Former President Jimmy Carter says that he let National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster know that he is willing to go to North Korea to negotiate an end to the crisis with the regime of Kim Jong-un.
No word on when McMaster was able to pick his jaw up off the floor.
Carter mentioned his eagerness to help in an interview with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.
“I would go, yes,” Carter said, citing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s unpredictability as a reason.
“I’m afraid, too, of a situation,” he added. “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.”
Can you imagine sending anyone to negotiate with North Korea who agrees with their number-one reason for building a nuclear weapon? Whom or what do they want to “save” their regime from that they would need a nuclear weapon? They have nothing to fear from the U.S. as long as they stay on their side of the DMZ and don’t threaten anyone.
Carter is no stranger to North Korea. In 1994, he angered then-president Bill Clinton by going to North Korea to negotiate a nuclear deal. According to many former Clinton administration officials, Carter “exceeded his instructions” and tied the U.S. to a horrible deal.
“Carter entered North Korea on June 15, and met personally with Kim Il Sung the next morning. Going far beyond his instructions, he described the American effort to impose sanctions as a serious mistake, and reached out to Kim with specific proposals designed to end the standoff,” Mitchell Lerner explained at History News Network. “Quickly, the two men reached a tentative agreement: the US would support the DPRK’s efforts to obtain light-water reactors to help with the nation’s energy needs, and would restart negotiations designed to improve overall relations; in return, the DPRK would allow IAEA inspectors to remain in Yongbyon to monitor the reprocessing of the fuel rods.”
“The last detail was particularly troubling,” said Lerner, “since both administration policy and international agreements (along with the fierce desire of the government in South Korea), forbade the North from reprocessing fuel rods, even with IAEA inspectors present.”
“Still,” Lerner continued, “Carter assured Kim that he would try to make it happen. Admitting that he could not make a promise on behalf of the administration, Carter pledged to recommend the agreement to them, and indicated that he would soon go on CNN to urge the American government to accept the deal and to withdraw the sanctions resolution. A public statement from a former president suggesting that a peaceful resolution was close at hand, he obviously knew, would make it very difficult for Clinton to reject the proposal, especially at such a tense moment.”
Yeah. What could go wrong by sending Carter to North Korea today?