Bosworth Sees Little Change in US Policy on Korea - Following A Republican Victory -

Korea Times (Seoul, Korea), August 5, 2000 | Go to article overview

Bosworth Sees Little Change in US Policy on Korea - Following A Republican Victory -


U.S. Ambassador to Korea Stephen W. Bosworth said yesterday that there would be no significant changes of U.S. policy to Korea in the event the Republican Party wins the presidency.

The ambassador said there is not any really significant change in U.S. foreign policy when the presidency changes and that is simply because U.S. policy is based upon U.S. interests and U.S interests don't change just because of there is a change in the White House.

``Under normal circumstances, I would not expect any dramatic change to U.S. policy,'' said Bosworth at a debate session at the National Assembly.

He expects that anyone who wins the White House in November will use the next several weeks to acquaint themselves with the realities of the Korean peninsula and will obviously consult very closely with the Korean government.

The envoy was also optimistic on the consistent U.S. policy to Korea. ``As long as Korea policy toward North Korea is continuing to show positive results and as long as there is the prospect of lowering of tension and greater peace and stability, no American administration is going to oppose that policy,'' said Bosworth.

``I am confident that no matter who is in the White House on Jan. 22, 2001, that will continue to be our preferred approach, assuming it continues to be the preferred South Korean approach and I am confident that it will,'' he said.

Bosworth went on to say that the risk of Korea in the event of Republican victory in November suddenly having to cope with a dramatic change in U.S. policy was very low.

Asked on Republican Party's likely policy toward North Korea, the ambassador tried to reassure Korea that the U.S. policy toward Pyongyang would not change dramatically when and if Republican Party wins White House, dismissing media speculations that that the hard line stance toward the North was on the card of the Republican Party.

``I don't think that as long as our alliance is strong and as long as the current policy, particular the current Korean policy is showing results that the Republicans are going to try to challenge that in any major way and in fact, I am sure that they will support it.''

In related development, he also dismissed strong campaign rhetoric Republicans made toward North Korea as a just campaign strategy to differentiate from the Democrats.

``It is always tempting to use tough language during the election campaign. But when it comes to time to develop policies, one then has to take account of realities,'' said Bosworth, indicating that the Republican Party would not necessarily translate what they said during the campaign trail into action in crafting its policy to Pyongyang.

Touching on the reality, the U.S. ambassador pointed out that North North's very weakness created significant potential for instability on the Korean peninsula and in North East Asia.

Bosworth, however, cautioned on military might of the North, ``Despite its economic weakness, North Korea retains substantial military capabilities. Present North Korea's physical military capabilities have not diminished and those military capabilities must be taken very much into account when one is contemplating policy toward the North. …

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