America

U.S. Veteran Freed From N. Korea Says 'Confession' Was Coerced

Merrill Newman (left) walks beside his wife Lee and son Jeffrey after arriving at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday. i i

hide captionMerrill Newman (left) walks beside his wife Lee and son Jeffrey after arriving at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday.

Ben Margot/AP
Merrill Newman (left) walks beside his wife Lee and son Jeffrey after arriving at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday.

Merrill Newman (left) walks beside his wife Lee and son Jeffrey after arriving at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday.

Ben Margot/AP

The 85-year-old U.S. veteran who was detained by North Korea for weeks, before being released, says the "confession" that he read and was aired on state television was coerced.

The AP and Reuters obtained a written statement from Merrill Newman in which he says North Korean authorities may have misrepresented his interest in the Korean War.

Reuters reports:

"'Anyone who knows me knows that I could not have done the things they had me 'confess' to,' Merrill Newman, 85, said in a written statement released to the media.

"The Korean War veteran added that during the tourist trip that led to his detention, he had expressed interest in visiting some of those 'who fought in the war' in the Mount Kuwol area. were. 'The North Koreans seem to have misinterpreted my curiosity as something more sinister,' he said."

Newman had hinted at this during quick comments reported by the Santa Cruz Sentinel on Sunday.

Newman told the paper that the confession was obviously not written by him.

"Obviously, that's not my English," he told the paper.

Newman also told the paper that he was held by North Korean authorities in a hotel room, not a prison cell, and that he was comfortable during his time there.

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