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US veteran held for month is freed

An 85-year-old American Korean War veteran detained for more than a month in North Korea left Beijing yesterday on a flight to San Francisco after being deported from the secretive state.

Merrill Newman, who had earlier arrived in Beijing from Pyongyang, left China for California, where he lives in a retirement community in Palo Alto. US embassy officials were at the airport as the flight departed.

North Korea detained him over his role in special forces operations in the war six decades ago. It said he was freed on humanitarian grounds and had admitted to his wrongdoing.

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