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N. Korea Deports Elderly American

North Korea has deported a U.S. veteran of the 1950-53 Korean War who had been detained in the North since October.

Merrill Newman, an 85-year-old from California, had been accused by North Korean authorities of being responsible for "hostile acts" against the communist-led state.

The official Korean Central News Agency said Saturday that Newman was deported for "humanitarian” reasons.

The report cited what it described as Newman’s "sincere repentance," as well as his age and health.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Newman had arrived in China. Biden spoke on a visit to U.S. ally South Korea.

The U.S. State Department welcomed the Newman's release and called on the North to also free another detained American, Kenneth Bae, who has been sentenced to 15 years' hard labor on charges of seeking to topple the government.

Based on reports from AFP and dpa