Former US President Jimmy Carter is visiting North Korea in an effort to negotiate the release of a US man jailed there, Aijalon Mahli Gomes. Mr Gomes, 31, was sentenced to eight years' hard labour in April, after being found guilty of illegally entering the country from China.
Mr Gomes, who was a English teacher in South Korea, reportedly crossed into North Korea in January. He is a devout Christian, he is thought to have gone there on a one-man peace mission. Mr. Carter held "cordial talks" with the country's deputy leader, and was met at the airport by North Korea's nuclear negotiator, Kim Kye-gwan.
Mr Carter's visit comes at a time of heightened tension between North Korea and the outside world, in the wake of the sinking of a South Korean warship.
Ex-President Carter visits North Korea in release bid [BBC, 25 August 2010]