(NEW YORK) -- Merrill Newman, the 85-year-old Korean War veteran who was held for over a month in North Korea arrived home in California on Saturday.
Newman was pulled from a plane on Oct. 26 when he was preparing to leave North Korea after a 10-day tour. His family had been concerned about his health due to a heart condition. Newman was deported from North Korea in a decision supported by the U.S. State Department.
After Newman's release, Vice President Joe Biden -- who was in South Korea -- offered him a ride home on Air Force Two, which Newman turned down. Instead, he took a flight home to San Francisco International Airport. Upon arriving, Newman received cheers and made a brief statement to gathered reporters.
Biden said that the State Department was pleased that Newman had been released, though he says he did not play any direct role in his release.
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