Should we let Jimmy Carter negotiate with North Korea?

Screen shot from NBC News' YouTube video: Former President Jimmy Carter Warns Against Provoking North Korea | NBC News

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With tensions riding high between the United States and North Korea, a person has stepped forward to try to mediate the situation. That person is the 39th president of the United States, Jimmy Carter. A man named Park Han-shi, a professor at the University of Georgia, told a South Korean newspaper that Carter would like to help prevent a second Korean War and has offered to go to North Korea and negotiate a peace treaty with them. Carter is no stranger to North Korea as he brokered a controversial deal with them in 1994 when it looked like a second Korean War was about to break out. The deal he reached is what led us to this point because he forced President Clinton to accept the deal by appearing on CNN to announce it without telling President Clinton that a deal had been reached. This prevented either sanctions or military action by the United States, and North Korea continued on their march towards a nuclear weapon. With tensions so high between the U.S. and North Korea, and his controversial history with North Korea, should we let President Carter attempt to negotiate with North Korea?

Those in favor of Carter negotiating see him as an elder statesman and a man of peace. They see him as someone who can bring sanity to an increasingly insane situation. His past dealings with North Korea aren’t a hindrance, but an asset, as his deal with Kim Jong-un’s grandfather, Kim Il-sung, make him the ideal person to deal with a seemingly unstable person in the North Korean dictator. That someone has to take the lead in working towards peace and, who better than a man known for his dedication to peace and reputation for brokering tough deals, like Jimmy Carter.

People against sending President Carter quickly point out that his deal with North Korea is what got us into this mess in the first place, and that he greatly exceeded his authority in 1994 when he negotiated the deal. He made guarantees that he had no authority to make and, to make matters worse, he went on television and announced it without informing the White House. By announcing it on television, he took military options and sanctions off the table. They point out that Carter admits to trying to force Bill Clinton’s hand then, so how could he possibly be trusted now? His actions very well may have kept the Kim family in power all these years and now we are on the brink of nuclear war, so how can we possibly trust him to fix this situation now?

President Jimmy Carter wants to help prevent a second Korean War. He has a track record of being able to reach deals when no one thought it was possible. All you have to do is look at the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt for proof of his abilities. But his track record with North Korea and exceeding his authority make him a controversial choice.

Here’s an NBC News clip covering Jimmy Carter talking about North Korea:

Here’s an AP Archive video of Jimmy Carter talking about successful deal with North Korea in 1994:

The issue

In this time of crisis, should we allow President Carter to negotiate a deal with North Korea? Is he a man of peace that can prevent possible nuclear war, or is he a loose cannon who will overstep his authority and possibly make things worse?

In support of letting President Carter negotiate with North Korea

Those who want to give Carter a chance point to his record on reaching deals that are seen to be impossible. He is a man of peace whose past dealings with North Korea offer us hope.

In opposition to President Carter negotiating with North Korea

Those against Carter see him as one of the people most responsible for getting us into this mess in the first place. He is a loose cannon who will try to exceed his authority the first chance he gets and will make things worse.

So, should we let Jimmy Carter negotiate with North Korea?

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