North Korea said Saturday it has deported a 85-year-old California grandfather and war veteran who was detained for more than a month for alleged hostile acts against the country.

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency said it made the decision because Merrill Newman had apologized for his alleged crimes during the Korean War and because of his age and medical condition.

Newman, who was taken off a plane Oct. 26 by North Korean authorities, has yet to speak publicly and it was unclear where he'd been deported to or if his alleged confession shown on state TV last month was coerced.

A former group of South Korean guerrillas say Newman advised them as they fought behind enemy lines during the war. Some members have expressed surprise that Newman would take the risk of visiting North Korea given his role with their group, which is still loathed and remembered in the North.

Authorities in Pyongyang claimed Newman apologized for killing North Koreans during the 1950-53 Korean War, attempting to meet surviving guerrilla fighters he had training during the conflict and reconnect them with their wartime colleagues living in South Korea, and criticizing the North during his recent trip.

Newman's comments haven't been independently confirmed. North Korea has a history of allegedly coercing statements from detainees.

Before Newman, North Korea has detained at least six Americans since 2009 and five of them have been either released or deported after prominent Americans like former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter traveled to Pyongyang.