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tv   Washington Journal John Yoo Discusses the Threat Posed by North Koreas...  CSPAN  September 19, 2017 8:32am-9:06am EDT

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>> "washington journal"
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continues. host: professor john yoo is a former deputy assistant attorney general and the george w. bush immigration and the co-author of a new book. want to start by getting your thoughts on how those emerging weapons technologies you talk about in your book could be applied to the threat now of a nuclear north korea. guest: great to be with you. we should keep in mind that north korea is probably our most eminent national security threat that president trump and his national security team at the united nations will make that case this morning -- or this afternoon. we have a person who is in icbm'sof an arsenal of which can reach the united states and tested what appears to be a hydrogen bomb. stuck with and what
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many american presidents have been stuck with a choice between appeasement and tried to buy off north korea, or contemplating a full-scale conventional or nuclear attack that would probably kill millions of south soul, southuse korea is within artillery range of north korea. we offer a different range of options between those two polar opposites that can be provided by technology. one is defensive, probably where we should focus our first efforts. how we need to have more robust national missile defense and a regional missile defense. we could upgrade computer systems so that we could use antimissile cruisers in north korea, we could advance and accelerate our own technology to put of drones across north korea designed to shoot down missiles. we should use space-based
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missile defense to shoot down missiles as they go off the peninsula. technology should prop -- provide offensive options that fall short of a ground invasion or missile strike on north korea that would potentially kill millions, including not just drones, or pinpoint attacks, but cyber. not just aimed at the north korean military and missile structure because they do not rely on technology perhaps to the extent that a growing internet-based economy like ours does. ciber to punish the north korean economy which we already do with sanctions, but to strike with north korean leaders and their assets as they tried to hide them abroad. or even to attack the companies doing business with north korea in a way that supplements or enhances the economic sanctions we are to have on north korea that we cap but do not work.
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host: talking about the advanced drone technologies, are these hypotheticals are technologies that are available today? guest: the drone technology is today. over the last two presidencies, bush and obama, the united states was worried about offending china and russia, worried they would construe any kind of missile defense technology that we were working on as a threat to them. our missile defense technology is based on what they call at the terminal phase, hardest to hit missiles, when they are coming out of space towards the united states. like shooting a bullet with a bullet. the easiest time to strike the missile is in the boost phase, initially taking off. there is a huge plume antimissile is very slow. that is the -- and the missile
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is very slow. we have used this in other places and could be used to shoot down missiles when they are easiest to hit. we had the world's best missile defense system, if we updated the computers and sensors with technology we are developing now , station ships around north korea, we could shoot them down. space will take longer and more research and development. we have to think in the short term. in the longer term, we could come up with a system in space just over north korea and designed to shoot the missiles down when it is easiest to do it. talk in your book, you about the intellectual roadblocks that make it in the way. some of those roadblocks are more difficult than the technical difficulties, explain. guest: a great question.
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there is intellectual and legal. intellectually, two weeks ago elon musk, spacex is one of the reasons things deployed into space has declined 90% and he called for a ban on all forms of artificial intelligence and event robotics. he signed a letter with 100 tech os, calling for a ban. aboutk, they are worried losing control over these weapons. that somehow these robots will take over the world. i find this alarmist. almost like a tribute to james cameron's skills as a director because everybody is watching terminator movie were a computer
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system takes over the world and attacks human beings. that is an intellectual roadblocks, this fear of machines. you see it when technology advances. there is a legal issue. institutions like the united nations, the red cross, many law professors, foreign governments have a critical of the use of drones by bush and obama administrations. they want to stop the development of these advanced technologies because they think it gives the united states an unfair advantage and work. the united states -- in war. the united states has slowed down element in these elements in -- these technologies. we see with hacking with russia and cyber weapons by china and
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their intrusions into our government networks, it was a utopian hope but our rivals will not slow down in the development of these technologies. host: to join the conversation with john yoo, democrats call 202-748-8000. republicans, 202-748-8001. independents, 202-748-8002. he is with us until the top of the hour. roger in indiana, line four independents. caller: thank you for taking my call. that -- ambservation i on the line? host: yes. an observation on what? caller: the south koreans close to the border, the millions of people held hostage by north korea, because no leader would want to have millions of lives lost on their watch.
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it looks like we are dealing with a hostage situations in a sense. .hat is all i have to say guest: that is a great point and a sticking point that makes american leaders and south korean leaders reluctant to use any kind of force. also, north korea has one of the largest militaries in the world. it has thousands and thousands of artillery pieces that could easily hit south korea. koreaty of seoul, south has 20 million people. we have 30,000 u.s. troops also based in south. who probably -- south korea who probably suffer casualties if north korea attacks just using conventional weapons. ify strategists think that, a war broke out on the
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peninsula, the u.s. and south korea would prevail because of ,he superiority of our forces but there would be millions of casualties. that brings up a point in the book, military technology that has developed in the last century made casualties enormous. mass-produced weapons, draft armies, nuclear weapons, and discrimination, a lot of killing of civilians. much more civilians than combatants. the new technologies we were talking about bring more precision. drones.bout the they may kill civilians near the target but compared to the previous wars, they bring less distraction. -- destruction. we now have greater precision and less harm and destruction in war. if we consider those options in stopping north korea, we are
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thinking of options that fall short of this kind of massive war that would have the effect of killing the hostages. host: the development of these technologies, are you worried about inviting more use of those technologies, if it becomes easier and the killing becomes easier and more precise, people may be more willing to engage in drone technologies and advanced killing machines being developed? guest: a great question. that is a second fear behind the fear that people like elon musk is raising. the fear of other countries, particularly leaders of academics and scholars and journalists in europe. their fear is, if it is too easy and cheap for the united states to launch drones or robotic weapons, where there is no american soldiers at risk, won't
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you start dressing the button all the time? every problem looks like a nail if you have a hammer. you will shortchange diplomatic or economic solutions. a great question and a tough question. we already are using methods that cause a lot of harm, much more harm than some of these weapons. those are economic sanctions. those are preferred by most international lawyers, diplomats, government. they do not involve risk to our soldiers. they impose great suffering on the populations of other countries, in the hopes they will get their leaders to change their policies. -- the concern it would be too easy to start wars and we would use force all the time, we want to see what happens, that does not seem to be the case to have occurred so far. thes, but not
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case that we have tried to use them all the time to address all of our problems. instead, we use drones to approach an attack, targets, in a much more restrained way we would otherwise. all cases we still would have used force, but using manned aircraft, which may have caused more destruction. we have not seen cases i think where we use drones to start wars we would not have otherwise started, we have used them to pressure other nations. we would not have done it anyway -- otherwise, sorry. host: maryland, john, line four independents. caller: i am aware that during -- it may have been the end of the reagan administration, they signed a treaty with the
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russians about non-militarization of space. is that still in effect? i know that the chinese recently blew up a sunlight with the intent to take out sunlight in -- sunlight in orbit -- blew up a satellite with the intent to take out a satellite in orbit. we have the railgun, would it be easy to shoot down missiles without -- with that? guest: you are right about the agreement. further, little bit something called the outer space treaty from 1967. it does not ban the militarization of space. ofbans stationing weapons mass destruction in orbit, on
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the moon or any other planet. elon musk is the only one who may be capable of doing that. notice what the treaty does not ban, it does not ban, the passage of weapons of mass destruction through space, the u.s. and the soviet union did not address that. and it does not ban conventional weapons in space. a missile defense in space when not violate the outer space treaty. railgun's, point, -- a technology we would want to use. but this goes to the high-tech part of striking power, not just really the weapon, the real gun or the drone we need to deploy, the computer system and sensors behind it, most are in space and
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some in the air and sea, the computational power is the trick, the radar systems to guide the weapon to the target. we have not been advancing progressing as fast as we could thre. er. -- there. these technologies would not violate treaties, i do not think. other countries like china for many years claimed we had to stop militarization of space but in 2007 they tested and anti-satellite weapon successfully and blew up one of their own satellites which caused a lot of debris to enter orbit. after testedates and after i satellite -- tested and anti-sunlight weapon. weapon.satellite if that is what is holding us back from developing technology
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ishandle north korea, it time we handle north korea and if the chinese and russians want to have an agreement when we have a balance of forces, we will later. host: william in virginia, independent. caller: i think your guest is on missiley when he says defense, that is the way to go. money and energy to the old technology. 1960's technology. it is not working right. the second thing i wanted to ask trumpuest is -- president , yesterday, announced a military showdown on pennsylvania avenue. what would be your take on that? with forces benefit
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on pennsylvania avenue? host: thank you for the question. i agree with your evaluation of where technology is right now. he is referring to -- what we call the ages missile-defense system based at sea. the most advanced antimissile system with the ground-based patriot system and both of them use robotics and automation in their current operations. it is based on a technology that is decades old. defense, it is designed to provide missile-defense for a fleet like the seven fleet out of the pacific and stop cruise missiles and other regional theater missiles from hitting our fleets. the technology is the same
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technology that you would need to use to build a missile defense to shoot down at is your to strike the missiles as they launch. we have not considered the point missile-defense is around north korea until recently when we put , a theater system designed to protect troops. technologies can be adapted to try to shoot down a missile. the easiest way is from the air. drones persistent and stay in the air a long time. although spaces longer-term down the road, advances of space technology may not be apparent to americans as much as self driving cars or with drones or , but advances in space technology are just as rabid. , about space technology behind a lot of the technology we see that is improving our possibleryday are made
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by space-based satellites, sensors, communications. andould see rapid changes advancement in space that could be used in a defensive way to try to protect us from missile defenses -- missiles, when we know they are coming from certain regions like korea. i do not know about the second part of the question about president trump calling for a military parade down pennsylvania avenue. don't think there is anything legally wrong with a military parade on pennsylvania avenue. not sure what he was getting at when the second question. host: the book is "striking how cyber robots, space, weapons change the rules for war." you wrote it with a law professor at george mason university. john yoo with us for another 10 minutes. virginia, republican line. caller: if war did break out on
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the peninsula, do you see china actually coming to the north korean defense? guest: that is a great question. outside the scope of "striking power" but something i have thought about and a lot of people are thinking about. china does not want to see a collapse of north korea and the united states taking over the entire peninsula with u.s. troops on the chinese border. if you look at the map from the chinese perspective, south korea looks like a gigantic airbase and military base on its territory. they have always wanted to push the united states out of south korea. they will love to push the united states defense from there back to japan or even back to the philippines or hawaii. they do not want us to have control of a friendly government
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, with lots of u.s. troops in the peninsula. if there were to be a war and china were to intervene, that would risk a global war and i do not think china would want that. the obvious diplomatic solution ward be -- if there were and the u.s. and south korea one, they would have to have a promise with china, a treaty to demilitarize and the nuclear rise the korean peninsula so china does not see south korea as a threat. democratic,is a commercially successful country with a lot of benefits to china, one of their great trading partners with a love cooperation between chinese and korean firms. it could be a peaceful resolution. i do not think russia would intervene. it's forces are too far with not as much at stake as china.
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they have helped north korea in the past but china has really been propping up north korea all this time. many strategists say that part of the answer to the north korean problem is to persuade china to pull back its support and to pressure for a change of regime in the north so we get every regime not interested in a threatening nuclear arsenal. host: i want to get your thoughts on several steps before that. do you think the united states should shoot down the missile tests by north korea? cnn's says the u.s. is considering shooting down this ballistic missile tests, even if they do not directly threaten the united states or its allies. .uest: a great point in terms of the range of options we considered between appeasement or doing nothing or trying to bribe -- or full-blown
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war, we should think about limited options with the technology we have been talking about. one would be to shoot down tests.s as it -- missile what about obstacles to these technologies and one of the obstacles would be legal. his missile tests are a violation of united nations security council resolutions. there is no authority on international law to use force to shoot down the missiles. many people who believe and many countries have said the united nations charter prohibits the use of force unless you are authorized by the council, which we have not been, or we are defending ourselves. if the missiles are not directly threatening the united states, people will say the use of force to shoot a missile that is not legal, just as it was for president reagan to attack theoli in response to bombing of our shoulders in berlin and just like we
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intervened in kosovo and it was for president clinton to bomb iraq for refusing to operate with united nations inspectors. we have to change the way we think about this so it is not just war or nothing, but graduated with different options and mixes to pressure the north korean regime. i cannot think of a better thing that will not kill anyone or harm anybody, to shoot down these missile tests. host: alabama, independent, good morning. caller: good morning. on the missile-defense, if you shoot down a rocket that has a nuclear weapon, what happens to the nuclear weapon, where does it go? does it explode and contaminate the atmosphere? what is the danger? guest: something to be worried
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about, i do not think the nuclear warhead would explode. the explosion of a nuclear warhead is complicated, especially a hydrogen weapon. evidence that north korea has succeeded in the very hard task of taking a large warhead and miniaturizing it enough. so it can fit on a missile. we have time to try to use missile-defense systems, using these technological tools against a missile test which do not have warhead. should north korea succeed and miniaturizing this warhead and putting them on the missiles, the warheads would explode any radioactive material will fall back to the ground. that will cause some harm in north korea but not as much as a nuclear warhead exploding. host: i wanted to ask you, you were a former deputy assistant
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attorney general in the george w. bush administration and involved deeply in the debates over interrogation and torture. you are a professor at berkeley, how did that transition go? guest: a lot of people ask me that question. especially with the stuff going on in berkeley with and coulter, speak.annon, coming to i am happy to have them on campus, not just for freedom of speech but they will take heat off me. i will try to lay low and keep away from the protest next week. host: photos of a speech you were giving. some of the professors that protested, the signs they are holding, stand against torture. your thoughts on the protest and what you were thinking? guest: i think everybody has a
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right to a freedom of speech. i would be surprised if the things i had to say or showing up was not controversial. i find it strange to see political science professors interfering with the right of free speech. i am a frayed, that is the kind of -- afraid, that is the environment on campus, sometimes i think the students want to hear what speakers have to say. i do not see why we have to protect students from hearing things, challenging views. the best way to learn is to confront views they may dislike or not before. e for.-- b it is strange to have professors leading these demonstrations on campus. they are the ones who should be in favor of the freest expression of ideas.
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i think the last thing you want to do, allow it to be taken over by the idea there is some kind of acceptable thoughts and some unacceptable thoughts. i worry that is where our campuses have been going. wasn't the way it was when i first started teaching. accelerated.ave i don't know if president trump with it, ing to do president trump freaked out a lot of professors and i don't clamp down on popular ideas when what they should be opening up robust discussion in the age of trump. think social media has something to do with it,
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protesters are getting more now or we're hearing about them more, when it comes to your concern this is getting worse? guest: maybe i have a view, i berkeley, like 1960s museum. history maybe we see more protests, it is strange when there are at berkeley. i speak at colleges and universities around the country my friends on faculty at other schools and we notice a rise in protests. i continuing is not necessarily just students, people who live, berkeley, people who are trying to interfere with the operation of -- again, the peration of the university should be the free exchange of diversity, logical freedom of thought. people try to interfere with it. the d to place less on students because i think a lot of our students just want to sides or all sides and make up their minds.
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i think they're being lead by faculty, i'm afraid, we've seen examples of faculty trying to campuses.debate on and people enter campus trying to stop free speech. is just social media, i think there has been a change in the way people think about universities. it is very dangerous to the success of our higher education. talking with or us. come ok "striking power," again.o talk to us greekt thanks a lot. great to you with you. by : up next, joined healthpocket head of research and data, ken coleman. here to discuss open enrollment cost of out the rising prescription drugs. later, more calls this morning coming up on the "washington journal."
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>> "washington journal" continues. individuals who buy their insurance through the affordable care act marketplace, and fast lment approaching, to talk about what enrollees should look for, by kev coleman. or viewers unfamiliar, what is healthpocket? guest: healthpocket is free nline health insurance comparison site. it includes a variety of health


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