has offered Donald Trump some sage advice: “Keep the peace, promote human rights and tell the truth”
The 39th president’s was speaking at his annual supporters meeting for his Atlanta, Georgia-based charity the Carter Center.
Mr Carter – once called a “velvet hammer” by former Daily Show host Jon Stewart – said the US has been made into more of “an oligarchy than a democracy” under Mr Trump because of all the money in politics, but the focus of his comments was on foreign policy in the Trump administration.
Mr Trump has said North Korea should expect “fire and fury” from the US, causing alarm from allies within striking distance of Pyongyang like South Korea and Japan.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley secured one diplomatic solution to the conflict – crippling the economy.
A unanimous Security Council vote placed the strictest-ever sanctions on North Korean oil and textile exports as well as cargo ships in international waters.
However, Mr Trump claimed that these were “no big deal”.
“I would send my top person to Pyongyang immediately, if I didn’t go myself,” Mr Carter said.
The former president has visited North Korea three times on diplomatic missions.
He emphasised that North Korea wants assurances that the US will not attack them unprovoked; that any US strike would only be a response to an attack on the the US or an ally.
Mr Carter implied that with Mr Trump in office, that is not a guarantee but that the isolated and mercurial leader Kim Jong-un will need to be engaged directly to broker a peace deal to replace the 1953 agreement that ended the Korean War.
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“Until we talk to [North Koreans] and treat them with respect — as human beings, which they are — I don’t think we’re going to make any progress,” he posited.
Mr Carter also took the Trump administration to task on its Middle East policy.
In 1978 during Mr Carter’s time in office, Israel’s prime minister, Menachem Begin, and Egypt’s president, Anwar Sadat, signed the .
The provisions outlined in the accord were “ratified overwhelmingly by the Parliaments of Egypt and Israel…[and] have been the of the US government and the international community ever since,” Mr Carter wrote in 2016 in the New York Times.
He said he was “practically hopeless” that Mr Trump would bring any kind of “justice to Palestinians” after Mr Trump indicated he may be willing to broker a solution betwen the Israelis and Palestinians that did not involve two states.
Mr Trump has placed his son-in-law White House adviser Jared Kushner in charge of negotiating a deal, who grew up as a family friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
While Mr Carter does not think the Trump family is making headway in the region, he also blamed Mr Netanyahu for not having any “intention at all of having a two-state solution.”
The erstwhile peanut farmer has largely stayed out of the Democratic Party since he left office but has wielded some influence through his charity’s global public health, democratic election monitoring, and human rights work.
He is also a frequent volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, a charity that builds new homes for the poor.
The Carter Centre is currently working on a project tracking social media use in the Syrian conflict and sharing information gathered with the US intelligence community.
At 92, Mr Carter is second oldest living US president just after President George HW Bush, who just turned 94.