American Veteran Merrill Newman Released From North Korea

85-year-old man finally let go after being held as a war criminal.
3:00 | 12/07/13

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Transcript for American Veteran Merrill Newman Released From North Korea
Moving on. Overnight, a major break in the case of the american veteran held as a war criminal in north korea, for more than a month. Merrill newman is on a flight home. How did all this happen? Abc's gloria riviera is on the story. Reporter: After 42 days in detention in north korea, merrill newman is on his way home. I appreciate the tolerance the dprk has given for me to be on my way. The 85-year-old korean war veteran traveled to north korea as a tourist, sightseeing for ten days, before officials from the communist regime of kim jong-un pulled him off his return flight. He was accused of committing hostile acts during the korean war. Later, he appeared on television, apparently reading from a confession. Newman's ordeal comes as tensions run high in the region. The secretive regime may have subdued nuclear threats for now, but refuses to step down completely. Newman was leased because he apologized for his crimes. His age and his medical condition. I think everyone who has made this possible and given us the opportunity to have merrill come home. Reporter: In seoul, south korea, joe biden praised the release. But also called for the return of kenneth bae, held for more than a year. Mr. Bae, who has no reason to be held, should be released immediately. Reporter: For mr. Newman's family, their wish for a homecoming before the holidays comes true. For "good morning america," gloria riviera, abc news, beijing. This will be a christmas that family will remember. Let's get back to ron

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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