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U.S. war veteran marked as enemy in N. Korea

Sunday, Dec 01, 2013 - 01:36

Dec.1 - The role of U.S. war veteran Merrill E. Newman in the Korean war has made him a target in Pyongyang, where memories of the conflict are emphasized. Michaela Cabrera reports.

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The arrest of U.S. war veteran Merrill E. Newman in North Korea, brings back memories of the Korean War. Newman was an adviser to a group of partisans who fought behind enemy lines. Six decades later, he visits Pyongyang as a tourist, and he becomes one of the last prisoners of that war. In the isolated state, Newman's past would have marked him as the enemy. The partisans that he trained were part of the Kuwol Regiment, who penetrated North Korea's west coast and islands, and launched battles against the North Korean army. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) 81-YEAR-OLD FORMER RANK AND FILE PARTISAN MEMBER OF KUWOLSAN UNIT, KIM CHANG-SUN, SAYING: "Those bastards already knew who Newman was even during the war . They got hold of the roster of our entire regiment." Newman has gone back to South Korea since the war, and on one trip he paid tribute to fallen friends at the National Cemetery. Kim Hyeon was a member of the celebrated regiment, and had kept in contact with the American. He said Newman was taking a risk by travelling to North Korea. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) 86-YEAR-OLD FORMER PERSONAL STAFF AT KUWOLSAN GUERRILLA UNIT, KIM HYEON, SAYING: "I wouldn't go there (if I were him). I would get caught. (North Korea) would think that I was a spy or something." North Korea nourishes memories of the war with the South and the United States in the early 50s, some say to distract its impoverished people. The North and South are technically still in a state of war in the absence of a peace treaty.

U.S. war veteran marked as enemy in N. Korea

Sunday, Dec 01, 2013 - 01:36

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