Jimmy Carter secures release of American held in N. Korea

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
August 27, 2010 05:58

 
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SEOUL, South Korea — Former US President Jimmy Carter flew out of North Korea on a private jet Friday after securing a special pardon for an American who had been jailed in the communist country since January.

Carter and Aijalon Gomes, 31, were expected to arrive in Boston later Friday, Carter Center spokeswoman Deanna Congileo said in Atlanta late Thursday.

Gomes had been arrested in January, accused of crossing into North Korea illegally from China. He was the fourth American in a year detained for sneaking into North Korea, a country that fought against the US during the Korean War and still does not have diplomatic relations with Washington.

In April, North Korean authorities sentenced Gomes to eight years of hard labor and fined him the equivalent of $700,000 for trespassing and committing a "hostile act." Gomes "admitted all the facts," state-run media said.

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