Thursday, November 04, 2004

What a second term means for North Korea

All partisan affiliation put aside, I believe that the re-election of George W. Bush may benefit negotiations with North Korea more than Democrats are willing to admit. Though I believe John Kerry's bilateral approach to North Korea would be more effective than the current multilateral talks, Bush's relection forces North Korea to begin negotiating sooner than later. Suppose Kerry won the election, it still would have been about 3 months before he assumed office. All the meanwhile Kim Jung-il would be free to continue his nuclear proliferation and excuse his absence from negotiations by pointing the finger at the transition of administrations in the US. And then even after Kerry would take office (January 20) it would be difficult to expect him to drastically improve relations with North Korea as quickly as we'd like. Now Kim has no such excuse. For all of shrub's shortcomings, I hope he lives up to his tough talk in the weeks to come. Neither Bush nor Kim any longer have excuses to ignore one another.

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