Friday, September 15, 2017

The Carter Solution to the North Korea Crisis

Updated January 2018

At the annual "Conversation with the Carters" held at the Carter Center in Atlanta, we got an interesting viewpoint on the ongoing crisis in North Korea from a former President of the United States, Jimmy Carter.  Let's look at what the 92 year-old former president had to say about how the Trump Administration should handle the issue.

When asked what he would do to manage the North Korean nuclear threat if he was president today (at the 43 minute 3 second mark), here is his response:

"I'm going to say something which you probably won't like.  The first thing that I would do would be to treat the North Koreans with respect.  I would be talking to them.  I've been over there three times myself to deal with the leaders of North Korea.  I've been out in the boondocks in North Korea, little villages where they didn't even know that we were going to see about the distribution of food because people were starving over there.  Their allocation of calories for a grown man was only 700 per day and as you know a diet is about 1400 per day for one man.  SO, we have refused to talk to them since George W. Bush was in office,  George Bush Junior, and Obama refused to have any discussions with the North Koreans even though I went over there twice when he was in office and urged him to talk to them.  I know what the North Koreans want.  The North Koreans want a peace treaty with the United States.  We've only had a ceasefire since the Korean War was over.  I was in a submarine in the Atlantic when the Korean War was going on, I remember very it vividly.  We only have a ceasefire, we don't have a treaty with them.  What they want is a firm treaty guaranteeing North Korea that the United States will not attack them or hurt them in any way unless they attack one of their neighbours, notably South Korea.  But the United States has refused to do that and I think that's what I would do, is to work with the North Koreans.  I would send my top person to Pyongyang immediately if I didn't go myself to the North Koreans about how to defuse the issue.  Until we are willing to talk to them and treat them with respect as human beings, which they are, then I don't think that we're going to make any progress." (my bold)

In case you are interested, here is a link to President Carter's entire address.  He touches on a wide range of current subjects including Ukraine and Russia, Syria and ISIS its recruitment of young warriors, Columbia and FARC, women's legal rights in developing nations, the fight to eradicate the Guinea worm among other issues.

President Carter has far more experience dealing with North Korea than anyone in the current administration.  The fact that the Kim family has seen what happened to leaders like Muammar Qaddafi and Saddam Hussein, two leaders who crossed the United States, it is no wonder that Kim Jong-un is constantly threatening the United States with his own version of hellfire.  In his case, North Korea's possession of a nuclear arms stockpile is Kim Jong-un's only insurance policy against U.S.-led regime change.  After all, what gives the United States the right to deny any sovereign nation that right to develop and possess what it will spend up to $1.5 trillion on over the next 30 years.

While President Carter's advice to treat North Korea with respect makes logical sense, it certainly doesn't play into the plans of the military-industrial-technology-intelligence complex (aka the Deep State) which thrives on a constant state of war, probably why his recent comments on the issue received almost no press coverage from the American mainstream media.  It also flies right in the face of the "my button is bigger than yours" that seems to be prevailing in Washington.


  1. Carter"s view of why North Korea has a problem with is very much like why Iran is also on the "outs" Much of the problem America has with Iran flows from the perception that we have created over the years by portraying Iran as being a larger than life boogeyman that threatens our very way of life and existence. When it comes to Iran's official stance towards America anyone saying that Iran has good reason not to trust the American government is making an understatement. America through its foreign policy has reeked havoc upon many countries, but few societies have been affected or suffered from our meddling as much as Iran. More about why Iran should not trust us in the article below'

  2. What Carter fails to say is that the average North Korean is starving because North Korea spends so much of its resources on its military.
    The NK regime does not care about its citizens. North Korea has a long term goal of re-unification with South Korea, with North Korea in charge, of course. I has been suggested that the US should sell nuclear weapons to South Korea and Japan to counter the NK threat, and pull the US troops out. America can no longer be the worlds policeman. This would also scare the pants off the Chinese, maybe to the point they would take some action to curb Rocket Man and the NK weapons program

    1. The Rocket Man has no other option but to have nuclear deterrent. Saddam and Moammar would still be alive and in charge if they had it. It seems feeding, housing, healing and educating their people was a poor policy for the "dictators".

    2. By all means pull US troops out. By then, North Korea probably does NOT feel the need to have nuclear weapons anymore, and so do South Korea and Japan.

      As do how the Korea will be unified, shouldn't it be the problem with Koreans themselves to settle. Why should Americans interfere so much about other country's political affair?

  3. Signing a peace treaty would be very un-exceptional. It would also entail removal of US troops from Korea, and their position in Japan would be untenable. Do we really think that exceptionalists want this?