News Release

* Gold Star Moms * Can Jimmy Carter Defuse North Korea Tensions?

CINDY SHEEHAN, cindysheehanssooapbox at gmail.com
Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq, made headlines and rejuvenated the peace movement in 2005 when she camped out outside then-President George W. Bush’s ranch in Texas. She said in an interview just published by The Daily Beast: “Trump has proven himself to be a loose cannon who doesn’t seem to have very many social graces. But Bush was no better. I wish the conversation was about the barbarism of war and, in this instance, why are there special ops forces in Niger? Where is the movement to oppose U.S. wars, instead of liberal handwringing over botched messages of condolence? …

“I feel like we Gold Star Mothers, or families, are honored as long as we expound the company line: as long as we take our Gold Star pins and just grieve in silence. My grief was exploited by Democrats and Republican alike to score political points and win elections. And the wars I swore to stop are still going, and have expanded dramatically.”

In a recent interview with The New York Times, Jimmy Carter advocated increased dialogue with Russia as well as North Korea. He said: “At the Carter Center, we deal with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and the Russians quite frequently concerning Syria. … I don’t think there’s any evidence that what the Russians did changed enough votes, or any votes.”

Times columnist Maureen Dowd asked regarding North Korea: “So is it time for another Carter diplomatic mission, and would he do it for Trump, his polar opposite in so many ways?” “I would go, yes,” said Carter.

Earlier this year, Carter released a statement: “In June 1994, I met with Kim Il Sung in a time of crisis, when he agreed to put all their nuclear programs under strict supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency and to seek mutual agreement with the United States on a permanent peace treaty, to have summit talks with the president of South Korea, to expedite the recovery of the remains of American service personnel buried in his country, and to take other steps to ease tension on the peninsula. Kim Il Sung died shortly after my visit, and his successor, Kim Jong Il, notified me and leaders in Washington that he would honor the promises made by his father. These obligations were later confirmed officially in negotiations in Geneva by Robert Gallucci and other representatives of the Clinton administration.”

While many media outlets claim this agreement was violated by North Korea, Korea specialist Tim Shorrock notes in “Diplomacy With North Korea Has Worked Before, and Can Work Again” that the agreement held until 2003 when George W. Bush “tore up the framework agreement, exacerbating the deterioration in relations he had sparked a year earlier when he named North Korea part of his ‘axis of evil’ in January 2002.”

JONATHAN GRANOFF, granoff at gsinstitute.org, @gsinstitute
    Granoff is president of the Global Security Institute. He said today: “Does North Korea, after the killing of the leaders of Libya and Iraq after their having given up weapons of mass destruction, have any reason to be afraid? Is it likely that it will give up nuclear weapons while being afraid? Are its fears arising entirely from illusions or from the failure to end the Korean war, aggressive rhetoric and threats, flights of bombers and troop exercises that demonstrate a clear ability on the part of the United States to obliterate it, without nuclear weapons?”