Back in Fall of 2022 Army Private Travis King got an assault charge for punching a fella in the face at a South Korean club, and then a couple weeks later he got into another conflict & proceeded to cause a bunch of damage to the back of a police car. A classic E-2 tale.
Apparently he spent some time in the ol' brig over there, and then by the Summer of '23 the military was set to send him back to the states to face further disciplinary action. Well, the military gets him to the airport but somehow instead of getting on the plane he sneaks off with a tour group heading to the DMZ. Then on July 18th he proceeded to sprint through one of the most heavily guarded zones on the planet to begin his happy new life in North Korea.
Unfortunately for King, it seems a troubled Army private doesn't have much value and he wasn't the prized possession he may have thought he'd be, because as of today he's back in U.S. custody after North Korea sent him packing to China:
While details about the diplomacy that led to King's transfer remained scarce, the development was a rare example of cooperation between the United States, North Korea and China. The State Department said King was expected to return to the United States later on Wednesday.
I feel like it's a big deal for North Korea to have a leveraging chip and be like, "Eh, we're good."
Not sure how the military will handle this, but I wouldn't be shocked if King faces more time in the brig and/or gets a dishonorable discharge. In the meantime his first stop will be Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio to make sure he's alright and he'll likely be reunited with his family.