Friday, October 01, 2004

Dept. of: Would the Distinguished Gentleman From Massachusetts Make Up His Mind

What were you saying about "going it alone", John?

Mr. Bush: North Korea first.... Before I was sworn in the policy of this government was to have bilateral negotiations with North Korea. And we signed an agreement with North Korea that my administration found out that was not being honored by the North Koreans.

And so I decided that a better way to approach the issue was to get other nations involved, just besides us. And in Crawford, Tex., Jiang Zemin and I agreed that the, a nuclear-weapons-free North Korea peninsula was in his interest and our interest and the world's interest. And so we began a new dialogue with North Korea, one that included not only the United States but now China. And China's got a lot of influence over North Korea. In some ways more than we do.
As well we included South Korea, Japan and Russia. So now there are five voices speaking to Kim Jong Il, not just one. And so if Kim Jong Il decides again to not honor an agreement he's not only doing injustice to America, be doing injustice to China as well.

And I think this will work. It's not going to work if we open up a dialogue with Kim Jong Il. That's what he wants. He wants to unravel the six-party talks or the five-nation coalition that's sending him a clear message. ....

Mr. Lehrer: Yes sir, we-but in this one minute, I want to make sure that we understand - that the people watching here understand the differences between the two of you on this. You want to continue the multinational talks. Correct?

Mr. Bush: Right.

Mr. Lehrer: And you want - you're willing to do it.

Mr. Kerry: Both. I want bilateral talks which put all of the issues from the armistice of 1952, the economic issues, the human rights issues, the artillery disposal issues, the D.M.Z. issues and the nuclear issues on the table.

Mr. Lehrer: And you're opposed to that, sir. Right?

Mr. Bush: The minute we have bilateral talks, the six-party talks will unwind. It's exactly what Kim Jong Il wants.

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