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North Korea confirms US citizen held

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North Korea has acknowledged that it is holding an US citizen, the state department announces.

The captive’s identity has not been confirmed as consular access has not been granted, AP news agency reports.

The disclosure comes amid concern for Merrill Newman, 85, who was reportedly detained weeks ago in North Korea.

The news came via Swedish officials, who oversee consular issues for the US as it lacks diplomatic ties with North Korea.

Merrill Newman, a Korean War veteran, was taken off a plane by uniformed officers on October 26 at the end of a trip to North Korea

Merrill Newman, a Korean War veteran, was taken off a plane by uniformed officers on October 26 at the end of a trip to North Korea

The Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang had been requesting access to the American on a daily basis, a state department spokesman said.

Jeffrey Newman said his father Merrill, a Korean War veteran, was taken off a plane by uniformed officers on October 26 at the end of a trip to North Korea.

Merrill Newman was visiting the country with a friend, on a guided tour arranged with a travel agent “approved by the North Korean government for travel of foreigners”, Jeffrey Newman said.

US officials have not specifically confirmed the case, but have called on North Korea to “resolve the issue”.


Merrill Newman appeared to have discussed his experience in the Korean War with North Korean officials the day before his detention, his son added.

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