The United Nations Command (UNC) has confirmed that it has begun conversations with North Korea over the missing US soldier, Travis King. King, a 25-year-old private first class, crossed the border between North and South Korea on July 16.
The UNC said that the conversations are “technical” in nature and are being held through the Military Armistice Commission (MAC), the body that oversees the armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953. The UNC did not provide any further details about the conversations.
King’s family has expressed concern for his safety. His grandfather, Carl Gates, told CNN that he is “praying for his safe return.”
The UNC said that it is “committed to the safe return of all US personnel who are missing from the Korean War.”
The conversations with North Korea are a positive development, but it is too early to say what the outcome will be. North Korea has a history of detaining US citizens and using them as bargaining chips.
However, there is also hope that North Korea may be willing to return King in good faith. In 2018, North Korea released three US citizens who had been detained.
The conversations with North Korea are ongoing. It remains to be seen whether King will be returned to his family safely.