Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Jimmy Wants to Wage Peace

Carter greets N. Korean foreign minister
In a move that will no doubt irritate the volatile Donald, former President Jimmy Carter offered to travel to Pyongyang, North Korea to talk peace with Kim Jong-un.  The offer was reported by a Georgia University professor of international affairs to a South Korean newspaper.  The ninety-three year old made the offer during a meeting at his home in September where he told the academic he was willing to "contribute to establishing a permanent peace regime" on the Korean peninsula.  The White House has asked the former President not to speak about the Korean crisis. Trump has alarmed the world by his hot-headed rhetorical exchanges with the North Korean dictator and refuses to consider any rapprochement, employing instead threats of nuclear annihilation to halt North Korean nuclear weapons development.

Carter penned an editorial in the Washington Post last week in which he said the
North Korean leaders he met wanted direct talks with the United States in order to reach a final settlement of the yet unsettled Korea War that ended in stalemate.  He also said that the regime is largely immune from outside influences including China's, and called for an international conference to discuss a comprehensive treaty ending the Korean conflict.  President Carter was successful in negotiating a freeze of North Korea's nuclear weapon development in 1994, and the release of Aijalon Gomes in 2010.  Trump, the candidate, said in 2016 he was open to talks with Kim Jong-un, but that was before the isolated regime successfully tested long-range missiles, detonated a hydrogen bomb, and Trump called Kim a "deranged rocket-man".  Carter would need US government permission to travel to North Korea, even on an unofficial basis.  An unofficial visit by a real statesman would be more useful than Trump's fake government by tweet; even Rex Tillerson knows that a nuclear war would be bad for business.