Former U.S. President Carter Plans Trip to North Korea

Former 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, served in 1977 to 1981.

The former 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, is planning a trip to North Korea, according to the U.S. State Department, and North Korean state media.

Few details have been publically released about the trip, including its purpose, objectives, and duration.

It is believed Carter’s trip is aimed at easing tensions between North and South Korea, where tensions in November 2010 escalated to the shelling of a South Korean island that resulted in the deaths of citizens. Before that incident, North Korea allegedly sank a South Korean ship, killing upwards of forty service men. In both attacks, the South refrained from retaliation, fearing an all-out war in the volatile region.

 The U.S. State Department explicitly said no official delegation would travel to the North Korean state with President Carter, and that the trip is being made on a strictly private and personal basis.

A South Korean-based news agency reported other high profile officials, including former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, among others would join Carter on the humanitarian trip.

Carter last visited North Korea in the summer of 2010 on a humanitarian mission in a bid to negotiate the release of Aijalon Mahli Gomes, an American teacher; an effort that was ultimately successful after his release was secured subsequent to receiving amnesty. That trip was also made on a private basis and was not officially endorsed by the U.S. government.

The United States warns its citizens not to enter North Korea without receiving an official visa from the communist North Korean government. Entering North Korea unlawfully normally results in lengthy prison sentences with the added penalty of hard labor.

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Tahir holds a Bachelor Commerce Finance degree from Ryerson University in Toronto. He is planning to purse an MBA in Finance. Write to [email protected]
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