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    Mother of Army Private in North Korea Tells AP That Her Son ‘Has So Many Reasons to Come Home’

    Mother of Army Private in North Korea Tells AP That Her Son ‘Has So Many Reasons to Come Home'

    — A U.S. private who mysteriously sprinted across the border into North last month has “so many reasons to come home,” his mother said Wednesday as she cast doubt on a recent statement that suggested her son, Travis King, might be seeking refuge there or in a third country.

    Claudine Gates spoke to The Associated Press one week after North Korea released the statement through its state media in which it confirmed for the first time that it had detained the soldier and attributed comments to him criticizing the United States.

    “I just can't see him ever wanting to just stay in Korea when he has family in America. He has so many reasons to come home,” Gates, from Racine, Wisconsin, said.

    King, 23, had served in South Korea and sprinted into North Korea while on a civilian tour of a border village on July 18. U.S. officials have said they are working to get him home.

    The official Korean Central News Agency said King, who is Black, had said he decided to enter North Korea because he “harbored ill feelings against inhuman mistreatment and racial discrimination within the U.S. Army.” The report also said that King had said he “was disillusioned at the unequal American society” and had expressed his willingness to seek refuge in North Korea or a third country.

    U.S. officials last week said they were unable to verify the comments attributed to him, while White House press secretary Karine…

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