Family of U.S. man detained in North Korea appeals for his release

PALO ALTO, California (Reuters) - The family of an 85-year-old California retiree and Korean War veteran detained by North Korean authorities during a trip to the reclusive Asian nation publicly appealed to Pyongyang on Friday for his safe return home.

The man's wife, Alicia Newman, said in a statement that relatives of her husband, Merrill Newman, have had no word on the state of his health, whether or not medications sent to him were delivered or why he was detained.

"The family feels there has been some dreadful misunderstanding leading to his detention, and asks that the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) work to settle this issue quickly and to return this 85-year-old grandfather to his anxious, concerned family," she said.

(Reporting by Laila Kearney in Palo Alto and Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Eric Beech)