Friday, May 27, 2011

American Eddie Yong Su Jun freed by North Korea

An American detained by North Korea since November has been released, state-run news agency reported Friday, following a four-day visit by a U.S. delegation assessing the country's food shortages.

Eddie Yong Su Jun, a Korean-American businessman, was detained for "committing a crime" against North Korea after entering the country, state-run KCNA reported. Jun admitted his crime during an investigation, the news agency said, but it did not specify what crime he allegedly committed.

Jun's release follows a visit by special envoy for North Korean human rights, Robert King, and the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, Jon Brause, to assess food shortages that have left thousands starving after floods and harsh weather devastated North Korea's crops.

The news agency also said former President Jimmy Carter asked North Korea to pardon Jun.

In 2010, Carter helped secure the release of Aijalon Mahli Gomes, a U.S. citizen who was fined about $600,000 and sentenced to eight years of hard labor for crossing over the Chinese border into North Korea. Gomes was also a Christian activist.

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