By Agence France-Presse
Former US president Jimmy Carter said Donald Trump should be considered for the Nobel Peace Prize if he manages to forge peace with North Korea.
“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 in an interview with Politico published on Tuesday.
“I think it would be a worthy and a momentous accomplishment that no previous president has been able to realize,” the 93-year-old former president said.
At the same time, Carter said he believes Trump delivered a “damaging blow” to Middle East peace by moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The former president (1977-1981), who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, has issues with Trump on a number of other fronts.
“I’m not here to criticize, but I think that you know, telling the truth is one of the basic moral values that’s important (in a president),” Carter said. “And obeying the law is an oath that all of us take before we assume public office.
“I think the president ought to tell the truth. I think the president ought to be for peace. I think the president ought to treat everybody equally,” he said. “So, equality and peace and the truth, and I’d say basic justice, are some of the moral values that I think every person should have.”
As for North Korea, Carter said “we’ve done everything we could to destroy the economy of North Korea, and every North Korean knows that.
“The North Korean people ought to be treated with respect, and I think that the embargo that we’ve enforced on them has basically hurt the people who are already suffering under a brutal dictatorship, and has not hurt the leaders of North Korea very much,” he said.
Carter, who has offered to serve as an envoy to North Korea, said “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,” he said.
Trump is scheduled to hold a landmark summit with North Korean leader Kim Jung Un in Singapore on June 12, but Pyongyang has recently threatened to pull out over US demands for “unilateral nuclear abandonment.”