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North Korea says Travis King wants refuge from mistreatment, racism in U.S. Army

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By Soo-hyang Choi and Josh Smith

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62 Comments
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Wants refuge from mistreatment?

Well kid, you found it.

Hope you like eating tree bark.

As soon as they have milked whatever PR value out of they can, and after they realize that you have no bargaining chip value, that is exactly what you will be dining on.

21 ( +27 / -6 )

Niger.

Congo. Mali. Plenty of options. What was he thinking...

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Yeah, that's great. Well, I guess he has a new career making films as a token American soldier. I guess he will think that is not racist for a time...

17 ( +20 / -3 )

ThubanToday 11:43 am JST

What an international disgrace and a humiliation for the US.

How bad does the US army treat its soldiers that they have to escape to North Korea for safety?

Of course anything North Korea reports must be true and his obvious discipline problems are completely meaningless.

21 ( +27 / -6 )

Profoundly stupid. An assault charge and maybe he serves some jail time and then is released. And now? Good luck

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Why is he wearing make-up and dolled up like a girl ?

Er ... I can't see any make-up. Is this your wishful thinking talking ?

20 ( +25 / -5 )

I feel sorry for this kid. I doubt he undertsands the full gravity of what he has done to himself.

Sad

14 ( +17 / -3 )

North Korea will be glad to be rid of him

Well, they are stuck with him for the foreseeable future. Good luck to him. I hope for his family's sake that they are able to see him from time to time.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

during a profanity-laced tirade against Koreans

Boy, if he didn’t like the Korean people south of the border is he ever in for a rude awakening when he sees what the ones north of it are like.

23 ( +25 / -2 )

North Korea says Travis King wants refuge from mistreatment, racism in U.S. Army

But of course he does…..

now the media narrative changes to how “heroic” he is.

-16 ( +8 / -24 )

now the media narrative changes to how “heroic” he is.

Who says that? I haven't read anything that says that here.

Most people would agree Americans defecting to NK is pretty stupid.

15 ( +20 / -5 )

He identifies as a North Korean. Let's not be bigots.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Guy panicked, and crossed a border. What more is there to say?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

What an idiot! Just wondering if he realizes how truly screwed he is. Moron!

14 ( +16 / -2 )

If the headline and article are to be believed, this young man was trying to escape from a terrible situation. However, to think going to North Korea would be the best way out can mean a couple of things, which may include him being desperate, in an unhealthy state of mind, confused or maybe all of the aforementioned. He is definitely a deserter in my opinion and maybe he thought he would get the Dennis Rodman treatment? Whatever, there is probably no way out literally and figuratively.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

But of course he does…..

now the media narrative changes to how “heroic” he is.

There is a huge difference between the media simply reporting what he is saying (or more accurately what the North Koreans say he is saying) and the media reporting that this guy is some sort of “hero”.

What is the media supposed to do to avoid triggering you, not report this stuff?

13 ( +15 / -2 )

But of course he does…..

now the media narrative changes to how “heroic” he is.

Nobody is saying this. It is the fever dream of a cult of loons.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Well, that old quote.....'Out of the frying pan into the fire' comes to mind here. I wonder now if Likkle Kimmy will enroll him in the NK military, I mean, they could do with one more experienced piece of cannon f......

5 ( +7 / -2 )

He will be a movie star in North Korean films acting villains of America. Good luck with your career in Pyongyang Hollywood!

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Nobody tells us there exist "Racism" in the US military, shocking. The United Nations human rights committee should investigate this and speak for a public hearing. Racism cannot be tolerated!

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

ThubanToday  11:43 am JST

What an international disgrace and a humiliation for the US.

*How bad does the US army treat its soldiers that they have to escape to North Korea for safety?**

"He faced two allegations of assault in South Korea, and eventually pleaded guilty to one instance of assault and destroying public property for damaging a police car during a profanity-laced tirade against Koreans."

He claims he was treated unfairly based on race yet had two assaults and one with a profanity-laced tirade directed toward Koreans. Sounds like he's racist. If he thought the US military was bad wait till he sees the lovely treatment a black American soldier will receive when they realize he doesn't possess any military intelligence of value. I think the US Army is happy they he's off their hands now.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

" during a profanity-laced tirade against Koreans, according to court documents."

And he's got the nerve to say he....

"...harbored ill feeling against inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination within the U.S. Army,"

12 ( +13 / -1 )

wait till he sees the lovely treatment a black American soldier will receive when they realize he doesn't possess any military intelligence of value

Probably he is betting he will be kept as a symbol of how NK is so much better than the US, I don't think that bet is smart.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

winstonToday 12:03 pm JST

Of course anything North Korea reports must be true and his obvious discipline problems are completely meaningless.

As equally meaningless as the comment above

What's more meaningless? The meaningless comment or the comment on the meaningless comment?

11 ( +12 / -1 )

LMAO....ROFL...like he's going to be BETTER Treated in North Korea ?!

LOL

Good luck

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Good, Keep Him There.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

He will be able to go through the PeyongKimFLoySchool of Medicine as a model student for NK to flaunt to the world.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

a member of at least 2 identity groups, so will obviously be rescued by end of election season. Whether wants to be “rescued” or not.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Thuban Today  11:43 am JST

What an international disgrace and a humiliation for the US.

How bad does the US army treat its soldiers that they have to escape to North Korea for safety?

Really? That's the conclusion you're drawing from this?

If U.S. soldiers were deserting and "escaping to North Korea" in droves, that would be one thing.

But this was one guy.

Who knows how many millions of U.S. soldiers have served in South Korea over the past 60 or so years ... while the number of them who've pulled a stunt like King's probably numbers in the single digits.

My friend, we don't reach sweeping conclusions like this based on the actions of such a teeny-tiny minority. Work on the logical-thinking skills.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

"During the investigation, Travis King confessed that he had decided to come over to the DPRK as he harbored ill feeling against inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination within the U.S. Army," KCNA reported, using the initials of North Korea's official name. "He also expressed his willingness to seek refugee in the DPRK or a third country, saying that he was disillusioned at the unequal American society."

I absolutely believe every word of this. After all, it's a statement from North Korea, and we surely can trust them.

Now excuse me, I have to arrange to pick up my millions of dollars that I got an email from some guy in Nigeria about ...

8 ( +8 / -0 )

He went on a rant against Koreans and now he's going to be 100% surrounded by them forever. Pretty stupid. Yeah, it's hard to label someone like that.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

a member of at least 2 identity groups, so will obviously be rescued by end of election season. Whether wants to be “rescued” or not.

Everyone is a member of multiple "identity groups," however you define that.

And how dare the US government take care of their people. Terrible. Lol

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Don’t you love what their beautician has done with his eyebrows?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

The army generally do not tolerate racism in his rank,yes racism exist in the US population,but Black do not tolerate it personally,so he saying he is victim of racism,he not gonna get support from the Black community,this guy had some seriously personal issues, getting arrested on routine basis,the US army fail to address

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Don’t you love what their beautician has done with his eyebrows?

Another one. Am I missing some weird conservative subculture where they see black men wearing make up and no-one else does ?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

 So who's in those boats turning up regularly on European coasts?

That would be the Chinese. Don't cal them black though.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Anyone still an E-2 after two years is a total screw up.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

From videos I've seen, the race card doesn't seem to be needed in Californian stores. Maybe he should come back and move there.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Yeah, that's great. Well, I guess he has a new career making films as a token American soldier.

Or he will get some tattoos and piercings and play Dennis Rodman.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Self-inflicted punishment.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@MilesTeg How soon does people forget there were many other white guys who walked over into NK just as this deserter did it just so happen the internet was not around like it is today. If so, would we be having this conversation. You are just as naive as he is, yes we all know that he walked across that line, but DO YOU BELIEVE THE BS YOU ARE READING COMING OUT OF NK. IF YOU believe what they are saying you too are worshiping the dear leader. Of course they will use the race card, anything divisive they will use at this point to bring on negative attention. You mentioned "If he thought the US military was bad wait till he sees the lovely treatment a black American soldier will receive when they realize he doesn't possess any military intelligence of value. Why should he have to wait or why should we have to wait to see what kind of treatment he might get we already saw what they did to Otto Warmbier and he was a college student. So what now? So what does being "Black" have to do with treatment when it comes to NK. Dennis Rodman is black and he can come and go as he please. Again what is your point? Besides being subliminally racist.

ThubanToday  11:43 am JST

What an international disgrace and a humiliation for the US.

*How bad does the US army treat its soldiers that they have to escape to North Korea for safety?**

"He faced two allegations of assault in South Korea, and eventually pleaded guilty to one instance of assault and destroying public property for damaging a police car during a profanity-laced tirade against Koreans."

He claims he was treated unfairly based on race yet had two assaults and one with a profanity-laced tirade directed toward Koreans. Sounds like he's racist. If he thought the US military was bad wait till he sees the lovely treatment a black American soldier will receive when they realize he doesn't possess any military intelligence of value. I think the US Army is happy they he's off their hands now.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They may end up having him "teach" English like that other well known US defector- Thomas Jenkins.

Jenkins famously barely had a JHS level command of English.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Correction : the Late Charles Jenkins

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Thuban

Today 11:43 am JST

What an international disgrace and a humiliation for the US.

> How bad does the US army treat its soldiers that they have to escape to North Korea for safety?

Only one problem with your comment.

He was arrested and charged by the civilian South Korean police!

Guess you missed that part.

The USA military has agreements with South Korea and any disciplinary action by the USA military is based on that agreement.

So his claim makes no sense seeing his problem started with south Korean police!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yes it seems he was expecting the US military to support him in his racist conduct towards a South Korean and protect him from accountability.

then when they didn’t protect him, he somehow sees that as racism against himself.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Likely. Thanks bro.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

North Korea actually treats American defectors really well. He'll probably get a job as an actor, a pretty foreign wife, and all the perks of living in Pyeongyang. And I say good for him! The US military is racist and so is American society as a whole. More Americans should defect.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Sean SullivanToday 01:07 am JST

The US military is racist and so is American society as a whole. More Americans should defect.

He says safe from an identified country of origin.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This guy is a scum bag. He first got in trouble in Korea for going into a club, going up to a guy, demanding free drinks and punching him when the guy refused. He got off relatively lightly and was at it again a month later fighting cops at 9am yelling about how much he hates Korea and Koreans. He caused thousands of dollars in damage to the police car kicking from the inside.

North Korea is actually doing the U.S. a favor by keeping him

4 ( +4 / -0 )

North Korea actually treats American defectors really well.

No they aren’t. I’m not sure where you’re getting your information. American defectors have admitted to vicious beatings by their captors, with one defector even saying he had his military tattoos cut off him without any painkillers. The majority of defectors have come out saying they regret their decision

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It sounds as if he was in the US army, yes, but the open racism he was receiving was from South Koreans, which might explain his 'profanity-laced trade' against them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sean SullivanToday 01:07 am JST

North Korea actually treats American defectors really well.

Yeah, except for the guy that came back in a coma and otherwise blind and deaf, really well.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Warmbier

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@TaiwanIsNotChina

Yeah, except for the guy that came back in a coma and otherwise blind and deaf, really well.

Well, Otto Warmbier wasn't a defector but a petty criminal caught stealing posters serving prison time. And he suffocated while in sleep after taking the sleep aid pills North Korean prison provided, not tortured to death.

So the answer is yes North Korea treats defectors well, including the Japanese Red Army members who defected to North Korea.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Um, living in North Korea IS the punishment. By the laws of reality, if you are living in North Korea, you can't be treated well, as you're in North Korea, and therefore the concept of living well does not exist. You're living in North Korea.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yes it seems he was expecting the US military to support him in his racist conduct towards a South Korean and protect him from accountability. 

then when they didn’t protect him, he somehow sees that as racism against himself.

Bingo!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Samit BasuToday 03:27 am JST

@TaiwanIsNotChina

Yeah, except for the guy that came back in a coma and otherwise blind and deaf, really well.

Well, Otto Warmbier wasn't a defector but a petty criminal caught stealing posters serving prison time.

So all the more reason why he shouldn't have been imprisoned for so long for tearing down a poster.

And he suffocated while in sleep after taking the sleep aid pills North Korean prison provided, not tortured to death.

You don't know that. Most people don't end up in a coma from sleeping pills.

So the answer is yes North Korea treats defectors well, including the Japanese Red Army members who defected to North Korea.

Yeah, they will treat their agents in Japan well.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If the news reports describing his voluntary escape into North Korean territory and his prior assault arrest are true, then I highly suspect his assertion of racial injustice. There are more deserving US citizens held against their will by foreign countries who need humanitarian assistance. to obtain their release.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What Travis wants is to be the center of attention and not have to work. But the guy is a total dope... I don't think he really thought his actions through.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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