Writing for the National Journal Jonathan Rauch reports on a talk with a senior Bush Administration official involved in setting North Korea policy. The Bush Administration official says bilateral negotiations are destined to fail.
OK, so where's the diplomacy? Contrary to much of what is assumed, replied the official, the administration's refusal to deal bilaterally with Pyongyang does not stem from Bush's dislike of President Kim Jong Il or from a dogmatic refusal to submit to blackmail. "It's really based more on our experience dealing with North Korea. We think that in a bilateral negotiation or dialogue with North Korea, we've learned that the other countries run for the hills. That's what happened in 1994."
(True, says Ivo Daalder, a Brookings Institution foreign-policy expert who worked on President Clinton's National Security Council staff -- and who is no fan of Bush's North Korea policy. Recalling the 1994 effort to cope with North Korea's nuclear threat, he said, "It was awful. Every time we got tough, they" -- other countries in the region -- "walked away, and every time we got weak, they got tough.")
The Bush Administration is making progress in convincing other countries in the region that multilateral negotiations is the best approach to dealing with North Korea. The article has a number of other interesting points and is worth reading.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 March 19 01:44 PM Politics Grand Strategy|