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Former President Jimmy Carter criticizes President Trump's rhetoric towards North Korea

Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Canadian American Business Council(WASHINGTON) -- Former President Jimmy Carter issued a statement on Thursday criticizing President Donald Trump's recent comments that stoked tension between the United States and North Korea.

"The harsh rhetoric from Washington and Pyongyang during recent months has exacerbated an already confrontational relationship between our countries," Carter says. He adds that the comments have "probably eliminated any chance of good faith peace talks between the United States and North Korea."

Carter calls on the commander-in-chief to "[restrain] the warlike rhetoric" as well as "encourage talks between North Korea and other countries, especially China and Russia."

"In all cases," Carter's statement says, "a nuclear exchange must be avoided."

Carter has visited North Korea multiple times as an envoy since serving as president and met with Kim Il Sung in 1994. He also visited North Korea in 2010 and 2011.

"A commitment to peace by the United States and North Korea is crucial," Carter said. "When this confrontational crisis is ended, the United States should be prepared to consummate a permanent treaty to replace the ceasefire of 1953."

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