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North Korea expelled American soldier Travis King, who crossed into the country two months ago complaining of ill-treatment while in the US Army, CBS News reported.

State-controlled media said King confessed to illegally entering the country through neighboring South Korea on July 18. On early Thursday morning, King arrived back in the United States after he was released into American custody on Wednesday, CNN added.

King, a Private 2nd Class in the US Army, entered North Korea while taking part in a guided civilian tour of the border village of Panmunjom.

He has served in the US Army since January 2021 and was in South Korea as part of the Pentagon’s regular Korean Force Rotation.

He had been scheduled to return to the US after serving time at a South Korean detention facility for assaulting two people and kicking a police car.

But on the day of his departure, he skipped his flight and joined the tour of the border village, then crossed the border into North Korea.

North Korea previously said King had told investigators he entered the country because he “harbored ill feeling against inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination within the US army.” However, the US military said it could not verify those allegations.

Analysts said his release is likely because of the US’ lukewarm response to the incident. They also believe that King may have proven “unsuitable for propaganda purposes,” as he entered North Korea as a fugitive.

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