tv State Department Confirmations CSPAN June 14, 2018 10:04am-12:03pm EDT
foreign relations committee will come to order, and we thank our nominees for being here and for their willingness to serve our country. we especially thank our distinguished senators here to introduce them. as a courtesy to you, we will not go through you having to listen to the unbelievable opening comments that both we offer in a moment. why don't y'all go ahead and make your introductions. we thank you for coming in here to be with us here today. we look forward to your comments. >> well, mr. chairman, we would
be delighted to hear the eloquence of the chairman and the ranking member, but the fact that you would allow us to go ahead, it's a personal -- it's a personal reason that we are here, because we know the nominee and we consider the admiral a distinguished floridan, what we in our native lingo say that he's a florida boy, having gone to junior high and high school in pensacola. i want to thank you for his willingness, as you know he was nominated to be the ambassador to australia. and i think the fact that the
administration decided this critically important post in south korea, i think that indicates not only the confidence that people have in the four star admiral but it's also him being willing to answer the call of service wherever he is required. and he first answered that call as a young man 40 years ago at the naval academy. he comes from a long line of great naval aviators. over the course of his military career, he reached the height of his profession. his dad, navy, chief petty officer. and his record speaks for
itself. this is a nomination that is fitting and timely and as we undertake now the diplomacy with north korea, obviously the necessity is of having the most prepared and skilled ambassador to represent the united states in that part of the world. like the other combatant commanders, he's not just what you think of as a combatant commander because every one of them are skilled diplomats. they're warriors, but they're also diplomats. he helped to grow the partnerships with the military and the political leaders throughout the pacific region
and like any good military leader he knows just how important diplomacy is. he's going to make a great ambassador just like he made a great commander. it's not every day that two senators, neither from the president's party, commend the nominee of the president. but this is a nominee that i look at. he's not partisan. he's not bipartisan. he's nonpartisan. and that's exactly what we need. it's telling that the nominee enjoying such broad bipartisan support. and i hope that this committee will move his nomination quickly. it is obvious that we need our ambassador in that position.
and i want to thank the admiral and his family and my wife has gotten to know his wife for their courtesies extended to us. and we want to thank both of you for your continued public service after 40 years. thank you. >> thank you, sir. thank you very much. senator ranna. >> thank you, mr. chairman for your courtesy and ranking member menendez. this week was a significant moment for our engagement in the korean peninsula. for the first time a sitting united states president met with the leader of north korea. president trump and kim jong-un committed to continue negotiations and reaffirm promises that north korea has made in the past. however, we also heard the president question the long-term commitment of our troop presence in south korea and accept the
north korean rational an ending joint military exercises that increased regional safety and cooperation. we all share the goal of a permanent, verifiable denuclearization of the korean peninsula, but the hard work lies ahead. many obstacles remain between tuesday's handshake and an agreement between our two countries. reaching an agreement will require months or even years of hard negotiations and considerable consultation with our regional allies, particularly south korea and japan. our next ambassador to south korea can play a role in these negotiations. these efforts will require an individual with experience in the region and understanding of our military forces serving on the korean peninsula and the diplomatic skills and temperament necessary to negotiate with a regime that has repeatedly failed to live up to its commitments. i believe admiral harry harris
fits this bill. after graduating from the u.s. naval academy in 1978, admiral harris served as a decorated naval flight officer and went on to hold a variety of leadership roles throughout the navy, including the military during the obama administration. over the past five years, i have gotten to know admiral harris and appreciate his -- the open supportive and candid relationship that we have developed. he and his wife have become part of our hawaii ohana. upon assuming command in 2015, admiral harris dedicated significant time and effort to strengthening america's alliances and partnerships.
admiral harris met with civilian and military leaders and frequently attended joint exercises. often led to stronger government to government relationships throughout the region. in his time as pacific fleet commander, admiral harris developed close relationships with south korean leaders, including the current president moon. he received korea's medal, the country's highest national security merit citation in recognition of his work with the repup lick of korea armed forces. admiral harris also worked closely with our congressional delegation and other members of congress. when my colleagues in the house and senate visited hawaii and requested a briefing, i made it a point to also attend admiral harris's briefings were
thorough, eye opening. many know admiral harris as a tough leader with high expectations for the men and women under his command. but i also know him as a down to earth empathetic person. the washington post highlighted one example of his dedication to others as part of a profile on colonel bruce hollywood. bruce's father left his birth mother in japan, and she put bruce up for adoption thinking that that would be best for bruce under the circumstances. he was adopted by an american couple, raised in texas and went on to serve as an air force colonel. after he nearly died of a heart attack in 2005, he set out to find his birth mother and thank her for giving him the chance to have what he called a wonderful life.
bruce contacted the japanese embassy in the united states, tokyo and even hired a private detecti detecti detecti detective, all to no avoiail. he met admiral harris at an airport and shared his story. when admiral harris told bruce he would help him find his birth mother, bruce was skeptical. bruce gave him the information he had pieced together. ten days later bruce received a call while at work. the japanese embassy was on the phone with news that they had found at long last his birth mother. thanks to admiral harris's assistance, bruce reunited with his mother and they were in contact for three years before she passed away in 2009. so we have someone who is tough minded and clear eyed with tremendous military experience and someone who is very
resourceful and focussed on the task at hand. admiral harris's expertise in the pacific region, his leadership experience and engagement with a variety of stakeholders will stand him in good stead as ambassador to south korea. last month, chief of naval operations described admiral harris as a warrior diplomat with an insagsable spirit of add men vur and an infectious can do attitude. secretary of defense jim mattis said earlier this year thatdy lomasy must be our first approach to deescalating tensions on the korean peninsula, praised his experience and expressed his confident in his new role at the ceremony. i join secretary mattis and so many others in expressing my confidence that admiral harris will serve our country well as our next ambassador to south
korea and i thank this committee for its consideration. >> well, thank you for being here with us and both of you for your comments. you're welcome to leave and go about your day. admiral, i understand why you have that hawaii ley on. you may wish to take it off before you testify. >> i would be really hurt if he did that. >> okay. thank you both again. today we will consider the nominations of individuals to serve our nation in three roles, ambassador to south korea and the positions of assistant secretary or near eastern and african affairs. if confirmed, these individuals would direct our diplomatic efforts over an enormous s.w.a.t. of the globe and grapple with issues. we welcome all of you. we thank you for your willingness to serve and thank your families in the same way.
we first have david shanker with extensive experience in the middle east. i'm confident that he is well equipped to balance and promote u.s. interest in the middle east. the middle east is home to some of our most vital security partners and also the source of security challenges counting iran, combatting terrorism, working to resolve the wars in syria and yemen. it requires continuous and focussed engagement, which is why i'm pleased we have nominated david shanker to be the next assistant of state. next we have ambassador to serve as assistant secretary of affairs. the united states has interest in maintaining strong partnerships with african countries and remaining
committed to those with responsible governance. the african bureau must address an extremely large range of diplomatic challenges across the continue innocent with resources and talent appropriate to our growing expectations of relationships we have there. finally, we have mr. harry harris. i feel likely know more about you than i even want to know. who just recently retired with the rank of admiral after completing a highly distinguished career in the united states navy to serve as ambassador to the republic of korea. it is an important relationship for maintaining peace and stability in the indo pacific.
i'm glad the president and kim jong-un were able to have a meeting this week in singapore, but i look forward to having secretary mike pompeo to share his insights about what of concrete nature has occurred. we need an ambassador who realizes the partnership runs deep. i'm confidence mr. harris recognizes the value of the relationship between washington and seoul and will effectively advocate for strengthening our relationship of this critical ally. our thanks to all of you being here for the committee before i turn to senator menendez. we're just going to continue on. if you could kind of time out when you leave, knowing when you are going to be coming up, that would be great so we could
continue and not have a vacuum here. i'll turn to my distinguished member and friend bob menendez. >> we have a foonl before us of high level nominees. and i appreciate and congratulate you and your families on the nominations. i am a bit dismayed these domination hearings have become one of the few opportunities the community has to really engage on what the administration's policies are and i hope mr. chairman could have more hearings on more topics with administration witnesses so the committee could exercise its oversight role. these nominees will be taking on some of the pressing security challenges at a time when good will towards our country is on a steep decline. the administration's budget proposals are slashing nonmilitary resources and the crumbs of u.s. credibility were left between the summits of canada and singapore. i want to welcome all the nominees todayment you have
demonstrable records for service, expertise and experience in your chosen fields. admiral harris, i almost think you should skip your opening statement because after that i would rest my case, but i'm sure you want to make it anyhow. you have accepted this nomination at a time when our allies and adversaries are questioning u.s. commitment to asia and at a time when diplomacy is needed on the korean peninsula. i am fully of the view it is imperative we improve our engagement across the region, especially with the republic of korea, politically, economically and strategically. i think the president blind sided everyone when we carelessly conceded something north korea has long wanted, the cessation of u.s.-south korean joint military exercises in exchange for apparently nothing. so i'm interested in your thoughts about how we strengthen
the u.s.-korean alliance moving forward. from your time as our pacific commander, you are well aware of the challenge of north korea, so we thank you for your service. as we consider the outcomes of the trump-kim meeting, any strain must start with our allies and partners and lead to the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of north korea's missile programs. the u.s. role in the region is something i'm still trying to desus. if confirmed as the assistant secretary of state, you will have to craft and execute policy in washington and drive diplomatic implementation and cooperation with our partners and allies. when it comes to iran, i share with the goal of shopping all of iran's nuclear and nonnuclear
threats, but i worry the president's unilateral actions have degraded the partnerships we need to maintain unity of effort in countering the regime's activities. ry guarding the israel i share the goal that israel has the resources she needs to defend herself. but i worry that while freezing our stabilization assistance programs and closing doors to refugees are tactics without strategy and taken together amount to an advocation of u.s. leadership. over the past year, the activities of violent extremists were conducted next to israel. iran is moving its proxies close to israel's border. russia has demonstrated neither the resolve or capability to curb iran's actions in syria. i hope you share the commitment as expressed at his nomination hearing to sustain programs that
express conditions that give prize to trance national terrorist groups, including poor governance, corruption and persistent human rights abuses. the nominee has an impressive record of service to this country. for decades, they have taken an impressive set of initiatives over the years. the administration has given us little encouragement on continued cooperation. the president's unseeming comments about africa and steep budget cuts send an alarming signal. the budget requested would in no way facilitate that strategy or secure our interest in countering isis or al-qaeda
affiliates. places emphasis on all of the three ds, defense, diplomacy and development. increasing security threats on three fronts. also ranked 187 out of 188 out of the recent human development index. the u.s. military has over 800 soldiers deployed to help fight terrorism. four of whom were tragically skilled. we do not have a usaid mission in the country that could help. i have written the administration about the need for a strategy. i have sounded the alarm about increasing violence in the central african republic. we have yet to receive a satisfactory response. so ambassador, i certainly hope that you and i will have an
opportunity to talk soon and look forward to hearing about your priorities, plans and your intentions. >> thank you. as it relates to having witnesses in, i know i said so in my opening comments, but we are pushing to have secretary mike pompeo in so we can actually understand what actually happened in singapore. as you know we haven't had a lot of officials to have testify. and this meeting is hopefully going to help fill some of the slots. but i thank you for your comments and agree we need to have officials in here helping us. if y'all move in order starting with admiral harris, i'd appreciate it. if you keep your comments to five minutes, i'd appreciate it. if you want to introduce your outstanding folks, i'd appreciate. if you could keep your comments to a little bit -- to five minutes. if you have any written documents, we're glad to accept them here also. admiral. >> thanks, mr. chairman and ranking member menendez.
i'm honored to be with you, on flag day i might add as president trump's nominee to serve as u.s. ambassador to korea. few nominees are fortunate enough to testify before their own senators, and i'm privileged to be here with you. i'm also grateful that the senators took the time to forally introduce me. let me take a moment to express my love and gratitude to my wife. a personal thanks to the former ambassadors who helped me these past few months. to the men and women of the u.s. pacific command it's been a privilege and joy to serve with you these last three years and
i'm honored to be on this panel. i hope you will ask them the hard questions and save the softballs for me. president trump made clear our alliance with korea is one of our top prior tis. president hosted president moon last month. the president also visited korea last november and the first state visit by a u.s. president in 12 years. other senior level visits underscored the strength and importance of our bilateral relationship. secretary mike pompeo is no seoul today meeting with president moon. mission korea is staffed by 600 men and woman working hard to advance u.s. interests in north korea and throughout. if confirmed i'm excited to serve with this team. importantly, the alliance in the larger partnership enjoy strong bipartisan support. this committee has played an active and vital role and i would like to underscore my deep
appreciation that goes into maintaining our strong bond with north korea. i have experienced this relationship firsthand through my experiences, including as a former pacific commander overseeing the military side of the u.s. korea alliance. these personal connections began even before i was born, as my father was a sailer who fought in world war ii and helped teach korean sailers. the personal connections started during her first year of duty when she accompanied her boss to seoul on several occasions. these experiences afforded us lasting friendships and a deep appreciation of their history. everywhere i travel, whether on ships, in jungles or the embassies, i first the dedication and hard work of men and women committed to make our nation and the world a better
place. i was reminded again and again of the tremendous diversity of our great county. if confirmed, i will carry with me those many voices of america, along with a commitment to strengthen the sheer values that lie at the heart of our relationship with the republican of korea. i am aware our relationship is not one dimensional. economically korea is our sixth largest trading partner and the fifth largest market for u.s. agriculture or goods. investment is already the second largest asian source of investment in the united states. as a fellow champion of the market principals, korea has shown its willingness to work with the u.s. to receive free trade. last year our countries enjoyed 1$154 billion trading relationship, including goods and service. the u.s. and korea also shared deep people to people tasks. as good as our economic relationship is, we can do even better. if confirmed, i will support
u.s. efforts to tap additional opportunities and what i see as nation opportunities in the energy, medical technology and information sectors. i would support and enhance access for u.s. firms in the korean market and more investment into the u.s. finally if confirmed i will strive to further deepen our culture exchanges, scientific collaboration and cooperation on global issues. ladies and gentlemen i fully appreciate i will have to come up to speed quickly. i have spent my life in uniform, and that's where my expertise lies. but i promise i will work hard to learn the language. i have a lot to learn, indeed. but i do understand the importance of diplomacy. as chief of a large embassy, i pledge to this committee to do my utmost to keep them safe and similarly commit to keeping the american community informed of anything that could affect their
safety. i received last month to your colleagues that a fully resourced state department is as important as a fully resourced defense department. robust diplomacy increases our chances of solving problems peacefully. drawing on the strength of the entire government, i would if confirmed as ambassador endeavor to deepen our partnership in alliance with north korea. i am honored and grateful to continue serving our great nation and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much. we'll see about the -- whether you're able to swear what you said. but go ahead. >> mr. chairman, ranking member and members of the committee, i am honored to appear before you as president trump's nominee to be assistant secretary of state for african affairs. i am grateful for their
confidence in me. if confirmed, i very much look forward to working with congress, especially this committee to promote america's interests in africa. my half century association with africa began in 1979 when i was assigned as a first tour officer to a city i had never heard of on a continent i knew nothing about to the most junior of positions. that posting gave me a tremendous appreciation for africa and its people and i went on to complete eight hours in africa, including two as u.s. ambassador, three as deputy chief and some of the most challenging environments possible. after retiring in 2003, i joined am dame yeah and continued africa related work by teaching ability, writing about it and making multiple trips to the continent to promote ties between u.s. and african universities. in 2016 i was briefly called back to take charge of the u.s. embassy in nigeria and that
experience awakened my desire to promote u.s. interests on the continent. nearly 20 years ago, africa has changed dramatically. improvements in education, especially for girls, health, governance and well-being. credit goes to the generosity of the american people and u.s. policies for much of that progress, including bipartisan programs such as agoa which continue to significantly help africa. mr. chairman some of the changes remain unchanged or worsen. some african leaders are perpetuating their rule through oppression.
one certainty is that the u.s. will have to address china's activities in africa, especially since that country is offering itself as a more africa appropriate model for government and development. africa is at a historic cross roads and the direction it takes will impact its future and the security of the rest of the world. africa's population will double to $2.5 billion. nigeria alone will surpass the u.s. with 350 million people and most of this growth will take place in nigeria's north, its most impoverished region. if their dreams are frustrated by conflict, misrule or lack of
opportunities, the results will be catastrophic. if they encounter good governance, africa's youth will be a force for progress and prosperity. mr. chairman, the u.s. is well placed to benefit from the second scenario, a well governed stable africa, providing opportunities to its people and welcoming u.s. businesses as partners in development is achievement. i saw this firsthand when i met with some returning participants in the young african leaders initiative and i worked with another group last summer at tech kas tech university. they were some of the brightest and most impressive young people i have met any where and disposed towards our country and our principals. they are the future of africa, not the corrupt dinosaurs who want to stay presidents for life. if confirmed, i look forward to working with the committee to promote the types of u.s. policies to help bring that
about. and it is my pleasure and honor to introduce my wife of 47 years and my partner in diplomacy jane sitting right behind me. >> thank you for being with us and thank you for that testimony, mr. shanker. >> mr. chairman, ranking member menendez, it is an honor to appear before you this morning as the nominee to become assistant secretary of affairs for northeastern affairs. if confirmed, it would be my intention to engage in consultation in congress routinely. i'd like to thank the president of the united states and the secretary of state mike pompeo for my nomination. it would be an honor to serve our country at the department of state. i am grateful some of my family members could join me this morning. my children ethan and dillon are here. so is my mother and stepfather,
linda and abraham davis and my aunt and unle. my father and stepmother could not be here today, but are no doubt watching on the web. let me also take this opportunity to thank my former bosses, mentors and colleagues without whom i would not be here today. the portfolio is expansive. i have in a sense been preparing for this job for the past three decades. my academic background has been focussed on the middle east. i have spent four years living in the region. in the early '90s, i worked for a contractor on projects in egypt and jordan. for the better part of two decades i researched and written about the region as a fellow for near east policy, a leading nonpartisan think tank. from 2002 to 2006 i served as director in the office of secretary of defense advising
policymakers on affairs. over these decades i have had the privilege of knowing and working with many of the outstanding diplomats who served distinction as secretary of affairs. i worked witraveled to syria inh william burns. i know the former assistant secretary ann patterson. they handled an incredibly difficult job. if confirmed i would be humbled to be counted among this group. the spontaneouses stretch from morocco to iran to yemen. it faces enormous challenges. given our critical alliances, the region's natural resources,
its vital ceilings and the to nor mou enormous. confronting these challenges are the highly professional men and women of the u.s. department of state. these foreign service officers and civil servants are dedicated and courageous to make great sacrifices for our country. over the past two decades as a policy official serving the department of defense, i have worked closely with nea and have great respect for the professionalism and expertise of these career professionalism. if confirmed, it would be a great privilege to serve alongside these american patriots, helping to advance and secure u.s. interests in the middle east. there is a real need to
strengthen alliances to defeat isis, confront and roll back the iranian behavior and to work for a more peaceful region. the u.s. faces a series of complex challenges in the middle east, which require the application of all tools of american power to mitigate and now more than ever especially diplomacy. as we know all too well, what happens in the middle east doesn't stay in the middle east. washington's regional alliances are a force multiplier in safeguarding u.s. interests at home and abroad. they need to be nurtured. if confirmed, i work forward to working closely with this committee and the congress as a whole to address security challenges facing our country. i am grateful for your consideration of my nomination and i look forward to your questions. thank you. >> again, we thank all three of you. i'm going to reserve my time and turn to senator menendez. i'm going to run, go vote and come back. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
thank you all for your testimony. admiral harris, as pac-com commander you were outspoken, rightly in my view about the nature and extent of north korea's threat. and that threat is real, right? >> it is real. >> so do you think we no longer need to worry about north korea's nuclear threat? >> we must continue to worry about the nuclear threat. >> i appreciate that because i know the president said the other day that after singapore we can sleep well because we no longer have to worry about north korea's nuclear threat, but i didn't sleep much better. i understand there is still nuclear warheads, still a kn nuclear development process. until that is dismantled, i don't think we can rest comfortably at the end of the day. let me ask you this also from
your experience. do you think that it is important to have military exercises between the united states and south korea as our forces are there, about 28,000 and as they ultimately prepare themselves for any defensive eventuality. >> senator, in my previous capacity i spoke strongly about the need to continue with military exercises, most notely in 2017, but we were in a different place in 2017. you know, north korea was exploding nuclear weapons. they were launching ballistic missiles. and if war wasn't eminent, it was likely. i think following the summit with kim jong-un in singapore, i think we are in a dramatically
different place. i think the landscape has shifted, and i believe that we should give exercises, major exercises a pause to see if kim jong-un, in fact, is serious about his part of the negotiations. i have spoken in the past about, you know, the need to bring kim jong-un to his senses and not to his knees. i think the president's efforts in singapore did just that. >> do you think these are war games? >> well, you can call it -- you know, i think the president -- >> would you -- would you in your present roll call it war games. >> i would call it major exercises. >> major exercises. do you think they're provocative? >> i think they are certainly of concern to north korea and to china. but we do them in order to exercise our ability to work and interoperate with our south korea allies.
>> when you go as our ambassador, you will have to be dealing with the south koreans. they will have to be concerned that they didn't know about it, that the japanese didn't know about it and that there is a real challenge when these countries are a critical part of us ultimately coming to the end goal that we all desire and want to see. so i think it's going to be critically important about how you speak about those issues when you get there. >> i agree, sir. >> let me turn to mr. shanker. in the counting american adversaries through sanctions act, the congress signed into law by the president required the administration to deliver a comprehensive iran strategy by january of 2018. it is now june the 12th or so, and we have yet to receive a comprehensive strategy. if you are confirmed and this has not been completed by that time, will you commit to the
committee that you will work with the secretary to produce a comprehensive strategy on iran that has to be delivered to the congress according to law? >> yes, sir. >> now, let me ask you: what do you think are elements of such a strategy? >> thank you, senator. there are several different elements. one would be, for example, the diplomatic strategy that is to work with our european partners to get them on board. while we have some disagreements with our european allies, we can all agree that the nuclear development, that the proliferation of missiles and the iranian destabilizing regional activities are all a problem. so the diplomatic front, the sanctions and also maintaining at least for the time being the presence in syria, which prevents the establishment of a land bridge among other things
for iran to the mediterranean, working with the u.s. military, among other things to prevent the shipment of missile components to the hutheys, for example, working with a government in iraq to try and establish a government that is inclined toward good relations with washington, not wholly on s subs dare of iran. >> we will think about how our gulf partners play a more strategic role than they have so far. i asked you in our private meetings and i warned you about the possibility of this question, so i'm not blind sided you. would the purchase of the s 400 system constitute a significant transaction with the russian defense sector, which is -- there's public reports that saud
yeah -- would this trigger sanctions under section 231? >> senator, if confirmed i would make clear to saudi arabia and our allies and friends in the region that the sanctions are intended to hold -- to exact cost on russia for its human rights violations, for its behavior in ukraine, for its d meddling in u.s. elections and i would work with our allies to dissuade them or encourage them to avoid military purchases that would be potentially sanctionable. in other words, i would tell saudi arabia not to do it. >> i appreciate that answer.
and i appreciate your diplomacy in how you're trying to answer my question. but i will leave it at this. that also e kwipt seeking to purchase 46 helicopters from russia. our allies must understand that under u.s. law, under katsa, the purchase of such systems ultimately are sanctionable and we will press very hard on the question of pursuing those sanctions should they choose to do so and i hope you will community date that in your role. >> absolutely, senator. if confirmed i will implement the law. >> thank you. my niem is expired but i will come back, ambassador. i don't want you to think left out of the process of my questions. senator isakson. >> thank you, senator menendez. i appreciate t i agree with your comments about the admiral, he is ultimately qualified, very qualified and a great nominee. i appreciate you all being here today. nash, is that correct? >> yes, senator.
>> thank you for accepting a tremendous challenge in african affairs at the department. do you happen to know one of your predecessors by the name of johnny carson? >> yes, senator, he is a good friend of mine. >> well, of all the people i have got to know in my travels to africa and the work done in africa since i came to congress johnny is the most knowledgeable, insightful and most well received american on the continent of africa so if you didn't know him, which i thought you did, but if you hadn't i want to make sure you do. since you do know him take advantage because he is a terrific asset. >> when i was ambassador in ethiopia he was ambassador in kenya. >> you focused on the sudan in part of your testimony, mentioned the sudan. that is a horrible problem. it's getting worse by the day. we've tried a special envoy. the comprehensive peace agreement we worked on to finally get a referendum for independence which we finally got but it never did anything
because the violence, murder, assassination and the economic stealing from one another's assets have just destroyed the environment there. what initiative would you try to move us to in south sudan to go from a caretaker of chaos which i think is what we are right now to a caretaker of a route to peace and security? >> senator, thank you for that question. in my view south sudan is one of the greatest tragedies in the world right now and absolutely needless, it should never have happened, especially given the positive role the united states played in creating south sudan. senator, if confirmed, i promise you i will look for every pressure point possible, including the ones that have not yet been pushed, to make sure that those who are complicity in these tragedies have to pay for that so that they don't have places where they can park their money, they don't have places where they can go and enjoy their vacations and go shopping while their people are dying,
women are being raped and people are going hungry and chased from their homes. i truly believe that i would put that at the top of my inbox if confirmed. >> it's going to take our leadership to do that, al brashear in the north is not going to be a help to us, he's not going to be a problem, but he's not going to be a help to us. the south sudanese are doing a pretty good job messing up themselves and we need to move them forward as much as we can. >> on that point also nathaniel who was a former intern of mine who was a refugee to clark boston, georgia, about 15 years ago is one of the lost boys of sudan. he came to my office last week to share with me some of his experiences in the sudan since he has gone back to try to bring back that country. he said the biggest need they have on the ground is a recognition by the public, the people of sudan, that the united states is engaged, that the government of sudan is getting engaged with them and they are going to be a part of moving sudan forward. we evidently are not in that --
well, i asked him, i said, aren't we visible now? he said not as visible as we should be. i think that's one of the things you are going to have to focus on to see the division i believe of our country and that they are there to take a responsibility to do that. >> i can promise you if confirmed the south sudanese will realize how involved the united states is. being one of the few u.s. amess who spent time in a refugee camp as a refugee and not just a visitor i am passionate about refugee issues. >> africa is the continent of the 21st century for the united states. in many ways. the population explosion as you referred to in nigeria which will be bigger than the united states by the half point of this century. it's important we have them as friends but it's important we help them grow economically and using agoa is a way to do that. senator coons who was here and i two years ago in the work on agoa used that as a lever to get
the south africans to open south africa to domestic poultry which is the biggest export of georgia and delaware. they want to do business with america, we need to use our assets and use that trade agreement to open more doors of opportunity for africans but also more doors for opportunity for americans, too. >> absolutely, senator. i agree with you totally. >> my last point on -- not my last point, but the last one i have time to talk about, i want to go to south korea. the questions on the -- there have been some questions of what the president offered when he offered to suspend or temporarily postpone or postpone the second round of exercises in south korea this year pending the north koreans beginning to do what they need to do on the agreement that they have made with america in singapore. as one who served in the military, i was in the air force, we had ordinance readiness inspections where at the drop of a hat and a phone
call we were called to come and go through an exercise as if we were at war but we of course weren't. some call that a war game, some call it an exercise, whatever. does putting off or postponing what would have otherwise been a regularly scheduled exercise in any way damage or readiness in that part of the world? >> senator, for short periods of time, no, but i believe without knowing with any certainty i believe the president was referring to major exercises. the vice president has stated since then that regular readiness and training evolutions will continue so i view that in terms of the roi that you mentioned and service-related exercises and things like that will fn, but i don't know that for a fact. you know, that would be up to the department of defense to determine what is allowable under the new construct, but i'm convinced and i know the administration has underscored that our alliance commitments to
south korea remain ironclad and have not changed. >> i agree with you and i'm not good on a.m. anyone else either and roi is an old acronym because i'm an old american soldier. there could be a new name by now, but i think it's not the type of exercise they were referring to in the agreement in singapore. there is no place in the world that we are better prepared with manpower and investment and infrastructure than in south korea to carry through on any commitment we have to the south korean people or the people of japan or any other people in that part of the pacific rim, would you agree with that? >> i would, sir. >> i don't think suspending a temporary exercise in any way dim she is our ability to continue to do everything we've promised to do and have partnered with those countries to do to enjoy the peace and security of freedom in that part of the world. >> i agree, senator. i think that we need -- we do need to create some breathing space for the negotiations to continue and to assess whether kim jong-un is serious on his
part of the deal or not and i think this gives us that opportunity. >> well, as my world war ii navy captain father-in-law william davison who flew in the south pacific for 20 years used to say, if you've got a tough job to do give it to the navy. thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you. senator isakson. senator shaheen. >> thank you, mr. chairman. congratulations and thank you to ul of you for your nominations and for your willingness to serve. thank you to your families also for being willing to make that kind of a commitment. admiral harris, i want to follow up on the senator isakson's question about the military exercises. not in terms of what that might do to readiness, but what the message is that that sends to not just our allies in the region, but also to our adversaries. there have been news reports about china's pleasure at our
announcing this kind of a concession. do you agree that this is a benefit to china? >> i think it's too early to tell, senator, if it's a benefit to china or not. i do know that the chinese foreign minister wang said that this was creating a new history, but president moon as well talked about the talks being the talks of the century and so i think that south korea is looking at this in a positive way, this being the summit, and i believe that we are, in fact, in a new landscape with north korea for the first time certainly in my career we are at a place where peace is a possibility and i think we should be encouraged by that. i've said before that we can be hopeful, we can even be optimistic, as well as we are realistic also and i'm convinced
that the administration has that realism at heart as we move forward in this new place that we are in. >> and if we do -- if we are able to successfully move forward towards denuclearization, will south korea still face a conventional military threat from north korea and a cyber threat? do you think those issues should be part of negotiations around denuclearization? >> i think ultimately all of those things should be on the table. you know, right now we're focused and rightfully so on the nuclear aspects of the north korean capability, but ultimately, you know, we seek peace on the peninsula. no one has a greater stake on peace on the peninsula than south korea, they are the ones that went to war and are still technically at war with the north. and i think that that encompasses all types of
capabilities that the north has, but we start with the nuclear peace, that's the one that threatens the region as well as parts of the united states, potentially all of the united states, and we start there and then we work for peace on the peninsula writ large. >> thank you. mr. chancre, as i'm sure you are aware, yesterday the saudi-led coalition in yemen began an offensive to take the port city of hodaida. there are dramatic reports about what this assault will mean for people in yemen, the number of people who will be killed. the u.n. has pulled out all of their humanitarian personnel there and have suggested the u.n. envoy has suggested this is a major impediment to efforts to bring parties to the table to have a peaceful resolution in yemen. should the united states be doing more to urge the saudi-led
coalition to stop that invasion and to come to the table? >> thank you, senator. it's my understanding that the united states had advised the emiraty and saudi forces not to go to hodaida. the secretary, as you know, made a statement a few days ago on this recognizing not only the security concerns of the saudis and emirates but also holding the emirates and the saudis to their humanitarian commitments. i am very concerned about the impact of the move on hodaida. as you know, 22 out of 30 million yemenis are food insecure, hodaida is the largest port for humanitarian and commercial goods going to the country. if there was an interruption that would be very serious to the yemeni people. if confirmed, i would make every
effort to get all the parties to the table with the envoy immediately. that would be a top priority, yes. >> and are there other tools that we have, incentives, dis incentives that we have that we should be using that we are not currently using? >> senator, i don't know. i haven't been privy to the deliberations or the representations with the saudis and the emirates. i think there is more that can be done in terms of incentives. i would have to, let's say, to consult with colleagues at dod if confirmed. but, yes, i think there are ways to encourage them. >> thank you. as i'm sure you are aware, this committee has weighed in on the yemeni conflict in a way that suggests that we should put more pressure on the saudi-led coalition. so i certainly appreciate your commitment to do that, if confirmed. are you aware, mr. chancre, that
the state department is withholding $200 million in stabilization funding for syria in areas that have previously been controlled by isis? >> yes, senator. >> can you explain what the reasoning is behind that? >> my understanding is that the administration is conducting an assessment of this aid to determine what of this is appropriate and perhaps inappropriate. it's my general view that groups such as the white helmets are doing outstanding and important work and other recipients of u.s. funding local councils, et cetera, who had been receiving money, are doing important work to create conditions in local communities that would prevent the reemergence of isis 2.0, for example. i don't have any visibility into the ongoing administration review, but if confirmed i would be happy to come talk to you about it.
>> i appreciate that. can you also beyond eliminating isis, can you discuss what you believe is the united states policy in syria and what our long-term strategy is? >> i can take a shot at it. senator, we have troops in syria right now that are working with our allies there doing excellent work to defeat the reigning pockets of isis out in the east. they are also helping to train local security forces doing ordinance disposal, humanitarian demining and generally working to create the conditions whereby isis 2.0, follow along groups, al qaeda, don't return. all this is very important work. while the u.s. forces are there there's another benefit which is that i think it strengthens the u.s. hand in its representations with moscow over the future
disposition of syria. long-term the president has said we intend to depart. my understanding is that there's deliberations within the administration as to when that will occur. the administration appears to still be committed to the end of the -- of assad himself. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. senator portman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first to admiral harris, thank you for your willingness to serve. i enjoyed our meeting together and i have enjoyed our meetings over the years. you're going into a critical time obviously not just for korea but for the region and the world and you will be part of the pompeo team now and as you say, you have a lot of background and experience on the military side which will be very helpful. i do think that we have a real opportunity here and there's an opening. we need to be clear-eyed as you
and i have discussed about what the challenges are. we certainly based on experience cannot be trusting of what north korea says in terms of their commitments because they have made commitments in the past that they haven't honored. but it is an opportunity and i do believe that we ought to give the president and the administration the space to be able to negotiate what could be a historic agreement with regard to the korean peninsula and the denuclearization that all of us hope for. i want to follow up on china just for a second because you heard from senator shaheen that perhaps china has a little different view than we do about what the future ought to look like, particularly as i look at it not just about our nuclear presence on the peninsula, because we do provide that nuclear umbrella, but also our troops and also exercises. are you concerned that china will push for the north koreans to demand the total withdrawal of u.s. troops in korea or
redeployment of the thad missile defense system that in my opinion would weaken the military posture in the region. if so how would you deal with that? >> i don't know how china would react with regard to pressuring north korea as a negotiating partner of the united states. i do know based on my previous job that china is very unhappy with the placement of the thad missile system, the defense missile system, in south korea. but that was an alliance decision taken up by both the republic of korea and the united states together, and i think it's important, it's critical, that the decisions as we go forward here in this new place that we are in that the decisions we make with regard to troop levels, with regard to exercises and with regard to everything else that affects the alliance that those decisions be
taken together whether a south korean ally. these must be alliance decisions and not unilateral decisions. and so my -- i think one of the jobs that i will have if confirmed as the ambassador is to implement policy that comes from washington, that comes from the secretary of state and the president and also to stay synchronized with our south korean ally. that will be the good work of diplomacy, i believe. >> speaking of that for a moment, the interoperability between the u.s. and rok forces is obviously a critical part of the security there and my understanding is that president moon has voiced support for an early transfer of wartime control of operational forces, the opcom forces from the united states to south korea, in other words, taking away operational control from the u.s. is that a good idea? are they ready? >> at some point they will be ready. i mean, this is -- >> are they ready now? >> they are not ready today.
>> op com transitional. the transfer of operational control we have agreed with south korea that it must be conditions based and when those conditions are met rather than time based then they will be ready to do that. that's hard work that's ongoing right now between u.s. forces korea, pacific command and dod to work with their counterparts in korea to determine those conditions and when those conditions will be met. >> putting on your new state department hat and i'm confident you will be confirmed and i'm pleased, again, you stepped up to do this, what do you think or posture to be with regard to human rights abuses in north korea as you and i have discussed i come from ohio, very involved in the release of otto warmbier and the abhorrent behavior he received at the hands of the north koreans is something we can never forget, but there are many north koreans
who have also been subject to human rights abuses including work camps. should that be part of any agreement with north korea? >> i think human rights should be a part of discussions. the president did raise them and as a nation and certainly as a department we were very concerned with the gross human rights violations evidenced by the north korean regime. >> thank you, again, admiral harris. we wish you the best of luck. you are going to have a critical part of these negotiations going forward, mr. chancre, just briefly, i have to run and go vote, what do you think the prospects are for iran and other parties to continue implementing the jcpoa, the iran agreement that america has withdrawn from? would it be the administration's intent that we continue to work with our european allies to come up with a new agreement? what would be your view on that? >> senator, i thank you for the
question. i don't know what the -- where the administration is at on that exactly. it seems to me that the europeans can make their own decisions on whether to pull out or not, but that the secretary sanctions that will be imposed on companies that are doing business may eventually make the iranians leave. i don't know how this is going to play out, but it seems that the main priority of the administration and if confirmed one of my main priorities will be getting a new agreement that incorporates all the elements, whether it's running nuclear, iranian -- countering iranian destabilizing behavior and the missile proliferation. >> destabilizing waiver is the part that we missed and look what's happened in the last several years with regard to hezbollah and syria in particular but also as we see in yemen and elsewhere. i need to run and vote.
mr. nash, lots of questions but but i want to follow up in writing on the legislation we are trying to work on in the senate and get your input on that. i thank you all for your willingness to serve. >> senator cardin. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me thank all three of our nominees. you all have had very distinguished careers and we very much appreciate your willingness to serve in positions that are so critically important at this time on foreign policy and national security issues and we thank your families for their willingness. i want to start some of thigh colleagues already talked about the dimension of human rights and making sure that that's a top priority in your responsibilities, whether it's one country in south korea or the regions of africa or the east. i want to start the ambassador. i told you outside that you may
get off, but let me start if i might. the comment you made about leaders in africa wanting to hold on to power rather than allowing their countries to develop i thought was a very poignant point. i couldn't agree more with that assessment. so let me talk about a country where they have a new leader which is ethiopia. you're familiar with that country. i had the opportunity to meet with one of the distants who was in town this week who has been arrested and has had some serious issues. he is a pretty brave person and there is some reason, i guess, for some optimism that maybe there's going to be some change, but we haven't seen it demonstrated yet as far as the safety of the activists in the country. can you give me your assessment as to how the united states can play a constructive role in
ethiopia? >> thank you very much, senator. i am extremely optimistic about ethiopia. i have seen them at their worst during the marxist dictatorship. i have seen it better. the new prime minister i'm very encouraged by. in my view he may be the first generation that will actually be willing to allow itself to be voted out of office, which i think is a huge step going forward. i've also been very encouraged by recent steps that he has taken, most especially just in the last couple of days the agreement to implement the peace treaty with aritrea which is going to be quite difficult given internal ethiopian pressures. overall ethiopia has had major human rights problems in the past, i'm encouraged each year
it will get better and better and if confirmed i will certainly engage strongly with ethiopia given my own history with that country to make sure it goes forward. >> i hope that we will be pretty tough on this. we have seen where in other countries like burma where they made an abrupt change in direction. the safety issues in ethiopia are real so i would hope that you would continue to do that. mr. chancre, we had a chance to talk about this, senator shaheen raised the port issues in regards to yemen. yemen is a major humanitarian crisis now and it's complicated as to how we can get rep to the people. there's clearly outside forces trying to prevent that from happening but we don't have the sensitivity we believe is necessary from the saudis or uae. obviously they have security concerns, we understand that. there are outside forces causing
a lot of these problems. how much more aggressive can we be to maybe sure the people of yemen get the help they need? >> thanks, senator. i think more can be done certainly. we have unvim in there, the u.n. verification and inspection team, which has, i think, provided some bit of assurance the saudis and the uae that contraband weapons are not arriving for the houthis in these ports. it perhaps can be -- we can pressure parties there to bring in cargo planes into sana directly, that may ameliorate some of the situation, but it's a very, i think, complex and difficult situation. hodaida itself even if hodaida shut down they have saleef which is north of there, but the road from saleef goes through hodaida to go east.
so i think more can be done and pressured on our allies. they have made commitments to meet the standard to martin griff fifth of humanitarian goods getting into the country. >> i think you can play a really critical role here because there is a lot of activity by uae and the kingdom here in washington and there's a lot of engagement. i think it's important that they get a very clear message as to the importance of being as strong as possible in regards to humanitarian aid. i appreciate your statements on that. >> thank you, senator. >> admiral harris, i want to talk a little bit about north korea. i wasn't going to let you go without that. most of the experts that we have had before this committee we have had outside experts that were in the administration, we haven't had yet the administration's people here have said that the very first thing you need to do if there's going to be any confidence that north korea is going to give up their nuclear weapons, you have
to have a declaration. you have to know what's going on in north korea. you have to know the venues, you have to know the activities, you have to have inspectors in to verify what the starting point is and then you need not just a statement that you are going to end the nuclear program, but you need a game plan which is realistic for the dismantling of their nuclear program from beginning to end, including the delivery systems. that's what the, perts that have testified before this committee said is the first step, the first step. not the final step, but the first step in achieving our objectives. we have not heard anything about that from the singapore summit, but do you agree with that assessment that if we are going to be able to have success, we need to know where we're starting from? >> sure, senator, but i believe that the first step has to be a
meeting, right? and so we had that meeting and i think we should -- >> we have had meetings before. not directly. >> not meetings of this level. not meetings with the president. >> that's correct, but we have had high level meetings in the past and commitments in the past and we have never had a declaration -- we never really have had our eyes on exactly what they have and an understanding on how you dismantle it. >> i agree with you completely. and the way you formulated that. i think that after the meeting the president said that the meeting -- the summit in singapore wasn't designed to solve all issues all at once, but to be a starting point for serious negotiations and that's the next step are those serious negotiations to staestablish th modalities for what a complete verifiable and irreversible denuclearization means and how
we are going to go about doing that. that's the work of the negotiating teams and the experts in denuclearization, of which we have many in the united states, scientific experts that have done this in the past and other places that we need to rely on them to help us get to that point where we can be satisfied that north korea has denuclearized. i know the iaea, the international atomic energy agency has come up and say they would be -- they are ready to help should they come to that. >> thank you. >> thank you. senator coons. >> thank you, chairman corker, ranking member menendez for holding this important hearing and to our three distinguished witnesses and your families. we are blessed to have men of your experience and strength and character willing to continue serving our country. i'm grateful for the opportunities i have had to meet with you, admiral harris and ambassador nash thank you for our conversation yesterday, mr. chancre, i look toward to
supporting your nominations. if confirmed which i expect you to be you will confront some of the greatest challenges the united states faces around the world from north korea, the endo pacific and strengthening and sustaining our vital partnership with our ally south korea to embracing the opportunity of the continent of africa while confronting terrorism and humanitarian crises, very real challenges and risk of iran, syria and the middle east. you have a full plate. the trump administration has given high priority to addressing strategic competition with china in africa. senator corker and i have worked hard on a bipartisan bill called the build act that will create a new development finance institution which we hope will be marked up here next week. if realized, this new dfi would shape u.s. efforts to counterbalance china's growing economic influence on the continent. i'm encouraged the white house has expressed strong support for it. ambassador nash, if the build act passes into law, how could you use this new tool to promote international development and
advance u.s. foreign policy interests in africa? >> thank you very much, senator. if it passes into law it would be in my view a tremendous asset for us to use, especially regarding when you mentioned china because in talking about china's activities in africa, we can make the list of all the negative impacts, but the big so what question there is so what do we displays it with? how do we replace it with? how do we get more american businesses involved in getting into africa? i know the large businesses have no problems, the multi-nationals, but when i was in west texas so many companies came to me and said we're interested in investing in africa, the dairies, the soybeans and the others. how can we do it? we are afraid to do that because it's not a level playing field. if we get into a dispute we're going to lose. that type of an act would be absolutely perfect to complement the other side of warning african governments about china's activities and
extraction and indebtedness and all the other things. >> thank you, ambassador. it's my hope that we will deliver that tool to you and to other folks who represent us around the world in partnership with usaid to advance development and security. let me move to a country where we have an opportunity to advance democracy in a very real way and where they are watching very closely what is said and done here in zimbabwe. i recently had a chance to lead a bipartisan codo, senators flake and senator booker were also with me where we visited with south africa and zimbabwe, both of which have relatively new presidents. on july 30 there will be an election in zimbabwe. in our lengthy one-on-one meeting with the president he said all the right things and he has publicly continued to say and do good things, but there are significant unaddressed barriers to their restoration of full participation in the community of nations. senator flake and i introduced
an amendment to the zimbabwe recovery act. do you agree the united states should not relieve sanctions on zimbabwe until the government takes concrete actions to demonstrate its respect for human rights, it's commitment to free and fair elections and to pursuing a genuine anti-corruption measures and a rules-based economy? >> absolutely, senator. actio actions people so much louder than words. in your own experience you were once recalled from retirement to serve as your ambassador in nigeria. we have a nominee now from the administration who might be able to get through this committee and the floor in a month, thus would arrive in harari a week before a generationally significant election. would you recommend that the department look for a seasoned experienced former ambassador to send as well as moving forward as fast as we can to confirm a
new ambassadorial no, ma'minee. >> in my own case it really did help to spend some time there in nigeria. >> having someone with the length of service and range of experiences and relationships you have is going to be a terrific opportunity for us, but i am concerned about the press of time in a country that has a once in a generation chance to get this right. admiral harris, if i might, i just wanted to both commend you for your long service and your wife's long service in the united states navy and to welcome you and to thank you for your willingness to take on this job. will you ensure that talks with north korea don't destabilize the korean peninsula at the expense of expanding chinese influence? my concern is that there's a very real prospect of us making a strategic mistake of canceling exercises, withdrawing american troops without having a clear
and verifiable and irreversible path towards denuclearization and i will echo something senator portman asked you previously. i met with north korean human rights activists and folks who defected recently over many years. should the government of south korea with our partnership be playing a role in advocating for human rights in north korea as well and should that be a central part of our advocacy with regards to north korea? >> thanks, senator. if confirmed i will do all of those things that you said and with regard to human rights i believe that the government of the republic of korea, south korea, has a big role to play in -- in the issue of human rights and the gross violations by the north. also there are the issues of abductions of japanese citizens and the president raised those issues in his discussions. so i think that's a positive as
well. >> let me close by saying to mr. she chanc chancre, a number of us send a letter to the president asking that he not eliminate forces from syria, indicating it would significantly put at risk or gravely harm our allies who worked with us, our partners in combat against isis and that that vacuum would simply be filled by iranian proxies. is it your view that our departure from the ground in syria would create a significant vacuum and we would be at risk for having iranian proxies fill that vacuum? >> senator, thank you. i am concerned about withdrawing precipitously. i think we have to make the decision based on conditions on the ground and in conjunction with the combatant commanders say is appropriate. >> thank you. i appreciate your previous comment as well that the white helmets do terrific work.
i was concerned by the hold on funds to them and hope that you will also be able to make progress in releasing those vital humanitarian funds that support a number of different ngos and vital work in syria. thank you all for your testimony and willingness to serve. >> senator rubio -- and i'm going to go vote and then we will have senator kaine who will follow you. thank you. >> it's perfect. i can go as long as i want now. thank you all for being here. thank you for your willingness to serve. i wanted to begin with you, admiral harris, you have a deep amount of experience in the endo pacific region. i would just ask a basic question. you may have already been asked this. just on your experience from the region you would agree that perhaps the leading if not the leading -- one of the leading reasons why what we saw earlier this week was even possible, kim jong-un looking for a meeting and so forth, is because there was serious doubts -- he had serious doubts about whether
they could attach -- whether they could attach a war head to a missile before the economy collapsed. they were in a race between being able to prove that capability and economic collapse that threatened the regime and they had significant doubts and perhaps are convinced that the collapse would come before attaching it and they needed to kind of try to stop that from occurring. >> thanks, senator. i'm not sure, you know, what is going on in kim jong-un's mind, but i do believe that it's the force -- the maximum pressure campaign plan that was led by the state department and the enforcement of u.n. sanctions pretty harsh sanctions by many countries including china. i think the force of those sanctions and the maximum campaign pressure campaign is what brought kim jong-un to the negotiating table in singapore. >> and i only raise that because
in the context of all the other stuff that's going on, how many flags they had and all this other thing, these are all certainly relevant to some extent, but ultimately at the core the single post important thing that got them to the table and will keep them at the table is these sanctions, this pressure. as long as that pressure is there that's the one thing they desperately need to figure out. >> i agree with you. i am concerned that china is starting to relax sanctions and they want further relaxation of sanctions by all the parties. i think it's important that we maintain those sanctions until we can come to a point where we believe that kim jong-un is serious about the negotiations and the ultimate aim of the talks which is to have that complete verifiable and irreversible denuclearization. >> well, if confirmed, and i believe you will be, i think one of the fundamental tasks that you will play will be a critical
one because one of the biggest dangers in all of this is going to be an attempt on the part of the chinese and the north koreans to split the united states and south korea. as we know there was an inflated public expectation in south korea about what this deal could mean and here is my concern, my concern is reach a point and if they are able to drag this thing out into extended and pro tacted talks that at some point there are offering being made that south korea is saying these ideas are fine by us, but they are not good for the united states and that that split between the u.s. and south korea would undermine the international sanctions. the international community, the u.n. would say, well, if south korea is okay with this, north korea is okay with this and china is okay with this, then the united states is being unreasonable and that that could undermine the international sanctions, i think that's going to be an enormous part of your responsibility is to prevent that split from happening.
in particular i'm concerned about a push that would say something like we have a deal but in order for us to do some concessions sort of denuclearization we want this to be step by step, we do something, you do something and in that sort of negotiation step by step two of those steps along the way towards a final deal would be number one we want you to have a significant reduction in troops and the other is we want you to remove the missile defense system from south korea. and each of those steps would be met by some reciprocal concession short of denuclearization but it would show progress and the south korean government given this expectation could come forward and say we are in agreement with that and then the world would say to the united states they are all in agreement with it, you guys are being unreasonable by not agreeing with it. i think there is a real danger of a protracted process here where they are able to gain very valuable concessions some of which directly benefit the thad presence in south korea, it's removal would deeply benefit
china and russia but would be against our national interests but it would be something that the south koreans would like favorably on in a step by step process and that is cast in the role of the bad guys who are standing in a deal yet to be consummated. i believe that one of the most important functions you play will be to ensure that that split never happens, that we do not allow that they create a gap between us and south korea as part of the negotiating tactic. i believe that part of your challenges you will face is an incredible amount of expectation and within south korea and the amount of political capital the president of south korea has put on this deal being successful. i was sewer yus whether you shared that view as a risk and what your views would be about ensuring that that split doesn't happen. >> thanks, senator. i do believe that it is important that we stay synchronized and aligned with our ally in south korea. and that the decisions that we
make regarding, you know, troop levels or the terminal high altitude air defense system or any other thing that could come out of the negotiations that those decisions that we make that we undertake are alliance decisions or decisions that are made with our south korean ally and not unilaterally. and they need to make their decisions based on the aligns as well. just like the decision to put the thad into south korea was an alliance decision, i believe that is important and i think that that is one of the roles that i will have as you said if confirmed is to stay synchronized and aligned with the leaders in south korea. >> can i ask because of your background there obviously and that command, the existence of a missile defense system in south korea, separate -- even if north korea did not have long range missiles and nuclear capability, would it still be in the national security interest of the united states to have a
missile defense presence in south korea and in the endo pacific region beyond the north korea threat? >> senator, based on my previous job we put the thad ballistic missile defense system in south korea with south korea and that alliance decision because of the threat from north korea. it is now there for anything from china or russia or anywhere else, it's based solely on the ballistic missile threat from north korea. >> so there would be no justification for it if there was no north korean -- >> i don't think there would be justification is not the issue. i think there would be no need for it. it is there, it's a very tactical system designed for ballistic missiles coming from north korea. >> towards the mainland of the united states? >> no. no. the thad is there for ballistic missiles coming to south korea. it's there for the defense of the americans in south korean,
our south korean allies and the people there. >> okay. senator kaine. >> thank you to my colleagues and thank you and congratulations to the nominees. i think this is a very, very impressive panel of nominees. i want to say that admiral harris, you know, my worry as a member of the armed services committee when you last appeared before us to complete your time at pacom was that i would never have an opportunity again to torment you across a witness table. i'm glad to see those opportunities are not coming to an end. to ambassador nash, i have to say of any resumé i have ever seen of anybody, i'm giving you the best resumé. born in hundred gary and a member of the communist youth pioneers as a youngster. and tell your father got a death sentence and you guys left the country. you have been involved in three political campaigns for president, barry goldwater, mitt romney and barack obama. that's an unusual hat trick. there are not a lot who would
say that. and some others. and your tremendous service in africa, your multiple language flunsees, you are the most interesting man in the world. but i will tell you the thing about the resumé i like the best, those of you out in the audience didn't have a chance to read this, listen to this sentence: he failed the foreign service exam the first time he took it, but passed in 1977. who puts that in their resumé? a very confident person who is attributing success to the most important element whisper cyst ens. look at the career being an ambassador twice and now being nominated, you put that front and center. that's very much to your credit. my questions are going to be for mr. chancre, thank you for the opportunity to visit in the office and your work. i am the ranking member on the sfrc subcommittee that coincides with your area of responsibility. in your professional expertise, i'm not requesting about
administration policy, i'm talking about your professional expertise working in this area, do you think a peace deal between israel and palestine, two states for two people living in peace, is still a possibility, or have facts, you know, violence from gaza against israel or israeli settlements into the west bank, have facts eclipsed the possibility of a two-state peace deal? >> thank you, senator. it was a pleasure meeting with you as well. no, i think it's still a possibility. i think it depends on the wills of the party. ultimately any solution to the israeli/palestinian conflict will be determined by the parties. the united states has a role in facilitating those negotiations, but both parties have to be ready to make the sacrifices necessary. >> let me ask you this: do you think it should still be u.s. policy now to promote under the right circumstances, as you point out, it's the will of the parties, but to promote that as the ideal, which has been u.s.
policy since the u.n. first recognized the state of israel? do you think that should be our policy? >> i do. >> what do you think israel must do to make that possibility a reality? in your professional opinion, not the state department. >> senator, i don't want to, you know, pre judge the negotiations and i haven't been privy at all to any of the internal administration deliberations, what jared kushner and jason greenblatt -- >> and i'm not really asking you about the administration. you are an expert in in field, you lived there, you studied there, you're fluent in the languages, you've worked in think tank organizations who have worked on this for years. so what i hope to do in my remaining three and a half minutes is just get as your professional expertise based on a life of working in the area what you think israel must do, what you think the palestinians must do, what you think the united states should do, what you think israel's neighbors
should do. so, again, i'm not talking about the negotiation, but just in your expertise in the area i'd hope you could educate us. >> well, thank you. i think broad outlines are land for peace, there is a west bank for the parties to determine the lines there is gaza for the parties to determine the lines, territorial swaps, recognition. >> and that's on the palestinian side. >> right. there are difficult decisions that are going to have to be made potentially about -- between the parties about where the capital ultimately may be of the palestinian state. for the palestinians once again, its recognition of israel's right to exist as a jewish state. i think that's what the israelis are demanding right now. >> and that was the terms of the original u.n. decision.
>> and for israel to live within safe and secure borders and that is for the parties to determine of course but whether this future palestinian state is largely demilitarized. so i think those are sort of the -- some of the key issues on that front and i think those are surmountable. >> if each side is willing to do the things that you outlined. >> right. >> and both israel and palestinians have some things that they have to do if this desirable reality will be accomplished. i'm not going to ask you what the u.s. should do because you're right, there is -- you know, the state department and jared kushner and others are working that. what about the neighbors of israel and the palestinians, what do you think they need to do to help make the desirable outcome a reality? >> thank you. i think this is the key, the key element here, which is that for israel presumably to make some very difficult decisions in return there would be recognition from across the region and others parties to
follow and that is acceptance and opening ties with gulf states that may be ongoing now, but are i think very quiet. >> right. sort of subrose that we would want them to be publicly supporting any peace deal but also opening up true nation to nation relations in the sunlight with israel. >> that would be the hope obviously. like wise, i think some funding support for the palestinians to help them develop their economy in a very big way which will be i think important to both stabilize and strengthen and counter violent extremism in these areas. >> i hope that we remain very committed to this. i despair from my first visit in israel in 2000 until my most recent visits it seems like the prospects have gotten farther and farther apart but i always
describe having ancestors from a part of the world where the prospects looked zero for hundreds of years in ireland and then in our lifetime after the good friday accords there was an accord and there's generations of kids important in ireland today who don't even know what it was like -- that there was centuries of troubles. so we need to remain committed to it and watch for those communities and i appreciate your long work in this area and encourage you to keep that front of mind in your capacity should you be confirmed. thanks all of you. >> thank you. senator markey for a full seven minutes. >> thank you. we hoped that our agreement is matched by president trump's negotiating skill with president kim. thank you. and, by the way, senator kaine, i agree with you, that's an incredible resumé for most interesting man in the world. he really -- it's amazing, but i
was talking to admiral harris yesterday -- >> you are going to sink his nomination if you keep saying he is the most interesting man in the world. the president is the most interesting man in the world. >> this is true. this is true. but, admiral harris, you know, his father in the navy meets his mother in japan after world war ii, they get married, move to tennessee, and then to florida and he returns as the head of our pacific command -- >> those are both states with no income tax. he is very smart. >> and then to be here as our ambassador to korea just absolutely amazing. each of these stories is just an american dream come true in each instance and we thank you for
embodying all of that. and, by the way, i support wholeheartedly each one of your nominations for confirmation. we thank each of you for your service. i'd like if i could with you, admiral harris, just move over to the sanctions regime which is in place and some of the commentary coming out of -- coming out of china that there might be an interest in relaxation of that sanctions regime before we see full compliance by president kim in the denuclearization of north korea. to you talk about that, your philosophy in terms of what the sequencing should be in the removal of any of those
sanctions. >> sure. senator, as i understand it sanctions remain in effect, full sanctions remain in effect until north korea makes concrete steps, demonstrates concrete steps toward denuclearization. the full range of united nations sanctions is what i'm talking about and i believe that it's those sanctions that brought north korea to singapore in the first place, that brought kim jong-un to singapore. so i think that we need to maintain those sanctions until there's some concrete demonstrations of moving toward a denuclearized north korea. >> are you concerned that china kind of unilaterally might just begin to turn a blind eye to an increase in trade that will help to bolster the regime? >> i am concerned. china is a member of the united
nations and the united nations has determined that north korea should be sanctioned because of their nuclear weapons development program and they haven't -- and the united nations has not relaxed those sanctions. so china as a member of the united nations in my opinion is obliged to follow those rules. >> i was there in korea last august with senator van holland and senator merkley while military maneuvers were being conducted in south korea. could you talk a little bit about the relationship with south korea, the concern which they voiced on day one that they had not been notified of the -- in the change in terms of those military exercises, and what you think is necessary going forward in terms of maintaining a close
working partnership with south korea. >> sir, i believe that president moon jae-in said it right after the talks in singapore, he described them as talks of the century. i think that he is optimistic and wants to create that negotiation space so that north korea has an opportunity to demonstrate the seriousness by which it is willing to undergo denuclearization. so i think the first step we have to do is create this space, that negotiating space, and then go forward from there. >> is your definition of denuclearization the complete removal of all nuclear equipment before there is any relaxation of trade sanctions? >> not necessarily to the extent
that you just described. i believe that denuclearization means complete denuclearization of equipment, equipment, reseag stockpiles and all of that including the means to deliver them. i think that's what denuclearization means. i don't know, quite frankly, where along that time line toward complete denuclearization that we should start to relax sanctions. i think that's part of the negotiations and certainly part that will happen here back in washington with south korea. >> so how concerned are you that this kim is still working from the kim family playbook, which in the '90s and now in the 21st
century just continues to result in them pocketing the rewards of negotiation while delaying the concessions and then accepting those rewards without ever having seen any benefits that flow to the united states, south korea or the rest. >> yes. we saw with the predecessors this happen in 2004 and 2012. but i believe that the president is spot on when he says that he's not going to wait that long. he'll know within a year or maybe less and we'll know within a year maybe less in which kim jong-un approach his part of the deal, and we'll be able to make that decision then. >> we thank you for your service to our country, and we looking forward to trying to help you to do your job in the years ahead. >> thank you, sir.
senator menendez. >> thank you, chairman. let me just ask you do you use defense, diplomacy and development, the three d's as important to our work in africa? >> absolutely, senator. if you get rid of the terrorists, you have to fill the space with something. and if after you get rid of the terrorists the same conditions remain there with poor governance, abuse of human rights a couple years later a new terrorist will come. >> do you think we have the balance right at this moment? >> senator, i can promise you if i'm confirmed i will be as aggressive as i can be in trying to obtain the resources that i believe are necessary. of course, at the end of the day i will support whatever budget the president puts out. but in my career i've had to
deal with lean budgets. i've had to deal with better budgets, and i promise you i will optimize the resources the best i can. >> my goal is not to have you dispute the budget. nobody can defend that. but my question is will you be an advocate if you are ultimately approved, confirmed of creating the right balance among these three critical elements. >> absolutely, senator. >> let me ask you what's the effect of having such a significant military footprint like niger? >> senator, i do have niger has resources. they do have a limited mission. they're also supported from other regional offices. it is one of those cases where niger is threatened from several different directions. i think it's probably one of the most vulnerable countries in the
sahel. the question will be rightly when the terrorists are gone what happens next. and i can promise you if confirmed i will do my best to fight for those resources to replace the vacuum that's left behind. >> let me ask you this, given the concerns somewhere have voiced of radicalization due to abuses by security forces when and how should we be weighing in countries with well documented human rights abuses even in the face of significant terror threats? >> senator, abuse by security forces is a significant problem. in my experience in africa i have seen the positive role that u.s. military exchanges can play in actually improving the security forces from systematic abuses to a point where it's only rogue elements to rogue
individual. based on my experiences, senator, i'm very -- >> i'm talking about selling arms. >> senator, i totally support u.s. law. and i promise you if confirmed i will examine very closely the human rights situations in each of those cases. >> as you know the committee, the chairman and i have jurisdiction over arms sales in an informal way, and i would be interested in what's the right calibration here. and finally what's your position in the democracy and governance sector as it relates to the african continent? >> in my view governance and democracy is the glue that holds everything together. we can have phenomenal africa program, but if the citizens don't believe in their government or people are paying for their bill, the
infrastructure will be destructive. so from my experience i am totally committed to governance and human rights and democracy. >> and i'm thrilled to hear your answers. as a follow-up to that, i hope you'll be within the confines and state department an advocate in that regard because we're solely lacking. and i hope you will return the relatively brief time to brief us on the status of the development of a coordinated diplomatic approach to both the horn and the sehel part of the continent. >> you have that, senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> i want to thank all three of you for your willingness to serve. i can tell you in recent times we've not had a committee hearing like this where all the nominees are so broadly supported on both sides of the aisle.
and i think it speaks to who you are as people but also your professionalism. so we thank you for that and your families for joining you in your service. and we're going to keep the record open until the close of business tomorrow so there'll be some written questions. i know all three of you are very familiar with this. if you could respond to those quickly it would help speed along your nomination. >> you suggested your children aren't angels, they have behaved extraordinarily well. >> you want to respond to that? >> no comment. >> thank you so much. and with that the meeting is adjourned. >> thank you very much.
relations including ambassador to south korea reairs tonight at 10:00 on c-span. later today the justice department's inspector general releases its report on fbi conduct in the 2016 campaign. ahead of that house and senate democratic leaders including nancy pelosi and charles schumer will hold a briefing on the report. that's live at 4:15 p.m. here on c-span 3. the fbi will be holding a briefing on the report at 5:30, and c-span 3 will cover that live as well. you can also watch on c-span.org or listen on our radio app. today democratic and republican members of congress face-off in the 57th annual congressional baseball game for charity. the game will be played at nationals park. live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 3.
sunday on american artifacts on c-span 3, tour the library of congress exhibit on the centennial of world war i which showcases american ideas about the war through artwork, posters, photographs, film and documents. >> the idea of contributing to the war through labor, the idea of growing your own food so as to conserve larger quantities for the effort. she's a prominent illustrator in that day. again, another individual kind of rises to the surface from world war i. you see here also food conservation, wholesome nutrition corn. i know we make everything out of corn today. back then we didn't. in