tv Washington Journal David Rank Discusses the North Korea Nuclear Standoff CSPAN September 24, 2017 9:04am-9:34am EDT
on deals. it has to be the right deal, the and oneof the company, that has shareholder value. i think it is no secret that overall, this president and administration is likely less hostile to horizontal growth or even vertical growth in the telecoms space and elsewhere. communicators," monday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we want to welcome david rank, former career civil service at the career department . a lot to talk about. let's begin with north korea. how concerned are you with the situation today? aest: i have been concerned
long time, steve. i worked on north korea in about 20 years ago. it is a tough place with no easy answers and it gets tougher every day. host: these are the headlines from bbc -- calling it a war of words between the president and north korean leaders. they say the seriousness underscored the seriousness, calling north korea's weapons program a great threat. saying it is a clear message the president has made many military toions to defeat it and defend the u.s. allies and our homeland. that is from the u.s. department. what are the possibilities? guest: the possibility of war is i would say it is out there. you need a military expert to talk about the military options on the table but everything i have heard is that they are
ugly, it takes a long time to get things in place and that using military raises the possibility of hundreds and thousands of koreans and americans and others dead on the peninsula, catastrophic for koreans and for the people fighting in that part of the world. we have heard repeatedly involved.to get china tried to hold back on some of the sanctions. walk us through the role that china plays. why so critical, and this china have our back on this issue? guest: sure. let me correct you a little bit. this administration has put pressure on china in the issue with sanctions. host: towards north korea. guest: that is right.
with negotiations, i think this administration recognizes limited influence china has on north korea. really, the focus has been raising the economic pressure on north korea rather than negotiation. host: is north korea listening? guest: it does not seem to be, right? i think the bbc headline, war of words continues to escalate. i am not a north korean x burn -- expert, that is the first time i recall hearing a statement like yesterday. it is difficult for the system to back down. once you have the supreme leader sort of putting forward a hard-line, how do you back off and get back to a negotiated solution, which i think everyone agrees is the preferable outcome. host: historically, what has china provided north korea?
guest: china has been north korea's largest trading partner, even before sanctions cut off trade from the rest of the world, just by proximity and china has been the biggest trading partner. historically, china was also north korea's closest political ally but that era is clearly over. the influence china has a north korea is limited now. host: when does your work begin -- when did you work begin at the state department? guest: i began in 1990. host: why did you step down? guest: i cannot be part of implementing the president's decision to which are the paris agreement on climate change. host: that agreement calls for the u.s. to do what? visit guidelines or rules? guest: it is a set of voluntary -- every country that signed up made voluntary commitments to
reduce future carbon emission. host: it means for the u.s. what? guest: the withdrawal? the withdrawal makes us, except -- syriaountry we are -- and makes us one country in the world not agreeing on an issue every other nation on this planet sees as the issue of the coming century. host: you have friends still in the state department? guest: many. host: what is morale like in the department? we have seen reports there is a delay in trying to staff key positions under secretary of state tillerson. guest: right, there are a number of issues with the morale problems in the state department. the people i work with our dedicated, hard-working, smart, and they want to feel on the asset side and not the liability side. i'm not sure they feel like that now.
host: our guest is david rank, former u.s. ambassador to china. first call, thanks for waiting. caller: i have got the comments. hit north korea, he will go down as the adolf hitler , a napoleon because he does not care if 30 million people or 40 million people at all. we had 7000 nuclear weapons. they have two. why do we have the right to tell them what to do? why don't we get rid of our bombs and see what trump says then? how are you going to ask them to get rid of a couple of nukes? talk to the people. host: we will get a response. guest: hi, bob. . am in indiana native myself i was born there, so it is good to have the first caller call
from my home state. you raise a ton of questions in your comment. -- but your comment on the implications for american leadership of a unilateral nuclear action, and again, i am not a military strategist but that seems to be the only of taking out north korean capability in a timely fashion. we would become a pariah nation. we are already largely by ourselves because of our decision on paris, but to use nuclear weapons preemptively and unilaterally with i think for generations put us outside of ordinary international relations. host: yesterday, it was said
that if he echoes the thoughts of little rocket man, they were not the around longer. the writer from the tweets by the president and the response by the north koreans is what? guest: it is tough and tough to get by, right? assuming you accept that the catastrophic consequences of military action, either a conventional war or worse, a nuclear conflict with north korea, the goal has to be to get this to diplomatic negotiated solution. directly to the leaders of both the country, i think you had months to the process of getting to the table. host: if we were to get to the table, what with the steps be? what would that look like? had we get the north koreans to talk to the u.s., the chinese and others? guest: there are a number of
examples out there, including a couple of efforts to negotiate with north koreans. what i think you're looking for is the confidence they will be taken seriously and that they reach an agreement with the administration and united states and other parties will follow through on what has been committed to. host: our guest is david rank. make his next from -- nick is next from missouri city, texas. good morning. caller: good morning. good morning to ambassador bank rankeeth -- ambassador ran and thank you for your service. you see unilateral exercises from the united states and north korea forces. i wanted you to comment on the role that plays in ratcheting
up, so to speak, the exercise in north korea. obviously, north korea felt threatened. what do you see the u.s. doing moving forward in terms of these unilateral exercises? guest: we had a longtime relationship with the republic of south korea, and part of that is the need to exercise our militaries together. i think that is probably that is negotiable to some extent, but look, i am not i think the point, north koreans understand we are able to deliver nuclear weapons, able to use our strategic air force to attack them. you know, kind of a buzzing north korean airspace, i am not sure how that seemed an effort to de-escalate and i'm not sure
how escalation fits into our national interest. host: you spent time in afghanistan. is that country going to be our next korea? i say that with regards to the troops we have had since 1953. can you envision our troops there for the next 50 years? guest: i mean if we went long-term stability, we will have to have a long-term commitment to afghanistan. the good news is as of a couple of years ago when i stopped working on afghan issues, we were fairly popular among ordinary afghans a part of the system. there is an element that deals feelsolluded -- that give no, id, and think if you look at the state of the afghan political system,
economy, social system, it will take a long-term international commitment to stability. if you look at japan of your the second -- after the second world war, korea, there are parallels countries havese been allies of the united states, not just in defending countries but in other parts of the world. i see a long-term commitment by the united states but also the international community will be essential to stability in that part of the world. host: i ask this question to get your opinion. the president's nominee to be the master to russia was interviewed this week. what is his biggest challenge and what did he take from his ears in china and apply them to russia? guest: he has a lot of challenges. the u.s.-russia relationship --
i am no expert -- but you have to pick up newspapers to see it is a intense focus. i think his first challenge it be to stop the deterioration of the relationship undermining our ability to engage russia. in other words, tit-for-tat retaliation that has led to downsizing of both of our diplomatic nations and threatens to further undermine it. assuming you can get his feet under there, it is how we deal with russia that a russian system, you cannot exclude russia from europe from considerations of u.s. policy, but you also cannot overlook the fact that russia very actively has tried to interfere with the american political system, the political system of our european partners and allies and has a fundamentally different view of an interest in the world.
host: if you could phrase relations with china right now, they are what? guest: our relations, the relations of the two great powers in the world, while the u.s. is still the supreme power in the world, we are the dominant medical force but we damaged ourselves by withdrawing from the paris agreement. we have big economic rivals. i think our interest are sufficiently different and we will continue to be rivals and competitors but they are similar enough that i think there are lots of areas to cooperate. host: how do the chinese leaders view president trump? guest: i think they are still uncertain. they have gotten a little measure of the guy, but i think they probably are looking forward to the next meeting, the was early in
trump's 10 year. i think they have a better sense of what his priorities are, how to deal with them, but i think they have to it for the next meeting later this year to expand that and understand that. host: we will go to fill from south -- phil from south carolina. our guest is david rank, who served as u.s. ambassador to china. caller: good morning. my call is about the climate change agreement. however, we have been offering care to north korea for a long time, and all that has happened is a gutter hands full. now, with regard to you leaving the administration because of the change regarding the climate change agreement, i'm of the that we are one of the most environmentally
conscious countries in the world and we entered an agreement with several countries -- with all countries, who spew carbon into the atmosphere. brunt --d we are the bear the brunt of the economic impact from the climate change agreement while they are allowed incontinue spewing carbon the atmosphere. i'm not sure the impact of carbon. i am a skeptic, let's say, but it seems to me we are the ones who pay the penalty and they get to continue doing things that are most dangerous. according to experts, they are doing things most dangerous to the environment. guest: thank you. first, good to hear from you this morning. look, the united states is either the second or third
largest emitter of carbon. china passed us in the have to confess i do not know india passed us or not. we are also one of the major contributors to greenhouse gases, and it think we, therefore, as one of the major contributors and leaders of the global community, we have a responsibility and obligation, not to the international community, but our kids and ourselves, to take action. on the question of economic impacts, sure, there are parts of the american economy that will undoubtedly be affected by d carbon icing our system. on the other side of things, the parts of our economy that will benefit enormously from taking steps to address and move from a carbon intensive economy to one that relies on the sources of energy. there is no question that the environmental impacts of things like renewable energy are far
lower and at this point, the economics of those energy sources are pretty competitive with traditional hydrocarbon and there is also no question that the future is going to be increasingly important, not just as a source of energy but economic competitiveness. from a policy and economic perspective is that it seems to invest in those. right now, solar employees twice ls many people as the coa industry. not just from the perspective of politics and international leadership, but from the stewardship of the world, a responsibility of kids, and sound economic policy seem to make a lot of sense. host: every sunday morning, this premise carried live on sirius
xm, the potus channel, and we welcome our listeners and listeners on c-span radio. make sure to check out our free c-span radio app on www.c-span.org. our guest is david rank. his posts included afghanistan, pakistan, and korean area. , which is to use the? guest: -- how many languages do you speak? guest: i speak chinese. host: what was the biggest challenge? guest: the biggest challenge is it is hard and it takes a lot of effort. i started late, in my 20's to learn it, and by the time you are 20 -- a long time ago for me -- but i kind of regretted my mom growing up did not make a study earlier. host: we will go to san diego. good morning. caller: good morning. i would like to say, mr. r
ank, you are pretty amazing and appreciate your input. tost of all, with regard climate change, despite the president's denial it exists, anyway, general civilians believe it is happening and we are trying to do something about it. yesterday atng is, the lincoln memorial, there was a march for stability. we are lacking civility in our ,olitics and with each other and we need to up that game because i believe our president is being divisive in the way he speaks to anyone who doesn't agree with him. unfortunately, if you could open , perhapsof his own
more doors would open for him, and people would you more accepting with what is coming out of his mouth. also, with the climate change thing, it promotes business, people's ingenuity coming up with new ideas about how that creates energy without damaging our planet. host: we will get a response. guest: thank you. i spent a lot of my life or the life overseas, if you back at the united states. then we do an aside, one thing we do not get the same that as civil servants and foreign service officers representing the people of the united states is thank you. it is an honor to be able to do that. i sense a profound gratitude for having have the opportunity i was given and the trust i was given to represent you and everyone else and every other citizen of the united states. one of the things looking back
at the country i love and are presented for almost 30 years was a this kind of worrying on your point of civility how typical today's to have a conversation in our country anymore that very quickly dialogue turns into a diatribe and it is worrying and i welcome the comments you made about the need to return to civility. i would urge -- i tried to do it myself -- but it has to start with us. it has to start with us making a commitment to be civil in the conversations we have been to listen respectively, -- respectfully, even when we disagree. i will leave it at that, but thank you. host: who would have thought a discussion on language would create a twitter storm. one said, dad tried to learn
japanese, the smartest man in the world, dale that one thing. this from another, the hardest challenge of learning chinese is the three towns. there's this from michael, and the chinese is a very cultural language. says, arehis one that there still so many dialects within china? guest: yeah, it seems there are lots of dialects. to the comments who said the toughest hard are the three tones,, unfortunately, there are five, so that may have been your problem. host: i did not know that. i will go to columbia, maryland. you learn a lot on this program. caller: good morning. host: good morning. caller: hello? rankld like to thank mr. for taking the stand regarding climate change. and then i would also like to presidents far as
trump's view on climate change, the flag and other things, i just feel he is not capable of regarding all of these matters, and that we just have to realize that he is just not smart enough to give fault to these things and he is all about himself. host: thank you. guest: yeah, again, getting back to my previous point, i do not want to get into a discussion of the president just because i do not know the president, but i can say there is a silver lining to our withdrawal from the paris agreement. it is this -- if you look closely at the issues confronting us with the changing climates, you would know paris was a down payment and not enough. my concern and signing it, when we and the rest of the global paris, myagreed to
worry was that we would be complacent and say, the government has got it, the international community has got it, we do not have to do anything. thes clear now that isn't case. the federal government by pulling out of paris, we know that we are going to have to continue to. whether that means at the state level, things with california and what other states are doing at the individual, corporate and organizational levels, it will us, and in by all of say this as someone who is keenly aware that on june 1, the day before i step down, i would freely admit i am not a climate or science guy, i do not know this stuff. my realization over the last three months is a will not be able to say that, one, because i put myself in that position, but
two because we will all have to be climate people. host: what is the one issue you think concern to between our relations with china be on north korea? i say lurking in the background of every day is there are real trade issues between us and china, and if you look at the last election, it isn't clear whether donald trump, hillary clinton or bernie won.ers the global trading system is straining to accommodate what is now the world's largest trading nation that does not always play by the rules that it sits down. and the rules set down didn't anticipate that china would be so large and so dominant so quickly. host: 25 years in the foreign service, what is next? guest: [laughter]
i do not know. i enjoyed, i got back to this country in june. for a couple of reasons, i had a renter living in my house, but also because i wanted to take time away and figure out what i will do next. country, one,he partly because i have been overseas and to not have a chance to see parts of it, but i am enjoying the time to think and talk to people about the possibilities in the future. i have not yet made a decision. host: david rank, former ambassador to china, thank you. hour, theaining half other twitter storm with a lot of attention between the president and other individuals is the war of words between the president and north korea. yesterday, we heard from the foreign minister at the u.n. we will get your comments and calls as "washington journal" continues. we are back after this.
♪ monday on "communicators," comcast senior executive vice president talks about telecommunication developments, competition, and fcc regulations. he is interviewed by a senior editor. >> what is your take on the trump administration and competition? >> first, i feel compelled to say this and it was pointed out at the goldman sachs conference last week, we love our company. post-at&t acquisition and nbc universal acquisition, we view century, as strategically complete, so we are not out there saying, oh my god, we have to find something else to buy to survive, i want to make that clear. on the other hand, we have never viewed ourselves as being foreclosed from the acquisition
marketplace, domestically or internationally. it has to be the right deal. it has to be something that we think enhances the quality of the company and enhances returns shareholders have and will enhance shareholder value as a result of that. i think there is no secret that overall this president and administration is likely less hostile to horizontal or vertical growth in the telecom space and elsewhere. >> watch "the communicators," monday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. >> "washington journal" continues. host: in the next 25 minutes, your calls and comments on what the bbc calls the world words from the president -- war of words from the president, a tweet treats -- just heard the north korea m