August 27th, 2010
09:38 AM ET

Carter wins release of American from North Korea

Former President Jimmy Carter is expected to arrive in the United States Friday with a U.S. citizen who was imprisoned in North Korea after entering the isolated communist nation illegally in January, the Carter Center said here.

North Korea sentenced the American, Aijalon Mahli Gomes, to eight years of hard labor and a fine of about $600,000 for illegally crossing its border with China and for an unspecified "hostile act."

"At the request of President Carter, and for humanitarian purposes, Mr. Gomes was granted amnesty by the chairman of the National Defense Commission, Kim Jong-Il," the Carter Center said in a statement. "It is expected that Mr. Gomes will be returned to Boston, Mass., early Friday afternoon, to be reunited with his mother and other members of his family."

The Gomes family plans to issue a statement about the release late Friday morning, said spokeswoman Thaleia Schlesinger.

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soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. doug

    they felt so bad for carter because he is so stupid they let the guy go

    August 27, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Bertina

      No, just you.

      August 27, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. TC

    Nice, you must be a republican! He may have not been that effective of a president but have you done as much good in your life as he has?

    August 27, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. Brian Dolan

    I'll bet part of the arrangement was that the fine was paid. Getting the hard currency might have been North Korea's objective all along.

    August 27, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  4. Rational1

    Never forget that Carter was the only president in the last 60 years to fight dependence on imported oil. The country was not ready for him, and if we had followed his recommendations on weaning ourselves off mid-east oil and building a solar infrastructure, we might have avoided the deaths of thousands of our people, and hundreds of thousands of others.

    August 27, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. Trin Noel

    Thank you Rational1 I guess they would have rather keep hearing about T. Woods affairs. This is the first I have heard of this Gomes imprisonment. Thank you President Carter for all the good work you tried to do in office and all the wonderful things you have accomplished since. From a Grateful public.

    August 27, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. naz

    Great job Mr president.
    Carter will be remembered fondly as a great humanitarian.
    The future history will judge him better.

    August 27, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. naz

    Well said Trin

    August 27, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. fred c

    Thank's Mr Carter for a job well done, We need more of our world leaders to act and give there time to helping those in trouble, may be our people, our nation or our nabors

    August 27, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jimmy in 2012

    A statesman who realizes that its usually better to be a Diplomat than a Blowhard.

    August 27, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Marsh

    Carter should have remained in North Korea.......Both countries IQ's would have improved.

    August 27, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. SlentScope

    I think it's humanitarian right thing. so I'm glad to take him to his family

    September 13, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |