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Pyongyang: American Tourist Apologizes, Confesses to Crimes

North Korea has confirmed that it detained an American tourist a month ago, and says he has apologized for alleged crimes during the Korean War and for "hostile acts" against the state during a recent trip.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency said Saturday that 85-year-old Merrill Newman allegedly tried to meet with surviving soldiers he had trained to fight the North during the Korean War.

KCNA reported that in his confession, Newman said he had killed innocent civilians and committed other crimes against the Korean people.

Newman, who had been visiting North Korea as a tourist, has been held in Pyongyang since officials took him off a plane that was about to leave the country on October 26.

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Conditions are harsh, food is bad, and most wages for construction work are taken away by Pyongyang government, recruitment companies.

Photogallery North Koreans Toil for Little Pay Overseas

Conditions are harsh, food is bad, and most wages for construction work are taken away by Pyongyang government, recruitment companies More