Merrill Newman is on his way home after being held captive in North Korea.
In a bizarre tale — as if anything involving North Korea is ever not bizarre — Newman, an 85-year-old Korean War veteran, admitted to committing dastardly acts while fighting that war. The North Koreans, out of the goodness of their hearts, accepted his “apology” and let him go.
And what did this man do, according to the North Koreans? He committed “hostile acts” against them.
OK, let me see if I have this straight.
The North Koreans invaded South Korea in 1950, igniting a ferocious conflict that would last three years. United Nations forces, led by the United States, intervened on the South’s behalf. They fought bloody battles against the North Korean army, which later was aided by a massive force from the People’s Republic of China.
Is there anything non-hostile about any of this?
Newman had been recorded making some kind of apology for his actions while serving in the Korean War. He read the script. His reading of it sounded for all the world like one of those bogus “confessions” we heard during the Vietnam War by captured U.S. service personnel.
Well, now the North Koreans have “deported” Newman.
They can call it whatever they want. I prefer to call it a ridiculous public relations stunt gone bad.