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tv   U.S.- North Korea Relations  CSPAN  June 6, 2018 8:53am-9:59am EDT

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>> a discussion about u.s.-north korea relations, pounds discussed next weeks plan summit in singapore and president north korean official with at the white house. this event was hosted by the foundation for the defense of democracies in washington, d.c. >> all right.and ten minutes.
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good afternoon and welcome to the foundation for defense of democracies. my name is david adesnik. i'm the director of research. it's my pleasureid to welcome al ofh in their the audience and new ones. i hope this really shows quite a broad audience, thehe kind of wk were doing here and how proud we are to bring some super experts to talk about north korea today. so i couple of housekeeping items. today's event is being live stream video recorded and broadcast on c-span, so it's on the record which means would like you to turn off your phones so we don't have any interruptions, otherwise your frozenaught for posterity and never forgotten. to set an example i will go ahead and turn off my phone right heater. so with that i'd like to turn to
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the issue at hand and i will say a word about why this is so important. obviously for the world but also in particular for fdd. north korea on own is something, an immense threat to the united states, but we' sive wor here on a t, and it is deep inhe involvement there as well. we know there's a deep relationship between pyongyang on developing plastic missiles, the u.n. has recently reported that pyongyang continues to provide chemical weapons related material to bashar al-assad and efficient which of course then uses them and attacks on civilians. and, of course, it w me than a decade ago that israeli airstrikes destroyed a a nuclear reactor builtlt in syria by the north korean regime. so this is very much global threat and not just a regional one, and, of course, more urgent than ever now that we we're log for to a summit back on on june 12 in singapore.
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with that in mind i would like to say levit about each of the experts we have on the stage today. a lot of people like to talk about north korea and give advice, butis there's probably a select few who have deep expertise, the kind that is a kind of device with giving two presidents, secretaries of state and other world leaders leaders advic him have that if you listen with the people stage at going to say, follow m on twitter, seated on cbs and othere networks with it recenty appeared collecting to be learning a tremendous amount. so i will go in alphabetical order. first, our moderate will be arbor dimmick. she is now -- barbara demick, has been a bureau chief in beijing and seoul come the author of two books including nothing to envy, ordered lives s finali fnalook award. next, bruce klingner has served in very senior position in the
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intelligence community. i followed his work for many years in his role as a senior research fellow for northeast asia at the heritage foundation. next is dr. nic lutsey hook that ntly andgaad of meeting more experience the hst levelsgely as producing a very valuable work in a capacity at brookings where she senior fellow and the ft korea foundation chair in korea studies. finally anthony ruggiero has been tremendous play to be working with past year. i've learned a tremendous amount about north korea i would recommend to all of you his work which you can find on our website. if you just follow him day in a day out with its op-ed, longer pages where he almost won many machine production people but the kind of policy we should have on sanctions. with that also w direct all of your attention to the newddesrchject massur 2.0, how to put sanctions on north korea that is
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just come out today that anthony is the author. tremendous wealth of in like to thank you agai for coming, for sharing your afternoon with us and turn it over to w barbara to moderate the panel. >> i'm dighted to behe rol of the modernde because i don't think i need to state my opions. i can only do wha jouis is happy to come which ask questions. i'm going to go down the line, ask you quickly, what do you thik of this upcoming summit? of the upcing summit, so somebody was saying to me the other day, i can't believe what a whirlwind of activity the past six months have been. and i said to thinkthe past sev. because i was at the agency when kim jong-un came to power, and ever since then it's been as you know, c anthony, who was at the treasure of the time, it was a
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steady pace of missile tests every twoks cyber attacks and all sorts of things. we could've never imagine that seven years later we would be at is pointhere t u.s. president has agreed to meet with kim jong-un, despite all of the provocative activities and theirdvancements of the nuclear weapons capabils. i think the summit,, isounds afh president trump and kim jong-un want thiso hapn and are both deeply invested in this. and i thi nor korea is going to try to make sure that things go well in that the the presidt doesn't leave the room in the way that he is threatened that might come in various forms. i think the remains to be seen exactly what's going to come out of that summit, and a know there's a lot of handwringing and concern about how we're
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going to be better off are worse off after this meeting. >> i was afraid you going to ask me what's going toha happen at e summit, and i would have to give you what we used to call the cia salute. we just don't know. at this point we really just can'ak prections. with just holding on forhe de. .. o years, as a roller coaster ride with ups and downs and turns. i think it is more like a carnival ride, "the scrambler," where things are going in all different directions at once, because at least a roller coaster is linear. this has been twisting and turning. it has gotten to the point where if you step away from your it's kind of gotten to the point where if you step away from your google feed or twitter feed for a minute, yesterday i took a nap and the e-mails, what do i think about assad meeting with kim. you can't lose focus for an
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hour or you're hopelessly behind. i think that the summit is hastily thrown together. yes, the way, youknow, io negotiations have gone have failed. na doesn't mean he think you throw out the dlo playbook and do a fly by the seat of your pants diplomacy. what lost focus on the grams is pretty standard for north korean diatribes. i think the first missive where he what he did was publicly and articulate what north korea's position was on denuclearization, which is a wide chasm separate from what the u.s. desire is and as well as what i think the white house thought north korea had agreed to. so, i think there was a scramble in the white house. i think they were surprised that this was not going to be as easy as a summit as they
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perhaps perceived because as they sort of described it incredulously, heo adenuclri now they're saying they're not embracing unilateral armament. yeah, anyone who followed north korea for any length of time nstraints on their nuclear and they look at it as global arms control rather than unarmament and they'll go to zero once everyone else goes to zero. i think what we saw on friday by president trump after his meeting with kim yong chol was sort of a lower of expectations. i thought it looked like a watering down of a number of previous u.s. policy decisions. >> well, i mean, i guess i'll start there. i mean, we don't know where we are on north korea policy. would i say, you know, on
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thursday, just the day before the president was speaking from the driveway of the white house, you know, secretary pompeo was crystal clear, i thought, in a response to a question that said, you know, kim jong-un had not m strategic decision to denuclearize and was clear that he had to decide whether he wanted to move his country on a differentth given that, i think it's clear that the substantive positions which bruce a referencing, focus on the size of the table, who is paying for their hotel, wh those, i'm sure, are important issues that people will report on and i certainly am, have views on it based on the sanctions implications and the max pressure implications, but it really hides the one facte know of, which is the two sides are very far apart on the--
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in my view, the only thing, or the first thing that matters in these negotiations, which has kim made a strategic decision to denuclearize, and in my view, the answer is no, you don't need three summits for that. if the ayes, then, okay, then have a discussion over sequencing, which, again, there seems to be, if you believe there's some difference within the u.s.-- there might be some difference between the u.s. government itself. whether it's the boulton libyan model or, what i hope not, longer phased model, but i think when people were asking me on friday, you know, is max pressure dead because, you know, trump said he's not going to use the phrase anymore, which made me very sad, but i reminded people, i was like a week ago, the summit was off. so, like, who knows? i mean, you know, i think it's refreshing to hear, if i can
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say, like it's row freshing to hear korea experts say we don't know, here is our best guess and i think as you're watching thinve next, you know, eight days, through the summit and after the summit, i would recommend following people at least who are honest like that, pooh people who say they do know, probably don't know. because none of us know what's going i wish we could say than that because we have a really good guess, but who knows what kim is really going to do in that meeting. >> i like bruce's comment and anthony, yours, too, in terms of the president has lowered expectations, but now it seems there are no expectations. we're not going to talk about human rights. north korea can go at their own pace whenever they wnd whatever you feel comfortable with. so, it seems as if we've gone from high expectations to unrealistic expectations, complete verifiable,
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irreversible, immediately to almost no hard demands on north korea on these types of issues. >> and i would just say, i me, the whole thing-- i would just say that's unclear. the whole like you want to go quick, you want to go slow. it wasn't clear. does that mean, denuclearization or does that mean the strategic decision that pompeo was talking about less than 24 hours earlier, slightly more than 24 hours earlier. so, it wasn't clear to me that, maybe it was the strategic decision and that trump and the folk in the white house believe trump has to say numerous times, we're not going to attack you for kim to feel certain that they're not going to attack. that wasn't even crystal clear to me. >> so, i think that's right and because what the president says today is going to be-- might be completely different tomorrow or six hours from now, but i also think, what is kim getting out of this. what is he learningm all of this? and if you look at some of the
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regime propaganda, they're talking about the trump model and they're clearly appealing to personal inclinations or personal preferences, not the bolton model, not the libyan model, not any other model, but the trump model which is somethingth, you know, that is still kind of amorphous. so i think from what i might think that north korea is getting out of this whole situation is that there's policy disagreement, or that there is some policy confusion within the white house, at least that's what i think the north koreans might perceive of this and that tru ultimately is the one that directs the policy on this issue. >> yeah, my only hope is that north korea is as confused as those of us in washington are. find trump administration's policy on north korea is a lot like the weather in new england, and i
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grew up in new england. you don't like it, wait ten minutes and it's going to change. wheth it's part of a brilliant negotiating tactic or differences or factions, atever.s. whi administration, we're not sure, but i think some of the lessons that north korea may take away from it is that the u.s. now seems very eager for the summit. i think we've lost a lot leverage in that eagerness, that we haven't really gotten anything in return for this agreement. even when the white house explained why they-- why the president had canceled the summit, you know, they didn't say, oh, it's because of the insults or the threats or e nth korean statements, it was broken promises and they laid out a series of very cogent promises at that had been broken or perceived to be broken and 24 hours later, the president said the summit is likely back on.
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there wasn't any movement on resolving those broken promises or narrowing this gap on what is not only a u.s. proposal of cbid, but the u.n. requirement of cbid. itho gettingnythinack to the in turn. >> anthony, i wanted to ask you about your new report which i think was dated today, you seemed to feel that maximum pressure was, ifcanti use the workingery well. and we seemed to have moved away from that. you want a quick synopsis. >> i came down with a bunch of recommendations, i whittled 16 down to six. there were a lot more that i'm sure that people could come up with. in my view, the bottom line on maximum pressure is that, you know, i know the president doesn't want to talk about it now, but you know, it's clear in getting them back to the e table. and it's-- when we talk about play books,
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we haven't said the word play book, but i'm sure we'll use the phrase a lot. the thing that concerns me now is that t u.s. is playing from a playbook it used in t 2000's and not tobenefit. the fact is thatast week the had a set of designations, sanctions ready to roll out and they chose not to, to issue those sanctions. unfortunately, that seems like what we did in 2000. not only did we not continue to issue sanctions, but rolled them back in a lot of instances so the question here for me goes back to i north korea has decided know the to denuclearize, then, really the next step should be maximum pressure 2.0 and the recommendations are sanctioning chinese banks which, frany, shouldaveady happened and increasing the focus on north korean shipping sector and defending north korea and p referring north korea for the
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human rights abuses to icc or separate tribunal, enforcing sanctions on north korea's overseas labor stopping diplomat diplomatic privileges, it's not just following the letter of the sanctionings, but going beyond on the spirit of the sanctions. what the president said he did k were eroding at the ctions, i leverage that the president had wi nthkorea. i mean, we're already seeing a report this morning, in "the washington post," about southeast asia, we're already seeing reports about china rolling back some of their sanctions, and i think-- i would say the frame work still exists and i would not say that we have to go back zero, to the zero day on maximum pressure, but every day that we allow it to erode, it's going to be harder and harder to bring us back to that pot. >> and i would-- the one thing i would say, too, on iran, things are--
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the issues are in our link now, because you've got an administration out of the iran nuclear deal promising their own version of maximum pressure on iran, so what they're-- unlike with north korea, we had many u.n. resolutions that th, on iran it's going to be mostly persuasion and going nction opposed t u.s. sanctions and any efforts real away at the north korea maximum pressure policy could cause countries to question why should we implement and harm our own economic relationship with iran other unie becsef yo policy because it might change in a week. so, we have to be careful about both of those factors. >> i jtgo bk something that dr. pakaid about the trump model and i find that fascinating and maybe
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go back to you. and a question for all of you, especially you with the intelligence background, the north koreans seem to be playing this very smartly and i think actually the most impressive thing of' ever seen nort kdoond the missile test and the satellite, was that big white envelope they sent to trump. i thought, wow, they have really-- you know what i'm talking about, everybody, the white envelope withrrom ng-un came in game show ready big white enve. u, which was just perfect for, yknow, the setting of the press conference. i mean, ain, you know question, how are they doing this so cleverly? have they be studying trump's personality? do they have the same kind of psycho analytic researchers that they have in their intellceunit and is it all kim jong-un? is he that smart or somebody telling him what to do? >> i think, i mean, the north
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koreans are a single issue country and that's us. we have other things that, you know, that's going the economy, trade, the war, but for north korea, kim jong-un is luo haveple aro who have decades of experience just working on the u.s. portfoli hat white envelope, t size of that envelop to me that, along with the ledlowing up of nuclear test site, that suggesd to me that they are very well aware of the theater that's involved in all of the-- in the past, you know, several months, since the olympics. the olpi is international, global ea thinterkean summit washe oscars, the super bowl all d alese the mee at and it was the white house with the envelope, it's more impact than
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a smaller sized envelope. the north koreans, if anything, are very good at propaganda, that's what they exist on, what thhrive on, that's how they justify their existence it their people and to the outside, and i think for north korea there, they've pretty much have been pying along with the theater summitry as i had -- i'd say as much as the u.s. and south korea have been doing. ews,n one hand on the ea mixed positive said, just we we have leadership analysts, they certainly should. nderstand president trumpling to ushe's unique and different from his predecessors. onread the art of the deal back ong flight from new zealand. if you subtrac of weekf th le of a realste br n york t are a number of precept really i
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think that strike home and to cite six of them, which kind of shows at this point it's lessim expert than to be a trump expert in trying to predict whatl do. you know,harud is i make deals, i do it to do it, it's my art form. so, this quest for doing deals, being better tha the predecessors, another one is listen to your gut. i dra owy conclusions, learn not to be overly impressed by academic credentials. you think back, even during the campaign of you know, i know re about afghanistan than four star generals and then i think sort of this, when people are worried that he's not listening to enough north korea expertsreading big briefing book, i think it's sort of, he goes with the gut, he goes with his instinct. another one is think big, if you're thinking y mig as ll thi big, ias out to build something monumental, if you're making a deal of any significance, you have to go to the top and i think that plays in whathat we're seeing. truthful hyperbole, that people
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want to believe that something is the biggest and greatest and most spectacular, why not let them believe that, he said truthful o of the on or things in a way we've already pomp others will be saying, we're seeing that north korea is saying things they've never said before, in fact, they're saying exactly what they've been saying for 27 or more years, and that's one of orriess that we come out of this singapore summit with something that looks remarkably like the sixen party talks or anything that the president has previously criticized, but it's hyped as something that's historic and new and groubrking two final ones, seems it pays to be little wild, that one makes me nervous, but sometimes your best investments are the ones you don't make. as he said, if it's not a good dealhe's wling to walk away from it, we'll see because ght now it seems he's pretty eager for success and you can define success in many ways.
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so, you know, i think that's more of set of indicators than you know, trying to say what u.s. longstanding poly i on the other hand i think that north korea shot itself in the foot a couple of times recently. there wa irrational exuberance in the south korean summit and they did four ham-fisted missives they'd done in the past. guys, you blew it, you lost a lot of the goodwill, a lot of the positive perceptions that kim jong-un was different and just over the weekend reports that, you know, assad is going to meet with kim jong-un. of all the dictators in the world you have to pick the one that the u.s. recently has bombed and that trump has been very critical of. again,sort of losing goodwill they've generateed with a lot of these diplomatic tives. >> yeah, i mean i agree with all of that. i would just say it seems like north korea is putting the hook
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in the water to see if the u.s. like every time we do, right? i mean, i think i was surprised-- you mention it had earlier, the first kim w s and that's been completely papered over. they were very clear on that, that cbid is-- it's nothey' interested in. and even the conciliatory statement, which wasn't really conciliatory. they didn't call us for six days or whatever and lets us sit in singapore like the white house official for three days. even after that, depending whic translation you look . it says at the end. step by step or phased, right? i mean, that's the clearest thing. i think that the north koreans, i've always been worried over the last yea and a half that north koreans and the chinese think they know this administration, but really
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don't. so, while it seems like the north koreans have the u.s. on the hook, i'm very worried that we will get another version of e 2005 joint statements. the adnistration will come out ofhat meeting and everybody will criticize it, and then that that could back fire on the north koreans. i think that this administration could then move in a much, much dfere direction than they are expecting. so, i'm worried about not just the nobel prize side of this administration, but then also the sort of lashing out if they're embarrassed side. i hope the north koreans, i hope kim knows what he's doing because both sides can be dangerous. >> you did an op-ed recently, i think for the l.a. times, in fact, going over past north korean statements about their promises to denuclearize. can you give us a little-- >> i think it was after the inter-korean summit, where, again, if you've been doomed to
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work in north korea for any length of time, everything looks familiar and you tend to rememb--youemember things a tim that north korea said something better than you remember your own kids' birthdays. what i found with the declaration, it was really plagiarism. a lot of regurgitated promises from the past that north korea repeatedly violated so i couldn't go into lengthy details, but behind the scenes i was looking at it, this paragraph was from 1972, this is from 1992. this paragraph 2000, so it really was a lot of previous promises and similar to the previous inter-korean declarations. there was this-- even the order of it, i thought, was wrong, is that, you know, you had these are the wonderful things that south korea will provide to the north. these are the security actions that the-- both sides or the south will do
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to make north korea feel more secure, and by the way, since we are about to sign off on this two and a half page document, nucleation,e both pledged to do what we had to do. it's like, i would have liked denuclearization to be at the beginng,ecause that's what everything else flows from, you denuclearization and then provide economic benefits rather than the reverse order and when they say both sides willful fill their obligation. only one korea has nukes. so, that's the side that has to live up to it. so, i think kind of applying the same method of analysis to the upcoming singapore summit, as anthony said, there's going to be a lot of automatic criticism afterwards and a lot of automatic praise after. whatever comes out is the best because trump is stronger than the weak obama and trump wouldn't sign a flawed document like the iran one, so i think there's going to be a lot of just very ud, very automatic
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and iticism. i think the best place for us is kind of a middling of the road of, you know, scoring the summ dum by assessing its merits or lack thereof and i think given the administration's criticism of not only the jcpoa, but also all previous korean agreements that, you know, this one has to be judged against the jcpoa, the eight previous north korean agreements, the resolutions, by the u.n., as well as verification equal to or greater than cfe and it's hi the administration set for itself, even if now it's trig to lower expectations. >> since we've admitted that this is a group of military experts and not trump experts, unfortunately, maybe i'm at the wrong panel, if you would talk little about kim jong-un, one of the names i'm going to start with dr. pak, we discussed this before. north korean experts send to
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say that north koreans do this, north koreans do that. to what extent are the same, north koreans or difference with kim jong-un, he's certainly done a couple of boulderer things with marketization and the economy, he seems maybe more enterprising than his father, but the same old koreans. >> there are differences now kim jong-un handled things from his father and grandfather. he's more like his gndfather in the gregarious way and transparent way h deals with the publ for instance, in 2012 the first satellite launch failed the regime for the first time said it failed, but we'll keep going on. but we thought that was a very significant moment that he wanted to be a transparent sort
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of peon. and , the fact that he spoke in public for the first time whileisher shunned public speaking for almost 20 years, that he was the leader of north korea. but i think, you know, i think that goes to the question of whether kim is sincere, as everybody's-- a lot of people haven saying about giving up his nuclear weapons. i think it's hard to-- so while the brand, you know, he's creating his own brand, but i don't think it's a different kind of product. that so i think the -- the north korean-- north korea is kim jong-un and he's identified himself with the nuclear weapons program and with this particular brand of north korea that's modern, that's young, that's on the move so, i think that nuclear weapons are north korea's--
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part of north korea's identity and also, kim jong-un's identity. that's why i think it's so difficult to think that he's going to give all of this up after having completed what his grandfather started to say, you know, i'm going to start, you know, getting rid of the nuclear weapons. >> do you think he could g it up? would hve-- i think i've asked youhis before, would he have the support of the military if he decides to, you know, to basically capitulate? you know, we're going to try something bold and different to give up our weapons and go for economic integration. >> would the military stand behind him? >> y know, after the so-called purge, you know, the recent purge of the three hardline, you know, military people with moderate military people, i think the-- i think we need to be careful about characterizing any north korean official as hardline or rate. those are our terms that we post onto them they'll be
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moderate when kim wants them to be moderate and hardline when kim wants them to be hardline. and kim yong chol who met with the president, when was the hardliner and he's dealing with inter-korean matters, and the relationship with president trump went well, he wore a suit. and it he were to give up nuclear weapons, we talk about sign posts. kim is unlikely to give up his nuclear weapons, but if he were to make that strategic decisions, these are the things that we would expect to see. i don't see those sign posts yet and that would be dismantling the ideological structure that revered nuclear
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weapons. it's in their textbooks, it's in what they learn at school. it's in their s. mo it's on their stamps. so, i think it's part of their cultural, political, mental ic iconographery and landscape. once we see signs of that's eroding maybe they've made the strategic decision. if they've loosened up on human rights violations, that would be a sign for me that kim is serious about, you know, joining the so-called family of nations. so, those are big things that i would hope to see, that i would like to see, if-- to note that he might be moving in a different direction. >> i j toouknow, shifting from a hardliner to a modera sort of like going from sonny korleone to michael
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korleone. 's still in the family. and you think of kim as picking moderates now he's not high on the moderate scale, he's killed his brother in an airport. and i remember in 1994 when some were saying that kim jong i wi kim jung-il would have reform. and when kim jong-un came along, he was educated in switzerland and first six years, self-imposed isolation, this race to cross the nuclear and missile line. purge, more than we could keep track of. i'm also not seeing the sign posts. we always have to keep our eyes open and challenge our analysis, if you have to update
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your analysis, but i think right now, what kim jong-un has been doing is implementing the second page of his fatr's two-page play book. it was provocations, threats, attacks, alternating with charm offenses. so the first six years, kim jong-un only did the first half on steroids, given the pace of the testing and now that he shifted page two he's also done that on steroids with a resolving door of summits with a guy who hadn't left his country until early this year. >> if question, i think, more for anthony, i think behind here is, you know, something about the decline of the u.s. in asia, and i think we are a declining power in northeast asia and whichever way this goes, if there's a deal, it might mean a reduction of u.s. troops. if there's not a deal do we become more irrelevant. and the question for anthony,
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is how much pressure, how important is the u.s., really, to north korea? ssed this before. you know, they seem to be circumventing sanctions and i don't mean cheating, but they've done their own marketization. they have, you know, investments from china, department stores, the people, egyptian, did their telecom until they cut out. i mean, can they modernize and open up completely without the u.s.? or is the u.s. financial system and the u.s. sanctions so important to them? >> well, i mean, in the absence of some kind of deal, if you had-- if you have a trump administration talking about maximum pressure or putting some kind of sanctions pressure on north korea, i think that that would be difficult for them to do on their own. i think, you know, i think at one point people look at the north korean economy and point to certain things and say, you
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know, these prices are stable or the, you know, the conversion with the yuan are stable or things of that sort. we only got to the broader commodities sanctions toward ampaign. this maximum before, we were focused on going after things related to the weapons program and going after things related to the revenue, related tohe weapons program. we got to the broader set of sanctions and then kim has-- and so, my view has always been on maximum pressure is that, not that the pressure, as it was in january was hurting kim, and it was, it was that he saw six, eight, 12 months down the road where china was implementing sanctions and that would hurt, hurt him more. i mean, i in you know, the whole discussion about moderates over the weekend reminds us about, you know, kim
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jong-un was supposed to be the swiss-educated reformer. i think there's a tendency to try to shoe-horn that debin ew and hardliners, and put it right, that's been their m not our mode i inn you look at sig posts, too, you look at what they did for the nuclear test site. it too a shorter period of time than before. i think people, when the cooling tower, i think in 2008 was destrod, everybody, you know, celebrations and balloons and you will that have, you know-- all of that and this is a sign of denuclearization, it was not. you only have to look at google maps now and there's a nuclear reactor on the site of that cooling tower to tell you how worthless that process was and now we're with the test site itself. experts and folks in the
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intelligence community are saying that it was all, all just a big ruse to get us to believe they've done something. right now they need to do something to show their commitment to denuclearization, it's not clear that they're ready to do that. >> he think we're going to open up for questions. do we have a house mic? ande introduce yours and try to keep the questions short. >> hi, i'm debra saunders with the las vegas review journal. i'm wanting-- i'm curious to know if anyone here has an opinion about the white house having kim yong chol into the oval office and president trump shaking his hand on friday. >> i'd just sweep the room for bugs afterward. a lot of people say well he shouldn't have met, it's giving a victory to north korea. i mean, i can kind of see both
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sides to that, but, you know, i just contrast is with, you know, he had sort of the beaming smile andhe grip and grin photo, when in 2000, i think, when bill clinton went to get the two journalists out, he told delegation, this is a serious issue, no smiling. so there was very kind of grim visage, we're here for a serious mission, this is not a, you know, a eakthrough. so, you know, i think it's fine to meet with senior officials, i am ooh-- i mean, that's why we also have diplomates, but i think you have to think of the ramificatio ramifications, he's shaking hands with the guy responsible for at least 46 deaths in south korea, the sinking of the chonen, possibly behind the largest hack on u.s. soil, the sony hack. so that image leads to, i
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think, a weakening of international enforcement of sanctions where people wil say, look, if both president moon and president trump meet with people like this, why we should be more korean than the south koreans? why should we enforce sanctions if both the u.s. and south korea are getting special dispensation to allow these people to evade sanctions for travel. so, you know the meeting itself is fine, but you have to think of sdrd order ramifications. >> you could also learn about who he is, how he interacts with americans, how-- try to assess how much of a role he has in the whole process, his access to kim jong-un, so, there are small opportunities there, but he being a seasoned intel person, he's going to know what to say and what not to say and you know, how to shape the situation. >> i mean, i would just say
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quickly, if your standard is, you can't meet with a despicable person in north korea, you're not going to meet with a north korean. let's be clear, at least people associated with the government. and the comments on the driveway of the white house were far more damaging than any photo with a smile or the envelope. i mean, saying that you don't even want to say maximum pressure, suggesting perhaps that you know, you're now interested inhad denuclearization, those things ar far more damaging to the president's own policy than standing with a big envelope and smiling, in my view. >> thank you. chris bidwell from american federation of science. thank you all for great comments and appreciation of insightful knowledge. my question is, i red a snippet
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of arrest of three military officials, maybe more than arrest, how secure isim k jong-il going away from his country, a coup going on while he's gone, a real threat something to consired or is that a nonevent? >> i guess there's a non-zero chance that there could be coup threats, but north korea is north korea because in the kim dynasty has been able to sustain itselfecse of its overlapping secury systems, where everyone from the lal neighborhood to the national level are informing on each other. so, i would say that you know, i wouldn't discount it mpletely, bu wlso think that-- i'd be cautious about saying that the recent, you know, the leadership shuffle is a seen of kim's weakness, but i think
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it's more it's a sign that he feels comfortable with shifting people around, especially at this particular moment. and i always mention the fact that when you do lop off some senior officials and put in some-- lop off some senior officials, there are lots of other people who want to rise up. you create different cohorts of loyalists. people who are loyal to you and you only and those particular leaders. so you prevent the organization from getting ossifhied keep that from happening. >> i'm sure that kim is concerned about it, probably anything if he gets to singapore, hey, my password doesn't work on my phone anymore, wonder what's up back home? and i think we had sort of
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similar questions whenever there was a purge. one half would see it, oh, it's shaky, weak leader, unstable regime or i tended to lean more on, this shows how stable it is, that he's firmly in control and confident enough to go after even the senior leadership. so, you know, although they could always rise up against him, either, you know,s coup or you know, someone giving them nine millimeter headache, so far it hasn't happened, n did it happen under his father because there are competing security services at that report not only on the citizens and officials, but on each other. so i think he's pretty firmly in control. >> in the back. >> hi, alex from vox here. quick question based on something that anthony mentioned and extrapolating a bit. if the summit doesn't go well or is perceived to not go well
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between the leaders, does the chance of war for the countries rise, however slightly? >> i mean, i think if kim decides to use his military forces against south korea, which, you know, which he has done in the past, the recent past, perhaps there will be a military response. i mean, part of the reason why i wrote the rea memo, because i think people have this impression, sorry, i can't see you behind the pillar, but people have this impression that there's nothing more there for maximum pressure. i mean, my view has been, you know, you have to be poised to respond to north korea's military activities, i think there's some element in the paper i wrote that we could do more on that front. but, there's more there on maximum pressure and you know, you try this, this method. i mean, i disagree with the people who suggest, or try-- you know, this is our shot at
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diplomacy and then, that's it. we're going to do war or whatever, this is just one part of the process. as i mentioned earlier, i think kim believes that maximum pressure would have been a lot worse this fall, maybe into next year. so if you're the administration and have told them directly, that's part of the reason why you just walk out. if kim is playing the same games or wants to renegotiate the joint statement, just walk out and say, okay, we're going back to max pressure and that's a concern for the chinese, i think, too, because they're the ones-- i mean, this is why it's a gamb leadership is that they are a putting-- they're trying to push kim toward trump and if it blows up in their faces it's their banks that are going to suffer because that's really going to be the, i think, the first part of the next maximum pressure campaign. >> i think one of the things that's been so striking in this sort much series of whih events this year has been the shift from seemingly the brink
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of war to the brink of peac u know, which then makes some people, say, oh, we were never going to do a preventive attack. i think the korea watchers in town and elsewhere were on a daily basis calling each other to test where we were on our nervousness level because we're all, not only reading the public statements from, say, hr mcmasters, said, yeah, the presidas aed us to look into preventive tion but we all talk to people in the government and other foreignnmenpeople talk to us. u there was a great concern because it was, i think the best depiction was, the administration was seriously considered preventive attack as a option. you can focus on the first half and be very nervous or, an option and not be concerned. and i think it would be a very real option. given north korea's actions, and i think perhaps the threats of a preventive attack had a bigger impact on the south
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korean leader than the north korean leader ang that endues-- induced moon to go strongly on trying to reach out to north korea with little conditionality to produce prevention of attack, i think that both kim and trump wanted to success so i think they're eager to not say, well, that's a failure, let's start the bombing. we definitely stepped back from what had been a potential option and i think if the -- even if the summit is a failure, it's now going to be harder to ramp up maximum pressure because china and south korea are going to be eager to not do that. and so, i think, you know, i'm afraid we've seen the high water mark of maximum pressure. >> i mean, it will be harder, but the frame work there for that. and the-- iwouldn't-- i wouldn't say high water mark.
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the question i have is, what makes it different for this administration to decide to go after chinese banks when they weren't willing to do it before. >> true. >> aain, i keep mentioning iran. that's why these are all interlinked, because if the u.s. is not willing to go after chinese banks for what in my view is blatant vioon o u.s. law, what convinces us that this administration is going to go after european banks and others that might be doing that for iran sanctions violations? and so, i think these are all interlinked, and so, from my perspective, you know, we can do a score card, but i would say, if we're going back to max pressure and the first thing out of there is not going after chinese networks or chinese banks, that could wind up harming the administration's policy both on iran and on north korea. >> you know, something that i find something interesting here listening to you speak is there
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seems to be kind of a reversal of political roles among the north korea analysts, i know, traditional democrats, liberals, lefties,ith w the conservatives are very skeptical. do you think that you have reversed roles, i think i heard you praise bill clinton. >> just for being grumpy, uncomfortablybly grumpy. ve 20 years of traininthgn ntet where you're fiercely apolitical, fiercely nonideological, i try to look at that and apply that analysis now, in the 11 years i've been at heritage, i've been supportive and critical of george bush, of obama and of trump depending on the situation, rather than their political party. so if someone is doing something which he think --
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think is know the in the best interest of the u.s., i'll criticize them, whether they have an r or d after their name. with this i'm looking at the bottom up approach that the u.s. did before and diplomatic efforts failed. i remember attending white house meetings in 200 when clinton was still president and north korea had invited bill to go to north korea. and some in the administration were saying that, yes, he should go. of bill's personality is so strong we can get everything we want if we get him in the same room as kim jo jong-il. we don't deploy a president to negotiate a treaty, we deploy a president to sign a treaty where we know where every puncuation is on the piece of paper. and there was a missile deal that would not go well. north korea would not move forward. so the u.s. wisely decided well, then, we're not going to
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send the president. here we're doing it totally different so it's something that none of us are familiar with and we're not comfortable with, and you know, given what i think is a lack of clarity on what north korea policy is and that it does seem to shift a lot, i'm not comfortable with the u.s. going in position because i'm not really sure what it is. >> yeah,stion over here? >> and another one in the back corner behind thepost. >> hi. i came from radio. and tre report that north korea hado replace the top three military officers recently as of last month or something, and do you ink it could be signal of maybe kim
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jong-un wants to restructure of his military ahead of the mmit or maybe ultimately strategy change or policy changes? what do you think the implication of this restructure? >> well, we kind of addressed that one, but i would just add that, you know, times when there's a personnel changepleea a lot into it. and you know, some will see it jus rlaced him the weekend, it must be because the military or the other hardliners were resisting his opening of north korea and his implementation of north korean sunshine policy, but i think at least one of the officials was replaced a month ago, so, ihi w he hold back on reading too much into the motivations or the
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objectives behind replacing him, you know, if we want to put it into the context of he's replacing him because they're resisting opening up, well then how do we explain the other numerous purges of officials in the pa , think it'ser interesting, it bears watching, but i'm not ready yet to say why i think he did it. >> i'd also say you know, with these personnel shuffles, too, it's not always about us, it's just internals, he just decided to do it at that particular day or month or whatever, so, i think-- so inaddition the ivul comments in the twitter verse and also on tv, i would remind people it's not always externally focused. >> it may just be the three poor guys happened to fall asleep at a meeting. >> or they got too old and he was going to replace them with younger people anyway and that was a longstanding thing so i
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would just be cautious about that. >> there's one in the far back there. >> i can't see far back. >> he's got a microphone. >> hello, i'm from the japanese media and thank you very much fohepresentation. and my question is, the impact of the end of the korean war and actually, president trump said friday end of the korean war would be on the table at the summit. so my question is, if they declare the end of the korean war at the summit. what do you make of the impact of the u.s. troops in south korea and japan in the long run? >> there's both a legal and, what i might say, societal impact of either a signing of
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the peace treaty or even political declaration ending a ushi foich is what moon jae-in a peace treaty, whether it's three or four, however many people signing it. a peace treaty which would then have to be approved by the u.n. would remove, or would cease united nations command, but it would have no impact on combined forces command or u.s. forces korea or the level of u.s. forces on the peninsula because those are a result of the bilateral defense treaty between washington and seoul and not the armistice or the u.n. legislation or whatever, which created u.n. command. and in my view, a peace treaty should only be signed after we reduce not only the nuclear threat, but the conventional force threat to south korea, as well as to japan.
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so, what i've advocated is, what we should have is a what would be wrong arduous negotiations similar to the conventional armed forces in europe treaty negotiations and i was a member of that delegation for some time, that you ca you thin out the forces away from the dmz. you reduce the potential for sudden start invasion, you reduce the threat of attack to the south as well as to japan. you don't just sign a peace treaty because then what that will do is the societal impact, whether it's signing the treaty or a peace declaration sort of the sense in south korea and i think in the u.s. to some degree, including in congress, the war is over, took us longer than we thought. why are there forces there, even if they're legally allowed to stay, let's bring them home to save money, it actually wouldn't save money, or we can use those forces in other world hot spots.
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>> i think it sets in place dominoes even if it doesn't legally impact the level of u.s. forces. >> wouldn't it be a great propaganda coup to president trump, he's already saying i'll end this war that's been going on longer than any war in the history of mankind, which is not true. >> and i also think it would emboldened, it would give the moon administration a lot of leeway to fast fn econoc math policies that they want to implement and to better engage north korea. and i want to go back to alex's question about, you know, what if the summitfails. i think it's how you define failure and how you define success. so if there is some sort of end of the korean war at the summit, who is that a win for? i think it depends who you ask. is that a win for the moon administration? yes, because it's what they wanted. is that a win for us in terms
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of u.s. credibility, standing and other things in the region? maybe not. is that a win for people who want u.s. troops completely off the peninsula? yes because that only strengthens their argument about -- that it's not necessy. so i as with many things on this issue, you know, what you said, barbara, about political realignments and who is supporting and who is not supporting. this issue there's so much scramble as bruce mentioned, failure, success, who is supporting whom, i think it's less clear thantbably was maybe two or five years ago. >> i think we have time for these two questions and that's going to be it, yeah. >> thank you. i'm heather brighton with the german embassy, thank you very much for your great presentations and questions to our-- answers to our questions.
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i'm very curious about your take whether the u.s.'s withdrawal from the gcpoa has actually strengthened or weakened the u.s. position in this whole scramble? because, i mean, it hasn't gone unnoticed in pyong yang that there's another country and there was another agreement, there was no summitry in singapore, but an agreement that the u.s. was somehow part of. so i'd be very curious about your opinion. >> you know, i think kind of the initial narrative would be, especially before the u.s. pulled out, would be, well, if the u.s. pulls out that will sort of collapse any u.s.-north korea discussions and that, you know, you would think north korea would say, look, if you pull out of an agreement why should we sign anything with you. and i remember talking to north koreans last year when they said, now, your policy changes every four, eight years, how
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could we ever trust you again in some future tiation? >> i said, yeah, democracy is pretty messy, you ought to try it some time. this didn't go over well. then again the u.s. pulling out wasn't an unknown risk and even once the u.s. pulled out north korea is continuing this summit process. i think it's a factor they had already taken into account and they're still interested in talking. so, it doesn't seem to have had a direct impact on the north, at least theirngne to go down the path to a summit. >> i think it's more of a data point rather than, oh, this is it. we can't trust the u.s. so, i think for the north koreans as bruce mentioned, the u.s. has been there and it's just another pick. >> right, and i think we should remember, the north koreans violated many deals with the united states. i would also say that it's the
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north korean model that iran has used. don't allow inspections of military sites. keep it to a flawed, only nuclear deem. others that iran learned from north korea on and not the reverse. and also say if the u.s. uses the administration the right way, withdrawing from the jcp 0. a, they could tell northea we withdrew from a flawed nuclear-only deal and that's not the deal we're interested in striking with you. the question is whethery can u that leverage in singapore the right way. >> this will be the last question, sorry. >> hi, i'm from tokyo broadcasting, thank you very much f this great presentation. my question is, the timing of the summit. it do yous a deal for the united states to take the summit now as donald trump instantly agreed to have the
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meeting. he called it off, thens it back on without even going through the huge envelope that we were talking about, and do you think this decision-- the domestic political situation that he'sacingno namely the russia-gate and t mik tt kind impacted h decion to have the summit this june? thank you. >> another question for the trump watche. you're in washington, you can take a stab at it. >> i mean, i don't see the correlation other than timing. i think you know, you saw the three, three different efforts, one in singapore on logistics, one on the north korean side of the border, right, on lower-- mid level substance discussions. senior level. >> this program on diplomacy with north korea is available on we have to leave the last few minutes as the senate convenes to work on a judicial
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domination and at the 11:00 hour start debate on $716billio authorization bill for 2019. amendments will be considered over the nextpl of days. this is live coverage of the senate here on c-span2.


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