Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter speaks during the symposium commemorating the 40th anniversary of the normalization of US-China relations at the Carter Center in Atlanta on Jan. 18, 2019.
China News Service—VCG/Getty Images
By Amy Gunia
March 8, 2019

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has offered to return to North Korea to help restart negotiations on denuclearization, as progress has come to a standstill between Pyongyang and the administration of President Donald Trump.

Carter, now 94 years old, told U.S. Representative Ro Khanna at a meeting in Atlanta on Thursday that although he no longer travels, he would be willing to go to North Korea if Trump wanted his help, Politico reports.

Khanna also said that the meeting with Carter inspired him to get involved in North Korea negotiations himself, pledging to update a denuclearization strategy that Carter initially drew up with Kim Il Sung, the country’s first leader and the grandfather of Kim Jong Un.

Carter, who served as the 39th U.S. president, visited North Korea in 1994 to meet Kim Il Sung toward facilitating negotiations with the Clinton administration at a time when tensions were high between Pyongyang and Washington.

It’s not the first time Carter has offered to help the Trump administration manage the delicate issue. In 2017, he told Trump’s then-National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster that he was willing to take the lead on negotiations.

Talks between President Trump and Kim Jung Un collapsed in late February as the two leaders failed to reach an agreement at their second summit held in Hanoi.

Analysts say Pyongyang appears to be ramping up activity at a factory where missiles were produced, as well as rebuilding part of a launch site it had earlier promised to dismantle.

Write to Amy Gunia at amy.gunia@time.com.

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