Carter heads to N. Korea, hopes to meet Kim Jong-il

April 25, 2011 10:39

BEIJING - Former US President Jimmy Carter said on Monday he hopes to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and his son and presumed heir during a visit this week that will concentrate on Pyongyang's nuclear program and food aid needs.

The Nobel Peace prize winner is leading a delegation of former state leaders -- The Elders -- on a three-day visit to the secretive state, which is under wide-ranging international sanctions.

"I don't know with whom we'll be meeting in North Korea. We would like very much to meet with Kim Jong-il and also Kim Jong-un," Carter told a news conference in Beijing, referring to the leader's son and handpicked successor.

"We have no indication that we will do so, but it would be a pleasure if we could do so," he added.

"Concerning the nuclear issue, we will report as accurately as we can after we visit North Korea of what they had to say, but we're not pre-judging in advance what our experiences in Pyongyang will be."

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