August 27, 2010
Carter and Aijalon Mahli Gomes on Friday boarded the same civilian jet on which the former American president arrived in Pyongyang two days ago, Xinhua reported.
Schoolteacher Gomes had been sentenced to eight years hard labor for illegally entering North Korea from China in January.
The US State Department welcomed the release of Gomes and expressed appreciation for Carter’s trip, stressing that the US government had neither proposed nor arranged it.
“We appreciate former President Carter’s humanitarian effort and welcome the DPRK’s decision to grant Mr. Gomes special amnesty and allow him to return to the United States,” the US State Department said in a statement.
Crowley added that the State Department discussed North Korea’s invitation to resume six-party talks with Carter.