Since Merrill Edward Newman had admitted to his wrongdoing and apologized, North Korea deported him from the country from ‘a humanitarian viewpoint’, the official KCNA news agency reported.

Newman from Palo Alto, California, had apologized for alleged crimes during the 1950-53 Korean War and ‘hostile acts’ against North Korea during a recent trip, reported a news agency.

"He masterminded espionage and subversive activities against North Korea and in this course he was involved in killings of service personnel of the Korean People's Army and innocent civilians," the KCNA report said.

The US State Department has welcomed North Korea's decision to release an American citizen."We are pleased that Merrill Newman has been allowed to depart North Korea and re-join his family," spokesperson Marie Harf said in a statement.

"We welcome North Korea's decision to release him. This positive decision by North Korea throws into sharper relief the continuing detention of Kenneth Bae, who has been in North Korea's custody for over a year," Harf said.

"We call on North Korea once again to pardon and grant Bae special amnesty and immediately release him as a humanitarian gesture so that he too can return home to his family," she added.
Newman, an 85-year-old US Korean War veteran, was detained by North Korea after he entered the country as a member of a tourist group on October 17.

Pyongyang accused him of committing "hostile acts" against the country under the guise of a tourist, claiming last week that he had apologized for alleged crimes during the 1950-53 Korean War and "espionage and subversive activities" against the country during his recent trip.


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