The United Nations has been in contact with North Korea about the detainment of U.S. Army Pvt. Travis King.
Despite continued silence toward the U.S. government, North Korea has responded to United Nations Command regarding King’s illicit crossing over into the communist nation.
In a Tuesday press conference, the Pentagon spokesman, Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, said he can “confirm that the DPRK has responded to United Nations Command (UNC).”
“DPRK” is an abbreviation of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the nation’s official name.
“What I will tell you is, as you heard us say previously, United Nations Command did communicate or provide some communication via well established communication channels,” Ryder said.
“But I don’t have any substantial progress to read out,” he added.
North Korea’s response to U.N. Command is the only two-way communication the hermit kingdom has facilitated since King disappeared into its borders last month.
A U.S. Forces Korea spokesperson said King was on a joint security area orientation tour last month when he “willfully and without authorization crossed the Military Demarcation Line into the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).”
King was to be separated from the military and was supposed to go back to the U.S., according to an official who spoke to Fox News, but he skipped his flight and left the airport to go to the DMZ.
Travis King’s uncle and sister told the press last week that “America should fight for him” to come home as the “days are getting longer” without their loved one.
“When he went to the Army to fight for America, America should fight for him, fight for him to come home,” Myron Gates, his uncle, told NBC News.
It was also reported that King’s family members have been in contact with the supportive parents of Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old University of Virginia student who died in 2017 after falling into a year-long coma following brain damage he suffered while in North Korean custody.
Fox News’ Liz Friden contributed to this report.