American imprisoned in N. Korea returns to Boston

By By the Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) - An American held for seven months in North Korea after crossing into the communist country has reunited with his family in Boston.

A plane carrying Aijalon Gomes and former President Jimmy Carter landed Friday at Logan International Airport. Carter negotiated his release.

Gomes appeared thin while walking off the plane. He hugged Carter and his mother before family and friends circled around him joyfully.

It's unclear why the 31-year-old Gomes, who had been teaching English in South Korea, illegally entered the North in January. Gomes was sentenced to eight years' hard labor, and in July the state-run news agency reported he'd attempted suicide.

The news agency reported Friday that leader Kim Jong Il had granted Carter's request to "leniently forgive" Gomes.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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