North Korea deports Palo Alto man

AP Photo/Palo Alto Weekly

AP Photo/Palo Alto Weekly

North Korea says it has deported an elderly U.S. tourist and war veteran detained for more than a month for alleged hostile acts against the country.

The North's state media says it did so because 85-year-old Merrill Newman had apologized for his alleged crimes during the Korean War during a recent trip to the country and because of his age and medical condition.

It's not clear if the Palo Alto man's confession was coerced. He was taken off a plane Oct. 26 by North Korean authorities while preparing to leave the country after a 10-day tour.

Before him, North Korea has detained at least six Americans since 2009.

A former group of South Korean guerrillas say Newman advised them as they fought behind enemy lines during the war.

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