Carter's rose colored glasses

Duped in North Korea: From Obama's Mentor to Jimmy Carter


In June 1994, Carter visited North Korea. He was hosted by Kim Il-sung, a tyrant, who died mere days later. And yet, Carter reported that Kim was "vigorous, alert, [and] intelligent" and had engaged in "very free discussions with his ministers." Kim spearheaded a militantly atheistic regime, which jailed Christians; Carter, however, discovered a Kim "very friendly toward Christianity."

For the impressionable ex-president, Kim provided the full Potemkin village treatment. To say Carter was suckered is an understatement. He wrote this report:

People are busy. They work 48 hours a week. ... We found Pyongyang to be a bustling city. The only difference is that during working hours there are very few people on the street. They all have jobs or go to school. And after working hours, they pack the department stores, which Rosalynn visited. I went in one of them. It's like Wal-Mart in American stores on a Saturday afternoon. They all walk around in there, and they seem in fairly good spirits. Pyongyang at night looks like Times Square. They are really heavily into bright neon lights and pictures and things like that.

Of course, in truth, North Korea is draped in darkness, as well-known satellite photos attest. Worse, within just one year of this incredibly gullible appraisal by Carter, 10%-15% of the North Korean population (two to three million people) starved to death -- the worst famine in modern times.

Adding insult to injury, a few years after that, North Korea announced that it was a nuclear state, a direct violation of the "Agreed Framework" brokered by Carter in 1994. Then, Carter triumphantly assured us that "the crisis is over" -- words headlined by both the New York Times and Washington Post.

Needless to say, the crisis was far from over. And when George W. Bush, saddled with this agreement, which North Korea was clearly violating, declared the Kim regime part of an "axis of evil," Carter protested. "I think it will take years before we can repair the damage done by that statement," sniffed Carter.

Comment: A very good and very well documented article. Love the quote, "very friendly toward Christianity"

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