Jimmy Carter Urges Trump Administration to Pursue Peace With North Korea

Former President Jimmy Carter in April 2017. (Adam Jones / CC 2.0)

Former President Jimmy Carter has decades of experience talking to North Korean leaders and citizens, and he shares his knowledge in a recent piece published by The Washington Post. Saying that the current tension between the U.S. and North Korea is “the most serious existing threat to world peace,” Carter urges President Trump to work toward a peaceful, diplomatic solution.

He writes:

Over more than 20 years, I have spent many hours in discussions with top North Korean officials and private citizens during visits to Pyongyang and to the countryside. I found Kim Il Sung (their “Great Leader”), Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, and other leaders to be both completely rational and dedicated to the preservation of their regime. …

I have visited with people who were starving. Still today, millions suffer from famine and food insecurity and seem to be completely loyal to their top leader. They are probably the most isolated people on Earth and almost unanimously believe that their greatest threat is from a preemptory military attack by the United States.

Carter says that “severe economic sanctions” have not been effective and that there “is no remaining chance that [North Korea] will agree to a total denuclearization.”

The solution, he says, lies in diplomacy. In the days since Carter’s plea was published, news broke that he has offered to meet with North Korea’s leaders and conduct peace talks. The news came from University of Georgia professor emeritus Park Han-shik, who outlined Carter’s proposition for the English-language South Korean newspaper Korea JoongAng Daily.

Carter concludes in his opinion column: “The next step should be for the United States to offer to send a high-level delegation to Pyongyang for peace talks or to support an international conference including North and South Korea, the United States and China, at a mutually acceptable site.”

Read Carter’s entire piece here.

–Posted by Emma Niles.

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