April 13, 2024
Analysis

Understanding why North Korea arrested Merill Newman

Holding of elderly military veteran may be due to specific actions during Korean War

On November 30 North Korean TV broadcast footage of an old Western man who read a statement of apology. He admitted that as an American military officer during the Korean War he was responsible for training South Korea guerillas involved in killing civilians inside North Korea. He also admitted that during his recent trip to Pyongyang he was looking for some former guerillas and their family members in the hopes of re-connecting them with their former friends in Seoul.

“Shamelessly I had a plan to meet any surviving soldiers and pray for the souls of the dead soldiers in Kuwol Mt. during the Korean War,” he said. Additionally, the old man said that he committed other unspecified “hostile acts” during his trip to North Korea in October this year.

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