News / Asia

    North Korea Confirms Holding US Citizen

    This photo provided by the Palo Alto Weekly shows Merrill Newman, a retired finance executive and Red Cross volunteer, 2005.
    This photo provided by the Palo Alto Weekly shows Merrill Newman, a retired finance executive and Red Cross volunteer, 2005.
    VOA News
    The United States says North Korea has acknowledged that it is holding another American citizen.

    State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Friday that North Korea told the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang about the detention. The Swedish Embassy represents U.S. interests in the country because Washington and Pyongyang have no diplomatic ties.

    The State Department did not identify the man, however earlier this week the family of Merrill Newman told media outlets Newman was detained while on an organized tour of North Korea.

    Jeffrey Newman comes out of his home to make a brief comment about his father, Merrill Newman, an 85-year-old Korean War veteran being detained by North Korean authorities, in Pasadena, California, Nov. 22, 2013.Jeffrey Newman comes out of his home to make a brief comment about his father, Merrill Newman, an 85-year-old Korean War veteran being detained by North Korean authorities, in Pasadena, California, Nov. 22, 2013.
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    Jeffrey Newman comes out of his home to make a brief comment about his father, Merrill Newman, an 85-year-old Korean War veteran being detained by North Korean authorities, in Pasadena, California, Nov. 22, 2013.
    Jeffrey Newman comes out of his home to make a brief comment about his father, Merrill Newman, an 85-year-old Korean War veteran being detained by North Korean authorities, in Pasadena, California, Nov. 22, 2013.
    Family members say the 85-year old veteran of the Korean War was on an airplane set to leave the country in late October when North Korean officials escorted him off the flight.

    North Korea is also holding another American citizen, Kenneth Bae, who was arrested last year and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor on charges of state subversion. Bae is a 45-year-old Christian missionary who entered North Korea as a tour operator.

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