tv CSIS Forum on U.S.- South Korea Relations - Opening Session CSPAN June 25, 2019 3:36am-4:27am EDT
korea. good morning. i think we have some fun planned for you today. i'm a trustee here standing and for this morning's festivities. we have a big day ahead of you this is the fourth strategic form and we are delighted to be with the foundation and delighted to have been sailing along side of us for this.
one of the commemoration of the tenth year of the korea chair and there will be a reception, a presentation and then another panel. we have three panels and an excellent speech by the congressman and then i think we can promise you some fun. i can't prove this to you, but i think something is going on. our president is a beautiful letter, and tim 3.0 gets an excellent fighter. the president also get a birthday card or letter from tim 3.0. they are going to schoo seoul oe weekend and finally a state visit to the dpr k..
it looks to me like we are going to have a step-by-step move towards the denuclearization. i'm not opposed to that but the trick is how do you do that in a way that does not in some way fund your equity with korea or japan. so we've got to very carefully approach this and the panelists this afternoon will be addressing those issues had an awful lot or so let me welcome you to see sis with a warmest welcome to the ambassador and the foundation and i think without fear of any contradiction you are going to find a pretty fulfilling day and you'll get one should as well. so when is that ever wrong. welcome. [applause] thank you, ambassador.
ladies and gentlemen, good morning and welcome to the u.s. strategic forum, 2019. posted by see sis and the foundation first and foremost on behalf of the foundation i would like to express my sense of gratitude to all of you for joining today despite their busy schedules. my special thanks to professor victor and staff for their exceptional preparation for the event. i'm also particularly glad that the chair of the congressional study group on korea found time to share his views with us today
and i'm honored that i could receive him not once but twice in seoul recently. the foundation had organized in conjunction with other institutions in washington, d.c. for some years before launching the strategic forum in 2016 in partnership with see sis. in less than three years we have successfully petitioned the event to serve as a comprehensive dialogue channel between politics from the u.s. and korea for a discussion of critical matters that affect the common interest of both nations. without a doubt it stands head and shoulders above similar events before the foundation annually. i have a personal attachment to this forum.
in 2016 upon assuming office as the president of the foundation, i found t don't see sis to be tt part are with which to launch this event. it isn't difficult to come to that conclusion considering that the chair was already well established at the time. i sense participated for four consecutive years and it has always been my honor and privilege to have the opportunity to open the form and welcome you. this year marks the tenth anniversary. congratulations. through the establishment of the petition in 2009, we have initiated in the discussions in the. of important policy research at every critical moment for the korean peninsula and northeast asia. for all this, my special thanks
to the members and all for your dedication and hard work making this possible. the strong partnership chair will no doubt continue to play a role in the alliance to the next decade and beyond. when the first forum took place in late 2016 maximum pressure and strategic patients were still almost the only policy options employed by the u.s. and north korea. at that time i tried to convey a message to my friends got a window of dialogue should be kept open to north korea while maintaining our petition. i believe that the pressure without dialogue was unlikely to change their behavior.
september, 2017 the second strategic forum was held during an exceptionally dramatic moment. only two days before the scheduled date of the form, north korea tested a nuclear weapon which they claimed it was too early for us at the time to be sure if a detected nuclear weapon was really this bomb or if the test had been successful. the delegation tried to deliver a message that peace should be the top priority in any case and that it was time for the u.s. to engage north korea to stop their provocations. but for the trump administrati administration, it was still an option and tension between the u.s. and korea escalates until the games in february the
following year while the foundation agreed for the forum to be held in the summit when it would take place it was scheduled and finally revived and was edited accordingly. it varied from person to person but it's hard to deny at least the rest of conflict had been further reduced as a result of this meeting. then came the summit which was tougher than what was expected. he kept it open for an additional round of talks and it's taken to appraise the
result of the meeting and to see his next move. in the meantime he and president of trump repeatedly confirmed their intentions of holding another round of meetings. according to the media in beijing, the chairman related during the visit last week that he had made several positive measures to ease the tensions that they didn't seem to have been considered by the relevant country. while it is not yet clear if or when the third summit will take place, president of trump keeps sending kind words and also
recently signed a document to renew the sanction measures against north korea. still, expectations for sustainable peace remain high as a series between the leaders of the republic of korea, north korea, the u.s. and china. i suppose professional analysis will be provided during the sessions today. topics up into consideration including the summit between china and north korea and between the u.s. and china and a scheduled visit by president trump. in addition to monitoring interactions between them it is interesting to note that they sent a message during the recent visit to scandinavia and in a speech to parliament, he urged
north korea that if the measures were to be lifted, the country would need to prove its genuine intentions for peace building and to this he said what the members of the community for north korea are vital in building trust. he emphasized the importance of the trust between the community as well as between south and north korea and trust in the value of dialogue itself. the path to complete the denuclearization and peace on the korean peninsula is never an easy one. some of you may say it is an impossible job, but koreans believe that they could be and
should be achieved with determination to strive forward unwaveringly and to overcome obstacles ahead. ultimately there is no alternative both to live in peace. i believe they have learned enough lessons from previous best opportunities. the dialogue between the highest levels is an opportunity never seen before and may not come again if it fails this time. in the reconciliation measures they cannot be sustainable unless the relations settle in a peaceful manner no matter how limited to mediate or expedite the dialogue with the u.s. and north korea it will not be
spared. before closing i would like to once more express my gratitude for the efforts in preparing them to the participants from both sides who had to adjust their busy schedules to be here today. please enjoy the conference. thank you very much. [applause] thank you, ambassador. for the keynote conversation and address, i would like you to join me in welcoming the ambassador and u.s. congressman of california. please join me in welcoming. [applause]
i thought i would open with a few remarks and then get straight into the conversation. one of the dangerous things is when you're in a room with folks that are smarter or have more knowledge on the subject matter, and you've got tyou've got to bl so i thought i would give you the congressional perspective of how we are looking at a long-term strategic decisions because when you talk about congress he set the bar kind of low. a couple things. first i do want to thank csis and the foundation for pulling this together but also for your
exceptional work creating a body of knowledge we use in congress but also a resource for those of us on the hill. thank you for that work and sustained effort. let me touch on a couple of areas. one, i do have the privilege of being the democratic cochair on the congressional study group for korea. we have for study groups in congress, japan, germany, europe and korea is the fourth study group and they say why korea. the reason i think we have won this for the study group is when we think about the peninsula and the path forward, we know it is going to take a long-term sustained level of engagement and the reason i think that is so important from the congressional perspective is when you think about a united states president to think about
warriors into the korean president to think abou you thie five-year long-term, and if we are to take a realistic view of this it won't happen in a single five-year term. it would require the long-term strategic engagement and again thank you to the foundation for being an integral part to allow members otwo ofour members of ca sustained way to get to know their counterparts in the assembly and to those long-term relationships because for me this is my seventh year in congress and it's conceivable i will be there for a while. the best piece of advice i received when i got elected is you can't know everything and every region in the world but a few key areas you can become
expert" those relationships. i think about the peninsula. the ultimate goal is denuclearization. it won't happen by the end of the trump administration but it's conceivable that a decade from now or a decade a half you achieve that goal and that is where congress is important and study group gives us the tools as well as t to welcome david ce welcomed the relationships so that is the long-term sustained engagement. the second piece is let's be realistic i don't think any of us to see as an immediate next step he says i'm going to get rid of all of my nuclear weapons
and i also don't see as the immediate next step president trump saying we are going to lift all sanctions but can we frame a long-term goal that is the long-term outcome. it's going to take multiple steps to get there. what is the first next step that will builfulfilled a little bitf goodwill because we think about post-hanoi. i don't believe we could have a third summit dialogue between the united states and north korea and walk away without some sort of victory and it could be a small victory and first step but failure to and having another collapse could put the dialogue in a deep freeze and maybe not permanently damage the relationship that sever it back
for several years probably until the next administration so that would be the second thing let's not focus on the end goal. let's agree on what it is. v-victor and i had the privilege of playing some of the south end press but let's think about the first step is to at least get some forward momentum. the third piece is when we think about president trump and kim, the dialogue is complicated because in most dialogue he would have folks at the staff level working most of it out getting to 95% agreement and having the framework of what the agreement is independent of principles would enter and finalized. here we have two folks that want to be the negotiators and that
adds an element on our side we have to have that same engagement from the staff level for the special envoy etc. and that's a level of complexity who is in power to lay things out and we see some of that turnover in their negotiating team but that probably has to be a prerequisite getting close to a place if we go into a third dialogue there are not going to be any surprises and those are the things that they can come away with selec the fourth piece pertains not just to the north and south by wal dialogue with e regional politics and the peace we are thinking a lot about is close allies in the region,
korea and japan. i was there five or six weeks ago and from my perspective it was at a low point that i have seen in my term in congress and we've got to think about how we get these strategic allies on the same page with us so as we look at this engagement that's a little bit about how they are thinking about this from the congressional side we are urging the administration to take a bigger role to find a path forward with japan and korea and it's a place congress has a role to figure out how this move that relationship or bring it to a better place than it is now. i will stop with that. [applause]
we might need to bring out the bassett hound of diplomacy >> -- 150 characters on twitter. thanks for the opening. i can tell you're a college professor roots. you know the issue well and i would also say thank you for your engagement and many trips to the region. you make the point of having worked as a staff member in congress and being there for the long game but i would add it takes a strong engagement from congress and your leadership is to be commended, so thank you. maybe one to start, a follo folp on your good op-ed entitled a small deal with any big deal and you outlined it a little bit at the top. you say basically it is
infeasible and you then basically say in the first instance we should get a deal on the goal, disarmament for the sanctions and then take tangible steps in terms of trying to generate some momentum. if they give up a part of their program and then we get into the conversation. that is the crux of it such a follow-up on how you are thinking in congress to get the two sides to start this process that you've outlined. >> writing for the next tangible step and i shared this with my counterparts in korea this is the kind of the republic to step in and continue a dialogue and keep that going. outside of the platitude president trump and chairman ken has been sharing my sense is that there isn't a conversation taking place right now between
the united states and north korea. in the short term i think this is where j. can step back and try to keep the dialogue going. i think timing is of the essence because i don't think we can go past the end of this calendar year without having a third dialogue if we are going to have a third dialogue i think our politics gets too complicated going into the election that the public also will be entering the cycle fairly shortly as well. given that timeframe i think to jumpstart and move this forward to get the conversation started again this is a place for the administration to take the lead and be helpful. >> with a pickup on a threat that you identified in your last
answer, an interesting one i get questions about in terms of u.s. domestic politics and the elections kind of starting height and. do you get these a lot and how much of a factor is the north korea policy in your calculation of you on the presidential race or the congressional side how many people ask you in your district and then just about south korea can you expand a little bit on the political side as well? >> most of the american public doesn't spend a lot of time thinking about the foreign-policy and that is certainly a shame. i think the time they think about it is when we are on the brink of a war. two years ago you saw a lot more about the korean peninsula when you were having the rhetoric and
attacks dropped off of it now. my constituents when i do my townhall they are not asking me about that, they are yelling about impeachment and everything. so for me to explain to them why this is so important, why american leadership is essential and in the context that we think about american leadership in the post-world war ii environment. what we accomplish is remarkable. that 70 years is an anomaly when you think about world history, constant conflict between the powers and the fact that we won the cold war without really having to engage in that conflict was pretty remarkable. that is what makes america such a remarkable nation and we can't withdraw what we did on the korean peninsula stepping up to
protect south korea. remarkable. it may be different in the next seven years that the world needs american engagement and that leadership with our values. people get at and i think as we go into this presidential cycle, this is going to be about domestic political issues when you think about the folks on the democratic side. >> you don't have an announcement here today, do you? i was just making sure. it's important that we don't withdraw unto ourselves but we continue to be a world leader. >> let m me follow the follow-uf leadership in the world, congress and you mentioned values as well. one of the areas in which congress has led started the
bureau in the state department that covers this and the staff members became ambassador on human rights and bob king who is in the audience today. how should we be thinking -- in your op-ed you talk about denuclearization and about the process. how should we be thinking about these human rights in the context? >> if we want to be the world leader on human rights, we have to keep some of the tragic history of in mind. that can't be the starting point of the negotiation. i am a leader if you help economic development and health build an economy you start to address some of those human rights issues and i'm thinking about this from the perspective in the dialogue and the art of negotiation kind of using those
principles you have to be able to look at the world from your adversary or opponents perspective and if i'm looking at this perspective, he's accomplished his nuclear capabilities right now and i think he's shifting towards the economic piece of it and a decade or two decades from now we want peace on the peninsula we have to engage in economic development and i think the south koreans get that as well. this is a roundabout way of answering the question while we do that we have to make sure that we are not losing sight of the humanitarian piece of this where it's not just going to a small handful of folks that we are engaging in economic development and matter how do we bring this along with.
>> absolutely. roundabout answers are perfectly acceptable. i think that is an excellent response but let me ask about one threat you just mentioned, the economic development piece. how should we be thinking about the economic development and you have a classic argument of if we engage we can reopen some of the projects? spee and instrument for pushing north korea into the nea the nuclear .
>> the go of the sanctions are never to be that the north korea is going to give us the capability brought. this is from my perspective and i think we would be hitting ourselves about some point they're just going to lay down their nuclear capability. the sanctions have been effective in getting them to the table a little bit. and again, if we take him at his words he does want to shift for the economy and north korea and we know that they have a lot of resources, we just have to look at the present part and were north korea was in 1970 and where they are today. in this is where we have to take
the long view. i do think -- i'm speaking for myself here, if there was a credible first or second step to destroy some of the nuclear assets, opening some of these joint projects potentially starts to send the right message, again we would be at a different place if north korea had not obtained nuclear capabilities but the early have. again, if we are taking a decade, two decade future, i think you have to take baby steps and again, this is where the republic of korea will have a huge roll. we will certainly have a role if we want to see that vision of a sudden sort of economy and north korea and some sort of
engagement with russia and a large part of the responsibility of north korea. >> you mentioned sanctions. this gets to a little bit of the news of the day. just in terms of linkages or global examples of other programs or issues around sanctions and nuclear weapons, the iran issue, he dealt with on congress, and you have the north korea issue, what do you say to constituents or people in korea around the world who want to compare and contrast against the two cases and/or the messages that we are sending with our actions towards iran and the north koreans quick. >> i think we did, whether you like the jc po or they run nuclear deal i think we did reparable damage to our ability to negotiate the ministration
seeking a deal in the newer ministration coming in and playing out of the deal. if your chairman came in her sitting on north korea, you have to be paying attention to say if we agreed to something, if the president comes in and -- our work has to mean something and again, this is where congress is so important. again congress is going to be here for the long haul. if i were to give the chopper ministration a piece of advice i have lots of advice. as we are dealing with iran and about congress in this conversation, let's not make this a partisan issue and let's make it an issue of american interest. >> so one is what happens with the jc po, not something that ties into parallel as we think about how we move forward with north korea.
the second piece is we're trying to prevent iran from getting nuclear weapons. we know north korea already has nuclear weapons and let's learn from decades of negotiations with north korea and think about how we approach at because i think all of us agree that a nuclear armchair rea iran are te lessons we can learn with the history of north korea and we can take into the hope is that we start a dialogue with iran and restarted along. i think those are a few things. the third is, when we think about the middle east we rarely talked about the korean peninsula, we have to take a long view, along sustained engagement with the middle east
is going to be a longer more sustained level of engagement and this is where, again, the beauty of the cold war and may be changed a little bit on the margins from one ministration to the next but there is a strategy, a bipartisan strategy, congress is engaged in it was a long-term engagement. and i think we have to take both of the regions in a very similar way. and we do not have to do this ourselves and i think we would be foolish if we thought we could engage in both of these regions by herself and was really should engage rallies in these regions. and to bring our adversaries in. there is not a long-term solution in the korean and insula, we have to think about what the engagement looks like. >> but use your comments, on the
longing to prove it to the alliance. and some of the questions are. i'm actually guilty of the moderator and the thing that i hated as ambassador as i would be in my office in seoul and we would have guessed from other town and i would get 75 questions about north korea. and there is this other piece and what you are sitting as a global example of success, the great example of the u.s. and korea playing along together. you been in the region relatively recently, what is your sense of the u.s. alliances, what are the challenges and opportunities. >> the people to people side in the korean first united states is very strong. when i was there at the end of april the conversation around section 232 was very real and
some of the concerns, the koreans in many way, we try to meet with good faith and they would the inquiry including one of your close allies. and that her conversation. i think that is still very real. i think that supper on the relationship. and our hope certainly is a member of congress the just think the important of these trading issues is not just to the public of korea but to the united states. we have to figure out that path and were happy to see the ministration back off on the g33 three back off.
we would encourage demonstration to back off on the premises will. but these are friends and the economies intertwined and it's been good for both countries. >> let me ask you then, you touched on trade, another key element that the congress has oversight and involving his spending. so that leads to the conversation, the special measures agreement. the of long negotiation last year if you believe the press reports of the creed said was prepared to go up in terms of sharing. what role do you think congress has in this, too, where you think we should end up on this burden sharing agreement. we will hear more from general brooks later today on this. we're just previewing the leader panel here. >> i don't think the president is wrong to say that we should
have some level of burden sharing and partnership and i think the koreans have done an admiral job trying to address that. without putting an actual number on what that looks like, i also think we cannot move close, i think we have to be cautious of creed to vested politics as well. in the larger realm. >> it is in our interest to maintain the partnership and it's in our interest to maintain the truth levels are. you touched on earlier the domestic politics. you sure the u.s. voting public saying why do we have all these trips around the world and again, it is important for us as members of congress to say, yes we are the to protect the korean
peninsula. in the united states interesting region. if we are not there, it may be a lot worse and a lot more costly. that scenario where we at times have disagreements with the administration, i think many of us in congress are very worried that president trump may reduce the true presence on the peninsula which is why you seen my colleagues and others put in provisions that try to put a stop to below a certain number which i think is 22000. and i think that is not a democratic or republican issue, we congress, it is important for us to maintain a presence. >> notwithstanding some comments and asking legitimate questions about not limiting your career, your point is in congress by and
large, a bipartisan support for troops in korea and an understanding of the value of the alliance like. >> very much so. and we think it's beneficial obviously to maintain peace in the true presence is prevalent in court. >> we are getting to the end, maybe one or two more questions. this gets to alliance equity and often what you hear from the korean public of times and people, korea will talk about themselves as a strip between the whales, large country, and a quibble with that time to time, top 15 economy, one of the world's most capable militaries and bts is on the verge of taking of the world culturally. there may be room for argument but how should the koreans think about this issue and not to put yourself as a korean, but if you are getting that question and
you said we feel caught on the asian infrastructure bank in our philly cop between u.s. and china and between trade and huawei, what would your response be? >> i don't think the republic is issued between two people. they are one of the world's leading economies, one of the most innovating economies and the world. in one of her close friends. they certainly are punching above their weight class. i think we have to think of korea as a partner and how we engage not just an issue of china or regional politics, but also, we have had these conversations, how we partner with the koreans to help solve some of the world challenges. they are starting to become a
donation in the development work around the world is sending resources to tragedies that happen in disasters around the world and in the 21st century we have a look for way that will partner together. countries that share similar values of democracy and free markets, just the value of human rights indignities and in the century i think is not the united states going alone it's united states versus partners, i use the term partners because we have to be in this together, it's coming together and have a conversation. it's to solve mutual challenges. in getting back to the question, i don't think korea will have a major trading relationship with china. korea is going to have a
relationship with japan and we should not be thinking that korea is a either or, we saw them anyways we saw how china responded when replaced by batteries or and that to me is not what major nation does. it's if they want the partnership. so i think if we think about this 21st century trading relationship and we think about china and korea or japan or even india, it is not either or. the closer we are working with our allies that share similar values, the better off we are in the more likely we will get the outcomes that we want. >> thank you. in the few minutes that we have left, to pretty quick responses, to ask questions, the first, to
pick up on a thread of how we work together in a more open and inclusive relationship, one of the areas that i proposed was deeper cooperation on science, technology, space, global health, you bring a decade-long experience in science and medicine from your background, call doctor, vice chair of the house committee on science-based and technology if i'm not mistaken? is this an area where we should be working more constructively with the korea? >> absolutely. on issue solving, whether that's climate change or in the realm of space, our goal is humans travel from mars and beyond. we are not good to do this for ourselves, these are things will have to be working with the best around the world and we have seen the remarkable innovations that have come out of the republic of korea and we should have the partnership in the
should be a multilateral type of relationship and climate change does not affect the united states, it affects all of us if we want to get to mars or solve food and water insecurity around the world. >> we are out of time, thank you for the answers, fantastic. music to my ears. to get off the stage and you want to back in congress, i know you represent northern california district, but you have some southern california roots so you have some credibility on commenting on southern california issues, there is a big split in california, and northern california, i went to college and identified as northern company so i'm not allowed to talk about anything in los angeles. but you have equities in both, any thoughts on the season the l.a. dodger pitcher is having a free get off the stage? >> he is having an amazing reason nine and one.
its remark about. i cannot say that while in back in the district rebut my dad's first job was an usher at the coliseum when they first moved out from brooklyn. so grandpa dodger fan. >> dodger korea, it's all coming together. >> and that is how we will find peace. there korean, so poppers. >> very true. big believer in the cultural influence on peace and security in the world and with that i want to thank you for your leadership in a gray session here today. i will not say go dodgers but i'll say here is to any and all good things koreans do in the state in california and especially in your congressional district. [applause]