tv Senators Told Diplomacy Must Be Exhausted First Regarding North Korea CSPAN April 25, 2017 8:26pm-10:56pm EDT
if you blank on something like guidelines on blanket primaries, go back to what you do. use those context clues. you studied hard, you worked hard, your teachers have prepped you well. takehose context clues and a deep breath and problem solve. >> the annual cram for the exam is always fun and informative. join us sunday, april 30 at 9 a.m. eastern on c-span. former government officials and experts in defense and foreign policy updated members of the senate armed services committee today on u.s. strategic relations with several countries korea,ng china, south north korea, and india. from capitol hill, this hearing is about 2.5 hours.
>> the committee meets his way to receive testimony on you as policy ends strategy in the asia-pacific region. i am pleased to welcome our panel of expert witnesses come all with deep knowledge and experience in the region. the senior adviser and korea chair at the center for strategic and international studies. aaron friedberg who is the professor of politics and international affairs at princeton university.
and the former principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for asia pacific security -- irs and senior fellow am having trouble with my enunciation. strategic affairs at the endowment for international peace, an old friend of the committee. america's interest in asia-pacific region are deep and enduring, that is why for the past 70 years we have worked with our allies and partners to up hold a rules-based order based on principles of free peoples and free markets, open skies, theen resolution of disputes. the challenges are mounting.
thehey threaten not just nations of the pacific region but the u.s. as well. the most immediate challenge is a situation on the korean peninsula. kim jong un's regime has thrown its full weight behind his quest for nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. unfortunately, the regime is making real progress. a north korean missile with a nuclear payload capable of striking an american city is no longer a distant hypothetical. , one thatinent danger poses a real and rising risk of conflict. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses today about u.s. policy options on the korean and insolent. for years, the u.s. has look to china, north korea's patron and so strategic ally to bring the regime to the negotiating table and achieve progress toward an a new clear eyes the korean peninsula. we have done so for the simple reason that china is the only
country with the influence to curb north korea must destabilizing behavior. china has repeatedly refused to exercise than influence. instead, china has chosen to bully south korea for exercising its sovereign right to defend itself from the escalating north korean threat. in response to the alliance employ the missile defense system to the korean peninsula, china has waged a retaliationeconomic against south korea which has interested real damage. the twisted reality is that china is doing all of this to stop the deployment of a missile defense system which is only necessary because china has aided and abetted north korea for decades. i welcome the trump administration's outreach to china on the issue of north korea. as these discussions continue, the united states should be clear that while we earnestly seek china's cooperation on
north korea, we do not seek such ofperation at the expense our vital interests. we must not and will not argan over our alliances for japan and south korea nor the fundamental principles such as freedom of the seas. as its paver indicates, china as acted less and less like responsible stakeholder of the rules-based order in the region and more like a bully. it's rapid military modernization, provocations in these china sea, and continued militarization activities in the south china sea signal an increasingly assertive pattern of behavior. despite u.s. efforts to rebalance to the asia-pacific, u.s. policy has failed to adapt to the scale and velocity of china's challenges to the rules-based order and that failure is called into question the ability of america's security commitments into -- in the region.
the new administration has an important opportunity to chart a different and better course. for example, i believe there is strong at four in asia-pacific stability initiative which is similar to the european determent -- deterrence initiative. this initiative would enhance credible combat power and targeted funding to realign u.s. military force posture in the , improve infrastructure, fund additional exercises, pre-position equipment munitions and build capacity with our allies and partners. these are important steps that should be taken as part of the in copperheads of strategy the asia-pacific and incorporates all elements of national power. i hope our witnesses will describe their ideas about what apsi should fund and how they would articulate in an interagency strategy for the asia-pacific.
thank all the witnesses for being here today and i look forward to your testimony. senator reid. sen. reid: thank you to the witnesses for agreeing to testify. this hearing could not comment on more critical time as the north korean regime has engaged in an aggressive schedule of tests for its nuclear and missile programs. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses and whether they believe china can and will exert sufficient pressure on the regime to denuclearize the peninsula. if not, what are the alternatives? as a military strike something we should consider given the possible scope and retaliation? i would like to hear if there are feasible options on the table and how we should coordinate with allies in the region. we have heard concerns that the administration is -- has not yet articulated a copperheads of asia-pacific strategy. what is the maritime strategy to
deal with excessive unlawful maritime claims? how would a balance counter the narrative that china is the economic partner of choice? it balanced cooperation and competition with china especially given the importance of china's cooperation and issues ranging from north korea to terrorism. thank you for holding this important hearing. i look forward to hearing the testimony of witnesses on all of these issues. before we call on the witnesses, we have a housekeeping item. wait.t lost one, we will welcome. dr. cha: thank you. there used to be a time when north korea interactions were
considered isolated act via lonely dictator who was harmless and just looking for some attention with really bad hair. i do not think people think that way anymore. between 1994 and 2008, north tests.id 16 -- missile since 2009 they have done 71. missile tests, including four nuclear tests. the leader in north korea has made no effort to have dialogue with any other country in the buton, not just the u.s. that includes china, south korea, russia, absolutely no interest in talking. all of this translates to one of the most challenging strategic environments for the united states and its allies and a very start -- dark strategic cloud that is that is starting to dominate the skyline with regard
to east asia. having said that, i think there silver lining to every dark cloud and in this case, there are four that could help to inform an asia pacific security initiative. the north korean threat provides opportunity for a closer coordination of policy between the next government and south korea which will be elected may 9 and washington. the new south korean government cannot afford ideological indulgences in a renewed engagement or sunshine policy. it would be unwise for -- for a new south korean president on may 10 presumably in the aftermath of more north korean provocations and possibly a six nuclear test to declare that he or she is reopening the case on industrial complex. this would serve to further marginalize south korea's strategic position as the new
government would loose step with the u.s., japan, and even china. to u.s. is not adverse entering engagement. for it to be effective, much -- it must be used strategically and coordinate with a u.s.-r.o.k. strategy and the nuclearization. the second summer lighting has to do with trilateral coordination. the u.s. welcomes an early president.h the presumably before president trump's scheduled trip to the region in the fall. allianceof coordination should be a collective security statement among the three allies. the u.s., japan, and korea. an attack on one constitutes an attack against all. the third silver lining relates to china. beijing is unlikely to let off on the economic dresser on south over the defense system for i think another one or two
financial quarters. south koreant businesses and tourism even more but they should spark serious thinking, strategic thinking in the u.s. and south korea about reducing the r.o.k.'s economic dependence on china. given the energy revolution and the u.s. and the removal of export restrictions, the two allies should ink seriously about new bilateral energy partnerships that could reduce south korean energy dependence on china and the middle east. washington and seoul's policy planning offices can work together to map out the south korean strategy for engaging asean as well as ossie countries. it should be a new -- a serious effort for creating new markets for production change in investment. proven thathave south korea's future welfare
cannot be left in chinese hands. finally, the u.s. should encourage new government and south korea to take a stronger stand in supporting public goods of the korean peninsula in neighboring waters. in particular, part of a new sean,ement strategy with a they could discourage further militarization of the south china sea. ath -- this would be distinctly positive platform for the u.s. and its allies in the region. thank you very much. do have a quorum now. these nominations have been before the committee for some time. second? is a the motion carries. i freberg -- friedberg:
appreciate the opportunity to express my views on these important subjects. i would like to try to make three main points. as senator mccain has indicated to i do not think the u.s. currently has a coherent integrated national strategy for the asian-pacific region. in particular it lacks a strategy for dealing with an increasingly powerful area of china. what we have instead are the remnants of their strategy first put in place over two decades ago. and sitirational goals of policies and programs intended to achieve them that are now in varying states of disrepair and which are largely disconnected from one another. second, china does have such a only for the asian-pacific but the continental domain along its land frontiers. the goal of strategy has become
increasingly clear in the last few years. to create a regional eurasian order that is different from the one we have been trying to build since the end of the cold war. hasd, just because beijing a strategy does not mean it will succeed. china has many weaknesses and liabilities. we and our allies have many strengths. we have reached the point where it is essential that we re-examine our goals, reviewer strategy, and adjust our policies accordingly. the start of a new administration would naturally be the time to attempt such review. it's something becomes more difficult as time goes on and more issues a key melee. let me try to expand on each of those points. when the cold war ended, the u.s. started to expand the jia test geographic scope of the order by integrating the pieces of the former soviet union and the former soviet empire and by accelerating the integration of begun a process that had
a few years before. as regards china, the u.s. pursued a two-pronged strategy, seeking to engage china across all domains, economic in particular, but diplomatic and others, and at the same time, working at our allies and partners in maintaining our own forces in the region to preserve a balance of power that was favorable to our interests and the security of our allies. the goals of that policy were to deter thetability, to possibility of aggression, while waiting for engagement to work its magic. the u.s. hoped in effect to ,btain and to transform china to encourage its leaders to see their interests as lying in the preservation of that order, and to set in motion processes that would lead eventually to the economic and political liberalization of that country. as in europe, so also in asia. our ultimate aim was to build a region whole and free and open
-- an open, liberal region. it has become important -- a -- apparent that this has not worked. china is far stronger, far richer, but it is more oppressive domestically than at any time since the cultural let -- revolution. it imposes costs and other countries including ours and its external behavior has become increasingly assertive, even aggressive. maritime domain. balancing has become more difficult for us and for our allies because of the growth of china's military capabilities. accounts for this recent shift in chinese behavior? the short answer to that by aion is the -- driven mix of optimism and even arrogance on the one hand and also, deep insecurity.
for roughly the first 15 years or so after the end of the cold war, china's rulers followed the their leader that china should hide its capabilities and bite it's time -- bide its time and advanced positiontablishing a as a preponderate power. things began to change in 2008 with the onset of financial crisis and these changes have accelerated and become institutionalized since 2013 with the exception of ping. the chinese strategists concluded that the u.s. was declining more rapidly than had been expected and china was able to rise more quickly than had been hoped. it was time for china to step up, to become clear in defining its core interests, and more
assertive in pursuing them. at the same time, however, the crisis deepened the chinese leadership's underlying concerns about their prospects for sustaining economic growth and preserving social stability. so china is maybe more assertively both because its leaders want to seize the opportunities presented to them by what they see as a more favorable external situation, and because they feel the need to bolster their legitimacy and to rally domestic support by courting controlled confrontations with others whom they can present as hostile foreign forces, including japan and the u.s. the chinese actions are not limited to pursuing its claims and trying to extend its zone of effective control in the maritime domain. along its land frontiers, beijing has unveiled a hugely ambitious set of infrastructure , the so-calledds one belt, one road initiative which aims to transform the economic and strategic geography of much of eurasia.
china's leaders have begun to articulate their vision for a new eurasian order, a system of infrastructure networks, regional free trade areas, new rules written in beijing, and mechanisms for political consultation all with china at the center and the u.s. pushed to the periphery is not out of there -- if not out of the region altogether. u.s. alliances would be dissolved or drained of their significance. maritime democracies would be divided from one another and relatively weak and china would be surrounded on the continent by friendly and subservient authoritarian regimes. the u.s.th century, if try to make the world safe for democracy in the 21st, china is trying to make the world safe for authoritarianism or at least is trying to make asia safe for continued communist party rule. they are trained to coordinate
all the instruments a policy to achieve these ends. military domain, building above , andntional capabilities modernizing nuclear forces in order to deter possible u.s. and from -- intervention and to raise questions about the continued viability of our security guarantees and developing other instruments, createconstruction, to facts without revoking confrontation. economically, they have been using the growing gravitational pull of their economy to draw others towards them, and they have become increasingly open in using economic threats and punishments to try to shape the behavior of others in the region including u.s. allies, as dr. cha mentioned, korea, and also the philippines. what has been engaging in strategists are referred as political warfare, the attempts to shape the perceptions of
leaders by conveying the message that china's growing wealth and power present an opportunity rather than a threat to its favors. while raising questions about the continued reliability and leadership capacity of the u.s. china is waging political warfare against us. holding out the prospects of cooperation, trade, and on north korea, which i think is now going to be again part of that process, even as they work to undermine and weaken our position in the long run. so finally and briefly, how should the u.s. respond? , thestated at the outset time has come for a fundamental re-examination of our strategy toward china and toward the asia pacific the entire eurasian ma and more broadly. a serious effort along these lines would look at all the various instruments of power, the various aspects of our policy which are largely fragmented and out with separately and consider ways in
which they might be better integrated and it would also waive the possible cause and gas costs and benefits and risks of alternative strategies. the use of the model would be the so-called solarium project, a review of possible approaches for dealing with the soviet in 19that was undertaken 53 during the early months of the eisenhower administration. to my knowledge in the last 25 years, there has been no such exercise regarding our policies toward asia and towards china. we are effectively running on the fumes of a strategy that was put into place a quarter of a century ago. congress cannot do such a assessment itself but it might wish to consider mandating such a review as it did in requiring a general statement of national security strategy in 1986 at the -- and the quadrennial defense review in 1997. i am afraid my clock is not working so i am sure i have gone over time.
i cannot claim to have conducted such an exercise myself. i would like to close with a few thoughts about some of the issues that it might address and the conclusions toward which it might lead. first and most basic is what is it we are trying to achieve? is outsian hold and free of reach and a region reshipped to beijing's vision would be threatening to our interests and values which i think it would be, how should we define our strategic goals? part of the answer here is likely to be that we will need to rededicate ourselves to defending those parts of the asian regional system that remain open and liberal. including our allies, the rules to which they abide, and the common things that connects them. to accommodate rising power and avoid conflict we would need to come from ice and that is true. there is some issues where it will not be possible to split the difference.
we to be clear about what those are. and the economic domain, if we do not want others to be drawn increasingly into a chinese co-prosperity sphere, we need to provide them with the greatest possible opportunity to remain engaged in mutually beneficial trade and investment with us and with one another, whatever its hadomic efforts, ppp strategic benefits. in regard to military strategy, a great deal of energy has been devoted to how to respond to these chinese initiatives in the so-called gray zone. as important as this problem is, it seems to me that it is subordinate to the larger question of how we in our -- and our allies can counter chinese [inaudible] we are in an odd position of having to raise this issue in a very edible way in 2011 --
credible way in 2011 and seeming to back away from it. there is a limit to what we can and should say in public. we are at a point where we need to explain to our allies, possible adversaries, and ourselves how we would fight and win a war in asia should that ever become necessary. finally, there is this delicate issue of political warfare. mentioned, what is our counter to the narrative that the chinese are pushing across much of asia? in which we are portrayed as internally divided, as unable to solve large mystic problems and unreliable and potentially dangerous wild china presents itself as the wave of the future, economically dynamic, efficient, loaded with cash, and eager to do business. in this regard, it seems to me that it would be a serious
strategic and moral to drop the subjects of human rights and in a verse of values from our discussions with and about china. our commitment to these values are demonstrated and our willingness to defend them are among our greatest efforts and being seen to abandon them in the face of china's growing wealth and power will embolden aging and other authoritarian regimes, discourage our allies, and demoralize those people in china and around the world who often have great personal -- who at great risk continue to advocate for freedom. thank you very much. thank you for convening this important and timely hearing today. i want to commend the committee for its steadfast, bipartisan leadership on all matters of peace and security in the asia pacific it is extremely important as well as important to our men and women in uniform and the civilians who serve
alongside them. will hear a lot of similarity in our testimony. front, while some may prefer to discard the rhetoric of the rebalance we need to follow through on its strategic event. if we do not, american primacy in the most consequential region and the world is at risk area and i will go one step further by saying we're continuity of american effort is not going to be enough to stem the tide. we need to encourage the new administration to present affirmative vision and strategy for the region as the panelists have a part -- discussed and avoid ad hoc approaches and this needs to start with a clear eyed view of our interests. and that necessarily -- the necessity to reserve our positions.
i would like to highlight what i see as the top three challenges and opportunities facing the u.s. in the asia-pacific. of course, the first urgent challenges north korea. and it's relentless pursuit of its ballistic and nuclear missile program. challenge affects multiple administrations. the bottom line here is we need a new playbook. first, we need to increase the pressure on north korea. as a necessary predicate to any other option. china is central to that, but we cannot rely only on chinese pressure. we also need to be realistic. kim jong un is not going to unilaterally disarm because of international pressure. pressure alone will not solve the problems. second, military options should remain on the table, but they are extremely high risk and should be a last resort. we should not kid ourselves here.
a conflict on the peninsula would be unlike anything we have seen in decades. north korea is not a syria, it is not an iraq. the consequences could be extremely high. where does that leave us? after and only after a sustained period of significant pressure and deep coordination with our allies, we need to ready a diplomatic play. succeed, it'sto goal has to be achievable. this will not be popular but dana clear is a and is unlikely at this point. is unlikelyization at this point. we need to diplomat -- develop diplomatic flexibility. develop policy that would eliminate the threat in meaningful and verifiable ways and finally, we need to turn up our defense game. we need to accelerate
improvements and regional missile defense of our allies as well as our homeland, so that we are better prepared in the event policy fails, or even if it succeeds. this is the most consequential challenge that others have discussed, china. to be clear, china's strategic intent is to chip away at decades of american security and primacy. --e will get squarish squeamish over competition but to ignore the fact that china is already in competition with us would be tantamount to strategic malpractice. on his with aaron comments for a need of a big look at our china strategy. i do not mean to suggest that we should enter a new cold war or can we -- nor can we castaway areas of -- that benefit our interest.
we need to be clear eyed about our interest about preserving the american physician. the u.s. needs to invest in our comparative strengths and our credibility. we need to get our own house in order to address this your scale of this challenge. necessary budget investment, human capital investment which is something that is not talked about enough, and overall strategy. we need to move to the next phase of increasing presence, posture, and capabilities and that next phase will be harder. in this regard i would like to andk you for your idea proposal on the stability initiative which i hope the trump administration will support. it will improve our ability to fight and win wars and to keep the peace. this brings to a third challenge and an enduring and persistent one which is terrorism. with the emergence of isil, the terrorist threat in south and southeast asia is evolving and
the bottom line here is we need to get ahead of it. we have time to get ahead of it. we need to take more preventive action on terrorism in south and southeast asia. let me talk about opportunities that tend to get lost in the noise. i think the biggest opportunity is india. the u.s. and india share a common strategic outlook on the asia-pacific especially a mutual concern over chinese militarization and adventures in can we reach a new level of cooperation to lace limits on chinese ambition? i believe it is possible but only if the u.s. and india persistent overcoming the suspicions of the past and build stronger habits of actual corporation. this is going to require the u.s. and indian systems which to not naturally compatible demonstrate mutual flexibility as well as ambition. which isd opportunity
a near-term and high reward opportunity, is southeast asia. as the chairman knows, the demand signal for u.s. defense engagement is on the rise and we need to meet it. more, we alsoo ,eed to do more on diplomatic economic, commercial, private sector engagement in southeast asia. whether in vietnam or burma or sri lanka, there is significant depth in southeast asia. i would recommend secretary mattis continue the efforts of his predecessors to host the defense ministers and the united states at the earliest opportunity. this committee's leadership on southeast asia has been essential, whether by your engagement every year at the shangri-la dialogue, an important expression of bipartisan commitment to the asia-pacific, or following through with action in the case
of the southeast asian maritime security initiative, a much-needed, timely american effort to fill a critical capacity gap. finally, the big one, the long-term strategy. the real opportunity for the united states to retain our privacy. areeed to weave together disparate security and economic efforts into a broader strategy. fashion a network security architecture with allies and partners to help all of us do more over greater senses with greater economy of effort, undergirded by a shared set of principles in support of a rules-based order. we need to present a vision for an equivalent economic architecture that promotes sustainable and economic growth for all countries, including the united states. meaningfulnce of american economic statecraft in the region, china is filling the void. that is a dangerous application
from relationships, setting up false choices for allies between their security and prosperity. besides the strategic implications, the lack of a serious u.s. economic initiative in asia will leave americans at a long-term economic disadvantage. the challenges and opportunities of the united states are significant, but without urgent american leadership and government investment, the u.s. will not be able to rise to them. decades of relative peace and prosperity that american leadership has enabled our risk. thank you, and i look forward to your questions. thank you members of the committee for inviting me to testify this morning on the challenges facing the united states in the asia-pacific. i have submitted a longer statement. i would be grateful if that is entered into the record. themesto highlight five drawn from a written statement.
first, the challenges posed by north korea and china obviously remain the most dangerous problems facing the united states in the end of pacific -- in the indo pacific. of north korea are obviously real, dangerous. the challenges in making from china are long-term, and during, -- enduring. in my remarks this morning, i want to focus primarily on china, and i want to thank my onleagues for spending time speaking about the issues relating to north korea. the first point i want to make in this connection is that as we think about china as a strategic competitor, it is important not to think of china as merely a regional power, but increasingly a global challenger to the united states. china is already a great power in pacific asia. it is increasingly active
militarily in the indian ocean. it is seeking facilities in the mediterranean and along the african coasts. within a couple of decades, the size of chinese naval capabilities will begin to rival those of our own, and it is likely that china will begin to maintain a presence in the atlantic and arctic oceans, as well. so we have to take of china and a new way, not simply as an asian power, but a global power. the second point i want to make is that it becomes increasingly important for the united states as it deals with the emerging chinese challenge to reaffirm its own commitment to maintaining its traditional preeminence both globally and in the indo pacific. the u.s. commitment to this preeminence is now uncertain in asia. the asian states are uncertain about whether washington can be counted on to balance against
china's quest for regional hegemony, and whether washington lord --ord away from -- ured away. to clearly affirm america's commitment to maintaining its global primacy. words alone are not enough. i think it will be very helpful for the administration to support your initiative, senator mccain, with respect to the asia-pacific debility initiative -- stability initiative. funding at levels that approximate those are in the european reassurance initiative. third, the resources i believe should be allocated to the indo pacific should focus increasingly on restoring the effectiveness of u.s. power
projection because that capability has been undermined considerably by china's recent investments in access and denial. this will require shifting additional combat out of the -- remedyingtting shortfalls, expanding logistics capabilities, increasing joint exercise and training, and improving force resiliency by enabling a more dispersed deployment posture. but the longer-term is just as crucial, and the demands of the longer-term cannot be avoided indefinitely. i believe bipartisan support will be necessary for developing and rapidly integrating various revolutionary technologies into the joint force. that will emphasize stealth, long-range, and unmanned capabilities, as well as doubling down on our advantages in undersea warfare. , building better
capabilities alone will not suffice for effective power projection. if the u.s. lacks the will to protect the international regime that serves our strategic interests, an important element of that regime, protecting the freedom of navigation, is now a serious risk because of china's activities in the south china sea. it is time for washington to push back on these efforts by undertaking regular freedom of navigation operations in much the same way as we do sensitive reconnaissance operations in the indo pacific today. these operations should be regular, unpublicized, undertaken at the discretion of a calm, and shopping constrained by the promise of chinese good behavior and other issues. cysts and finally, we will not --able to tame chinese power fifth and finally, we would not --able to tame chinese power
there are diverse initiatives that require success on this account. i will flag a few. the u.s. should first begin to seriously think about working with its partners to replicate china's own anti-access capabilities, in effect bubblesing many throughout the indo pacific to constrain china's freedom of maneuver. the united states cannot afford to put off the aid and enhance ,raining to taiwan much longer just as we ought to urge taipei to move with respect to increasing its own military spending and performing its own military operations. as a matter of national policy, we should affirm our strong support for trilateral cooperation between japan and australia, whether and not the u.s. is party to these activities. i have is a sized we should not
give up on the nations of southeast asia, either. they are currently at the receiving end of chinese ourrtiveness, and therefore engagement plan is something we need to reinvest in because it gives us the opportunity to provide critical reassurance to the smallest southeast asian states in ways that will limit the potential for chinese intimidation. we need to reinvigorate the balancing of china by doubling down on our strategic partnership with india. this is no longer simply a political necessity. it is an urgent operational necessity, as well. as chinese military activities in the indian ocean begin together steam, the partnership with india becomes even more important as of the limits they can impose on freedom and the indian ocean and the burdens on u.s. defense and other parts of the indo pacific.
imaging the rise of chinese military power will be the most difficult challenge that the united states faces in the indo pacific over the longer-term. managing that challenge will be demanding, but we have no choice ,ut to be resolute in doing so because our security, international standing, and the well-being of our allies is at stake. thank you very much for inviting me this morning. i look forward to entering your estimate. >> thank you very much. with the witnesses agree the abandonment of tpp was one of the biggest mistakes we have made? >> yes. being ap as not just trade agreement, but having broader strategic implications. the three legs the united states stands on an asia, in addition to military presence and our values. it is quite unfortunate, yes. >> dr. freberg. >> i agree.
in addition to the harmful effects of not going forward with the agreement, the signal it set i think was deeply damaging. the fact that we placed sub -- such emphasis on it, encouraged and persuadeit their legislators to accept this agreement and then pull the rug out, really a perfect storm it seems to me, and very damaging. it is going to take a wild to work our way back from that setback. because it was a disaster. it is having practical effect on our security. it is making it harder for us to engage with countries about access agreements because the chinese are in their lining the pockets and promising lots of investments and infrastructure, etc. it is making our job on the defense side a lot harder. >> i agree completely with my
fellow panelists. it was both unfortunate and dangerous, and i would flag three reasons for this. the business of asia is business. if we cannot engage in matters that are really important to the asian states, enhancing their own prosperity, our ability to enhance the security will also be diminished. point number two, we really cannot cede to the chinese the ability to create new rules for trade in asia. tpp offered us the opportunity to create gold standard rules, and we have now divested ourselves of that opportunity. , there isween tpp every promise we cannot close to 1% u.s. gdp growth for trade. even if you believe in america first, you need to find ways of enhancing our global growth, and trade offers us a great opportunity. >> right now we have increasing
tensions as we all know between us and north korea, with the most unstable ruler that they have had. weaponsing of nuclear and missile capability is dramatically escalated. at the same time, we have north arean artillery in place degree where at least they could launch one attack that would ul, a city of 25 million people as i recall. obviously, the key to some of this is china. china has taken some very small steps as far as coal is concerned, but they have never taken any real restraint steps
to restrain north korean activity. so it seems to me that we are in probably one of the most challenging situations since the cuban missile crisis in some respects. certainly not exact parallels, but maybe it rhymes a bit. dr. chow? verythink that is a accurate assessment of the situation. there is nothing i see that suggests north korea is going to slow down the pace of its testing. i think it's going to increase given the elections in south korea. china still subsidizes, even if they cut coal, they still subsidizes 85% of north korea's
external trade. china is definitely part of the stop north trying to korea, but it is also part of the problem, as you just, and that they are not willing to really put the sort of pressure that will impose economic costs on north korea for going down this path. >> china has been playing a game with us for at least 15 years on this issue. especially concerned about what the north koreans are doing, we go to the chinese and asked them for their help. what they have done in the past is to apply limited increments of pressure. they did it in 2003 to get the north koreans to agree to sit partyn what became six talks, but at the same time, almost simultaneously, they are enabling the north korean regime to continue by allowing continued economic exchange across the border.
the chinese have also allowed or at least look aside as chinese-based companies have exported to north korea. components that were essential to the development of their ballistic missiles and probably other parts of their special weapons programs. i am not at all optimistic that the chinese are going to play a different game with us now than they did in the past. , asideng i would add from military pressure, which for reason you suggest, is of questionable possibility. there are ways in which we could increase economic pressure on the north korean regime on a particularly by imposing further economic sanctions, and especially financial sanctions. we did that in the bush administration. i think it was actually something that caught a good deal of pain. we backed away from it from various reasons. i think it was a mistake to have done that. one of the reasons we haven't
been able to push on this harder is that it probably would involve sanctioning entities that are based in china. i think we have been reluctant to do that because of our concerns about upsetting the relationship with china. i think if we are going to be serious about this, we probably are going to have to go down that road. >> military option being extremely challenging. >> yes. toas in government 2003 2005. at that time, my understanding was there was no way of dealing with the conventional countercurrent that the -- counter deterrent that the north koreans had. i don't think the nuclear targets themselves have become more numerous. they are starting to develop mobile ballistic missiles. the problem with preempting or attacking in a preventative way and destroying north korean nuclear capabilities is only getting worse, and nothing really has been done to deal
with the conventional threat to south korea. i agree on the china front. i think there are going to be limits to what they are willing to do. their biggest fear is destabilizing the peninsula. now is the time to try to make china understand that the status quo is worse for them than all other scenarios. to do that, i think we need to hold their interest at risk. is what dr.by that freeberg said, which is we need to really think hard about secondary sanctions on chinese banks. i actually think we should go out and do it now. i don't think we should actually wait. i don't think that holding it in advance is actually going to induce chinese corporations. now is the time to demonstrate to china that we are serious in that regard. >> i agree with the witnesses about the importance of the u.s.-india relationship, which is something that i think has
enormous potential as well. >> i concur with what has been said before on the challenges with north korea. i think they have to make a strategic decision. if the current status quo serves its interests, and it seems to because it immunizes china from the threat of chaos, it provides a buffer between a u.s. military presence in the chinese border. is this status quo continues to advance chinese interests, there is a small likelihood they were be more helpful to us with respect to managing north korea. it is whether the trump administration's increased pressure might change the game sufficiently that the threat of war becomes real enough for china to move. to that degree, i think creating
-- would be helpful because it might motivate the chinese to cross lines that haven't crossed before. >> thank you very much for your excellent testimony. just a quick point. you suggest at the conclusion of the election that whoever emerges victorious will take a harder line on the north koreans they won't open up the facility across the border, etc. is that matched by the rhetoric? some impressions we are getting is that it is a race to who is the most sensitive to the issues, not the most -- >> thank you for the question. i think the political spectrum has shifted in korea during this seven-month impeachment crisis further to the left or left of center. the leading candidates all seem to espouse use of more
engagement with north korea. i think often what is said in campaigns is very different from when the individual takes office on the first day. >> we've noticed. [laughter] >> in the case of south korea, they will find that they will be any position where their primary ally, the united states, is not of a similar mind. neither is the partner across the sea, japan. and arguably, china is not in that position, as well. engagement't think is necessarily completely wrong with north korea, but now is not the time. government, we were dealing with a progressive government in south korea. we fully respected the fact that they weren't engaging with north korea, but there is a right time and a wrong time for it. not just by u.s. policy preference, but by what would be deemed effective engagement.
i think the previous government understood that, and i would imagine that the next government in south korea would, as well. quest -- let the me ask you all a question. there is skepticism that the chinese will apply economic pressure of a significant degree behavior.changes in variation on that, even if they did, do you believe the north korean regime would abandon their missile programs and nuclear programs? >> i do not believe that to be the case. i believe the north korean regime will continue to persist with its nuclear program because it sees that as indispensable to its own survival. and i do not believe china will exert the kind of pressure or required for north korea can this fundamental changes. >> so that leaves us at what point in the future? >> we essentially have to
prepare for a north korean capability that will ultimately reached the united states. if it comes to that point, we have only one of two choices. we continue to hope in the reviled ability -- and the reliability of deterrence, which is difficult given the unpredictable the of this regime. the other is military actions come always would be extremely which would be extremely costly and painful. that the chinese aren't going to go if far as we need them to go to make that strategic choice. where that leaves us is essentially what i said earlier. after increasing the pressure, running the china play, we do need to think carefully about whether or not we should proceed with a diplomatic effort to limit the program as best we can. athink we are going to face
very stark choice at some point in the future, probably in the next five years, about an icbm reaching the united states. ishink our challenge now finding a way to avoid having to make that choice at the end. >> i don't think that the chinese will apply all of the pressure that they could conceivably apply. in part for that reason, i don't think it's likely the north korean regime would agree to give up their programs. it seems to me that some years ago, it might have been possible to put the leadership in a position where we can make an offer they couldn't refuse, or they really felt their own personal survival was at stake. i think we are past that point. colleaguesh both my on two points. one, the question now is, or the things we can do, working with china perhaps, to slow down the progress of the north korean program? if they don't test as often as they have tested, presumably
they'll make it more difficult for them to eventually field a testing give ability in missiles. it is not in his evil will do think the chinese might join with us in applying sufficient pressure to try to slow that down. i think that's the best we can hope for. then the question is how do we prepared for -- prepare to defend against this? i hate to use this term because it has fallen into disfavor, but the ultimate solution to this problem is regime change. unless and until there is a change of character in north korean regime and the activity of the current leadership, there is absolutely no prospect i can see that this problem will get better. i don't think there is any active way in which we can promote that. whatght to think about conditions might lead eventually to that kind of change. colleagues.ith my
i don't think chinese pressure will necessarily stop north korea's program, but i do think what chinese pressure can do is force the north koreans back to the negotiating table. in case of that is i think 2003, when china temporarily cut off oil to north korea, they agreed to the six party talks. then again in 2007, when the led to adepartment seizure of north korean assets in a bank in china, that clearly put a lot of pressure on the regime, and they came back to implement an agreement. i think there is precedent there. i entirely agree with my colleagues that i am not sure how much china is willing to put that kind of pressure on north korea. one could argue that the situation is a little bit different now because the chinese are desperate for some sort of diplomacy to take place. they really don't understand what president trump might do, and they feel they have no control over north korea. they may be more respective --
more receptive than they were in the past. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first of all, these hearings are very significant. there's no more qualified a panel we could have to advise this and reflect on. also, these are public meetings. i say the other value is to informing the public of things that we assume they already know about. i would like to concentrate on north korea. i have this bias that that is where the serious problem as. thingsalking about two here, their development in technology over a period of time in developing a bomb, a weapon, and secondly, a delivery system. real quickly, let me run over that. system, northy
korea goes all the way back to the 1970's. they forgot that for a couple decades, and along came 1990. the first missile test fire range was 1300 kilometers. 2006, few years later, in were long-range missiles with the capability of traveling 15,000 miles. then firing the missile, which they said was satellite launch. december 2012, north korea launches a rocket that puts the first satellite in space. we watch their progress all the way through 2016. a ballisticlaunches missile from a summary. then lastly -- from a submarine. declaresim jong-un
north korea is in the final stage of preparations to test an intercontinental ballistic missile. you see what they have done that period of time. i have to almost include that the guy really means it when he comes out with a statement. bomb in 2006,the we had one, an explosion that was one kiloton. in 2009, that was up to two to a third13, went nuclear test. it was an atomic bomb with an estimated explosion of 6.27 kilotons. 2016, theeptember fifth and latest nuclear test registered 5.3 magnitude with an explosive yield estimate of between 10 and 30 kilotons, which is about the same as it nagasaki,oshima and and 10 times stronger than what north korea was able to do 10
years before. when we talk to the military and we will have them thursday, i know they will say that is good to big problems. the threat that comes from north korea from other threats. first of all you are talking about a mentally deranged guy who is making decisions. secondly, this country has more consistent in both developing its weapons in the delivery system, and come to the conclusion -- as i have come to, i believe there is an argument that can pose the greatest threat to the united states. i would like a response if you would do that? our we accurate in terms for that period of time? senator.you, i think what you just described is entirely accurate in terms of
a systematic plan by the north koreans over the past decade. they have developed a capability that seeks to threat in the u.s. homeland. aboutk there is no doubt it that that is what they are after. i mentioned earlier, they sinceone 71 of these test 2009, which is a step increase from what we have seen in the past. they have done seven test since the election of our current president. they have over 700 scud missiles, 300 to 200 note our missiles. the pace of their development shows that they want to be able, not just to have one missile that can range to the united states, but a whole slew of them. this is a very well threat. is a completely unreasonable that as a result of this we can consider north korea as the
greatest threat facing the united states? it certainly is most imminent. i don't know it is the greatest in terms of its magnitude and the long run. presents a greater challenge, but it is the most imminent. one thing to add to make the even worse, it is conceivable that north korean leadership may believe, not only as they acquire the capabilities that they will be able to extort more economic goods from the world. not only that they will do to her actions against it, but that they might believe at some point they really had an option for reuniting the peninsula. they might believe that japan would be deterred by the threat on pieces of its oil from allowing the united states to use it as a reader eric -- rear area. they might believe the united states may be deterred.
>> the military also says that the unpredictability that we have their, everything else is pretty predictable. we all look back -- anyways, i do when there was the cold war and things were predictable. they knew what we had and we knew what they had. unpredictability is what the onitary will tell us thursday is their major problem with north korea. >> thank you mr. chairman. discussion, that and given that the neighboring problem, china continues to be so, uh, youive -- are advising us as policymakers, as people who pass appropriation bills what to do.
so, what to do to deter north korea and further chinese aggressiveness? um, so, this goes back to a needing toer for double down on our ballistic missile defense. there is more to be done. for example, we could consider putting fad in japan. i think the additional deterrence and things we could do with the japanese and koreans together, whether it is more operational cooperation in the air and on the sea. we should consider a whole range of options. including, potentially strengthening our deterrence commitment to the koreans by fieldially rotating capable aircraft to a peninsula, which would be a big move. there are additional things we could do on the deterrence side
that would be relevant and applicable. thatt you do not think that would deterred the north korean leader, do you, from oftinuing this development nuclear weapons, missiles and a nuclear weapon on an long range icbm? >> i do not, but i think it would help reassure our allies and put us in a better position. any reasonf you have to think that diplomacy would succeed with this north korean leader? even if it doesn't, we cannot do anything else without exhausting the offers by diplomacy. dealing with north korea, at the end it the day it will require a coalition effort. to satisfy the expectations of our coalition
partners that we made every effort in the interim to deal with the challenge. so we have to think of it in terms of a multi step game. as the doctor highlighted, the immediate objection should be to get the north korean leadership back to the negotiating table. the ultimate object should -- objection should be to hope for the change in the regime. aboute to think seriously what is required for deterrence, what is required for defense and what is required for denial. on --body else >> the only thing i would add to think thosed, i sorts of posture moves and strengthening of deterrence and defense, they are good for our allies. they certainly increase the cost of china allowing the situation to continue as it is and might
make them more receptive to putting pressure on the regime. end, the problem we have is that north korea feels no pain for in which the direction they are going. they're people are feeling pain, but they don't care about their people. the immediate effort is to try to get the regime to feel the that requires china to stop subsidizing 85% of north korea's external trade, as well as some of their leadership funding. that is the tactical goal to try to get some leverage on the issue. right now we have none. if wecribed the aftermath icbmhat he was readying an that could reach the u.s. and we decided, preemptively to take out the assets that we knew where they
were, which is more difficult because they are now movable. described the aftermath of what would happen and what would be their retaliation. >> we do not know for sure, but i think the assumption for several decades with the that they would begin with a massive ,rtillery barrage against sole seoul, korea. the north koreans have exercise and tested special operations forces, chemical and biological weapons. the fear would be that they would unleash all of this. i don't not that they would necessarily, because the next step would be the annihilation of the north korean regime. the fear is that that is their capability and they might. a note on that, i am not a psychiatrist so i would not want to judge the current leaders
saturday or lack of sanity, but north korean leaders have been rational in their behavior. sometime it appears odd and is very threatening, but it is purposeful and has been consistent. i think for that reason it is important to remain focused on what it is that would probably deter them, which is the threat of personal annihilation. and ourhreat of we south korean allies, would, if we needed to and could, destroy the regime and the leadership. i think that is the message they understand. add to the question on the aftermath, we've got 20 -- 28,500 u.s. troops on the peninsula. troops, not the families. there are hundreds of thousands in a additions to the koreans. japan is in range, so japan would take a hit. there would be significant theomic impact to a war on
peninsula, which i don't be anyone is talking about. like thenal actors, chinese, would move in. they would not sit on the sideline and watch the united states trying to rearrange the peninsula in their favor. they were try to intervene at some point. that could have catastrophic consequences. in terms of an aftermath of the u.s. strike, there are particularly high costs. add to that, the most confident thing we could say is that we do not know how the regime would respond. i think it would depend on whether they saw the strike as a discrete effort resolving a specific problem, or whether that is the leading edge of a larger effort that take space within the regime itself. if it is seen as a discrete their, one can hope that response would be more
restrained. if it is seen as a leading edge of an effort to replace the regime, then i think all hell rakes lose. at this point, whichever the i agree with her completely, the chinese cannot afford to sit on the sidelines. it undermines their core chaos on of preventing the frontiers, and keeping the united states and its military forces as far away from from their borders as possible. two will change dramatically if the united states engages in actions on the peninsula. to add to this very quickly, all i will say is that, i think it is absolutely true that the north korean to tater's number one goal is survival. if the united states were to carry out a strike, the north koreans make you like the only way to survive is respond, retaliate and what would follow
from that. the other way i think about it is that, if they don't -- if they do not respond, that could also threaten the survival of the leadership and the regime. i am still looking for the intelligence analyst who can tell me which of these things the north korean leader can do, because i have not been able to find one yet. but senator nelson describes the situation in which our government is almost certain that a strike is imminent. in that case, i will start with , if our response was a discrete strike to prevent that, might it not be worth it? first, i do not know the basis for the judgment. that is a danger that is imminent. if we assume the premises of
your question, it may be worth it that we could he assured two things. one that the north korean response would be limited, and strike will have to be permanent. we will be able to cap the north koreans capability at some level and not go be on. two, the chinese will want to reach some sort of diplomatic understanding. i am not confident that either of those two conditions would happen. >> i will take that answer. you said the united states does not have a coherent strategy for asia-pacific, instead, all we have is the remnants of a two decades old strategy. and yet, the defense department's 2012 guidance says we will rebalance towards the asia-pacific region.
two years earlier essentially said the same thing. we must rebalance the asia-pacific war zone. worked hard on making it happen, i don't beget was words only. it was the ratio of words to deeds is not what it should have been. somelked a lot, we did things, we did not do nearly enough for a variety of reasons. i think the previous administration became preoccupied with other problems in the middle east and with , continuing restraints on defense spending. issues arose outside of asia-pacific. and this continuing budget constraint. i think for a variety of reasons, not enough was done. i agree that the general
concept, the idea that we need to focus more of our resources on asia-pacific was the right one. many of the things that the previous administration started, i think were worthy, but for various reasons they didn't, or were not able to follow through adequately. >> let me shift back to north korea and the mention of regime change. i would like any of you to comment about the scenario of which that might happen. mentionedellis evolutionary change within the regime. at these you could say, end of the cold war there was an evolutionary change in moscow, which gave us hope for a little while. what do we know about the decision making process within the regime in north korea? understandinggood
, if not the united states, about the decision-making teams surrounding kim jong-un? and don't think our knowledge is very good. i think the assumption of most people is that this is making very heavily in the hand of the currently to her. maybe small circle people around him. as far as this evolutionary versus revolutionary, in the latter part of the kim jong-il regime, and the very beginning of the kim jong-un regime, there were people who hoped there might be a greater willing to open up. the chinese had hoped they might be able to persuade the north korean leadership to follow a path more similar to their own. control butal opening up economically. i think the chinese hoped that there were some people around the new leader who they could influence. many of those people have been executed by kim jong-un.
i think precisely because they -- he feared they were chinese influences. the perception of change seemed grim and. -- seemed grim. i think this is a mistake people on the outside world has made. that if we offer the right set -- right types of inducements, economic inducements, the opportunity to join the world and improve the likelihood of north korean citizens, we could somehow improve their policies. the leadership does not care about these things, and does not value these things and sees these as threatening. i don't see much prospects for evolutionary change of this particular leader. >> any other panelists have observations about the decision-making team? right now it is our most holy in the hands of this one individual. i think there are others in the past two are around him, but they have been systematically executed.
of purging inside the system is unprecedented, not just that the highest levels but also at the military army chief of staff, deputy chief of staff levels. there has been unprecedented fluidity there as well. this suggests a significant turn inside the system and that the leadership is facing certain challenges. he is dealing with them in one way, which is to purge everybody. the chinese would have had the whatinside -- insight into is going on in north korea. but after the leader executed his uncle, the chinese have lost all windows into north korea. often hear in the press how the chinese are except -- upset with the north koreans and that is why there are no high-level meetings. we did a study looking at all exchanges. the difference today is that there are no exchanges, but it is because the north koreans don't want to talk to the
chinese. the are not interested in talking to the chinese, the u.s. or anybody else. that is what is so worrying about the current situation. andhank you mr. chairman thank you all for being here. you have all pointed out that china does not want to see instability on the korean peninsula, that it is not in their interest. that china ist not willing to take action. i think maybe everybody has made that point, against north korea. do you then agree with dr. tellis that the more uncertain they are about the potential for president trump and the united states to engage in war on the peninsula, the more likely they would be to weigh in and to try and help address the north korean situation?
an argument could be made that, in terms of what is treaties for.s. china to do more, that there could be marginally more leverage today been in the past. largely because -- i think the chinese fill the situation is getting out of control. i think they feel like they don't have any ability to manage either side. wants athe xi jinping good relationship with the u.s. president. does seem tosident signal some unpredictability when it comes to north korea. in that sense i think we might have marginally more leverage than in the past, but it is all tactical. it is not a strategy yet. would probably feel better if i felt like what we were doing right now was part of a strategy towards north korea and asia.
context, what is a mess up like we have with the carl vinson carrier strike do in terms of dissent -- signals that we might be trying to send to our allies, and everybody in asia about what our intentions are? i will say that was a pretty brutal -- pretty big screwup. i think it really undermined our credibility among our allies. the fact that you are seeing south korean commentators and politicians commenting about that and how it shows the united states is not reliable. it is an unfortunate incident. i don't know how it happened or how it occurred. i will look forward to what he says about it. serious affect. in texas we have a saying, all hospital cattle. you don't want to show up with all hat and no cattle.
>> everybody i assume agrees with that. along those lines of how can we better send signals about what -- intense are -- in tents are, what is it say to our allies that we are not able to get a budget agreement domestically? that we have divisions in congress about how we are going to fund defense? in the next year? what kind of messages does that send to those people, for whom we want to project strength? youfriedberg i think mentioned that when you were talking about what our allies are looking at in the united states versus china. >> it certainly does not help, on the other hand it is not entirely new. people have been watching us and
the unfolding of our political process for a while. is an undercurrent of concern, which has been present for some time about our and our capacity to mobilize necessary resources to do the things we talked about doing. i do think those concerns have grown since our election, or in the course of our election campaign. in terms of rhetoric, the current administration candidate, trump, before he , raisedresident questions about all the central aspects of our global posture, alliances, commitment to free trade, universal values and so on. it may be in the long run that the policies he follows won't deviate as much as the rhetoric suggests, but all of that has added to the sense of anxiety about where the united states is going, that many in the region feel. on the other hand, there is this growing concern about china. >> along the lines of escalated
rhetoric, to what expect -- to what extent does that go against north korea than producer response that not only high in's the situation but provides a tension that kim jong-un may be interested in having from the world? i think there is a window. there is only so much unpretty ability that you can pull off. there is some leverage that may come from appearing to be willing to do things that seemed unlikely before. why is one of the reasons in 2003 the chinese stepped in. it was right up into the war of a rack. we were still hurting -- from iraq. we were still hurting from 9/11. the rhetoric and behavior of the new administration, i think there is a moment at which there is a lot of uncertainty. the chinese are not sure.
suspect it will diminish over time. i think that is what the chinese are playing for. they are waiting to see. i am not sure they really believe, at the end of the day, for all of the tough talk, we will actually do something as attack on theh an north koreans. whether the north koreans believe that or not is another question. >> thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman and i appreciate the panels comments on these important issues. importance of our allies in the region and globally, but particularly in this region. ofld you all agree that one the most important strategic advantages we have as a nation is that we are in ally rich ourtry, and that adversaries are potential up the series, whether it is china, russia, north korea or our ally core? >> on the strategic balance
sheets of assets and reliability, our allies on the asset column. arend the countries that trying to undermine our alliances, would you agree with that? let me ask a broad question. us go to the shangri-la dialogue on a regular basis. there is always this discussion about how china has this great long-term strategic vision and has the ability to see around the corners of history, and we do not have that capability. when you're in the region, it seems that their aggressive actions in the south china sea are actually driving countries away from them towards us. this is not just our traditional allies, but it is countries like .ietnam, countries like india i think initially, i certainly -- some of our colleagues had
some concerns of whether the trump administration fully understood the strategic advantage. now that they are in office, whether it is general mattis is first trip to the region, or vice presidents first trip that he is finishing up to the asia-pacific, it certainly seems like they are focused dash but are we doing enough? what more can we do to bolster this strategic it vantage we have with regards to our deep network of allies. deepening it, expanding it and making sure that chinese do not try to fat -- fracture it? what more can we be doing? to be doinge need at least two things to start. first we need to publicly commit that wecting the regime have had over the last 60 years. is not open for
the negotiation and the united states will not walk away. >> the chinese put out rabbis on -- lines on taiwan. we don't ever put out our own your it with regard to our allies is should make that a strategic line. dr. tellis: absolutely, we needed to become our alliances in terms of assets and reliabilities. i want to emphasize that the in. needs to avoid appearing -- that only opens the door for the chinese to do exactly what they described. >> any other thoughts on allies before i turn to my next subject? certainly, consistency is key. clarity of message from the united states is key. partisanship on asia policy is important. i think it is pretty good. initiatives like maritime
security. initiatives like this committee initiated. those physical demonstrations of interest in the region. also the united states needs to present a strategy. at the heart of that, our goal needs to be that the region is able to make choices on the economic side on the security side, independent of coercion. that is the key. i will let you address this one first, but speaking of chrome version and -- of andears and -- coersion allies, what is going on in the south china sea has been a concerted. secretary carter put forth a good policy the problem was, the execution
was weak. it undermined credibility. this committee seemingly had to push and push. firsthey did their follow-up, they seemed embarrassed about it. secretary wouldn't admit it to the chairman. what do we need to do with -ops?ds to phon my view is they should not be done in terms of the way the obama administration did them with innocent passage. these't recognize built-up landmasses. so what should we be doing to make sure we don't fall in the trap? good policy, bad execution undermine our credibility in my view. and administration, what should we do on our policy with regard to that? senator, you
provided the solution right there which is we need to approach these things as standard and nonpolitical, not big statements of policy, we should just do them quietly. >> we have been doing them for 70 years, right? >> absolutely. i'm your other question, i just finished writing a book on the u.s. alliances in asia and they are unique historical assets. the only thing i would add to what my colleagues mentioned is we need to network better our alliances. hube are largely bilateral and spokes and we need to build the tire around that whether it is missile-defense or collective security agreements, that would be great value added to our alliances. >> i agree they need to be more regular. when we make the more regular
they become less peak, but they cannot be our strategy in the south china sea. it can't be the entire strategy that we have. we need to think about the long game and that goes back to maritime security and building initiative that we have. we need a real diplomatic strategy on the south china sea so the tribunal ruling has affect -- effect. we missed opportunity with the ruling and not pursuing opportunity and real diplomatic effort on the regional level. we backed off from it, tried to calm the waters, which was important at the time, but we never followed through with the diplomatic game. dr. tellis: i think we need to do other things. think ito -- i don't should be centrally controlled by washington.
the second is we need to stay away from innocent passage, because the moment you talk about innocent passage you are reaffirming a particular chinese view of its rights, which we have never accepted and the rest has never accepted. we need to stay away from that like the plague. the third is, as part of the to providee need reassurance to our partners, which means building up their stand coercion. which means training, weapons required, and ultimately backing it up with a constant u.s. naval presence in the area. it doesn't have to be every day, but it has to be regular enough that the region states begin to feel comfortable that the u.s. is at least always around the corner. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator hirono.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to focus on our of this part of the world and he has proposed a budget, an appropriation amount, this has to do with -- 74 5 billion of new military funding and perhaps this is a question for dr. chow. the asian allies in pacific, opening to boost operational construction and increased munitions procurement, enhanced building with partners and expanded military exercises and other training exercises to help combat the movement towards a chinese influence throughout the asian-pacific region.
moneyuld this fund, this in this initiative impact the u.s. rule in the region and how could we appropriate this ative which includes regional stability and improve diplomatic ties? >> i am supported of the initiative because we need to stem the bleeding. we are woefully behind in terms of what we need to be doing in the pacific, in terms of our presence and capabilities, our fill critical in missions gaps, prepare runways necessary in the event of a conflict. it is stuff like that and this initiative is hugely valuable and very important budgetary gap for the pacific. i would be supportive of it. it goes back to the larger point of the united states needing to be seen strategically as investing in this part of the
.orld there is signaling value beyond the regular value, the actual value of the initiative, there is value as well in terms of our commitment to the peace and security in the region and our willingness to make the investments to make that possible. the region would perceive it well. able toes -- if we were use that kind of funding to network the allies and partners in this principled security , the reality is we need more funding. we need more presence and capability. >> how important is it -- you are a korea expert. how important is it to realize a government approach to maintaining the region, recognizing that we don't have much information about what goes
on in kim jong-un's mind. it is hard enough with our complicated relationship with china. in terms of stability in this tarp -- part of the world -- would you also support this initiative and how we can do more as a whole of government approach? >> i think those two questions are completely connected to each other in the sense that our effect in being able to get china to do more or to signal to north korea the credibility of our deterrence or any of our policies greatly depends on if the region sees us as committing to it and having staying power. as erin mentioned in his testimony, there is a grand game taking place in asia today are the chinese are trying to erode u.s. reliability and resiliency in the region and replacing it with the fact that they are there, they are big and they
have a lot of money in their pockets. >> and they do in a whole of government approach in this area. be as, there could not single more important signal of u.s. staying power in the region than investing in the things that constitute the u.s. security presence in asia. reboundthat will positively in the credibility of our north korea policy, the credibility of what we say to china. >> would all of you agree that maybe our staying power is continuing to show up? it is important for secretary matus -- visit to south korea and japan, the continual emphasis and showing on part of the message that we have commitment to this part of the aspect, as important well as the practical parts about funding and resources, would you agree all of you? you mentioned the issue that
.hat was a big screwup how is the united states viewed right now in this part of the world? other panelists can respond as well, very briefly. >> i wouldn't say that the issue should be determinative of an review of the region, but our sodibility is our currency, the minute you undertake actions that undermine credibility, that has a profound effect in the region in how we are perceived. incident and ine believe there is good reasons for why it happened, but the reality is it created a perception of lack of credibility. -- that have a range of we are viewed credibly about one to five, where would you put the that part of the
world views us, including the philippines, south korea, japan, australia, where would we fall in our credibility, five being the highest? >> i think that is a question for them. that the united states has been a credible power in the pacific. the question now is can we continue to be one? >> anyone want to weigh in briefly? >> i would say that we are probably below three, but then we have seen a series of trips by the administration with , tillerson, the vice president that have helped send a positive signal to the region, taking us over the threshold. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator cruz. senator cruz: thank you to each of the witnesses for being here. i think the importance of the
asia-pacific region has been well highlighted by this testimony and the well-justified public focus on the threat of north korea. i want to start by focusing on and askrea specifically the panel to assess the following hypothetical, which is -- if tensions were to escalate to the point of a targeted military strike against north facilities, how would the witnesses assess the probabilities of four potential outcomes? one, a retaliatory strike with nuclear weapons, two a retaliatory strike with north korean conventional weapons. three, the attack reciprocating a collapse of the north korean regime. and four, the attack precipitating direct chinese military intervention?
and i would ask it to any of the witnesses on the panel. i guess it depends in part on the character of the strike and we talked a little bit about that earlier with the regime perceiving it as something intended to be surgical or a forerunner to an attempt to overthrow it. obviously, the more the regime worries the united states and south koreans are coming to get them, the more likely it is they will -- >> let's assume the target -- strike was targeted at nuclear facilities. i don't think the prospect in the near term of collapse would be very great because there wouldn't be anything directly tend to weaken the regime. response conventional would be very likely. the threat of a nuclear response somewhat lower because then all bets would be off, and as far as chinese intervention, i would think that would be unlikely unless and until the chinese
leadership believed that the regime was about to collapse and north korea was about to fragment and south korea and the united states were moving forces towards their border. i don't think they would do it unless those conditions have been met. cruz: i used to think -- >> i used to think that the response would be conventional. they had artillery pieces, they would use those. thethese days, looking at character of north korean nuclear testing, my guess is the response would actually be on split thetry and u.s.-korea alliance from the u.s.-japan alliance. at least the character of their testing recently has been focused on demonstrating an ability to target with a list on u.s. bases in japan, flying missiles within 200 kilometers of the japanese shoreline. that is what i think they would
and i am not clear if the attack itself as you described it would be able to eliminate all of their nuclear facilities because i don't think we know where they all are. agree with victor, i think they would definitely go after japan. i disagree a little on the chinese intervention point. i think the chinese could potentially try to intervene just to preserve stability on their flank. what that looks like and how that materializes, i don't know, but i don't think the chinese would just sit back even if it was a targeted strike. the thing that would change that would be whether or not in advance we could get the chinese to hold back, but i still have extreme doubts they would do that. >> i suspect the likelihood of a nuclear retaliatory response is relatively low because we would still have the capacity to have escalation dominance in that scenario.
realityconventional tick -- retaliation is inevitable and it would be aimed at south korea and japan. in order to communicate the credibility of the north korean leadership and its determination to protect its survival, as well as to split the alliance. the key question about china really hinges on whether the chinese see the targeted attack as really being the first phase of air ground action to follow. their-groundive action to follow it is almost certain they would intervene to try and prevent this from escalating further. in your assessment, short of military action, how much positive impact could china have in reining in north korean hostilities and what would it take for china to exercise its influence and power?
>> well, we were talking about china going someplace it has ever been before and unfortunately, i think the only way that is going to happen is if they think the united states is going to go someplace it has never been before. based on my experience as a negotiator on this issue, in the previous administrations, i feel that the only time china ever responds is not in response to anything north korea does because they just assume that is a constant, it is the variation in u.s. behavior that they take notice of. i think what the current administration is trying to leverage right now. went u.s. behavior do you see as maximizing china's beneficial influence on north korea? >> the united states right now is trying to signal a combination of muscularity, unprinted ability and decisiveness all at the same feel much because they
like the past administration was eight years of predictability and indecisiveness, and that is a hard thing to manage. it is hard to manage those things because they are conflicting signals, but they seem to be trying to walk that line right now. >> if you ask what would be the outer limit of what china could do, assuming it was willing to do almost anything, it could bring north korean economy to its knees pretty close to that already, it could cut off the flows of funds that go across the border into china -- into north korea via activities north korea is engaging. inhibit flow-through china that supports the special weapons programs. it could do a lot. now the question is what might induce them to do that. it seems there are a number of possibilities. one is the prospect that the united states was going to do something really drastic that could have catastrophic consequences.
it would have to believe that, and i don't believe they think at this point. another would be to persuade them that the entire relationship to the united states was on the line, including the economic relationship and we were willing to do things that imposed cost and pain on china that would be so great it would be a danger to the chinese regime and therefore, they might do something that we would want them to do to pressure north korea. i don't think we are willing to do that, but it is theoretically possible. >> thank you very much. mr. chairman, and thank you to our panelists for a very interesting discussion and i actually want to pick up on a comment about the economic relationships between these two countries because it seems between us and china, this is a new paradigm when it comes to international relations and we are dealing with a country we have very close economic relations with, and it is not a
situation you can impose sanctions on china and not have some of that blow back on the. -- the united states. when you think about the conflict with the soviet union back in those days, we had a closed economy, not really tied to the u.s. that has a completely different dynamic. i heard about a change in strategy from each of the weelists -- that in the past thought about engaging in trade and engagement, it would liberalize the chinese culture or society, that has not been the case. that very didn't play out. also the theory that if you are more engaged in trade, you are less likely to have an armed conflict. is that there he not going to play out in china as well? so maybe if the panelists could talk about how we have this mutual dependence between china and the united states and how that limits some of the tools that we have in order to engage
with the chinese and some of these behaviors that are becoming quite troublesome to our national security? that itnk you are right is a new paradigm, but not unique historically. with thenusual situation in the cold war where we engaged in strategic competition with the soviet union, but traded very little with them. historically, it has been more economico have both and strategic interactions and it hasn't always prevented war. i, leadingd war trading partners, but in the end geopolitics overwhelmed economics. another thing i would say, the economic relationship between the united states and china is not entirely equal. it appears china has been getting the better side of that deal, the chinese have also been
exploiting the relationship to promote not only the growth of their economy, but the development of their military capabilities. the last thing i would say is that in the long run, the chinese hope to diminish their dependence on it interaction with the united states so as to increase their strategic independence. they can't entirely eliminated, but i think they believe they have passed through a period where they were so dependent on american capital and markets that there were constrains strategically. they would like to move away from that in the long run. >> a couple points. i think it would be a mistake to set the bilateral relationship with china above our interest, and we cannot make the preservation of that relationship our objective. that is the first point. it has created complications for american policy with china for some time. the second thing i would say is that we should avoid issue linkage in the relationship.
for example, getting the chinese to put pressure on north korea therefore we back off on say, the south china sea or pick another issue like taiwan, that would be a tremendous mistake because the region is watching for that and signs the americans will sacrifice their interest. in the context of the broader relationship, i think your point is right. it is a big relationship that has elements of competition and cooperation, but we have to be clear eyed about what our actual interests are in the context of that. >> i would add one other point to that. security competition is complicated in the context of economic independence. -- interdependence. but the balance of risks that north korea -- poses to the united states and china are different. the risk to the united states are far greater. the balance of interests are
parallel. china has an entrance -- interest in it avoiding an explosion in the region. because the risks are greater for us, it behooves china to do whatever they can to push north koreans, at least in the near term, to the negotiating table and then give diplomacy a chance to figure out what could be put in place to buy some time until they can get our hands around more solutions. i senator, the only thing would add to these good comments is that you mentioned in your comments -- question that economic interdependence could mollify state policy in the region. while those theories are in the classroom, what has been clear in asia is that china is growing economic interviewing -- interaction hasn't had a effect, it has helped them leverage economic tools to
their benefit in very draconian ways, whether economic sanctions against south korea or its tropical fruits in the philippines or its rare earth minerals to japan, there is a clear pattern of how china uses economic leverage in ways that are not -- one would not consider very productive for overall peace and security in the region. >> thank you very much. if nothing changes, is it just a matter of time until north korea has the icbms that can hit nuclear -- america with a nuclear weapon? >> yes, i think that is true. it is just a matter of time if nothing changes. >> why would they want to achieve that goal? that what it is does for their own domestic narrative. this leader has nothing -- none
of the mythology of his father or grandfather. he doesn't have the economy or anything else to point to. of aer is that it is part military strategy to be able to deter the united states from flowing into the region. >> all of you agree with that assessment? so, in many ways, the korean war is not over for north korea in their own minds, is that fair to say? >> i think that is right, sir. >> they literally believe we are going to come in on any given day and take the country away from them, is that fair to say? the certainly think that is justification to their own audience of what they are pursuing, yes. >> how would you say the regime treats its own people on a scale of one to 10. 10 being very bad. h, 100. i think it is the worst human rights violator in the world today. >> we have the worst human
rights violator in the world about to acquire a missile to hit the american homeland. do you trust north korea not to use it one day? >> i think there is always hope that deterrence works, if it worked during the cold war but that assumes rationality on the part of all actors and we can't assume that in north korea's case. >> in terms of threats to the united states coming from asia, what would be greater than north korea with a missile and a nuclear weapon that could hit the homeland? >> i can't think of a more approximate threat to our security at this point. that if thelieve north koreans believe that military force is not an option to stop their missile program, they will most certainly move forward? >> i'd be happy to give my colleagues a chance to answer, that i believe --
>> i believe that is true, sir. >> i believe that is true blue. too.ue all of you agree that china has the most leverage of anybody in the world regarding north korea, is that a fair sake -- statement? is it fair to say they have not fully utilize that leverage up until this point? that if china believed we read use military force to stop their missile row graham from maturing, they would use more leverage? affirmative answer. what do you believe north the prep -- trump administration and china's view of the trump administration is regarding the use of force? what is your initial impressions? >> i think it is too early to largerhis is part of a set of questions china poses about what directions the new
administration will go and they have two views of it. it is ahat is a -- reckless administration that is bound to get into conflict, even with themselves. on the other hand, there are those -- and this is a prevalent who believe the president of the united states is a dealmaker and interested in business, you could possibly get along with him, but they have to get their and they are concerned and uncertain. hopewould also add that i that the chinese also understand that the structure of the situation is very different. is now approaching a capability that compels the united states to make choices it has never had to make before, and that whether it is president trump or anyone else who is president, it would all be forced into a situation today when they are making choices they never had to make before because there is a homeland security threat. my hope is that the chinese understand that the structure of the situation is very different
regardless of who is president. >> do you believe that north korea's missile technology, if not changed, will mature by the time 2020? they will have a missile if nothing changes? affirmative response. >> we are all going to the white house tomorrow night to be briefed. no good choices when it comes to north korea, do you all agree with that? isld you agree that if there a war between north korea and the united states, we would win? do you think north korea understands that? we would win ultimately, but it would be extremely costly in the near term. >> more costly to them than us? them wheretly for regime survival is concerned. left, but ifoices there is a war today it is over there.
in the future, if there is a war it comes here. thank you for your time. >> may i add one other thought. thought? we ought not to forget the prospects of further north korean outward proliferation. >> i did not even get there because that bothers me as much as the missile. they could give it to somebody and use it in a different way. on that cheery note we will end. >> i would like to thank all of you for being here today and for your helpful and informative testimony. now, we have nuclear at south korea. dr. friedland, how persuasive to the north koreans are that kind force for or show lack of a better term, along
with the carl vinson being in the area. do they matter or are they simply more provocative because it provides a larger platform or more visible show on their part? >> i think the north koreans have shown a great do look sensitivity to our military activity in conjunction with the south koreans are on the peninsula. military exercises and so on so they are paying close attention and they notice what we do. the question is how to they interpret that and doesn't cause them to change behavior. probably these gestures have caused them to pull back a bit. maybe they would have -- if not for all of the talk of u.s. forces in the region. i'm not so sure that they actually believe we going to use those capabilities. >> i think they have an effect on the north koreans. you saw they had a big artillery
exercise this morning. they are reactive to some of what we do. i think the accumulation of it over time could have a numbing effect on the dynamic. does get theirit attention but they've also gotten used to some of these moves. >> you made the point that the us, i think played , forraphrase what you said the last 15 years. as there any prospect of these military exercises changing china's view? >> i think at the chinese became persuaded, convinced that we actually were on the verge of initiating military action against north korea they might behave differently. they might apply greater economic pressure to north korea . i don't think they are convinced of that.
they are uncertain. >> i also think it's perceived we are making a big bluff that has serious credibility impacts for our strategy. fleet tog our exercises with australia rather than to the area where we said they were going might undermine our credibility, correct? >> it was not a shining moment, senator. >> there is another aspect to this. that is how actions are perceived in south korea. the extent to which people become fearful that we might do a war orat might cause produce great suffering in south korea. we have to be very careful that we are communicating our intentions and people in south korea, the leadership but also public perceive that accurately.
otherwise we're going to do damage to our long-term relationship with one of our most important allies. >> i agree with that. many and south korea it's sort of a dual edged sword. they would like to see a stronger u.s. posture with regard to the north korean threat but they don't want to strong' because that it looks like you're preparing for something else and not just deterrence. i would agree with what kelly said. whether it is a submarine or the vinson strike group these things , either as part of or related the sets of exercises, the major exercises the united states does with the rock in the region are good to read the show muscularity but they have a numbing effect and then you are compelled to think of other create more ofld a sense that there's more than just posturing here. one of the things i've heard talked about is applying more
forces to the peninsula. rebecca be a dual edged sword. it can be seen as strengthening deterrence. it could be seen as preparing for something else. a lot of angles to the problem that i think the current administration must deal with. >> behind all of it there's the danger of miscalculation which is perhaps most frightening because it means any kind of military conflict would not be on the terms we wanted. plan weistent with the may prepare it is precipitous .nd unexpected >> i entirely agree with there. thank you all for being here hearing.his helpful a couple of other points in tellis, thecan, dr.
u.s./india relationship has evolved over the past decade from distance to a close strategic partnership. in the past new year's the department of defense has named india a major defense partner and established the defense technology trade initiative. india famously values its nonalignment inform policy and has long-standing relationship with russia. even today russia is india's supplier. where as the united states into sizes restrictions on the use of force russian arms come with very few strings attached. , some have recently suggested that india is playing the united states and russia against each other for its own benefit.
do you think that is true and do you believe that this is something the united states should be concerned about? >> i think india has always had russiationship with independent of the united states. the russians have been more willing to provide strategic technologies and capabilities that we would not either for reasons of policy or law. our objective with india has been more subtle than i think has been expressed often in the public commentary. the u.s. has approached india with a view to building its own capabilities. rather than seeking to forge an alliance. the reason they've done that is because we believe a strong india aids in the preservation of the balance of power in asia that serves our interests. it india can help balance china
independently that is a good thing for us. irrespective of what they do with us bilaterally. i think that policy is a sensible one and we ought to pursue it. the indians have come around to the recognition that russia today no longer has the kind of cutting-edge capabilities it did during the days of the soviet union. the russians are not particularly reliable with respect to providing advanced conventional technology so while they want to keep the relationship with russia in good repair because they have a military capital stock from russia been want to diversify. >> i appreciate your perspective on this. india's largest democracy in the world, an important partner for us in the region. it's incredibly important to continue to grow the relationship in the years to
come. thank you. one other question if i can. earlier you mentioned the missile defense. when we were talking about korea. that is a critical part of our layered missile defenses. what are the additional measures specifically that we should be taking with our allies in south korea and japan in order to deal with the north korean threat? most important thing we can do is encourage trilateral cooperation especially in the maritime space and the regional missile defense space. we been doing some of that. we made a lot of progress. south korea and japan have historic concerns that have inhibited a lot of progress. i think that's changing and the more the united states can get south korea and japan operating
together, getting our systems talking to each other, is going to only improve our ability to defend ourselves. you saw the carl vinson is doing exercises with the japanese. and ready to hand off to the koreans today. there is a sequencing that is important. we need to move past a sequence set of cooperation. we need to be doing more together on the water. >> would anyone like to add to that? >> the only thing i would add is -- northe need another korea can angle their missiles am certain way. they can avoid one battery so i think we need more than one. >> i take it that is a consensus position. very helpful. i think we need to signal to our allies that our commitment is and that weable, are going to pursue appropriate ways to demonstrate that.
kaine.tor >> i want to follow-up on senator warren has questions. two of you mentioned the importance of the relationship. senator mccain echoed that. one of you only talked about the indo pacific, not the asia-pacific. i thought that was interesting, the title of the hearing is about the asia-pacific that you used the phrase in the pacific. virtually all of our dod witnesses switched over to using indo pacific in their testimony. the indian military does more joint exercises with the united states than any other nation. that is an important trend. a recent trend. -- theinister modi congress party has had a traditional non-alliance. a little bit of an evolution for them. talk about what we should be doing to deepen the relationship not only militarily.
it seems a similarity between china and russia is they would like the u.s. less involved in the region and they both seem to have an interest in undermining the brand of democracies generally suggesting that authoritarian nations are just as good. nations have some motive to demonstrate the strength of democracies. the does not seem to be an institution in the world now that is effectively promoting the strength of the democratic model and i'm curious to have you talk about what the u.s. and india might do together either security issues in the region or more generally to promote the democratic model against this assault from authoritarian nations to suggest it is losing its vigor. >> practically speaking with the indians we can doing more and southeast asia together and south asia. building capacity of our partners. the indians have taken an
interest in getting more engaged in the asia-pacific as part of modi's act east. i think there is more coordination the united states and india can do at the strategic level in terms of finding ways to build capacity of the southeast asia partners and southeast asia as a way to check chinese ambitions a little bit. more cooperation in the indian ocean region. historically that's been india's space. we have a very successful exercise that we do with india that -- going back to the point i made earlier about networking our security relationships, we should try to press the indians to include allies like australia into that exercise. the more we in india can work to expand this approach to the
region the better. in terms of your question on democracy, the united states and india share issue to view on the importance of a rules-based order. it is what drives our cooperation at the strategic level. i think the more the united states and india are seen partnering together in initiatives the more it's had a bank shot on the democratic expert -- the democratic aspects. courts let me start by giving your sense of what i think the fears and uncertainties are right now in delhi. they are concerned the u.s. will not make the investments required to protect its preeminence in asia. if that concern grows their willingness to bet on the u.s. relationship diminishes. they are concerned that the u.s. for tactical regions -- reasons
might reach -- india will find itself in a sense losing out. the immediate challenge we have with india is to reassure it that the u.s. will continue to remain security guarantor of the asian space writ large. with that i include the indian ocean and the asian pacific. they see the strategic challenges immediately as rising from china. whatever we can do to help them cope with those strategic challenges, the things that advance common interest. ocean becomes an immediate point of focus. southeast asia becomes an immediate point of focus. i would say central asia and the persian gulf. has interest in the gulf area there are millions of indians who work in the gulf. an important source of foreign
exchange. those are three areas where we can continue to do work in terms of broader defense cooperation. senator warren alluded to the defense technology initiative that was started by secretary carter. i think we ought to pursue that doesn't meet an important need and i hope the new administration doubles down on support. the final point i would make, the indians are eager to work for the united states in democracy promotion but not at .he high end, the low-end more interested in working with us in building institutions as opposed to changing regimes. they know they can affect our choices with respect to how we deal with regimes but getting the mechanics of democracy right, helping countries conduct elections. having training programs for civil servants, helping them put together the institutional capacities to man democracy. that is where india has been willing to work with us.
during the bush administration they worked with us on the global initiative of democracy. it would be unfortunate that we lost our appetite for democracy promotion at this point when you have a prime minister and india who is eager to work with us on democracy promotion around the world. kaine, please. >> thank you very much. there are eight other countries in the world of the north korea that have nuclear weapons. many of them have had them for many years. it did never been used principally because of the principle of deterrence. the question, based upon your testimony today is that they continued pursuit of weapons by north korea is inevitable. it will be difficult to derail with anything short of devastating military confrontation, which we can discuss and a moment. will deterrence work with north korea just as it has worked with the rest of the world to keep us
away from nuclear confrontation? think -- the hopeful answer is that it will. north korea has been deterred from invading the korean peninsula with armored divisions. the u.s. in terms of conventional deterrence has worked. when it comes to -- two things are different. we're talking about nuclear weapons and we are talking but a different leader. even if we assume deterrence holds we still have two other problems. as senator graham and ashley mentioned outward proliferation. north korea is a serial proliferator. isthe real nightmare nonstate actors obtaining nuclear weapons for whom
deterrence would not work. thate second concern is because if deterrence holds that the nuclear run of the latter there is the possibility that north korea will feel the united states has deterred therefore it can course more epic conventional level. the stability instability paradox. a lot of concern that north korea, even if it's deterred, will feel it has more license to take actions at the convention -- the conventional level. >> you have all testified as to the consequences of a printed theke. soul is as far from dmz as we are from baltimore. we are talking about artillery. let me ask the question in another way.
could we take out their nuclear capacity with a preemptive ?trike or would there simply be enough left to reconstitute it and they would be even more determined at that point? >> the short answer is i don't know. but i do think the question of permanence is important and what the objective of the strike would be. if it was to take up the program, there is the knowledge issue. >> during our debate the intelligence community informed us an all-out strike on the nuclear capacity of iran would delay their program two years. that was an important part of the debate. . that makes that alternative less appealing. particularly when you later on the response and the danger of confrontation with china. far aasibility of how
military strike could go in terms of eliminating the capacity. >> i don't believe we have the capacity to eliminate the program in its entirety which essentially means there will be a residual asset in the capacity for reconstitution. >> certainly the will based upon having been struck. one of the things that really concerns me about the situation we are in which is one of the most dangerous i can remember in my adult life is accidental escalation. misperception. we move the carrier group, we believe that is a message. they believe it's preparation for an invasion. you get a response. you're are all nodding. the record will not show nods. >> i think that is an additional danger or it even if you assume a certain level of rationality
there is a real problem of misperception in miscalculation. the view that as nearly as we can tell the current north korean leadership has the rest of the world extremely distorted. i think they do believe we are out to get them and there are possibilities for interaction between things that we do and things that they do that can have unintended consequences. >> do we have any direct north > communication with north korea? >> the channel the u.s. government uses is through the from that mission to the u.n. in new york but it's largely a messaging channel. me that that would be an important issue when you're in a situation when you don't want misunderstandings. that is when wars start. misunderstanding, misperception of each side past moves. >> it could be miscalculation that comes from someplace completely different.
we have data that suggests north korea was to target u.s. and south korean elections with provocations and we have an election in south korea may 9. it is possible the north koreans could carry out something nonnuclear directed at south korea that can also spin out of control. miscalculation could come from a variety of different places. >> i appreciate your testimony. we focused great deal on north korea. we did not talk as much about china. graham allison has a new book, destined for war, that i think we need to study. we could have an entire hearing on that. thank you for your testimony. me thank the panel for a compelling testimony. on behalf of chairman mccain declare that the hearing is adjourned. >> thank you.