Former President Jimmy Carter said President Donald Trump deserves to be considered for the Nobel Peace Prize if he’s successful in his peace efforts with North Korea.
In an interview with Politico, Carter criticized the president on a variety of issues, including his decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but admitted his efforts in North Korea could result in a “momentous accomplishment.”
“If President Trump is successful in getting a peace treaty that’s acceptable to both sides with North Korea, I think he certainly ought to be considered for the Nobel Peace Prize,” Carter said. “I think it would be a worthy and a momentous accomplishment that no previous president has been able to realize.”
A Nobel Peace Prize winner himself, Carter has offered his advice on how to deal with North Korea in the past.
“I understand what they want and need,” Carter told CBS News’ “Sunday Morning” in March. “And just this week, I had a representative from the White House who came down and gave me the latest developments with North Korea.”
Despite Carter’s comment on Trump possibly receiving the peace prize, he gave his opinion on what’s wrong with the president’s current strategy in North Korea.
“If they’re under constant belief that the United States wants to attack them, even using nuclear weapons — which many Democrats and Republican leaders in our country have mentioned as a possibility — and that we are destroying their economy, and they know that they’re starving to death primarily because the United States withholds food aid, for instance, just giving them surplus food that we can’t ever use, then I can understand how they feel,” he said.
He added, “I think that the next mediator, next negotiator — maybe President Trump, I hope — will reassure them that we’re willing to give up some of those things — the threat of attack on them and to lift the embargo.”
“That would be a cheap price, in my opinion, to pay for a cessation of their nuclear program.”
Carter has also criticized Trump’s pick of John Bolton as national security advisor, calling the appointment “a disaster for our country.”
“Maybe one of the worst mistakes that President Trump has made since he’s been in office is his employment of John Bolton, who has been advocating a war with North Korea for a long time and even an attack on Iran, and who has been one of the leading figures on orchestrating the decision to invade Iraq,” Carter said earlier this year.
Trump is set to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12 in Singapore. However, the meeting has been on shaky ground since Kim abruptly canceled a meeting with South Korea and threatened to cancel the summit with Trump as well.
On Monday, Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News that Trump will not be like former presidential administration’s in regards to his handling of the North Korean regime.
“Truthfully, the Clinton administration, even the Bush administration got played in the past,” Pence said. “It would be a great mistake for Kim Jong Un to think he could play Donald Trump.”
Pence also said that while Trump is completely willing to walk away from the summit, “we hope for better.”
“We hope for a peaceable solution and the president remains open to a summit taking place, and we’ll continue to pursue that path even while we stand strong on the objective of denuclearization and the extreme pressure campaign that’s underway today.”
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