Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States, has offered to help out the current sitting President Donald Trump on the issue of North Korea. Carter was president from 1977 to 1981 and during his tenure had extensive dealings with North Korea, perhaps making him the best person to step in and try to defuse tensions with the North Korean regime.
Mr. Carter, who also served as governor of Georgia, had a hit and miss record during his time as POTUS. Criticized for various actions during his time in the White House foremost was his handling of the Iran hostage crisis, or non-handling to be more precise. Under Mr. Carter’s leadership inflation also rose from about 5% to 11.5%, a result of his poor economic policies playing out. Whilst being considered an unpopular president at the time he did have some redeeming points. Mr. Carter is very well known for establishing the Carter Center; dedicated to human rights. It is through this center that Mr. Carter has carved a name for himself as a fair observer of elections all over the world, thus bringing validity to the elections in question.
It is this peaceful observer role that has now been called on. Mr. Carter visited South Korea in June of 1994 with his wife Rosalynn and became the first people to be allowed to cross the demilitarized zone into North Korea. Having met with the then dictator Kim Il Sung, he created a measure of open discussion with the isolated regime and when leaving North Korea even hugged the dictator stating that the trip ‘’was a good omen’’.
In an interview with Maureen Dowd of the NY Times this past weekend the issue of North Korean diplomatic assistance was raised again; with Mr. Carter offering to help out with talks with current dictator Kim Jong-il. When asked whether he would go to North Korea Mr. Carter replied ‘’I would go, yes’’. When informed that most of the big decision-makers in Washington are terrified of current president Mr. Trump and his childish ways, Mr. Carter said ‘’I’m afraid, too, of a situation’’, he said. “I don’t know what they’ll do. Because they want to save their regime. And we greatly overestimate China’s influence on North Korea. Particularly to Kim Jong-un. He’s never, so far as I know, been to China.” Carter continues, “And they have no relationship. Kim Jong-il did go to China and was very close to them.”
He said that the “unpredictable” Kim Jong-un makes him more nervous than his father, Kim Jong-il and that if the young leader thinks Trump will act against him, he could do something pre-emptive. Expanding further on North Korea’s capability Mr. Carter said, “I think he’s now got advanced nuclear weaponry that can destroy the Korean Peninsula and Japan, and some of our outlying territories in the Pacific, maybe even our mainland,”
What is telling about Mr. Carter’s offer to assist is that current President Trump has publically belittled Mr. Carter’s tenure as president on numerous occasions, despite this Mr. Carter is still willing to help out where he can. Hopefully, the Trump administration will make use of this offer.