I have previously apologized for my vote for Jimmy Carter in 1976, but it has become clear that I need to do so again!
By Jimmy Carter | October 4, 2017 | 7:45 PM EDT
As the world knows, we face the strong possibility of another Korean war, with potentially devastating consequences to the Korean Peninsula, Japan, our outlying territories in the Pacific and perhaps the mainland of the United States. This is the most serious existing threat to world peace, and it is imperative that Pyongyang and Washington find some way to ease the escalating tension and reach a lasting, peaceful agreement.
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.
What the officials have always demanded is direct talks with the United States, leading to a permanent peace treaty to replace the still-prevailing 1953 cease-fire that has failed to end the Korean conflict. They want an end to sanctions, a guarantee that there will be no military attack on a peaceful North Korea, and eventual normal relations between their country and the international community.
The rest of the former President’s OpEd piece is just more of the same pablum. He apparently believed the same bovine feces he’s spreading now back in 1994, when President Clinton made the mistake of sending Mr Carter to Pyongyang to negotiate on eliminating the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nascent nuclear weapons program; Mr Carter — who must’ve thought that he should still be the President — then undermined Mr Clinton’s policies by making statements contrary to official policy, giving up potential sanctions with no quid pro quo, and negotiated an agreement which the Clinton Administration reluctantly accepted. It provided food and other aid to the DPRK, including technical assistance on their supposedly peaceful nuclear power program!
And now, 23 years later, Mr Carter is, once again, telling us that the DPRK, now led by a leader he has not met, only wants peace and sweetness and light. Naifs like Mr Carter simply cannot understand that some people just don’t think the way he does.
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.
Uhhh, they get all of their information from only official sources, and not being loyal to Kim Jung-un is a quick ticket to a forced labor camp . . . or the graveyard. The insipid former President concluded with more pablum:
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.
To accomplish what? To give the DPRK more aid, not less, to loosen, or eliminate sanctions rather than maintaining or tightening them, and to legitimize their nuclear weapons program? Mr Carter already conceded that the North Koreans would not give up their strategic nuclear weapons program, so there is really nothing for the more civilized nations to gain from such talks. The only thing giving them more aid can accomplish is to free up more resources for them to put into their military.
We cannot know that President Clinton would have gotten a better deal had he sent a more responsible negotiator to Pyongyang, though it seems improbable that he would have gotten a worse one.
Again, I most humbly apologize for my vote on November 2, 1976, and ask your forgiveness!
Cross-posted on The First Street Journal.