BEIJING, Dec 7 (Reuters) - An 85-year-old U.S. veteran of the Korean War detained for more than a month in North Korea left Beijing on Saturday on a flight to San Francisco, hours after being deported from the secretive state, sources at the airport said.
Merrill Newman, who had earlier arrived in Beijing from Pyongyang, left China on a United Airlines direct flight to California, where he lives in a retirement community in Palo Alto. A Reuters witness saw U.S. embassy officials at the airport as the flight departed.
North Korea, which had detained him over his role in special forces operations in the war six decades ago, said he had been released on humanitarian grounds and because he had admitted to his wrongdoing and apologised. (Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Alex Richardson)