News / Asia

    Carter in North Korea, Expected to Bring Home Jailed American

    North Korea says former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has arrived in Pyongyang. He is there to try to gain the release of an American imprisoned for illegally entering the reclusive country.

    Mr. Carter whose plane landed in Pyongyang Wednesday afternoon, was greeted by the country's top nuclear envoy, Kim Kye Gwan.  He hopes to return home with Aijalon Mahli Gomes, a former English teacher in South Korea who was arrested after crossing into North Korea in January.

    Acquaintances say Gomes may have been inspired by an American missionary who made a similar trip. Both were involved with a Christian evangelical group, Pax Koreana, which focuses on human rights in North Korea.

    The group's head, Jo Sung-rae, has mixed feeling about Mr. Carter's visit.

    Jo says North Korea got what it wanted by using Gomes. He says Pyongyang wanted a visit by the higher profile Mr. Carter rather than Bill Richardson, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who is governor of the U.S. state of New Mexico.

    U.S. officials have hesitated to comment directly about the visit, saying they do not want to jeopardize a humanitarian mission. They have stressed, however, that the 85-year-old former president travels to North Korea as a private citizen.

    North Korea sentenced Gomes to eight years of hard labor and fined him the equivalent of $700,000. A State Department team went to Pyongyang earlier this month in an unsuccessful attempt to secure his release.

    Former President Bill Clinton traveled to Pyongyang last year to bring home two American journalists who also were jailed for illegally entering the country.

    And earlier this year, North Korea released Robert Park, the American missionary who entered the country on December 25, 2009, after holding him for more than six weeks.

    During a visit to Pyongyang in 1994, former President Carter defused rapidly escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula because of North Korea's nuclear weapons development. His trip led to Pyongyang's promise to halt the weapons program in return for energy aid and other benefits from the United States, South Korea and Japan.

    The agreement later collapsed, in part because of U.S. reports in 2002 that North Korea was still pursuing nuclear weapons, and Pyongyang's complaints that promised nuclear power plants had not been built.

    Tensions on the Korean peninsula are again high. An international investigation blames a North Korean torpedo for the sinking of a South Korean navy ship in March. Forty-six South Korean sailors died in the incident. Pyongyang denies any involvement. (

    You May Like

    Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Video Canine Reading Buddies Help Students With Literacy

    Idea behind reading program is that sharing book with nonjudgmental companion boosts students' confidence and helps instill love of reading

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora