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North Korea Deports U.S. War Veteran Merrill Newman

North Korea released Merrill Newman after detaining him for more than a month.
Posted at 11:24 PM, Dec 06, 2013

U.S. officials confirmed late Friday North Korea deported 85-year-old American Merrill Newman after detaining him for more than a month. 

The North Korean news agency KCNA reported Newman was released "from a humanitarian viewpoint" because he admitted to wrongdoing and apologized for his actions. (Via CNN)

That apology came in the form of an eerie taped confession. Officials are still unsure whether Newman was coerced to apologize. (Via BBC)

According to KCNA, Newman was taken into custody in Octoboer because he "committed hostile acts against the DPRK after entering the country under the guise of a tourist." Those alleged actions included espionage, subversion and sabotage. (Via The New York Times)

News of Newman's release comes nearly a week after The White House requested the release of Newman and Kenneth Bae, another American who's been detained in North Korea for more than a year. 

State Department officials and Vice President Joe Biden praised North Korea's decision to release Newman. Biden is currently in South Korea on an Asian tour, but it is uncertain if he played a role in Newman's release. (Via Fox News)

Although the U.S. praised North Korea for deporting Newman, State Department officials are still calling for the release of Kenneth Bae. Newman is expected to return home to his family in Palo Alto, Calif. Saturday.