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tv   U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Speaks on Nuclear Policy  CSPAN  March 21, 2019 8:37am-9:43am EDT

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captioning performed by vitac >> in the case of the 2008 declaration it took approximately nine months to generate it, and if the north koreans are willing to proceed immediately with steps to begin addressing elements of their weapons of mass destruction program we won't hold up for that, but we do have to have a complete declaration. an industrial site like yongbyon illustrates exactly why it's so important that we agree on the full set of capabilities and also the -- the -- what they hold as a consequence of their
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complex of weapons of mass destruction. >> i'm going to try to resist asking you to channel the mind of kim jong-un. it's a little difficult and i've been trying to restrain myself. there have been some missile launch site activity recently, which u.s. satellites has picked up. what do you think kim is trying to signal with this? >> so i think you're referring to the -- some of the -- some of the open source reporting that doesn't show a missile launch, it shows activities at some of the sites that have traditionally been involved with their rocket and or missile programs. so i think you and i would agree, helene, it's very important that we be precise when we talk about things. >> yes. >> north korea has not launched a missile. >> no, but there's activity there. >> there's activity, right. so the short answer is we don't
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nknow what kim jong-un will decide to do, you know, may very much be his decision and his decision alone. we have -- i think the president has made abundantly clear what our point of view is on that, the president's statements last week that he would be disappointed, very disappointed, if, in fact, this happened, and we don't know that it's intended to send any particular statement to us. you know, one of the things -- i mentioned that i'm acutely aware that i've inherited a portfolio of issues that is steeped in 25 years of difficult policy battles and politics, but also there's a phenomena that i would observe around the north korean issues and that's of the snap judgment of so many experts to drive to an immediate conclusion about anything that's happening in north korea. so two instances i would cite that aren't entirely dissimilar from this where we also don't know. so sometime during the fall last year the north koreans surprised
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the world with a press report that they had just completed the successful test of an advanced tactical weapon. so tactical. so they were signaling in their own wording that it was not a strategic weapon, which would imply a weapons of mass destruction. i was astounded by the immediate analysis that this was a message to the united states that this was the end of diplomacy, that this was a provocation directed at us, and here we are probably four, five months later i don't think there is an expert alive who can even tell me what they tested or if they tested anything. all they released was a picture of chairman kim jong-un on a beach surrounded by men in uniform holding note pads and writing notes. a large part of the analysts were immediately interpreting this as a message directly at the president, directly at the united states.
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to this day we don't know what that entailed. the more recent example is last week while speculation was building about what's happening around sohe and some of the other sites traditionally associated with north korean nuclear -- or, excuse me, missile and rocket tests, there was a seismic event that the press reported was measured somewhere north of the dmz at some level on the richter scale of approximately 2.0 and immediately i saw messages -- i saw headlines and analysis that this was -- this was a statement coming out of the hanoi summit. there was even some implication against defiance of all analytical evidence that this could have been a nuclear test. it continues to boggle my mind how quickly so many are pressing to reach conclusions about all of this. >> do you think the press is beating the war drum beat? >> it's -- you know, it's a competition in the 24-hour news
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cycle, but it's not just the press, it's the think tank and the analytical community as well. if you read the analysis and the run up to the hanoi summit and you were sitting where i was sitting, you would think a lot of it was completely detached from reality on what was being speculated and provided as fact. now, that's just -- that's an operational challenge that is going to exist in any important international diplomatic endeavor like this, added to it is the fact that there's multiple national interests at play here. so i wouldn't lay any blame and i wouldn't say anybody is pressuring us, i'd just say that the -- the tendency to reach these snap conclusions is in my view a little bit hasty. i will say that we take very seriously what the reports that we've seen about what's happening at sohe and we're
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watching it, as some of my colleagues in the administration have said. we have the resources to do that and we don't need to depend upon commercial satellite photography. but i will say let's see how it plays out. right now i don't know what message they are trying to send. we certainly have sent our message loudly and clearly from the president of the united states that we would not -- we would not think that that would be a productive step for them to test a rocket or a missile. >> okay. some of the reporting that came out of hanoi suggested that we've now added chemical and biological weapons development to the table in the negotiations. have we? and, again, this, again, gets back to the whole moving the goal post thing that we keep -- i keep harping on. >> yeah. so since the day i arrived and adopted this portfolio the effort to bring a more permanent
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peace to the korean peninsula has involved the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction. it would hardly make sense to remove the threat of nuclear weapons from north korea and endorse the continued presence of chemical and biological weapons. it would be unacceptable to us, it would be unacceptable to north korea's neighbors, including russia, china, japan and south korea, but also to suggest that's moving the goal post is in defiance of the factual history of the issue of north korea's weapons of mass destruction programs. if you read the u.n. security council resolutions, they are as pointed on the issues of chemical and biological weapons as they are on nuclear weapons, and ultimately the process of final fully verified denuclearization is to set the antecedent for the lifting of those sanctions. those sanctions which are international sanctions imposed
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unanimously by the u.n. security council would also look to the elimination of biological and chemical weapons programs as part of the complete process that we're undertaking. so this issue is one that we've discussed with the north koreans, it is not new and it would be -- it would be a very serious oversight on our part to leave any weapons of mass destruction out of the equation if we truly are going to be successful in transforming the korean peninsula, in order to have a much more peaceful and engaged relationship, not only between the united states and north korea, but between north korea and all of its neighbors. you know, helene, we talk a lot about the challenges of the diplomacy, about the -- about the need to decipher opaque messages that are sent to us and also about the complexities that are involved in this process
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which generically is called denuclearization but really is the elimination of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, but i also think we need to focus just as much on the positive possibilities, too. the diplomatic engagement between the united states and north korea since june of last year has not been without its results. yes, the president has frequently cited the moratorium the north koreans have on nuclear and missile tests as well as the partial dismantlement of sohe and tungche. while the steps aren't permanent and irreversible they also are not inconsequential entirely. they offer some insight into the doctor ex-that we believe north korea is willing to take and what we need to see them do is go farther down the road, but outside that there has been much else as well. the united states is more engaged with north korea diplomatically right now than we
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have been in the past decade. we are deeply engaged in a regularized contact that i laid out a little bit in my framing remarks up front. the north koreans are also involved in outreach with their neighbors, with china, with south koreans and they are working closely to try to lower hostilities on the korean peninsula and create an opening for the full vision that president trump laid out at singapore to come to fruition. i have traveled recently to the demilitarized zone in north korea. the demilitarized zone was affected by confidence building measures which were negotiated between chairman kim and president moon jae-in of south korea late last year in consultation with the united nations command and the u.s. forces korea. they've done a number of -- taken a number of steps around the demilitarized zone in order to lower tensions. the elimination of all weapons
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has been implemented in the joint he can is writ area around the village. it's a remarkable thing and for those of you who are in korea or have the opportunity to visit the dmz i would strongly commend it. i think some of the details are still being worked out in the final arrangements in the dmz, i had heard from someone recently that it's not so easy to travel there until all the remaining issues are implemented around this set of agreements, but i was able to visit and it is a palpable difference from anything i have seen since i first firstitied the dmz in 1988. over those 31 years we have gone from a feeling of two armies bristling with weapons, poised on a very narrow buffer on the korean peninsula to a more calm and orderly and -- engagement. there's regular communications
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between the north, south and between -- and with the u.n. command in the dmz. these are not inconsequential changes that have taken place on the korean peninsula. so as we focus on the urgency or the crisis or potential crisis du jour, i think we have to step back and realize over the past eight months president trump's diplomacy with north korea and south korea's diplomacy with north korea have created space for many constructive things to happen. while we are a long way away from where we need to be and as i said at the beginning of my remarks we are not nearly as far along on denuclearization as i would have hoped we are, you know, we're making progress. we are still engaged diplomatically, the door remains open, the president was emphatic on this point coming out of the hanoi summit. the conversations were constructive, they ended without an agreement, but they didn't end badly and so i don't want to lose sight of the positives in
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this environment as we focus on the particular issues or controversies or semantics of the moment. >> that's a lovely wrap up and if i was a nicer person i would now open it up to questions, but i have a couple more of my own that i want to squeeze in there. i think at this point i'm supposed to tell you guys that the app whatever we're doing here is open and you can send in your stuff. it says incorrect password so i don't even know if this is going to work. this isn't working. but in the meantime, you brought up steps that we've taken, one of them, you know, i couldn't sit here as a pentagon reporter and not ask you about the continued suspension of military exercises with -- between the united states and south korea in the peninsula. president trump himself has called them expensive and provocative. how do you see this continued suspension playing -- what kind
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of role do you think that this continues to put in your negotiations? you know the people at the pentagon don't like this. >> yeah. so what the president has said -- and this is a unilateral policy, but the president is committed to it, that he's suspended major joint military exercises between the united states and south korea and -- or as he would refer to them as war games and that remains the policy, the president reaffirm it from the body dwrum. >> the war games thing really got them at the pentagon really they really don't like that. >> the president reaffirmed that point from the podium in hanoi when he did his press conference. i would also say i think the pentagon has done a fantastic job of working within the parameters of that policy. >> because we've continued to do the military exercises we just don't call them that. >> to make sure we do the necessary military training that any responsible -- any
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responsible decision-maker at the pentagon would want to undertake. militaries have to train. we have 28,500 u.s. soldiers on the korean peninsula and they need to be prepared always to defend the mission that's been assigned to them. my job from the department of state is to give them the diplomacy they deserve. general roberta brams, our commander of u.s. forces korea and the head of the united nations command, his job is to make sure they are ready. the president's job is to set the policy for the united states of america. the president has done that clearly, unambiguously and notwithstanding what you're hearing my view is that he's fully supported by his advisers and they have within the parameters that have a developed an approach to training our forces that is acceptable. so, you know, i think we are in a good place. >> i'm going to be going to questions shortly, but just
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one -- i would be remiss if i didn't ask you why in light of the trump administration's withdrawal from the iran nuclear deal, why would the north -- this goes back to the issue of trust -- why would north korea feel comfortable at all in striking an agreement with the united states? >> so i'm not expert on the jcpoa, although -- and much of that was -- all of that was negotiated during a period in which i wasn't serving in government, but i would make an observation as a layman, which is probably somewhat dangerous since i'm no longer a layman, and that is that my sense is that the jcpoa failed for a number of reasons, including the fact that once it was put in place it appeared at least to me from the outside that iran dumbed down on its aggressive behavior in the region. >> but this was an iran nuclear deal. it wasn't a deal about iran funding hezbollah and anything like that. it did not renege on the nuclear
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obligations. >> i did not say they reneged on it. you're asking me how the north koreans would see that differently. what we are engaged with the north koreans is much bigger than denuclearization. although the denuclearization is the foundation for the policies and it's ultimately the test of whether or not we're going to be successful, the president has also committed to transforming relations, to creating a permanent peace refresh chic on the korean peninsula and also an agenda to close and heal the wounds of a war that happened almost 70 years ago. president trump's vision is much bigger than the very narrow vision in the agreed framework and it seems to me it's not -- it's not a flaw of the graemd framework, it's a flaw of the diplomacy with iran. the presumption that we could reach a narrowly focused denuclearization agreement, regardless of what you think about the merits of it, and at the same time the relationship would develop in a manner that was successful while iran was doubling down on aggressive
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behavior around the region and around the world. so what's different is that this is a much larger vision than what was accomplished in the jcpoa. that doesn't mean it's going to be easier and ultimately whatever we do in this diplomacy will have to pass the test of public opinion and ultimately will have to pass the test of support in the united states congress. that's another flaw of the jcpoa agreement is it's a short-cut to bypass the congress and the jcpoa did it and the agreed framework did it, too, for that matter and it makes them much less durable. if i were coaching the north koreans i would say do the right thing, denuclearize, engage in this full agenda, shift the momentum of the entire 70-year history of war and hostility on the korean peninsula to one in which the united states and north korea are engaged toward a much brighter future. that's what we're working on. that's what we're doing in parallel. that's all the things we're doing. it's not at the expense of
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denuclearization, that is the foundation for our policy and that will ultimately be the test to success, but our vision is bigger than that, too. >> okay. i'm ready to ask your questions. jeff -- >> you sound skeptical. >> huh? i'm not skeptical at all. from jeff brumfield, can you tell us our understanding of what the north koreans offered in hanoi and if the north agreed to more limited sanctions relief in exchange for yongbyon, would you be receptive? >> ultimately it was the president's decision in hanoi and i think like virtually all of his advisers, i think we had a pretty good understanding of what the north koreans were proposing. what the north koreans were proposing is to eliminate some portion of their nuclear weapons
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program in exchange for the lifting of basically all sanctions. now, whether that portion -- that really doesn't -- that really doesn't rest upon the definition of yongbyon, although as i said earlier even over the course of the last few weeks and months north korea has had a shifting definition of what yongbyon is, but really the question is would the united states lift the sanctions against north korea in exchange for closing down part of its nuclear fuel cycle, part of its weapons of mass destruction programs and allow the intended benefits to flow in a manner that in some cases might directly subsidize the ongoing development of weapons of mass destruction in nondisclosed or noncommitted parts of the -- of the weapons program. the administration has been clear from the president on down that we will not lift please sanctions until north korea
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completes the process of denuclearization. that's been the president's policy for a very long time, that didn't change at yongbyon and -- excuse me, didn't change at hanoi and it hasn't changed now. >> can i ask you briefly, and this is a little bit off the topic, but can i ask you about otto warmbier. this gets back to the whole issue of trust, again. how do you -- how do you as a negotiator deal with a leader who apparently said to our president that he knew nothing about the torture and what happened to otto warmbier, and how does that affect your ability to trust what comes out of kju going forward? >> the real question underneath that, helene, is bigger, which is how do you negotiate with a leader of a system like north korea? because that's a bigger question, but it's all subsumed
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in that, and the answer is you do it carefully, you look for -- you look for sufficient verification and monitoring to ensure the outcome of the agreement and you make sure it's done right. it's no different, i suppose, than any other negotiation even -- even with a benign power. the united states has to have -- it's going to have to be a thorough agreement, have verification and have monitoring. it will be hard to get because it also is intrusive and in our intention it has to be irreversible. now, part of the approach that we're also undertaking is to try to change the tenor and so we are engaging with the north koreans directly through diplomacy. the president has in singapore committed to transforming
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relations to establishing permanent peace and the other steps that i've mentioned multiple times today. it's not going to be done in isolation, but, you know, we're negotiating with a country that poses a very credible threat to its neighbors, to the region and to the world and we don't get to pick other countries' leaders. chairman kim is the leader of the north korea, we will engage with him and his representatives to see if we can address this threat. >> kate hewitt, you mentioned that the u.s. despite not being open to incremental denuclearization is open to pursuing confidence building measures. could you give a few examples of these confidence building measures? >> certainly we're very interested in getting inspectors into north korea and as part of that we're going to need some sort of permanent liaison with the north koreans in order to be able to look out for the welfare
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and the rights of our people who are there. you have heard the president, in fact, at the summit in hanoi there was an exchange in front of the cameras between president trump and chairman kim on this very issue. we are not there yet and we are not able to establish a liaison office, but this is just one that's been mentioned in public. there are a lot of other initiatives that we have discussed in private with the north koreans that i would be loath to lay out in public because they are the subject of private discussions and negotiations between us, but we have discussed a lot of ideas and we will continue to engage with them diplomatically to see if there is an opportunity to engage and reach agreement on some of these. but the confidence building is important here. we should never lose sight of the fact that we are fighting against a tide of 70 years of war and hostility on the korean peninsula. yes, there are dramatic systemic
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differences between us and the north koreans that make that additionally difficult, but this is the longest open war that the united states has anywhere in the world. the fighting ended in 1953 and the president has been quite clear that he is prepared to change the trajectory on the korean peninsula for the better. >> you guys know this is the international month of women so i'm only going to read questions from women. [ applause ] >> ms. corey henderstein, for the working discussions in the lead up to the hanoi summit the united states brought a robust delegation of nuclear sanctions, legal and military experts, but i have not heard whether the dprk brought an equally equivalent expert technical delegation. were the north koreans prepared for negotiations with an appropriately technical team across the table, or were they only interested in an exchange
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of views? was this a case of you guys just sitting there reading talking points to each other, particularly from the north korea point of view? >> i'm not going to go into detail about what happens behind closed doors between us and the north krooebs, i think both sides owe each other a certain amount of sensitivity and respect in that regard. i will say that the north korean delegation that has sat across from the table was highly qualified and we presume speaks with the authority of the government of north korea. we don't get to pick who we negotiate with, the north koreans get to pick who they put across the table from us, but we had -- we had very good discussions, we would not have gone on for practically two full weeks with a gap in between in both sides weren't adequately represented, however, for sure as we move forward in this if we begin to get traction we are -- both sides are going to need to increasingly draw upon technical
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experts. the issue at work here are highly complicated, the issues the nuclear fuel cycle will require some of the most talented and experienced individuals in the united states government to be participants in this and likewise the same for the north koreans. >> from ms. xi gou. so we expect a third summit between president trump and chairman kim shortly. >> between? >> trump and kim jong-un. >> i'm sorry, could you -- >> a third summit. >> a third summit. i know the president has spoke been his willingness to continue to meet with chairman kim, possibly in a third summit. we don't have anything to announce today, helene, but in our view and in the president's view this top level engagement does help create the space and from my point of view as a negotiator that kind of engagement does create space for us at the working level to test
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out ideas and see if we can close the gaps. so that will ultimately be up to the president, it will be driven by the course of events, but the president hasn't ruled that out. >> ms. laura rockwood, is the president pressing north korea to accept iaea inspectors? >> we would very much see part of the complete process of denuclearization in north korea to include north korea's return to the nonproliferation treaty and the additional protocols and towards that end iaea has an important monitoring role in order to ensure that certain practices continue to be observed to international standards. we are not at the point with the north koreans where we're negotiating the specific composition of inspectors for some of these issues and it's also -- there's an additional level of complication that comes from the fact that as is well known north korea now is -- has
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acquired, has mastered the technology necessary to produce a nuclear weapon. iaea inspectors are generally precluded from engaging in nuclear weapons programs under the nonproliferation treaty. so it's a complicated issue, but we would be reassured very much by the involvement of the iaea in this process as they bring tremendous expertise to bear on these nuclear issues around the world. >> ms. kayleigh thomas -- i know i'm ms. pronouncing that name and i apologize, but she's getting again to this whole idea of step by step. if lifting sanctions is untenable until full denuclearization is achieved, what incentives is the u.s. willing to offer the dprk in order to achieve any progress moving toward that goal and the full vision of a u.s./dprk
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issues that you described. >> i wasn't in government in june of last year when the singapore summit occurred but i remember hearing much reporting and i think it was some official statements that suggested that the united states was prepared to move very quickly and within a year complete the process of denuclearization. as i look back on that i think about how this process really begun in earnest in july of last year we would potentially be three or four months away from the moment at which we might be able under whatever analysis was brought to bear at that point, we might be in a position to lift sanctions. this occurred to me many times because the lifting of sanctions is an issue that comes up in our discussions with the north koreans and with good reason, we think the sanctions are having a huge impact on the north korean economy. you know, the president bypassed this process question at the hanoi summit and he did it very convincingly by challenging
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chairman kim to go back, to move fast. let's go for a big proposal here to eliminate these weapons of mass destruction programs. the united states is prepared to act on all of the commitments in the singapore joint statement, which truly would transform events on the korean peninsula. the president has gone even further to begin laying out a vision for what he believes is a very bright economic future for north korea as well with its rich natural resources, it's relatively undeveloped economy and its critical location at a crossroads of china, russia and south korea. the economic potential the president described is enormous. and this is the vision that we're trying to inculcate our north korean counterparts with, that the faster they move, the faster we get to this brighter future, the united states -- i cannot be more emphatic -- the united states has chosen to take this course, the president has created the space and the
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momentum for diplomacy. the missing variable is north korea itself has to also fully commit to the elimination of its weapons of mass destruction and affiliated programs and if they do that we will get to this end point quickly. >> i spent a lot of time at the pentagon trying to get them to not talk in acronyms. ms. alexandria bell sounds like she belongs in that building. listen to this. are we demanding that dprk sign and ratify the bwc/cwc and cbtb. i assume we are talking about the biological weapons contention, chemical weapons contention. >> comprehensive test -- >> thank you. further given that bwc lacks verification program what tools and techniques are we planning to use to ensure their biological weapons program is eliminated? >> great question. acronyms and all. all three of these are part of
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the u.n. security council resolutions so it's not the united states that would be asking, this is actually the unanimous vote of the united nations security council called upon north korea to abide by these. north korea is a signatory but not in compliance with the biological weapons convention. north korea is not one of the 190 some countries that are members of the chemical weapons convention and north korea is not a member of the comprehensive test ban treaty nor is the united states as that was not ratified here as well. we are pressing north korea certainly for the elimination of nuclear chemical and biological consistent with the long standing wishes of the united nations security council and so that's very important. the mechanism for doing those in my view seems very usefully available in the biological weapons and the chemical weapons
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convention. in the case of the nuclear weapons we will be pursuing a larger vision than the comprehensive test ban, but it's not in conflict certainly with the objectives, but our diplomacy is about much more than the absence of nuclear testing. in the case of chemical weapons convention as the questioner points out, there is an organization called the opcw, which is the implementing body for the chemical weapons convention based in hague and they could be an important partner in working through and resolving the issues of chemical weapons in north korea and it's an idea we should consider. on biological weapons convention there isn't a similar agency associated with the biological weapons convention so it's going to be a little bit more complicated in that case to ensure that north korea is in full compliance with the bwc. that's our goal in both cases, in both the cases of chemical
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weapons and biological weapons, but we may need to develop some other mechanisms in order to arrive at the necessary assurances in the case of the biological weapons convention. we have a lot of work to do, no the all of these issues are yet on the table with us, as you i said to helene earlier, we have raised all of them with north korea but the modalities and methodologies through which we are going to be able to achieve our aims we are working through and of course ultimately we need the agreement of the north koreans to do that if we're going to be successful. >> we have two more minutes left. last questions, please. i'm going to take it, then. what are they like to negotiate with? >> "they" being the north koreans. you know, all of us who work on this issue are acutely aware of the magnitude of what we're
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undertaking. we don't undertake it lightly. it is hugely reassuring to have the full support of the president and the secretary of state for diplomacy, the entire administration is engaged on this issue and -- and as we go into the room with the north koreans, it gives us a lot of confidence in speaking with them as to what is america's objective in this negotiation. i have to assume in the room the person sitting across the table from me has the same mandate and has the same sense of mission from their government. it can be challenging for sure. in a system like that you don't have a robust internal debate, you don't have thoughtful commentary from think tanks, you don't have critical or thoughtful reporting from media, you don't have -- even have the
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makings of what we would have inside the u.s. government of an interagency process that constantly is dealing with the tension of keeping alignment on policies as complicated as this one. it's a very different system, it's driven by the top down and that's why i am such an enthusiastic supporter of the way the president has approached this. we have tried for 25 years to percolate positions up from the working level to the leadership level with no success. president trump in engaging chairman kim has engaged the real decision-maker in the north korean system and the one who can truly create the space for my counterparts sitting across the table from me to be flexible, to be agile, to be creative, to find solutions to these issues. there is a lot of stress on the people on the other side of the table. you can feel that palpably when you talk with them. these issues are difficult as they should be because these are very important issues for both
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countries and, as i said before, we're swimming against the tide of 70 years of history. you know, there is a lot of things that come into play, relation relationships, building of trust, the ability to communicate. it's going to take us -- take us a while to get there, but i am confident we can. the north koreans, like the president, have made the decision to engage in this diplomatically. i have to -- i have to operate under the assumption that those people are the right people, that they are capable, which i think they are, and that they have the trust and direction of their leadership in these negotiations. so, you know, it's complicated with north korea. that's a huge understatement. it's not like negotiating like i did in the private sector. and the consequences for failure for both sides are enormous as well. so that weighs on it. but we've had a very successful
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set of engagements. we've been in discussions -- you know, we haven't produced an agreement, we didn't produce a joint statement out of the summit, there is not yet a point where we've closed the gaps necessary but the discussions have been constructive, we've been engaged. this is what diplomacy is. this is what the president has committed and recommitted to coming out of the hanoi summit. so they are people, that's what they are, and we just have to find a way to get to the right answer that represents the national security interests of our country and they have the same mandate for their government. >> thank you so much, steve. we're apparently going to be beaten if we don't stop right at noon so we're stopping. at the end -- i will read this -- at the end of your session please state the following, please join us for lunch across the atrium in the ballroom. steve, thank you so much. >> thank you, helene. [ applause ]
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tonight a discussion of 19th century statues and plaques in the american west that honor missionaries, early settlers and u.s. military leaders who had a hand in forcing the removal of
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indian tribes. that's followed by other panels on western history held at the organization's annual meeting in san antonio. watch beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span 3. the c-span bus recently traveled to texas asking folks what does it mean to be american? >> to be an american to me means that, you know, you -- we share a sense of camaraderie, i think, a lot of other places kind of miss sometimes, because while we are all 50 different unique states, we all come together and we say we're american and we can say i'm from wisconsin or i'm from texas, but in the end we're all american and it's that shared bond, i think, that while we are one, we are also individual and i think that's what makes the united states pretty unique. >> to me america is to really embody the values that we as americans have, our values of
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freedom, of equality and i feel like -- like sometimes people try to align themselves too much to one way to be american, but there's like 300 million people living in america and there's 300 million ways to be an american. >> what it means to be an american to me is specifically sided on our right to protest. i really like attending marches and educating myself with different kinds of people, so seeing both sides of the political spectrum and seeing that bipartisanship is still possible in 2019. i would say what it means to be an american is the right to assembly, right to protest and right to voice ourselves on issues in america today. >> voices from the road on c-span. >> the trump administration released its 2020 budget request last week. here is a look at what's in the proposal for the defense department. it's 40 minutes.

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