Multi-lateral vs Bi-lateral Talks with N Korea?

It was obvious in the debate tonight that Kerry (favors Bi-lateral talks) and Bush (favors multi-lateral talks) have different opinions about dealing with N. Korea. If both agree that Nuclear Proliferation is the biggest threat to the USA, then it is very important that we get this issue right. Not getting it right could mean WAR again with N Korea and this time there is evidence that missiles fired from N Korea could hit the West Coast!

As reported in Military Connections on August 2, 2003

N. Korea Warns US Not to Bring Nuclear Issue to UN Security Council
By Steve Shayman
Voice of America News

“Tokyo, August 2, 2003 — North Korea says planned six-country talks about its nuclear weapons program could be scuttled if the United States persists in moves to bring the issue to the U.N. Security Council. While Washington and its Asian allies express optimism for the talks, North Korea continues to keep the world guessing with its rhetorical blasts.

North Korea’s official news agency says any move by Washington to discuss North Korean’s nuclear program in the U.N. Security Council would “hamstring” negotiations on the issue, and would be a “prelude to war.”

Two days ago, North Korea agreed to a U.S. demand for multilateral talks on the program, which would include the United States, North Korea, and the North’s Asian neighbors. U.S. and South Korean officials say the meetings could start in Beijing next month.

Agreeing to six-party talks was a major concession by Pyongyang, which had been holding out for one-on-one talks with Washington.”

Several questions come to mind:
1) Why does Kerry argue in favor of N Korea’s demand, a position that this article calls ” a major concession”?

2) Kerry seems to favor using the UN as a problem solver, but N Korea would consider involving the UN Security Council “prelude to war”. Would Kerry be a president that favors appeasement to avoid war?

3)Kerry favored continued use of the UN in regards to Iraq. The UN issued 18 demands for compliance, and only Bush backed the demand (carrot)with a threat (stick) and did not back down leading to the overthrow of Sadaam. Would Kerry have ever gone to war with Iraq? Would the Iraqi people be better off today? Would Libya and Iran respect our word more or less under Kerry?

Sometimes, like Iraq, we have to fight, and that makes it easier to avoid a bigger fight in the future. The enemies read our strength and resolve and decide to wait until our faith in our right actions…weakens.

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