US Korean War vet arrives home after detention

Associated Press
Merrill Newman, center, walks beside his wife Lee, left, and his son Jeffrey after arriving at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Newman was detained in North Korea late October at the end of a 10-day trip to North Korea, a visit that came six decades after he oversaw a group of South Korean wartime guerrillas during the 1950-53 war. He was released from North Korea early Saturday. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Merrill Newman, center, walks beside his wife Lee, left, and his son Jeffrey after arriving at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Newman was detained in North Korea late October at the end of a 10-day trip to North Korea, a visit that came six decades after he oversaw a group of South Korean wartime guerrillas during the 1950-53 war. He was released from North Korea early Saturday. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A tired but smiling 85-year-old veteran of the Korean War who was detained for several weeks in North Korea landed a free man Saturday at the San Francisco airport.

Holding the hand of his wife and accompanied by his adult son, Merrill Newman thanked the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang, North Korea, and U.S. Embassy in Beijing for helping to secure his release.

He told the assembled media that he was "delighted to be home" but declined to answer any questions after making a brief statement.

"It's been a great homecoming," he said. "I'm tired, but ready to be with my family."

Newman was detained in late October at the end of a 10-day trip to North Korea, a visit that came six decades after he oversaw a group of South Korean wartime guerrillas during the 1950-53 war.

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