85-Year-Old Veteran ‘Deported’ From North Korea

Posted at 9:06 PM, Dec 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-06 21:11:23-05

800px-Flag_of_North_Korea.svg(CNN) — Merrill Newman — the 85-year-old American detained by North Korean authorities earlier this fall — has been “deported,” North Korea’s state news agency reported early Saturday.

The KCNA report stated that investigators determined that “Newman entered the DPRK with a wrong understanding of it and perpetrated a hostile act against it.”

“Taking into consideration his admittance of the act committed by him on the basis of his wrong understanding (and the) apology made by him for it, his sincere repentance of it and his advanced age and health condition, the above-said institution deported him from the country from a humanitarian viewpoint,” the official North Korean report added.

Newman was taken off a plane in Pyongyang by North Korean authorities in October, following a brief trip to the isolated East Asian nation, his family said.

Weeks later, state news released a story and video showing the Palo Alto, California, resident — and Korean War veteran — apologizing for crimes against North Korea.

After that report came out, National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said the U.S. government was “deeply concerned” about Newman and Kenneth Bae, another American being held in North Korea.