Former President Jimmy Carter says he is open to working with President Trump to solve the growing tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.
In an interview with The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd, Carter said he would go to the country to work on negotiations.
“I would go, yes,” Carter said. He pointed to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s unpredictability as a major reason why diplomacy was so necessary.
“I’m afraid, too, of a situation,” he continues. “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.”
Despite efforts from the Obama administration and the Trump administration to pressure North Korea, the country has held several major weapons tests in recent months. Carter said that North Korea’s evolving technology makes the problem more pressing than ever.
“I think he’s now got advanced nuclear weaponry that can destroy the Korean Peninsula and Japan, and some of our outlying territories in the Pacific, maybe even our mainland,” Carter said.
Carter also said he’s let Trump’s national security adviser H.R. McMaster know that he is “available” if they need a diplomatic envoy to North Korea.
“I told him that I was available if they ever need me,” Carter told the paper.
Carter’s comments come weeks after it was reported by a South Korean newspaper that he had volunteered to meet with Kim Jong-un.
“Should former President Carter be able to visit North Korea, he would like to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and discuss a peace treaty between the United States and the North and a complete denuclearization of North Korea,” a University of Georgia professor who spoke with Carter told the paper.