New images and video recently released by North Korea show the elderly, American war veteran detained and held in the communist country for over a month now admitting to and apologizing for crimes he committed during the Korean War.
In October, Merrill Newman, 85, was pulled off a plane without explanation in Pyongyang where he had been on a private tour of the rogue nation.
Recently, Pyongyang’s notoriously outlandish state-run news agency, Korean Central News Agency, published a story with images of Newman reading from a written apology and admitting to war crimes and recent espionage during his 2013 trip, CNN reported.
According to CNN, the statement published by KCNA of Newman’s alleged confession read, in part:
“After I killed so many civilians and (North Korean) soldiers and destroyed strategic objects in the DPRK during the Korean War, I committed indelible offensive acts against the DPRK government and Korean people.
If I go back to (the) USA, I will tell the true features of the DPRK and the life the Korean people are leading.”
“This [KCNA] story claimed that Newman tried to ‘look for spies and terrorists who conducted espionage and subversive activities against the DPRK,’” the article said.
“Investigators determined that, as a member of the U.S. military, he ‘masterminded espionage and subversive activities … and, in this course, he was involved in the killings of service personnel of the Korean People’s Army and innocent civilians.’”
As the U.S. lacks diplomatic ties with North Korea, U.S. officials have had to work through the Swiss in an attempt to get information and answers as to why Newman’s confession, allegedly signed on Nov. 9, was only recently released.
“We need to have Merrill back at the head of the table for the holidays,” Newman’s wife, Lee, told CNN.
Though he appears in good health, Newman’s family said he has a heart condition and had only enough medicine for the trip. It’s unclear whether or not he’s received additional medication they attempted to send.
Related: Why was US veteran of Korean War pulled off plane, detained in N. Korea?
Watch the report from CNN here:
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