“The United States should engage in ‘diplomatic niceties’ by accepting the North Korean demand for bilateral talks with the U.S., irrespective of the fact that by doing so, we would cut out the other four parties to talks concerning North Korea . . . including South Korea.”
In return for all of this, we are supposedly promised that discussion concerning an “array of centrifuges” from an advanced nuclear facility in North Korea would be “on the table.” Of course, “on the table” does not mean that “the North Koreans will agree with American demands concerning nuclear policy,” but Carter elides that point. He also elides the fact that even if–as is likely–the North Koreans balk at American demands concerning the development of nuclear weapons by Pyongyang, the precedent for bilateral talks will be established, the six-party talks will be dead, the United States will have no formal process (and likely no informal one either) to bring pressure to bear on North Korea via cooperation with China, Russia, and Japan, and South Korea will be permanently undercut. Pulling the plug on South Korea’s participation in this issue, by the way, would only serve to confirm North Korea’s contention that South Korea’s armed forces–and much of its foreign policy, by implication–are “controlled from Washington,” an argument as silly as Carter’s contention that “our close diplomatic and military ties with South Korea make us compliant with its leaders’ policies”; apparently, South Korea, along with Israel, robs the United States of the ability to formulate and implement policies that are in accord with our national interest.
Below, please find an electoral map of the 1980 Presidential election:
There are a number of reasons why Ronald Reagan’s victory over Jimmy Carter was so utterly lopsided. One reason why the voters rejected the 39th President for a second term had to do with his unbelievably naïve approach to, and conception of foreign policy. Clearly, in the 30 years since his electoral debacle, Carter has learned nothing about statecraft.