North Korea responds to UN over runaway soldier Travis King

North Korea has finally responded to the United Nations regarding Travis King, the American soldier who crossed into the country from South Korea last month. But just barely.

"I can confirm that the DPRK has responded to United Nations Command, but I don't have any substantial progress to read out," Pentagon spokesperson Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said at a press conference, referring to North Korea's official name Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

In other words, North Korea has acknowledged that King is in their custody, but said nothing about the soldier's well being.

From ABC News:

King, 23, has been a cavalry scout in the U.S. Army since 2021 and had no previous deployments before serving in South Korea, according to Army spokesperson Bryce Dubee. King spent 47 days in a South Korean jail after an altercation with locals, and was released in June according to U.S. officials.

After about a week on a U.S. base completing out-processing tasks, King was escorted to South Korea's Incheon International Airport where he was to board a flight and end up in Fort Bliss, Texas, where he most likely faced separation from the Army, officials told ABC News. The escort walked with King as far into the airport as possible without having tickets, parting with him at the customs or security checkpoint.

Instead of boarding his flight, King at some point left the airport, joining a tour of the demilitarized zone, or DMZ, the heavily-fortified area separating North Korea from South Korea. King broke from the group, then "willfully and without authorization crossed the military demarcation line," Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said two days after the July 18 incident.

On the North Korean side, King was driven away in a van, and is believed to have been taken to the capital city, Pyongyang.

"I'm absolutely foremost concerned about the welfare of our troop. We will remain focused on this, and this will develop in the next several days," Austin added.