A U.S. Army sergeant accused of deserting to North Korea almost 40 years ago has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to 30 days in jail plus a dishonorable discharge from the military.
Charles Jenkins told a court martial in Japan earlier today (Wednesday) that he was afraid and drunk when he decided to leave his platoon and surrender to North Korean authorities in 1965. He said he wanted North Korea to send him to Russia, where he planned to turn himself in to U.S. officials in Moscow.
The 64-year-old Jenkins also pleaded guilty to aiding the enemy at the trial today (Wednesday) at the Camp Zama military base west of Tokyo. However he denied charges of disloyalty.
Japan had urged leniency in the case, hoping Jenkins will be able to live in Japan with his Japanese wife, who was kidnapped by North Korea 20 years ago but allowed to return home in 2002.