Thursday, July 7, 2005
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, former President Bill Clinton's UN Ambassador and Secretary of Energy, has been invited by Pyongyang for a visit. There are no confirmed plans on a visit, but a spokesman for the governor said Richardson would coordinate with the Bush Administration should the visit take place.
Governor Richardson has been a liaison between Pyongyang and Washington before, including in 2003 when he held three days of talks with North Korean envoys in Santa Fe (the New Mexico capital, not the Hyundai SUV).
North Korea is almost certainly trying to milk as much from Washington as possible, whether its security assurances, diplomatic relations, or economic incentives, but that doesn't mean that Washington shouldn't meet with Pyongyang to see what it can get from them (holding a meeting doesn't require signing making an undesirable agreement). I've always felt that a pragmatic, non-ideological approach to North Korea is what is needed, and Governor Richardson representing the Bush Administration might foot the bill.