tv Public Affairs Events CSPAN December 28, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EST
iran model like. what i am saying here is there is a role for china. as we write, we are to be -- we should be pressing the chinese to bear some of the responsibility and do heavy lifting in pyongyang. but at the end of the day, they will be limited because of how they define their interests. second, i should say from my perspective, i don't think we should be subcontracting arguably the most important security issue in the asia-pacific region to our principal competitor in that region, and i am not shrinking from saying competitor. that being true, this is not a china problem. as the president said before, there is only one country that can lead in this situation, and that is the united states of america. michael: senator gardner, i'd actually like to hear your view on that topic. how does this relate to our broader chinese relationship?
it will be on trade, a lot of things. could this get lost? how is it raised? what do we do to convince china to play a more constructive role? sen. gardner: in many ways, this is a defining corner piece of our relationship with china, because you have a regime that is willing to launch any number of missiles to expand its capabilities, to test that regime that is willing to torture its own people, 200,000 in politicalnow concentration camps. and you've got a nation that controls 90% of its economy that has been unwilling so far to flex the full might of its ability to influence the behavior of the north korean regime.
i do think this has to be a corner piece. it is a corner piece in our relationship with china. we have to be willing to use every lever at our disposal in order to influence that relationship as china asked towards north korea. what are those things? in our legislation that passed congress, we not only put in place mandatory sanctions, but we put sanctions in place that do business with north korean entities when that money goes back, and it will go back, to proliferation activities or other sexual actions, items, businesses, practices in north korea. the administration has rolled out actions against a chinese entity, but the fact is that china was not very happy with this entity themselves, so we were asking china to do something against an entity that they were not pleased with, but would have taken the next step of actually going further into other areas.
every conversation we have with china ought to include an element of north korea. and you can't really say that we will just focus on proliferation or nuclear issues. you also have to bring in human rights issues, because as victor said, as bob pointed out in the report, a regime that is willing to torture its own people, deprive them of food while they are building a nuclear program, is willing to put that in the heartland of the united states, that's a nuclear weapon. we are to strengthen our resolve against china, and its willingness to and determinations to use its powers to influence the behavior of kim jong-un and the regime. michael: but that is uncomfortable with raising human rights issues more broadly, right? sen. gardner: look, china has its own issues that we should focus on, too. are they afraid to address north korean human rights violations when they know they have their
own? these are things we should address of the same time. but in the report that victor and bob put out, they talked about, why don't they have reports, naming nations that import the labor from north korea? that's a great idea. let's start naming nations that are enabling north korea's bad behavior and violations of human rights. let's bring attention of this. let's make sure every american understands what is happening to the people in north korea, what they are subjected to each and every day, the brutality of this regime. i don't think we should be afraid to use these levers of power. we know china is against those who are unwilling to use those levers of power. michael: to follow-up, victor, what is the nexus between slave labor and in the military programs in the north? how do you describe what is going on with money laundering
and all these attempts to get hard currency? i'm just curious how slave labor fits in? victor: north korea is eternally -- a terribly mismanaged economy. they made some very bad choices going back to the establishment of the state, some total of which is they have very little that they can trade in the open market for hard currency. one of the ways they seek hard currency is through proliferation. the other, which there has been more focus on lately, is the export of their labor, small armies, laborers that get sent to different countries, that do projects, often construction projects, other hard labor projects outside of international labor organization laws and rules, and the currency that is made from that goes back into state coppers, and we believe it then goes to activities related to proliferation, combining dual
use items for centrifuges. so, that's one element. the other element is that north korea does a lot of exporting coal. it is about the only export they have with the chinese. one of the organizations involved in that is an organization that has already been sanctioned by the north korean enforcement sanctions act and other acts. they are already a sanctioned company for violation of proliferation. the revenues for that are going back to supporting the program. we believe there is a direct link there. there is still a lot more research that could be done on this. the amount of money, there is a lot of speculation between 80 million and $200 million a year. for the most part, we don't suspect when that money comes back that it will go to fund afterschool programs or other
things in north korea. we are pretty certain that is going to the weapons programs. michael: senator lieberman, talk about this issue in the context of u.s. leadership in the world. why is it important for the united states to lead on this and not to delegate? mr. lieberman: well, the first reason is that this matters to us. it matters in terms of our national values, our purpose, but it also matters quite directly in terms of our security. there will be a debate as the new administration takes office as to what our role will be in the world, when the president-elect said certain things in the campaign that suggested we would go back -- i don't like to use the word isolationism, but that what -- that we would withdraw from the world and concentrate on america.
but our freedom and prosperity depends a lot on what happens around the world. the example of north korea is a powerful example, but the other thing to say is that we live in a world of instantaneous communications globally, so that what we do in one place is immediately known elsewhere. for instance, whatever position you took on the iran nuclear agreement, the fact that the agreement was signed and it appeared that our allies in the region, both in the art world and israel, were very upset about it, i think unsettled people. i had conversations with allies in asia, wow if china moves aggressively, on us or if kim jong-un proposes some kind of
compromise deal again. what i'm saying is, what we do with north korea will establish a very important precedent for what its leadership will be in the world, and it will, to be explicit, either encourage or discourage or unsettle our allies, and it may also encourage or discourage our enemies. the way we handle this is important beyond north korea, but north korea in my opinion is probably the most urgent, immediate threat that the new administration will face to our security. we've got to acknowledge, as president bush said at the outset, this is not easy, but whatever we have tried so far has not worked, because people continue to live in terrible conditions, totally repressed, enslaved.
and kim jong-un has increased his nuclear and missile capacity, so to me it is a time to get tough, support opposition groups, try to get the people of north korea more access to what is happening around the world. get tough with the sanctions, which are very important. this man is not going to make an agreement, as everybody seems to agree, unless he thinks the survival of his regime is on the line. we've got to convince him that how serious we are, including the potential for military action, which none of us want to take. michael: senator gardner, how strange or insecure are those relations right now with japan and south korea?
sen. gardner: i think one of the constants we have tried to focus on is building a strong relationship between japan and south korea, because as i mentioned earlier, that trilateral alliance will be an important part of enforcing action from china and enforcing the sanctions against north korea. we have made great strides over the past year in terms of helping build that relationship between the two nations, issues of japan and south korea, having some movement on that issue, historical issues that we have not seen in the past. i think it has helped build the relationship between the two. we have seen in the past two weeks the signing of a nuclear agreement. in the legislation we put forward in the senate, one of the keys was really focusing on high-level coordination of our administration and the
trilateral alliance. that has been a focus, making sure that high-level opportunities to converse what needs to be done with north korea to continue. in the past, we had situations where japan might have information, they would have to go to the u.s. military air force to give the information to the air force, but the air force would give it to korea instead of the two countries. that has been very good advancements. of course, we have issues in south korea now in terms of the government that are going to be worked out and resolved in some fashion or another, but we can't let what's happening in south korea today within the administration impact or effect the relationship between japan and south korea, and that is an important role for the united states to play. the united states must continue to bring those two nations together as the three of us work
on this issue. i do think the fact that they signed the intelligence sharing agreement in the midst of what is happening in south korea right now was a very important indication that they realize the importance of that relationship and the improvements they have made, and they are not going to let go of the advancements they have made between the two nations. michael: bob, if the north gets a reasonably accurate icbm, how does that change the diplomatic balance of power, the military balance of power? what would be the effect on the regime's actions, what they would you willing to do? robert: michael, that is a great question and lots of folks are struggling with. some have said things like, when the north koreans actually have a deliverable icbm with a nuclear warhead that can reach with some confidence american homeland, it will change
everything. that's one proposition. i think what people mean by that is that our allies will be vulnerable to a ballistic missile threat, but it will be different when we are so vulnerable. while most of us believe deterrence has worked over the years, decades with the soviet union and china, that there is something different about this north korean state and we should not have such confidence of deterrence when our ability to defend by denial is quite limited to ballistic missile capability. this is a long way around saying i don't take we are quite sure -- think we are quite sure what this will mean. my own view is that deterrence will work, even with north korea, but the new thing that will happen is that north korea will become vulnerable to preemption in a way that is not
now. i recently had an opportunity to meet with north koreans six weeks ago, and since their proposition is everything will change when we get this capability, i suggested that one might really change is their vulnerability. it will become eligible -- they will become eligible for preemption. i don't believe a president or administration would tolerate the launching of a north korean ballistic missile at the united states of america if he or she could do something about it. preemption would be on the table in ways it is not now. that would be new, and not what the north koreans would suspect is good news. we do not know what the north koreans think of their current nuclear capability.
do they believe that if they get into adventure again that the united states and the republic of korea will hesitate because north korea now has nuclear weapons? from our perspective, of long decades of dealing with the soviet union, russia, and china, we would not expect nuclear weapons to have that kind of influence over another state's activity, because they are not usable in the same way, but thinking this through, one wants to ask the question, what does kim jong-un think about his nuclear weapons? i actually don't know the answer to that. this is a very long-winded answer, i fear, that is going to the issue of what a good question is, that it's on people's minds. it is something to think about, but there are two ends to this stick.
i am suggesting that the north koreans, when in this position and figure it out, they will not be too pleased about it. michael: answer that question, in the back of the president's mind determines that this is a real red line or not? victor: first building on what bob said, let me try to crystallize it even more clearly. north korea in the last year has basically demonstrated or shown photos, messaging that they have standardized nuclear eyes were nucleariaturized warhead, that they have mission tested ballistic missiles that put guam within range. they have demonstrated solid
rocket fuel propellant, demonstrated mobile launch capabilities, and they are trying to develop the message of a submarine launched ballistic missile. everyone in the audience has seen at one point or another a cnn story where they say that north korea is stacking another rocket on launchpad. what is different this time is that they would be doing this when they have already said that we have an energized warhead now. if you are a u.s. national security planner and there is footage from cnn showing that they are stacking a missile, you have to wonder what is on top of that missile. they can say it is a satellite or a dummy warhead or something, but you just don't know. maybe there is a 5% chance they are lying and there actually is a nuclear warhead. you want to take that 5% chance. most will say no, they don't want to take that chance.
it has all sorts of impacts on u.s. declaratory policy. the place where it raises questions is allies in the region. there has been a series of new dialogues would south korea on extended appearance. deterrence. at the same time, there is a not insignificant group in south korea that says, well, maybe we should have our own nuclear weapons. japan sits on thousands of pounds of plutonium. reprocessed plutonium. there is a clear nuclear allergy in japan but as the situation changes dramatically with the north korean ability to target the united states, we do not know what the political and
strategic conversations in these countries are going to be. despite the best efforts of the united states to say "we have your back." >> one last question. do you think americans are prepared to do difficult things on this? it was pretty apparent in the syrian intervention that it weighed on the president's decision. is america at a point where it is willing to do large things? >> i had the opportunity to visit korea in august 2015 as chairman of the east asian subcommittee and i remember going up to the zone and i went to the reunification facilities, to freedom house. as we approach the line and looking over to north korea, there was a group of students on
the second story of the building and north korea and i did not know who they were so i have the colonel who was showing us the area and asked, who was that? most likely students who must be fairly well-situated in the area to be there in organized activities. i could not help but wonder, do those students looking over at us, is there hate in their hearts? looking over to south korea, saying, wow maybe someday we will be able to thrive as they have been able to thrive. and then the question of what happens here at home if that happens? will the people here understand what happened in the 1950's? will that you understand our
-- will they understand our commitment to the people? in syria, there are different shades of red lines. i think that is a big concern to leaders in south korea, around the world, and certainly to congress. we have to do a better job in congress in sharing with people, the american people, what it means. what has happened in north korea to give them the reason and resolve that helps them understand why we have such a defense commitment, security commitment, to the people of the peninsula. we must be absolutely resolved that our commitment is deep, deep red. that show of force. commitment.
training, military exercises. they must understand that before -- that the full deterrent of the united states extends to south korea, we must be unequivocal in that statement. we have to share that reads with desk -- we must share that with the people of the region. >> this is about leadership. part of leadership is education. if they actually responded, there would be great response from the american people. if we get to the point where the red line appears that the north koreans have the ability to hit across the united states with a nuclear armed missile, then it will take leadership two point dust -- to point
that out. but i think a person inside congress also has to wrestle with the consequences of not acting and this is not an easy decision to state the obvious i don't think the american people understand this specific circumstance. to take different action incapacitate a totalitarian regime and has the potential to hit the united states, i think the american people would not prefer that it would certainly support it. in other words, there first choice would be to support it as opposed to being vulnerable to a madman's missiles kind of nuclear weapons. >> it is fun to do a panel with the very best people in the field. so, thank you. >> thank you. [applause]
now from the george w. bush institute forum on north korea. you'll hear from former first lady laura bush talks about the work with refugees from north korea. >> good morning. i am the chief operating officer of a capital management firm, a family office based in new york city. i also serve on the board of liberty in north korea. a remarkable organization that helps north koreans escape to freedom. this is in issue near to my -- an issue near to my heart. in 1947, my grandmother, then a 27-year-old single mom and my
mother, then a five-year-old girl, began a long, harrowing journey to escape north korea. covering over 200 miles over 21 days and moving about only in darkness to avoid contact with north korean police and soldiers. they miraculously arrived in seoul, korea. fatigued and overwhelmed, but also overjoyed he and thankful. they donated all of the money in their position to a local church and restarted their lives from the bottom. they faced many challenges that -- but they would have been inspired by the following words from mrs. bush. literacy builds the foundation from freedom of poverty, freedom from disease, and freedom from oppression. my grandmother self-taught how to read and lead.
the opportunities in south korea and became a professor of nursing, serving countless children, students, patients, and elderly citizens. they also provided me and my brother with a foundation from poverty, disease, and oppression. it has been my honor and joy to have been part of the conversation with the wonderful staff at the bush institute in also like-minded koreans and other americans in helping our north korean friends build the same foundation for freedoms that would unleash their own opportunities, dreams, and potential. to that end, i am delighted to introduce mrs. bush, who has been instrumental in helping to get freedom for women and children around the world
through education. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in introducing mrs. laura bush. [applause] mrs. bush: thank you all. thank you, jensen. thank you for introducing me and thank you for telling the story of your courageous grandmother and mother. refugee stories like yours and like your story inspire all americans. public opinion research conducted by the bush institution show 70% of americans are aware of the human rights abuse in north korea. and, the same percent of americans believe it is important that we help refugees from north korea. but what few americans know is that there is already a small but growing community of north korean refugees living right here in the united states.
in 2004, president bush signed the north korea human rights act into law. that legislation supported funding to bring information to north koreans. even though north koreans are at risk of arrest, they still seek information, news, and entertainment from foreign radio, television, and other sources and we believe they have the right to receive it. the north korean human rights law led to the creation of the office of the special envoy for north korean human rights. ambassador bob king has done a terrific job to ensure that american diplomacy to give north korean rights the attention it deserves. thank you, bob, for your service. most importantly, the north
korean human rights law created a pathway for north korean refugees to seek asylum in in the united states. today, 200 men, women and children have traveled to the united states for a chance at a new life. think for a moment about the journey we just witnessed in the video. you are living in the most populated country on earth and -- most isolated country on earth and you make the decision to escape. you know you might be caught, arrested, or executed. you illegally cross to china where you risk being deported back into north korea. if you're a woman, you might become a victim of trafficking, forced prostitution, or marriage against your will. you journey across china to another country in southeast asia and if you are lucky to make it that far, you face a choice. for most, the only reasonable option is going to south korea where the language and the culture are familiar but a very brave few make the decision to
come to america and as you will hear in a moment, they are remarkable men and women. like any refugees, though, they face countless challenges. refugees typically seek about six months of formal support upon arriving in the united states. they are guided as they look for a place to live and a first job and they are taught some of the basics on how to navigate life in america. but then, refugees are expected to make it on their own. over the last two years, the bush institute has conducted two studies of north koreans living in the united states and what we found was encouraging. although it is difficult, most north koreans are adjusting well. they are working in some cases multiple jobs and providing for their families. when we asked them about their dreams and goals, several spoke
of their desire to improve themselves through education. what they find it difficult because of education and their -- but they find it difficult given the high cost of education and their own commitment to family and work. at the bush center, we want to help these refugees on their path to success and i am pleased to announce the scholarship in programs for north koreans living in the united states. we have worked with people around the country, especially in the korean-american community to raise money to kickstart the fund. nearly $300,000 has been raised for the scholarship, surpassing the original goal. they can see to study at accredited for your universities, community colleges, as well is that -- trade and vocational
programs. applications can be submitted as soon as january 2017 and the first awards will be announced this spring. we look forward to working with our neighbors at the community foundation of texas which will house and manage the fund. the bush center is proud to work with leaders in the korean-american community on this important initiative. as you will hear in the next panel, many refugees are already working to educate the public about the realities and north korea. -- in north korea. by standing with them we can help prepare the refugees to be ambassadors for the north korean people and to the voices for those who remain trapped beyond the iron curtain. thank you to all of you who have supported this effort. now, we invite others to join us. the success of these brave men and women brings us closer to the day when all north koreans can live it in freedom. thank you.
[applause] announcer: please welcome our second panel. the story of north korean refugees, moderated by michael garson. >> now, our discussion turns to the human dimension in these global events. i was often with george bush in the oval office when he met with dissidents and refugees from north korea. the meetings often started stiff formal -- it can be intimidating to meet the
president of the united states -- at the end of every meeting, the dissidents, defectors, and refugees knew the president was on their side. i remember one meeting with church leaders. at the end, the president prayed with them and said, now when i hear about human rights in china i will think about you. these frequent meetings gave the bush era policy a human face. that is part of what we are doing today. we have two of the most outspoken escapees living in the united states. we should remember the topic of the second study released today based on the lives and struggles of north korean escapees living in the united states. one way we can demonstrate a commitment to human rights in north korea is to support those who escaped it. many of them hope to return someday to a free and united korea. now to our panelists, grace escaped from north korea after the great
famine in which her family suffered unspeakable horrors. grace was expatriated twice but pursued her freedom with tenacity and courage. now, she has built a life. her sister is with us in the audience today. was orphaned in the great famine and left for himself and escaped to china where he was connected with the christian community and he eventually came to the united states as a refugee. now, he is at college finishing a degree. a remarkable story of success. we also honor a special envoy for north korean special rights. koreanuman -- for north
human rights. for three decades he is been a tireless and effective advocate for human rights in american foreign policy including his time working with a remarkable and much missed tom. ambassador king has done as much as anyone to raise the profile in our government. thank you all for joining us. joseph, why did you decide to come to america? a place where you had to learn a new language and navigate a strange culture. tell us how and why you came. joseph: sure. i think there are a few reasons. one was i was helped, assisted by american ngo and a nonprofit organization based in america. the person who came to ask me and led me to a consulate in china lived in america.
so, i thought going somewhere where i knew no one versus going to america where a new one that's where i knew at least one person. [laughter] joseph: so that is one reason. while i was waiting, at the american consulate in china, i had an opportunity to watch south korean dramas and i learned much about south korea through dramas and one thing i realized was south koreans are highly valued english-speaking individuals for hiring for jobs. so, i realized that end it was one part of it. later on, i realized how
complicated the issue of i guess south korean government was and they did not really want some north koreans going to america, choosing to go to america, because i guess the definition of "refugee" complicates the issues. the embarrassment of sending north korean defectors to the u.s., i think it is not something that should be embarrassed about. the south korean government has done a great job. you know, i don't think it is something they should have not -- they should be embarrassed about and i was
having an interview and they asked me, why do you want to go to america and i said, i want to have freedom. at the time, i did not even know what freedom means and i am still processing it. a lot of you asked, doesn't south korea also have freedom? that is something i did not think about. [laughter] joseph: but there was some tension. i just did not feel like being pushed to go to south korea. i said i am not sure why you keep asking me but like, you know, it is the opposite of what you are asking. [laughter] host: grace, can you address the same question? the story of how you got here and why. grace: first of all, it is my greatest honorable moment today in my life. so, thank you to bush institute and president bush for helping
north korean refugees, myself included. i can say that our three reasons for me to come to america, first is my family. i lost my father, my grandmother, two younger brothers and my oldest sister in north korea during the famine. and my mother, in the audience, she also had a lot of torture and hardship in north korea. so, first, the decision was made by my mother. she decided to come to america right after president bush the korean human rights act in 2004.
korean-american missionaries, philip buck in seattle, he brought the korean newspaper and helped us to read that. my mom read the newspaper and she changed her decision because the next day, we were supposed to depart from china to south korea but she changed her decision to come to america. actually, the pastor, he actually tried to convince us that well, it doesn't mean you can go to america right away and so we do not know when we have opportunity to help you go to america but my mom kept her decision and then we stayed in china and after many years we were able to come to america through the u.n.'s help but the biggest reason is my mom did not want to go to korea because we lost our family in north korea
and we know the north korean very -- how can i say this? government.l so, we tried to get away from that system. there are a lot of north korean spies in south korea and we also sought in china that north korean refugees going to south korea were going to an apartment and many north koreans lived together. so, it is a little similar, north korean communities, to move to south korea. so, my mom, well, i don't want to live the north korean lifestyle
anymore. she wanted to have a very different life and that is why she chose america and the second reason is at the similar time we read another news article mentioning about a 60-year-old grandma who went back to high school and then she pursued her education and graduated high school at 60 years old. so, my mom said, in asian culture, we do not have that kind of opportunity once you are of an older age and in america you have an opportunity to study so it is very important for you guys to go to america and get your education. so, that is the second reason and the third reason i can add is our family came to china, lived there for 10 years, back and forth, repatriated because we do not have any relatives in china, south korea, or the u.s. but the korean missionary, he was the one who helped us to get to live in america so it is a
little easier for us to choose america because we know him like joseph said. host: ambassador, since the united states released its does united nations -- since the united nations released its report in 2013, it seems there is a greater level of awareness and scrutiny on north korean rights. are you seeing traction at the united nations with our allies? to increase pressure on north korea on human rights? >> i do not think there is any question that has been the case. the decision to create the commission of inquiry in 2013, the reports came out in 2014, began a great year of tension. -- was given a great deal of attention. the one statistic mrs. bush mentioned that i was particularly interested in. 70% of americans are aware of
the human rights problems in north korea. a lot of that had to do with an inquiry headed by an australian -- by a supreme court justice, headed by and indonesia former prosecutor general, a civil society leader from serbia. the three of them did a mega job not only of writing a report of creating news information about what was going on in north korea regarding human rights and i think raising that profile has been important. the united nations has been an important effort in raising the profile of human rights. at the time, the north korean human rights act was passed in 2004, the united nations at that time the human rights commission had adopted the resolution criticizing north korea for its human rights record. we have continued through the
u.n. human rights council to adopt with overwhelming votes resolutions critical of the north koreans every year since that time. we have been able to raise the issue in general assembly as well with a resolution on the verge of being passed this year for the 12th or 14th time. we have adopted a resolution of the general assembly and in the last two years we have been able to raise the issue with the north korean security council in we will be doing that again sometime in the next couple weeks where we will again raise this issue. there is growing support and growing concern on the part of countries around the world with the human rights situation in north korea and i think what we have done has been helpful and not regard. -- in that regard. i want to mention a particular the bush institute efforts in terms of raising this issue with the reports they published.
extremely well done and helpful. the other thing particularly helpful is the effort to do something by raising the funds and providing programs that will create opportunities for north korean refugees that come to the united states. they deserve a great deal of the credit as well. host: you are both students. has it been easy to pursue your studies? what challenges are you facing? grace: for me, the biggest challenge i faced in the beginning was learning a new language. i think english is my third language but still i had a lot of hard times to understand some
lecturers, and it was very hard for me to express my thoughts as well. so, i had a hard time. the most hard times i felt was as a family member. i was the first person who can learn english and be able to speak a little bit english and so i had a lot of responsibility on my shoulders to make a choice for the family or like, translate the english version to korean for my family and help my mom decide and choose the choice so making a choice was one of the hard things for me. joseph: so, i mean, i came here without knowing any english but luckily i was placed in an american family where i was forced to learn english.
i think it was better in that case. i went to an american high school. i started taking classes and i finished in four years and why -- by the time i finished high school i felt almost like at home, i could speak english now. after high school, i decided to go to a community college in new york city and i did not feel -- i felt confident in my conversation level of english. i did not realize that after a transfer to four years, i guess there are higher expectations. i think i just started to realize that there is definitely a different between conversational english and proper english.
i just got to learn conversational english to express myself and feelings and even write some short essays but going to college it was completely a different word. -- different world. my first assignment, i was asked to write about the difference between wisdom and knowledge and socrates terms. 5-10 pages. first of all, do people actually write 10 pages? [laughter] joseph: even when i go to like dining rooms with my friends, they would start asking like, by the way, what did you think about the view of human nature? i don't even know who that is. there is definitely the different challenges from different stages but what i can say is i think
even know the challenges of that even though the challenges of learning the languages and cultures, guess those challenges were great in the sense i did not know what to do but i think at the same time our desire to help and change our motherland one day to help make a better place is as great as the challenges we face and i think we were able to overcome those challenges for many of us. i think in terms of like learning language and culture, i
think the time and process and motivation but i see one thing that has started for common losing north korean refugees for students in the united states is financially it is hard and definitely one of the biggest constraints because you don't really know the course or the newest information about different scholarships. we don't know the culture or information to apply to different scholarships. so, the lack of information i think that is one thing that is so challenging for us. for me, i have been lucky in the sense that i have been granted over 80% of college expense so i have been lucky but i also know at the same time the students, it is not same or greater capacity of i that i also or they are waiting to be pursue their dreams but desperate to
-- but it is difficult to pursue. that is why i think i was really grateful and glad that the bush institute initiated scholarship programs for the north korean defectives -- defectors. that is something really needed for our community and for north korean defectors. host: ambassador, how does north korea react to human rights? are they increasingly sensitive? do they ever change their behavior based on criticism? ambassador king: the north koreans and south koreans are in an interesting place. both governments claim to be over the area. what you have is two regimes that are very, very different. south korea's two times as large as north korea. the number of cell phones in
south korea, 1.3 per person. don't ask me why that one third is so important. in north korea, it has been 10% of people that have cell phones. sanctioned has been by the united states -- by the united nations frequently. south korea has a former foreign minister who is the secretary general of the united nations. this year, one was president of the human rights council so these two countries are vying for legitimacy to make the claim that they are the government of all korea. north korea is in a real bind because it has very little to make that claim. , theregard to human rights north koreans clearly are sensitive about what has been going on.
when north koreans were first madecized, countries suggestions that north koreans ought to try to make progress on areas that were not sensitive politically. dealing with the issues of people with disabilities. when the north koreans reported , theyyears later announced they had signed the convention on people with disabilities. progress, they were working with nongovernment organizations to deal with the issue. when the british hosted the olympics four years ago, there were a couple of south korean disabled athletes. sensitive.oreans are because of the nature of the political system, there -- they are not willing to go very far in terms of opening access to information.
they're willing to go a little bit but not willing to go all the way. to push themntinue because there are areas where they are vulnerable on human rights issues and me to press them on that. were you afraid initially to speak out? for northimportant korean escapees to tell their stories? grace: first, i can answer, yes, of speaking out to the public. first, to be afraid of long-distance family members who are still living in north korea.
, we are survivors, we believe in this free country and we are enjoying this freedom, thate don't want to stop we want to let people know. we want people to hear our stories to try to help more north koreans were still suffering in north korea. thing for myicult come at night, we still think of our family members who have already passed away. if the world knew about this maybe the world can do
something to prevent these tyrannies. my family members and other north korean refugees like 300,000 people, those people are individuals like moms and dads and my younger brothers, they should not have to die. believe that during the holocaust, people did not know about the holocaust. later on, we found out and we tried to help them. the current holocaust is happening in north korea. we have to open our ears to and try toocaust stop this more tragic journey in the future. -- this tragic tyranny in the future.
this is why it is important for us to tell our stories. [applause] joseph, can you talk about your goals? what you intend for the future and how to get there? i see many different paths, but i had a hard time deciding which one to choose. some days, i feel like bring up the awareness of human rights. maybe i should serve in government, make policy recommendations. sometimes i think of other things, going to china to help north korean defectors.
i think it changes every time and i'm fine with that, while i'm in college. i think when i'm in my 50's or -- i hope by the time i'm in my 50's, i don't have to worry about human rights issues but also in north korea, mostly. for that reason. i hope i don't have to think i hope i don't have to think about this difficult and chal while we are staying in
american coulter and the layers of learning, changing our dreams and goals every day. originally i found out -- i work at the dental office as a certified assistant and everyday i see our doctors performing the surgeries to our patients. i feel very happy when i see those patients came back to us and they show their appreciation to our doctors. inother way i think about --
north korea we don't have a lot of medical and dental treatments. maybe this is a good way to pursue my goal as a dentist, and once the north korea-south korea there's maybe a chance to go to north korea and help a lot of elders and children to avoid all those tooth pains. that's my current goal. goal, to be a dentist. [laughter] >> thank you for your service, and i really think joseph and grace for your grace, your example of courage and the pursuit of freedom is really inspiring.
thank you so much. >> thank you. looknight on c-span, a back at some of the notable congressional hearings of 2016, including investigations of flint, michigan striking water contamination and wells fargo fraudulently opening accounts for its customers. here is a brief look. you doing to make sure state employees communicate with you, especially regarding issues of great importance like the people of flint? >> i stood up in front of the entire state of michigan in my state of the state address and said, these people that made these terrible decisions that showed a clear lack of common sense failed us. but since they work for me, i am responsible for their actions. i take that responsibility and i
kick myself every day about what i could have done to do more. but i told people of michigan that there is a commitment, a passionate commitment, to say we are going to change the culture in these places, i apologize to the people up front. they deserve that. i understand why they are angry. it's terrible what they are having to go through. damage that some has been done as ranking member cummings said, but there's a lot we can do to help the people of flint address so many issues, and i'm committed to doing that. we are following through and getting that done. i'm going back to flint tomorrow to roll up my sleeves and keep working on that issue. no, cross-selling is all about pumping up wells stock price, isn't it? cross-selling is
shorthand for deepening relationships. >> let me stop you right there. you say no? here are the transcripts of 12 quarterly earnings calls that you participated cross-selling s shorthand for deepening relationships. >> in from 2012 to 2014, the three full years in which we know this scam was going on. i like to submit them for the record, if i may, mr. chair. thank you. these are calls where you tosonally made your pitch investors and analysts about why wells fargo is a great investment. and in all 12 of these calls, you personally cited wells fargo's success at cross selling retail accounts as one of the main reasons to buy more stock in the company. >> more from those hearings on prices,ichigan, epipen
wells fargo, and cable and satellite tv billing problems. tonight on c-span at 8:00 eastern. ♪ >> the presidential inauguration of donald trump is friday, january 20. c-span will have live coverage of all the days events and ceremonies. watch live on c-span and c-span.org, and listen live on the free c-span radio app. secretary of state john kerry today defended the u.s. decision to allow a u.n. resolution critical of israel to go forward. he said it was part of an effort to preserve a two state solution to the israeli-palestinian conflict. his speech this morning at the state department was an hour and
15 minutes. [applause] secretary kerry: thank you very much. allk you for your patience, of you, for those of you who celebrated christmas, i hope you have a wonderful christmas, happy hanukkah, and to everybody here, i know it's the middle of a holiday week. i understand. i wish you all a very productive and happy new year. candid want to share thoughts about an issue which for decades has animate the foreign policy dialogue here and
around the world. the israeli-palestinian conflict. throughout his administration, president obama has been deeply committed to israel and its security. that commitment has guided his pursuit of peace in the middle east. this is an issue which all of you know i have worked on intensively during my time as secretary of state for one simple reason. because the two state solution a the only way to achieve just and lasting peace between israelis and palestinians. it is the only way to ensure israel's future as a jewish and democratic state. living in peace and security with its neighbors. ensure a only way to future freedom and dignity for the palestinian people, and it is an important way of advancing
united states interests in the region. explain why that future is now in jeopardy. i provide some context for why we could not in good conscience stand in the way of a resolution at the united nations that makes must actt both sides now to preserve the possibility of peace. i'm also here to share my conviction that there is still a way forward, if the responsible parties are willing to act. and i want to share practical suggestions for how to preserve and advance the prospects for the just and lasting peace that both sides deserve. have an vital that we honest, clear eyed conversation about the uncomfortable truths and difficult choices, because
the alternative that is fast becoming the reality on the .round is in nobody's interest not the israelis, not the palestinians, not the region. and not the united states. now, i want to stress that there is an important point here. my job above all is to defend the united states of america. to stand up for and defend our values. and our interests in the world. if we were to stand idly by and know that in doing so we are allowing a dangerous dynamic to take hold which promises greater conflict and instability to a region in which we have vital interests, we would be derelict in our own responsibilities. regrettably, some seem to believe that the u.s. friendship means the u.s. must accept any policy regardless of our own interests, our own positions, our own words, our own principles. even after urging again and
again that the policy must change. friends need to tell each other .he hard truths and friendships require mutual respect. israel's permanent representative to the united nations who does not support a two state solution said after the vote last week, quote, it was to be expected that israel's greatest ally would act in accordance with the values that we share, and veto this resolution. respond today to that the united states did, in fact, vote in accordance with our values. just as previous u.s. administrations have done at the security council before us. they failed to recognize that this friend, the united states of america, that has 10 more to support israel than any in the
country, this friend that has blocked countless efforts to de-legitimize israel, cannot be true to our own of values or the stated democratic values of israel. properly defend and protect israel if we allow a viable two-state solution to be destroyed before our own eyes. that's the bottom line. the vote in the united nations was about preserving the two-state solution. that's what we were standing up for, israel's future as a jewish and democratic state living side by side in peace and security with its neighbors. on this point, i want to be very
clear. no american administration has done more for israel's security than barack obama's. the israeli prime minister himself has noted our, quote, unprecedented military intelligence cooperation. our military exercises are more advanced than ever. e hasssistance for iron dom saved countless israeli lives. we have consistently supported israel's right to defend itself by itself, including during actions in gaza that sparked great controversy. time and again we have demonstrated that we have israel's back. we have strongly opposed boycotts to investment campaigns and sanctions targeting israel in international forums. whenever and wherever its legitimacy was attacked, and we have fought for its inclusion across the u.n. system. in the midst of our own
financial crisis, and budget deficits, we repeatedly increased funding to support israel. of our, more than 1/2 entire global foreign military financing goes to israel. concluded an, we historic memorandum of understanding that exceeds any military assistance package the united states has provided to any country at any time. and that will invest in cutting-edge missile-defense and sustain israel's qualitative military edge for years to come to that is the measure of our support. this commitment to israel's security is very personal to me. on my first trip to israel as a young senator in 1986, i was captivated by a special country. one that i immediately admired and soon grew to love. over the yeras, like so many
others who were drawn to this extraordinary place, i have in the deadda, swum sea, driven from one biblical city to another. i've also seen the dark side of hezbollah's rocket storage facilities just across the border in lebanon, walked through the exhibits of the hell of the holocaust at yad vashem, stood on the golan heights and piloted an israeli jet over the tiny airspace of israel, which would make anyone understand the importance of security to the israelis. came athose experiences steadfast commitment to israel's security that has never wavered in all my time in the senate or my four years as secretary. i often visited west bank communities where i met palestinians struggling for basic freedom and dignity amidst the occupation, passed by
military checkpoints that can make even the most routine daily trips to work or school an ordeal, and heard from business leaders who could not get the permits they needed to get their products to the market, and families who have struggled to secure permission just to travel for needed medical care. and i have witnessed firsthand the ravages of a conflict that has gone on for far too long. i have seen israeli children whose playgrounds had been hit by katusha rockets. i visited shelters next to schools in quiryat shemona. the kids had 15 seconds to get to after a warning siren went off. i've seen the devastation of war in the gaza strip, where palestinian girls played in the rubble of a bombed out building. no children, israeli or palestinian, should have to live like that. difficultiesbvious that i understood when i became
ew i hady of state, i knw to do everything in my power to help end this conflict. and i was grateful to be working for president obama, who was prepared to take risks for peace, and was deeply committed to that effort. u.s.evious administrations, we have committed our influence and resources to trying to resolve the arab-israeli conflict because yes, it would serve american interests to stabilize a volatile region and fulfill america's commitment to the survival, security, and well-being of an israel at peace with its arab neighbors. despite our best efforts over the years, the two-state solution is now in serious jeopardy. the truth is that trends on the ground, violence, terrorism, incitement, settlement expansion, and the seemingly
endless occupation, they are combining to destroy hopes for peace on both sides and increasingly cementing and a reversible one state reality that most people do not actually want. today there are a similar number of jews and palestinians living between the jordan river and mediterranean sea. they have a choice. they can choose to live together in one state or they can separate into two states. but here is a fundamental reality. if the choice is one state, israel can either be jewish or democratic. it cannot be both. and it won't ever really be at peace. the palestinians will never fully realize their vast potential in a homeland of their
own with a one-state solution. now, most on both sides .nderstand this basic choice and that is why it is important that polls of israelis and palestinians show that there is still strong support for the two state. and that is why it is important .hat solution in theory they just don't believe it can happen. after decades of conflict, many sidenger see the other as people, only as threats and enemies. both sides continue to push a narrative that plays to people's fears and reinforces the worst stereotypes, rather than working to change perceptions and build up belief in the possibility of peace. the truth is, the extraordinary polarization of this conflict extends beyond israelis and palestinians. contentf both sides are
to reinforce this with -- you're with us or against us mentality. where to often anyone who questions palestinian actions is an apologist for the occupation, and anyone who disagrees with israel's policy is cast as anti-israel or even an ti-semitic. that is one of the most striking realities about the current situation. this critical decision about the one state or two states, is effectively being made on the ground every single day, despite the expressed opinion of the majority of the people. the status quo is leading and perpetualate occupation. but most of the public either ignores it or has given up hope that anything can be done to change it. and with that passive resignation, the problem only gets worse. the risks get greater. the choices are narrowed.
this sense of hopelessness among israelis is exacerbated by the continuing violence, terrorist attacks against civilians and incitement which are destroying believe in the possibility of peace. let me say it again, there is absolutely no justification for terrorism. and there never will be. the most recent wave of palestinian violence has included hundreds of terrorist attacks in the past year, including stabbings, shootings, vehicular attacks, and bombings, many by individuals who have been radicalized by social media. yet the murderers of innocents are still clarified -- glorified on websites, including showing attackers and to palestinian leaders following attacks. and despite statements by president abbas and his party's leaders making clear their opposition to violence, too
often they send a different message by failing to condemn specific terrorist attacks and naming public squares, stre ets, and schools after terrorists. president obama and i made it clear to the palestinian leadership countless times publicly and privately that all incitement to violence must stop . we have consistently condemned violence and terrorism and even condemned the palestinian leadership for not condemning it . far too often the palestinians have pursued efforts to de-legitimize israel in international forum. we have strongly oppose these initiatives, including the recent wholly unbalanced and resolutiony unesco regarding jerusalem. we have made clear our strong opposition to palestinian efforts against israel at the icc, which only sets back the prospects for peace.
and we all understand that the palestinian authority has a lot more to do to strengthen its institutions and improve governance. hamas continues to pursue an extremist agenda. israel'sse to accept very right to exist. they have a one state vision of their own, all of the land is palestine. and other radical factions are responsible for the most explicit forums of incitement to violence, many of you is that you are truly appalling. and they are willing to kill innocents in israel and put the people of gaza at risk to advance that agenda. compounding this, the humanitarian situation in gaza, exacerbated by the closings of the crossings, is dire. gaza is home to one of the world's densest concentrations of people enduring extreme
hardships with few opportunities, 1.3 million za'sle out of ga population of 1.8 million are in need of daily assistance. food, shelter. most have electricity less than half the time, and only 5% of the water is safe to drink. despite the urgency of these needs, hamas and other militant groups continue to re-arm and dinner -- diapered construction materials to build more tunnels, threatening more attacks on israeli civilians that no government can tolerate. time, we have to be clear about what is happening in the west bank. the israeli prime minister publicly supports a two state solution. is the current coalition most right wing in israeli history with an agenda driven by the most extreme elements. the result is that policies of
this government that the prime minister himself just described as more committed to settlements history in israel's are leading in the opposite direction. they are leaning towards one state. hasact, israel increasingly consolidated control over much of the west bank for its own purposes, effectively reversing the transitions to greater palestinian civil authority than was called for by the oslo accords. i don't think most people in israel, certainly in the world, have any idea how broad and systematic the process has become. but the facts speak for themselves. the number of settlers in the roughly 130 israeli settlements east of the 1967 lines has steadily grown. the settler population in the west bank alone, not including east jerusalem, has increased by
nearly 270,000 since oslo. including 100,000 just since 2009, when president obama's term began. there's no point in pretending that these are just a large settlement blocks. nearly 90,000 settlers are living east of the separation barrier that was created by itself, in the middle of what any reasonable definition would be the future palestinian state. and a population of these distant settlements has grown by 20,000 just since itself, in thf 2009. just recently, the government approved a significant new settlement well east of the barrier, closer to jordan than to israel. what does that say to palestinians in particular? but also, to the united states and the world, about israel's intentions? emphasize.
this is not to say that the settlements are the whole or even primary cause of this conflict. of course they are not. nor can you say that if the settlements were suddenly removed, you would have peace. without a broader agreement, you would not. and we understand that in a final status agreement, certain settlements would become part of israel to account for the changes that have taken place over the last 49 years. we understand that. including the new democratic ities that exist on the ground. they would have to be factored in. but if more and more settlers are moving into the middle of palestinian areas, it's going to be that much harder to separate. that much harder to imagine transferring sovereignty. and that is exactly the outcome that some are purposefully accelerating.
let's be clear. settlement expansion has nothing to do with israel's security. many settlements actually increase the security burden on the israeli defense forces. of the settler movement are motivated by ideological imperatives that entirely ignore legitimate palestinian aspirations. among the most troubling illustrations at this point has been a proliferation of settlor outposts that are illegal under israel's own laws. they are often located on private palestinian land, and strategically placed in locations that make two states impossible. they're over 100 of these outposts. and since 2011, nearly 1/3 of them have been or are being legalized. despite pledges by past israeli governments to dismantle many of
them. now leaders of the settler movement have advanced unprecedented new legislation that would legalize most of those outposts. for the first time, it would apply israeli-domestic law to the west bank, rather than military law, which is a major step towards the process of annexation. which is a major step toward the process of annexation. proponents said proudly, and i quote, "today, the israeli knesset moved from establishing a palestinian state toward israeli sovereignty in judeo and samaria." even the israeli attorney general said that the draft law is unconstitutional and a violation of international law. you may hear from advocates that the settlements are not an obstacle to peace because the
settlers who do not want to leave can just stay in palestine like the arab israelis who live in israel, but that misses a critical point, my friends. the arab israelis are citizens of israel, subject to israel's law. does anyone here really believe the settlers will submit to ? lestinian law in palestine likewise, some supporters of the settlersts argue the could just stay in their settlements and remain as israeli citizens in their separate enclaves in the middle of palestine, protected by the idf. there are over 80 settlements east of the separation barrier, many located in places that would make a contiguous palestinian state impossible. does anyone seriously think that if they just stay where they are, you could still have a viable palestinian state? , "why can't we
build in the blocks which everyone knows will eventually be part of israel?" the reason -- building there or anywhere else in the west bank results in such push back is that the decision of what constitutes a block is being made unilaterally by the israeli government without consultation, without the consent of the palestinians, and without granting the palestinians a reciprocal right to build in what will be by most accounts part of palestine. bottom line, without a agreement -- agreement, the lines become part of contention and that is why we are here where we are. you may hear that these remote settlements are not a problem because they only take up a very small percentage of the land. again and again, we have made it clear -- it's not just a question of the overall amount of land available to the west
bank. it's if the land can be connected or broken up into small parcels like a swiss cheese that could never constitute a real state. that areoutposts built, the more settlements expand, the less possible it is to create a contiguous state. in the end, a settlement is not just the land that it's on. it's also what the location does to the movement of people, what it does to the ability of a road to connect people one community to another, what it does to the that is statehood chipped away with each new construction. no one thinking seriously about peace can ignore the reality of what the settlements pose to ,hat piece, but the problem obviously, goes well beyond settlements. trends indicate a comprehensive effort to take the west bank
land for israel. and prevent any palestinian development there. today, the 60% of the west bank known as area c, much of which was supposed to be transferred to palestinian control long ago under the's lower courts, much off-limitsfectively to palestinian development. beentoday has essentially taken for exclusive use by israel, simply by unilaterally designating it as state land or including it within the jurisdiction of regional settlement councils. flourish in the jordan river valley, and israeli resorts the shores of the dead sea. a lot of people do not realize this. they line the shore of the dead sea where palestinian development is not allowed. in fact, almost no private palestinian building is approved in area c at all.
only one permit was issued by israel in all of 2014 and 2015. while approvals for hundreds of settlement units were advanced during the same time. moreover, palestinian structures in area c that do not have a permit from the israeli military are potentially subject to demolition and are currently being demolished at an overrically higher rate -- 1300 palestinians, including over 600 children, have been displaced by demolitions in 2016 alone, more than any previous year. so the settlor agenda is defining the future of israel, and their stated purpose is clear -- they believe in one state -- greater israel. in fact, one prominent minister who heads a pro-settler party declared just after the u.s. election, and i quote, "the era of the two-state solution is
ver." many other coalition ministers publicly reject the palestinian state, and they are increasingly getting their way with plans are hundreds of new units in jerusalem recently announced and talk of a major new settlement building effort in the west bank to follow. concerned? e so why does this matter? ask yourself these questions -- what happens if that agenda succeeds? where does that leave? living the palestinians under military occupation in areas a and b, where they have limited autonomy. they are restricted in their daily movements by a web of checkpoints and not able to travel into or out of the west bank without a permit from the
israelis, so if there is only one state, you would have millions of palestinians permanently living in segregated in claims in the middle of the west bank with no real political rights, separate legal education and transportation systems, fast income disparities under a permanent military occupation that deprives them of the most basic freedoms. separate and unequal is what you would have. and nobody can explain how that works. would an israeli except living that way? livingn american accept that way? will the world except it? if an occupation becomes permanent over the time the palestinian authority could simply dissolve, turn over authorities to the israelis, what would happen then? who would administer the schools and hospitals and on what basis? does israel want to pay for the billions of dollars of lost international assistance that the palestinian authority now
receives? with the israeli defense force police the streets of every single palestinian city and town? to aould israel respond growing civil rights movement for palestinians demanding the right to vote or widespread protest and unrest across the west bank? how does israel reconcile a permanent occupation with democratic ideals? how does the u.s. continue to defend that and still live up to our own democratic ideals? nobody has ever provided good answers to those questions because there are not any. there would be an increasing risk of more intense violence between palestinians and settlers and complete despair among palestinians that would create very fertile ground for extremists. with all the external threats that israel faces today, which we are very cognizant of and working with them to deal with, does it really want an
intensifying conflict in the west bank? how does that help israeli security? how does that help the region? the answer is it doesn't, which is precisely why so many senior israeli military and intelligence leaders, past and present, believe the two-state solution is the only real answer for israel's long-term security. know -- ife do israel goes down the one-state path, it will never have true peace with the rest of the arab world, and i can say that with certainty. the arab countries have made clear that they will not make peace with israel without resolving the israeli-palestinian conflict. that's not where their loyalties lie. that's not where their politics are, but there is something new here. and countering
iran possibly stabilizing activities, in fighting s as well as diversifying their economies have created real possibilities for something different if israel takes advantage of the opportunities for peace. i have spent a great deal of time with key arab leaders exploring this, and there's no doubt that they have a fundamentally different relationship with israel. that was stated in the arab peace initiative years ago, and in all my recent conversations, arab leaders have confirmed their readiness in the context of israeli-palestinian peace, not just to normalize relations, on securingopenly that peace with significant regional security cooperation. it's waiting. it's right there. many have shown a willingness to support serious israel he palestinian negotiations and to take steps on the path to
normalization to relations, including public meetings, providing there is a meaningful progress towards the two-state solution. my friends, that is a real opportunity that we should not allow to be missed. questiones one final -- is ours the generation that gives up on the dream of a jewish democratic state of israel living in peace and security with its neighbors? because that is really what is at stake. that is what informed our hope at the security council last week, the need to preserve the two-state solution, and both sides in this conflict must take responsibility to do that. we have repeatedly and emphatically stressed to the palestinians that all in incitement to the violence must stop. we have consistently condemned all violence and terrorism, and we have strongly opposed
unilateral efforts to delegitimize israel in .nternational fora we've made countless public and private exhortations to the israelis to stop the march of .ettlements in literally hundreds of conversations with prime minister netanyahu, i've made clear that continued settlement activity would only increase pressure for an international response. we've all known for sometime that the palestinians were intent on moving forward in the with a settlement resolution, and i advised the prime minister repeatedly that further settlement activity only invited u.n. action. yet, the settlement activity only increased, including advancing the unprecedented theslation to legalize outpost that the prime minister himself repeatedly warned could expose israel to action at the security council and even prosecution before
deciding to support it. in the end, we could not in good conscience protect the most extreme elements of the settler movement as it tries to destroy the two-state solution. we could not in good conscience turn a blind eye to palestinian actions that fan hatred and violence. it is not in u.s. interest to help anyone on either side create a unitary state, and we may not be able to stop them, but we cannot be expected to defend them, and it is certainly not the role of any country to vote against its own policies. that's why we decided not to block the resolution that makes clear both sides have to take steps to save the two-state solution while there is still time. we did not take this decision lightly. the obama administration has always defended israel against any effort at the u.n. and any .nternational fora
that has not changed. did not change with this vote. but remember -- it is important to note that every united states administration -- republican and democratic -- has opposed is contrary to the prospect for peace, and action council is security far from unprecedented. in fact, previous administrations of both political parties have allowed resolutions that were critical of israel to pass, including on settlements when dozens of occasions under george w. bush alone, the council passed six resolutions that israel opposed, including one that endorsed a plan calling for a complete freeze on settlements, including natural growth.
the leadad you paragraph from a "new york times" story dated december 23. i quote, "with the united states abstaining, the security council adopted a resolution today strongly deploring israel's handling of the disturbances in , whichupied territories the resolution defined as including jerusalem. all of the 14 other security council members voted in favor." my friends, that story was not written last week. it was written december 20 3, 19 87. 26 years to the day that we voted last week when ronald reagan was president. pressure,te growing the obama administration held a strong line against any u.n. action. we were the only administration since 1967 that had not allowed any resolution to pass that
israel opposed. in fact, the only time in eight years the obama administration exercised its veto at the united nations was against a one-sided settlements resolution in 2011. that resolution did not mention incitement or violence. let's look at what has happened since then. since then, there have been over 30,000 settlement units advanced through some stage of the planning process. that's right -- over 30,000 settlement units advanced, notwithstanding the positions of the united states and other countries, and if we had vetoed this resolution just the other day, the united states would have been giving license to further unfettered settlement construction that we fundamentally oppose. we reject the criticism that this vote abandons israel. on the contrary, it is not this
resolution that is isolating israel. it is the permanent policy of settlement construction that risks making peace impossible. virtually every country in the world other than israel opposes settlements. that includes many of the friends of israel, including the united kingdom, france, russia, all of whom voted in favor of the settlements resolution in 2011 that we vetoed and again this year along with every other member of the council. in fact, this resolution simply reaffirms statements made by the security council on the legality of settlements over several decades. .t does not break new ground in 1978, the state department thel advisor advised congress of his conclusion that the israeli government plus program of establishing civilian settlements in the occupied territory is inconsistent with international law, and we see no
affect that then to fundamental conclusion. you may have heard that some criticized this resolution for calling east jerusalem occupied ,erritory, but to be clear there was absolutely nothing new in last week's resolution on .hat issue it was one of a long line of security council resolutions that included east jerusalem as part of the territories occupied by israel in 1967, and that includes resolutions passed by the security council under president reagan and president george h w bush. and remember that every u.s. , alongtration since 1967 with the entire international community, has recognized east jerusalem as among the territories that israel occupied .n the six-day war now i want to stress this point -- we fully respect israel's
historic and religious ties to the city and to its holy sites. we do not question that. this resolution in no manner prejudge is the outcome of permanent status negotiations on east jerusalem, which must, of course, reflect those historic ties and the realities on the ground. that's our position. we still support it. we also strongly reject the notion that somehow the united states was the driving force behind this resolution. the egyptians and palestinians had long made clear to all of us, to all of the international tomunity their intention bring a resolution to a vote before the end of the year, and we communicated that to the israelis, and they knew it anyway. the united states did not draft or originate this resolution, nor did we put it forward. it was drafted by egypt.
it was drafted and i think isroduced by egypt, which one of israel's closest friends in the region in coordination with the palestinians and ofers, and during the time the process as it went out, we made clear to others, including those on the security council, that it was possible that if the resolution were to be balanced and were to include references ,o incitement and to terrorism that it was possible that the united states would then not if it was balanced and fair. that is a standard practice with resolutions at the security council. the egyptians and palestinians and many others understood that if the text were more balanced, it was possible we would not block it. but we also made crystal-clear that the president of the united states would not make a final
decision about our own position until we saw final text. in the end, we did not agree with every word in this resolution. there are important issues that are not sufficiently addressed or even addressed at all, but we could not in good conscience that condensedon violence and incitement and reiterates what has been for a long time the overwhelming consensus and international view on settlements and calls for the parties to start taking constructive steps to advance the two-state solution on the ground. ultimately, it will be up to the israeli people to decide if the unusually heated attacks that israeli officials have directed toward this administration best serve israel's national interest and its relationship with an ally that has been steadfast and is best in its support, as described. those attacks, alongside
allegations of u.s.-led conspiracy and other manufactured claims, distract attention from what the substance of this vote was really all about. we all understand that israel aces very serious threat in very tough neighborhood. israelis are rightfully concerned about making sure there is not a new terrorist haven right next door to them, often referencing what has happened with gaza, and we understand that, and we believe there are ways to meet those are fully israelis justified in decrying attempts to legitimize their state and question the right of a jewish state to exist, but this vote was not about that. it was about actions that israel ease and palestinians are taking that are increasingly rendering a two-state solution impossible. it was not about making peace .ith palestinians now it was about making sure that peace with palestinians would be possible in the future.
we all understand israel faces extraordinary serious threats in a very tough neighborhood. in israelis are correct making sure there is not a terrorist haven right on the border, but this vote -- i cannot emphasize enough -- is of about the possibility arriving at an agreement that is going to resolve that overnight or in one year or two years. this is about a longer process. this is about how we make peace the the palestinians in future but preserve the capacity to do so. so how do we get there? ? w do we get there since the parties have not yet been able to resume talks, the u.s. and the middle east quartet have repeatedly called on both sides to independently demonstrate a genuine commitment to the two-state solution, not just with words, but with real
actions and policies, to create the conditions for meaningful negotiations. we have called for both sides to take significant steps on the ground to reverse current trends and send a different message, a clear message, that they are prepared to fundamentally change the equation without waiting for the other side to act. we have pushed them to comply underasic commitments their own prior agreements in order to advance a two-state reality on the ground. we have called for the palestinians to do everything in their power to stop violence and incitement, including publicly and consistently condemning acts of terrorism and stopping the glorification of violence, and we have called on them to continue efforts to strengthen their own institutions and to improve governments, transparency, and accountability, and we have hamased that the, -- the
arms buildup and military activity in gaza must stop. we have called on israel to end policy of settlement construction and expansion, of taking land for exclusive israeli use and denying palestinian development. to reverse the current process, the u.s. and our partners have encouraged israel to resume the transfer of greater civil authority to the palestinians consistent with the transition that was called for by oslo, and we have made clear that significant progress across a range of sectors, including housing, agriculture, and natural resources, can be made without negatively impacting israel's legitimate security needs. and we called for significantly easing movement and access restrictions to and from gaza with due consideration for israel's need to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks.
--let me stress here again none of the steps i just talked about would negatively impact israel's security. let me also emphasize -- this is not about offering limited economic measures that perpetuate the status quo. we are talking about significant steps that would signal real progress towards creating two states. that's the bottom line. if we are serious about the two-state solution, it's time to start implementing it now, advancing the process of separation now in a serious way could make a significant theerence in saving two-state solution and in building confidence in the that thisf both sides
is indeed possible and much progress can be made in advance of negotiations that can lay the foundation for negotiations as contemplated by the oslo process. in fact, these steps will help create the conditions for successful talks. in the end, we all understand that a final status agreement can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties. we have said that again and again. we cannot impose the peace. there are other countries in the believe it is our job to dictate the terms of the solution in the security council. others want us to simply recognize the palestinian state absent an agreement, but i want areake clear today -- these not the choices we will make. we choose instead to draw on the experiences of the last eight years, to provide a way forward when the parties are ready for
serious negotiations in a place where the narratives from the past how are fully informed and mold the present. it's important to understand the history. we mark this year and next a milestonemilestones .- a series of milestones 100 years ago, the first zionist conference was convened by a group of jewish emissaries who believe the only response to the waves of anti-semitic horrors sweeping across europe was to create a state in the historic home of the jewish people, where their ties to the land went back centuries, a state that could defend its borders, protect its people, and live in peace with its neighbors. that was the vision. that was the modern beginning, and it remains the dream of
israel today. the united nations general assembly resolution 181 finally paved the way to making the state of israel a reality. the concept was simple -- to create two states for two .eoples, one jewish, one arab to realize the national aspirations of jews and palestinians. israel and the plo referenced resolution 181 in their respective declarations of independence. united states recognized israel seven minutes after its creation. from its birth, israel had to fight for its life. palestinians also suffered 1948 warin the including many who had lived in generations in the land that had long been their home, too.
when israel celebrates its anniversary in 2018, the palestinians will mark a very different anniversary -- 70 years since what they call the catastrophe. next year will also mark 50 years since the end of the six-day war when israel again fought for its survival and palestinians will again marked just the opposite security council resolution 242 which called for the withdrawal of israel's territory that it occupied in 1967 in return for peace and security orders as the basis for ending the conflict. it has been more than 20 years. since israel and the plo signed their first agreement. the oslo accords. and the plo formally recognized israel. both sides committed to a plan to transition of much of the