The Candidates on North Korea
How will North Korea policy look in the post-Bush era?
According to Donald Kirk, a John McCain administration would complement Lee Myung-Bak’s new tougher line. Kirk quotes McCain saying:
“Future talks,,,must take into account North Korea’s ballistic missile programs, its abduction of Japanese citizens, and its support for terrorism and proliferation.”
Meanwhile a victory by either of the two likely Democrats would mean more engagement. In the case of an Obama victory, Kirk note that:
Obama if anything appears more of a fan of Sunshine than Clinton. Although he has said very little on the nuclear issue, he has made negotiations on all levels a centerpiece of a drive to rebuild alliances and partnerships. “Needed reform of these alliances and institutions will not come by bullying other countries to ratify changes we hatch in isolation,” he wrote in Foreign Affairs. “In Asia, we belittled South Korean efforts to improve relations with the North.”
A Clinton victory, on the other hand, could make Bill’s much-discussed trip to Pyongyang a reality.
In the event either Democrat wins, Kirk sees a role for Bill Richardson, who seems to be chomping at the bit for a role in the foreign policy arena. Richardson has already voiced his opinion on the matter:
“We should remember that no nation has ever been forced to renounce nuclear weapons, but that many nations have been convinced to renounce them.” Richardson specifically cites Libya, but clearly has North Korea in mind.
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