US war veteran Merrill Newman released from North Korea two months after he was detained for alleged hostile acts, Newman 85-year-old of Palo Alto California has been deported to China, was met by U.S. embassy staff in Beijing.
North Korea’s state media said Saturday Merrill Newman was released, citing his “sincere repentance” he had apologized for his alleged crimes during the Korean War and because of his age and health status, according to AFP report.
The DPRK – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea also claimed that that the ailing 85-year-old Newman was a mastermind in spying against the communist country, report said.
Newman had filmed a video apology prior to his release confessing to his crimes, apologizing for killing North Koreans during the war, he said in his statement.
“I’m very glad to be on my way home,” Newman told Japanese media at Beijing airport, Reuters reported. “I feel good, I feel good. I want to go home to see my wife.” Newman said.
US war veteran Newman was a U.S. special forces soldier during the 1950-53 Korean War and worked with guerrillas fighting behind the lines against the socialist North.