MILWAUKEE — Travis King, a Racine-native & U.S. soldier who’s currently detained in North Korea, has been in custody since running across the border from South Korean on July 18.
While the circumstances surrounding his detention remain unclear, U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) assured WTMJ’s John Mercure that government leaders are taking every measure to bring him home.
“My heart goes out to the family, who’s facing uncertainty and wanting nothing more than to have Travis safely home here in Wisconsin,” Baldwin said. “Glad to hear that we’re finally getting some word from North Korea.”
Sen. Baldwin confirmed that she has yet to be briefed on those initial conversations between the U.S. and North Korea, but put her confidence in the U.S. Dept. of Defense and Dept. of State’s efforts. She says she will do “everything I can” to bring King back to his family in Wisconsin.
Meanwhile, Sen. Kelly has a unique perspective on these complex discussions given his involvement in the Brittney Griner conflict with Russia.
Griner, a world-renowned basketball player who spent all 10 seasons of her WNBA career with the Phoenix Mercury, was detained in a Russian prison when she was caught entering the country with a THC cartridge.
She was detained in a Russian prison for nearly 10 months while people like Sen. Kelly worked stateside to help negotiate and seek terms that would ensure she is returned safely. Eventually, the U.S. and Russia negotiated a prisoner trade which did just that.
“A lot of this will happen without information being released,” Sen. Kelly said of negotiations with North Korea. “That’s not necessarily a good thing to let this be known publicly, but I’m confident that the State Department is actively working on this.”
The pair of U.S. Senators also applauded bipartisan cooperation among their peers, citing the PACT Act and Infrastructure Bills as examples of Democrats and Republicans setting aside their differences to take care of what really matters, like ensuring Travis King’s safe return.
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