War veteran detained by North Korea arrives in US

85-year-old retired U.S. veteran, Merrill E. Newman, who was detained for over a month in North Korea, smiles as he arrives at San Francisco International Airport Dec. 7, 2013.
STEPHEN LAM | REUTERS
85-year-old retired U.S. veteran, Merrill E. Newman, who was detained for over a month in North Korea, smiles as he arrives at San Francisco International Airport Dec. 7, 2013.
Posted Dec. 07, 2013, at 3:24 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO — An 85-year-old retired American soldier held by North Korea for more than a month arrived in San Francisco on Saturday to be reunited with his family.

His United Airlines flight landed shortly after 9 a.m., a Reuters witness said.

North Korea detained Merrill E. Newman for crimes it said he committed during the Korean War six decades ago. The country’s state news agency said he was released on humanitarian grounds and because he had admitted his wrongdoing and apologized.

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