A recent news item reminded me of one of the key differences between Kerry’s foreign policy plans and Bush’s:
“A North Korean official has reiterated Pyongyang’s demand for two-way talks with the United States, a day after North Korea said it will abandon six-party negotiations on its nuclear weapons program and bolster its arsenal. The communist state’s envoy to the United Nations, Han Sung Ryol, said in a newspaper interview published Friday that Pyongyang will consider multilateral negotiations only after bilateral talks with the United States.”
LEHRER: Just for this one-minute discussion here, just for whatever seconds it takes: So it’s correct to say, that if somebody is listening to this, that both of you agree, if you’re reelected, Mr. President, and if you are elected, the single most serious threat you believe, both of you believe, is nuclear proliferation?
BUSH: In the hands of a terrorist enemy.
KERRY: Weapons of mass destruction, nuclear proliferation. But again, the test or the difference between us, the president has had four years to try to do something about it, and North Korea has got more weapons; Iran is moving toward weapons. And at his pace, it will take 13 years to secure those weapons in Russia. I’m going to do it in four years, and I’m going to immediately set out to have bilateral talks with North Korea.
BUSH: Again, I can’t tell you how big a mistake I think that is, to have bilateral talks with North Korea. It’s precisely what Kim Jong Il wants. It will cause the six-party talks to evaporate. It will mean that China no longer is involved in convincing, along with us, for Kim Jong Il to get rid of his weapons. It’s a big mistake to do that. We must have China’s leverage on Kim Jong Il, besides ourselves. And if you enter bilateral talks, they’ll be happy to walk away from the table. I don’t think that’ll work.
This wil be scary/interesting to see how the situation with North Korea unfolds. Will Bush enter into bilateral talks? Is it really that big a mistake? Given that, due to national security reasons, we are not privvy to all foreign policy decisions, will the government enter into bilateral talks in secret? Is all this because of the movie Team America: World Police where a puppet version of Kim Jong-Il sings “I’m So Lonely?”