The Korean Central News Agency reported Saturday Merrill Newman, 85, was removed from North Korea on "humanitarian" grounds, CNN said. Newman made a 10-day visit to North Korea in October, only to be removed from a plane in Pyongyang as he and another visitor who traveled with him were departing.
In a statement released weeks later with a videotaped apology by Newman, the government accused him of crimes during the Korean War and of entering the country as a tourist for espionage purposes.
"Taking into consideration his admittance of the act committed by him on the basis of his wrong understanding (and the) apology made by him for it, his sincere repentance of it and his advanced age and health condition, the above-said institution deported him from the country from a humanitarian viewpoint," KCNA said.
Most foreigners detained by North Korea have been Christian missionaries or journalists. Kenneth Bae, a missionary, was sentenced to 15 years hard labor in May.