When President Nixon flew to Beijing in the early 1970s, he not only ushered in a new era of rapprochement between the U.S. and the People's Republic, he also, involuntarily one might think, coined the term of “Nixon going to China”. Ever since this term represents a move in foreign policy that is as bold as it is overdue. So Jimmy Carter might have hoped to secure a bit of legacy by going to North Korea—and he has been trying hard ever since he set foot on Korean soil. He and his delegation (Mary Robinson, the former Irish President and the former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari) were rebuffed since neither Kin Jong-il nor his son Kim Jong-un were in a mood to meet with him and Carter was willing to do their bidding anyway. Here is Carter's wisdom in a nutshell: Resume international help to North Korea immediately. Never mind that there is new construction at North Korea's nuclear installations, meaning that the regime has been using its spare cash (and we would to have assume, basically all its cash) to resuscitate its nuclear ambitions. No longer bother North Korea over human rights, they are not going to change anyway and hey, since Carter is convinced that withholding international aid to North Korea is the real human rights violation, let's look what he chooses to ignore: The concentration camps, the lack of political freedom and common torture in prisons and camps, public executions and well finish the sentence yourself if you want to. And since the North Korean regime is not going to apologise over the sinking of the Cheonan, maybe its time to move on.
In all seriousness, I wonder who Carter thinks he is going to convince with that bit of nonsense. But one thing should be clear by now anyway. A Richard Nixon he is not.