[article] (CNN) -- An 85-year-old American man on an organized tour of North Korea was pulled off a departing plane in Pyongyang just minutes before it was to depart, the man's son told CNN on Wednesday. The family has had no contact with Merrill Newman of Palo Alto, California, since he was detained on October 26, his son Jeff Newman said. "This is a misunderstanding. My father is a (Korean War) veteran and wanted to see the country and culture he has been interested in for years," Jeff Newman said. "He arranged this with a travel agent that was recommended and said was approved by the North Korean government for travel of foreigners. He had all the proper visas." The U.S. State Department is working to resolve the matter with North Korea's top ally, China. Ambassador Glyn Davies, the U.S. Special Representative for North Korean Policy, met in Beijing for several hours on Thursday with his Chinese counterpart.