Merrill Newman at Beijing airport
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US war veteran Merrill Newman released by North Korea

North Korea has deported a US veteran of the Korean War who had been detained in the country since October.

State news agency KCNA says Merrill Newman was expelled on "humanitarian grounds" after confessing to "crimes" in the 1950-53 war and "apologising".

Mr Newman, 85, had been held on charges of "hostile acts" against the North, while visiting as a tourist.

The BBC's Lucy Williamson in Seoul says it is a "surprise" that he has been released so quickly.

  • 07 Dec 2013
  • From the section Asia
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