Ned Lamont on Foreign Policy
A: The biggest threat to the US and world peace is a rogue nation that has nuclear arms capability, and they can sell that to terrorists or potentially launch. And North Korea fits that description. I know the Bush administration called this provocative and not an imminent threat, but I think it’s the most serious threat facing the US today.
As a senator, I would get Republicans and Democrats together. I would get them behind closed doors. I’d give them real intelligence. I’d explain the severity of the situation. I’d explain it to the American people. I’d let them know the importance of what we’ve got to do.
Obviously, we can’t work alone. China, South Korea, and Japan are so key to everything we have got to do in North Korea. And working with them in a constructive way, with a constructive dialogue, we have got to get Kim Jong Il off of that murderous path that he’s got. Pres. Bush has got to get it right this time.
A: I suspect they are making a bomb, just like India and Pakistan have. It’s a source of great nationalist pride. I think they’re a little paranoid. They see Afghanistan on one side of them and Iraq on the other side, and a US president who is talking about an Axis of Evil. Maybe they are worried. I think there’s a whole variety of motivations for them to get the bomb.
Q: Do you think it’s inevitable that they’ll get the bomb, and should the US base its diplomacy on that assumption?
A: No, on the contrary, we should work diplomatically and aggressively to give them reasons why they don’t need to build a bomb, to give them incentives. We have to engage in very aggressive diplomacy. I’d like to bring in allies when we can. I’d like to use carrots as well as sticks-to see if we can change the nature of the debate. But Lieberman is the one who keeps talking about keeping the military option on the table.