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Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

Old 08-25-10, 08:42 AM
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Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/26/wo...ea.html?src=mv


SEOUL, South Korea — Former President Jimmy Carter arrived in Pyongyang on Wednesday on a mission to win the release of an American held prisoner in North Korea, the North’s state-run media reported. Analysts in Seoul said Mr. Carter, on his second trip to Pyongyang, would also try to help break an impasse in relations between the United States and North Korea.

Mr. Carter was greeted at Pyongyang airport by Kim Kye-gwan, a senior North Korean diplomat, according to the North’s official news agency, KCNA. Mr. Kim is North Korea’s main envoy to the six-nation talks on ending its nuclear weapons program. The talks have been stalled for more than two years.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported earlier that Mr. Carter, 85, was travelling with his wife on a private jet.

Officially, Washington described his trip as a private humanitarian mission to secure the release of Aijalon Mahli Gomes, an American from Boston who was sentenced in April to eight years of hard labor and fined $700,000 for illegally entering the North. But Mr. Carter’s trip loomed large because of his track record of helping defuse the first Korean nuclear crisis more than 16 years ago.

In 1994, Mr. Carter visited Pyongyang and met with President Kim Il-sung, the late father of the current leader, Kim Jong-il. His trip helped restart nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang, which led to a disarmament deal later that year. He also brokered a summit between the two Koreas, but it did not happen because Kim Il-sung died of heart failure later that year.

Mr. Carter is the second former American president to visit Pyongyang in a year. Analysts said the regime would use his visit to elevate the status of Kim Jong-il in domestic propaganda and to reach out to Washington for bilateral talks. Last August, Bill Clinton met North Korean leader Kim Jong-il there and returned with two United States journalists who had been held for five months for illegally entering the country.

Mr. Carter’s trip came after a further chill in the frosty ties between Washington and Pyongyang. In recent months, tensions on the divided Korean Peninsula have grown as the United States and South Korea accused North Korea of torpedoing a South Korean warship in March. The sinking of the Cheonan claimed the lives of 46 South Korean sailors.

The two allies pushed for financial penalties against the North and conducted joint military drills in a show of solidarity. The North denied involvement in the sinking and vowed to retaliate against what it called “warmongering” by Washington and Seoul.

When Mr. Gomes entered North Korea in January, it gave Pyongyang a negotiating chip. Last month, North Korea said the American tried suicide out of “frustration with the U.S. government’s failure to free him.”

Mr. Gomes, 30, is believed to have entered North Korea to show support for Robert Park, a fellow Christian from the United States who crossed into North Korea from China last December to call attention to the dismal conditions at the North’s prison camps. Mr. Park was expelled from North Korea after about 40 days.

Kim Sung-han, a North Korea expert at Korea University in Seoul, noted that Kim Jong-il sent his top nuclear negotiator to receive Mr. Carter.

“I don’t think Mr. Carter’s trip will lead to an immediate resumption of six-party talks,” Mr. Kim said. “But President Carter will probe the North Koreans’ thoughts, and the North Koreans will probe Mr. Carter’s ideas on how to restart diplomacy with Washington.”

Mr. Carter has been a contentious figure among South Korean conservatives. While in office, he irked them by drastically reducing the number of U.S. troops based in South Korea. Like his 1994 visit, his latest trip to Pyongyang raised concern in Seoul.

“Carter is idealistic, not realistic when it comes to North Korea,” said Hong Kwan-hee, head of the Institute for Security Strategy in Seoul. “North Korea always has tried to use prominent Americans, preferably Democrats, as a medium to engage the United States and drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington.”

“At home, they tell their people that the former U.S. president came to pay respect to their general,” Mr. Hong said.

North Korea has recently expressed willingness to return to six-party talks in a move Seoul believed was aimed at deflecting international pressure resulting from the sinking of the Cheonan. China, the North’s main ally, also began moving to reconvene the talks.

Both Washington and Seoul insist that they would not resume six-nation talks until they are convinced that North Korea was ready to give up its nuclear weapons. They accused North Korea of having used the talks to fend off international sanctions and win aid.

Mr. Carter’s 1994 trip came at the height of crisis triggered by North Korea’s nuclear program. It paved the way for a deal later that year in which North Korea pledged to give up its nuclear program in return for aid. But it eventually fell apart around 2002 as Washington accused the North of running a secret uranium enrichment program, touching off a new nuclear standoff.
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It's been discussed before, but what do you think about Carter's tendency to carry out individual foreign policy?

I suppose if it's successful he might merit some kudos. What if it is not?
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Old 08-25-10, 08:51 AM
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Re: Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

Is it too much to hope for him to stay in North Korea?
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Old 08-25-10, 09:04 AM
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Re: Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

Originally Posted by classicman2 View Post
It's been discussed before, but what do you think about Carter's tendency to carry out individual foreign policy?
I suppose I feel the same way about it as I do about Clinton's same behavior - I'm not entirely comfortable with it, but I can't imagine either one do it against the administration's wishes.
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Old 08-25-10, 09:08 AM
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Re: Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

I think Carter went to Haiti without the Clinton administration's approval.
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Old 08-25-10, 09:09 AM
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Re: Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

Can you envision George W. Bush going somewhere with or without the administration's approval?
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Old 08-25-10, 09:18 AM
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Re: Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
I suppose I feel the same way about it as I do about Clinton's same behavior - I'm not entirely comfortable with it, but I can't imagine either one do it against the administration's wishes.
Since I only consider one a liar, an anti-semite, and enabler of dictators, I really don't feel the same way about them both.
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Old 08-25-10, 09:21 AM
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Re: Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

Which one would that be, Pharoh?
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Old 08-25-10, 12:19 PM
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Re: Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

Originally Posted by classicman2 View Post
Mr. Gomes, 30, is believed to have entered North Korea to show support for Robert Park, a fellow Christian from the United States who crossed into North Korea from China last December to call attention to the dismal conditions at the Northís prison camps. Mr. Park was expelled from North Korea after about 40 days.
I suppose many people on this forum will be highly supportive of North Korea for its stance on illegal immigration.
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Old 08-25-10, 01:12 PM
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Re: Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

Originally Posted by classicman2 View Post
Which one would that be, Pharoh?
The more senile one.

If that wasn't already obvious.
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Old 08-25-10, 01:48 PM
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Re: Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter
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Old 08-25-10, 02:48 PM
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Re: Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

Originally Posted by SkullOrchard View Post
Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter
Just so we're clear, you advocate the assassination of a former U.S. president?
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Old 08-25-10, 03:08 PM
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Re: Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

Carter is not all bad by any means.

I do believe he did prevent some blood shed in Haiti.

However, I think his 'interference' does get a little old at times.
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Old 08-25-10, 03:23 PM
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Re: Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

Carter helped make homebrewing legal (by signing into law H.R. 1337, a bill that removed taxation on beer brewed for personal use.) This for me negates any other bad thing he might have done during or since his presidency.
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Old 08-25-10, 03:42 PM
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Re: Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
Carter helped make homebrewing legal (by signing into law H.R. 1337, a bill that removed taxation on beer brewed for personal use.) This for me negates any other bad thing he might have done during or since his presidency.
Not a big fan of Carter, but as a homebrewer I guess I have to concur with that.
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Old 08-25-10, 03:56 PM
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Re: Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
Just so we're clear, you advocate the assassination of a former U.S. president?
No, but I wouldn't mind seeing a monkey pee on him.

Besides, smilies make terrible assassins.
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Old 08-25-10, 04:07 PM
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Re: Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
Carter helped make homebrewing legal (by signing into law H.R. 1337, a bill that removed taxation on beer brewed for personal use.) This for me negates any other bad thing he might have done during or since his presidency.
<html><table border=0 cellpadding=4><tr><td><img src=http://i36.tinypic.com/5bz1ch.jpg></td><td>We elected the wrong Carter!</td></tr></table></html>
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Old 08-25-10, 04:19 PM
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Re: Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
Carter helped make homebrewing legal (by signing into law H.R. 1337, a bill that removed taxation on beer brewed for personal use.) This for me negates any other bad thing he might have done during or since his presidency.
You're easy.

Elect me and I'll make sure there's never a tax on graphs!
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Old 08-25-10, 04:37 PM
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Re: Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

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You're easy.

Elect me and I'll make sure there's never a tax on graphs!
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Old 08-26-10, 11:20 AM
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Re: Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

Kim Jong Il was so excited by Jimmy Carter coming to visit, he decided to go to China

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20100826/D9HR4MVG0.html
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Old 08-26-10, 03:38 PM
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Re: Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

No backsies.
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Old 08-27-10, 08:17 AM
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Re: Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

they need to leave one of these people in NK to teach others a lesson about not trying to sneak in there
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Old 08-27-10, 11:08 AM
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Re: Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
they need to leave one of these people in NK to teach others a lesson about not trying to sneak in there
Absolutely!

Our first mistake was bailing out those two dopey women and even using a former president to do it.
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Old 08-27-10, 11:26 AM
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Re: Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

most people in NK want to get out of there, yet a few stupid americans are trying to sneak in
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Old 08-27-10, 12:53 PM
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Re: Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

When I was a teenager in Alaska I remember one guy who swam to the USSR in an attempt to "defect". They sent him back.
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Old 08-27-10, 01:05 PM
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Re: Jimmy Carter Arrives in North Korea

Originally Posted by DeputyDave View Post
When I was a teenager in Alaska I remember one guy who swam to the USSR in an attempt to "defect". They sent him back.
Because they knew we wouldn't send an ex-president to bring him back.
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