I notice the right blogosphere (e.g., Derbyshire on The Corner at 10:16 last night) is beating up on Kerry for saying that he wanted to have both bilateral and multilateral talks with North Korea, as if that were a contradiction. Joe Biden said last night that the Chinese had asked us to engage in bilateral talks in parallel with the six-country talks; if that’s right, then “both” is the right answer.
Can any reader fill me in on the facts?
[Update: Fred Kaplan says all of the other participants in the six-way talks want the U.S. to talk bilaterally with N. Korea. Is it possible Bush didn’t know this? I’d say the Kerry camp is missing a big chance if they don’t hit this one hard, and keep hitting it.]
One thing Kerry didn’t say that he might have said: Whatever the format of the talks, we’ll do better if we have adequate forces not tied up in Iraq to act militarily if we can’t get our way at the conference table.