In an interview on a path forward for North Korea, former President Jimmy Carter recommended a “step-by-step process” for negotiations that could eventually lead to a complete prohibition on nuclear weapons in the country and a guarantee from the United States that it would not attack North Korea as long as it remains at peace with its neighbors.
Carter said such an agreement would be “a good bargain for the United States and North Korea – and the world.”
In June 1994, Carter became the first former U.S. president to visit North Korea. He met with then-North Korean leader Kim Il Sung, grandfather of current leader Kim Jong Un, as part of an unofficial, four-day visit. Reflecting on that trip, Carter noted that what North Korean leaders are seeking from the United States – a binding peace agreement – hasn’t changed in decades.
Although the risks remain high, Carter said he is pleased that President Trump has engaged with Kim Jong Un and is talking about a possible third meeting between the leaders.
The April 12, 2019 interview at the Carter Center in Atlanta was conducted by Carter Center CEO Mary Ann Peters and produced for the Nuclear Threat Initiative Board of Directors meeting on April 30-May 1, 2019.