Although Pvt. Travis King's expulsion by North Korea resolves a still-mysterious episode, it almost certainly does not end his troubles. King had been declared AWOL by the U.S. government.
The meeting is a chance for the North Korean leader to get around crippling U.N. sanctions and years of diplomatic isolation. For Vladimir Putin, it’s an opportunity to refill ammunition stores that the Russia-Ukraine war has drained.
The North Korean leader reportedly visited munitions factories last week and said North Korea must have “an overwhelming military force" and be fully prepared for any war.
Pvt. Travis King was supposed to be on his way to Fort Bliss, Texas, this week after finishing a prison sentence in South Korea for assault.
Pvt. 2nd Class Travis King bolted into North Korea while on a tour of the Demilitarized Zone on Tuesday after he was supposed to leave the country and travel to a base in the U.S.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has warned that his country will “fully mobilize” its nuclear force if threatened as he took center stage at a military parade in which the country unveiled what appeared to be a new intercontinental ballistic missile and other additions to its growing weapons arsenal.
The North Korean warning came as relations between the two Koreas have been strained amid a prolonged deadlock in broader nuclear diplomacy between Pyongyang and Washington.
Kim Jong Un’s health appears could be more serious than initially believed, according to multiple reports.