tv North Korea Nuclear Program CSPAN October 16, 2017 4:39pm-6:25pm EDT
>> it's always been identified as a wall of slavery. believe me. no soldier on either side gave a damn about the slaves. they were fighting for other reasons entirely in their minds. southerners thought they were fighting the second american revolution. northerners fought they were fighting the holy union together and that held true throughout the whole war except for some people who were absolute partisans on both sides. >> for the past 30 years the video library is your free resource for politics, congress and washington public affairs. so whether it happened 30 years ago or 30 minutes ago, find it in cspan's video library at cspan.org. cspan where history unfolds daily. and on to a discussion now on u.s. policy on north korea.
speakers include the former envoy to the six party talks with north korea during the bush administration and the executive director of the committee for human rights in north korea. the center for the national interests hosts this event. it's about an hour, 40 minutes. 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 korea. to my right, ambassador joe,
fluent in mandarin, a u.s. representative to the korean economic development agency. associate director of national intelligence and mission manager for north korea and director of the national counterproliferation center and especially adviser to the director of national intelligence. so is he's been trying to make sense of this problem to a lot of people for a long time and he's able to speak well about this. to my left, greg scarlato. 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. >> 28 years after the collapse of communism and the former soviet union, the kim jong-un is still around. it has survived, developed a lot of terrifying weapons in the meantime and achieved two hereditary transmissions of power from grandfather to son to son, kim jong-il in july and from son to grandson kim jong-un in december 2011. how did we get here? one argument made is the fact that eastern europeans had witnessed other political systems, good, bad, terrible. in the case of north korea, the
regime is truly the result of the fusion of three totalitarian political systems. of course, there is stalinist communism, korea was under a very tough brutal japanese occupation prior to that 500 years of a dynasty so one argument that is made is that this dictatorship of the kim family regime is truly the result of the fusion of three totalitarian political systems. what we know for sure is that this is a criminal regime and in february 2014 a u.n. commission of inquiries submitted a report, the result of a yearlong investigation submitted a report to the human rights council, a report that found that what is
happening in north korea, in particular, at the north korean political prison camps amounts to crimes against humanity. none of us have a perfect human rights record, many of us in the free world work hard on improving that record. there is only one country on the face of the planet where there are still political prison camps and that is north korea. currently, there are 120,000 men, women and children being held at north korea's political prison camps, up to three generations of the same family pursuant to a system of guilt by association called -- a system of futile inspiration. this is the only country on the face of the planet that classifies its own citizens
based on their perceived degree of loyalty to the regime. the names are frightening. there's a core class, 20 to 25% of the population. there's a wavering class 46% of the population, there is a hostile class, 20 to 25% of the population. many of those classified as hostile have been sent to political prison camps. many of them have been banished to remote areas in the northeastern part of north korea. the abuse happening at north korea's detention facilities is absolutely unbelievable. we've had numerous accounts of public execution, starvation, the prisoners are subjected to a vicious cycle of forced labor and induced maltrigs. one can truly see this vast
system of unlawful imprisonment is truly the heart of darkness of the north korean regime. so going back to the question, as to how this regime has managed to stay in power for so long. afterall, they will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the dprk. as general gregson very kindly mentioned earlier i was borned and raised in romania which was the one eastern european country that came closest to north korea, the two leaders were good friends. 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. very similar population of 25 million in north korea today, there are 270,000 agents of north korea's main internal security agencies. the state security department the ssd, this is the north korea police force, it's a police force that executes political police functions as well, 210,000 and the military security command whose mission is to keep an eye on officers, senior officers, in particular, 10,000 agents. in romania, there were half a million informers which is a stain on the honor of the nation. in north korea, each and every individual has to become an
informer and report on family, friends, neighbors. each and every north korean has to participate in the neighborhood watch system. each and every north korean has to participate in weekly indoctrination sessions where people confess to their trespasses, they engage in a robust session of self-criticism pledging to strengthen their ideological prowess, others criticize members and this goes on and on and on. truly, the life of a north korean is lived under an overwhelming level of coercion, control, surveillance and punishment which means that the level of social cohesion is very
low, is very difficult for people to get together to organize and discuss sports, even. forget about politics. north korea, although the situation has hankchanged to a certain extent, north korea continues to restrict very severely information coming into the country and also information getting out of the country. if one thinks of budapest 1956, prague, at the age of the revolution each and every young man in north korea is in a military uniform for ten years, age 17 to age 27, also many of
the women spend six years in a military uniform. i have spoken with numerous north koreans whose son's had come back from the military after having spent ten years in the come back -- they all said the level of indoctrination that their sons had been subjected to was frightening, even to a north korean living, in north korea. by the time you're out of the military, the age of revolution has already passed. of course i would be stating and restating the obvious. in the mid to late 1990s between 600,000 and 3 million north
koreans starved to death or from malnutrition. while international aid was coming in, the kim regime chose to focus its resources on its fundamental strategic objective that i know the ambassador will mention later which is, of course, as we all know by now, the regime does not want it's people to die by the millions, but if that is what it takes to stay in power, it will do it in the blink of an eye. this is what happened in the 1990s ever since, there have been some positive side effects first and foremost as of a
couple weeks ago. there are 220 north korean defectors here through them, we have learned the stories of north korea, through them we have learned the truth about what is happening in north korea, and after all, i will take the liberty of saying that the work that organizations such as ours do, is the work that the kim regime fears the most we find out the truth and we tell the truth about north korea. this regime cares about its pocketbook. if we bring up nuclear weapons once, we should bring up human rights five times. every time we address nuclear weapons, i'm not exactly an avid
reader. nuclear weapons have become an essential part of the very identity of this regime. it fills up pages and pages of propaganda about nuclear capabilities, nuclear weapons are in their constitution. and every time we mention human rights at the u.s. this results in undermining the legitimacy of the regime i think that one has to keep in mind that the fund amountsal objective of this regime is survival. this is an absolute monopoly. inside north korea, there are no competito competitors. it's the kim regime and only the kim regime. the kim regime's main competitor is south korea, free democratic
prosperous republic of korea. as preposterous as this may sound, this regime understands that the only long term guarantee of its own survival is to establish hedgemony over the entire korean peninsula have we seen recent developments? basically, the kim regime attempted to demon ties the economy by replace iing it withe regime. they were no longer able to feed its people. we have seen a process of informal marketization in north korea. there are farmers markets, black
markets, open markets, many more people depend on the markets today then they do on the public distribution system, which is still active for those living in the capital city of pyongyang. they're quite impressive one might say. i also have the memories of nikolai romania, where there was a lot of construction, but very little economic utility to that construction. the regime of kim jong-un has invested heavily in the high profile projects, such as buildings at the same time, if one takes a look at pictures
from one year ago. typhoon lion rock -- i remember pictures published in their propaganda. they had no tools. not a shovel, not a hammer, forget about trackers, forget about trucks. this is how the regime operates by concentrating, focusing all resources first and foremost on those aspects that are critical to its survival and not on the ordinary people of north korea. not having to depend on the computer system, the regime can control its own people through the distribution of food is certainly a positive
development. the other positive development induced by the markets, is that social dynamics are somehow changing in north korea, slowly but surely, in the past prior to the famine, life used to be centered on two places. the workplace and the place of residents. the workplace is always assigned. nobody gets to choose it in north korea. a place of residence is assigned by the workplace. on paper, everyone has to be employed in north korea, they have to punch in, punch out. men have to participate in a lot of public novelization combines, that's primarily why women are the main actors involved at north korea's markets. deep distrust.
since there are no -- there's nowhere to blend or borrow money. all of these market transactions, basically goods coming from china, sold at wholesale markets in the border areas. and at retail markets, most of these transactions are based on trust. 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 deny ier of the father or the birth father.
we've identified several trends in human rights under the kim jong-un ray gene. we have satellite imagery, is it by defectors inside the country. and in this day and age, given technological add vances that we have benefited from, we have all heard about the perth that's been going on in north korea since early 2009 when the kim regime began proceeding with hereditary transmission of power. along with a lot of defectors, during the first five years of the kim jong-un regime, 340
senior officials were purged or executed. this is a humongous bureaucracy, more than one individual. it's the entire structure. it's friends, associates, family, colleagues. the favorite method of execution is execution by zu-4 ant anti-aircraft machine gun system. they managed to acquire information about this four minutes before. human bodies are pulverized, turned into ping mist. the old elites were
exterminated. christians were exterminated. it's still a confusion mind-set. these officials who are executed are 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's ratified several covenants on economic, social and cultural rights. the women's convention, the children's convention and yet each and every conceivable human right is violated in north korea. north korea has zero democratic reliability. as far as we're concerned, human rights organizations we will
continue to tackle the toughest issues first and the most difficult of all issues in north korea is surely it's vast system. north korea's political camp system, and 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 gulog. thank you very much. >> on that happy note, let me turn to ambassador troni. the first time we met, we're talking about complete verifiable. and we're still talking about it. >> thank you. thank you for the invitation, this is an important subject. one that's being discussed as we speak.
let me just follow up on what greg's outstanding presentation was focused on. and that's human rights, criminality, and elicit behavior. in september 2005, we had a joint statement agreement with north korea, 19 september to be exact, it took a number of years to come up with this joint statement. the joint statement speaks to north korea, committing to verifiable dismantlement of all their nuclear programs. we made that very career to the north koreans and in return for that they would be getting the security assurances, when they
returned to the npt as a nonnuclear weapons state. we made it clear to north korea -- i remember many discussions, at least a few where the north koreans said, wait a minute, if we denuclearize, you say that doesn't lend itself to normal relations with the united states. this was and i believe still is the major objective, normalize ing relations with the united states. i said, no, there are other issues. the work, it would be actions for actions, it wouldn't be immediate denuclearization. they would get the benefits to include certainly security assurances. eventually a peace treaty, et cetera. then there are bilateral issues, there's a lot of human rights issues, but indeed, the abductee issue. >> separating families -- and for the united states, further
to greg's comments, human rights, we need transparency on your human rights issues. we need to see some progress on what you're doing on human rights, that's part of our values system, for us to have normal relations with a country, those are important elements. the illicit activities, the counterfeiting of a $100 note. counterfeiting pharmaceuticals, cigarettes, this is criminal behavior that we need to see progress indeed. progress transparency and then that would lend itself. then these become bilateral discussions. but the opening up to permit these bilateral discussions would be that september 2005 joint statement where north korea committed to create verifiable -- for those deliverables that are important for north korea. i couldn't agree with you more on the human rights issue,
that's always been a strong core dialogue with north korea, the nuclear gets us into the core values south korea, japan let me go back, it took us two years to get to that point. in august of 2003 and i remember that vividly, because in april 2003 we were at a very tense point with north korea, a tipping point north korea was processing spent fuel rods they took from the facility. they pull out of the npt, they were processing spent fuel rods, they made it very clear, they told us.
they tell you and they were doing that. and it was our secretary of state who went to his counterpart, and said, this is getting intense and the chinese spoke to the north koreans and that was a dialogue that happened in april of 2005, which established the six party process. so the north koreans came to the table with china, the united states, we discussed it and it was the beginning of the six party process. i remember one of my first meetings at the six party talks was a statement that rings very true today as it did in 2003 north korea very casually said, except the fact that we will be a nuclear weapons state, the americans nied to understand that and accept that, we could
be a good friend of the united states if you accept that. ladies and gentlemen, they have not walked away from that issue. it's part of the constitution, economic development, and nuclear weapons state and they're pursuing that, that's been their goal. the sense one has, that fell apart at the end of 2003 for a clear reason. we expected our monitors, who were going to monitor and verify they're adherence to the commitments to denuclearize. we had the commitment we wanted in writing, they wouldn't put it in writing, that was the beginning of the end. if you can't put that in writing, we can't have our monitors who are going to verify compliance with this joint statement, then we don't have anything here, we don't have the
trust. as it was, we go way back to the 1994 framework. they tacitly agreed, admitted to having -- telling our representatives basically, there's not much you can do about it. they still wanted a second path. even then in 2005, the sense was, they weren't committed to let the monitors, if they were totally in compliance. there were pieces there, that speak to where we are today in 2017, 25 years of negotiations,
we've had great framework, we've had our former secretary of state madeleine albright, meeting with kim jong-il. we had their vice marshall meeting with our president. we had some significant developments. but they eventually all fell apart. as it is right now, as we've experienced over the past year with 16 missile launches, intercontinental ballistic missile, to intermediate range ballistic missiles. the icbm's that have reached denver, chicago, irbm's, we're talking about 4 to 67 kilometers that could reach guam, we heard
kim jong-un speak about that. we've seen the sixth nuclear test, the very significant nuclear test, north korea claims it was a thermo nuclear event, a hydrogen bomb. very similar event. >> they miniaturized their nuclear warheads, and they're in the process of mating them. it's a question of being at the cusp, assuring that reentry vehicle will not burn up when it re-enters the atmosphere. >> as they've been an existential threat to north korea and japan the last number of years, this is a critical issue, our president and all others are right on the mark, saying, we're at a tipping point, this is an issue. it's north korea also, that's pursued vigorously, we saw that with sony pictures, our allies in south korea, saw it with the
banking system. chemical capabilities, biological capabilities. in addition to the conventional weapons they have, sitting on the case, that are looking at seoul, south korea. we're talking about a tense period. i mentioned 23003 when they were reprocessing spent fuel rods. think of where we are right now. the assessment is up to 40 nuclear warheads. some say by 2020 think could have 100 nuclear warheads. this is in north korea that has sold nuclear technology to countries like syria. we saw this in 2007 when they took out al kabar. nuclear facility the north koreans were assisting with.
we've seen it with the missile transfers, this is to make money. this is what keeps their nuclear program going, getting the revenue necessary. i'm a believer in sanctions, will sanctions resolve the nuclear issue, will sanctions get north korea to denuclearize, i think some of us say no, but sanctions bite. and it touches them, i think the last security counsel resolution was a powerful one. refined crude oil that comes into north korea is restricted. basically the textiles, we're talking about $750 million textiles, et cetera, it does bite, will it stop them, no.
>> a joint military exercise, these are irritants to north korea, they maintain joint military exercises with our allies, they're a prelude to invasion. these joint military exercises are defensive, you say why defensive, you can go back to 1966 when they attacked the -- they had a commando group going at the blue house in seoul, korea, we can go back to burr mark 1983, when they had a commando team that went in to take down the leadership of south korea that was visiting burma at the time. there are a number of issues that would speak to, yes, why defensive, 48 sailors in 2010, joint defensive military
exercises. that's why for many of us who have been working, i think all of us in this room would say, it's distasteful for china and russia to put on the table the is a significance of these joint military exercises if we want north korea to halt, to freeze nuclear tests, it's not comparable. they are in violation of u.n. security counsel resolutions. we're saying, no, what our secretary of state has said clearly, the u.s. is prepared to sit down with north korea. and talk about these issues, and hear their concerns. they need to hear our concerns, we don't want to do that with a gun to our head. we don't want to do that where they're launching missiles and have a nuclear test. stop what you're doing.
if we have exploratory talks that go on for one day, they go on for one day. at least have some time lines. make a decision whether it would be possible to reconstitution negotiations with north korea, certainly for our allies, and maybe expand it. but is that possible? so exploratory talks, not while north korea is launching missiles. that's been put on the table by a progressive proposal. it's not a condition to stop nuclear tests and missile launches while you're talking. i mean, that's called common courtesy, you're doing that, and where you're going. north korea has not taken up on that, we've not accepted a
freeze for a freeze. they're at the cusp of getting what they want and that's the ability to deliver an interconti nen tal ballistic missile. i can mention, i say ensuring that vehicle does not burn up on reentry. that's looking at a best case scenario. it doesn't mean that's what's going to happen. doesn't mean they're going to test it to wait it. when we hear the president say 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 ten
talking about over 100, 120 events. with seeing a country that's not tethered, it's not tethered, his uncle was execute d in kuehl la lumpur, vx nerve agent. what are we talking about here. i don't doubt that kim jong-un is a rational abilitier from where he sits, we have to be mindful of the threat he poses to our allies and the united states and globally. there's another piece to nuclear weapons. i mention the illicit activities to make money. certainly nuclear weapons in
north korea. i think this is how they accept north korea would be a disaster opinion we are going to get regional nuclear proliferation. they're not just going to sit there about the fact of the matter is with north korea there is an impetus to get our own deterrent. >> there's another reality of calculation, misinformation, confusion or the sale of the proliferation issue, ladies and gentlemen. that plutonium nuclear reactor in syria that was taken out in 2007, there's no doubt in my
mind there was money vans acted in that. and now the possibility of nuclear weapons out there, accidentally, purposefully, what have you, this is not where we want to go, let me end on this point. all options are on the table. i mention secretary of state rex tillerson offering exploratory talks to determine if negotiations can be done. they want to prove they have that capability of being a real existential threat to the u.s. that's okay. they have these miss ils and nuclear warheads, and they have their vitriolic statements that come out of pyongyang. in 1993, making seoul a sea of ashes, in this case making the united states a sea of ashes.
depicting the nuclear event going on in new york or washington or seoul or tokyo. preemptive strikes, if there's a missile launch, is viewed as an imminent threat to the united states or ally. i believe it's clear that not only is it something we should -- we have an obligation to protect our nation or people their people, if it's an imminent threat. there's no ambiguity in that. if it's an imminent threat, you have an obligation to do something. if there's a missile and north korea has to do this very clearly, there's no way we're going to come to an agreement.
north korea has to understand, with a declare tory contest. all options are on the table which makes this a critical period for all those reasons, let me just end on this. although nuclear weapons are part of the constitution, with the economic development, and we see the markets and so forth, because the private distribution system isn't working, nuclear weapons are there, economic development is there and so forth, the opportunity to come back, if north korea is still committed and still wants dearly to have normal relations with the united states.
which they said they wanted in 2003. we continue to meet with them informally. they do want a normal relationship with the united states. but they want it on their terms. except as a nuclear weapons state and we'll behave. i believe that's the case right now, i heard that over a year ago. we will be a good friend of the united states, the fact of the matter is no, you could be a good friend of the united states. and our allies. if you behave, and it's -- it doesn't come with nuclear weapons or illicit activities and abusive human rights violations. thank you. >> well, joe, greg, thank you for the presentations, i think we can all tell not only is there deep experience with north korea sitting at the table, there's deep attachment to all of this, we'll open it up for
questions, we are 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. >> thank you, gentlemen for your presentati presentation. >> looking at this as a domestic program we can say he's been a failure, what does this do to his mentality. does he have an effect at all or does he not care? >> let me start on that, i think he would view himself as a significant success, and he's
looking for a legacy of a young man. he's establishing north korea as a nuclear weapon state. he's at the cusp of getting others to recognize and accept, we realize what he has, accept that he's a nuclear weapons state, i think that plays into the issue. where he's permitting these private plots. to let that go on, the public distribution isn't do it, i think kim jong-un is feeling pretty good about himself right now. >> all fundamental building blocks have been purged, the people's party, the internal
security agencies, and even the inner core of the kim family as ambassador trani mentioned earlier. the half brother assassinated with vx nerve agent at a busy international airport in kuehl la lumpur. those around kim jong-un will be afraid to deliver bad news to the supreme leader. this might result in kim jong-un not being able to assess the accomplishments he's so keen on. >> yes, sir, against the wall, back in the rear. >> my name is gardiner harris, preemptive war was mentioned in the situation where the united states thought an immediate threat was coming, there's also
been talk of a preemptive war to 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, elsewhere, and is it realistic? >> if i can start, i'll pass it to you. >> the term i was using was preemptive, and that would be a preemptive strike against an imminent threat. i emphasize imnents threat to the united states or an ally. going left of that would prevent them from having the capability of doing anything untoward, of threatening the u.s. or an ally. i think what a declare tory
policy, north korea and the vitriolic statements they've had successful ones and the nuclear test they, i think anyone who's advising kim jong-un if there are some advising him, he would understand that the u.s. will not just sit there and is obligated we will not just sit there and permit that to happen, something will be done to intercept and destroy that threat. i think on the preempting side, kim jong-un would have to be caution. he may do it through cyber, the northern limit line. he needs to understand he's provoking a response, a necessary response.
preventative side, to deny the capability of threatening. i think kim jong un becomes more of a -- of his own player, he becomes more of a -- an actor who we really can't understand his reaction to. my personal view on that would be, he and his 34i89ry people would react in a significant way, won the be a moderated way, it would be probably more indicative of the fact that they feel they've been able to threaten significantly, and attacked in a way. now having said that i think kim jong-un and those advising him have to understand he's at the point now where others would
make the case, you can't wait for an imminent threat, that imminent threat which would have to be dealt with is, are you waiting too long, do you have to wait too long. do you have to respond beforehand to prevent that from happening? i think that's the issue right now, we're going into a different category of not just prevention, but prevention from those and an actor who possibly or likely would be doing something of an imminent nature that would threaten our allies. >> let me try to add something on this also. since at least 1993, we've gone through the motions, it's caused victor cha to characterize north
korea as a land of lousy options. one is preemptive attack, the next is negotiations and agreements. and then there's sanctions. we always seem to settle on sanctions as the safe resort. if sanctions are truly effective, they by definition are affecting the stability and longevity of the regime. you get to another very risky situation. another interesting question to contemplate are allies the republican of korea and japan, have been under an existential threat for quite 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 do make sure that they believe this is rock solid? i think there's a case to be made that the onset to the united states changes things. we need to take other actions to shore up our deterrence in the northeast, and it's been most famously stated, included to the chinese that if you cannot or will not, we have no other alternative but to enhance our alliance capabilities. you may find that destabilizing, this is not about you this is about our university vital interest that means moving capabilities there or enhancing our alliance capabilities to
guarantee we're doing the best we can to protect our allies against the same threat we find so discomforting to the united states. there are no easy answers to this thing. greg mentioned earlier, one thin thread of an answer. greg mentioned earlier about more information getting into north korea, it's interesting in the wake of the shelling of yongpayong do, there was unrest in south korea, they were angry about not have any response options. the next incidents was the placement of land mines in the southern side of the dmz that remained an option. they chose to deploy to reta
retaliate for that deadly force incident was to turn the loud speakers from the dmz back on. t this bothered the north koreans, from a small wedge, maybe there's a crack we can develop here. it may be one of the hopes we have for change. one of the strong e69 suits we have is we're speaking to populations in an autocratic society. we're the country that stared down the soviet union over decades. strengthen or zee terrence may be the best option.
>> if i may add to that, i think that true change as difficult to imagine as it might be, true change can only come from the people of north korea themselves, we need to tell them three fundament ilstories. the story of the outside world. the story of the corruption of their own leadership, and the story of their own human rights ideation, which they do not necessarily understand living under such an oppressive regime. >> marvin, please make sense to this. >> very good as always. i guess what's bothering me is
very rich laid out dilemmas. not a lot in terms of actionable solutions. if i am called in to admiral harris' office and said, okay, what do we do? i'm still casting about and just to a lot of talk about preemptive strikes of one sort or another. i wonder if that horse is out of the barn, it's too late. with the number of nuclear weapons that the north has now that are useable, it doesn't take much imagination to even see a successful preemptive strike on the missile, creating a desperate sort of will bring the house down around us
mentality. i mean the level of carnage and dama damage. it strikes me as off the charts, if the military scenario is viable at all, it's probably viable for a couple weeks. at what point do the north koreans announce they can bring a missile down on new york city. they'll demonstrate it with a shot that our people can read, examine, and say yes they've achieved that. at that point it's over. there's a preemptive strike. you're left with either basically cutting a deal very much on kim jong-un's terms. we will give you recognitions on the name of preventing some absolute catastrophe, or you end up with -- i think it's where general greg is going, you end
up with a heavy missile defense, and hunker down and present kim jong-un with the message, okay, you've been successful, you develop all these systems, they aren't strategically work much, we have credible defensive capabilities that we can neutralize it. that's the only avenue left that strikes me. >> can i comment on it? those are good points. north korea makes it very clear that they're nuclear, they use the terminology they're building a nuclear deterrent. 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 what they're doing, you sit down with
them, they're saying this commentary, this is -- hyperbolic rhetoric, we have to believe what you have if you're threatening the u.s. and its allies, and you have nuclear events, we have to believe that and take the -- you're right on. joint military sanctions. as north korea becomes more isolated. and that's where the u.n. comes in, and they become that much more isolated, what they're doing is truly alienates china. we haven't mentioned china in this discussion so far. this isn't something china is very pleased with obviously. not only because of the 19 party conference coming up next month, this man has been totally
discounts the concerns that are coming there, china has a lot of leverage and those were the last sanctions, we're talking about the crude oil, 90% from china, 85 to 90% of the trade and so forth. i guess i'm saying, yeah, we do have that option as general gregson said, and i think that's the approach we're taking, many of the analysts look at north korea saying, if they launch a missile and put a nuclear warhead on that, that's the end of the country. survival is key for that nation, however, when you're commander in chief, you have to look at the realities and what your assessment is. we have to consider all those options, all those pieces on the table there. and i guess that's the value of exploratory. most people would say, why negotiations, again, we failed
in 1994, 2005, 2000, with the secretary of state's visit. why would you consider that. we want to stop the process. i think it's kind of logical, you don't want them having another nuclear defendant, you don't want them to have another icbm launched you just said the possibility of miscalculation is there, and that could precipitate something. >> you didn't mention your visit to north korea with bill clinton. >> as a negotiation success. >> well, i was involved with arranging for president clinton to visit to get the two journalists back, i think this is something that kim jong-il at that time wanted. he wanted a visit of a former president. a president he thought he was
making progress with when they had secretary albright's visit. the possibility of a clinton visit except for what happened in the middle east that precl e precluded that to pyongyang. i think that was an important visit of former president clinton with kim jong-il. >> looks like it was our high point. yes, ma'am? >> what do you think of the possibility of or the methods for obtaining decon application conversations with china about what to do in the event -- both obviously to make sure we don't start world war ii with china, but also as a means of pressuring north korea. should these potential talks in china be kept classified? obviously classified but not public? >> good questions. we had chairman of the joint
chiefs, general done forward who is in china, secretary mattis, secretary rex tillerson, a lot of discussions with the chinese on that. certainly our ambassador do the united states has been discussing it with her counterpart. a lot of discussions with the chinese, certainly the chinese are not happy with what's been going on with north korea. a lot that's public, i'm sure there's a lot that's not public. that's encouraging. china pressuring north korea, i'm not sure if pressure is the right word. i think he's showing independence and how he's his own person. i think china could truly, using economic terms, put that pressure you're mentioning on, yes, if you cult back with that crude oil, that's key. and it wasn't coincidental that
in 2003 when the north koreans came to the table for talks, to start the six party process, for whatever reason, they said mechanical reasons, the pipeline from china to north korea, providing the cruised oil was inoperative, there was possibly another incentive. i think china can get north korea to the table to have exploratory talks. >> this is a frustrating talk. our increasing danger. and we're looking for a solution. unfortunately, the -- otherwise we would all stay healthy and wealthy. sometimes. they're thinking about the
situations in the united states from 1949-1950, president eisenhower, who is a student of -- atomic bomb, and the nuclear bomb. there are no -- what you say about stalin's regime, probably it was at least comparable in brutality to what we see today in north korea. they did not deserve to have a nuclear weapon. with those conventions, they hardly need it. very strong argument could be made, we do something. and, of course, our lies in europe concerned about started.
in japan and south korea. we didn't do it, we know why we didn't do it, we couldn't. we couldn't without an exceptional risk of military interference. it was not a perfect solution. mr. mccarthy said it was like prison. and was accusing a lot of people it was discovered and your grandfather's acknowledgement, it was the only practical piece of solution. achieve a lot of things we need,
not everyone we want. but what we really need. >> you want to take a swing at this? >>. >> from where i stand, especially since you have made that comparison with eastern europe. 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 accept a kim regime that is doing all these terrible thing things to his people. how can there be any semblance of trust if we were to choose
this path. would we leave the other issues completely off the table. we would address them, would it be done under what context perhaps under the context of something along the lines. >> can i just comment? i think that's a very -- very good points. i don't disagree with you. i think deterrence is very important there's always that possibility -- we have the impetus for south kree gentleman and japan to have their own nuclear capabilities.
we need our own deterrence capabilities. we need to watch them closely to make sure there's no proliferation is another issue, i think it's a possibility. the negatives on dla would be the potential for a nuclear arms race, we're looking at the idea when we're talking before complete vash phiable irreversible nuclear weapons program. they're going to retain their nuclear weapons. all analysts are saying, they're not giving did up. i hope maybe to stop it and see if there is a path to moving forward, it could be the internal path that greg alludes to or spoke about a minute ago. we don't know the dynamics within north korea. some of these senior people were eliminated. were they not loyal, did they have a dink point of view, did they want to be isolated and be
viewed as a pariah state? when the information gets in, they say my god why not us. there are some other imperatives there that may come to fruition from within the country itself. >> admiral mcdavid? >> hi, 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 posturing -- we postured -- 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 consequences of taking action has the potential of
restarting the korean war with loss of life. so it makes perfectly good sense that we ought to not stop talking. it strikes me that we need to also make sure as best we can that the north koreans think that we have them deterred. and through either exercises, a nuclear posture review that undoes the last posture review that tried to reduce the salience 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 self assured, 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? thank you, mike. >> 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 containment and deterrence imply for north korea's enabler? to put it differently, what do you think china has to do now to end up on right side of the containment? and what do you think about the deterrent facts of convincing
pyongyang that we actually are deterring them, won't those have spill over effects on china as we've seen already with thaad. >> i think those are excellent points. i think china -- many of us agree 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 as malicious. this is something we need to do to contain north korea, to ensure that these sanctions are abiding 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 defense capabilities in the region, joint military exercises that are not only enhanced but that include japan and possibly australia, bringing strategic forces -- more strategic forces into the region. these are not issues china wants to see. this goes against -- this is not what they want. they look at the south china sea, east china sea, they've got so many domestic issues. i think many would say this becomes more of an imperative for china to be even more proactive in the sense that they are implementing the coal and some of the other sanctions, 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 because i know when you say this to the north koreans, to better behave. they don't like that. it's like speaking to a child. to better behave. we'll talk to you if you 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 when they didn't want to sign an agreement but i think now the u.s. needs to be much more proactive on that.
leaving north korea -- when you're not talking to the north koreans -- i think anyone who did a study on north korea, when you see no one is negotiating, talking with the north koreans, they're on their own path. they're building more 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 convincingly 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 action, 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 timeframe, and that timeframe 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 other 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 denuclearization 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 indefinite period of time until hopefully changes in leadership, changes within the nature of the regime create an opportunity to try to deal with it. 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 clearly 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 outstanding comments. and i'll defer to the general. 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 comprehensive dismantlement. cap is the first step. there's no question. but there are deliverables with the cap. there are deliverables because 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. they don't trust us. we don't trust them. 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 il-sung and kim jong-un could have had but a denuclearized north korea, 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. i think that's what china would like. 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. the executive director of the national center. it's kind of interesting to me that we're kind of 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 the government would fade and things would be different. we have to deal with the reality we have now. and the reality we have now is kim jong-un, who is 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 although i was bringing business people, that we were not coming to do business. i probably emphasized that a dozen times at least, maybe more.
and they never really heard 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 a satisfactory resolution. we were immediately in a crisis. 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 chap that was 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 know if you can -- if you 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 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. foreign direct investment, open it up. whether we open it up as a liaison. open up aspects. show them, there's another path. you mentioned capping the program, but not accepting the fact that they will not always maintain those nuclear weapons but stopping the further development of nuclear weapons with the goal of eventually seeking, down the road, to get comprehensive verified dismantling. 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 official channels. not with former officials but can can current officials. >> 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 foreign debt. it has expropriated companies. 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 critical question here. >> you know, anyone who has looked that the issue, and i look to greg and general gregson. 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. we need to stop the escalation that we're seeing and start
moving forward and reversing it. 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 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 i think that's what we're into now. with that, we're adjourned. thank you all for your patience. tonight on the communicators, we interviewed four at the black hat conference in las vegas. >> it's a bit unique even from another embedded devices like phones because they're typically used autonomously. there's no human interaction
like thermostat or industrial controller. and we've seen some attacks where they're able to exploit like web cams, for example. >> traditionally, hacking was more around building and making stuff and more recently, i think society has seen it as people breaking into systems, attacking systems in an offensive manner. traditionalry, it's approaching problems and solving problems in various different ways. >> i think now is probably the most exciting time to start hacking. wealth of information out there is unbelievable. it takes very little to hack today. you've got youtube, tutorials. 20 years ago there just wasn't much. it was a true wild, wild west. and there was just nothing out there. now this is a really exciting time. >> artificial intelligence. this taking it even one step forward. we, as humans don't even have to intervene any more with the computer. we just give it -- people call it raw data.
think of any type of data source. we just pass it over to the machine and the machine magically, on its own, learns how to make useful predictions. >> watch "the communicators" tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span 2. >> c-span's washington journal live every day with policies that impact you. live in jefferson city, missouri, for the next stop on the c-span bus 50 capitals tour with jay ashcroft, talking about turning over state voter information to the president's commission. and the future of the affordable care act with former new york lieutenant governor and president trump supporter betsy mccoy. also with us, policy council for demand progress to talk about his group's effort to limit government surveillance, under
the federal government surveillance act known as fifsa. join the discussion tuesday morning. national security experts and former defense officials discuss ways to build resilient securi security. it's about 50 minutes. >> thank you. i've got to be a bit of a time keeper here, since we've got a lot to cover in a short period of time. i'm going to very briefly introduce our panelists and immediately to my left is richard andrais. we announced our new cohort of seniorlo