Over a month ago, Merrill Newman, an elderly American tourist and Korean War veteran disappeared into North Korea. After being pulled off a flight on the final day of a guided tour, the Korean War veteran was missing until he reappeared over a weekend one month ago.
During this weekend he went missing, Newman was discovered reading a handwritten letter in a video. Newman says he served as an adviser to the Kuwol unit, a clandestine, anticommunist guerrilla force that fought behind enemy lines during the war.
After a month of holding the veteran, North Korea has finally deported the elderly US tourist and war vet.
The US State Department released the following statement on Friday:
We are pleased that Mr. Merrill Newman has been allowed to depart the DPRK and re-join his family. We welcome the DPRK’s decision to release him.
This positive decision by the DPRK throws into sharper relief the continuing detention of Mr. Kenneth Bae, who has been in DPRK custody for over a year. We call on the DPRK once again to pardon and grant Mr. Bae special amnesty and immediately release him as a humanitarian gesture so that he too can return home to his family. The U.S. Government will continue to work actively on his case.
We thank the Government of Sweden for the tireless efforts of the Embassy of Sweden in Pyongyang, which acts as our Protecting Power in the DPRK.
More on this story and other breaking news as it develops.