North Korean border guards show former US president Jimmy Carter to the South Korea side of the DMZ as they leave North Korea after Carter's controversial meeting with North Korean President Kim Il-sung in 1994. Photo: AFP/Choo Youn-kong

Former US President Jimmy Carter has expressed a desire to visit Pyongyang to serve as an emissary between the US and North Korea, Park Han-shik, an emeritus professor of international affairs at the University of Georgia, said Sunday.

Park told Korea JoongAng Daily in a phone interview that “Carter wants to meet with the North Korean leader and play a constructive role for peace on the Korean Peninsula as he did in 1994.”

Park, a prominent scholar of North Korea-related issues who has traveled to Pyongyang over 50 times, visited 93-year-old Carter, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his work with the Atlanta-based Carter Center, at the former president’s home in Plains, Georgia, on Sept. 28.

“Should former President Carter be able to visit North Korea, he would like to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and discuss a peace treaty between the United States and the North and a complete denuclearization of North Korea,” Park said, “and contribute toward establishing a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.”

Carter, in a post-presidential role, has been credited in some quarters with helping to forestall a US invasion of Haiti and using his friendship with Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega to mediate a potentially violent election dispute in Nicaragua.