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Detained veteran: N. Koreans ‘misinterpreted my curiosity’

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — For weeks, speculation swirled around the mystery of why Merrill Newman returned to North Korea, where he fought 60 years ago, and why officials from the reclusive communist regime pulled him off the plane as he was headed home and kept him in custody as a war criminal and spy for more than a month.

On Monday, two days after the 85-year-old grandfather with a heart condition finally returned home to his wife and son, he released a two-page explanation and a simple admission:

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