North Korea has acknowledged a United Nations Command request for information on US soldier Travis King who bolted across the country’s border last month, the Pentagon has said.
But Pyongyang stopped short of giving any details about the 23-year-old’s whereabouts.
“I can confirm that the DPRK has responded to United Nations Command, but I don’t have any substantial progress to read out,” spokesperson Brigadier General Patrick Ryder told a press conference on Tuesday, using the acronym for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
When pressed, Mr Ryder said that North Korea’s message back to the UN Command was just “an acknowledgement” of the inquiry.
Last week the UN said “delicate” talks had begun over the fate of Private King, who had joined a civilian tour of the Joint Security Area (JSA) between the South and North, before “wilfully” crossing into the latter on July 18.
In a briefing last week Lieutenant General Andrew Harrison, the force’s deputy commander, said a “conversation” had begun between the UNC and the North’s Korean People’s Army.
“The primary concern for us is Private King’s welfare,” he said.