A U.S. Army veteran was forced to apologize in North Korea. The Korean War veteran has been detained by the country after his trip ended. Merrill Newman has been visiting Korea as a tourist.
Merrill Newman has been videotaped and photographed apologizing for his actions, according to NBC News. The veteran has been stuck in North Korea for more than a month. He is unable to leave, and he has been accused of hostile acts against the country.
The 85-year-old traveled to North Korea as a tourist with a friend. He has now been forced to read a long statement and apologize. In the statement, he states he has committed crimes against North Korea. It is believed that the statement was coerced from the veteran, and he was told what to say.
Merrill Newman is accused of several crimes. He allegedly purchased a book that was critical of the country. He has also been accused of killing civilians during the war. Newman was in the Army during the Korean War, but his family does not believe he killed civilians.
Experts think the apology may actually be a good sign for Merrill Newman. They shared that North Korea may be planning to release him and allow him to return to the United States. The apology was likely a public relations statement to show their power.
Merrill Newman was originally on a 10-day trip in North Korea with a friend. He had been in the country during the Korean War and wanted to return. As he was getting ready to leave the nation on a plane, he was removed by authorities and detained. They would not allow the veteran to leave, but his friend was able to return home. Since this occurred, his family has been pleading for his release.
The United States has warned citizens not to travel to North Korea. However, every year, a small number of tourists from the U.S. ignore the warnings. Merrill Newman’s family did not think he would be in any danger traveling in North Korea since he is 85 years old and had a friend with him. North Korea has not officially explained if it will release Newman soon. Some are worried that the country may be planning to use him during negotiations and may have steep demands for his release. His family is concerned about his health and continues to work on his case.