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tv   Washington Journal Jamie Mc Intyre Discusses U.S. Missile Defense  CSPAN  March 13, 2017 9:23am-10:02am EDT

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committed to that speed of action. >> watch communicators tonight at 8 eastern on c-span 2. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily n. 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. >> "washington journal" continues. host: look at how your tax dollars are spent, our weekly your money segment. this morning to look at 180 billion dollar anti-missile defense program set up in place for preventing north korea launches or defending against north korea launches. our guest is jamie mcintyre, long-time washington defense and national security report sxer senior writer with washington examiner. if pyongyang were to launch a
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missile this morning, test missile or otherwise, what is the first step in u.s. defense? guest: well, the first thing the u.s. strategic command would have to determine along with pacific command, does the missile actually pose a threat to the united states or allies, japan, south korea? they do that by tracking trajector and he speed of the missile. we saw north korea launch medium range missiles into the sea of japan, no attempt to shoot those down, it was determined they would fall harmlessly into the sea, even though they were heading toward the northern coast of japan. determine if it was a threat f. they were going to try to shoot down north korean missile, number of systems employed. u.s. has ballistic missile defense system based on layers and redushgs undancy, you don't want one shot at a missile. they have the aegis system, on u.s. and japanese ships in the
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pacific and it is able to track a missile and shoot it down in as trajectory using standard missile. and there is interconnected systems, we have the thaad system that is ground-based system that has powerful radars, they would communicate with the ships and we have land-based intercepters based in alaska and california that if missile were to be very high in space and heading for the u.s. mainland, those ground-based intercepters would attempt to shoot it down. host: how quickly will we notice a missile being launch? ed guest: we have satellite surveillance and we watch the north koreans closely. we have a pretty good idea when they are about to do something. the latest missile test, it was a little worrisome, not the missile itself, which was not necessarily new technology, but the developing better mobile
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launchers, this way they can have the missile on launcher, it can be hidden somewhere, drive out to a location set up and shoot very quickly and that doesn't give the united states same amount of warning, so when you talk about missile defenses, there is 3 places you can shoot down a missile. boost stage on the way up, you know, in the mid-course when it is in space, or the terminal phase when it is on the way down. right now we don't have good technology to shoot down a missile in the boost phase and that is where a lot of research is going on now. >> joining us to talk about and in particular the north korean missile anti-defense program, we do this as united states is unrolling or unveil thanksgiving new terminal high altitude area defense, thaad system. >> it is pronounced thaad. they changed the name, it is in the terminal phase. so the united states has had
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this system for a while, tested it, this is actually in tests, turned out to be quite effective. you may recall, over the years, the united states spent billions on missile defense, hearing about failed tests, you know, from time to time, because this is -- i started to say tis not rocket science, it is not technology that is beyond our capability, it is difficult and it takes a lot of coordinating of sensors and radars to do. over time these have gotten more successful and the thaad system is quite effective. -- protect the threat from north korean missiles, a system deployed and set up quickly, but it hasn't deployed very quickly because of political reasons, not technical reasons. south korea is you should
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pressure from china not to accept this system because china see its as something, first of all, has powerful radar that can see into china and it is aimed at defending against north korea, could neutralize chinese missiles, they are not happy about it, and putting pressure on south korea not to accept deployment. host: jamie mcintyre talking about terminal high altitude area defense. north korean missile launches. we welcome your calls in the conversation, 202-748-8000 for democrats. all others, 202-748-8002. roll out last week of the thaad system, delivery to south korea, missile shield arrive nothing south korea. trip by the secretary of state, tillerson, travel to the region this week on trip that will include stop necessary japan, south korea and china.
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state department officials says the threat posed by north korea high on mr. tillerson agenda. what message will he be bringing? >> i'd be surprised if it is not the only thing on his agenda that is the issue preeminent in that area. of course he'll be talking to south korea about continuing with the thaad deployment, despite the pressure from china. china putting economic pressure on the south. the korean war didn't end with peace agreement, it just ended
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with seization of hostility, never been a peace agreement. the u.s. and south korea are linked, unlike places where rising tension, you know there might be debate in congress, should we go to war or do something nsouth korea, obligated by treaty to work with the republic of korea to defend the southern korean peninsula. this missile system be deployed there. host: the $180 billion, is that for anti-missile efforts there? guest: i put that number in one of my stories, i tried to figure out what we spent from the time we got serious about it. go back all the way to the beginning of when president reagan was talking about star wars, you know, strategic defense initiative, you could figure we spent $300 billion trying to develop ways to shoot down a missile with a missile
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over the years. looking back at the point we started developing the current system, multi-layered system, you know, that is good estimate of what we spent over the last 20 years on everything, ground-base system, ship-based system, the thaad system, patriot system, which we may remember from the -- host: including land-based systems in the united states? guest: that is the whole thing. the knock against missile defense, people said, they can't really work, they can only if they work, can be able to shoot down limited number of missiles, won't be able to handle decoy necessary space. these are technological problems the united states has been working on and one thing you can look at, how do adversaries view the systems is whether iran, russia, china, they all think they work, they are convinced these are effective systems that could neutralize the threat, that is indication there. hoeblth richard in mulleden,
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massachusetts, independent line. caller: good morning. my personal point of view, this is a big scare tactic to get the american people behind big budget we have for the military and development of the military. has no intention of bombing us or north korea, or i mean japan or china, this is a big, every time the budget comes sxup more money comes up, shooting missiles and you know, south korean ship, and north korea did it and all this stuff, big scare tactic to get us behind the budge sxet thank you very much for listening to me. guest: if you believe this is bluster from the north korea ans, you have to say you don't take kim jong-un at his word
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because he said specifically that his goal is to develop a missile that can reach the united states and pop it with nuclear warhead to threaten the united states with nuclear attack. that is his stated goal. why does he want to do that? he wants to have iron clad guarantee his regime will be able to hold on to power and he sees nuclear weapons as the way to guarantee that. north korea is constantly paranoid there is going to be some invasion from the south. the u.s. is involved right now in massive military exercises with the south koreans, full eagle, they do it every year. 300,000 forces from the republic of korea and smaller number of u.s. forces take part in this annual exercise and every year north korea says they believe this is a rehearsal for invasion of the north and they get issues rhetoric, but there was a time i
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think you could maybe five, 10 years ago, you could dismiss north korean threat saying they don't have the ability to do this, it would be suicide, they would never do this, when you see what they have done, moshging toward getting this capability, i think it would be foolish not to take that somewhat seriously and the key about missile defense, that is your last resort, you want to pressure the north korean regime with sanction and pressure, but the same time, if the security of the united states is at stake, say the fate of city on the west coast that could be hit with nuclear weapon, i think you would want to have some sort of defense you would be able to employ in the worst case scenario. host: here is new jersey, we welcome pat on the republican line. caller: hi, i have two quick questions for you. the first one is how valid is thaad for south korea? is there enough time to respond
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to any kind of attack because the missile wouldn't have to travel that far to do damage. number two, you said they had been developing better mobile launchers, does that mean that doesn't that limit the range of the missile if it is not in fixed silo, doesn't that limit the size of the missile and how far it can go and how effective would it be and how do we defend against it? guest: it is dichl difficult to defend against it. telefor teleporter, but in order for those missiles to be effective, they need to have solid fuel because a missile you put on launch pad and fill with luquid fuel, you can see that, see the fuelling process, take that on the launch pad easily, if you are able to use solid fuel in your missile, cuhave
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missiles that are on launchs and yes, they could have extended range and as far as the question about how effective thaad for south korea, it wouldn't be effective against short and medium intermediate range missiles that go up at high trajectory, but the caller has a point because seoul, is vulnerable to attack from the north, not each from missiles, but from artillery. north koreans have thousands of pieces of artillery, they could reign down on seoul, that has always been the threats if there is war on the peninsuwell la. single missile looked like it might hit south korea, the thaad missile system would have a good chance of shooting it down. is it perfect? no system is perfect, but in tests, the last tests of thaad, 13 attempts with a test shooting
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down missile have been successful 13 times, pretty good record. host: thaad is terminal high altitude area defense. and the process from lockheed martin looks like this, radar detects incoming threat, target identifyd and engaged, interseptor is fired and used kinetic energy to destroy the incoming missile. david in colorado springs on the democrats line. good morning. caller: yeah, as far as south korea and the ballistic missiles from north korea, i think they have basically have that covered as long as they have good radar screen. the thing that i was thinking about was long time ago, during the bush administration, they ran tests from california to quadrilen, the test going out for incoming missiles failed for the tests coming in from
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quadrilen, those succeeded. have they managed to reverse the process, are we still shaking our heads trying to figure out when this stuff will hit the west coast, which i seriously doubt is going to happen. guest: you are talking about the test to develop ground-based missile defense system, fired from the continental united states. they have tested those with missiles. if you think back to the '90s when a lot of tests were going on and there were failures, many failures had to do with the fact the target missiles didn't fire properly. so it wasn't really a true test of the ability of the missile to intercept it. there were misses, as well, but the technology continues to get better, most recent test of the ground-based system, which was in 2014, was a success. it was a hit. and this is hit to kill
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technology, not explosive, it is kinetic energy where they just hit the incoming warhead. you know, it has never been used in combat, or in a hostile situation, we don't know absolutely for sure what would happen, but we keep testing it and we keep building it and the trump administration will continue to put billions of dollars into the system. host: on the line is maurice, east dublin, georgia, deck accurates line. caller: how are you? first and foremost, all of this, talk about distractions, this is major distraction from my estimation. all the talk about the thaad system, why is it not employed in western europe? isn't that hasn't there been objection by russia over the course of many years to this very system like this being employed in germany and poland and countries thaf sort? also, talk about the amount of money gone into research and
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development, go back 30 someodd years, reagan started this program. probably been at least a trillion dollars invested in this particular program or programs such as this over the course of time. so just keep those thing necessary mind as have you this discussion. guest: as i said, if you go back to beginning of missile defense, again, dream of space-based strategic defense initiative, a good estimate that critics of missile defense agree on $300 billion, not a trillion, but a lot of money. as far as deploying missile defense in europe, the caller has a point, the u.s. does believe there is need for missile defense in europe. not so much this thaad system, but two things they are using. one is aegis system i mentioned on u.s. ships, deployed in mediterranean, the counter missile from iran and there is also aegis esure, certainsly the
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ship-based system using same miss nil configuration deployed on land. the united states wants to put powerful radar in countries like poland, augment national defense system, more robust system and it is true, russia is very upset about that. i think that is indication about the russians believe this is effective system even as critics are questioning whether it is that effective. there is also talk of building putting land-based intercepters on the east coast of the united states to defend from the threat in that direction, even though the biggest threat is seen from north korea. host: like our caller, there r skeptics who think shooting down long-range missile necessary space is a pipedream left from reagan's star wars strategic design, we are no closer to effective weapon that can reliably shoot down long-range missile than when reagan announced his dream. that is joseph, president of the
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arms control group. guest: he is a critic who doesn't believe the technology will work. it is worth the investment and believes the solution is more on the side of arms control, nuclear denuclearization, more countries getting rid of nuclear weapon, united states reducing nuclear stock pile, the argument there is how many nuclear weapons do you need to deter someone and don't forget best use of nuclear weapon is not to employ them, but to serve as deterrent to prevent anybody from attacking you, essentially from preventing war. how many do you need to do that? north korea is able to deter any attempt at invading the north with just a handful of nuclear weapon. china 200 nuclear weapons, nobody would contemplate attacking china. great britain, small number of nuclear weapons, that is part of the debail talking about the
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bigger program to upgrade all three grades of the nuclear triad, land-based, submari submarine-based and bombers that have nuclear weapon, how much of the triad needs to be upgraded, what should we be buy nothing terms of how many nuclear weapons. the goal is deterrence, not actually fighting nuclear war. host: kansas city next, go to maurice, independent line. caller: how you doing? good show. i'm a vietnam veteran and veteran working in the coal industry. i would think everyone should have the right to protect themselves. i don't know, it seems to me is there anything, the question to me, is there anything we're doing to provoke these other countries to want nuclear
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weapons? like you say, everyone has the right to deter and protect themselves, i don't know, it's confusing to me, like i said, 32-year cold war veteran, made many nuclear weapons parts and i hope you understand what i'm saying. guest: i think i do. as i mentioned earlier, the prime motivation kim jong-un has for having this absolute goal of getting nuclear weapons is preservation of his regime. without that, he sees the north as being vulnerable to being overthrown or some sort of attack. if you go and look at iran, very much the same situation. so iran looked at what happened in the persian gulf war and invasion in 2003 and they said to themselves, this wouldn't have happened to saddam if he had nuclear weapons, united
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states would never have gone in there and toppled the regime. they also see the idea of having nuclear weapons as something that guarantees against a u.s. invasion. now iran is a bigger country than iraq, military is more formidable and of course at the moment, there is no plans to go into iran, that is one thing that drives them, this idea of security. in order to dissuade countrys from acquiring nuclear weapons, they need to feel assured security is assured in other ways and that is what the global effort to hold down the spread of nuclear technology is all about, finding ways to reassure countries, so they don't feel they have to acquire nuclear arsenal. host: chinese reaction to -- the headline in the piece last week saying china warns of arms race,
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u.s. deploys missile defense in south korea. steven in lockport, independent line. steven, you are on the air, go ahead. caller: i was wondering what good is missile defense shield when recently we've seen reports they are dropping nukes off it is coast to cause tsunamis. guest: i am not familiar with that report. i haven't seen the tsunamis either. host: windwood, pennsylvania, jim, hello there. caller: good morning. i think -- naive to believe these people would never try to attack us, particularly in north korea and we don't know, i don't think the treaty we have, with iran, will work in the long run. however, i really called about there is a great article in the "wall street journal," it says, there is way to stop north korean missile attacks.
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it talks about a system that we partially developed, we have, that stops this in the boosting process. it is ideal, before it gets off the ground and can be blown up over north korea or china territory or russian territory, if we had that capability, according to the article, it's pretty easily fairly easily done. guest: i'm not sure what system they are referring to. there is research on boost phase. one thing that sounded promising was airborne laser, a laser mountod 747 that could fly over the area and direct laser at the missile in either before it was launched or in the boost phase. when the missile is in the boost phase, full of fuel, the slightest thing can make it blowup. it is very vulnerable in that phase. the airborne laser was ditched. after lots of research, it just didn't work, it would require
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flying around target area, continuously and now we're looking at technology that would involve drones that would attack missiles in the boost phase. it is easy to hit missile if you know where it is. it is not so easy as i said, if missile launcher pulls out of a cave and fires something immediately, it might take more time. ideally, you want to have systems that work in all three phases, on the way up, mid-course and on the way down. you don't have one chance of shooting the missile down f. for instance long range intercontinental ballistic missile was fired and headed toward the united states and we didn't know whether it was armed or not, the united states wouldn't just fire one intercepter to try to shoot it down, it would probably fire two or three or six to maximize the ability. which is one reason by the way, this system is really not a threat to russia or china or
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somebody who has a large arsenal of missiles. current system could not handle large number of incoming missiles, but could handle missile or two fire friday a rogue nation such as north korea. north jamie mcintyre, national security defense reporter with the washington examiner. 202-748-8000 for democrats. 202-748-8001 for republicans. and independents, 202-748-8002. an thon negreenwood, colorado, on the independent line. caller: thank you very much. mr. jamie mcintyre, we went through the whole cold war and never launched because both sides, there was no uncertainty, it was mutual destruction. when unpredictability is when vifk high. my question to you is why, have we even pursued the channel, maybe it exists, if we were to agree if we attacked north korea
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and that is what kim jong-un is afraid of, we're going to attack him, but china is -- is in agreement, in certainty says, we will defend north korea against attack by the united states or south korea, wouldn't that then give them reason to disarm and pull back thaad and china wouldn't have threat of us having thaad over there? that seems the solution, maybe you could elaborate on that for me. thank you. guest: the idea you could get to some sort of negotiated settlement, negotiated agreement, china would play major part is kind of the ideal scenario, what we're hoping for. the problem of course in dealing with north korea, we're not dealing entirely with a rationale regime, this was regime that doesn't care much about the fate of the people, it doesn't care that there is, you know, people are poor and they
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don't have enough food. if it was regime that cared about those things, you could use all kind of economic incentive to get north korea to suspend nuclear program, provide food aid and oil and alternate energy and open markets and give development, they were concerned about that. this seems to be the kim regime, solely focused on maintaining power for small number of individuals, it is really a brutal ruthless regime and make its hard to negotiate. the trump administration is hoping china will play a part, china seems to be only country with any real influence over north korea. china influence is limited. that is one thing we started to talk about secretary tillerson's trip, that is one thing he'll be talking about when he meets with japan, south korea and he's going to china. the chinese president will visit
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the united states and visiting president trump at his estate. guest: the delivery of the thaad system, under the obama administration is being fulfilled under the trump administration. they identified the need last july, the hangup was getting south korea to give the final approval to come. the united states wanted to send it there. i think with the last couple missile tests, it pushed south korean government to say, despite china objections and despite china threat to retaliate economically, we're going to go ahead and take it because we need this. it has thrown into turmoil there, is political crisis in south korea, they will have new election and will get a new president, we don't know if the presidency will keep thaad there as the current regime. host: kim in jacksonville, florida, democrats line. caller: hi, thanks. two things.
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does china and russia really have any leverage to stop these bad installations and secondly we all know that north korea is belligerent and probably the only reason they would attack anybody is if kim jong-un just gets mad one day and pushes the button. is there no consensus that would say if north korea does anything, launches anything they would be wiped out and it would be the end of the kim jong-un administration? thanks. guest: when secretary of defense mattis, one of his first trips was to go to korea and japan to reassure u.s. allies that the u.s. remains steadfast. he issued a number of statements that basically said if north korea were to employ nuclear weapons that the response from the united states would be
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immediate and devastating and didn't specify that the u.s. would have a nuclear response, but essentially it would be the end of the north korean regime. the u.s. practiced for and rehearsed for war on the korean peninsula for years, they have plans if the north koreans were to start a war how to finish it. you can imagine the war games the united states does and part of that is this big exercise that goes on for two months, they rehearse that f. north korea ever does either come invade the south or attack an ally with nuclear weapon, it would result m all-out war in cot rean peninsula. host: has technology gotten better over the year? host: north korean? yes, it has. they use a lot of designs based on russian missile design.
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in the "new york times," about a week or so ago, david sanger and william broad, reporters who wrote about the u.s. effort to undermine the iranian program using a computer virus, suggesting that the u.s. during the obama administration has done the same thing to the north korean missile tests. they noted a missile, when the russians were using had about 88% success rate, was only succeeding about 13% of the time when north koreans were firing it. a lot of things could explain that, it is not as good as things, there are complications in firing a missile. but the sourcing of the "new york times," the u.s. was conducted cyber war fare that was sabotaging the north korean program. host: philip in mendin, michigan, welcome. caller: yeah. i was wondering, can you give me an idea how long it will be until we get hyper speed
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composite rockets like if you got a rocket travels 10,000 miles per hour, you could put away the icv m's, if you can shoot a rock thaet goes 10,000 miles an hour and knocks down icbm. guest: what is technology he's talking about? i'm not familiar with the technology, it sounds like something that would be in popular science. host: chicago next on the republican line, and chris, welcome, go ahead. caller: yes, hi, how you doing? host: doing fine. caller: i wanted to comment on nobody in our region of the united states would panic until we some type of land missile on our soil, then everybody would be in, you know, will understand. but china has man-made sand island where is they put missiles around their base and i don't even believe they own the
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water rights or the water -- those particular land spots they have created and i understand they have to protect themselves. can't we do those type of things, couple in the atlantic, couple in the pacific ocean, we make land or sand-made islands and put nuclear missiles on them to protect us? guest: is there any indication chinese are putting nuclear weapons on man-made island? guest: islands in the south china sea, they have taken a reef and rebuilt them. they put on anti-aircraft missiles to protect the island. now the u.s. doesn't have a particular role in the dispute over the islands, those are disputed by countries in the region. the u.s. has interest in asserting the ameritime freedom of navigation, we've been involved in that. the united states doesn't need to put nuclear missiles on
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island like the cuban missile crisis, russia was going to put missile necessary cuba. we have ship-based missile defense f. we talk about missile defenses, we have mobile defenses we can put in the pacific on a ship and if you're talking about offensive nuclear weapons, well, then your weapon of choice there is ballistic missile submarine, we have 12 ohio ballistic missile submarines, armed with up to 20 missiles. one u.s. ballistic submarine has enough to end life on the planet as we know it, just one. host: we have hawaiian island, former congressman -- hawaii lynch pen of america's western defense remains vulnerable to attack. look at washington times.comfor that. shawn, good morning.
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caller: good morning. i didn't see the whole show, one question, which was sort of eluded to do we coordinate our efforts with china in terms of north korea doing something stupid, like if they launched an attack, we couldn't just nuke them. they would get upset about that, that was one thing. the other, i've communicated to c-span on a number of occasions, why doesn't c-span include foreign newspaper necessary summaries? the things with the election and trump and so forth, other countries must have an extraordinary perspective on issues. it seems it would broaden understanding of your audience. host: your second point is very good point, we try to incorporate more foreign coverage where we can, we'll make a note to do that. very good point. to his other issue on china. guest: united states is trying to get a policy with china about
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curbing north korea nuclear ambitions, as far as what the response would be if everything faild and there was a war or a launch of nuclear weapon from north korea, i think the united states would be more coordinating with allies, japan and as i said, lots of military planning for that nightmare scenario. even as the emphasis has been on avoiding it. >> great to have you with us. read his reporting on will about do it for today's program. look forward to you joining us tomorrow at the same time,
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7:00. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] >> coming up live on c-span, in about two hours, a look at the concentration of economic selection of president trump tell supreme court pick neil gorsuch. senator him meekly which with a keynote address at noon eastern time. and republican leaders are working hard this week to win over other republicans who are skeptical of the health care repeal and replace law. it is said to be considered by the budget committee wednesday. i maintaining the legislation will get enough votes to pass,


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