NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Former President Jimmy Carter met with Mayor Michael Bloomberg at City Hall on Wednesday afternoon.

Afterwards, Carter discussed the recently racheted-up tensions with North Korea and added that he’d be willing to undertake a peace mission if asked.

“Well, I’ve been there three times so far but I never have been unless the North Koreans asked me to come and I got approval from the White House. So if that should happen, I would be glad to go back,” Carter told reporters including WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb.

The 88-year-old spoke about recent reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was planning to launch attacks on several U.S. cities, a threat that’s been discounted by many experts.

“I know the people very well, I’ve spent dozens of hours talking to them. I think what they want is a peace agreement with the United States and, of course, they’ve had an embargo against them now for 60 years so they feel kind of paranoid, they’re afraid they’re going to be attacked,” Carter said.

The ex-president told reporters “I think it’s getting very serious.”

He said his hope is that the U.S. government will open a dialogue with the North Korean people.

Carter has also previously gone on diplomatic trips to Cuba.

He served as president from 1977 to 1981.

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