tv North Korea Nuclear Program CSPAN September 29, 2017 3:03am-4:47am EDT
20153rd awater. >> when you're a theater kid, you learn to work hard to create something greater than the sum of your parts. the for the sake of something great learn to trust your passion and let it lead the way. without the arts programs i wouldn't be standing here and without alexander hamilton, very few of us would be here either. next on 3 span 3 a discussion about the u.s. options with north korea talking about diplomatic options and preemptive military strikes. the discussion is an hour and a half. ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. welcome to the center of national interests and our
session on north korean crisis. you may have noticed the large camera and good looking, and we're live on c-span 1, i'm told. this should be a good session. i'm honored to be accompanied by two good friends who have some experience with north. to my right, ambassador joe, fluent in mandarin, a u.s. representative to the korean economic development agency. necessary manages -- mission manager for north korea, and
he's able to talk well about this. to my left, greg, executive director for the committee of human rights in north korea. he comes to his knowledge of communist governments honestly, raised in romania during the regime. i would like to start off with greg and go to the group. >> thank you. you're about to shed an eye 28 years after the collapse of communism and soviet union. the kim jong-un regime has developed, terrifying weapons and refused two heritage
transmissions of power, grandfather, son to son. kim jong-un ill to son and to grandstand son kim jung unin 2007. how did we get here. one argument is to the fact they had witnessed other systems, good, bad. the system now is truly the result of three totalitarian systems. there is stalinist communism, japanese imperialism, from 1995, under brutal occupation. and one argument is they'd is
that this i do nastic dictatorship of the kim family regime is truly the result of the fusion of three to tolltarian systems. we know for sure this is a criminal champagne and in 2014 the commission submitted a report from a year long investigation supported a report to the you man rights council and found what it happening in north korea at the north korean prison camps amounts to crimes against humanity. none of us have a record, and many work hard. there is only one country on the face of the planet. that is north korea.
there are 120,000 men, women and children being held at north korea's political prison camps. pur you ant to a system of guilt by association, a system of futile inspiration. this is the only country on the face of the planet that classifies its own citizens based on their degree of perceived loyalty to the regime. there is a core class, 20-25%, a wavering class, 40-significant% of the op wlaiks. inspectors there is a classified as hostile have been sent to prison camps and many banished
in remote areas in the northeastern part of north korea's dedengs facilities is unbelievable. we had numerous accounts of execution and starvation. they're subjected to a forced cycle of forced labor and induced malnutrition. one can see this fast system as unlawful imprisonment is the heart of darkness. the next question, how they have stayed in power so long. next year, they will be celebrating the 70 year
anniversary of the establishment of the -- and two leaders were good friends and certainly romania was a very oppressive regime and some of us or all of us still remember the notorious secret police, for a population of 23 million in 1989, the secret police had 14,000 agents. pretty similar population of 25 million in north korea today. 270,000 agents as north korea's internal agencies. the state department, ssd, the gustapo, they have 50,000 agents. the ministry of public security,
police force, it's a police force that executes political police functions as well, 210,000. the military security command whose mission is to keep an eye on senior officers in particular, 10,000 saagents. in romania, it is a stain on them and in north korea each person has to become an agent. every north korean has to participate in the neighborhoods watch system. each and every north korean has to participate in weekly indoctrination sessions, people
confess and pledging to strengthen their ideological prowess and others criticize them and it goes on and on. tropical the life of a north korean is lived under an overwhelming level of coercion, control, surveillance and punishment, which means the level of social cohesion is very low, very difficult for people to get together and organize and discuss sports even. forget about politics. although the situation has changed to a certain extent and i will mention that in a few minutes, nork continues to restrict very severely information coming into the country and information getting out of the country.
north korea -- if one thinks of buddha hess, prague, and one in 1989, was r what is the age of the revolution? later 20s? perhaps mid 20s? at the age of the revolution each and every young man is in a military uniform for 10 years, age 17 to age 27. many of the women spend six years in a military uniform. i have spoken to millions of north koreans who sons spent 10 years in the military and all said under this permanent indoctrination under kim jong-un, the level their sons had been subjected to was frigtening even to a north
korean in north korea. by the time they're out of the military the age of revolution has already passed. i would be stating the opposite if i said north korea today is different than 10 or 20 years ago. as we all remember, in the late 1990s, between 600,000, 3 million north koreans starved to death or died deduced by malnutrition. the reason behind the great trag that affected the people of north korea, while international aid was coming in, jim jung un, we know is survival.
this regime does not want its people to buy by the millions. if that is what it takes to stay in power it will do it in the blank of an eye. this is what happens in up the 1990s. there have been some positive side effects. first and foremost, many north koreans escaped the country. there were 8,300 defectors leaving in ssk. they have played an extraordinary important role. through them we have learned the stories of north korea. and after all i will take the liberty of saying the work, that
organizations such as hours do is the work that the kim regime fears the most. we find out the truth and tell the truth about north korea. this regime cares about its pocketed book and eliminatesy. if we bring up this once we should address this five times. i am not an avid reader, but i read it every day. pretty similar. doesn't take that much time. nuclear when's have become an essential part of this. it fills up articles of nuclear weapons and every time why mention human rights at the u.n. or other international for ra, this results in understand
mining the legitimacy of this regime. the fundamental objective of this regime is survival. this is an absolutely monopoly on power. it is the kim regime and only the kim regime. the kim regime's main competitor is south korea. as pre-postster house this may sound, this regime understands the only long term guarantee of its over survival is to establish hedge-a-money. have we seen positive developments in recent years for the past two decades. basically during the days of kim
woo un, they tried to replace money with exchange of rations. during the great days of the great famines, they were no longer able to feed its people for the pbs, ever since the past two decades we have seen innormal marketization in north korea. farmers markets, black markets, open markets. many more people depend on the markets today than the public distribution system which is is still active for those living in the capitol city of pong young. most of the elites live in the capital city of poyongyang.
they're quite impressive. i also have the memories of romania where there was a lot of construction but very little economic utility to that construction. the regime of kim jong-un has vested heavily in the building projects such as buildings in the capitol of pyongyang. if you look at pictures from one year ago, the typhoon affected north korea very considersly. pictures of men participating in recovery efforts. they had no tools. not a shovel, hammer, forget about tractors and truck. this is how the regime operates
by concentrating, focusing all resources first and faux most critical to its survival and not ordinary people of north korea. not having to depend on the public distribution system. the regime not being able not to control its people is a positive development. the other positive development is social dynamics are somehow changing in north korea. slowly but surely in the past prior the center life used to be center on the winter storm place and the place of residence. the workplace is always assigned. the place of residence is
assigned by the workplace. on paper, everybody has to be employed. in north korea, everyone has to punch in and punch out. men have to participate in public mobilization campaigns, why the women are the main actors. going back to social dynamics, this is not a society that thrives on trust, actually distrust is everywhere. however, since there is nowhere to lend or borrow money, no banks active in this market. goods coming from china and sold at wholesale markets in the border areas and wholesale markets in the provinces and retail markets, most of these transactions are executed based on trust.
perhaps one interesting element that will again take time in north korea, is that a bit of trust more than before is developing in personal relationships. that is not to say that the regime of kim jong-un is less of a human rights denier than that of the father the other grandfather. my organization, committee for human rights in north korea has identified several trends in human rights under the kim jong-un regime. we have identified these trends based on a research methodology that comprises satellite imagery, testimony by defectors inside the country, and in this day and age, given technological advances we can benefit from, we even have access to sources inside the country. we have all heard about the
purge going on inside north korea since 2009 when kim jong-un began preparing for the second transition of hereditary power and think tank staffed with defectors iss, institute of national strategy during the first five years of kim jong-un 340 officials were purged or executed. remember, this is a humongous bureaucracy, more than one individual. the entire bureaucratic support taken out underneath, friends, associates, family, colleagues. the favorite method of execution on kim jong-un's watch is execution by zpu 4 anti-aircraft machine gun system.
hrnk managed to acquire a satellite image of such an execution taken just minutes before. you're talking about a machine gun system, four machine gun barrels, 50 caliber, automatic fire, human bodies are just pulverized. they're turned into pink mist. remember, this is still a con fusion society. old elites were exterminated. christians were exterminated. new elites were terminated. these officials were executed and even denied the fundamental right of leaving a body behind. north korea is a member of the united nations thus bound by the declaration of human rights. it has ratified several human
rights incidents including the international covenant on civil and political rights and social and cultural rights and women's convention and children's convention yet each and every conceivable human right is violated in north korea. they have zero diplomatic credibility given all the the engagements it has broken. as far as we're concerned, human rights organizations will continue to tackle the toughest issues first and the most difficult of all issues in north korea is surely its vast system of unlawful imprisonment. north korea's political prison camp system, if i may use the same terminology, what we aim for, what we want to see is the complete verifiable irreversible
dismantlement of north korea's goulogue. thank you very much. >> on that happy thronote, let turn to you. we were talking about that. >> and we are still talking about it. >> thank you for the invitation. this is obviously a very important subject, one being discussed as we speak at the united nations general assembly meeting and our president will be speaking there tomorrow to include north korea. let me follow up on greg's outstanding presentation was focused on. that's human rights, criminality, elicit behavior. let me follow up on that and then i will go into what i would like to get a little more deeply into. in september 2005 we had a joint statement into. in september 2005 we had a joint
statement with north korea, and it took a number of years to come up with this joint statement. and the joint statement speaks to north korea, and that's the father, kim jung-il, committing to the verifiable dismantment of all their nuclear program. and we made that very clear to north korea. and in turn for that they would eventually getting the provision of -- we made it very clear to north korea that was a site for normalization. and i remember saying wait a minute, if we denuclearizize comprehensive, that doesn't lend itself to the normalizing with the united states. and i said, no, there are other
issues. these are bilateral issues. and it wouldn't be immediately denuclearization or moves towards denuclearization, they would get the benefits to include certainly security assurances. but then we said there are bilateral issues, which in japan there are a lot of human rights issues, but the abductee issue. and in the united states, further to greg's comments, human rights, we need transparency on human rights issues. we need to see some progress on what you're doing on human rights, because that's part of your value system. ask for us to have normalization, that's part of it. this is criminal behavior that we need to see progress and
indeed elimination. but indeed transparency and progress. then that would lend itself, and then these become bilateral discussions. but the opening of these bilateral discussions would be, again, that september statement when they committed dismantlement, for those deliverables that are important for north korea. so i couldn't agree with you more, greg, on the human rights issue. and that's always been a strong core element of our dialogue with north korea that the nuclear gets us into the core issues that touch our values as a nation and indeed other nations at the table. south korea, japan, certainly their allies, russia and china. about september 2005, let me go back a few years because it took us about two years to get to that point. because the first meeting of the talks was in august 2003.
and i remember that vividly because in april of 2003 we were at a very tense point with north korea. a tipping point. north korea was reprocessing spent fuel rods they took out of cooling pods. it was the end of the agreed framework. there were reprocessing fuel works. they told us. don't have to do much intelligence on these issues. they tell you. and they were doing that. and it was the secretary of state who went to his counterpart in beijing and said, look, this is getting very tense and the chinese spoke to koreans. and that was a dialogue that happened in april 2005, which established the six party process. so the koreans came to the table with china, the united states. we discussed it, and it was the beginning of the six body
process. the first meeting as i mentioned was in august. i remember one of my fir meetings at the six party talks was a statement that rings very true today as it did in 2003 when north korea very casually said, you know, mr. detraini, accept the fact we will be a nuclear weapons state. why don't you -- the americans need to understand that and accept that, and we could be a good friend of the united states if you accept that. and look at pakistan, the relationship you have with pakistan, they put that on the table. and ladies and gentlemen, they've not walked away from that issue. and as greg indicated it's part of the constitution, economic development and a nuclear weapons state. and they're pursuing that. that has been their goal. and the sense one has -- and let me just go back to the 2001
joint statement. that fell apart at the end of 2008 for the very clear reason. we expected our monitors, who were going to monitor and verify their adherence to the commitment to denuclearize. orally we had the commitment. we wanted it in writing. they wouldn't put it in writing, and that was the beginning of the end. we said if you can't put that in writing, we can't have our monitors comply with this joint statement, then really we don't have anything here. we don't have the trust. and that was the beginning of the end of the joint statement. we go way back to the end of the agreed framework. and that was in 2002. basically telling our representatives in pyongyang we have this and other things merchandise and basically there's not much you can do about it.
so it speaks to north korea even with the agreed framework and the light water reactors that were being built and the heavy fuel being provided, they still wanted a path of nuclear weapons. and then in 2005 when we had the joint statement, the sense was they weren't committed to let the monitors if they were in total compliance, leave pyongyang to confirm other areas. so there are pieces there that speak to where we are in 2017. 25 years of negotiations, and we've had -- we've had the famework, the joint statement. but we also had the pairing process where we had our secretary of state meeting with kim jung-il in pyongyang. we had some significant developments, but they eventually all fell apart. as it is right now, as we've
experienced over this past year with over 16 missile launches, intercontinental ballistic missile missile to intermediate range ballistic missiles. now icbms that can reach chicago, states. we've heard about missiles that can reach guam. we've heard kim jung-un talk about that. we've seen the very sixict nuclear test because north korea claims it was a thermo nuclear event, hydrogen. very, very significant. we all know that. and the sense it they've miniaturized their nuclear war heads. it's a sense of being at the cusp and ensuring that vehicle
will not burn up with they reenter the atmosphere. and at that point they become an existential threat to the united states. they're right on the mark saying we're at a tipping point. this is an issue. but it's north korea also that is pursued very vigorously. we saw that with the banking system, the chemical capabilities, biological capabilities. the weapons sitting on the heights looking at seoul, south korea. we're talking about a very tense period. i mention 2003 when they were reprocessing spent fuel rods. think of where we are right now. and the assessment is up to 40 nuclear warheads. some say 40 to 60. some say by 2020 they could have
100 nuclear warheads that are miniaturized with delivery systems. and this is north korea, a north korea that has sold nuclear technology to countries like syria. we saw this in alkabar when israelis in 2007 took out alkabar. it was a nuclear facility that koreans were assisting with. we've seen it with the missile trancefers to iran, libya, syria. this is to make money, make money. and this is what keeps their missile program going and nuclear program going. that's why i'm a believer in sanctions. and i think we all are, the united nations will sanctions north korea to denuclearizize north korea verifiably, i think
some say no. but sanctions bite. and i think the last one was a very powerful one. about 31% of their refined and of their crude oil that comes into north korea is being restricted. basically the textiles, they can't sell it. we're talking about to $750 million of textiles, et cetera. so it can bite. not only are irritants but their prelude to invasion, a decapitation of the leadership. what we say for decades we've always had these joint military exercises, which is offensive. when you look back in 1996 when they had a commando group going
at the blue house in south korea. we can go back to burma, 1983 when they had a commando team that went in to take down the leadership of south korea that was visiting burma at that time. korean allies, 1998. so there are anen of issues that speak to, yes. yes, joint, defensive military exercises. that's why for many of us who have been working and i think all of us in this room would say it's very distasteful for china and russia to put on the table the skegz of these military exercises with north korea if we want north korea to halt and freeze their nuclear missile tests. it's not comparable. it's not comparable. those missile launches and nuclear tests are in violation
of u.s./u.n. security resolutions. what our secretary of state rex tillerson has said very clearly, the u.s. is prepared to sit down with north korea and talk about these issues and hear these concerns, but they need to hear our concern, our allies concerns. but we don't want to do that with a gun to our head. we don't want to do that with launching missiles and having nuclear tests. stop what you're doing. if they go on for a week, stop for a week. if they go on for three months, but at least have some time line. and during those exploratory talks make a decision whether it would be possible to reconstitute negotiations with north korea. certainly to include our allies, china, russia and maybe expand it. maybe expand it.
so is that possible? exploratory talks not while north korea is launching missiles and having missile tests. i think that's a very aggressive proposal. one condition. and it's not a condition to stop nuclear tests and missile launches while you're talking to your -- i mean that's called common courtesy. now, north korea has not taken up on that. we've not accepted a freeze for a freeze. and we've seen where north korea is going with their icbms. we've seen they're at the cusp of getting what they want and that's the ability to deliver an intercontinental ballistic missile to the united states, and ensuring that reentry vehicle does not sort of burn up on reentry. that's looking at a best scientific scenario. it doesn't mean that's what's going to happen.
it doesn't mean they're going to just test it to weight it. so when we hear the president say oh, all options are on the table, that's pretty understandable. you have a country that in one year has had more missile launches than the last, you know, ten. that has had what it looks like thermo nuclear event, a test. we're talking over 120, 150 kilo ton event. and china is seeing the fall out with that event here. and we're seeing a country that's not tepid. his uncle was executed. his half brother international airport, what are we talking
about here ladies and gentlemen? i don't know did you tell kim jung-un is a rational actor where where he sits, but from where we sit, we have to be very mindful of the threat to our allies and the united states and globally. because there's another piece to nuclear weapons and we all know that because i mentioned alkabar a minute ago and the illicit activities to make money. certainly nuclear weapons in north korea, and i think this is why many and i'm certainly one of them maintain accepting north korea as a nuclear weapons statewide be a disaster. it would be a disaster because we are going to get regional nuclear proliferation. certainly south korea, japan, even taiwan, they're not just going to sit there. we have an extended nuclear deterrence commitment to our allies. they know that. but the fact of the matter with north korea retaining those nuclear weapons i think there will be an impetus, and we see some of this now, to get their
own nuclear detrerrent capability. and that's a reality. but there's also another reality. miscalculation, misinformation, confusion or the sale of the proliferation issue, ladies and gentlemen. proliferation issue. that plutonium nuclear reactor in alkabar, in syria that was taken out in 2007 there's no doubt in my mind there was money tran transacted in that. this is not where we want to go. so let me end on this point. when the president says all options are on the table, i mention secretary of state rex tillerson offering exploratory talks to determine if negotiations could be reconstewed. seems very fair. just don't launch missiles while
we're having these discussions. seems reasonable. north korea is not there. my view they're not there because they want to prove they have that capability of being a real existential threat to the u.s. and the other is they have these missiles and nuclear warheads. again like in 1993 making seoul a sea of ashes. in this case the united states a sea of ashes. youtube depicting the nuclear event going on in washington and so forth or tokyo, what have you. preemptive strikes where indeed if there's a missile launch which is viewed as an imminent threat to the united states or alally, i think it's pretty clear and certainly to the people in this room here i believe, we have an obligation to protect our nation, our people, our allies, their people
if it's an imminent threat. international water, there's no ambiguity in that. if there's a missile and north korea has to understand this very, very clearly, there's no way the u.s. is going to sit here with our allies and watch that. that's why we have the missile defense out there, the joint military exercises. that's why sanctions to compel or at least convince north korea to cease their nuclear tests. so far to no avail, but they will continue. but a preemptive attempt makes imminent sense. and north korea has to understand that with a decloratory policy. so all options are on the table, which makes this a very critical period. a very critical period for all those reasons. so let me just end on this.
although nuclear weapons are part of the constitution with the economic development. we see the markets and private markets and so forth because the public distribution isn't working, nuclear weapons are there, the development is there and so forth, the opportunity now is there to come back. because north korea is still committed and still wants very deally to want relationships with the united states, my opinion is they do want a relationship with the united states, but they want it on their terms. accept this is nuclear weapons state and we will behave. and in fact, we'll be a good -- i said that. and perhaps that's the case right now, and i've heard that close to a year ago when i met with them. we will be a friend of the united states. but the fact of the matter is, no. we're saying you could be a good friend of the united states and
our allies if you behave, and it doesn't come with nuclear weapons and it doesn't come with illicit activities. and it doesn't come with abusive human rights violations. thank you. >> well, joe, greg, thank you for the presentations. i think we can all tell that not only is there deep experience with north korea sitting here at the front table but there is deep emotion attached to it. we'll open it up for questions now. put the reminder out again we're on the record, as a matter of fact we're on tv. i would ask if you want to ask a question, make a comment, let me know somehow and tell us who you are and what your affiliation is and we'll go from there. thank you very much. sir. >> thank you, gentleman, for your presentation. my name is ben losen, i'm an
agent status for the navy. i'd like to consider the other side of the coin. we can see he talks a big game but he's been a big failure. so what does this do to his mentality? does this have an effect at all or do they just not care? >> well, let me just start on that. i think he would view himself is not a failure but as a significant success. and he's looking for a legacy as a young man of 33, 34. he's establishing north korea as a nuclear weapons state, the ninth nuclear weapons state. he probably feels he's at the cusp of getting others to recognize and accept. that's the word, accept. we realize what he has, but accept hayes a nuclear weapons state. so he feels he's on the cusp, and i think that plays a little into the economic issue that greg so spoke about where he's permitting those private plots
and those private markets. reminiscent of china in the '70s coming out the cultural revolution. so i think kim jung-un is feeling pretty good about himself right now. >> and given we've seen these massive purges of practically all four fundamental fundamental big building blocks of the kim jung-il regime has been purge. and even the inner core of the kim family. both the uncle, the half brother assassinated with a vx nerve agent at a busy international airport. those around kim jung-un will be afraid to deliver bad means to the supreme leader. and this might result in
miscalculation, kim jung-un not being able to accurately assess those accomplishments he's so keen on. >> yes, sir. against the wall. >> i'm with "the new york times." preem preemptive war was mentioned of course in the situation where the united states thought an immediate threat was coming. but there's also been talk about preemptive war to simply deny north korea its ability to strike the united states with an icbm. do either one of you think that's a realistic option? what would that scenario look like? how many people would die in south korea and elsewhere? and, you know, is that realistic? >> greg, if i could start and then i'll pass it to you.
>> the term i was using was preemptive and that would be preemptive strike against an imminent threat and that would be the united states or an ally. and going left of that would prevent them of having a capability of threatening a u.s. an ally, a preemptive strike on that. firstly, i think with a preemptive and declaratory policy with the missile launches they've had successful ones and the nuclear tests they've had r had, i think anyone who's advising kim jung-un, and there are some advising him, i think he will understand the u.s. will not just sit there. they're obligated, and we're we will not sit there. something will be done to intercept, destroy that threat. and that's the preemptive side.
preventing would be going into north korea and even preventing them from having that capability. i think on the preemptive side kim jung-un would have to be very cautious how he responds. he may do it through cyber, may do something -- but he needs to understand he's provoking a response, a necessary response. preventative side going left of that where you're going in and going after infrastructure to deny the capability of even threatening and so forth. and i think kim jung-un then becomes more of his own player. he becomes more of an actor we really can't understand his reaction to it. my personal view on that would be he and his military people would react in a very significant way. it wouldn't be a moderated way.
it would probably be more -- more indicative of the fact they feel they've been threatened significantly and attacked in a way. now, having said that, i think kim jung-un and those advising him have to understand he's at the point now where others would make the case you can't just wait for an imminent threat because that imminent threat, which would have to be dealt with, is are you waiting too long? do you have to -- if you know there will be an imminent threat, do you have to respond beforehand to prevent that from happening? and i think that's the issue right now. where we're going into a different category of not just prevention but prevention from those and from an actor who possibly or likely would be
doing something of an imminent nature that would threaten us or our allies. >> yeah, let me try and add something on this also. since at least 1993 we've gone through the same cycle of options every time north korea acts out. and it's caused victor chaw, who's a great analyst of this situation, to characterize north korea as a land of lousy options. one is preemptive attack, and we decide that's to say costly. next is negotiations and agreements and north korea cheats on those. and then there's sanctions. we always seem to settle on sanctions as the safe resort. but i think there's an argument if sanctions are truly defective, then they by definition are affecting the stability and longevity of the regime. so you get to another risky
situation. another interesting question to contemplate is that our allies, the republic of korea japan have been under an existential threat for some time. it induces a question of if our allies are to continue to believe in our guarantees of extended deterrence, what do we do to believe their sure this is rock solid? i think there's a case we made that the onset of a ballistic missile, nuclear threat to the united states fundamentally changes things to say the least. so we need to take other actions to sher up our deterrence.
and it's been stated to the chinese if you cannot or will not help us to restrain north korea then we the united states will have no other alternative but to enhance our deterrence capabilities. you may find that destableidesing, but this is not about you but our interests, and we are going to standby our allies. and that means moving capabilities there and enhancing our capabilities to ensure we're doing the best we can to protect our allies from this same threat we find discomforting to the united states. there's no easy answers to this thing. but greg mentioned earlier about more information getting into north korea. it's interesting that in the wake of the china sinking and
the shell of -- there was very large political unrest in south korea. they were angry at their government for not having any response options to provocations. so provocation options were developed. the next incident was the placement of land mines on the southern side of the dmz that maimed some public of korea soldiers. the option the -- chose to employ for that incident is turn the speakers on the dmz back on, broadcasting information into north korea. the koreans reacted very vig vigorously. this bothered them. greg spoke eloquently about human rights. so did joe.
one of the strongest suits we have is pushing that because we're speaking to populations by going right past their leadership in an autocratic society. that's a neat trick. we're the country that stared down the soviet union over decades. deterrence may be amongst all the military options available, strengthening our deterrence may be the best option. but remains to be seen. >> another -- go ahead. >> if i may add to that, i think true change as difficult to imagine, true change can only come from the north korean people themselves. we need to tell them three fundamental stories, the story of the outside world, especially the story of free, prosprr s democratic south korea. the story of the corruption,
their own leadership, in particular the kim family regime, and the story of their own human rights situation, which they do not necessarily understand living under such an oppressive regime. please make sense of this. help us out. >> very good. it's always informative and interesting. i guess what's bothering me is rich laid out the -- if i'm called into the office and they say okay what the hell do we do, i'm still cast in doubt. and a lot talk about preemptive strikes or once or another, i
wonder if that horse is out of the barn, it's too late. because with the number of nuclear weapons that the north has now that are usable, it doesn't take much imagination to even see a very quote-unquote successful preemptive strike on the missile ins tuilations and all of that desperate sort of mentality and you start seeing nuclear weapons going off in south korea. the level of damage that's credible on any type of nuclear scenario just strikes me as off the charts. and if a military scenario is viable at all, it's probably viable for a few weeks. at what point do they announce they've mastered the reentry tubing, and they'll demonstrate with a shot our people can read,
examine and say, yes, they've achieved that. at that point it's over in terms of preemptive strike. so what you're left with is either basically cutting a deal very much on kim jung-un's terms of, okay, we will give you certain recognitions in the name of preventing some absolute catastraef catastrophe, or you end up destruction, missile defense and hunker down and essentialliy present kim jung-un with the message, okay, you've been successful. you've developed all these systems. they aren't strategly worth much because we now have incredible defensive capabilities that we basically can neutralize it. and that's basically the only avenue left that strikes me.
>> can i just comment on that? you know, north korea makes it very clear that they're nuclear, and they use the term naelg they're nuclear deterrent. they're building their nuclear deterrent. and they made this very clear in 2003 when they got on this path of building nuclear weapons that their nuclear arsenal is for deterrence purposes. and when you're sitting down with them now, we have to look at what they say and they're doing, but when you sit down with them now they say this commentary, this hyperbolic rhetoric -- well, no, we have to believe what you have if you're threatening the u.s. and you're launching nuclear missiles and you have nuclear events, we have to believe that. sanctions abiding, information, secondary sanctions. and as north korea becomes more
isolated, that's where the u.n. comes in and the international community at large, they become that much more isolated. and what they've done is alienated china. we haven't mentioned china in this discussion so far. this is not something china is happy with obviously, but because this man has been in crude terms disrespectful to the prc and to president xi jinping. now, china has a lot of leverage, and that was the last sanction. we're talking about the crude oil, over 90% from china, refined oil. 85% of the trade and so on and so forth. so i guess i'm saying, yeah, we do have that option and i think that's the approach we're taking. but i think many of the analysts that look at north korea that say if they launch a missile and
put a nuclear warhead on that, that's the end of the country, and i think they understand that. and i think as greg said so far, survival is key for that nation. although, when you're commander in chief, you've got to look at the reality and so forth. so we've got to look at all those pieces on the table there. and i guess that's the value then of exploratory. although, most people would say why negotiations again? we failed after 2004, 2005, 2000 with the secretary of state's visit. why would you even consider that? well, what we want to do is stop the process. i think it's kind of logical you don't want them having another nuclear test. you don't want them to have another icbm launched or on irbm. as you just said so correctly the possibility of
miscalculation is there and that could precipitate something. >> you did mention your visit to north korea with bill clinton as a negotiation success? >> when i was involved with arranging for president clinton to visit, to get the two journalists back. and i think this is something kim jung-il at that time wanted, he wanted the visit of a former president. a president he thought he was making progress with when they had secretary albright's visit and the possibility of the clinton visit except what happened in the middle east to pyongyang. so i think for kim jung-il that was an important visit for former secretary clinton. >> yes, ma'am. >> what do you think of the possibility of or the methods
for obtaining deconfliction conversations with china about what to do in the event of event of any range to make sure we don't touch off with china and should these potential talks with china be classified -- i mean obviously classified but not public. >> a good question. we had our chairman of the joint chiefs dunford who was in china, secretary mattis, secretary rex tillerson, a lot of discussions with the chinese on that. and certainly our ambassador to the united nations, ambassador haley has been discussing with her counterpart. certainly the chinese are not happy with what's been going on with naek. they have a lot that's public. i'm sure there's a lot that's not public, which is
encouraging. that's all positive. china pressuring north korea, i'm not sure if pressure is the right word. i don't think kim jung-un responds too well from pressure from china. i think he's showing independence and how he's his own person. but i think china could truly using economic terms put that pressure you're mentioning on. yes, if you cut back on that crude oil going into north korea, that key. and it wasn't coincidental in 2003 when the koreans came to the table for talks with the u.s. to start the six party process for whatever reason they said mechanical reasons, the pipeline from china to north korea providing the crude oil was inoperative. so there was possibly another incentive. so, yeah, i mean i think china -- my personal view i think china could get north korea to the table to have exploratory talk.
>> our lives are in danger, we are increasingly in danger, and we are obviously looking for a solution. unfortunately, the nation relations -- otherwise we would never die, otherwise we always would stay healthy and wealthy. in thinking about the situation the united states found itself in 1949, 1950, a student of the nonproliferation and -- tested an atomic bomb and then a nuclear bomb. it was at least comparable in brutality, right, to what we see
today in north korea. they did not deserve to have a nuclear weapon. and with their convention spearuraty to europe -- a very strong argument could be made that we have to do something, preventive, preemptive, whatever. and of course our allies in europe who are concerned, as today our allies in japan and south korea concerned about kim. we didn't do it. and we know why we didn't do it. because we couldn't without an acceptable risk of major military confrontation in europe. and the solution was deterrence. it was not a perfect solution.
was accusing a lot of people almost of being traitors. but it just was discovered by your grandfather that deterrence was the only practical solution possible. and if we strengthen deterrence and today combine with sanctions, can't we achieve what we really need? not what we want but what we really need. >> greg, want to take a swing at this? >> well, from where i stand especially since you have made that comparison with eastern europe and certainly this is one possibility that will be on the
table. but going back to the content of my presentation earlier today, how do we except a kim regime that is doing all these terrible things to its own people perhaps on a scale much greater than what was happening during the stalinist days in the soviet union, how can there be any semblance of trust if we were to choose this path of effective deterrence? would we leave the other issues completely off the table? would be address them? would it be done under what context? perhaps under the context of something along the lines of the h helsinki accords, and/or in that case would it further legitimize the kim regime?
>> can i just comment. very good points, and i don't disagree with you. i think deterrence is very important. there's always that possibility. we have the extended deterrence commitments to our allies in south korea and japan. i think there'd be an impetus there in south korea and japan to have their own nuclear weapons capabilities, and i think we see that dialogue starting right now. i think other countries may be saying we need our own deterrence capabilities because that's the reality. and i think our ability to not only isolate north korea but to watch them closely to make sure there's no proliferation is another issue. so, yes, that's a possibility. ask the negatives on that would be the potential of a nuclear arms race, the potential for proliferation, miscalculation, what have you. we're looking at the the idea when we talk about complete, verifiable irreversible dismantment, north korea is not there. they're saying they're going to
retain their nuclear weapons. and i think all analysts are even saying they're not going to give it up. sew i think talks to disrupt it or see if there is a path to move forward, there could be a path that greg spoke to a minute ago, the truth is we don't know the -- why were they eliminated? were they not loyal? when information gets in and they look at their brother in south korea they say, my god, why not us? so there are some other imperatives there that may come to fruition from within the country itself. >> admiehi, mike mcdavid.
last year i was able to participate in a conference in europe in which north korean officials were present. that's always an experience in and of itself. but one of the comments that caught everybody's attention from the leader of the north korean delegation was this matter of fact assertion and statement that you don't understand, we have the united states deterred. and when you reflect upon that, in fact i think that that probably is right. over what four decades now, whenever north korea has done something outrageous, we've never laid a glove on them neither nor have the south koreans to speak of. as a former naval officer, the snatching of the pueblo comes to
mind, that other than posture, we posture, and it's never had consequences. so it's not surprising north korea after all these decades have come to the judgment, yeah, indeed we do have the americans deterred and the south koreans for the very good reasons that demetri just laid out. the constituencyquences of the actions could mean restarting war. we ought to not stop talking. it strikes me that we need to also make sure as best we can that the koreans think that we have them deterred. and through either exercises, a nuclear posture review that
undoes the last posture review that tried tareduce the sales of nuclear weapons. and perhaps we talk about what would happen if north korea uses a nuclear weapon, say in a way that is not cloaked in ambiguous language but is very specific and those sorts of things, to try to make pyongyang a less selfish word, that in fact there would be really, really bad consequences. and a way they spell that out in a way that's unmistakable, to begin the discussion to making sure they are also deterred. >> that's a good point. jim keith. >> jim keith, i'm a retired american diplomat and currently a business consultant with the
firm bicardi and associates. just to take this path of deterrence and containment further, what does the u.s. policy of deterrence and compliance -- to put it differently, what do you think china has to do now with end up on the right side of containment? and what do you think about the deterrent facts of convincing pyongyang we actually are deterring them, won't those have spill over effects on china as we've seen already with thaad. >> i think on the sanctions side they need to up their game. it's a big country. we know that. but there are banks and entities there that they need to ensure they are not dealing with north korea on illicit-type
transactions. to truly implement the sanctions, and so there's no way the u.s. could do that. we've done it with the bank and some others, but this is really china's issue. and when they see the secondary sanctions, i think china -- i think we had their correct attention, and i don't think anyone sees it asthmalicious. this is something we need to do to contain north korea, to make sure these sanctions are abided and so on and so forth. i think your points are right on. i think what you're getting at, and i think it's really salient. china can't be happy with the enhancing thaad nuclear and missile capabilities in the region, joint military exercises that not only enhance but inclu include japan and possibly australia, bringing more strategic forces into the
region. these are not issues china wants to see. this goes against -- this is not what they want. but then we've got the south china sea, east china sea, they've got domestic issues and so many things. i think many would say this becomes more of an imperative for china to be even more interactive. the sense they are implementing the coal and some of the other sanction, but even more proactive on all other aspects to any entity in china dealing with north korea. but also using the leverage they have because they do have leverage with 90% of the crude oil, 80%, trade, et cetera. using some of that leverage to get north korea -- i hate to use the term when you say this to the koreans to better behave, they don't like that. better behave. i think north korea has to understand it's not a question of behaving. it's a question of threatening your allies, your neighbors, the
region, the united states. and that's the behavior we're talking about of a normal nation state. china continues to be key. we've said that right from the get go. china is key. but what china is telling us and we're seeing this more now, we have to be more proactive. strategic placement had its place but i think the u.s. needs to be much more proactive on that. when you're not talking to the naekens, i think anyone who did a study on north korea, when you see no one is negotiating talking to north korea, they're on their own path. they're building nuclear weapons, launching missiles. so when you have them at the table you're seeing at least during those periods of time they're somewhat contained in that regard. so i think there's some value, again, getting back to china using its language and then deterrence and all the other
things that need to be mentioned. >> now that we've brought up china, it's the perfect invitation for intervention by ambassador roy. >> thank you. i'm actually not going to deal directly with china at all although it's part of the problem. thanks very much for the terrific presentations. you have convincingly established that we're dealing with a very bad regime in north korea. but you've also quintingly demonstrated that it's probably the most frustrating foreign policy problem we face. because and like frustrating problems it's generated a lot of nonsense with all sorts of phantasmic concepts of how we can deal with the question and a refusal in many cases to face-up
to the reality. the reason why china doesn't provide the convincing answer to it is it's crystal clear that the north korean nuclear program is designed as a deterrent to the united states, which it sees as a principle threat to it. and we convincingly keep reminding them that wee the principle threat because we keep putting military options out on the table, either implicitly as in the bush administration where we talked about unilateral action and preemptive aksz and currently where we're talking about having military options out there. so we clearly need some additional thinking about this. some thoughts just to put out on the table. the first thought is to try to stabilize the situation. because you can't talk about deterrence and containment effectively if you have an unstable situation. to get a stable situation, you have to cap the programs,
meaning you have to somehow get a halt to nuclear testing and missile tests. you can't get that simply through sanctions unless miraculously the koreans change their behavior or collapse, which is probably not a good policy assumption to proceed on. to get it, therefore, you have to give them something. and here the contradiction emerges. you can't get to denuclearization except within a realistic time frame, and that time frame is probably decades, not months, years. it's decades because it requires essentially whether the regime change, the attitude of the regime have to change. they have to be willing to consider the tradeoffs between giving up a no longer necessary deterrence because the threat is going to be removed and the economic benefits they could take advantage of if they had a
regime that could effectively open up to the outside world, which they don't have. so therefore they can't get the economic benefits now because the current regime can't take advantage of it. so your priority has to be stabilization. and we keep taking off the table key elements that have to go into getting a cap. we so oh, we can't talk about exercises, this, that and the other thing and so we end up with the same contradictions for 20 years prevented us from preventing something very high priority on our side. missile defense doesn't do the trick because missile defense destabilizing our nuclear relations with china and the soviet union, with russia. and that means you create a bigger problem in the process of trying to deal with the north korean problem. the collateral aspects of the
north korean problem are deterrence works. we know that in terms of state actors. but north korea is a despicable regime, and the more the sanctions work, the more desperate they become for any sort of cash import or any kind of imports they can get. the danger of their getting nuclear capabilities into the hands of nonstate actors that cannot be deterred becomes a big danger. therefore to permit that time of regime to continue in a nuclear status while respectal regimes don't have nuclear weapons creates big problems. and therefore there's no question that the questions for proliferation will get worse. and we need a more effective way of dealing with that than the simple old structure of the mpt,
which in the modern world no longer has a credible basis for it, which is some countries can have nuclear weapons and some agreed they won't have nuclear weapons. that's broken down because the technology is too widespread now. and countries are technically capable of getting nuclear weapons now. we've already seen that with pakistan and potentially others out there. so our prioritization it seems to me isn't quite right. we can't negotiate denuclearizization because that has zero credibility. we've got to negotiate the cap on their program, and that involves tradeoffs. then we have to live with a despicable regime for an indeafinant period of time until hopefully changes in leadership, changes of the nature within th. is that impossible? not necessarily.
iran, for example, is an example where leadership emerged in iran that wanted to end their isolationship, their isolation in a convincing way, and we were able to get the inadequate, but better than nothing nuclear agreement with the iranians. in other words, it was a basis for negotiation. at the moment, we don't have a credible basis for negotiation with the north koreans. and so it seems to me somehow we have to structure those elements together, but we will merely increase our frustration if we keep putting this in terms of a realistic, near-term possibility of denuclearization, which is cleaning a long, long process, requiring regime change that cannot be induced by outside intervention but might occur tomorrow because of our lack of knowledge about the internal stability of the regime. but, as a minimum, we need to talk sensibly about the issue,
and not let ourselves get off into these fantasies about we can somehow force the chinese to force the north koreans to give up something that they consider vital for their national security. >> can i say one thing? i think it's outstanding comments. great comments. really great. two, two comments. i totally agree. this is not one or two, could be five. it could be ten. it could be a few decades to get, if we look at kpree hencive dismantlement. but there are deliverables. we have a number of military exercises, and i think even the north koreans allude to it, maybe you could scale back one or two of them and sanctions maybe you could sort of give us a little relief on one or two of the sanctions and so forth, maybe an intersection in our respective capitals to show that
there's some dialog. so there are intermediate steps to take to start to do what we don't have. we have no trust in the relationship. we have absolutely zero trust. we don't trust them, they don't tru trust us. but i think your points are really outstanding. >> mr. donald smith. >> some of my questions have been answered. just recently in this conversation, but my basic question is, what would china like to get out of this crisis? would they like a denuclearized korean peninsula? would they like the kim regime removed? or is their objective something else? >> my personal view?
>> yes. >> a north korea similar to what kim jong il, kim ill song could have hadded but a nee denuclearized north korea, but a nuclearized korea will lend itself to strike in the region and beyond the region. but the status quo with the kim jong un government that is respectful to china, that depends heavily on china and a china that has that 1961 peace and friendship treaty that china is committed to, but a denuclearized north korea. they certainly don't want, in my personal view, reunification has to be way down the line. the concern has to be, if there is a reunification on south korea's terms, that would bring the u.s., potentially, into the north, and that would be part of a discussion that would have to be separate with china. >> is there a possibility that we could agree to some of these
objectives that china may want? if we would agree to remove our troops from south korea? >> well, i'm sure there's a dialog going on with china as we speak. there's no question on that. but, again, when we speak about the troops in south korea, this has to be something that's very sensitive to our south korean allies. our commitment is to south korea, and we all remember the korean war and what that entailed and so forth, so this is not a discussion between the united states and china in my personal view. it has to be a discussion with our ally, south korea, at the table. >> paul? >> thank you. i'm paul saunders. it's kind of interesting to me that we're a little bit converging on a new version of the containment that we used
against the soviet union. but it kind of provokes a question for me, because there's one really important, profound difference between the soviet union and north korea, and we've been talking about it for the last several minutes. there was no other state that was willing and able to bail out the soviet union at the point when it was ready to collapse. and, in this case, of course, there is actually a state that's able and willing to do that. and it has been doing that. for, for a certain amount of time. at the same time, you know, we could kind of take the view, well, we don't really want north korea to collapse. we want north korea to just evolve and gradually over time and to a direction that's more open internally and more open in
its relations with many of our allies and others in the region. but i also wonder, to what extent is that in the interest of this external power? that has the capability to shape, to at least to some extent north korea's evolution. so, i guess my question in brief is, we've been talking about what a frustrating problem it is and basically saying that the answer is waiting the solution. >> well, do you want to -- the comment, the only comment i would make on that, you know, china, there is that peace and friendship treaty to the lips and teeth, and it goes way back
to kim il sun. that's the reality. and to deal with what we have, i mean, i have, you know, i think back to the literature on the agreed framework, and there was a sense after the agreed framework that with the passing of kim il sun suthe government would fade p aand things would different. we have to deal with the reality we have now. and the reality we have now is kim jong un who's on a path to becoming an existential nuclear threat to the united states, china having the leverage but realizing they can't use all those levers. one, i would think china would still want to have some sort of a normal relationship with north korea, where they could maybe
possibly influence them, have at least someone there who can influence them. so there are, it's a very complex, a very dynamic issue. but i think those are good comments. >> general boyd? >> what i've got to say, i've led a delegation to north korea in 2009, december 2009. a small group of members of the [ inaudible ] and it was a trip that took several years to put together. in dealing with north korea [ inaudible ] and while i emphasize that what
we were about was our interest in matters of national security and u althoualthough i was brin business people, that we not coming to do business, i probably emphasized that a dozen times at least, maybe more. and they never really heard me. what i was saying. and when we arrived there in a very elaborate dinner on the first evening of our presence, it became clear that they believed we were there to do business. and so i had to make a very strong statement in their presence at that point. we have not come to do that. and moreover, nobody else in the world is going to come to do that either, unless we find the satisfactory resolution. we were immediately in a crisis.
and, and by the next day, it was not clear exactly what the outcome was going to be. and so i got together privately with the head of their delegation, and i said we can do this, we can get on our airplane and leave. or we can stay here and spend the amount of time that we had planned to be here trying to get to know each other better. and faced with that, that's exactly what we ended up doing. i must say, i won't go into an awful lot of detail, but this is probably the most bizarre, i've been dealing with people in various governments for a very long time. >> including bizarre people. [ laughter ] >> but in the end, it became clear that they, while they eventually realized that we were not there to do business, the
importance of foreign direct investment to them was absolutely paramount. it did not exceed their determination, i think, to keep their nuclear program. now remember, this is kim jong il, and it's a different world. but that was a terribly important thing. and it came through in a variety of ways. i don't though know if you can, give up on the idea that we're ever going to get them to give up their nuclear program. is there a way we can rationalize their behavior through opportunity to become involved in the international business community? i, i don't know how to do that, mind you, but we're with smarter people than i, here, is there a way to back off from all of the
world of sanctions and trying to isolate them further and further and further. and actually give them an opportunity to become a member of the international community, while simultaneously maintaining deterrent capability that is present and visible and understandable? >> so what you have just given, general, my view. and i'll look to my colleagues, a scenario for sitting down and having a discussion. you made a case. and the only thing i would add to that is if they sat down to hear what you just said, but while they're hearing that, they're not launching a missile and having a nuclear test and what have you, that would be a pretty powerful presentation to me, investment, whether we open it up as liaison, open up
aspects. showing them, there's her anoth path. you mentioned capping the program, but not accepting the fact that they will always have those weapons. with the goal of eventually seeking, eventually, down the road to get comprehensive verified dismantlement. but you've given them a path. some of us when we have these track twos, 1.5 discussions, we get into putting a lot on the table but that needs to be done in formal channels. >> nuclear weapons, sanctions aside, this could open up the possibility for interesting conversations. this is an extraordinarily difficult investment environment. this is a government that has defaulted on its debt, chinese
companies are also having a tough time. they tend to take you hostage. the infrastructure is in bad shape. investment has to be front loaded. of course, we have documented the use of forced labor, prison labor in north korea's extractive industry, minerals, coal, perhaps, indeed, this would create a possibility of initiating a conversation on all of those difficult topics. again, it comes down to the difficult aspect that this is a very tough investment environment. chinese investment in north korea has been, if i may say so, more business motivated, based on more of an economic rationale than south korean investment, for example, in the kaesong industrial zone, which is now no longer operational, or the tourism project.
>> yes, ma'am. >> this will be the closing comment. >> oh, my, oh, dear. i'm not sure this comment or this question is worth the closing shot here, but i would just like to associate myself with your remarks, general. it's a frightening situation right now to have a north korea in possession of such extraordinarily destructive capability. but the only thing more frightening than that is a country with that same capability that has absolutely nothing left to lose. and i would really hope that as these negotiations go forward, we're not going to change society overnight. it didn't happen in the soviet union for a very long time. so i guess my question is for this group is what is the timeline we're working against? do we have to produce results in five years? or is it good enough to produce results in 15 or 20?
20 or 30? understanding the timeline that we're working against, it strikes me as a correct cal questi -- critical question here. >> i've looked to the general, but anyone who's worked this issue, and i've been doing it since 2003, realizes this is a long-term effort. and we just need to start building that trust. weigh ne we need to stop the escalation that we're seeing and start moving forward and reversing and what we're seeing now is just the opposite. it's becoming that much more, that much more dangerous, because of the proliferation, the vitriolic commentaries and some of the other action. greg? ? >> i think it's important to continue to believe in transformation and the power of transformation. it is important to apply all elements of national power, diplomacy of course p must never be forgotten.
information has been mentioned several times by both general gregson and the ambassador. i think it is very important to have the patience to induce, perhaps transformation coming from within. coming from the very people of north korea as difficult and daunting a task as that might be. >> george schultz used to divide problems into two types. one is problems to be solved, the other problems to be worked. he characterized the second one like gardening, it never ends, and that's what we're into now. with that, we're adjourned. thank you. thank you all for your patience. >> i like that.
on c-span live coverage of interior secretary ryan zinke's speech at the heritage foundation on the poll sticy to increase domestic energy development. also friday on c-span, senator jack reed will discuss the president's approach to dealing with north korea and russia. how the nuclear deal request looi e -- with iran is working. . saturday, book tv has come of the 2017 book festival, starting at noon eastern. michael eric dyson discussing his book "tears we cannot stop." laura jacobs with her book "you're in the wrong bathroom."
and andrea mitchell, "invisible no more." robin spencer with "the revolution has come." devon allen, author of "a beautiful getto." watch our coverage, saturday, starting at noon eastern on c-span 2's book tv. retired japanese officers talked about the future of japan's military and efforts to strengthen the u.s.-japan alliance, cybersecurity. the discussion is an hour and a