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The last American to defect to North Korea was from El Paso, expert says

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Amid recent reports of a US soldier running across the border into North Korea, experts are recalling the last American to defect to the communist nation.

Arturo Pierre Martinez, a native El Pasoan, fled to North Korea in 2014. He denounced US policy, even giving a news conference about his ideology, before North Korean officials denied his defection and returned him to the U.S.

That is all according to Jenny Town. She runs 38 North, which aims to monitor North Korea from its Washington headquarters.

According to a 2016 report, Martinez returned to his home in West Texas following his return to the U.S. from North Korea.

The soldier who recently ran to North Korea, Travis King, was set to be returned from South Korea to Ft. Bliss for disciplinary action. He had been living in a South Korean jail for several months after he got into a fight at a bar and punched a person.

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