Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Governor Richardson's North Korean Breakthrough




Below is the text of an e-mail Governor Richardson sent out today:



After years of confrontation with virtually the entire world, the regime in North Korea yesterday took its first steps away from its policy of nuclear confrontation.

The North Koreans agreed to begin shutting down their Yongbyon atomic reactor, the facility that provides fuel for their nuclear weapons, and say they will allow UN weapons inspectors back into the country for the first time in five years.

The world is a safer place today, and I am proud to have played a role in securing this agreement.

I was in Pyongyang this week to secure the remains of six American servicemen who died during the Korean War.

This is a very positive gesture on the part of the North Korean government. Hopefully it will help heal the wounds from the Korean War and start a process to bring closure to the thousands of American families awaiting word about their loved ones who perished.

My years of experience dealing with North Korea and my knowledge of the region allowed me to help facilitate this new resolution to end their nuclear weapons program.

It will take a while for the media to understand the impact of this historic accord. NBC's Andrea Mitchell was the only network journalist in North Korea with us, and she has been leading the way with forward-looking coverage of this week's events.

Click here to watch MSNBC's coverage of North Korea's breakthrough announcement.


The bottom line is that diplomacy works - there is no other lesson to draw from this monumental breakthrough. And we desperately need someone in the White House who understands this and can restore American international leadership.

In today's world, we have to be willing to engage our adversaries in tough and direct talks that lead to resolution, not more confrontation and isolation. I don't have to tell you that there are trouble spots all over the world that could use some of this tough and smart American diplomacy.

I'm running for President, in part, to keep our country safe and secure. I'm proud that yesterday in North Korea I was able to make a contribution to real progress toward that goal.

Sincerely,


Governor Bill Richardson

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