SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea asserted Wednesday that a U.S. soldier who bolted across the heavily armed Korean border last month did so after becoming disillusioned with the inequality of American society and racial discrimination in its Army.

It was North Korea’s first official confirmation of detention of Pvt. Travis King, who had served in South Korea and sprinted into the North while on a civilian tour of a border village on July 18. He became the first American confirmed to be detained in the North in nearly five years.

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By Donato