tv Asian Security Forum - Panel on U.S.- North Korea Talks CSPAN May 4, 2018 11:56am-12:31pm EDT
eastern on c-span2's booktv, and sunday at 2 p.m. on american history tv on c-span3. worked with our cable affiliates as we explore america. >> and that will conversation on security issues in asia and the threat from north korea. wilshire from journalists with japanese and british newspapers and a former official from the bush administration. from the sasakawa peace foundation this is about one hour. >> well, thanks everyone so much for being here today. we are delighted to kick off with the first panel. really glad to see you all, and very glad to be with my esteemed panelists. thank you very much indeed. i'm particularly divided by the topic of this mornings discussion which is called recent developments, which is really what it has to be called
because it was displayed for a while and so much as happened since then. one of the sort of symbolic things that i've enjoyed seeing as i was at the dnc last year as i'm sure many of you have visited, and i was subjected to that blair of music, and already the so-called propaganda music has been dismantled on saturday. the clocks are changing in john yang, it's overseeing a lot of symbolic gestures with the panel press we can discuss how real they might be and what they might be leading to come if anything, at all. i have with me doctor sue mi terry who has been an analyst at the cia, senior analyst on the korean issues and director for korea at the nsc under both george w. bush and the obama administration. she got csis.
mr. wataru sawamura who is washington, d.c. bureau chief at asahi shimbun who's going to talk a little bit about the japanese public sees the dimensions of so-called recent developments and doctor kongdan oh, katie, who senior asia specialist at the institute for defense analyses, who has lots of interesting things to say as well, particularly regarding the recent summit. i think we'll take each of you in order for a few minutes maybe to live how you see things and then i'll ask you a few questions, and finally we will throw it open to the floor at the end. please do catch my eye at any moment if you might have a question. doctor sue, perhaps we can start by asking you if this summit was president trump, is not going to happen and if so, what to expect
from it? >> oh, my god. [laughing] okay, yes, it will happen because i think both president trump and king jump on what to make this happen. i think kim jong-un has shifted of this tactic and we'll see if this is true strategy or not the least tactically has now come he's on this path of peace offensive. but it all the sumter and he met with xi jinping and a president moon and so on. i think it's going to happen and i think my prediction is it will be dmz. but there are a lot of questions obviously in terms of what's going to happen. beyond the fact there are going to meet. when you look at the end of korean summit that just happened, and i to tell you, as someone who grew up in south korea, north korea analysts, my career watching north korea, when he saw the north korean leader crossing the demilitarized zone to the south and stepping foot into south korea, it was a historic moment. it was momentous, moving, emotional.
but again, what after? a lot of symbolism. when you look at the document, the panmunjom document, but it's interesting because the order was improving korean relations, the summit and then denuclearization was last, kind of reverse order. when you look at the denuclearization part which is where we don't quite have an agreement on what that means, obvious from his perspective denuclearization is complete, verifiable, reversible, disarmament of the north korea nuclear program. .. perhaps, if there is an end of u.s. troops, getting out of south korea. if there is end of extended
nuclear umbrella the u.s. has over south korea and japan. that is way they feel secure. we give them security. we will talk about nuclear denuclearization. i think the south koreans are saying, that is not clear until we sit down, until p president trump sit downs with kim jong-un. there is past pledges and declarations. there is 1972. 1992, there is 2007. there is not overly new. i say there are more questions raised about what is going to happen with trump and kim summit there are several scenarios i can i think, that we can look at. i think the first scenario obviously is, the sort of the tough scenario. if president trump sits down with kim and sort of says, you
know, sit or we're going to go home are that kind of thing, or something in between, i think challenge would be what happens if north korea offers something that does protect u.s. in a way president trump can say, to his supporters that i, accomplished something, no another predecessor was able to accomplish. what if the north koreans establish stopping long-range missile program but not on the medium or short-range missiles? obviously japan and south korea is not protected under that. still president trump can say he can still spin it as something that he is able to deliver. and then there is some other sort of even lesson, a little bit of an outcome. i think the key question here is kim jong-un a changed man? did he wake up after 2017, since he came into power six 1/2 years
ago, he conducted 90 ballistic missile tests. 20 nuclear tests including hydrogen bomb test, 17 more morerful than hiroshima. he did 17 tests last year. north korea said repeatedly they have complete i their nuclear program. another concern is that north koreans are coming into this meeting thinking somehow coming into this meeting from position of strength. they have completed their program. shown icbm capability, that can reach all over main land united states. whereas the u.s. coming into the meeting feeling like, maybe it was maximum pressure, it was sanctions, all this talk of limited strike, bloody nose. there is a little bit of a different perspective from pongyang coming into this meeting. so i'm concerned about that and i'm concerned that, i'm concerned that kim jong-un didn't just wake up, i'm 95%
done with my nuclear program, i will truly give it all up. i will be shocked if that is the case. but we'll see. but my concern is that, going to wrap it up now, but my concern is that both parties have an incentive it meet and they will be able to walk out of the meeting and call it a success. i'm sure that is most likely what is going to happen but what would happen afterwards? i think that the important part is, so the timeline, right? so i think from washington's perspective, because there is concern and skepticism that kim jong-un is trying to buy time or wait out the trump administration, with incentive to drag this out as a long process, our incentive to have more expedited time frame, if they're saying okay we're serious about nuclearization, when does verification begin? when do we go into north korea? is it two months or three
months? so we'll see. but my best is at least initially going to be successful. whether it is long-term successful remains to be seen. >> thank you. do we have even more cynical view of that from the japanese public? can i ask you? >> thank you. first of all thank you very much for ambassador kathleen and every one. able to join the discussion with distinguished expert on east asia issues. i'm the only participant who is not expert in east asian security. asked me to share my insight on the japanese public views in the recent development with north korea. so the north korean missiles and
nuclear peninsula. bear in mind my speech, the content of my speech are my personal views and do not represent the asahi views or japan. this subject matter i might conduct the interview in japanese, i have excellent translators working for us today. so okay. it is noisy here. so -- thank you. so according to opinion polls conducted by asahi on april, whether they expected positive out come of the u.s. north korean summit to take place, 50% of japanese said yes and 44 said
no. so the poll asks the same in april if the international community should emphasize dialogue or pressure in order to convince north korea to give up nuclear and missile testing. that poll was equally in favor, 46% saying they prefer dialogue and 45% saying they prefer pressure. so the expectation and dialogue out number the no expectation, the poll, most of the japanese public are not so much enthusiastic about the summit but are probably more confused. they are hoping it will get better but watching a situation with skeptical agreement made
over by north korea over the past 75 years have been broken and negotiation was. my colleagues in seoul who regularly follows japanese issues expressed their concerns. consistent underestimation towards the south korean and moon jae-in government. tend to make light of mr. moon negotiation capabilities. they say that south korea is too naive to conduct complicated negotiations with dick -- dictator. that it is being exploited by north korea to bide time. that -- [inaudible]. we have to point out that mr. abe taking advantage of crisis to achieve their political goals. mr. away in last october's
elections, the main reason they were victorious of course, the two opposition parties but mr. abe's description of north korea behavior and national crisis and maximum pressure on north korea left no doubt as to his popularity. but the political social frenzy i fear japan carefully observe and. though i am not in the position to defend japanese government have to say the japanese officials might have foreseen the current development on the korean peninsula. i certainly remember last december that japanese officials predicted at a ndp korea would turn towards more dialogue at beginning of '18. this indeed became true but
according to my colleague who wrote the article, those who attended meeting were not enthusiastic toward the prediction and seemed indifferent. four months have passed since then and lots of things have happened and are changing. so now in japan argument divided between the will japan be left hine or we should not trust north korea and japan should stay being aware. advantage of these differing opinions that in order to try to get a good deal from japan. having argument is not a bad thing but we have to have discussion on how japan would be able to contribute to, contribute to the peace-building process and what is its place. of course our are a fear that eventually conflict. the second risk is i believe, for example, through the u.s.
have satisfied by north korea only if i having up their icbms and lead to sanctions without no north korean equipment on the missiles. so it would also be a catastrophe if the u.s. nuclearization and security commitment to japan and south korea. so it means not only security threat by north korea would contribute but also might also dramatically change the balance of power in east asia. so third and final list is that the whole process and frail work of the denuclearization and would be designed only by the u.s., south korea and north korea. so if this occurs japan would be abandoned to make financial contributions to the denuclearization towards north korea. i'm not sure the japanese public would be willing accept to
having pay money and so it is not easy for the japanese public to accept the change without taking japanese interests because it might affect the security environment in the whole of asia including japan. what should we do? i think there is still time for japan to get involved in the pros fess and contribute to it. there might be also possible to create concurrently with, so one of the ideas it is worth trying for japan is proposing a framework like six-party talks and. that does not seem be in favor of much lateral due to the previous failure and perhaps the instinct in favor of a sticking to a one-two negotiation. japan would make iaea, in
japanese, japan makes financial contribution to the iaea in area of human resources as well. so japan and north korea already have 2002 declaration by prime minister koizumi. how to get consensus with the japanese public to support the process and japanese approval. japan and south korea have to have a good relationship. as you know they are disputes of the opinions regarding the past history with japan and south korea. so both countries should not exploit history for their own political gain. it is important for japan to have serious public discussion about the big picture how to
face new world order with korea and how we would be able to take advantage of this improvement for stability and prosperity of the region. so we should avoid falling into two narratives, too positive thinking such as denuclearization is not possible or peace will be very easy. so japan must be able to engage constructively not just asked to pay money. if so japan will lose confidence of the spread of dangerous nationalism. that is why i have big expectations of mr. prime minister abe. he is politician with -- based in japan. how to nationalize is important task for leader in japan and other asian countries. >> thank you very much. speaking of the new regional order, we just had the north-south korea summit.
i know you watched that very closely. can you talk a little bit about the significance of that, what we've seen, closing down of nuclear testing site. is that exhausted, is it not? is that a gesture to mean something? is that empty one? you can tell us a little bit about that. she said we can ask her anything including kim jong-un's shoe size, if one is brave enough to ask that later. be my guest. katy. >> i was traveling from the southern islands and only check email at night. wi-fi is not good in new zealand. there is a lot of sheep and cows but not much wi-fi. i kept email and my most beloved and respected colleagues and senior mentor sends me an email.
we have a panel in north korea. i never say no to him. that is the reason i'm here even though i'm on television. let me put it this way. euphoria from south korea based on the survey, 70% absolutely respect and adored president moon and they think about 60% north koreans kim will denuclearize the entire country, getting rid of all the nukes and from the u.s. mostly, including very smart and actually did heavy lifting for me talked about a lot of important points, that skepticism is quite strong and you watched it, you observed it. they are known to regurgitate what you saw and what you read.
my observation was only for five minutes, but i will be even shorter. what's new? what's new? can you tell me? number one, of course smile and charmed diplomacy from north korea, right? now the south korean youngsters start creating a fan club of kim jong-un. can you imagine? as sue said, has he changed from like a prior to ape and post-april? isn't new man? do you believe that? it is not happening very frequently unless you have a life-threaten experience, reborn christian or just like our former president george bush actually was the case but, not kim, in my belief. new official strategies is also new. this is very important. north korea has pursued ever
since kim came to the political stage two-track policy. military advancement including wmd achievement, spearheaded by nukes and development. and then development. side by side, we go together. now they say we are achieve the goals. now we have a one policy, one strategy. that is economic building, economic reconstruction. fascinating, isn't it? lastly, so-called new change with moonshine government. do you know the meaning of moonshine? so-called reconciliation dialogue and embracing between two koreas. original prototype of the moonshine was sunshine policy.
and sunshine policy successor is mr. moon and koreans are very good making humorous statement and now called the moonshine policy i actually love moonshine more than sunshine. but nonetheless the moonshine policy is receptive to north korea strategy. this is a great new change because prior, before the president moon, president lee were actually very conservative and strong against north korea. what's not new you have to explain to me? what's not new? north korea multi. multiple tracks including nukes, has not changed at all. nukes, missiles, chemical, bio conventional, cyber. nobody talks about cyber because cyber is kind of a strange
creature. it's there but you don't actually really contact. cyber with south korea and japan you would not believe it. money is gone from your bank. your entire account is gone. why we don't know about it? bankers investment and all these people keep their mouth shut. so stress -- what's not new? north korea declared in the third committee meeting of the seventh plenum in april 2014, six days before the summit that we now achieved and we now own the pressure what he said. we are nuke country as so indicated. now another important point, kim security concerns, have you seen the 12 guys running next to the
mercedes benz. that is capturing moment of the entity and reality and essence of north korea. my god, the guy sitting in a cushion in a mercedes-benz. that van cost more than a million dollars, from germany, special order, right? 12 guys running. kim's security control and concern will be pair mount. paramount. because of that meeting april 24th, they declared, security control, social control, overall much more strengthened and enhanced. north korea has not changed. lastly, there is a actually maybe the important point for you to think about, whether nuclear negotiation is the only solution to get rid of all these problems? i would just give you a hint. last unchanged aspect of north korea is that erosion of
north korea society continues, erosion. there is growth of illegal capitalism and activities including political elites and military elites, and corruption. do you think soviet union was ruined because of s.t.a.r.t. talks and arms confrontation from the united states. give me a break. it was not the case. social erosion and corruption. today with a bribery, you can take out the person who will be guillotined in the gulag if you have $50,000, you can take him out. so this social erosion is continuing. so i'm just hinting to you to raise expectations. that's all. >> thank you. quick show of hands, i will ask some questions myself, who would like to ask a question when we come to that? quick show of hands.
great. thank you. so you, you've met north koreans before and you've met north koreans recently. we obviously detect from you quite a degree of cynicism. can you tell us about your meetings, your recent meetings with north koreans, the way they are trying to convince you and how you are assessing what they're telling you? >> no. because actually their behavior is different. there is a sense -- so there is something, a change of -- now i'm not saying that's strategy that is fundamentally different that will lead to complete, verifiable irreversible but, i sense north koreans, the officials really are not in the loop. they have not got the talking points. a lot of it is being decided by kim jong-un. it was really president trump
and pompeo and the intelligence that has been doing the negotiation. so they don't know quite what to make of this new situation, in six months everybody would tell me, never ever, we're never giving up nuclear weapons. constitution enshrined. well now, what is my talking point? this is very confusing. it is hard to just go by that. i think kim jong-un is very shrewd, very astute, very smart. i think it is better not to underestimate him. i think he is not going to necessarily come here and, you know, blow up the summit. he is not, not come here but meet with president trump. he has an agenda and when you have seen how he has turned to summits and diplomacy after years of provocations, he is doing amazing job. look at image makeover. it was 100% success. it was so good, sending 230 security leaders and kim jong-un
was hugely popular in south korea. look at his meeting with xi xinping. with his modern, attractive wife. north korean officials looking like normal leader, having a normal summit. 250,000-dollar bottles but have whole image makeover. he is on a path here. what i'm afraid of, it is easy when north korea acts badly. it is easy for us to have a response. it is hard when north korea acts, i think they will come to the summit to prepared to give up something, to blow up something, dismantle something because he knows they need to give a visual, a cnn effect here. it will get more complicated and more confusing. it requires a deft policy, u.s. policy. we need to decide in advance what are we looking, what is the ultimate goal here? are we still going for complete,
verifiable, irreversible denuclearization or is 60, 70% solution is good snuff? knowing north korea will be doing it but it is enough to take us because it is better than a couple months ago when we were talking about military strikes. >> the administration is very aware of the choice. how much do you think they are are for the 60%? >> i do think president trump really wants to walk out of this meeting and call it a success. if two parties are really incentivized to have a successful meeting they will. again, what part of, my earlier point with long-term success -- >> you could have success on a handshake and a photo but what you're talking about -- >> i think more than that. i bet it is more than that. >> 60% is real shift. do you think the administration is considering privately saying
that is okay, we can make steps. we don't actually need complete irreversible, verifiable denuclearization? >> i would be the last person to speak for president trump what he is thinking. i really am. i truly don't know. some of his comments does concern me, like when, you know, whether he said it or not, that that it would be okay to pull out u.s. troops from south korea. he has made some comments regarding alliance commitments, even before he was elected. so i think that it is hard to say, what president trump will ultimately do when he sits down with kim jong-un. what i will say kim jong-un will come to a meeting that will offer up something that will appear to be good. we need to be prepared for that possibility instead of thinking he will come, i've seen the last couple months have shown me that this guy is very astute. he has been -- by the way north koreans have been completely
focused on us, united states, 100% policy. why we're divided, we're thinking about a million different things, right? think they, we need to prepare for that possibility, grand bargain or something that the north could offer, what would we do in response. >> let's do an easier question then, and let president trump -- >> there is no easy questions when it comes to north korea. >> let him speak in his own words. yesterday he tweeted, and always good to be aware of mr. trump's tweets but this one said, numerous countries are being considered for the meeting, capital letters, but would freedom house on the bored he have north korea, be more representative, important, lasting site than a third country? just asking exclamation mark. who is he asking? is he asking the american public? is he asking kim? where are we now on where is the meeting going to be? >> my money is on the the on
panmunjom. places like switzerland and sweden, north korea have a plane reliably fly long distance. they don't have a pilot experience flighting long distance. think about it, kim jong-un never flew. that those are low logistical concerns. kim, does he feel comfortable. it is a face saving thing or loss of face thing. what i mean, you want to fly commercial. do you want to fly a borrowed plane? there is issue going too long of a distance. i do think i understand it is down to singapore and we're pushing singapore whether administration officials are pressing for singapore because we think that u.s. thinks that we're giving north korea too
much to do it at the dmz. president trump is leaning towards the dmz through his tweet. >> we were told there were five locations. what is the five. what has been dismissed? >> switzerland, new zealand, among -- mongolia, dmz. that was the question. >> katy, what do you think, during the summit the phrase was, check exactly, a nuclear-free korean peninsula. what does it imply that south korea. >> we're leaving this program at this point to go to the council on foreign relations in washington for a discussion on "brexit" and what the united kingdom dom deter will mean from the eu, britain's role in the world stage and u.s. relations with britain and the eu. live coverage just getting underway here on c-span two. >> i will be presiding over today's discussion.