REMNICK: The gentleman in glasses sitting down? You can shout.
DANIEL STERNOFF: I'm Daniel Sternoff of Medley Global Advisors. Governor, I'm very pleased to hear you say that politics stops at the water's edge in bringing Victor Cha along with you on your mission. I'm curious if you think North Korea sees it that way. Why do you think that they reached out to you at this time? Is it a gesture, if not to you, then to the Democratic Party, knowing that this is a lame-duck administration and that in 18 months it's very likely or possible that a Democrat will be in power and in fact they're beginning a negotiation with the future administration through you?
REMNICK: Thank you.
RICHARDSON: Look, I'm going to give credit to Bush, and the fact that Victor Cha and Princippi and some DOD people helped the mission, absolutely. The North Koreans saw that as a gesture, and they said it. Little things like that are important. Victor Cha, who's the top Korean advisor at the National Security Council, was part of the delegation. We had common talking points. Who as a Democrat wouldn't want them to dismantle their nuclear weapons? I believe that's the reason that they saw this delegation as more effective. In the past, I've managed to get agreements from them and things that are good, I think, for the country. They trust me, because I try to deal with them on an even basis. I don't go in there and say, oh, you guys are doing great. Usually, when I had a back channel with Colin Powell I'd say, hey, you guys have to negotiate. You can't keep doing this. It is not smart to say you want peace and then shoot a nuclear missile, or detonate a nuclear bomb. It's that kind of talk. At the same time, they invite me back. It's the same thing in the Sudan. 10 years ago, before President Clinton named me to the UN, I got three Red Cross workers out of the Sudan, and I got to know the president of Sudan. His name is Bashir, and on the list of the world's worst dictators, he's number one. I'm not saying we established a friendship, but he let those three workers go. So he remembered me, and I didn't trash him after he did it. I said, you know, this was a humanitarian gesture.
REMNICK: At what point, if any, do you stop talking to a dictator? What behavior is unspeakable?
RICHARDSON: Well, you don't talk to Osama bin Laden.
REMNICK: He doesn't have a state.
RICHARDSON: There are some cases, but I'm a believer in dialogue. I'm a believer that there's always common ground. If I'm President, I'm going to pursue that. I'm not going to shut out potential negotiations with somebody just because we disagree or we think they exercise bad behavior. I believe that's counterproductive. But there are certain points, obviously. You don't negotiate with terrorists on hostages. But when it comes to common issues affecting nuclear proliferation, or other issues involving national security, I think you try to seek common ground.