Veteran returns home after being detained in North Korea

Merrill Newman (right) was detained in North Korea after completinga 10-day tour in the country in October 2013. (Family Photo, Jeff Newman)
Merrill Newman (Family Photo, Jeff Newman)
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Updated: 12/07/2013 10:28 am
SAN FRANCISCO (NBC News) - An 85-year-old American war veteran detained for more than a month in North Korea arrived in the United States on Saturday, a day after he was unexpectedly released by Pyongyang for “humanitarian” reasons.

"I'm delighted to be home," Merrill Newman said in a brief statement to reporters after arriving in San Francisco on a flight from Beijing shortly after 9 a.m. local time.

"It's been a great homecoming and I'm tired, but ready to be with my family now -- and thank you all for the support we got and I very much appreciate it." Newman, who was accompanied by his wife, Lee, and son Jeff, was asked as he walked away if he would consider going back to North Korea. "Probably not," he replied.

(By Mike Brunker and Noelle Walker)
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