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In a presidential pardon of sorts, former Commander in Chief Jimmy Carter secured the release of American English teacher Aijalon Gomes seven months after he was arrested in North Korea for trespassing.

Gomes had been teaching English in South Korea and it is still unclear why he crossed over into N. Korean territory.

However, in January, he was detained by North Korean authorities and in April; he was sentenced to eight years of hard labor and fined more than $600,000 for sneaking into the country illegally.

Earlier this week, former president Carter who frequently carries out “humanitarian operations” flew to the North Korean capital of Pyongyang on a private mission to obtain a pardon for the 31-year-old American.

According to Korean Central News Agency, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il granted Carter’s request to “leniently forgive” Gomes.

Aijalon was later released and Carter and he boarded a plane to Boston on Friday.

Aijalon Gomes was the fourth American in a year arrested for trespassing in North Korea.