85-year old detainee apologizes

As an update to last week’s post, Merrill Newman of Palo Alto, California has not only been confirmed to be in North Korea’s custody, but has issued an apology to the people of the country for “indelible crimes” during the Korean War.

“During the Korean War, I have been guilty of a long list of indelible crimes against DPRK government and Korean people,” the apology read.

Newman said he was an adviser of the Kuwol Unit of the UN Korea 6th Partisan Regiment part of the Intelligence Bureau of the Far East Command, a unit operating against North Korea. He also confessed to attempting to contact surviving soldiers during his trip. 

Newman’s family is still pleading for his release, calling the detainment “mistaken identity”.

The White House issued a statement asking to Newman’s release.

“Given Mr. Newman’s advanced age and health conditions, we urge the [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea]to release Mr. Newman so he may return home and reunite with his family,” said  National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said.

Newman’s apology comes 63 years after the war ended.


Instead of creating an entirely new blog post, I decided to just update this blog. Mr. Newman has been released and is currently back home with his family. However, Mr. Bae is still being held in North Korea. 

Mr. Bae and Mr. Newman’s being detained in North Korea made me wonder how the United States has handled these situations with other countries.

In the case of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl of the Army, an American reportedly held by the Taliban since 2012, the U.S. has stalled negotiations to bring him home. The U.S. Government has been opposed to negotiating with the Taliban.

Other cases of Americans being detained have typically been as a Prisoner of War in which the United States usually negotiations with the country holding the prisoner for release. I was unable to find any hard-fast rules about.



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