SEOUL, March 8 (UPI) — Former President Jimmy Carter could be offering to travel to North Korea following the breakdown of talks in Vietnam between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.
Carter, 94, who met North Korea founder Kim Il Sung in 1994 in a historic encounter that eased nuclear tensions, could be making the trip to resolve the impasse between the two countries, according to Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Politico reported.
Khanna said Carter’s credentials as a North Korea negotiator could be invaluable after the U.S.-North Korea summit collapse.
Carter once developed a bilateral “step-by-step plan to get to the point of peace and work toward denuclearization,” with Kim Jong Un’s grandfather, Khanna said.
There was no response from the White House on the possible Carter trip, according to Politico.
Carter has been critical of Trump’s presidency, calling his term of office a “disaster.” If Carter is permitted to travel to North Korea, it could mean the Trump administration remains interested in dealing with North Korea through dialogue.
China, North Korea’s biggest trading partner, has strongly supported talks between Washington and Pyongyang.
South Korean news agency Yonhap reported Friday the Chinese foreign ministry forecasted a “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” with the resumption of bilateral dialogue.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Friday neither North Korea nor the United States should make unrealistic demands of the other and create a road map for denuclearization.
Wang said the summit was an “important step in politically resolving the issue of the Korean Peninsula.”
China’s top diplomat added the talks were sufficiently positive in terms of “progress,” and credited both sides for the “frank exchange of opinion.”
North Korea has claimed Kim’s trip to Vietnam was a “productive visit.”