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N Korea urged to free American, 85

The US has urged North Korea to release an 85-year-old American who has been detained for more than a month.

Retired finance executive Merrill Newman, who fought in the Korean War, was taken off a plane on October 26 by North Korean authorities while preparing to leave after a 10-day visit.

Mr Newman's son has said his father wanted to return to the country where he spent three years during the war.

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said that given Newman's age and health - he is on heart medication - North Korea should release him so he can be reunited with his family.

North Korea state media claims Mr Newman apologised for alleged crimes during the war and for "hostile acts" against the North during his trip.

AP

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