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tv   Washington Journal Mark Bowden Discusses U.S. Strategy Toward North Korea  CSPAN  June 24, 2017 8:30am-9:01am EDT

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from one coast to the other. starting in the northeast, the report got out. for some reason states on the west that not pay attention. when i was living in california the time, i'm listening to the stories in the east. they started implementing it in california could monica crowley and others started writing articles about it. they ended up having weekly protests in sacramento, thousands of people would show up. they were shutting water supplies down. from one coast to the other. host: we only have a few seconds a left just few seconds left. -- a few seconds left. guest: regulations have unattended cuts quinces. you may be causing some transfer of some of the costs. similarly where the fda, we were undertaking regulations.
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you cannot make health claims. --t do companies do not go what do companies do instead? you can have the average health quality go down. yet it take about those things -- you have to think about those things. you want to do the right thing. it can have unintended consequences. crews, thankayne you for joining us. guest: it was a delight. host: up next, mark boughton of the atlantic will be here to discuss options with dealing north korea. of we will be right back. ♪ >> this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, today at
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c-span.org. >> washington journal continues. host: joining us now via skype is mark boughton. he is the national correspondent for the atlantic who is also the author of our spotlight on magazines. how to deal with north korea. he will talk about the best options for doing with north korea how are you this morning. and divingake a look article, refresh our viewers about this history of the crisis in north korea. guest: korea was divided after world war ii in the early 1950's. north korea invaded the south and the united states intervened and fought a war to push them back across the demilitarized
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zone and the standoff has continued ever since with the dynasty founded by kim hill song creating anng arsenal of artillery, a huge military, nuclear weapons, chemical and biological weapons. they have never really accepted the korean war is over. andsouth korean government the country of south korea has proper and become one of the most successful economies of the world while north korea remains ,his very totalitarian impoverished state, with the exception of its military power. as he gets closer to the point that is being able to put a nuclear weapon on a ballistic missile, they pose a greater threat. host: you open your piece in the
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atlantic which is in the july/august 2017 issue and also online at the atlantic.com. your open it with a pretty ominous paragraph that says -- what kind of tactics have the u.s. used to fight against north korea and its nuclear program? guest: for the past 30 or 40 years, the united states have applied as much diplomatic and economic pressure as it could on north korea.
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there hasn't been any clashes between or nothing major between north korea and the united states, although north korea has -- they sunk a ship and they which is ownednd by south korea. there are occasional flareups between them. for the most part, the american effort is hasn't worked has been try to ratchet up the pressure on north korea to get it to back away from its nuclear program. host: we are talking to mark boughton who is joining us via skype.
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in this article, mark, you lay out four options that the united states has of for siding north korea for strategic options. can you lay those out? fact: it stems from the that president trump said he is not going to allow north korea to build an icbm with a nuclear tipped. what i set out to do is try to figure out in the absence of any successful diplomatic efforts, what we could do militarily and they range from the first option which is prevention. it is essentially to take out the north korean military and government and it would involve a massive invasion and attack , but whichsucceed would trigger a catastrophic response. the second option is turning the
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screws which is to take more limited military action against north korea and gradually ratchet up the consequences of their failure to relent. the third is decapitation which is a strategy that has been leaked by south korean government and the trump administration which involves eliminating kim jong un and this circle of leaders and replacing the government of north korea with one more amenable. the last option -- and all of these i emphasize our bad the fact- is except that within the next 45 years, they are going to have a nuclear tipped icbm cable of reaching the united states. -- capable of reaching the united states. host: right now you do right that the best -- rests as long as it has with china which may
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or may not have enough economic leverage to influence kim's policymaking which he may not want to do so since having a family neighbor making trouble for washington and seoul for beijing's interests. talk to us about the diplomatic situation as it relates to north korea. the united states has tried to work with china to apply pressure on north korea for decades. he renounce policy of the nine states was to prevent north korea from developing and does developing a nuclear weapon. -- developing a nuclear weapon. pursuing a policy which he calls strategic patience. president trump after announcing he was not going to allow any further progress by north korea had dinner with the premier of china.
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then announced that he had been schooled over dinner by the chinese premier about how difficult an issue this was most was.tly, china -- this most recently, china had been making an effort to try and convince north korea to back down. the news reports are that has not been successful. host: we are talking with mark bowden about his deal on how to do -- about his book on how to deal with north korea. our democratic line from san diego. caller: i wanted to talk to mark about perhaps the prospect of north koreans buying nuclear warheads on the black market. i saw a report on vice where it is very easy for certain individuals to acquire a nuclear warheads and having scientists to develop them.
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how would they put the nuclear warhead in the icbm? guest: these are old technologies. worrying about where north korea would get nuclear weapons is past the point because they have built them and exploded them. they have their own arsenal of nuclear weapons. most analysts believe they have figured out how to shrink the bomb to be small enough to be on top of a missile. they haven't successfully tipped the icbm but they shot one off a couple of months ago at a very high trajectory. it could've conceivably reselect further than any shot before. they're getting closer to their objective. host: from frederick, maryland on our independent line. caller: hi.
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i just wanted to say, thanks for having me. i really enjoyed this talk today . it is so imperative we pay close attention. the thing i think we need more than anything is peace through strength regardless of your party affiliation. in recent decades, we really haven't seen that. we have done the opposite. on top of it, we have aided and abetted these enemies like iran. we are in deep trouble. we really need to pay close attention to this issue. any thoughts on that, mark, with respect to the iranian component with north korea. anyt: i am not aware of real collaboration between iran and north korea on their nuclear program. we were able during obama's years to reach a very controversial agreement with iran where they agree to stop
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their nuclear program for 12 years. the reason that that was successful, if you call that a success, is iran has a lot of economic ties with the rest of the world. the united states was able to build a coalition to apply pressure on iran. north korea has notes american ties to the rest of the world -- has no significant ties to the rest of the world. far as military options, those are the things i explore. i will elaborate why all of them are really bad options. host: in a piece in yesterday's "washington post" about north korea about how to avoid war in north korea. i will read you a little bit of that.
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but the piece ends by saying -- ask what do you think about the option? guest: i think we ought to try it in my concern is we have been trying it for a long time. there are really so many ways that we can hurt north korea further through economic sanctions. the truth is we do not have much dealing with north korea, nor does anyone else. they are very isolated. it is strictly authoritarian so
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they don't have to worry about any sort of popular discontent or disapproval. kim jong un is going to do what he wants to do. andeems bent on a compass -- on accomplishing his goals. host: we are talking with mark bowden of the atlantic about his piece, how to deal with north korea, in the next issue of the atlantic. he is also the author of several oaks, including black hawk down, the bases of the film, as well as guests of the ayatollah and the best game ever. bill is calling from illinois. caller: good morning. a couple of comments before my question. sanctions have sometimes produced better results. before world war ii, i think we had imposed a lot of sanctions against japan regarding oil.
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to thehave contributed move at pearl harbor. the second thing is, why would one ever think that some regime that has been in power for 30 years whose goal is to stay in power whatever voluntary relinquished their nuclear weapons. my question is strategic patience has worked pretty well for the last 20 years. why the big brush to do something -- why the big rush to do something? why would north korea do something knowing there is going to be -- that would be the end of their regime? that is my question. big rush is north korea was conference of korea
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and other countries in the region is on the verge of the building and icbm with a nuclear weapon. those weapons can reach the united states mainland and they pose a more direct threat to our national security. i am quoting our president in saying that he is determined to prevent this from happening. that is why we are at this point. if north korea succeeds in building and icbm with a nuclear tipped, even if they don't use that weapon, he gives them a substantial more leverage in dealing with the united states and south korea. their goal would be to pressure the south korean government into asking the united states to leave people have 30,000 troops .n south korea if they can get the united states out of south korea, i believe they think they can then proceed with their agenda of
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trying to retake the whole peninsula. host: in your piece you don't just talk about the nuclear program, you talk about other threats. you write -- talk a little more about that. guest: that is the big problem. any attack on north korea which occur in response. seoul is a city of about 25 million people. they are only 50 miles away from
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a demilitarized zone. been --rea has batteries that is capable of leveling seoul. it would likely trigger a response that would lead to unimaginable death and misery. host: wesley is calling from philadelphia on our independent line. good morning caller:. -- good morning. caller: the guy before me kind of asked my question. do we know what people inside of the country think? some north koreans have managed to get out and escape to other places. do we have an idea of what north koreans themselves take of the kim regime? -- themselves think of the kim regime? guest: we have a limited idea. there is a book called nothing to envy.
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it is the best i have seen writing about what life is like in north korea. there is a fairly steady flow of escapees from north korea into south korea. in interviews with them -- and interviews with them about what life is like about what is going on in north korea, we do know that in pyongyang which is the capital of north korea and the center of the infrastructure of the regime was a fairly sizable population of north koreans who are doing fairly well right now. they represent only a tiny fraction of the population of the country. shell of the immediate support that the kim regime has. there is reports that economically, because kim jong un has allowed like markets to
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flourish, there has been some improvement in the quality of life for people in north korea. as far as how they feel about the regime, given that they have been subjected to generations of very determined the ganda and have no access desk determined propaganda and have no access to news us out of north korea, we can assume there is a fairly strong level of support for kim's regime, even though the people who have suffered tragically over the last 20 or 30 years. host: we are talking with the atlantic's mark bowden about his piece, how to deal with north korea. republicans can call -- mark, i want to talk about the united states preparedness. is the united states prepared to deal with a potential strike?
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and report in the washington examiner this week says the united states failed to intercept a missile test over hawaii. how concerned should we be? guest: we ought to be very concerned. tore is no adequate response an icbm attack. it turned out to be a very difficult technological challenge to hit a missile once it is in flight. the united states is fairly good at targeting missiles just before they are launched or immediately after they are launched, if they are liquid .ueled rockets lately north korea has been experiencing with solid fueled rockets which are much harder to detect prior to launch. we would have to have the ability to hit that missile in mid flight. record only around a 50%
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of being successful doing that. host: helen is calling in from georgia on our democratic line. caller: good morning. hi mark. , i you explain more about believe that china text north korea -- china or text north korea and uses north korea as a proxy. can you go into more detail about why sections have not worked -- why sanctions have not worked in that china has allowed the korea to get everything? china is the key because of their the one nation that has ties to north korea. in one extent, north korea depends on chinese support. the chinese have been reluctant to apply strong pressure on north korea for both political
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reasons -- they are allies opposed to japan and the united states in that region. disinclined to remove the north korean problem. is other issue is for china as they rested up sections on north korea, the increase the floods of refugees across the border into china which is a problem for china. not only does it serve their interests to enable kim jong un, it also causes great problems for them if they lean too heavily. host: of the four strategic options that you laid out, one of them, decapitation, would involve seeking out john own. .- seeking out kim jong un if that were to happen, who would fill that leadership?
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guest: that is a great question, kimberly. that is why decapitation is itself a bad option, because we would be rolling the dice. we don't know who would replace him. we may well end up with someone worse and also, i think given the reverence accorded kim in that country, a direct attack on him weibel trigger -- may will trigger the massive response that it would be designed to avoid. host: livingston is calling from cambridge, massachusetts. -- america is the only country that would use nuclear weapons against innocent people. why would north korea would want to attack the u.s.? if they get one missile across,
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america can wipe out the entire peninsula. there is no threat from north korea -- they want to protect themselves. that america doesn't just go in and destroy them. answer me that, please. guest: you are executive right. that is why the four bad options i proposed, accepting the fact they are going to have this idea and this is the best we can do. as you say, it would be suicidal for north korea to use a weapon like that, because they face an overwhelming response from the united states and south korea. part of the problem is just having nuclear weapons gives north korea -- it makes north korea more of a menace to the world. in certain a more of a menace to the united states -- and certainly more of a menace to the united states. -- they want to
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prevent it. the other possibility is north korea could mistake the military place ins that take that part of the world between the united states and japan as a threat to them. given the predictability of that regime, the mere fact that they have these weapons, even though we would regard their use as suree, we cannot see for that they feel the same way host:. -- the same way. host: recently the president talked about china's role. what is your reaction to the president's speech? guest: i think it is all about
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the continuing education of donald trump. makingery susceptible to broad statements and threats and making huge promises, only to confront difficult reality. i think this is an instance of that. he can say all he likes that the united states will not allow north korea to build these weapons, but when he gets down to it, there are not any good options. host: jim is calling from eastpointe, michigan. caller: good morning. the real question is, are the chinese willing to go to war with the united states over the actions of north korea? that is what it boils down to. we don't need permission to make a preemptive strike from the chinese or anyone else. one of our nuclear strikes could
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wipe out the asian continent. i keep hearing how much seoul would be devastated. they will recover. the north koreans will cease to exist as a country if that >> this of course is the strategy that a lot of people who feel that the u.s. should use its overwhelming force. the problem is there is almost no scenario, even though we do have an overwhelming advantage, where we can prevent north korea soul, southg soul -- you are not talking about just an ugly war, you're talking about millions of people being killed within the first hour. to me,

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