The United States is actively engaged in ensuring the return of an American soldier who had crossed into North Korea, a U.S. official said on Thursday, ahead of a trilateral meeting with Japan and South Korea on countering North Korean threats.
The U.S. is working hard to ascertain information on Private Travis King’s wellbeing and engaged in “ensuring his safety and return,” U.S. Special Envoy for North Korea Sung Kim said at the opening of the meeting.
The meeting takes place amid heightened tensions around the Korean Peninsula. On Tuesday, King made an unauthorised crossing into North Korea, the same day a U.S. nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarine visited South Korea for the first time since the 1980s.
North Korea test launched two ballistic missiles into the sea early on Wednesday.
South Korean government representative Kim Gunn condemned the missile launches and spoke of the strengthening of ties between the three countries.
“Our trilateral security cooperation is at an unprecedented level,” he said, adding that the three will discuss ways to further strengthen their cooperation, including in sanctions and countering North Korea’s malicious cyber activities.