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Who is the American slated to face trial in North Korea?

Details are emerging about Aijalon Mahli Gomes, the American who will face trial in North Korea after having crossed into the country 'illegally.' From Boston, he had been teaching English in South Korea.

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Facts are slowly emerging on the mysterious case of the latest US citizen to make what North Korea calls an “illegal crossing” into the country.

His name is Aijalon Mahli Gomes, he’s 30 years old, he’s from Boston, and at least until a year or so ago, he was in South Korea teaching English, the modus vivendi for thousands of young and not-so-young foreigners sojourning there.

Now the question is whether Mr. Gomes, like Robert Park, the Christian missionary who entered North Korea on Christmas Eve, was on an evangelical mission – or as a sympathizer with the regime of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-il.

Colleagues at the school where he taught in Pocheon, a small city northeast of Seoul, have described him as “evangelical,” so much so that he went into Seoul regularly for services at a church there.

Teachers at the school where he taught have described him variously as “calm,” “quiet,” “polite,” even “mellow,” and no one recalled the fervent religious zeal that motivated Mr. Park to go to the North with a plea for Mr. Kim to shut down the gulag in which thousands of political prisoners are held and free them all.


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