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North Korea Releases American Veteran

Eric Parra |
December 7, 2013 | 3:05 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

Merrill Newman was deported from the country he once fought (KYODO NEWS/Associated Press)
Merrill Newman was deported from the country he once fought (KYODO NEWS/Associated Press)
While he was originally being held against his will at North Korea, veteran Merrill Newman was deported from the country after six weeks of imprisonment.

The 85-year-old man is a California native that fought in the Korean war. Captured as a tourist, he was being held with charges of “hostile acts” because of his role in the war. 

SEE ALSO: North Korea Confirms Detention Of An American Citizen

"While the release of Merrill Bewman is welcome news indeed, he never should have been detained in the first place," former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said to NY Daily News. "The North Koreans should also release Kenneth Bae as a humanitarian gesture."

Newman was released on humanitarian grounds after reporting to have given an apology for killing soldiers and civilians. He had been arrested after nine days in the country as a tourist, and was pulled from a plane in Pyongyang in October as he was preparing to leave.

"I realize that I cannot be forgiven for my offensives (offenses) but I beg for pardon on my knees by apologizing for my offensives (offenses) sincerely toward the DPRK government and the Korean people and I want not punish me (I wish not to be punished)," Newman, who has a heart rhythm disorder, was quoted as saying by KCNA.

SEE ALSO: 5 Americans Captive in North Korea 

In a Beijing airport, Newman told Japanese reporters, “I'm very glad to be on my way home… I feel good. I want to go home to see my wife."

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