In 1994, President Carter negotiated terms for the first dialogue in 40 years between the United States and North Korea.
In 1994, the United States and South Korea were on the brink of war with North Korea, convinced that the North was moving to develop nuclear weapons. In the absence of diplomatic relations among these nations, President Carter and Mrs. Carter went as private citizens representing The Carter Center to meet with President Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang. A breakthrough was achieved, and North Korea agreed to freeze its nuclear program in exchange for a dialogue with the United States, setting a stage for new efforts to strengthen peace on the Korean Peninsula. Today, The Carter Center continues President Carter's example to prevent and resolve conflict through dialogue and negotiation.
In April 1999, the Center joined several relief and development agencies to undertake a pilot initiative to boost potato production and improve food security in North Korea. The group purchased 1,000 metric tons of potato seed and oversaw its planting in May on farms in a southeastern North Korean province. Agencies included Adventist Development and Relief, Amigos Internacionales, CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Church World Service, Korean American Sharing Movement, and Mercy Corps International.
QUICK FACTS: NORTH KOREA
(Source: U.S. Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook 2013)