Friends and family of an 85-year-old American veteran detained in North Korea have begun their fifth week of waiting, expressing hope that the well-loved grandfather will be released soon.
Merrill Newman's family in California released a statement Monday saying they remain concerned for his well-being. The Newmans asked North Korean authorities to quickly confirm that he has received his medication.
They said in the statement they also hope it will be possible to "resolve this misunderstanding so that he can quickly rejoin his family."
Merrill Newman and his wife, Lee, live in Palo Alto and have a vacation home in Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz community members say he's a generous participant in the rowing and yacht clubs and the film festival.
Newman was taken off a plane Oct. 26 by North Korean authorities while preparing to leave the communist nation after a 10-day tour.
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