tv Politicking With Larry King RT August 15, 2017 6:29pm-7:01pm EDT
sure you don't get railroaded you'll get the straight talk in the break. what. one on one with former u.s. defense secretary william j. terry on this edition of politics. politicking on larry king amid problems at home with neo nazis white supremacist hate groups and three dead americans following a weekend of violence in charlottesville virginia the trump administration continues to face rising tensions on the international stage as well most notably on the korean peninsula donald trump is just the latest in a line of u.s. presidents who had to deal with north korea's nuclear ambitions and only last week
he promised to rain down fire and fury on the hermit nation if it triggered a military threat to guam or any other u.s. territories or allies where does the president go from here what's happening behind the scenes to tamp down the threats of on directions from all sides let's talk about this with william perry he served us secretary of defense under president bill clinton and talk nukes with globe korea face to face and growing yang he is also found of the william j. perry project a nonprofit efforts to educate the public about the threat of nuclear weapons he's also the author of my journey at the nuclear brink dr perry joins me from stanford university in palo alto thank you so much for being with us mr secretary. it's good to be with you again larry all right united states has been. wrestling
with the usual of north korea's nuclear program for more than two decades how would you assess the situation right now is dangerous the north koreans now have a nuclear capability they have capability to use to wear short medium range missiles and they will soon have a capability to use it with long range missiles. so that's their capability the question is what's the danger what's the threat that poses i think they will not launch a surprise attack against the united states or its allies that this regime is reckless it's ruthless but it's not crazy it's not suicidal it's not like al qaida they're not seeking martyrdom they're seeking to preserve the regime so the danger is not that they will start a nuclear war the danger is that we will blunder into a nuclear war when you were dealing with them and in v.n.
yang what was the nucleus situation. they had an r. and d. program. my first for that there they had an r. and d. program and our effort was to contain that r. and d. program and we did contain an important part of that program which was the work they were doing at their facility yongbyon. my later visit area and. and about six or seven years later than that they already had this was during the bush administration by that time they had developed a small nuclear capability already it had several nuclear tests what this is got worse instead what was it what is their goal do you think. their goal quite clearly is to use that capability to protect to preserve the regime to keep the regime in power to sustain the kim dynasty they have other secondary goal but
that's their primary goal they believe i think correctly that their conventional forces are not capable of defending north korea against the united states and south korean forces and they believe incorrectly they were actually planning to conduct an attack on them so they see this nuclear capability as their way of staying in power of preserving the regime. so you don't believe that they want expansion or they want to bomb the united states this regime is not suicidal and they understand that if they use their nuclear weapons to attack not only either the united states or one of our allies south korea japan that they will we will bring overwhelming force on them and that they will. basically the regime will go out of power the country will be devastated. your reaction when trump used the term fire in fury and then later said maybe that wasn't tough enough how do you
react to that i think it's theatrical. we have a powerful he turns most powerful in the world the north koreans understand that and they understand that we're prepared to use it i think it does not hurt to repeat a statement like. we know we have an obligation and we will support that obligation to defend our ally south korea japan if north korea use a nuclear weapon against them or that if they try to use them against us if they do that we will respond to the woman for us i don't think we have to be theatrical about that force what that force is the north korean understand it very well. you said you see the u.s. and north korea heading for some form of conflict. what kind of conflict. well north korea has always been reckless and their program cations against south korea so it's easy to imagine
they might conduct some kind of a probation which would lead into a military conflict even a small military conflict but small military conflicts are very quick to get out of the hands of the leaders in the countries and escalate into a major military conflict if we had another conventional war with north korea it's one that they would surely you lose and as they lost that war as they saw the regime about to collapse then they might use the nuclear weapons in some sort of a desperate. hell mary so to speak the other way we get into a nuclear war as if our threats were so bellicose and if the north korea believed they were about to launch a preemptive attack on them and destroy their regime then if they believe that they might actually use their nuclear weapons as a way of. having that off so they're two different ways to get into words both cases i would think they would be as a result of miscalculation that as
a result of blundering into a nuclear war or not as a result of a deliberate plan if you talk to your former boss that is dangerous enough i mean if you talk to bill clinton at all not recently not recently as i'll talk to many many times about north korea in earlier years but not recently do you think his position would be in line with yours. it was sort of in the line of mind only were when i was secretary of defense for president clinton and i have no reason to doubt it would not still be is simpler mohseni workable with this regime . my i think our first response has to be. tougher than that has to be a military sponsor i want to be clear not a preemptive strike i think that would be catastrophic as. secretary mabus has indicated we're not looking to start a war but we can do many things in military or the first and probably most
important of which is to strengthen our defense. secondly very importantly is we have to for example the defense we could. station aegis destroyers which have anti-missile capabilities around guam we're already putting a tad defensive system in south korea. we could consider additional to add systems but beyond that we most important is to strengthen our deterrence we had. be sure that the north koreans fully understand they were militarily prepared for anything they might offer but i think i think it was one thing to be prepared for opposed to another thing to be flaunting it we don't need to flaunt it all we have to do is be sure the day know we have this capability and it's important also for the south koreans to understand that we have this capability are
you concerned about president trump's actions in the us. i don't think the theatrical statements or how full they don't we don't need it to strengthen our return to his need to state calmly and clearly. that there should be no doubt that we will support our allies if they are attacked. we will have a. respond with overwhelming force of our allies are attacked so i don't think that that's really necessary and i don't see the danger of that the actual statements both on the part of kim jong il and on the part of our president the danger is that they may reach a level where kim jong un actually believes there were about to conduct as a preemptive attack on him and that might stimulate him to take actions with his nuclear weapons so that's something we don't want to do you slow going about approaching more korea with carrots and sticks what are the carrots.
we have plenty of carrots i've negotiated with north koreans in the past and we have plenty of carrots that we could offer them we can offer security assurances we could offer. economic incentives that would in this case the way being the south korea or japan or japan south korea can offer economic development i have offered those to them in the past and they're very interested in them but the number one interest is restoring preserving the regime so we have to have something in the form of security assurances as well as the economic incentives but we also need some carrots and the united states really does not have any significant carrots except the threat of military force. that carrot sticks can come from china and china has very very powerful sticks in the form of the food and fuel which they are providing to cutting that off would be a very important disincentive to north korea to get china to do this which they've never been willing to do in the past we need to work i believe quietly with china.
to come up with a joint diplomatic strategy where we provide the carrots and they provide the sticks and to do this they need to be assured that we're not going to take advantage of the situation results from that because they do not want to see a collapse regime in north kivu korea they don't know do not want to see military troops up to their border along the yellow river so in a diplomacy the first step then in diplomacy is diplomacy with china where the united states and china have to be able to agree on what the goals of the diplomacy are and then to agree that. coercive diplomacy diplomacy as difficult as it might be could head off a far worse situation on the korean peninsula situation which certainly china does not want they do not want a war and korea and they do not want south korea or japan to go nuclear so we ought to be able to deal quietly with your patent with china to come to an agreement on how to move forward another attempt at diplomacy this would have to be coercive
diplomacy and it had to be done in the full cooperation of china are you surprised that both russia and china voted not to veto the sanctions against north korea. i'm pleased that they did that then that i think that gives me gives us reason to hope we would be able to go far farther with both china and russia but in particular we might be able to come to some to have an agreement to china on a stablish in a really effective coercive diplomatic package on the other side playing devil's advocate we could probably take out their nuclear infrastructure tomorrow right military strikes. we could do a lot of damage to the military infrastructure we probably would not be able to get their nuclear weapons i would assume they have their nuclear weapons secured
probably in caves and we would not know the location of those caves so even if we attacked their military infrastructure they probably would have missiles and nuclear weapons that survive that and they would then use. in a reprisal against south korea and japan so that they would be that's what secretary meant when he said that a war a military conflict with north korea could be catastrophic the capacity to be done primarily to our allies in japan and south korea but they would be very bad indeed we talked about probably millions of deaths my one on one with former secretary of defense dr william perry continues right after this stay right there. about your sudden passing i phone we just learned you worry yourself in taking your last bang turn. to us we all knew it would i tell you i'm sorry i could so i write these last words in hopes to put to rest these things that i never got
off my chest. i remember when we first met my life turned on each. but then my feeling started change you talked about more like it was still some more fun to feel those that didn't like to question our arc and the promised to never be like it's one does not leave a funeral the same as one enters in mind it's consumed with this one. speech because there are no other takers. claimed that mainstream media has met its make.
it's called the feeling of superiority. everyone in the world should experience for you and you get it on the old the old. the old according to just. come along for the ride. in case you're new to the game this is how it works the economy is built around corporate operations from washington to washington post media the media the voters elect the businessman to run this country business equals power you must it's not business as usual it's business like it's never been done before . or that the likelihood of an all out nuclear
war receded with the end of the cold war thousands of nuclear weapons are still deployed today many on hair trigger alert today we face the grave danger of a regional nuclear war. we also face the very real threat of a nuclear bomb being detonated by a terror group if terrorists set off a nuclear bomb in one of our cities the casualties would be hundreds of times greater than nine eleven welcome back to politicking my guest is dr william perry the former us secretary of defense under bill clinton he's founder of the william j. terry project and nonprofit effort to educate the public about the threat of nuclear weapons he's the author of my journey at the nuclear brink he joins me from stanford in nineteen ninety nine you traveled to north korea at the behest of
president clinton. what was the mission like what were they like to deal with. they were very businesslike to deal with we had four days of intense discussions we came away with a verbal agreement at least a handshake agreement on what they could do and what we could do to put us on a track serious track to avoiding a conflict that involved them giving up not only the nuclear weapons but the long range missiles and tailored significant concessions of the united states makes them both in the economic field and most importantly in security assurances do you think . we wise for president trump to meet with the leader of north korea. not as a first step i think we would have to first of all have a very clear understanding with china about what we could hope to get out of
a diplomatic it remained with north korea and if we had that understanding. then i think would be well it's had up a meeting with north korea the meeting would have to. i should think be preceded be put between the two presidents be preceded by. a staging meeting where we came to some sort of understanding about what we're going to be discussing it had to court the court date it clearly and closely with our allies in south korea and japan and all of this shows south korea be the most worried if there's a military conflict there would be devastating to south korea and it will be the end of the regime in north korea but will be devastating to south korea they have conventional weapons artillery pieces they have chemical and biological weapons not them and of course now they have nuclear weapons as well and they're capable of
conducting incredible damage and south korea someone japan two as well but the biggest suffer would be south korea. so some suggest that donald trump might employ the the nixon theory the madman concept which makes the country think that the president is volatile unpredictable or worse putting them in a position of wondering what the hell should we do what do you think of that idea. and i think that's a double edged sword. on the one hand it may scare them to the extent that they actually think he's ready to conduct a preemptive attack on them. and their response in that case might be to preempt the preempt that they would launch first so that's the one way we could stimulate the very thing we're trying to prevent which is a nuclear war how do you assess president trump's grasp of the world.
is that as expected are you surprised disappointed what well he doesn't. have much experience of course in international affairs and he didn't have much experience in military affairs. he has and that concerns me but on the other hand he has a i think a national security team secretary defense sector state national security adviser all very experienced very competent and i think. cautious as well so to the extent he listens and listens carefully to this national security team then i tend to be readonly optimistic if if he goes off on his own makes his decision without taking their considered advice and i would be concerned what do you make of his recent threat of possible military action in venezuela
i don't have enough i don't follow close enough the situation in venezuela to be able to give you an informed opinion on that question. what are your thoughts on secretary defense of math or medicine worked for me for a number directly for me for about several years when i was secretary of defense and he was competent careful intelligent. i was pleased when he was appointed secretary defense i think you'll be able secretary of defense and i think he will provide a very important and very considered advice to the president. you're a former secretary of defense there are a number of former and current generals and keep polls in the trunk that ministration some people express concern that we might have a military mindset and may have military might have too much influence with this president who clearly likes flexing american muscle does that hinson you.
in general that would be a concern in specific though when i did knowing the military people who actually had their general kelly don't master in general mattis. i have confidence in the ability and in the. carefulness of all of those generals and so i think they will be a positive influence on this administration on national security decisions what do you think of trying to street last month about transgender people in the military i think was a mistake number one and number two it was done apparently without any consultation room with is secretary of defense or chairman of the joint is just out for which i think is very very poor way poor policy for way of handling it and defense issues.
tell me about the william j. perry project what do you do how does it work. we knew we became convinced some years ago the nuclear dangers were increasing not decreasing in fact i believe that today the threat of a nuclear catastrophe is greater than it was during the cold war if i'm right about that it's a very serious situation because it is not generally understood and therefore our policies do not adequately reflect the dangers we're facing. and without judgment and i've concluded that what's needed is a program of education to the people understand fully what the dangers are so we can take policies that are more appropriate for those dangers to an education program primarily directed towards younger people because they're the people who would be living with this danger that were there were confronted with today for many years. originally i did that through the class who approaches through writing a book my journey of nuclear branka by teaching classes here at stanford but it's
pretty clear that i was good not getting through the mass audience we need to get through to so in the last few years i've been taken to the ideas in the book the ideas in my breast my classes and putting them on the internet and i do that through online courses. which have been a acronym a move massive open online courses and i do it. through preparing videos they go on you tube to dramatize the dangers a nuclear dangers don't most people know the threat of nuclear weapon we. know we've actually we and others that know they do not we have conducted. many man in the street interviews as have other people and the lack of knowledge that lack of understanding of nuclear is capability the nuclear dangers is just amazing most people just don't even know how many nuclear weapons are deployed in the world today the guesses range from two or three
a million and it's just the ignorance is appalling so that's why i conclude we had to start with an education program before we had any any chance of getting policies which can deal with the issues we face today. or when to be great if we could wipe them all out. that's been my hope for many many years and george shultz and henry kissinger and sam nunn and i formed a project some years ago dedicated that proposition for a few years i thought we were making progress but in the last four or five years it's clear we are moving backwards the russians have already started rebuilding the cold war nuclear arsenal and we're in the process of following suit we have by now in the defense budget a program to have and take many years the realized within the budget already a program to completely rebuild the nuclear arsenal this will be done at a cost of well over a trillion dollars over the next few decades. this is the big think that most
people were not even aware of the fact that the program is underway noah this sounds this mr second this sounds like madness. i think it's less madness than it is ignorance that people don't understand the dangers and therefore they're complacent about them if they understood them they would not be so complacent and if they understood them i think we would formulate better policies for lowering the dangerous there's no winner nuclear war is there. in even a small scale nuclear war that is a nuclear war between india and pakistan which could involve perhaps several hundred nuclear weapons detonated cities the cities that are as they burned and being destroyed put enough certain smoke and dust in the atmosphere which would eventually get into the stratosphere that's right
a threat then drift all around the planet that would impede the rays of the sun to extend the temperatures around the planet would be lowered perhaps several degrees even several degrees is enough to have a profound long term effect on agriculture and so they would be reduced crops would be starvation and among the more vulnerable people and the whole set of economic and political and social problems raised by that yes there would be a serious problem with your years of experience are you optimistic or pessimistic about where we're going. i'm a congenital optimist one cannot be working in this field of nuclear dangers without being an optimist otherwise would be to disheartening and i do see so i call attention to these dangers larry i call attention to the not to scare people perceive much and make them realize that there are things that can be done about them even short of eliminating nuclear weapons there are many many steps that could
be taken that would lower the dangers of nuclear weapons and we ought to be going about those steps right now most obvious danger if there were a blunder in a nuclear war and that's what we should be focused on that's a bit thank you so much via time today mr secretary. thank you larry it's always good to talk to you secretary william perry great american and thank you for joining me on this edition of politicking remember you can join the conversation on my facebook page or tweet me at can just don't forget use the politicking hash tag that's all for this edition of politicking. about your sudden passing i phone lee just learnt you worry yourself and taken your last wrong turn. up to you as we all knew it would i tell you i'm sorry i could so i write these last words in hopes to put to rest these things that i never got off my chest. i remember when we first met my life turned on each breath
. but then my feeling started to change you talked about war like it was again still some more fun to feel those that didn't like to question our arc and i secretly promised to never be like it said one does not leave a funeral in the same as one enters the mind it's consumed with death this one quite different to speak to now because there are no other takers. claimed that mainstream media has met its maker.
i do not know if the russians. they hacked into john podesta e-mails and gave them to wiki leaks but i do know barack obama's director of national intelligence has not provided credible to support his claims of russia i also know he perjured himself in a senate hearing planned three months before the revelations provided by edward snowden he denied the deep n.s.a. was carrying out wholesale surveillance of the us. the hyperventilating corporate media has once again proved to be an echo for government claims that cannot be verified you would have thought they would have learned something after serving as george w. bush's useful idiots in the lead up to the invasion of iraq. it is vitally important
that the press remains rooted in a fact based universe especially when we enter an era when truth and fiction are becoming indistinguishable. long. oh i'm telling hartman and washington d.c. and here's what's coming up tonight on the big picture me announces marched on charlottesville last weekend in their march on boston this coming weekend are we a great depression away.