The United Nations and North Korea have launched talks over the fate of Travis King, the US soldier who illegally crossed the border into North Korea last week. This was announced by the United Nations Command in South Korea (UNC).
King is believed to be being held in North Korea.
“Discussions with the Korean People’s Army have begun,” said UNC General Andrew Harrison at a press briefing. “Our primary concern is the well-being of Private King.”
The talks are taking place based on the armistice agreement that ended the violence between the two Koreas in 1953. Harrison says that agreement also provides a mechanism for communication between the UN Command and the North Korean military.
Due to the “very delicate nature of these negotiations”, no further substantive details will be given. It is a “difficult and complex situation”, it sounds.
The fighting between North and South Korea (1950-1953) ended with a ceasefire, but no peace treaty was ever signed. Officially, the two countries are still at war. The UN command, which consists of several countries and is led by the US, oversees the ceasefire. Washington maintains close ties with the Seoul government. About 27,000 American soldiers are stationed in South Korea.