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Jimmy Carter: I'll Talk to Kim Jong Un

Former president offers to make trip to North Korea to press for peace, professor says
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2017 1:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Jimmy Carter wants "to prevent a second Korean War," and so has offered to meet with Kim Jong Un, per a University of Georgia professor who met with the ex-US president. Park Han-shik spoke of Carter's plans to South Korea's Korea JoongAng Daily amid rising tensions between Washington and Pyongyang, the Hill reports. "Carter wants to meet with the North Korean leader and play a constructive role for peace on the Korean Peninsula as he did in 1994," says Park, who helped arrange Carter's visits to the North in 1994 and 2010. He says Carter would travel there to discuss a US-North Korea peace treaty and the "complete denuclearization of North Korea." Such a trip would require US authorization, as President Trump has banned US citizens from traveling there since last month. Carter detailed his concerns about the possibility of another Korean War in the Washington Post last week.

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Trump himself may take a trip to the region—not to the North itself, but to the Demilitarized Zone separating North Korea from South Korea, Reuters reports, citing a report in South Korea's Yonhap. The president is visiting South Korea next month, and sources tell Yonhap the White House sent an advance team to check out potential sites in the DMZ for Trump to visit. Reuters says such a visit, which would bring Trump within yards of North Korean soldiers, would "likely be regarded by the North as highly provocative." In other news, a lawmaker tells the BBC that North Korean hackers reportedly stole a large number of military documents from the South's defense ministry last year. The documents are said to contain US-South Korea wartime contingency plans, details on military facilities and power plants in the South, and even an assassination plot against Kim. South Korea has yet to confirm this. (Read more North Korea stories.)

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