North Korea has followed its admission of a nuclear arsenal with a demand for two-party talks with the United States. Alert readers may recall this is exactly the position adopted by the Kerry campaign. It was a bad idea then, and remains so now. (It's also a spectacular display of the hypocrisy of the 'progressives', who espouse multilateralism, except in areas where the Bush administration engages in it - then the unilateral approach is suddenly the way to go).
The North Koreans are in no position to demand anything of the U.S., and for once, international opinion is on our side. Widespread condemnation greeted yesterday's announcement, and North Korea, already an isolated totalitarian relic, only stands to become more of a pariah. We won't be blackmailed into such a concession under this administration, I feel certain. The six-party talks are essential as they involve those most affected by North Korea's bellicosity in seeking a solution.
The United Nations is urging North Korea to return to the talks. If the UN wishes to maintain its relevance and get some good press for a change, this issue is the perfect opportunity. If this is not a matter for the Security Council to deal with, and promptly, then there is no reason to continue its existence. Nuclear blackmail simply cannot be tolerated.