A troubled U.S. soldier who defected to North Korea in July arrived back on American soil early Thursday.
Video shows Private Travis King after landing at an airport in San Antonio, Texas.
King, 23, was taken to the Brooke Army Medical Center Thursday morning, according to defense officials.
He is expected to undergo post-isolation support activities, known as PISA, which are designed to deprogram prisoners of war and hostages.
“The Army’s focus right now is on ensuring the soldier’s well-being and privacy,” U.S. Army spokesperson Bryce Dubee said.
Defense officials said King appeared to be in good health and good spirits — and was “very happy” to be home and looking forward to reuniting with his family.
U.S. officials say no concessions were given to North Korea to release King, who was transferred to U.S. custody in China.
Officials from Sweden went into North Korea to facilitate the transfer. The Army said China did not play a role in negotiations.
King sprinted across the border into North Korea on July 18, days after he was released from a prison in South Korea.
He was scheduled to return to Fort Bliss, Texas, that same day to face potential discharge from the Army following his arrest in South Korea on an assault charge.
King made it as far as the airport in South Korea before slipping away from his escorts blending in with tourists at the border. He then dashed across the border and into North Korea, the Defense Department said.
Jonathan Franks, a spokesperson for King’s mother, Claudine Gates, told NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell that she was relieved to hear from her son after he was deported from North Korea.
Franks said Gates did not know why her son was let go, but that he appeared to be “in good spirits.”
“This was a call just to say: ‘Hey, how are you? I love you; I care about you.’ It’s probably not a time to ask for a whole bunch of details or ask a lot of questions,” Franks said.
In July, King’s uncle, Myron Gates said King was grieving the loss of his 6-year-old cousin (Myron’s son), who died in February.
“He’s still grieving, and that had a lot to do with what he did,” Gates told NBC News.