Talks initiated with North Korea over US soldier who ran across border

British general says US-led United Nations Command gives few details of contacts over Travis King who crossed line on 18 July

The US-led United Nations Command has initiated talks with North Korea about the American soldier who ran into that country and crossed one of the most militarized borders in the world, according to an official.

But a British lieutenant general who helps lead the UN command stopped short of saying exactly when talks about Travis King began, whether they have been constructive or how many exchanges there have been. The lieutenant general, Andrew Harrison, also would not address any known details about King’s health condition.

“None of us know where this is going to end – I am, in life, an optimist, and I remain optimistic,” Harrison told reporters at a news conference in the South Korean capital, Seoul. “But … I will leave it at that.”

Harrison added that the communications between the UN Command and North Korea about King kicked off through mechanisms which were set up under a 1953 armistice that halted fighting during the Korean war.

He did not elaborate, but the Associated Press reported that Harrison may have been referring to a telephone line between the UN Command – which was created to fight that war – and the North Korean People’s Army at Panmunjom, the border truce village where King crossed on 18 July.

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North Korea, China, US