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Statement from The Carter Center on President Carter's Mission to North Korea

Deanna Congileo
Press Secretary, Jimmy Carter 
Director of Public Information
The Carter Center
Issued from The Carter Center in Atlanta
at 11 a.m., Friday, Aug. 27, 2010, Pyongyang time
(10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26, 2010, Atlanta time)

ATLANTA….Former President Jimmy Carter announced that he is leaving Pyongyang, North Korea, this morning accompanied by Mr. Aijalon Mahli Gomes.  Mr. Gomes was imprisoned in January of this year and later sentenced to eight years of hard labor with a fine of about $600,000 for the crime of illegal entry into North Korea. 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 .

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.

This was a private mission of The Carter Center , and was neither requested nor sponsored by the U.S. Government.  Also participating were Dr. John Hardman, CEO of The Carter Center, John Moores, former Board of Trustees chairman, son Jeffrey Carter, and staff aide Nancy Konigsmark.


EDITORS NOTE FOR PLANNING PURPOSES: The delegation is expected to arrive Friday, Aug. 27, at approximately 2 p.m. at Boston Logan Airport. Media covering the event should sign in between noon and 1 p.m. at the North Security Gate of the general aviation ramp at the airport on Prescott Street. Media credentials and government-issued photo identification (driver's license or passport) are required. For further information, contact: Phil Orlandella, 617-438-8632.

"Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope."

A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organizati on, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers in developing nations to increase crop production. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory Universit y, to advance peace and health worldwide. Please visit to learn more about The Carter Center.

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