News / Asia

White House Urges N. Korea to Release US Citizen

In image released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), U.S. citizen Merrill E. Newman puts thumbprint on paper after being taken into custody by North Korea as tourist, undisclosed, Nov. 30, 2013.
In image released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), U.S. citizen Merrill E. Newman puts thumbprint on paper after being taken into custody by North Korea as tourist, undisclosed, Nov. 30, 2013.
VOA News
The White House is calling on North Korea to release an elderly American and veteran of the Korean War who has been held in North Korean custody since late October.
 
A White House statement Saturday urged Pyongyang to allow 85-year-old Merrill Newman, who suffers from a heart condition, to "return home and reunite with his family."
 
Newman, a California native, was visiting North Korea with a valid visa when he was removed from an airplane October 26 as he prepared to depart the country.
 
Earlier Saturday, the North's official Korean Central News Agency confirmed it had detained Newman. The report said he had apologized for "crimes" during the Korean war, and for "hostile acts" against the state during his October visit.
 
According to reports by Reuters, KCNA said Saturday that Newman "allegedly tried to meet with surviving soldiers he had trained to fight the North during the Korean War."
 
KCNA posted a video of Newman reading the purported apology aloud. It was not clear whether the American wrote the statement or if he was coerced into writing it.
 
The White House statement also called for the release of Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae, who is serving a 15-year prison term for "state subversion."
 
The 46-year-old Christian preacher was detained in November 2012, after entering the country as a tour operator. His family says he has diabetes and is in ill health.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

British Fighters On Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign Jihadists More

Audio Hit Song Delivers Ebola Message in Liberia

'Ebola in Town' has danceable beat, while also delivering serious message about avoiding infection More

Video New Technology Gives Surgeons Unprecedented Views of Patients’ Bodies

Technology offers real-time, interactive, medical visualization and is multi-dimensional More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: James from: Florida
December 01, 2013 6:17 PM
Hr may have had good motives for his visit, albeit risky. At 85 it might be very important to him.
NK is using him to taunt us and create pulp for it's suffering masses. I am surprised there has not been a demand for food or fuel to ransom this patriotic American. Dennis Rodman should call his ugly pal, In, and seek immediate release.

In Response

by: John from: USA
December 02, 2013 3:17 AM
James, I don't understand the logic behind more and more idiots venturing into N.Korea and getting caught and then having to send some past US presidents there to secure their release. If it was an isolated case I can understand. Carter had to go there a couple of times to get the release of 2 people, then Clinton went to get the release of 2 girls, then the New Mexico governor Bill Richardson went to get the release of some one else. Now 2 more people need to get released from there. When will we ever learn?


by: John from: USA
December 01, 2013 6:14 PM
Technically US is still at war with North Korea. The cease fire agreement signed between the 2 nations was torn off by the North Korean dictator about a year or so ago. I am not sure why US state department lets any civilian to travel to North Korea. There are so many other places in this world where this 85 year old could have visited, and he has to be a moron to go back to a country where he fought against those people and another American Mr.Bae is still held captive. I wonder whether there was some book deal involved where he could make some money by writing about the horrible conditions in North Korea.


by: Anonymous
December 01, 2013 6:07 PM
wheres dennis rodman when you need him?


by: Kool Lucian from: Thailand
December 01, 2013 5:42 PM
Mr Obama, say "Please"? Or go ask for China's help.


by: jon from: Michigan
December 01, 2013 5:35 PM
If Reagan were in office he would have been home three weeks ago.

In Response

by: Kool Lucian from: Thailand
December 01, 2013 7:07 PM
Quite right. These Dem libs can't be trusted with US foreign policy. Maybe it's time for a patsy US to pass the baton to China as the world's keeper of "peace" but keep your piece (pun intended) well or China will grab it.


by: Randy from: USA
December 01, 2013 5:13 PM
I'm tired of hearing about North Korea doing this or doing that. They are just going to keep being an annoyance until someone wipes them off the map.


by: Tony from: St Petersburg, FL
December 01, 2013 4:53 PM
You have got to be the dumbest human being on the face of this earth to travel North Korea, especially if you are an American. I mean seriously, do these people live under a rock or something? There is always someone being detained against their will on a regular basis over their.


by: JT from: CA, USA
December 01, 2013 4:47 PM
The world should stand united against human cruelty. It would be good to strike a war with Nkorea, destroy their nuclear facilities and make them understand the consequences of doing such actions.

Can't the US or UN do something to help the people living in North Korea. Free them from the dicator. Can't human rights not help during this situation.


by: rocket7777 from: universe
December 01, 2013 2:46 PM
History is written by winners and people only know prapaganda history. Usa had "kill em all" and even killed kids and babies so all usa troops are guilty of atrocity and war crime.
Google “Kill 'em All': The American Military in Korea”
This guy trained others do even worse. North korea also canceled armistice earlier this year so it is at war.

Untold history you can wiki:
Truth_and_Reconciliation_Commission_%28South_Korea%29
Prostitution_in_South_Korea
Human_trafficking_in_South_Korea
Prostitutes_in_South_Korea_for_the_U.S._military
United_States_war_crimes
Unethical_human_experimentation_in_the_United_States


by: Mike from: Dallas, Texas
November 30, 2013 9:06 PM
If I go piss directly into the wind, will the White House buy me new pants?

Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid