Released From North Korea, US Soldier Travis King Now In Texas


By C. Todd Lopez

This week, Army Pvt. Travis T. King was released from North Korean custody and returned to American authorities. King is now back in the U.S., in San Antonio, Texas, said Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh.

“Private King arrived … early in the morning to San Antonio, where he will be going through a reintegration program,” Singh said. “He’ll be going through medical screenings, medical evaluations and then he’ll be meeting with professionals to assess his emotional and mental health … and he’ll be meeting with counselors.” 

King will also be getting debriefed by U.S. military officials about what occurred while he was in North Korea and what kinds of discussions he might have had while there, Singh said.

Also part of the plan, Singh said, is for King to be reunited with his family. 

While serving in South Korea as a cavalry scout, King had faced disciplinary action. He was scheduled to fly back to the United States to face additional administrative action through the Army. Instead of boarding a plane to return to the United States, however, King left the airport on his own. 

On July 18, he joined a tour group of the Joint Security Area at the demilitarized zone in Panmunjom, Korea. While on that tour, King crossed into North Korea. He was held by North Korean authorities from July 18 through Sept. 27 – just over 70 days. 

Singh said that right now there is no word from the Defense Department regarding what additional disciplinary actions King will face through the Army now that he has returned home. Instead, she said, the department is focused on his health and well-being. 

“Right now what we are focused on is making sure that he is healthy,” Singh said. “I was told he was in good spirits when he was getting on the flight to return home. Going through the reintegration program is something that’s going to take time. So we’re really focused on his health [and] reuniting him with his family.”

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