The closest our two countries had come until now to resuming the Korean War was in 1994. Carter flew into Pyongyang on his own over the objections of President Bill Clinton and struck a deal with Kim Il-sung, the grandfather of the current leader, Kim Jung-un, and the man the grandson models himself on — right down to his hairstyle. North Korea secretly cheated on the deal by pursuing another path to a bomb just four years later.
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,” he said, wearing a big “JC” belt buckle and sipping coffee in his ranch house, which is chockablock with Carter family paintings and with furniture he made himself, including his four-poster bed. Rosalynn sits nearby, chiming in slyly at moments.