Hil­lary chides Bush, calls for bi­lat­eral talks with North Korea, Iran

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - By Betsy Pisik

NEW YORK — Sen. Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton on Oct. 31 joined the cho­rus of voices urg­ing the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion to deal di­rectly with North Korea and Iran on nu­clear-en­ergy con­cerns, say­ing that a will­ing­ness to talk is not a weak­ness.

“We can­not leave the Mid­dle East to solve it­self or avoid talks with North Korea,” said the New York Demo­crat, who is coast­ing to re-elec­tion on Nov. 7. “Di­rect ne­go­ti­a­tions are not a sign of weak­ness, but a sign of lead­er­ship.”

In re­marks to the Coun­cil on For­eign Re­la­tions, Mrs. Clin­ton ar­gued that U.S. for­eign pol­icy must be both re­al­is­tic and ide­al­is­tic.

On North Korea, she said, the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion has op­er­ated with “a nar­row and self-re­in­forc­ing world­view.”

“We have had six years of pol­icy with no carrots, no sticks and noth­ing to show for it. Now we have fewer op­tions and a much more dif­fi­cult task,” she said.

She spoke hours af­ter Py- ongyang agreed to re­turn to the six-party talks with the United States, South Korea, Ja­pan, China and Rus­sia.

South Korea, Ja­pan, Rus­sia and many Euro­pean na­tions also have urged Wash­ing­ton to send an en­voy for bi­lat­eral talks with North Korea.

A for­mer State De­part­ment Korea desk di­rec­tor urged Pres­i­dent Bush two weeks ago to ini­ti­ate di­rect talks with North Korea, dur­ing which the United States would seek a com­pre­hen­sive deal to end the nu­clear cri­sis.

David Straub, now an ad­junct pro­fes­sor at the Johns Hop­kins Univer­sity’s Paul H. Nitze School of Ad­vanced In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies in Wash­ing­ton, said the U.S. has a “fun­da­men­tal prob­lem” deal­ing with North Korea on an is­sue that can be re­solved only through bi­lat­eral talks.

“Other par­ties of the six-party talks are al­ready blam­ing us for not hav­ing bi­lat­eral talks with North Korea,” he said.

Mrs. Clin­ton, in what was billed as a ma­jor for­eign-pol­icy ad­dress, said that by fail­ing to take a more ac­tive and flexible lead on trou­ble spots around the world, the United States was al­low­ing China and some­times Rus­sia to play lead­ing diplo­matic roles.

This is es­pe­cially true of in­ter­na­tional ne­go­ti­a­tions with Iran, Su­dan, North Korea and other ar­eas where, she said, Bei­jing’s busi­ness and po­lit­i­cal in­ter­ests do not nec­es­sar­ily match Wash­ing­ton’s.

The for­mer first lady said the United States should make bet­ter use of the United Na­tions in cases in which it does not have a lot of op­tions to deal with rogue regimes.

“But we need to cre­ate a new level of re­spon­si­ble lead­er­ship for na­tions that are now tak­ing lead­er­ship in the world,” she said, re­fer­ring to Rus­sia and China.

A ma­jor­ity of Amer­i­cans want the United States to hold di­rect talks with North Korea with­out pre­con­di­tions, ac­cord­ing to an Oc­to­ber sur­vey of 1,058 adults by the Pro­gram on In­ter­na­tional Pol­icy At­ti­tudes/Knowl­edge Net­works.

About 55 per­cent of the re­spon­dents said the United States should start talks with­out any con­di­tions, poll­sters found, a no­tion that is slightly more pop­u­lar with those who iden­ti­fied them­selves as Democrats than Repub­li­cans.

Con­versely, 39 per­cent of re- spon­dents said North Korea and Iran should sus­pend their weapons pro­grams be­fore the ad­min­is­tra­tion agrees to en­gage them.

Se Jeong Kim con­trib­uted to this re­port from Wash­ing­ton.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.