tv Hearing Focuses on U.S. Policy Toward North Korea CSPAN July 27, 2017 3:15pm-4:51pm EDT
toss about his book. >> the battle shocked me, the battle of hue, the saigon military command was so out of touch with the reality of what was happening in the streets. got a lot of young americans killed. because what general westmoreland denied that the city had been taken. it was a fact, but he continued to deny it. for nearly the whole time the battle was fought. and as a consequence, we've never conceded the sheer number of enemy forces that were in the city. so small units of marines and troopers were being ordered to attack positions that were held by overwhelmingly superior enemy forces in entrenched positions. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a.
senate foreign relations subcommittee held a hearing examining north korea policy. specifically on ramping up pressure against china. acting secretary of state for east asia and pacific affairs, susan thornton offered her thoughts to the committee. >> this hearing will come to order. let me welcome you all to the fifth hearing for the senate foreign relations subcommittee on east asia, the pacific and international cybersecurity policy in the 115th congress on behalf of the committee i apologize for the delay in the beginning of this hearing to the witnesses who have been here time away from work as well as those attending the hearing today. the action on the floor including the return of senator
mccain. >>ing a very poignant moment for the senate. i would like to welcome all to today's hearing. north korea has emerged as the most urgent national security challenge for the u.s. united states and allies in east asia. secretary mattis has said north korea is the most urgent hand dangerous threat to peace and security. admiral gortny, the former commander of u.s. northern command stated that the korean peninsula is at its most unstable point since 1953 when the armistice was signed. last year north korea conducted two nuclear tests and 24 ballistic missile launches. this year pyongyang has launched 17 missles, including the july 4th successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that's reportedly capable of reaching alaska and hawaii. patience is not an option, with the u.s. homeland in the nuclear shadow of kim jong-un. our north korea policy of decades of bipartisan failure must turn to one of bipartisan
success. with pressure and global cooperation resulting in the peaceful denuclearization of the regime. >> president trump has said the united states will not allow that to happen and i'm encouraged by the president's resolve. at vice president pennsylvania stated during his recent visit to south korea, since 1992, the united states and allies have stood together for a denuclearized korean peninsula. we hope to achieve this objective through peaceable means, but all options are on the table. time is not on our side. i believe u.s. policy towards north korea should be straightforward, the u.s. will deploy every economic diplomatic and military tool at our disposal to usurp pyongyang. china is the only country that holds the diplomatic and economic leverage necessary to put the squeeze on the north korean regime. according to the south korean state trade agency china accounts for 90% of north
korea's trade, including virtually all of north korea's exports. from 200 two thousand to 2015, trade volume between the two nations has climbed more than ten-fold, rising from 488 million in 2000, to 5.4 billion dollars in 2015. beijing is the reason the regime acts so boldly and with relatively few consequences. china must now move beyond an articulation of concern and lay out a transparent path of focused pressure to denuclear ize north korea. the administration is right to pursue a policy of maximum pressure towards north korea and we have a robust tool box. a track that's hardly been utilized to its fullest extent. last congress i led the north korea policy sanctions enhancement act which passed 96-0. this was the first stand-alone legislation in congress regarding north korea to impose
mandatory sanctions. according to recent analysis from the foundation for the defense of democracies, north korea sanctions have doubled since that legislation came into effect on february 18, 2016. prior to that date. north korea ranked 8 behind ukraine, russia, iran, iraq, the balkan, syria, sudan and zimbabwe. even with the 130% sanctions increase after the legislation passed this congress, north korea is today still only the fifth-most sanctioned country by the united states. so while congress has moved the obama administration from an action to some action, the trump administration has the opportunity to use these authorities to build maximum leverage with not only pyongyang, but with beijing. i'm encouraged by the actions the united states took to designate a chinese financial institution, this should just be the beginning. the administration with congressional support should make it clear to any entity doing business with north korea they won't be able to do
business with the united states. a report released last month by an independent organization identified over 5,000 chinese companies that are doing business with north korea. these chinese companies are responsible for $7 billion in trade with north korea. moreover, the report found that only ten of these companies, ten of these companies control 30% of chinese exports to north korea in 2016. one of these companies alone was responsible for 10% of total imports from north korea. some companies were found to have satellite offices in the united states. according to recent disclosures from 2009-2017, north korea used chinese banks to process at least 2.2 billion dollars in transactions through u.s. financial systems. it should all stop now and it must stop now. united states should not be afraid of a diplomatic confrontation with beijing for simply enforcing u.s. law it should be more afraid of congress if it does not. as for any prospect of
engagement, we should continue to let beijing know in no uncertain terms that the united states will not negotiate with pyongyang at the expense of u.s. national security and that of our allies. instead of working with the united states and the international community to disarm the mad men and pyongyang, beijing has called on the united states to halt our military exercises in exchange for vague promises. that was a bad deal. and the trump administration was right to reject it. moreover, before any talks in any format, the united states and our partners must demand that pyongyang first meet the denuclearization commitments it had agreed to in the past and subsequently chose to brazenly violate. president trump should continue to impress with president xi that a denuclearized korean peninsula is in both nations' long-term interests. as admiral harris noted recently, we want to bring kim jong-un to his senses, not to his knees. to achieve this goal, beijing must be made to choose whether it wants to work with the united states as a responsible global
leader to stop pyongyang or bear consequences of keeping him in power. i will turn it over to senator markey, senator senator markey arrives. in the meantime he has agreed to allow our witness who has waited patiently for an hour to begin testimony. susan thornton on our first panel. the honorable susan thornton, acting assistant secretary of state for east asia and pacific affairs. she seay assumed responsibilities in february of 2016 after serving for a year and a half as deputy assistant secretary. secretary thornton joined the state department in 1991 and is a career member of the foreign service. welcome secretary thornton and thank you for your patience and thank you for being here with us today and we'll begin your testimony. >> thank you very much, chairman gardner, it's great to see and you thank you very much for inviting me to appear before you today on this really important, urgent issue for both the united states, our allies and global
security. north korea's july 4th intercontinental ballistic missile test is only the latest evidence of kim jong-un's desire to threaten the united states with nuclear weapons. it constitutes a serious escalation of the dprk's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. our goal is to protect our country, our citizens and allies by halting and eliminating north korea's development of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. the administration's strategy to achieve this goal uses diplomatic, economic and other tools to build concerted global pressure on pyongyang to abandon its internationally proscribed nuclear and missile programs. north korea needs to understand the only path to international legitimacy, regime security and economic prosperity is a denuclearized korean peninsula. there are three components to our strategy. the first is u.n. action. in concert with our hayesian allies we've called on all u.n. member states to fully implement the strong sanctions required in the the u.n. security council
resolution's 2321, 2270, and 2356. and we will continue to work to i increase international sanctions. the second component is diplomatic action by u.n. member states, we have urged countries around the world to take their own actions to express their condemnation, such as suspending or downgrading diplomatic relations with north korea. cord yaial ties with a country that threatens neighbors and continues to violate numerous u.n. resolutions is completely inappropriate at this time. we've seen evidence that north korea violates international norms by using its diplomatic missions to generate and transmit illicit resources for its weapons programs. the third component is economic pressure. we have asked all countries to cult trade ties with pyongyang as a way of increasing north korea's economic isolation, and it to prevent it from using the international financial systems. secretary tillerson has made
clear in meetings with his foreign counterparts that nations can no longer operate in a business as usual approach. our ambassadors have reinforced this message in capitals around the globe. mr. chairman, we are not seeking regime change, nor do we seek military conflict. or to threaten north korea. our pressure campaign is designed to make the cost of the regime's programs too exorbitant. as we, as has been said, we want to bring north korea to its senses and not to its knees. however we will respond accordingly to threats against us or our allies. we remain open to talks with the dprk, but it must first cease its unlawful nuclear and missile programs, and bring an end to its pattern of dangerous aggressive behavior in the region. we are not going to negotiate our way back to the negotiating table. while our partners around the globe have begun to take steps to increase pressure on north korea, unfortunately we do not see any signs that north korea
is willing to engage in credible talks on denuclearization at this time. we will continue to appeal to countries around the world to take actions in opposition to north korea's unlawful ballistic missile and nuclear perhaps to make clear to the dprk that pursuing its unlawful programs will only increase its isolation. while addressing the threat to our homeland and our allies is our most pressing concern, we will not abandon the three u.s. citizens who have been unjustly detained by north korea, nor will we be silent in speaking out against the regime's egregious human rights violations against its own people. the state department will soon impose a travel restriction forbidding u.s. nationals to use an american passport to travel, through or to north korea. we seek to avoid another tragedy like that which otto warmbier and his family endured. in very specific limited circumstances, american citizens can apply for a waiver to this
travel restriction to allow them to perform humanitarian work. we do not wish to punish the north korean people for the actions of their leadership and plan to allow for some exceptions to our travel restriction. >> we appreciate the strong interest in this issue from congress and look forward to continuing our cooperation and prengting our country from this grave threat to international stability. thank you again for inviting me to testify today. i look forward to any questions you may have. >> thank you, secretary thornton. as i mentioned when senator markey arrives we'll turn to him for his opening comments and questions. i want to start with a couple of questions. regarding the maximum pressure campaign. do you think the administration need additional tools, additional sanctions authorities from congress to fully implement the maximum pressure campaign or policy?
>> there's been several things that the administration has done in light of their review that we conducted on north korea policy and in implementing the strategy we have in place now. the first is to make north korea the highest priority national security issue that we're facing. you've heard secretary mattis and the president and the secretary and others speak to this. >> the second thing we're doing is making this a real global campaign. and. >> putting the own us on other countries and the in the international community to examine their relationships with north korea, diplomatic, economic, financial, trading and asking them to make sure that not only are they implementing the very sweeping u.s. sanctions regime that's already been put in place. but that they're going beyond that regime to initiate their own actions to show the north koreans that they will not be able to seek solace or comfort
in the international community anywhere. to show that we're unified in our efforts to thwart their ambitions. we're wokking to put the onus on china as you said, 90% of the north korean economy is flowing through china in one form or another. >> i think this is real departure from previous approaches on this issue. putting the onus on china to step up as you said to be a responsible global player and really use its tools to up the pressure on the regime in north korea and make clear that china will only accept a denuclearized korean peninsula and they are prepared to impinge on the north korean economy in ways that are much more serious than they've done in the past. >> i think as far as the tools that we have at hand for conducting this strategy. we do very broad authorities
already existing. we're already undertaking a sweeping assessment of all of the violations of sanctions that we can detect that are going on in various countries around the world. including in china. >> we've been working with some of those countries to take action against entities that we find that are violating these sanctions. and we have very broad authorities to do, to do so. >> i don't think there is any lack of tools that's keeping us from prosecuting a very active sanctions campaign both within the ambit of the u.n. security council sanctions and within our own uni lateral designations and secondary sanctions against entities that we find to be vee lative. >> you have the authorities that you need to both chambers of the congress? >> i'm not aware specifically. but i believe that that is our
position, yes. >> have you had a chance to review some of the other pieces of legislation either in the house, regarding north korea sanctions and in the senate, i've introduced along with others on this committee, legislation regarding north korea and sanctions particularly relating to access to financial networks and systems? could you comment a little bit on those pieces of legislation? >> sure. yes. there are quite a number of pieces of legislation and we definitely appreciate the interest of congress in this issue. and i think you know what i would say is the authorities that we have again i think they are quite sweeping. authorities that were passed in the legislation from 2016, north korea sanctions enhancement act that you mentioned and the executive orders that followed from that gave us very broad authorities to go after entities that we find that are violating sanctions or u.s. laws or the u.n. sanctions.
so i think the new pieces of legislation, there are various targets. one was on the travel restriction, travel ban. one is on north korean human rights there are a number of different aspects that they touch on. and i think in general we've been consulting closely with staffs on those and we appreciate the interest. >> the, the round of designations that you mentioned, you talked about sanctioning chinese financial institution. when can we expect the next round of designations that include chinese entities and financial institutions? >> we have been working on coming up with a new list of entities that we think are violating and i think there's no specific timetable, but there's no specific you know, hesitation to do that. we'll be proceeding with those as soon as we can get target
packages ready to go and get the sort of -- evidentiary standards and legal standards met that we need to meet. >> can we expect additional sanctions within the next 30 days? >> i would hesitate to predict exact timetables. but i think you'll see something fairly soon, yes. >> will this, these sanctions, will they be presented to china or others prior to the enactment of the sanctions to give them a chance to correct? or will they just be implemented immediately? >> we've been running conversations with china and other countries about information that we have on entities. >> and in some cases we try to coordinate on actions with them. >> with local law enforcement with our law enforcement actions. and in some cases we are unable to do that. i can't say specifically with
regard to what we're considering. but we've done both in the past and we're not bound by any particular arrangement. >> when you see a report like the c 480 s report which shows over 5,000 entities doing business with china. does that provide evidence you can use? does that go into a conversation with the chinese government? what is their response? >> so we have had a number of conversations, i myself had multiple conversations with my chinese counterparts and whenever we have a report like this. we bring it to them and ask them to look into it and they have done that. usually they come back to us with some kind of a response. which we either follow up on, or not but i mean usually we, we definitely share that kind of information. >> in your testimony, you mentioned in the answer to your question, three components of service pillars to the strategy. call on u.n. members, states to fully implement the commitments they've made to north korea and suspend or downgrade diplomatic relations with north korea and
could you give me an indication of the success of those requests. how many member nations have suspended or downgraded diplomatic relations with north korea that you've requested to do so. how many have cut ties with pyongyang that we've requested to do so? >> i can't give you specific number the. we've urged everybody to squeeze diplomatic representation or downgrade if they can. there are a number of countries that have expelled dprk representatives from their capitals who have diminished their presence in pyongyang of their diplomatic missions. have expelled representatives of commercial offices or other entities that were transacting illicitly with the host government and that we've provided information on. so i can't give you the exact number, but there are quite a number that have responded to our call for diminishing diplomatic presence. we've also had a number of countries respond to the call for diminishing commercial
operations that sponsored by diplomatic establishments, i think we've had for example germany has committed to take steps to close a hostel there that was being run by the north korean diplomatic mission, which provided revenue for the mission's operation. so we've had a number of successes on that front as well. >> could you talk about the timing of the travel ban? >> we believe that in the coming week, within the coming week we will publish a notice in the federal register outlining the period of consultation and what we're proposing which is a general travel restriction. that will be in the federal register for a 30-day comment period. and the proposal is to i think as you know, make u.s. passports not valid for travel into north korea. unless you get an application is made for a one-time trip and you get a license or a sort of a
permission to make that trip. and so that will be -- >> is that pretty much allowable under a humanitarian exemption? >> right. you would have to make an in-person application for a trip. >> are we encouraging other nations to do the same? have others made the same decision? >> we have encouraged other people to you know, make decisions about restricting travel and other, because tourism is obviously also a resource for the regime that we would like to see diminished. i don't think so far there are other people that have pursued this. but this will be sort of the initial one and we will keep talking to others about that. >> thank you, secretary thornton, as promised i'll turn to senator markey for any opening comments he would make. secretary thornton has already given her testimony so proceed into questions, if you'd like to. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and we apologize to everyone,
it's a very unusual day here in the congress historic. and so we apologize. but we think this is as well. historic issue that has to be dealt with. in the very near term. >> i thank you mr. chairman for convening this hearing and to our three witnesses for being here. assistant secretary thornton you are the first trump administration official to testify on north korea in an open hearing before the senate foreign relations committee. since taking office, president trump and his policy-makers have made inconsistent and sometimes conflicting public comments on this sensitive matter. i hope your testimony will provide needed clarity. north korea continues to develop its nuclear and missile programs without constraint. over the past 18 months it has conducted its fourth and fifth
nuclear test. tested over 20 ballistic missiles and launched a satellite into orbit. on july 4th, north korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile or icbm. this represent as startling advance in pyongyang's ars natur nal. and just hours ago, the "washington post" reported that the defense intelligence agency assesses that north korea could field what intercouldn't ne coc ballistic missile nuclear, two years sooner than previously thought. we and our allies must remain resolute and united to deter this threat. kim jong-un's reckless brutality leaves no doubt that he is homicidal. but at the same time, his calculated strategy shows that he is not suicidal.
likes his father and grandfather before him, kim knows that an attack on the united states or our allies will bring an immediate and devastating military response. for that reason, so far deterrence has worked. but as kim builds nuclear weapons and the situation continues to drift without diplomatic resolution, he may eventually misread our military deterrent posture as preparation for an imminent a attack to topple his regime. i believe that continued diplomatic drift only increases the risk of unintended war with potentially grave consequences. just three days ago general joe dunford, the chairman of the joint chiefs, said that war on the korean peninsula quote would be horrific. a loss of life unlike any we have experienced in our lifetimes. and i mean anyone who has been alive since world war ii. this echoed comments by secretary of defense jim mattis
earlier this year. it is clear that there is no military solution to this problem. and pressure without direct diplomatic engagement will bring only continued drift. we need a bold new approach. i believe that only direct diplomatic engagement backed by unprecedented economic pressure will bring a peaceful solution to the north korea problem. that is why i've joined with chairman gardner in leading the north korean enablers accountability act. we believe that the united states needs to make it crystal clear that our country will impose unprecedented economic pressure on north korea and its enablers. we need to give the administration potent diplomatic tools, with which to bring that north korean regime to the table for serious direct negotiations. but no matter how many sanctions tools we give the president,
pressure cannot bring north korea to the table unless we are willing to talk to them. now is the time for the administration to clearly state its diplomatic engagement strategy. the circumstances under which it will agree to direct engagement with north korea and how it intends to use sanctions and other tools to bring kim to the table for serious talks. so this is without question, mr. chairman, a very important hearing. and i do have -- >> please submit your questions. >> secretary thornton, part of the north korea challenge at present is that the administration has announced a policy of maximum pressure and engagement. but has not articulated as of yet, what that means or the strategy for implementing it specifically with respect to diplomatic engagement. president trump has spoken of
the chances of a major, major conflict with north korea. quote-unquote. but has also said he would be honored to meet with kim jong-un and he was a smart cookie. other administration officials including vice president pence and secretary tillerson have given similarly contradictory statements. and fracturely, secretary thornton -- frankly, your opening statement still hasn't clarified exactly where the administration has to be. or is today. you mentioned lessons that guided us in developing our current strategy, which has three components that serve as the pillars, but did not elaborate. on what that strategy or the pillars are. calling for u.n. member states to fully enforce sanctions and urging countries to isolate north korea all sound like things that the previous administrations have also done. so can you explain to us what
the administration's current strategy is, and how it is bringing us closer to the ultimate goat of peacefully denuclearizing the korean peninsula. >> thank you very much senator markey for your statement and for these questions. this is obviously a very difficult issue. some of us have been working on this issue for more years than we care to count. and i think in the room here we probably have millennium of experience on this issue. we have not come up with a solution that has allowed us to solve this iraq in the way that we hope to see it solved which is the denuclearization of the korean peninsula the denuclearization of the korean peninsula is the administration's goal here.
that's what we're going after. i think the secretary and others have made clear that we it's our prechbs to resolve this issue peacefully, to denuclearize the korean peninsula in a peaceful manner. that said it seems that kim jong-un and the north korean regime are quite dedicated to developing these weapons and have not so far demonstrated any you know, they have not demonstrated any inclination to join us for negotiations on the dismantlement and abandonment of the nuclear weapons. >> what the administration is saying then is that you believe in a negotiated settlement of this issue of the development of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles by north korea. but thus far, the administration has been unwilling to actually
negotiate with north korea. >> that's why we haven't had a partner, sorry to interrupt. that's why we haven't had a partner with whom we could negotiate. and we have had -- >> have you asked for negotiations with the north koreans? >> we have asked -- the north koreans know how to get in touch with us. >> i appreciate that. but do you know how to get in touch with them? >> we do know how to get in touch with them. >> have you asked for negotiations to commence with the north koreans? in conjunction with the chinese? or the japanese? but have you asked for that specific negotiation to occur? and for us to actually construct a framework by which we can begin to resolve this issue? >> yeah. well i mean at this point all of
our allies, partners and others that are involved in trying to help and cooperate to address this issue and solve this problem, none of us have gotten a positive response from the north korea. when the topic of a serious conversation, a serious negotiation about their nuclear program has come up. so in the face of that intransigence, our strategy is to increase the pressure on the north korean regime. to try to change its calculus. to change the cost-benefit analysis in pyongyang surrounding these programs. and at the same time, we are constantly evaluating and probing to see if we are having that desired effect. i think that you know, it's certainly the case that ratcheting up sanctions pressure is not like a cobra strike.
it's definitely a slow squeeze, a slow tightening of the screws. and i think we're definitely in the process of trying to elevate that pressure. and change the calculus. we have not gotten there yet. which i think was what i mentioned in my statement. but i think we also think that sanctions over time and pressure over time unified global network over time can have the effect to, of changing that calculation on the part of the dprk regime. that's what we're seeking to do. and i mean some people say this won't work. but i say we have to test this hypothesis and test it at the point where we bring the maximum amount of pressure. >> well, senator gardner and i and other members of this committee. we clearly want to intensify the level of pressure on north korea. they enjoyed a 37% increase in trade with the chinese. from year to year.
from 2016 to the beginning of year 2017. when we began the deployment of the thaad, that has now led to a $10 million, $10 billion a sout. in its tourism sector. so, from our perspective, the strategy which we have is not working. we need legislation that will ensure that there is a tightening of the sanctions, but it can only work if it's done in conjunction with negotiations that begin, but with the sure and certain knowledge that the sanctions are arriving so that you can extract the strongest possible result. i see senator mccain has arrived. i'll end my questions right now. >> the senator is recognized. >> forgive me if i ask questions
that were coming when i was coming from the armed services hearing. >> what steps did the administration take during the dialogue with china to urge them to increase pressure on north korea? because when we smet with the administration at the white house that was in classified setting, so i won't go into it in any detail. but i think we realized the leverage china has is not being deployed sufficiently to change north korean behavior. there is much more leverage that can be deployed. when we hear about china sanctioning south korea over efforts that south korea is taking just to defend itself, it seems like that not only we're not using our leverage, we may be going backwards. so can you tell me about the dialogue between u.s. and china and june 21 about the north korea issue? >> yes. thank you very much for that question. first let me start off by saying
we debaltimore and have spoken publicly about how disappointed we are with north korea's actions with respect to south korea over the t.h.a.a.d. system. t.h.a.a.d. will be used to protect south korea and protect our troops, and it's certainly within the rights of south korea to deploy a defensive system. we have made, in the context of the diplomatic insecurity dialogue raised our disappointment again over that issue and insisted with the chinese that we continue to discuss it and that they, you know, retract all of the negative recommend fications that flowed from that decision. recomme with regard to the discussions on north korea in general, i think what we had hoped to do in the diplomatic insecurity dialogue in the period running up to that where there was a lot of diplomatic diplomacy is
convince the chinese to take serious. after the dialogue we had a chance to talk through with the chinese how we saw it, i think you saw following from that discussion the decision to proceed with the sanctioning of a number of chinese entities, and we have had a number of conversations with china where we said we would prefer to work through the u.n. sanctions because, obviously, if you have a u.n. security council resolution it is an international sanction that sweeps up the entirety of the global network that we're trying to build and we'd prefer to cooperate with china on going after entities that we see in violation of those sanctions but that we're perfectly prepared to act on our own to target entities that we find it necessary to target that are in violation of the sanctions. so i think the chinese are now very clear that we're going to go after chinese entities if need be. if we find them to be in
violation. and if the chinese feel they can't corporate in going after those targets that there is no block on his acting on our own. >> this committee acted in 2016 to do sanctions that were followed on pretty quickly. not only through the body to -- signed by the president but they were followed on pretty quickly by the u.n. security council and china did not exercise its veto in those. i am curious. are there major differences in the way sort of they interpret the sanctions and we interpret them? do we run into interpretive, you know, disagreements where we think that it should be more maximal and they're claiming that it's not? tell me a little bit about the relationship with china even over the understanding of what the sanctions mean. >> we have had six u.n. security council resolutions since 2006.
fi five adopted in the security council. no vetoes. it shows how chinese is a complete flagrant outlier in the system. they are opposed to all of north korea's vie lative behavior, but in the details of the sanctions, and there is a u.n. panel of experts that monitors the sanctions and implementation and interprets. we and the chinese work closely with the experts. the chinese have a lot more trade going on with north korea. they have a very long border with north korea. they have differences in interpretation of some of the sanctions and more kind of tangibly differences in how they can implement the sanctions. they have a lot more work to do to implement the sanctions. obviously at the borders, with inspections of customs, with tracking financial transactions,
et cetera. so they are both having a difference with regard also to their domestic laws and how they enact domestic laws to implement u.n. sanctions than what the system is that we have. >> if i could ask one more question, mr. chairman, just about up against my time. these guys have been on the subcommittee and are more experts than me. i am a middle east and latin america guy just added to the committee. but help me understand chinese behavior on this. they did not veto the sanctions, as you mentioned. they disagree on application issues. but that may not be quite so unusual. they're on the border and they're doing trade with, it affects them more than us, so they would have a different point of view. but they would sanction south korea for taking steps that are defensive in nature. when south korea is taking steps that are clearly defensive in nature to protect itself against
what everybody agrees is sanctional behavior within the u.n. context that should cause grave concern by a border neighbor as well as other nations in the region, i -- i have a hard time understanding what the sanction about south korea is. i can't interpret in any light other than a really hostile and unhelpful one. so help me understand. >> i think your interpretation is perfectly legitimate. i mean, we -- we have the same conversation, which is this is a defensive system. the chinese don't believe it's a defensive system. but we've trayied to explain th we can have a technical conversation and explain to you exactly why you're wrong, but they have not come to the same conclusion on that. so i think, you know, we continue to point out to them that this is a completely unjustified kind of behavior.
and i think on the reaction to the t.h.a.a.d. system i can't -- i can't explain exactly why they're doing what they're doing, but i think seeing it as unreasonable is perfectly legitimate. >> thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you, senator kaine. i'll be brief. there will be additional sanctions issued on chinese entities and others who are violating our sanctions and u.n. sanctions, correct? >> yes. those will be issued shortly. is that correct? >> um -- >> shortly within the next -- >> it's not the state department that issues them. >> correct. >> so yes. within -- >> thank you. >> yes. >> following up on human rights. with any of the actions include violations of human rights by the north korea regime? will any of the measures address the violations of human rights
by north korea? >> it's possible. i am not exactly sure which ones will be included in the next traunch. it's possible we still have the north korean human rights sanctions provided for in legislation and we have the authority to do that. >> the other and final question before turning it over to senator markey. cyber capabilities. in the last congress we passed those. we have talked about the ransom attacks. does the state department, treasury department plan to utilize the cyber sanctions authority under the previous legislation? >> yeah. i believe that, of course, we are well aware of malicious cyber activity emanating from north korea, and we are very concerned about it. i think, when we have the opportunity to use this
authority, we wouldn't hesitate to use it. >> thank you. senator markey. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we thank you for being here. secretary thornton. this is a very important discussion. and, again, i continue my line of questioning, again, referencing back to the "washington post" story of two hours ago saying that our own defense intelligence agency now believes that they could deploy a reliable, capable intercontinental ballistic missile next year. so time is of the essence. this is the last, best chance we're going to have to deter them. and so the legislation which we have pending before this committee and that we intend on moving and is the subject of
this hearing is to impose broad sanctions on ten chinese companies identified specifically as doing the largest amount of business with the north korean government. and we want to move on this rapidly so that the chinese know that we're serious and the north koreans know that we're serious. and we now know that time is running out. once they have that intercontinental ballistic missile nuclear capable ability, it will be very difficult to roll that back. so, again, what is the administration's views on this legislation that we have pending before the committee? does the trump administration support it? oppose it? or are you neutral? >> we certainly would support, you know, going after entities
that are violating the sanctions. i can't say without knowing what the list of entities exactly is and having a lot more information about what they've been doing, kind of what kinds of violations they are looking at. but we would certainly not hesitate to go after companies that we have that kind of information on. so i think we are sort of in the same mode of wanting to ratchet up the pressure on the north korean regime quickly. as far as signaling to north korea about what it is we are trying to do, since they don't seem to be willing to enter into a serious negotiation, we are trying to let them know through other means, you know, what it is that our goal is, what it is that we're trying to do and what we're not trying to do. the secretary has been clear
we're not pursuing regime change in north korea. we are not pursuing a collapse or an accelerated reunification. that we are generally focused on the denuclearization of the korean peninsula. we have done our part in south korea. there are no nuclear weapons. and it's now up to north korea to come to the table, hopefully encouraged by the sanctions and also encouraged by other incentives. >> my question goes to what is the conversation between the trump administration and the chinese government. what are you saying to the chinese government about the intention of the united states to tighten a vise-like grip sanctions on those companies that are cooperating with the
north korean government, including the ten companies that we include in this legislation towards the goal of moving to direct negotiations with the north koreans having the chinese working with us. so what is that conversation? that's what we're trying to elicit. because obviously, when there is a 37% increase in trade with north korea and china and a $10 billion a year hit on the south korean government -- economy, as they cooperate with the united states in the deployment of the t.h.a.a.d., right now they're not feeling any pressure. it's just business as usual, coasting towards that moment where they have a nuclear weapons program that is successful in being able to reach our country. so what exactly are you saying to the chinese leaders? >> well, we have had the conversation about our intention to tighten the vise grip of
sanctions with regard to companies that are violating. we're also, of course, working on new international sanctions through the u.n., and i think u.s./u.n. ambassador nikki haley had a statement about that this morning, that the chinese have proposed additional -- some additional measures and that things were positive in the conversations we were having with china about instituting additional international sanctions as a response to the icbm launch on july 4th. we're also telling them quite up front that we will not hesitate to take additional actions against chinese companies that are violating the sanctions with north korea. i haven't had -- i haven't told them the ten -- list of ten companies that is in your bill, but we have been talking to them about a lot of other entities and companies that we have
information about that are involved with north korea and that we are proceeding to try to move against. >> so what are you telling the chinese are the conditions under which we are willing to engage in direct talks with the north koreans? the chinese have asked us to engage in direct negotiations with the north koreans. what have you said to china about what those conditions would be that would bring us to direct talks? what are the conditions you have given to the chinese? >> we haven't given them a list of conditions, but we have told them, as i think i mentioned in my statement, that a start would be a moratorium on testing of missiles and nuclear devices. and diminishing of provocative behavior. that would be the first sort of step in moving toward a
negotiation, not -- we would like to see some seriousness on the part of north korea about abandoning its weapons program. >> so you're saying north korea has to make concessions before we'll been negotiations. is that the position of the trump administration? >> well, north korea doesn't have to make concessions. it has to stop its u.n. security council resolution vaio lative elicit behavior. we don't see that as a concession. >> i appreciate that. you have to look at it from the perspective of the north koreans as well, which is why going to direct negotiation with a much tougher sanction program surrounding its economy, in cooperation with the chinese, is the -- from my perspective -- correct formula to get a result before next year when it becomes irreversible. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator portman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as senator markey has described, we have big challenges with north korea, and over the period
of the last couple of decades a few different administrations we tried different things which haven't worked. i wanted to talk, if i could, for a moment about the possibility of redesignated north korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. and i raise this because you recall that the designation was actually removed as part of a negotiation. and my understanding is that the north koreans did not keep their end of the bargain on that negotiation. i know that you are currently pursuing a strategy of maximum pressure, as it's called, against the regime. i just wonder why this isn't one of the things you're looking at. the perry initiative during president clinton's administration is where this was removed. the bush administration -- it was discussed. i am sorry.
the bush administration's removal of the regime from the list in 2008 was based upon agreement by north korea to disable its plutonium factory. and for the complete and correct declaration of its nuclear programs. none of those things happened. today we understand that plutonium production continues and it's an important part of the north korean nuclear program. if i am wrong about that, i would like to hear from you, miss thornton. and we're nowhere near having a complete and correct understanding of their nuclear program, of course. so the removal from the list in 2008 was, you know, closely linked to negotiating limitations on the program and changes in international behavior by the regime, and it never happened. director coates has outlined in his worldwide threat assessment that north korea's record is sharing dangerous nuclear and missile technology with state sponsors of terrorism including iran and syria, continues to pose a serious threat not just to the u.s. but to the security
environment in east asia and elsewhere. so, you know, sharing dangerous nuclear weapon technology with iran, a state sponsor of terrorism, should seem to be an important link to terrorism. and addition, the regime built a long record, of course, with kidnapping and murder. its treatment of japanese nationals was an important part of their designation previously. unfortunately they've now made a habit of detaining americans. as you know, one of my consistency, otto warmbier, was one of those who was detained. and that detention, in essence, turned into a death sentence for him. improperly detained, and -- so my question to you would be whether you all are weighing the redesignation of korea as a state sponsor of terrorism and what the status of that decision-making is, and if you're not doing that, why aren't you doing that.
>> thank you. thank you, senator, very much for that question. and of course, let me just start by saying that our hearts really do go out to the family of otto warmbier. it was a reprehensible tragedy, something no one should have to go through. i certainly appreciate the sentiment behind your question, and i think we all are very concerned about humanitarian conditions inside north korea and about actions by the regime that are very much outside the bounds of any kind of responsible state actor. and i think, on the issue of the state sponsors of terrorism, we are reviewing that issue right now. it is an issue that the secretary has taken an interest in. there are a lot of technical and
legal aspects to it. so i can't tell you with great specificity where we are in the review right now. but we are looking at the issue of designation. and i could give you more information, perhaps at a later date. >> well, i appreciate that information. but i would like to ask that you get back to me. and i assume the chairman and ranking member will be interested as well as to what the thinking is and what the considerations are. you said it's a highly technical decision. how they've treated not just other countries' citizens but ours. with regard to otto warmbier. i want to thank you again. i've done this before the committee a few times.
as you know, ambassador joe yuan was critical to us being able to bring otto home. we appreciate the state department's increased and highly personal efforts over the last couple of months. and again, the -- the process that we have gone through the last 18 months with dprk with regard to otto warmbier indicates to me the level of depravity that exists within that regime. one final question, if i could, mr. chairman. this has to do with economic sanctions. many of us have talked about the imposition of broader sanctions by having more chinese companies brought into the chinese regime. there are hundreds of thousands of chinese companies still doing business with north korea, it's
let me ask you about the sanctions that are in place. are they working? are they affecting the pace with which the country of north korea has been able to develop and test its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and to what sources of funding has the regime resorted to in order to get around some of these sanctions? >> thank you very much for that question. i think that what we see is, as we build this global kind of network to try to increase the pressure on the regime and prevent proliferation especially of illicit technology going to north korea, that there has been some effect. we are affecting their ability to get things that they need. it hasn't, unfortunately, slowed down their missile testing program. but we do see them needing to resort to, you know, new avenues of access to get imports and
other things. i think that is one of the desired goals of the sanctions regime, is to make things more difficult for them obviously to proceed with their weapons programs. i think one aspect of this is, you know, as the pressure on the regime, on sanctions, on their inability to transact financial transactions and move things easily across borders without being subject to inspection, et cetera, they will start to look for new avenues of outlet. and that's one of the reasons why we have been so insistent on traveling out to countries that you wouldn't normally think of as being partners of north korea to try to shore up the resolve of countries all over the world to keep north korea from accessing markets that they may now be turning to when things get more difficult in the nearby
neighborhood. but i think, unfortunately, we have not seen their missile program slow down. in fact, it seems that they are testing at the same rapid rate that they have been testing at lately. and so we are continuing to talk to china about that. we are continuing to try to impinge on sources of particularly hard currency financing. but we do find that a lot of their production has gone now indigenous. and it's become harder and harder to stop this kind of activity in north korea. i think, you know, as we work with china -- i mean, everybody in the u.n. sanctions network is conscious. that's one of the things the u.n. panel of experts is doing, keeping particular track on items and dual-use items that may be of use to north korea and
trying to make sure that we close down those avenues. but we have also sort of just started to work on this, and we have a lot of conversations and capacity building to do with other countries. some countries have more capacity to catch these things at customs than others, et cetera. and that's one of the things in our conversations with our chinese colleagues that we have talked about is, you know, providing customs assistance for them on the border to catch a lot of the stuff that goes into north korea, and we are working on that with them as are some of our other like-minded allies in the region. >> i hope we'll redouble our efforts to work on that because the alternative is frightening not just for the region and certainly japan and south korea recognize that now, but also for the broader region, including china. and what could happen on their border with dprk. now, with the new testing of intercontinental ballistic missile, really for the whole world. >> right. >> i would hope that we would not only put more pressure on
these countries but that we would apply that pressure in a way that it's clear that it's in their self-interest to avoid the potential calamity that could occur if we do not more effectively through sanctions and peaceful means curtail what they're able to do in their missile program and on their nuclear program. so i -- i know chairman is holding this hearing in part to put attention on this issue, and i would certainly hope that is a top priority of the administration. and it -- again, in the self-interest of these other countries to avoid a much more drastic result. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator portman. before we turn to the next panel, secretary thornton, if we can get a time frame from the state department on the es designation of state sponsored
terror. the imprisonsments that they continue to be responsible for, whether it's the missile launches they continue, interaction with iran, the decision needs to be made soon and it needs to be, i believe, a redesignation of that state sponsor of terror. thank you, secretary thornton, for your testimony today. apologies for the late start. we'll bring up the second panel. the first witness on the second panel is bruce klingren from the heritage foundation. he spent 20 years serving at the central intelligence agency and defense intelligence agency focusing on the korean peninsula including as cia's deputy division chief for korea. welcome. our second and final witness of the second panel is mr. leon sigal, i believe, not segal. sigal. serving as the director of the
north korea asia service project at the research counsel in new york. he is an author and has taught at columbia and princeton university. thank you for being with us today. mr. klingren, if you would begin. >> thank you, mr. chairman, ranking member markey. it's truly an honor to be asked to appear before you on such an important issue to our national security. the immense of pyongyang's crossing of the threshold has triggered greater advocacy by some to prevent north korea from obtaining its objective. preemptive attacks on test flights that clearly do not pose a security risk could trigger an all-out war with traggics consequences. while the u.s. should be stead fast, it should save a
preemptive strike for imminent north korean attack. others push for a return in negotiations, but we have been down that path many times before and all were unsuccessful. north korea pledged in several international agreements to never develop nuclear weapons, and once caught with its hand in the nuclear cookie jar acceded to several agreements to give up the weapons they promised not to build in the first place. the u.s. has offered hue tan tarian assistance. turning a blind eye to violations and not implementing u.s. laws. which word and deed, north korea has repeatedly and emphatically shown it has no intention of abandoning its nuclear weapons under present circumstances. it's also difficult to have a dialogue with a country that shuns it. north korea closed the north korea channel in july 2016, serving the last official link between our governments until allowing dialogue recently to facilitate the return of the comatose and dying otto warmbier.
north korea literally refuses to pick up the phone in the -- both in the joint security area and in the dmz and interkorean military hotline in the west sea. north korea has rejected several attempts at engagement by south korean president moon jae-in. they've dismissed them as nonsense. south korea has also tried engagement, having 240 inter-korean agreements. proposals for returning to negotiations such as the freeze for freeze option all share a common theme in calling for yet more concessions by the u.s. in return for a commitment by the north to undertake a portion of what it's already obligated to do. the best way to engage in negotiations would be after a comprehensive, rigorous, sustained international strategy. such policy upholds u.s. laws, u.n. resolutions and imposes a penalty on those who violates them. puts in place measures you to make it harder for north korea to import items they need for their prohibited programs and
constrained proliferation. north korea must be held accountable for its actions and to refrain from doing so would be to condone illegal activity and give de facto immunity from usa and international law. administrations have talked tough about pressuring north korea but instead engaged in timid incrementalism in imposing sanctions and defending u.s. law. u.s. officials responsible for sanctions, if you talk to them privately, will say, yes, they have lists and evidence of north korean and chinese and other entities in violation but they were prevented from implementing and enforcing those laws. though president trump has criticized president obama's strategic patience policy as weak and ineffectual he has yet to stish distinguish his policy from others. the trump administration recently expressed frustration
with beijing's foot-dragging on pressuring north korea. and took action against other entities. we're hearing they'll sanction additional chinese violators and i hope that's the case. we also have to highlight and condemn pyongyang's crimes against humanity. advocacy for human rights must be a component for u.s. policy. the u.n. commission of inquiry assessed constituted crimes against humanity. in july of 2016 the obama administration for the first time imposed human rights sanctions on a handful of north korean entities but since then the u.s. has not taken further action. in conclusion the most sensible policy is to increase pressure in response to their repeated
defiance while ensuring the u.s.'s sufficient defenses for itself and allies and leaving the door open for talks. thank you again for the privilege of appearing before you. >> mr. klingren and mr. sigal, we'll begin your testimony. i forgot to mention to you how sorry we are for the late start as well. thank you both for being here. mr. sigal. >> thank you, chairman gardner, ranking member markey, thank you for inviting me to appear before you today. the current unbounded north korean weapons program poses a clear and present danger to the u.s. and allied security. that makes it a matter of great urgency to negotiate a suspension of its nuclear missile testing and fissile material production, even if the north is unwilling to recommit to complete denuclearization up front. have no doubt about it, complete
denuclearization remains the goal, but demanding that pyongyang pledge that now will only delay a possible agreement, enabling it to add to its military wherewithal and bargaining leverage in the meantime. now, soon after taking office, president trump wisely resumed diplomatic engagement with pyongyang. the talks are now in abeyance. restarting them is imperative. the experiences that pressure without negotiations has never worked in the past with pyongyang. and there is no reason to think it will work now. the question to ask about people who prefer the sanctions only approach is, how long will it take for the sanctions to work to get north korea to accept our negotiating position and to stop their icbm testing, their nuclear testing, and their fissile material production. how long. with that in mind, it seems to
me legislation now under consideration should not immediately trigger sanctions but provide for at least a three-month implementation period to allow time for talks. three months is not going to make a difference in terms of the impact of the sanctions, but it may open the opportunity for talks if we are willing to talk. washington is preoccupied with getting beijing to put more pressure on pyongyang, but it's worth recalling that on three occasions when china and the united states worked together in the u.n. security council to impose tougher sanctions, in 2006, 2009, 2013, north korea responded by conducting nuclear tests in an effort to drive them apart. that, interestingly enough, did not happen after washington and beijing agreed on the much tougher security council sanctions last november. instead, kim jong-un defied widespread expectations he would
soon conduct a sixth nuclear test as a signal of restraint in the expectation that president trump would open talks. if we delay talks, we may get that test. the recent test launch of on icbm underscores how the prospect of tougher sanctions without talks prompts pyongyang to step up arming. a policy of maximum pressure and engagement can only succeed if nuclear diplomacy is soon resumed and the north security concerns are addressed. we must not lose sight of the fact that it's north korea that we need to persuade, not china. and that means taking account of north korea's strategy. during the cold war, kim ilson played china after. in 1998 he reached out to improve relations with the united states, south korea and japan in order to avoid
overdependence on china. that has been the kims' objective ever since. that aim was the basis of the 1994 agreed framework and the september 2005 six-party joint statement. for washington, obviously, suspension of pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs was the point of those agreements, which succeeded for a time in shuttering the north's production of fissile material and stopping the test launches of medium and longer range missiles. both agreements collapsed, however, when washington did legal to implement its commitment to improve relations, and of course, pyongyang reneged on denuclearization. that past is prologue. now there are indications that a suspension of north korean missile and nuclear testing and fissile material production may again prove negotiable. in return for a suspension of its production, the training
with enemies act before the nuclear issue arose could be relaxed a third time. an agreement will require addressing pyongyang security needs, including adjusting our joint exercises with south korea, for instance by suspending flights of nuclear-capable of b-52 bombers into korean airspace. those flights were reassumed to reassure allies. if those tested are suspended b-52 flights can be too without sacrifice of deterrence. north korea is well aware of the reach of u.s. icbms which were recently test launched to remind them. the u.s. can continue to bolster forces in the region so conventional deterrence remains robust. the chances of persuading north korea to go beyond another
temporary suspension to dismantle its nuclear missile programs, however, are slim without firm commitments from washington and seoul to move toward political, economic normalization, engage in a peace process and negotiate security arranges the among a nuclear weapons free zone providing a multi lateral legal framework for denuclearization. in that context president trump's willingness to hold out the prospect of a summit with kim jong-un would also be a significant inducement. let me say, in closing, we know what south korea is like. with its one-man rule, cult of personality, internal renimentation. it's a decidedly bad state. that's what we americans know about north korea. the wisest analyst i know once wrote, finding the truth about the north's nuclear program is
an example of what we know sometimes leads us away from what we need to learn. the best way to learn is to enter into talks about talks and probe whether pyongyang is willing to change course. thank you. >> thank you, mr. sigal, for your testimony today. to both of you, senator markey, if you would -- if you have any questions. i just would start with the brief question. you heard from secretary thornton, talked about some of the pillars that they laid out. mr. klingren, you said how is this policy of the administration any different than strategic patience. if the actions that they've laid out don't result in additional pressure, it is strategic patience. is that correct? >> i think the -- the real test is what actions are implemented. we have heard from successive administrations, tough talk, when president obama said north korea is the most heavily sanctioned nation on earth he was wrong. as you pointed out in your opening comment. so it's really the actions that carry through on these pledges
of pressure. i am waiting to see the length of the list of sanctions, of entities that will be sanctioned. not only north korean but as you pointed out chinese violators of u.s. law. >> would a more global approach to denial of access to financial networks be something you think could actually work? >> i think so. i think we need to have a full spectrum, and a comprehensive, integrated strategy. too often the debate in washington is sanctions versus engagement. there are two sides of the same coin. you need both of them working in conjunction with each other, along with other measures of information operations, human rights advocacy, deterrence, et cetera. but i think we do need to augment the sanctions that we have. they're, as you said, proposed legislation which will plug holes, augment measures. in many ways they are trying to induce this administration, as the previous administration, to use authorities they have long had to fully enforce u.n.
resolutions and u.s. laws. >> mr. sigal, why won't china, responsible for 30e9 % of north korea's economy simply go to kim jong-un and say, let's step down your nuclear program and begin the conversations that you talk about? >> i think, mr. chairman -- i think, mr. chairman, they have. the problem is that the chinese, i think, understand the situation somewhat similarly to what i have tried to suggest, which is that the north koreans want to change the relationship with us as a hedge against china. they don't want to be dependent on china. they also understand that, when they have put -- joined with the u.s., at the u.n., and voted for tougher sanctions, resolutions and in most cases implemented them, at least most of them, the north korean response on three occasions was to test the neapen
in order to drive the two of us apart. so i think part of this is there seems to be, in the chinese mind, a different logic working because they seem to grasp what the north koreans seem to want. we need to unfortunately grasp what the north koreans want, which is improved relations with us because they don't want to be dependent upon china. >> senator markey. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you both for excellent testimony. mr. sigal. it is often implied that the only way the united states can engage in dialogue with north korea is by giving it economic or other concessions or by conceding the ultimate goal of any talks, complete denuclearization of the korean peninsula. i believe there are many circumstances under which we could engage in talks with north korea that would not require
concessions that would not impact our ability to ensure the safety and security of our allies and would not remove any options for the united states to deal with the north korean challenge. mr. sigal, your testimony indicates that you may feel the same. can you share your opinion on some of the different ways the united states can engage with north korea without having to provide economic concessions or without having our allies question our commitment to their safety or security. >> yes, sir. first of all, from the north korean vantage point vis-a-vis the united states. not necessarily vis-a-vis others, this has never been about economics. it's been about the relationship. the only interest they have in sanctions easing is not because they expect fortune 500 companies to rush into north korea and invest, it is because it's a sign to them of enmity. the trading with the enemy act. how clear could it be.
secondly, with respect to a thing that obviously a lot of people worry about, that the first thing they'll want in a peace process is u.s. troops to go out. if that's what they want, we're not going to give it to them, are we? we will only take our troops out of south korea if south koreans ask us to do that. and the north koreans know that. indeed, the north koreans for many years, until at least a couple of years ago kept talking about essentially this. when the -- if the united states is our enemy, u.s. troops in south korea are a threat to us, and they have to go. but if the united states is no longer our enemy, the troops are no longer a threat to us. and they can stay. and indeed, the north koreans, on numerous occasions, the last of them a couple of years ago, talked about the u.s., a bridge too far, and north korea being allies. you can have two allies.
you can be allied to south korea and you can be allied to us. they were looking for a formulation to change the relationship. that's what this is about. in a world in which the relationship is changed, it is possible to imagine, i am not saying it's likely but it is possible to imagine that the north koreans, down a long road, will become convinced we are no longer their enemy and they don't need nuclear weapons to protect themselves. i don't think there is a sign we can get there now because of our politics and because of their politics, but we have got to stop the programs now to give ourselves the chance to do that. and i know of no other way to get them to get rid of their nuclear weapons. >> thank you, mr. sigal. mr. klingren, we convincner, we
daufi to give up his neapuclear weapon program. we participated in a process subsequently leading to their deaths. so if you're kim and you're looking at united states and the goal the goal ultimately to denuclearize, what does he need as a guarantee for his own personal safety in order to convince him that it's worth his while to engage in talks that could head towards denuclearization? and ultimately what are the concessions or the commitments that the united states would have to make in order to get him to accept that premise? >> north koreans have used those same examples in explaining why
they will never, ever negotiate away their nuclear weapons. >> exactly. >> they've said denuclearization is off the table. there is nothing you can offer us. we are prepared to talk about a peace treaty or fight. so unless we change their calculus, then they will not negotiate away those nuclear weapons. in the meantime, the pressure, the sanctions, the targeted financial measures, are fulfilling a number of other objectives as we hope we can get to a negotiated position. in the meantime we are enforcing our law, no longer turning a blind eye to violations. as i mentioned, we are putting in place measures to constrict the inflow and outflow of prohibited nuclear and missile -- >> when you look at this recent dramatic increase in trade between north korea and china, what is your message to the trump administration in terms of what they have to do, in terms of telescoping the time frame to
ensure that the north korean economy is not benefiting from these chinese trade, given the rapid movement that they have made towards the integration of an icbm with a nuclear wire? >> i would say we need to distinguish between diplomacy and law enforcement and give that message to china so that u.s. law is not negotiable. the entities that come into the u.s. financial system and misuse it in violation of u.s. law will be treated accordingly. with diplomacy we try to convince beijing to deal with sanctions. >> can we change the calculus in the north korean regime's
mentality that they don't want to have a repetition of what happened in libya and iraq affect them without our lati legislation passing and without the already existing sanctions being tightened in order to force a negotiation in a time frame that actually avoids, perhaps, the irreversible moment in our relationship? >> i think the first step is you need to change the calculus of the chinese banks and businesses that are engaging with north korea. you can do that through u.s. law. you can wean them away from engaging with north korea. we have seen that in the past when the u.s. took action and then had private meetings throughout asia to induce 24 entities including entire countries and the bank of china to defy the chinese government by cutting off interaction with north korea. if we go after those chinese
organizations, as senator gardner pointed out, you can have a few, small number of very influential actions you can take that have repercussions across a broader scale. you use the laws to take out the criminal organizations, and you also change the calculus for legitimate businesses who see it as no longer in their business interest to engage with north korea. so you can tighten the regime by enforcing u.s. law. >> compared to the sanctions that are already on the books, and thus far their lack of efficacy, and the proposal that senator gardner and i have introduced, what is your view about our legislation in terms of serving as an additional weapon in the arsenal, the diplomatic arsenal, which the trump administration can use,
and how would such legislation -- our legislation complement existing laws already on the books? >> i think it very well complements existing legislation and existing executive orders and regulations, but again, the problem -- or the question will always be will the executive branch of any administration actually use the powers that they have been given. it's like a mayor of a city saying i am tough on crime but then not having his police department enforce those whom they have evidence against. >> my view is that, if they don't, then it's going to lead inevitably to a north korean icbm nuclear weapons program that is completed. so i don't think, as a nation, there is an option. i think the president has to become tougher on the chinese. they are the safety valve. they are the release valve that the north koreans are using, and
they're punishing the south koreans rather than the north koreans. and i think ultimately, unless we get more real about what's happening, then we are just on a collision course with a north korean nuclear weapons armed, icbm-capable posture for the rest of our lives. do you agree with that, mr. sigal? >> i agree with that, but i think what you said earlier is just as important, which is you have to open the way to negotiations. >> exactly. >> that's the key. >> exactly. and not on our terms but actually talks about talks to get them to stop. in a circumstance in which they have suspended their testing and their fissile material production that period is much
more secure. we want to prolong that suspension as much as possible and go beyond it to get them to dismantle the facilities they have for producing more missiles. and then ultimately get the weapons. the weapons will come last. they're going to come down a very long road because they need to be assured the relationship has changed. that's the structure of the deal that at least is remotely possible. is it likely? i wouldn't bet on that. negotiations are not guaranteed. but sanctions seem to me a very long road to nowhere at this point. if done alone. if done alone. you are saying both. >> my view is sanctions with direct negotiation. >> that's my view too. >> can you just both -- i apologize -- can you each give me your one minute summary, just your one minute, that you want
the chairman and i to remember from your testimony as we move forward during this perilous time in our relationship with north korea. >> i would say realize that all the hype that sanctions have been implemented and failed is incorrect. they have not been tried to the full extent. the legislation last year induced the obama administration to do its three actions against north korea which was because of the legislation. we need to increase the pressure. yes, we want to get to negotiations but i would distinguish between diplomatic discussion between diplomats as opposed to resuming formal negotiations where you lose control of the momentum and it often requires u.s. concessions so the negotiations don't fail. have diplomatic discussions amongst the state department and their counterparts, but realize that's been tried many times before and they're the ones that have been refusing to talk. >> mr. sigal. >> i think sanctions are important, but they have to be
married with negotiations. the only way in the time that we need to stop an icbm and stop a boosted energy or thermo nuclear device in -- by north korea is to get negotiations going and see whether they will stop testing. and stop fissile material production. that takes both sanctions and negotiation. >> i thank both of you. excellent hearing. >> thank you -- thanks to all of you. thank you again for being here. apologize for the late start. thank you all for being a part of this hearing. the information of the records will be open until the close of business friday including for members to submit questions for the record. ask the witnesses to kindly respond as quickly as possible. your responses will be made part of the record. thanks to the committee. the hearing is now adjourned. [ gavel ]
sunday night, on afterwards, connecticut democratic congresswoman rosa de lauro talks about waging the battle for the vulnerable. >> when social security reached its lowest point, we had ronald reagan and tip o'neill who came together and acted, and the congress acted, to make social security solvent into the future. this -- all of this wringing of hands about social security and being insolvent can be solved immediately by lifting the cap. >> watch after words sunday night at 9:00 eastern on c-span
2's book tv. six arab countries including saudi arabia and egypt cut ties to the nation of qatar. alleging the country has ties st have cut ties to the nation of qatar, alleging the country has ties to terror groups. a hearing on the issue earlier this week. it's two hours, 20 minutes. >> the subcommittee will come to order. after recognizing myself and ranking member for five minutes each for our opening statements, i will then recognize other members seeking recognition for one minute. we will then hear from our