PICTURES, VIDEO

War veteran detained by North Korea arrives back in US

Mr Merrill Newman speaks with reporters beside his wife Lee after arriving at San Francisco International Airport on Dec 6, 2013, in San Francisco. -- PHOTO: AP
Mr Merrill Newman speaks with reporters beside his wife Lee after arriving at San Francisco International Airport on Dec 6, 2013, in San Francisco. -- PHOTO: AP
Korean War veteran Merrill Newman (left), accompanied by his wife Lee (centre) and son Jeff, speaks to the press after arriving at San Francisco International Airport on Dec 7, 2013 following his release from detention in North Korea. -- PHOTO: AFP
Korean War veteran Merrill Newman (left), accompanied by his wife Lee (centre) and son Jeff, speaks to the press after arriving at San Francisco International Airport on Dec 7, 2013 following his release from detention in North Korea. -- PHOTO: AFP
Korean War veteran Merrill Newman (left), accompanied by his wife Lee (right), speaks to the press after arriving at San Francisco International Airport on Dec 7, 2013 following his release from detention in North Korea. -- PHOTO: AFP
Korean War veteran Merrill Newman (left), accompanied by his wife Lee (right), speaks to the press after arriving at San Francisco International Airport on Dec 7, 2013 following his release from detention in North Korea. -- PHOTO: AFP
Korean War veteran Merrill Newman (centre, left), 85, walks with his wife Lee (centre, right) and son Jeff (right) after arriving at San Francisco International Airport on Dec 7, 2013 following his release from detention in North Korea. -- PHOTO: AFP
Korean War veteran Merrill Newman (centre, left), 85, walks with his wife Lee (centre, right) and son Jeff (right) after arriving at San Francisco International Airport on Dec 7, 2013 following his release from detention in North Korea. -- PHOTO: AFP
Mr Merrill Newman, an 85 year-old retired American soldier freed from North Korea on Saturday, arrives at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco on Dec 7, 2013. North Korea freed Mr Newman on Saturday after detaining him for more than a
Mr Merrill Newman, an 85 year-old retired American soldier freed from North Korea on Saturday, arrives at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco on Dec 7, 2013. North Korea freed Mr Newman on Saturday after detaining him for more than a month for crimes it said he committed during the Korean War six decades ago. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - An 85-year-old retired American soldier held by North Korea for more than a month arrived in San Francisco on Saturday to be reunited with his family.

His United Airlines flight landed shortly after 9am local time, a Reuters witness said.

North Korea detained Mr Merrill Newman for crimes it said he committed during the Korean War six decades ago.

The country's state news agency said he was released on humanitarian grounds and because he had admitted his wrongdoing and apologised.