For the first time, North Korea has spoken out about a US soldier who ran into the reclusive country's borders last month.
In a statement made Wednesday local time, North Korean state-run media KCNA said that "Travis King admitted that he illegally intruded into the territory of the DPRK," using the initialism for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Last month, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin informed reporters that Pvt. 2nd Class Travis King, 23, crossed the Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ,
the heavily fortified border between North and South Korea, "willfully and without authorization" in July.
North Korea also claimed that King claimed he made the decision to enter into North Korean territory.
According to KCNA, King "confessed that he had decided to come over to the DPRK as he harbored ill feelings against inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination within the U.S. Army."
"He also expressed his willingness to seek refugee status in the DPRK or a third country," according to the KCNA article.
According to Jonathan Franks, a spokesman for King's family, his mother, Claudia Gates, is worried for her son's safety.