27 Aug 2010

Carter secures release of US citizen from Nth Korea

9:05 pm on 27 August 2010

Former United States president Jimmy Carter has secured the release of an American citizen detained in North Korea.

Aijalon Mahli Gomes, 31, was sentenced to eight years' hard labour in April this year, after being found guilty of illegally entering the country from China.

Mr Carter, who spent two days in Pyongyang, has now left with Mr Gomes, the BBC reports.

Mr Carter is flying to Boston with Mr Gomes, where he will be reunited with his family later on Friday.

Mr Carter met senior North Korean officials after arriving in Pyongyang on Wednesday on what was described as "a private humanitarian trip".

North Korea's state media said officials told Mr Carter of the government's willingness to re-enter talks on its nuclear programme.