Go to contents

N. Korea publicizes US detainee’s letter of apology

Posted December. 02, 2013 08:00,   


North Korea made public on Saturday a letter of apology allegedly written by American citizen Merrill Newman, 85, who has been detained in Pyongyang for more than a month.

Reporting on the release of the letter, the North’s Korean Central News Agency said, “Mr. Newman’s hostile activities against (North) Korea was proven through various pieces of evidence, and he admitted to all of his crimes and made an apology.” North Korean media organizations also publicized photos and video footage of Newman putting his fingerprint on the letter of apology and reading it in his own voice at a place that seemed to be a hotel.

On his “crimes,” Korean Central News Agency said, “He tried to find spies and terrorists, who had spied and conducted acts of destruction in areas around Mount Guwol during the Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War), and their families, and link them with the ‘Mount Guwol Guerrilla Comrade Club,’ an anti-(North) Korea organization in South Korea,” The North raised an issue with Newman’s asking a North Korean tour guide about the life or death and contacts of club members’ families, who are still living in the North.

Analysts say that the disclosure of the letter of apology indicates that the North is taking steps to release Newman in order to avoid mounting international criticism Pyongyang could face if it continues detain for a prolonged period of time the aged American who is suffering from heart disease.