North Korea confirms Private Travis King is in the country

The North Korean news agency KCNA said that the soldier voluntarily entered the country in search of refuge after being a victim of "racial discrimination" in the army.

North Korea said U.S. soldier Travis King has been in the country voluntarily since last July. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that the soldier crossed into the country because "he harbored ill feeling against inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination within the U.S. Army."

The news channel controlled by the North Korean government said that this led King to "seek refuge" in the country by "illegally" crossing the border between South and North Korea.

DOD doubts the accuracy of information about Travis King

The U.S. Department of Defense questions the accuracy of this information. A senior official told CNN that they "cannot verify" the comments posted by KCNA as they were published by a media outlet and not a senior North Korean official. "The Department's priority is to bring Private King home, and we are working through all available channels to achieve that outcome," he said.

Meanwhile, Travis King's mother is concerned about her son. According to the family's spokesman, Jonathan Franks, she is asking North Korea to treat her son as humanely as possible: