• Former US President Jimmy Carter says Donald Trump should talk with Nth Korea about a peace treaty. (AAP)
Former US President Jimmy Carter has reflected on Donald Trumps' presidency saying money in politics makes the nation more like an 'oligarchy than a democracy'.
AAP - SBS Wires
13 Sep - 12:30 PM  UPDATED 13 Sep - 2:10 PM

Former US President Jimmy Carter has offered a damning indictment of US foreign policy and domestic affairs, saying money in politics makes the nation more like an "oligarchy than a democracy" and casting President Donald Trump as a disappointment on the world stage.

Carter's criticisms, offered at his annual presentation to backers of his post-presidency Carter Center in Atlanta on Tuesday, went beyond Trump, but he was particularly critical of the nation's direction under the Republican president's leadership.

The 39th president, a Democrat, offered this advice to the 45th: "Keep the peace, promote human rights and tell the truth."

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Carter, 92, did not mention explicitly Trump's threatening exchanges this summer with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, but the former president said the US should engage directly with the insular leader and discuss a peace treaty to replace the cease fire that ended the Korean War in 1953.

"I would send my top person to Pyongyang immediately, if I didn't go myself," Carter said, noting that he's been three times to the country, even as successive US administrations have refused to deal with the regime.

The North Koreans, Carter said, want a treaty that guarantees the US will not attack unless North Korea attacks the US or an ally, particularly South Korea. "Until we talk to them and threat them with respect - as human beings, which they are - I don't think we're going to make any progress," Carter said.