North Korea’s official news agency reported that King crossed because he harbored “ill feeling against inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination” within the US Army.
North Korea will expel a US soldier who crossed into the country through the de facto heavily armed Korean border earlier this year.
The North’s official Korean Central News Agency said on Wednesday that North Korean authorities have finished their questioning of Travis King.
It said that he confessed to illegally entering the North because he harbored “ill feeling against inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination” within the US Army.
After completing its investigation, the “relevant organ of the DPRK decided to expel Travis King, a soldier of the U.S. Army who illegally intruded into the territory of the DPRK, under the law of the Republic”, KCNA said, using the North’s formal name.
The agency did not say when authorities plans to expel King.
King bolted into the North in July while on a tour of the southern side of an inter-Korean truce village. He was serving nearly two months in a South Korean prison for assault.
King was released on July 10 and was being sent home on Monday to Fort Bliss, Texas, where he could have faced additional military discipline and discharge from the service.
He was escorted as far as customs but left the airport before boarding his plane. It was unclear how he spent the hours until joining a tour in the border village of Panmunjom during which he ran across the border.
The border between the two Koreas is heavily fortified but at the Joint Security Area, the frontier is marked only by a low concrete divider and is relatively easy to cross, despite the presence of soldiers on both sides.
More to follow