Travis King is an American soldier who was arrested for allegedly crossing the border to North Korea without approval during a tour.
Travis joined the military in January 2021.
At the time of his rotation in South Korea, King was assigned to the 6th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division out of Fort Bliss, Texas, according to Army spokesperson Bryce Dubee.
But who is Travis Kings mother, Claudine Gates?
The mother of the US soldier who crossed into North Korea has been identified as Claudine Gates.
According to a report from ABC News, Army Pvt. Travis King’s mother resides in Racine, Wisconsin.
Claudine Gates shared her shock after her son’s arrest indicating that the risky and strange move was unlike her son’s typical behavior.
“I can’t see Travis doing anything like that,” she told ABC News on Wednesday.
The concerned mother said the army informed her on Tuesday morning that her son had crossed into North Korea. Gates last heard from her son ‘a few days ago’, when he told her he was set to return to his base in Fort Bliss, Texas, soon.
She told ABC News she just wants ‘him to come home’.
Carl Gates, the brother of King’s mother, said in a phone interview on Wednesday that he had been one of the last people to communicate with King over the phone before he defected to North Korea.
“His mom came down on a few occasions, and she then talked to him and let him know what was going on with my son. And it seemed like he was breaking down. It affected Travis a lot,” Gates told The Daily Beast. “Because he couldn’t be here. He was in the Army, overseas.”
Gates’ son, King’Nazir, died in late February 2023 from a rare genetic disorder that had him on life support in the final days of his life. His case made local news headlines as one of few children in the world to have been diagnosed with SPTLC 2, which is untreatable.
“When my son was on life support, and when my son passed away… Travis started [being] reckless [and] crazy when he knew my son was about to die,” Gates, who described himself as “a father figure” to King, told The Daily Beast. “I know it was related to what he did.”