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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

American Veteran Held in North Korea Highlights Plight of Missing U.S. POWs -- Former Army special forces solider took part in covert operations against Pyongyang during the Korean War -- By Bill Gertz, The Washington Free Beacon

Merrill E. Newman / APThe arrest and detention of American Korean War veteran Merrill E. Newman highlights North Korea’s holding of other prisoners of war who were part of a secret Army unit running covert operations inside North Korea, according to a specialist on the conflict.

Mark Sauter, a journalist and historian who has studied the Korean conflict and Americans held there, said Newman’s special forces unit, the 8240th Army Unit, trained and armed anti-communist guerrillas that operated inside the Northeast Asian country and probably continued to do so after the ceasefire of July 1953.

Newman was detained Oct. 26 after mentioning to a North Korean guide during a visit to Pyongyang that he needed help locating members of an anti-communist partisan group he ran during the war, according to a Pyongyang government statement.

The mention of such a request likely triggered the arrest by the North Koreans who remain technically at war with South Korea and thus have made Newman the latest prisoner of war (POW) from the conflict.

“It’s a terrible irony that America’s newest Korean War POW is linked to some of best-known unreturned U.S. prisoners from the war—the so-called Ashley Five,” Sauter said in an interview. “Newman has just been imprisoned. The Ashley Five were captured in 1953 and never returned.”

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