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    After North Korea Response, Expert Says Army Pvt. Travis King’s Future Is Likely Political Pawn

    After North Korea Response, Expert Says Army Pvt. Travis King's Future Is Likely Political Pawn

    North 's acknowledgment Tuesday that it is holding runaway Pvt. Travis King has raised fresh questions about the unusual case, but experts say the reclusive regime's statement suggests the young soldier is proving to be a poor hostage.

    An article from the Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA, released Tuesday evening with alleged quotes from the soldier are probably not King's own words. King “confessed that he had decided to come over to the [North Korea] as he harbored ill feeling against inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination within the U.S. Army,” the North Korean outlet claimed.

    “The North Korean regime has probably tried to craft the most negative message that they can take advantage of him as far as they can,” Bruce Bennett, a senior defense analyst with the Rand Corp. think tank, told in a phone call Wednesday.

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    KCNA is widely acknowledged to be the propaganda arm of the dictatorship that runs North Korea, and its articles are largely seen as statements of the government rather than a journalistic product.

    The reporting is the first word that North Korea has issued on the 23-year-old soldier since Aug. 1, when the Pentagon announced that it had issued a cursory acknowledgment of the United Nations Command's inquiries about King. It comes nearly a month after King ran across the…

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