McCain: North Korea Diplomacy Needs More Than Hope

John McCain reacted today to a Bush administration briefing on North Korean nuclear proliferation in Syria, saying that the information was "very troubling, but not surprising," and that U.S. diplomacy with North Korea "must be based on more than hope."

Bush administration intelligence officials gave intelligence briefings to Senate and House committees today, showing video evidence that a Syrian facility, which Israel bombed in September, was in fact a nuclear reactor being built with North Korean assistance.

In a statement released through his campaign, McCain went on to say: "Those who say that we only need to meet unconditionally with Kim Jong Il rather than apply meaningful multilateral pressure should explain to the American people how talking unconditionally to dictators like Kim Jong Il in the aftermath of recent disclosures advances American interests. Our diplomacy must be based on more than hope."

Barack Obama has said that he would meet with both North Korea and Syria if elected president and has criticized U.S. foreign policy, reportedly saying "it's a disgrace that we have not spoken with them." Obama's website says the Illinois senator is "willing to meet with the leaders of all nations, friend and foe. He will do the careful preparation necessary, but will signal that America is ready to come to the table, and that he is willing to lead." Hillary Clinton, Obama's opponent in the ongoing Democratic primary, has criticized Obama for this stance

The Bush administration has been criticized for the briefing as Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) said the briefing "happened eight months later than what it should have been" and House Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes(D-Texas) reportedly accused the administration of maintaining a "veil of secrecy."