DKWF Welcomes Release of Veteran Held by North Korea

PRESS RELEASE  –  December 10, 2013



– Merrill Newman Back Home with His Family in California

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Descendants of Korean War Foundation (DKWF) welcomes the news that Korean War veteran Merrill E. Newman, 85, of Palo Alto, California, was released by North Korean authorities and arrived safely in San Francisco on December 7th.  We join with his family and friends, who greeted him with yellow ribbons and applause, in celebrating his homecoming.  Mr. Newman visited North Korea as a tourist to see where he and his fellow veterans six decades ago had “answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met.”  He was abruptly pulled off an airplane, when he was about to depart Pyongyang at the conclusion of his ten-day tour, and then held  for over a month, despite having a heart condition.  This highly regrettable incident indicates Pyongyang’s continuing hostile attitude toward the United States and its Korean War veterans.  Mr. Newman’s experience should  give pause to those veterans, their families, friends, and descendants who might be contemplating a visit to North Korea.  The State Department issued a travel advisory on November 19th, subsequent to Mr. Newman’s detention, regarding North Korea, which reads, in part: “The Department of State recommends against all travel by U.S. citizens to North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK).”   The DKWF joins all Americans in wishing Mr.  Newman and his family a safe and happy holiday season.

Contact: Mr. Dennis Halpin | DKWF Executive Board | 202-297-3011