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North Korea seizes American veteran, 85

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An American veteran of the Korean War has been detained while visiting North Korea, his son says. Merrill Newman, 85, is a globetrotter who lives in a retirement complex in Palo Alto, Calif., according to the San Jose Mercury News.

“He’s always wanted to go to North Korea; it’s been a lifelong thing,” his son, Jeffrey Newman tells the Merc. “Like the guys who go back to Normandy, the World War II veterans. These places had profound, powerful impacts on them as young men, and he wanted to see it again.”

Details are sketchy, but for some reason the elderly Newman, a former financial executive for tech companies, met with or was interviewed by North Korean officials and discussed his war experiences. Then the next day, Oct. 26, as Newman was about to leave the Communist dictatorship, he was pulled off the plane only minutes before the flight was to take off, his son tells CNN.

The State Department is working on Newman’s release.

Meanwhile, there’s another alarming report about North Korea: It’s meth may be making its way to pushers in New York City, ABC News reports.

What makes the news particularly troubling is the purity of the meth: It’s “Breaking Bad” bad, or 99% pure, according to a defendant quoted in an indictment unsealed in New York on Wednesday. Five people were arrested in Thailand in a scheme to sell 100 kilos to an DEA plant.

North Koreans, who use meth as a medicine to treat fatigue, stress and hunger, have been hooked on state-produced meth for years. 

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