Jeffrey LewisAppoint A Special Envoy for Six Party Talks Now

Senators Reid (D-NV), Levin (D-MI), Biden (D-DE) and Rockefeller (D-WV) have urged President Bush “to appoint a special envoy to coordinate Korea policy and represent us in direct dialogue with North Korea and at the Six Party talks.”

The argument—outlined in a letter dated June 23—is pretty simple:

Our current path leads to one of two bad outcomes: either the United States essentially will acquiesce to the North’s serial production of nuclear weapons, or we will find ourselves in a military confrontation with a desperate, nuclear-armed, regime.

Here is the full text of the letter. For whatever reason, the letter has not been picked up by the media, beyond a blurb from Bloomberg.


  1. EARL (History)

    GREAT IDEA!! I can just see the headline now when John Bolton is appointed. That will make a great impression on the north.

  2. J (History)

    The news media usually does not report on letters by Senators to the President, unless the letter announces something “new”—a policy, a threat, whatever. For all the merits of this letter, it does not break new ground—John Kerry was calling for a special U.S. envoy during last year’s presidential campaign.

    That said, it is a pity the news media does not more vigorously challenge Administration officials when they argue current DPRK policy is working and that “we are in accord with our allies.”

  3. Josh Narins (History)

    The media does occasionally report on letters from the Senate to the President. I can specifically recall the letter, signed by nine Republicans and Senator Lieberman, declaring that Iraq should be dealt with. That was part of the war hype.

    Don’t expect the Bush administration to do well, even if they pick an envoy.

    Even before James Kelly was sent in 2003 to the six party talks, the North Koreans had called him “arrogant and high-handed.”

    That’s not diplomacy, it is bullying.