(CNN) — The U.S. government is “deeply concerned” about two American citizens detained in North Korea, including 85-year-old Merrill Newman, a National Security Council spokeswoman said.
“Given Mr. Newman’s advanced age and health conditions, we urge (North Korea) to release Mr. Newman so he may return home and reunite with his family,” said Caitlin Hayden, the NSC spokeswoman.
North Korea’s state-run KCNA news service reported early Saturday that Newman had apologized for crimes he had committed against North Korea, both while serving in the U.S. military during the Korean War and during his trip back to North Korea earlier this fall.
Another American being held in North Korea, Kenneth Bae, was arrested in November 2012 and sentenced in May to 15 years of hard labor.
The North Korean government has said he was found guilty of “hostile acts” and attempts to topple the government.
CNN’s Chelsea J. Carter contributed to this report.