N.korea American

December 1, 2013 by  

N.korea American, A former U.S. special forces officer who fought in the Korean War took major risks returning to North Korea, say his comrades-in-arms, but some North Korea analysts expect the elderly veteran could soon be released from detention there.

On Saturday, The White House urged North Korea to consider 85-year-old Merrill Newman’s “advanced age and health conditions” and allow his return home, said Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council.

That move comes after North Korean state media released a video and letter Saturday in which Newman “apologized” for his alleged war crimes during the Korean War and “hostile acts” during his recent trip. The video, dated Nov. 9, couldn’t be independently confirmed, and Pyongyang has been accused of previously coercing statements from detainees.

Newman, of Palo Alto, Calif., had nearly completed a 10-day tourist visit to North Korea when he was pulled off a Beijing-bound flight on Oct. 26, minutes before his departure from Pyongyang.

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