North Korea frees US war veteran

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North Korea has released American war veteran Merill E. Newman after more than a month’s detention in the country.

Newman had been visiting North Korea as a tourist when he was arrested at the end of October.

He was then held on suspicion of committing “hostile acts” against the state during the Korean War.

North Korea allowed him to leave the country on “humanitarian grounds” after Newman confessed to the crimes and apologised.

Speaking to the press at Beijing Airport, Newman said:

“I’m very glad to be on my way home. And I appreciate the tolerance the DPRK (North Korea) government has given to me to be on my way. I feel good. I want to go home to see my wife.”

Although Newman did serve as a special forces soldier during the 1950-53 Korean War, his family protest his innocence, citing a case of mistaken identity on the part of the North Korean government.