Jimmy Carter to the Rescue in North Korea for Release of US English Teacher
August 24, 2010
(ChattahBox)—A year after former President Bill Clinton arrived in North Korea to save the day and secure the release of two imprisoned American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, another ex-president is making the trip. According to a report by Foreign Policy Magazine, Jimmy Carter will soon travel to the isolated country to negotiate the release of another American, Aijalon Mahli Gomes, 30, a Boston, Mass. native who was working as an English teacher in South Korea, before he crossed the border on January 25th and was taken into custody. Gomes was subsequently sentenced to eight years of hard labor.
According to Foreign Policy’s report, Carter would make the trip as a private citizen:
“Carter has decided to make the trip and is slated to leave for the Hermit Kingdom within days, possibly bringing his wife and daughter along for the journey. His goal is to bring back Aijalon Mahli Gomes, a 30-year-old man from Boston who was sentenced to 8 years in prison in April, about three months after he was arrested crossing into North Korea via China. In July, North Korea’s official media organ reported that Gomes had tried to commit suicide. Earlier this month, the State Department secretly sent a four-man team to Pyongyang to visit Gomes, but was unable to secure his release.” [..]
Sen. Kerry has been working quietly for the release of Gomes, but it was decided to deploy a non-government official, much the same way Bill Clinton was used to obtain a pardon for the two journalists from Kim Jong-il.
“Sen. John Kerry, D-MA, had offered to go to pick up Gomes and has been working on the case for months, but our sources report Carter was selected because he is not a serving U.S. official. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson had also been considered, but it’s not clear why he was not chosen.”
Apparently, the diminutive Dear Leader Kim Jong-il, won’t be satisfied until he has successfully summoned all ex-U.S. presidents to his repressive country.