PORTLAND -- An 85-year-old U.S. tourist detained in North Korea has the same name as an Oregon man who is about to turn 85 and was awarded a Silver Star for valor during the Korean War.
There is no indication that the man named Merrill Newman who is being detained in North Korea was mistaken for the Merrill Newman living in Beaverton, Ore.
The Oregon Merrill Newman says he received the Silver Star for holding off a certain number of guys during the Korean War. But those guys were from China, an ally of North Korea during the 1950-53 war.
The other Merrill Newman has been held by North Korean authorities since Oct. 26. He is from California, and is also a veteran of the Korean War.