N. Korea Agrees to Release American Detainee

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North Korean media have paid keen attention to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter's visit to the communist nation August 24 to secure the release of a Boston native held in the country since last year, reports the Korea Daily.

According to the report, Pyongyang agreed to release Aijalon Mahli Gomes, 31, on the condition that Carter make the trip. It cited Carter's reputation as a champion of humanitarian causes as one of the reasons for Pyongyang's preference of Carter over other high-level diplomats. During his visit Carter met with Kim Young-nam, who is widely believed to be the number two man behind North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

Gomes had been teaching English in South Korea prior to his detention in the North. He was sentenced in April to eight years for illegal entry.

This was Carter's second trip to the impoverished nation. He was accompanied by his wife, Rosalyn, and John Hardman, head of the Carter Center. A trip to  North Korea  by former President Bill Clinton last August is widely credited with helping to win the release of two American reporters who had also been sentenced to eight years for illegal entry.