U.S. veteran held by North Korea helped anti-communist guerrilla force in 1950-1953 war

tags: North Korea, Korean War




SEOUL — An 85-year-old U.S. veteran being held in North Korea spent his war years there in one of the Army’s first Special Forces units, helping a clandestine group of Korean partisans who were fighting and spying well behind enemy lines.

Now South Koreans who served with Merrill Newman, who is beginning his sixth week in detention, say their unit was perhaps the most hated and feared by the North and his association with them may be the reason he is being held.

“Why did he go to North Korea?” asked Park Boo Seo, a former member of a unit, known in Korea as Kuwol, that is still loathed in Pyongyang and glorified in Seoul for the damage it inflicted on the North during the war. “The North Koreans still gnash their teeth at the Kuwol unit.”...



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