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U.S. deserter Jenkins to be freed

Nov. 21, 2004 at 1:07 PM

TOKYO, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Army Sgt. Charles Robert Jenkins, who deserted to North Korea 39 years ago, is expected to be freed from detention in Japan next week.

Jenkins, 68, will probably be released for good behavior a few days before the end of a 30-day jail term, the Mainichi Daily News reported Sunday. He was sentenced and given a dishonorable discharge after a Nov. 3 court martial found him guilty of desertion.

Jenkins deserted to North Korea in 1965 while on patrol with his unit in the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas. He married Hitomi Soga in 1980, and was reunited with her earlier this year when he was sent to Japan for medical treatment.

The couple met recently at the U.S. Navy Yokosuka Naval Base during his detention to talk about their future life in Japan.

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