independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

War veteran 'delighted to be home'

People at Seoul railway station in South Korea watch a TV news programme showing US citizen Merrill Newman after his release by North Korea (AP)

A tired but smiling veteran of the Korean War who was detained for several weeks in North Korea has landed in California as a free man.

Merrill Newman, holding the hand of his wife and accompanied by his adult son, thanked the Swedish embassy in Pyongyang, North Korea, and the US embassy in Beijing for helping to secure his release.

The 85-year-old told the assembled media that he was "delighted to be home" but declined to answer any questions after making a brief statement.

"It's been a great homecoming," he said. "I'm tired, but ready to be with my family."

Mr Newman was detained in late October at the end of a 10-day trip to North Korea, a visit that came six decades after he oversaw a group of South Korean wartime guerrillas during the 1950-53 war.

Press Association

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