Captured as in off a plane last month, not held for the past sixty years:
In October 2013 [Merrill] Newman left for the DPRK as part of a nine-day trip organized by Juche Travel Services, a travel agency that specializes in trips to North Korea. According to family members, Newman had generally been enjoying his trip and had communicated with them via telephone and postcards.
On October 26, after boarding an Air Koryo airliner in Pyongyang on which he was scheduled to depart the country, Newman was removed by a single, uniformed official. Newman's traveling companion, Bob Hamrdla, reported the arrest to U.S. officials via telephone upon the aircraft's arrival in Beijing later that day. This account of the arrest was relayed to media by Newman's son, Jeffrey, from information provided by Hamrdla, a former Stanford University professor who specialized in the history of the German Democratic Republic. According to the younger Newman, Hamrdla reported that Merrill Newman had previously engaged in a "difficult" discussion with government tour guides about the Korean War.
I don't pretend to understand why an old man who had fought the NoKos sixty years ago would want to go visit that hellhole, but then neither do I understand why he got into any kind of "discussion" with the tour guides about the Korean War, since everybody knows, and Mr. Newman certainly should have known, that "tour guides" in any communist country are either government intelligence or secret police or both.
I can't imagine that the NoKos had any great interest in a crotchety old geezer, but neither did they have anything to fear from Barack Obama for indulging in Mr. Newman's arrest and forcing him to read a dictated "confession":
Whatever the details of this incident, I can't see it taking place under any previous president except perhaps Jimmy Carter. It's not a huge deal - I'd analogize it to a passing head-noogie in the school hallway - but it's symptomatic of the complete impunity America's enemies feel to do whatever they want, whenever they want, to whomever they want, free of any concerns about retaliation.
Yet another facet of the Obama Doctrine that has bloomed to depressing fruition.