Foreign policy, healthcare to headline Sunday shows

America’s position in North Korea and Afghanistan will take a front seat on this weekend’s Sunday morning talk shows, with a senior member of President Obama’s foreign policy team appearing on three of them. The heated battle over healthcare reform will also be kept alive on the air this Sunday.

National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones (Ret.) will be doing triple duty this weekend, speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” “Fox News Sunday,” and CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

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Jones will speak about the U.S.’s fractious relationship with North Korea on “Meet the Press.” The Communist nation freed two imprisoned American journalists after former President Bill Clinton’s mission there on Tuesday. But many questions remain regarding North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

Fox News’s Chris Wallace will grill Jones on the Obama administration’s Afghanistan strategy. From the start of his term, President Obama keyed in on Afghanistan, ordering additional troops to the war-torn nation earlier this year to quell terrorist activity there. But American forces suffered record casualties in July. Jones will talk about the successes and failures of the “surge” in Afghanistan.

Finally, Jones will sit down with CBS’s Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation” to discuss an array of defense and foreign policy issues. Joining Jones on “Face the Nation” are Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and committee member Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

Expect health insurance reform to dominate the Sunday morning shows as well. Senators return to Washington Sept. 8, when members of the Finance Committee must stare down chairman Max Baucus’ Sept. 15 deadline to finalize a bipartisan bill in his influential committee.

At home, local healthcare town halls have already become fiery and emotional. High-profile Democrats have attacked the protests, saying that they represent manufactured outrage organized by special interest groups.

These two topics will get a lot of play on CNN’s “State of the Union.” The show features two high-profile senators, Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas). CNN’s John King will inquire about the status of the bill in the Senate as the body begins its month-long recess.

Sen. Durbin already called the protests a “sucker punch,” so expect him to face questions regarding town halls as well.

ABC’s “This Week” features former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R) and former DNC Chair Howard Dean, who will debate various healthcare proposals and the contentious town halls. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will also discuss healthcare on “Fox News Sunday.”

“Meet the Press” will also take on the economy. NBC’s David Gregory sits down with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) and Newark, N.J., Mayor Corey Booker to discuss the stimulus’ effect on their large cities.