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SEOUL — South Korean officials captured a man Sunday who they say deserted both the U.S. and South Korean militaries.

The 26-year-old, identified as Pvt. Kim, was nabbed in a public sauna in the Hongdae neighborhood of Seoul, a Ministry of National Defense spokesman confirmed Monday. The spokesman said they received a tip about Kim’s location.

Kim deserted his post with South Korea’s 25th Infantry Division on March 30, according to MND officials. He was working with the unit while awaiting the outcome of an investigation into his admitted desertion of the U.S. Army in 2005.

Kim is being held in by the South Korean military, the MND spokesman said.

Officials have said Kim joined the U.S. Army in 2003 in a bid to become an American citizen. When he learned his unit was to deploy to Iraq, officials say he deserted in 2005, returned to South Korea and joined the South Korean army in November 2006.

He admitted the desertion to the U.S. military in early March, MND officials said, and was told to continue his work with the 25th ID until legal officials could work their way through the complicated case.


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