Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is likely to fly directly to Seoul after visiting North Korea, sources said Thursday, a trip that could include a meeting with President Lee Myung-bak.
Carter will be traveling to Pyongyang next week for discussions expected to focus on North Korea’s denuclearization, a peace treaty and humanitarian food aid to the impoverished communist nation. He will be accompanied by three other former heads of state ― former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, former Irish President Mary Robinson and former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland.
“Former President Carter has expressed his wish to come to South Korea on a private jet,” a government source said. “There seems to be no reason for the government to oppose this.”
Carter’s delegation may request a meeting with President Lee, but it has not been confirmed, they said, adding that no other details were available.
Media speculation is rife that Carter will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-il during his three-day trip to Pyongyang that starts on Tuesday.
In 1994, Carter met with then-North Korean leader Kim Il-sung and arranged a bilateral denuclearization deal during the first North Korean nuclear crisis.