hard labor at the Cheonan correctional facility in lieu of paying a fine, Yonhap news agency reported.

After his release from the prison, which is designated for US military members and other foreigners, King stayed at a US base in South Korea for a week, Yonhap said.

A Cheonan prison official confirmed King had served the hard labor sentence there, but declined to provide further information citing privacy concerns.

King had been due to face military disciplinary action on his return home to Fort Bliss, Texas, said US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

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