Friday, November 12, 2004
I have been remiss...
...in not following up on this story:
Four decades after he disappeared into the mists of the cold war, a frail 64-year-old U.S. Army sergeant pleaded guilty here on Wednesday to desertion and aiding the enemy, North Korea.
The sergeant, Charles Robert Jenkins, was then demoted to private, stripped of four decades of back pay and benefits, and given dishonorable discharge and a 30-day suspended sentence.
After listening to Jenkins's testimony about his life in North Korea, a U.S. Army judge apparently accepted the defense lawyer's argument that "he has already suffered 40 years of confinement."
Under this sentence, Jenkins will not be required to leave Japan.
The charges of encouraging American soldiers to desert and encouraging disloyalty were dropped in a plea agreement.
I wonder how his confinement would compare with life in North Korea. I also wonder how he'll make a living in Japan. Better get working on that book!
UPDATE: In the comments, Steve asked how Jenkins got out of NK. I replied that the link on his name above had that information. That was incorrect. Sorry. Jenkins was permitted to fly to Indonesia, with his daughters, to meet his wife (with the 'understanding' that he would return; suckers) and receive medical treatment. Indonesia has no extradition treaty with the U.S. That was the official reason for the choice.
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