tv State Department Confirmations CSPAN June 17, 2018 4:01pm-6:00pm EDT
act directly, they would ration themselves, you didn't need to impose, that they would pledge that. announcer 1: watch american artifacts today at 6:00 p.m. eastern on "american history tv" on c-span3. on thursday the senate foreign relations committee held a for three pending nominees including the u.s. ambassador to south korea. this is almost two hours. [background chatter]
sen. corker: foreign relations committee will come to order, and we thank our nominees for being here and for their willingness to serve our country. we especially thank our distinguished senators who are here to introduce them. senator nelson, senator hirono. as a courtesy to you, we will not go through you having to listen to the unbelievable opening comments that both menendez and i are going to offer in just a moment. you can go directly to other meetings, so why don't y'all go ahead and make your
introductions? we thank you for coming in here to be with us here today. we thank both of you for your service and look forward to your comments. mr. nelson: mr. chairman, we well mr. chairman, we would be , delighted to hear the eloquence of the chairman and the ranking member, but the fact that you would allow us to go ahead, it's a personal -- it's a personal reason that we are here, because we know the nominee, and we consider the admiral a distinguished floridian. what we in our native lingo say that he's a florida boy, having gone to junior high and high school in pensacola. i want to thank you for his
willingness, as you know he was nominated to be the ambassador to australia. and i think the fact that the administration decided this critically important post in south korea, i think that indicates not only the confidence that people have in -- four-star admirable admiral, but it's also him being willing tonswer the call of service wherever he is required. and he first answered that call as a young man 40 years ago at the naval academy. he comes from a long line of great naval aviators. and over the course of his military career, he reached the
height of his profession. his dad, navy, chief petty officer. and his record speaks for itself. this is a nomination that is fitting and timely, and as we undertake now the diplomacy with north korea, obviously the necessity is of having the most prepared and skilled ambassador to represent the united states in that part of the world. like the other combatant commanders, he's not just what you think of as a combatant commander because every one of them are skilled diplomats. they're warriors, but they're also diplomats.
he helped to grow the partnerships with the military and the political leaders throughout the pacific region, and like any good military leader, he knows just how important diplomacy is. he's going to make a great ambassador just like he made a great commander. it's not every day that two senators, neither from the president's party, commend the nominee of the president. but this is a nominee that i look at. he's not partisan. he's not bipartisan. he's nonpartisan. and that's exactly what we need. it's telling that the nominee enjoys such broad bipartisan
support. and i hope that this committee will move his nomination quickly. it is obvious that we need our ambassador in that position. and i want to thank the admiral and his family, and my wife has gotten to know his wife, for their courtesies extended to us. and we want to thank both of you for your continued public service after 40 years. thank you. sen. corker: thank you, sir. thank you very much. senator hirono. thank you, mr. chairman, for your courtesy and ranking member menendez. this week was a significant moment for our engagement in the korean peninsula. for the first time a sitting united states president met with a leader of north korea. at the singapore summit president trump and kim jong-un , committed to continue negotiations and reaffirm
promises that north korea has made in the past. however, we also heard the president question the long-term commitment of our troop presence in south korea and accept the north korean rationale an ending joint military exercises that have increased regional safety and cooperation. we all share the goal of a permanent, verifiable denuclearization of the korean peninsula, but the hard work lies ahead. many obstacles remain between tuesday's handshake and a comprehensive, verifiable agreement between our two countries. reaching an agreement will require months or even years of hard negotiations and considerable consultation with our regional allies, particularly south kea and japan. our next ambassador to south koreca a role in t negotiations. these efforts will require an individual with experience in the region and understanding of our military forces serving on the korean peninsula, and the diplomatic skills and
temperament necessary to negotiate with a regime that has repeatedly failed to live up to its commitments. i believe admiral harry harris fits this bill. and i am honored to join senator nelson in introducing admiral harris to this committee to serve as our next ambassador to south korea. after graduating from the u.s. naval academy in 1978, admiral harris served as a decorated naval flight officer. he went on to hold a variety of leadership roles throughout the navy, including as the secretary of state's attache during the obama administration. he assumed command of the u.s. pacific fleet in 2015. over the past five years, i have gotten to know admiral harris and appreciate his -- the open relationship that he developed. he and his wife have become part of our hawaii ohana. i'm on -- upon assuming command
of the pacific fleet in 2015, admiral harris dedicated significant time and effort to strengthening america's regional alliances and partnerships. in the end of pacific region, -- indo pacific region, admiral harris met wh vilian and military leadend freently attended joint exercises. often led to stronger government -- his work to improve military to military relationships ofn led to stronger government to government relationships throughout the indo pacific region. in his time as pacific fleet commander, admiral harris developed close relationships with south korean leaders, including current president moon jae-in. in 2016 he received korea's medal, the country's highest national security merit citation , in recognition of his work with the republic of korea armed forces. admiral harris also worked closely with our congressional delegation and other members of congress. when my colleagues in the house and senate visited hawaii and
requested a pacom briefing, i made it a point to also attend admiral harris's briefings were always thorough, often eye-opening and left attendees with a deep appreciation for pacom and our country's vital interest in the indo pacific region. many know admiral harris as a tough leader with high expectations for the men and women under his command. but i also know him as a down to earth, empathetic person. let me tell you a story. the washington post highlighted harris'ple of admiral dedication to others as part of a profile on colonel bruce hollywood. bruce was born in japan to a japanese mother and american father. bruce's father left his birth mother in japan, and she put bruce up for adoption thinking that that would be best for bruce under the circumstances. he was adopted by an american couple, raised in texas, and went on to serve as an air force colonel. after he nearly died of a heart
attack in 2005, bruce set out to find his birth mother and thank her for giving him the chance to have what he called a wonderful life. bruce contacted the japanese embassy in the united states, the u.s. embassy in tokyo, and even hired a private detective . all to no avail. he had given up his search for his mother when by chance he met then rear admiral harris at an airport and shared his story. when admiral harris told bruce that he would help him find his birth mother, bruce was very skeptical. but admiral harris was adamant, so bruce gave him the information he had pieced together. and 10 days later, bruce received a call while at work. the japanese embassy was on the phone with news that they had found at long last his birth mother. thanks to admiral harris's assistance, bruce reunited with his mother, and they were in contact for three years before she passed away in 2009.
so in admiral harris we have someone who is tough minded and clear-eyed with tremendous military experience and someone who is very resourceful and focused on the task at hand. admiral harris's expertise in the indo pacific region, his leadership experience, and engagement with a variety of stakeholders in the region will stand him in good stead as our ambassador to south korea. last month at the pacific command ceremony, he was described as a warrior diplomat. with an insatiable spirit of adventure and an infectious can-do attitude. secretary of defense jim mattis said earlier this year diplomacy must be our first approach to ds collating tensions on the korean -- de-escalating tensions on the korean peninsula. because of his confidence in admiral harris at the same chain of command ceremony.
i joined secretary mattis and so many others in expressing my confidence that admiral harris will serve our country well as our next ambassador to south korea, and i think this committee for its -- thank this committee for its consideration. sen. corker: well, thank you for being here with us and both of you for your comments. you're welcome to leave and go about your day. admiral, i understand why you have that hawaii lei on. you may wish to take it off before you testify. sen. hirono: i would be really hurt if you did that. [laughter] sen. corker: ok thank you both , again. today we will consider the nominations of individuals to serve our nation in three roles, ambassador to south korea, and the positions of assistant secretary for both near eastern and african affairs. if confirmed, these individuals would direct our diplomatic efforts over an anonymous --
enormous swath of the globe and grapple with issues from the syrian civil war to the north korean dilemma. we welcome all of you. we thank you for your willingness to serve and thank your families in the same way. we first have david shanker with extensive personal and professional experience in the middle east and speaks a fluent arabic. i am confident mr. shanker is well equipped to balance and promote u.s. interest in the middle east. no region is required more high-level attention than the middle east, which is home to some of our most vital security partners and also the source of security challenges, counting iran, combatting terrorism, working to resolve the wars in syria and yemen. and reinforcing a regional alliances requires continuous and focused engagement which is why i am pleased the administration has nominated next schenker to be the assistant of state. next we have ambassador to serve
as assistant secretary of affairs. the united states has important interest in maintaining strong partnerships with african countries, and we remain committed to those with responsible governance. the african bureau must address an extremely large range of diplomatic challenges across the continue innocent with resources and talent appropriate to our growing expectations of relationships we have there. finally we have mr. harry harris , who i feel like i know more about you than i even want to know, who has just recently retired with the rank of admiral after completing a highly distinguished career in the united states navy to serve as ambassador to the republic of korea. the u.s. republic of korea alliance is an important relationship for maintaining peace and stability in the indo pacific. during this critical moment on the korean peninsula, we require an ambassador in seoul that will
speak frankly about the importance of the alliance, alliance cohesion, maintaining maximum pressure strategy while pursuing negotiations to eliminate north korea's nuclear weapons. i'm glad the president and kim jong-un were able to have a meeting this week in singapore, ok forward to having secretary pompeo before our committee soon to share his insights about what of concrete nature has occurred. including the fu of serity operation in north and south korea. we need an ambassador who appreciates the u.s.-south korea rtnership runs deep. political, economic and cultural issues. i'm confidence mr. harris recognizes the value of the relationship between washington and seoul and will effectively advocate for strengthening our relationship of this critical ally. our thanks to all of you being here for the committee before i turn to senator menendez. we have two votes beginning at
10:30. we plan to move through. we will just kind of continue on. if you could kind of time out when you leave, knowing when you are going to be coming up, that would be great so we could continue and not have a vacuum here. with that i'll turn to my distinguished rngr and friend, bob menendez. senator menendez: thank you, mr. chairman. we have before us high level nominees. and i appreciate and congratulate you and your families on the nominations. i am a bit dismayed these domination hearings have become one of the few opportunities the community has to really engage on what the administration's policies are, and i hope mr. chairman, we could have more hearings on more topics with administration witnesses so the committee could exercise its oversight role. collectively these nominees will be taking on some of the pressing security challenges at a time when good will towards our country is on a steep decline. with the administration's budget proposals are slashing
nonmilitary resources, and the crumbs of u.s. credibility were left somewhere between the summits of canada and singapore. but i want to welcome all the nominees today. you have demonstrable records for service, expertise and experience in your chosen fields. admiral harris, i almost think you should skip your openg statement because after that i would rest my case, but i'm sure you wanto make it anyhow. you know that you have accepted this nomination at a time when our allies and adversaries are seriously questioning u.s. commitment to asia, and at a time when perhaps as never before a debt and agile diplomacy is needed on the korean peninsula. like you i am fully of the view it is imperative we improve our engagement across the region, especially with allies like the republic of korea, politically, economically and strategically. i think the president blindsided everyone including south korea when he carelessly conceded something north korea has long
wanted, the cessation of u.s.-south korean joint military exercises in exchange for apparently nothing. so i'm interested in your thoughts about how we strengthen the u.s.-korean alliance mov forward. from your time as our pacific commander, you are well aware of the extent of our challenges on north korea, so we thank you for your service. as we consider the outcomes of the trump-kim meeting, any strategy to constrain north korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs must start with our allies and partners and lead to the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of north korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. the u.s. role in the region is something that i'm still trying to deduce. instant -- eastern affairs you will have to craft , and execute policy in washington and drive diplomatic implementation and cooperation
with our partners and allies. when it comes to iran, i share the long-sought goal of shopping -- stopping all of iran's nuclear and nonnuclear threats, but i worry that the president's unilateral actions have degraded the very partnerships we need to maintain unity of effort in countering the iranian rege's malign activities. regarding israel i share the , goal that israel has the resources she needs to defend herself. but i worry at the president's desire to withdraw source -- forces from syria while freezing our stabilization assistance programs and closing doors to refugees are tactics without strategy, and that taken together amount to an advocation of u.s. leadership. over the past year bashar al-assad continued activities of violent extremists were conducted next to israel. iran is moving its proxies close to israel's border. hezbollah is preparing for the next war, and russia has demonstrated neither the resolve
nor the capability to curb an's actions in syria. i hope you share secretary pomp's commitment expressed at his nomination hearing to sustain programs that express conditions that give prize to transnational terrorist groups, inudg poor governance, lack of economic opportunity corruption and persistent human , rights abuses. i am pleased with the nominee for the africa bureau has an impressive record of service to this country. for decades both republican and democratic presidents with the help of lawmakers on capitol hill have taken an impressive set of initiatives over the years including the african quilt and opportunity act, fcc compact and more. the administration has given us little encouragement on continued cooperation. the president's unseemly comments about africa and steep budget cuts send an alarming signal. while the administration's national security strategy makes
lots of promises about engaging with africa, the budget requested would in no way facilitate that strategy or secure our interest in countering isis or all-qaeda -- al-qaeda affiliates. perhaps most troubling, the administration does not seem to have a whole of government approach to africa, which places emphasis on all of the three d's, defense, diplomacy and development. take niger. niger is facing increasing security threats on three fronts. it also ranked 187th out of 188 out of the recent human development index. the u.s. military has over 800 soldiers deployed to niger as heart -- part of our effort to fight terrorism, four of whom were tragically skilled. we are building an airfield. we do not have a usaid mission in the country that could help towards sustainable growth. i have written the administration about the need for a strategy about mali. i have sounded the alarm about increasing violence in the central african republic.
and raise questions about our strategy in south sudan, the horn of africa and get to receive a satisfactory response. so ambassador nogy, i certainly hope that you and i will have an opportunity to talk soon and look forward to hearing about your priorities, plans and your intentions if confirmed. thank you, mr. chairman. sen. corker: thank you. as it relates to having witnesses in, i know i said so in my opening comments, but we are pushing to have secretary mike pompeo in so we can fully understand what actually happened in singapore. and as you know, we haven't had a lot of officials to have testify. and this meeting is hopefully going to help fill some of the slots. but i thank you for your comments and agree that we need to have officials in here helping us. just move ind order starting with admiral harris, i'd appreciate it. if you keep your comments to five minutes, i'd appreciate it. if you want to introduce your outstanding families who are here, please do so. and if you could keep your
comments to a little bit -- to five minutes. if you have any written documents, we're glad to accept them here also. admiral. adm. harris: thanks, mr. chairman, and ranking member menendez and distinguished members of the committee. i'm honored to be with you, on flag day i might add as president trump's nominee to serve as the u.s. ambassador to the republic of korea. i am glad he has entrusted me with this opportunity to work with the white house and dedicated officers and other departments and agencies that make up mission korea. such an important ally. few nominees are fortunate enough to testify before their own senators, and i'm privileged to be here before you. and senator rubio. i'm also grateful that the senators took the time to forally introduce me. i am not here alone. let me take a moment to express my love and gratitude to my wife. herself a 25 year veteran. a personal thanks to the former ambassadors who helped me these
past few months. nominees of both parties. to the men and women of the u.s. indo pacific command, it's been a privilege and joy to serve with you these past three years, and finally i'm honored to be on this panel to be with such luminaries as david schenker and nogy. i hope you will ask them the hard questions and save the softballs for me. president trump ma clearur alliance with korea is one of our top priorities. the president hosted president moon last month. the president also visited korea last november and the first state visit by a u.s. president in years. 25following this there have been another number of senior level visits underscored the strength and importance of our bilateral relationship. in fact secretary mike pompeo is in seoul today meeting with president moon. mission korea is staffed by 600 dedicated men and woman working hard to advance u.s. interests in korea and throughout the indo pacific. if confirmed i'm excited to serve with this team.
importantly, the alliance in the larger partnership it girds enjoy strong bipartisan support. this committee and your staff has played an active and vital role in guiding this relationship, and i would like to underscore my deep appreciation that goes into maintaining our strong bond with south korea. i have experienced this relationship firsthand through korea,riences with including an almost 40-year career in uniform including as a , former pacific commander overseeing the military side of the u.s.-korea alliance. these personal connections began even before i was born, as my father was a sailer who fought in world war ii, in the korean war, and helped teach korean sailors. the personal connections started during her first year of duty when she accompanied her boss to seoul on several occasions. these experiences afforded us lasting friendships and a deep appreciation of korean culture and history, and to the united
states. everywhere i travel, whether on ships, in jungles or the embassies, i saw firsthand the dedication and hard work of men and women committed to make our nation and the world a better place. along the way i was reminded again and again of the tremendous diversity of our great county. if confirmed, i will carry with me those many voices oerica, along with an abiding commitment to strengthen the sheer values that lie at the heart of our relationship with the republican -- republic of korea. i am acutely aware our relationship with korea is not one dimensional. economically korea is our sixth largest trading partner and e agricultural goods. korean direct investment is already the second largest asian source of investment in the united states. as a fellow champion of the rule of law and market principals, korea has shown its willingness to work with the and to ensure free, fair reciprocal trade. last year our countries enjoyed a $154 billion trading relationship, including goods and service.
the u.s. and korea also share deep people to people tasks. and as good as our economic relationship is, we can do even better. if confirmed, i will support u.s. efforts to tap additional export opportunities, and what i see as nascent opportunities in the energy, medical technology and information sectors. i would support enhanced access for u.s. firms in the korean market and more korean direct investment into the u.s. finally -- u.s. finally if confirmed i will strive to further deepen our culture exchanges, scientific collaboration and cooperation on global issues. ladies and gentlemen, i fully appreciate i will have to come up to speed quickly. as is obvious to all of you i , have spent my life in uniform, and that's where my expertise lies. but i promise i will work hard to learn the language. and skill sets of diplomacy. i will even forswear acronyms. i have a lot to learn, indeed. but i do understand the importance of diplomacy as an instrument of national power. as chief of a large embassy, i
pledge to this committee to do my utmost to keep them safe and to carry out the official duties and similarly commit to keeping the american community in south korea informed of anything that could affect their safety and security. i testified last march to your colleagues on the armed services committee that a fully resourced state department is as important as a fully resourced defense department. robust diplomacy increases our chances of solving problems peacefully. and drawing on the strength of the entire u.s. government, i would if confirmed as ambassador endeavor to deepen our partnership and alliance with the republic of korea. i am honored to be considered for this post and grateful to continue serving our great nation, and i look forward to your questions. sen. corker: thank you very much. we'll see about the -- whether yourble toswr at you said. ahead, --
>> mr. chairman, ranking member and members of the committee, i am honored to appear before you as president trump's nominee to be assistant secretary of state for african affairs. i am grateful to the president and secretary of state for their confidence in me. if confirmed, i very much look forward to working with congress, especially this committee, to promote america's interests in africa. my nearly half century association with africa began in 1979 when i was assigned as a first tour officer to a city i had never heard of on a continent i knew little about to the most junior positions at a u.s. embassy. that posting gave me a tremendous appreciation for africa and its people, and i went on to complete eight tours in africa, including two as u.s. ambassador, three as deputy chief of mission, in some of the most challenging environments possible. after retiring in 2003, i joined academia and continued africa related work by teaching about it writing about it and making
, multiple trips to the continent to promote ties between u.s. and african universities. in 2016 i was briefly called back to take charge of the u.s. embassy in nigeria, and that experience reawakened my intense desire to again promote u.s. interests on the continent. since the last time i appeared for this committee nearly 20 years ago, africa has changed dramatically, mostly for the better. data points indicate improvements in overall development education, , especially for girls, health, governance, and economic well-being. these have been matched by dramatic -- declines in corruption and instability. credit goes to the generosity of the american people and u.s. policies for much of that progress, including bipartisan programs such as agoa and pfar, which continue to significantly help africa. at the same time mr. chairman, , some of the changes remain unchanged or have worsened.
some african leaders are perpetuating their rule through constitutional manipulations and increased reppression. the most tragic case, south sudan. it has descended into ethnic warfare due to uncaring leaders. then there is china, adversary, editor, partner or all three. one certainty is that the u.s. will have to address china's activities in africa, especially since that country is offering itself as a more africa appropriate model for government and development. africa is at a historic cross roads, and the direction it takes will impact its future and the security and well-being of the rest of the world. projections are that by 2050, africa's population will double to 2.5 billion. with 70% under nigeria alone 30. will surpass the u.s. with 350 million people, and most of this growth will take place in nigeria's north, its most impoverished region.
yet many africans will have similar life ambitions, to young people everywhere. if their dreams are frustrated by conflict, misrule, or lack of rts, t results will be catastrophic. if on the other hand they encounter positive prospects and good governance, africa's youth will be a dynamic force or local progress and prosperity. mr. chairman, the u.s. is well placed to benefit from the second scenario, a well governed stable africa, providing opportunities to its people and welcoming u.s. businesses as partners in development is achievable. i saw this firsthand when i met with some returning participants in the young african leaders initiative, and i worked with another group last summer at texas tech university. they were some of the brightest and most impressive young people i have met anywhere and disposed towards our country and our principals. they are the future of africa, not the corrupt dinosaurs who want to stay presidents for
life, immaterial of the harm they cause people. if confirmed, i look forward to working with the committee to promote the types of u.s. policies which can help bring that about. and it is my pleasure and honor to introduce my dear wife of 47 years and my partner in diplomacy, jane nagy, sitting right behind me. sen. corker: thank you for being with us and thank you for that testimony. mr. schenker. mr. schenker: mr. chairman, ranking member menendez, it is an honor to appear before you this morning as the nominee to become assistant secretary of affairs for near east affairs. i think the committee for reading -- meeting with me in recent weeks. if confirmed, it would be my intention to engage in consultation in congress routinely. i'd like to thank the president of the united states and the secretary of state pompeo for my nomination. if confirmed it would be an , honor to serve our country at the department of state.
i am grateful some of my family members could join me this morning. my seemingly angelic children ethan and dylan schenker are here. so is my mother and stepfather, linda and abraham davis, and my aunt and uncle jane and ken freeland. my father and stepmother could not be here today, but are no doubt watching on the web. let me also take this opportunity to thank my former bosses, mentors, and colleagues without whose support i would not be here today. the a portfolio of the assistant secretary for near eastern affairs is expansive. i have in a sense been preparing for this job for the past three decades. my academic background and the entirety of my professional career has been focused on the middle east. i spent four years living in the region. in the early 1990s, i worked for usaid contractor on projects in egypt and jordan. for the better part of two decades i researched and written
about the region as a fellow for near east policy, a leading nonpartisan think tank. from 2002 to 2006, i served as the labonte director -- levant director in the office of secretary of defense advising policymakers on affairs. over these decades i have had the privilege of knowing and working with many of the outstanding diplomats who have served with distinction as secretary of near eastern affairs. i worked during the bush administration. i traveled with them to syria in 2004 with william burns. i know former assistant secretary ann patterson. this is an illustrious and impressive cohort of diplomats who handled an incredibly difficult job with commitment and dedication. if confirmed i would be humbled to be counted among this group. the responsibilities of the assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs stretch from morocco to iran to yemen. it is an aor that faces enormous
challenges, terrorism, acute humanitarian crises and tehran's attempts to stabilize the region. given our critical alliances, the region's natural resources, its vital ceilings and the to -- the enormous potential is also of great importance to the united states. at the front line confronting these challenges and taking advantage of the opportunities are the highly professional men and women of the u.s. department the near east bureau. these foreign service officers and civil servants are dedicated and courageous and make great sacrifices for our country. over the past two decades as a scholar at the washington institute and as a policy official serving the department of defense, i have worked closely with nea and have great respect for both the professionalism and expertise of these career professionals. they work alongside their colleagues and other departments whom iber hold -- with
see with the highest esteem. if confirmed, it would be a great privilege to serve alongside these american patriots, helping to advance and secure u.s. interests in the middle east. there is a real need to strengthen alliances with our traditional partners, to defeat isis and other terrorist organizations, confront and roll back the iranian behavior, and to work for a more peaceful region. the u.s. faces a series of complex strategic challenges in the middle east, which require the application of all tools of american power to mitigate, and now more than ever especially diplomacy. as we know all too well, what happens in the middle east doesn't stay in the middle east. washington's regional alliances are a force multiplier in safeguarding u.s. interests at home and abroad. they need to be nurtured through diplomatic engagement. if confirmed i look forward to working with this committee and the congress as a whole to address security challenges facing our country. i am grateful for your consideration of my nomination and i look forward to your questions. thank you. sen. corker: again, we thank all three of you.
i'm going to reserve my time and turn to ranking member senator , menendez. next in line is senator isakson. i'm going to run, go vote, and come back. sen. menendez: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you all for your testimony. admiral harris, as pacom commander, you were outspoken, rightly in my view, about the nature and extent of north korea's nuclear threat. and that threat is real, right? adm. harris: it is real. sen. menendez: so do you think we no longer need to worry about north korea's nuclear threat? adm. harris: no, senator, i think we must continue to worry about the nuclear threat. sen. menendez: i appreciate that because i know the president said the other day that after singapore, we can sleep well because we no longer have to worry about north korea's nuclear threat, but i didn't sleep much better. i understand that there is still nuclear warheads, there is still intercontinental palooka --
ballistic missiles, there is still a nuclear development process. until that is dismantled, i don't think we can rest comfortably, at the end of the day. let me ask you this also from your experience, do you think that it is important to have military exercises between the united states and south korea? as our forces are there, about 28,000, and as they ultimately prepare themselves for any defensive eventuality. adm. harris: senator, in my previous capacity, i spoke very strongly about the need to continue with military exercises, most notely in 2017, but we were in a different place in 2017. you know, north korea was exploding nuclear weapons. they were launching ballistic missiles almost willy-nilly, and
if war wasn't eminent, it was certainly possible, maybe even likely. i think today following the president's summit with kim jong-un in singapore, i think we are in a dramatically different place. i think that the whole landscape has shifted, and i believe that there -- we should give exercises, major exercises a pause to see if kim jong-un, in fact, is serious about his part of the negotiations. you have -- you have spoken in the past about, you know, the need to bring kim jong-un to his senses and not to his knees. i think the president's efforts in singapore did just that. sen. menendez: do you think these are war games? adm. harris: well, you can call it -- you know, i think the president -- sen. menendez: would you would , you in your present roll call it war games? adm. harris: i would call it major exercises. sen. menendez: major exercises. do you think they're provocative? adm. harris: i think they are
certainly of concern to north korea and to china. but we do them in order to exercise our ability to work and interoperate with our south korean allies. sen. menendez: when you go as our ambassador, you will have to be dealing with the south koreans. you will have to be concerned that they didn't know about it, that the japanese didn't know about it, and that there is a real challenge when these countries are a critical part of us ultimately coming to the end goal that we all desire and want to see. so i think it's going to be critically important about how you speak about those issues when you get there. adm. harris: i agree, senator. sen. menendez: let me turn to mr. schenker. in the counting american adversaries through sanctions act, the congress signed into law by the president required the administration to deliver a comprehensive iran strategy by january of 2018.
it is now june the 12th or so, and we have yet to receive a comprehensive strategy. if you are confirmed, and this has not been completed by that time, will you commit to the committee that you will work with the secretary to produce a comprehensive strategy on iran that has to be delivered to the congress according to law? mr. nagy: yes, sir. sen. menendez: now, let me ask you, what do you think are elements of such a strategy? mr. nagy: thank you, senator. there are several different elements. one would be, for example, the diplomatic strategy that is to work with our european partners to get them on board. while we have some disagreements with our european allies, we can all agree on -- that the nuclear development, that the proliferation of missiles, and the iranian destabilizing regional activities are all a problem. so the diplomatic front, the
sanctions, and also maintaining at least for the time being the presence in syria, which prevents the establishment of a land bridge among other things for iran to the mediterranean, working with the u.s. military, among other things, to prevent the shipment of missile components to the houthis, for example working with a , government in iraq to try and establish a government that is inclined toward good relations with washington, not wholy on [indiscernible] of iran. sen. menendez: we will think about how our gulf partners play a more strategic role than they have so far. i asked you in our private meetings, so, and i warned you about the possibility of this question, so i am not blindsiding you would the
, purchase of the s400 system constitute a significant transaction with the russian defense sector, which is -- there's public reports that saudi arabia and qatar would be -- if we proceed with this acquisition would this trigger , sanctions under section 231? mr. schenker: senator, if confirmed i would make clear to saudi arabia and our allies -- and thank you for your leadership on that, by the way -- i would make clear to our allies and friends in the region that the sanctions are intended to hold -- to exact cost on russia for its human rights violations, for its behavior in ukraine, for its meddling in u.s. elections, and i would work with our allies to dissuade them or encourage them to avoid
military purchases that would be potentially sanctionable. in other words, i would tell saudi arabia not to do it. and -- sen. menendez: i appreciate that answer. and i appreciate your diplomacy in how you're trying to answer my question. but i hope that, and i will e it at this, that -- egypt purchased fighter jets and helicopters from russia. these are our allies and must understand that under u.s. law, under katsa, the purchase of such systems ultimately are sanctionable, and we will press very hard on the question of pursuing those sanctions should they choose to do so, and i hope you will communicate that in your role. mr. schenker: absolutely, setor. if confirmed i will implement the law. sen. menendez: thank you. my time is expired. ambassador i don't want you to , think left out of the process of my questions. senator isakson.
thank you,kson: senator menendez. i appreciate and agree with your comments about the admiral, he is ultimately qualified, very qualified and a great nominee. i appreciate you all being here today. nagy, is that correct? -- in all the people i have gotten to know in my travels to africa and the work done in africa since i came to congress johnny is the most knowledgeable, insightful and most well received american on the continent of africa so if you didn't know him, which i thought you did, but if you hadn't, i want to make sure you do. since you do know him, take advantage because he is a terrific asset. mr. nagy: absolutely. when i was ambassador in ethiopia, he was ambassador in kenya. sen. isakson: you focused on the sudan in part of your testimony, mentioned the sudan. that is a horrible problem. it's getting worse by the day.
we've tried a special envoy. i knew general gratian, the comprehensive peace agreement we worked on to finally get a referendum for independence which we finally got, but it never did anything because the violence, the murder, the assassination and the economic stealing from one another's assets have just destroyed the environment there. what would you, what initiative would you try to move us to in south sudan to go from a caretaker of chaos, which i think is what we are right now, to a caretaker of a route to peace and security? mr. nagy: senator, thank you for that question. in my view, south sudan is one of the greatest tragedies in the world right now, and absolutely needless. it should never have happened, especially given the positive role the united states played in creating south sudan. senator, if confirmed, i promise you i will look for every pressure point possible, including the ones that have not yet been puso make sure that those who are complicity in these tragedies have to pay for
that, so that they don't have places where they can park their money. they don't have places where they can go and enjoy their vacations, and go shopping while their people are dying. women are being raped. people are going hungry and chased from their homes. i truly believe that i would put that at the top of my inbox if confirmed. sen. isakson: it's going to take our leadership to do that. al brashear in the north is not going to be a help to us. he's not going to be a problem, he has been indicted in a net -- international criminal court, but he's not going to be a help to us. the south sudanese are doing a pretty good job messing up themselves, and we need to move them forward as much as we can. on that point also nathaniel who was a former intern of mine who was a refugee to clarkston, georgia, about 15 years ago is one of the lost boys of sudan. he came to my office last week to share with me some of his experiences in the sudan since he has gone back to try to bring help, bring back that country. he said the biggest need they have on the ground is a recognition by the public, the people of sudan, that the united
states is engaged, that the government of sudan is getting engaged with them, and we are going to be a part of moving sudan forward. we evidently are not in that -- well, i asked him, i said, aren't we visible now? he said not as visible as we should be. i think that is one of the things you are going to have to focus on to see the division i to see the visibility of our couny, and they are there to take a responsibility to do that. mr. nagy: i can promise you if confirmed the south sudanese will realize how involved the united states is. being one of the few u.s. ambassadors who ever spent time in a refugee camp as a refugee and not just a visitor, i am passionate about refugee issues. sen. isakson: well, you are doing a great job. i'm certain africa is the continent of the 21st century for the united states in many ways, the population explosion as you referred to in nigeria which will be bigger than the united states by the half point of this century. it's important we have them as friends, but it's important we help them grow economically and
using agoa, which you also referred to in your remarks is a , way to do that. senator coons, who was here, and i two years ago in the work on agoa used that as a lever to get the south africans to open south africa to domestic poultry which happens to be the biggest exrt which is why senator kunz ranged it in the first place. they want to do business with america, we need to use our assets and use that trade agreement to open more doors of opportunity for africans but more doors for opportunity for americans, too. mr. nagy: absolutely, senator. i agree with you totally. sen. isakson: my last point on -- not my last point, but the last one i have time to talk about, i want to go to south korea. the questions on the -- there have been some questions of what the president offered when he offered to suspend or temporarily postpone, or postpone the second round of exercises in south korea this year, pending the north koreans beginning to exercise -- do what they need to do on the agreement that they have made with america
in singapore. as one who served in the military, and i was in the air force, we had all eyes. we had ordinance readiness inspections where at the drop of a hat and a phone call we were called to come and go through an exercise as if we were at war, but we of course weren't. some call that a war game, some call it an exercise, whatever. does putting off or postponing what would have otherwise been a regularly scheduled exercise in any way damage our readiness in that part of the world? mr. schenker: senator, for short periods of time, no, but i believe without knowing with any certainty i believe the president was referring to major exercises. the vice president has stated since then that regular readiness and training evolutions will continue, so i view that in terms of the roi that you mentioned, and service-related exercises, and things like that will continue but i don't know that for a , fact. you know, that would be up to the department of defense to determine what is allowable
under the new construct, but i'm convinced, and i know the administration has underscored, that our alliance commitments to south koremain ironclad and have not changed. sen. isakson: i agree with you, and i am not good on acronyms either. roi is an old acronym because i'm an old american soldier. there could be a new name by now, but i think it's not the type of exercise they were referring to in the agreement in singapore. there is no place in the world that we are better prepared with manpower, and investment, and infrastructure than in south korea to carry through on any commitment we have to the south korean people, or the people of japan, or any other people in that part of the pacific rim, would you agree with that? adm. harris: i would, sir. sen. isakson: i don't think suspending a temporary exercise in any way diminishes our ability to continue to do everything we've promised to do and have partnered with those countries to do to enjoy the peace and security of freedom in that part of the world.
adm. harris: i agree, senator. i think that we need -- we do need to create some breathing space for the negotiations to continue, and to assess whether kim jong-un is serious on his part of the deal or not, and i think this gives us that opportunity. sen. isakson: well, as my world war ii navy captain and father-in-law william davison who flew in the south pacific for 20 years used to say, if you've got a tough job to do, give it to the navy. thank you, mr. chair. sen. corker: thank you. senator isakson. senator shaheen. senator shaheen: thank you, mr. chairman. congratulations and thank you to ul of you for your nominations and for your willingness to serve. thank you to your families also for being willing to make that kind of a commitment. admiral harris, i want to follow up on the senator isakson's question about the military exercises. not in terms of what that might do to readiness, but what the message is that that sends to not just our allies in the
region also to our adversaries. and can you -- there have been news reports about china's pleasure at our announcing this kind of a concession. can you do you agree that this , is a benefit to china? adm. harris: i think it's too early to tell, senator, if it's a benefit to china or not. i do know that the chinese foreign minister wang said that this was creating a new history, but president moon as well talked about the talks being the talks of the century, and so i think that south korea is looking at this in a positive way, this being the summit, and i believe that we are, in fact, in a new landscape with north korea for the first time certainly in my career. we are at a place where peace is
a possibility, and i think we should be encouraged by that. i've said before that we can be hopeful. we can even be optimistic, as long as we are realistic also, and i'm convinced that the administration has that realism at heart as we move forward in this new place that we are in. sen. shaheen: and it is -- if we do, if we are able to successfully move forward towards denuclearization, will south korea still face a conventional military threat from north korea and a cyber threat? do you think those issues should be part of negotiations around denuclearization? adm. harris: i think ultimately all of those things should be on the table. you know, right now we're focused, and rightfully so, on the nuclear aspects of the north korean capability, but ultimately, you know, we seek peace on the peninsula. no one has a greater stake on peace on the peninsula than south korea. they are the ones that went to
war and are still technically at war with the north. and i think that that encompasses all types of capabilities that the north has, but we start with the nuclear peace. that's the one that threatens the region as well as parts of the united states, potentially all of the united states, and we start there, and then we work for peace on the peninsula writ -- at large. sen. shaheen: thank you. mr. schenker, as i'm sure you are aware, yesterday the saudi-led coalition in yemen began an offensive to take the port city of hodaida. there are dramatic reports about what this assault will mean for people in yemen, the number of people who will be killed. the u.n. has pulled out all of their humanitarian personnel there and have suggested the
u.n. envoy has suggested this is a major impediment to efforts to bring parties to the table to have a peaceful resolution in yemen. should the united states be doing more to urge the saudi-led coalition to stop that invasion and to come to the table? mr. schenker: thank you, senator. it's my understanding that the united states had advised the yemeni -- sorry, the emirati and saudi forces not to go to hodaida. the secretary, as you know, made a statement a few days ago on this recognizing not only the security concerns of the saudis emiratis but also holding the -- the saudis and emiratis but but also holding the emiratis and the saudis to their humanitarian commitments. i am very concerned about the impact of the move on hodaida. as you know, 22 out of 30 million yemenis are food insecure.
hodaida is the largest port for humanitarian and commercial goods going to the country. if there was an interruption, thould be very serious to the yemeni people. if confirmed, i would make every effort to get all the parties to the table with the envoy immediately. that would be a top priority, yes. sen. shaheen: and are there other tools that we have, incentives disincentives that we , have that we should be using that we are not currently using? mr. schenker: senator, i don't know. i haven't been privy to the i think there is more that can be done in terms of incentives. let's say, to consult the colleagues that the dod, if confirmed. but yes, i think there are ways to encourage them. >> as i'm sure you are aware, this committee has weighed in on
the yemeni conflict in a way that suggests we should put more pressure on the saudi led coalition, so i certainly appreciate your commitment to do that, if confirmed. are you aware that the state department is withholding $200 million in stabilization funding for syria and areas that are previously controlled by isis? >> yes, senator. >> can you explain what the reasoning is behind that? >> my understanding is that the administration is conducting an assessment to determine what of this is appropriate and perhaps inappropriate. it's my general view that groups such as the white helmets are doing outstanding and important work. and other recipients of u.s. funding, local councils etc., who have been receiving money, were doing important work to create conditions in local communities that would prevent the reemergence of isis 2.0, for
example. but i don't have any visibility into the ongoing administration review but if confirmed i would be happy to come talk to you about it. >> i appreciate that. beyond eliminating isis, can you discuss you believe is the united states policy can syria? and what our long-term strategy is? >> i can tshotake a t it. senator, we have troops in syria right now that are working with our allies there, doing excellent rk to defeat the reigning pockets of isis out in the east. they also are helping to train cal security forces, doing ordinance disposal and the mining and generally working to create the conditions, whereby isis 2.0, al qaeda, don't return. all this is very important work.
while the u.s. forces are there, there is another benefit which is that it strengthens the u.s. hand in moscow over the future disposition of syria. long-term, the president has said we intend to depart. my understanding, there are deliberations within one that -- within the administration as to when that will occur. the illustration appears to still be committed to the end of the assad himself. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> sen. corker. >> thank you for your willingness to serve. i enjoyed our meetings over the years, including the briefings you've given us as pacon commander. you've come in a critical time and you are going to be part of the new team, the pompeo team.
you have a lot of background experience in the military side, which will be very helpful. i do think we have a real opportunity here and there is an opening. we need to be clear eyed, as we discussed, about what the challenges are. we cannot be trusting of what north korea says in terms of their commitments because they've made commitments in the past that they have an honored. -- that they have not honored. but it is an opportunity and i believe we ought to give the president and the demonstration this space to be able to negotiate and be in historic agreement with regard to the korean peninsula and the denuclearization. i want to follow up on china just for a second. china perhaps has a different view than we do about what the ,uture ought to look like particularly about not just the nuclear presence on the peninsula, because we do provide
that umbrella, but also our troops and also exercises. are you concerned that china will push for the north koreans to demand the total withdrawal of u.s. troops in korea or redeployment of the defense system? if so, how would you deal with that? >> i don't know how china will react with regard to pressuring north korea as a negotiating partner of the united states. i do know based on my previous job that china is very happy -- very unhappy with the placement of the fan missile system, the area in south korea. but that was an alliance decision taken up by both the republic of korea and the united states together. and i think it's important that the decisions as we go forward here in the new place we are in, the decisions we make in regard
to troop levels, with regard to exercises, and with regard to everything else that affects the alliance, that those decisions be taken together with our south korean allies. these must be alliance decisions and not unilateral decisions. i think one of the jobs i'll have, if confirmed as the ambassador, is to implement policy that comes from washington, that comes from the secretary of state and the president, and also to stay synchronized with our south korean ally, and that will be a good work of diplomacy, i believe. >> the interoperability between the euro forces and u.k. performances -- forces are a concern there. and president moon's support for early transfer of forces from the united states to south korea, taking away operational control from the u.s., is that a
good idea? are they ready? >> at some point, they'll be ready. >> are they ready now? >> they're not ready today. the transfer of operations of control for transfer, we have a greed with south korea that there must be conditions based and when those conditions are met rather than time-based, then they will be ready to do that. it's ongoing right now between u.s. forces, korea, pacific command, and dod to work with our counterparts in korea to determine conditions and when those conditions will be met. >> putting on your new state department hat, i'm confident you will be confirmed, what do you think our posture should be in regards to human rights abuses in north korea? i come from ohio, very involved
with the release of auto warm mbier subject to human rights abuses. should that be part of any agreement with north korea? >> i think human rights should be a part of discussions. the president did raise them and as a nation, and certainly as a department, we are concerned with the gross human rights violations evidenced by the north korean regime. >> thank you again, admiral harris, and we wish you the best of luck. you are going to be a critical part of negotiations going forward. mr. schenker, i have to run to a vote, but what do you think the prospects are for iran to implement the jcpoa, the iran agreement america has just withdrawn from? would it be the administration's
intent that we continue to work with our european allies to come up with a new agreement? what would be your view on that? >> thank you for the question. i don't know what the administration is at on that exactly. it seems to me that the europeans can make their own desi whether to out or not, but that the secretary sanctions that will be imposed on companies that are doing business may eventually make the iranians leave. i don't know how this is going to play out, but it seems that the main priority of the administration and if confirmed one of my main priorities would be incorporating all the elements, whether it is running , or missile proliferation.
>> disabling behavior is the part we missed and look what happened in syria in particular, also as we see in yemen and elsewhere. i need to go run and vote and my time has expired. i have questions for you, but i want to follow-up in writing with legislation we are working on to get your input on that. thank you all for your willingness to serve. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and all three of our nominees. you have all had distinguishing careers. you have all served in positions critically important at this time on foreign policy and national security issues, and we thank your families for your willingness. i want to start -- some of my colleagues have talked about the dimensions of human rights and making sure that's a top priority in your responsibilities, whether it is
one country in south korea, or regions of africa and the middle east. i want to start ambassador nation, i told you outside you off, but let me start with you if i might. the comments you made about leaders in africa wanting to hold onto power rather than let their countries to develop i thought was a very poignant point. i couldn't agree more with that assessment. so let me talk about the country where they have a new leader, which is ethiopia. you're familiar with that country. i had the opportunity to meet with one of the dissidents that was in town this week, who has been arrested and has had some serious issues. he's a pretty great person. there is some reason for optimism, that maybe there is going to be some change, but we haven't seen it demonstrated yet
as far as safety of the activists in the country. could you give me your assessment of how the nine -- how the united states could play a constructive role? >> i'm extremely optimistic about ethiopia. i have seen ethiopia at its andt during my first tour then i saw it somewhat better when i was an ambassador, looking at ethiopia as an evolutionary manner. i'm encouraged by the new prime minister. he may be the first generation that will actually be willing to allow itself to be voted out of office, which i think is a huge step going forward. i've also been encouraged by recent steps he's taken, most especially the agreement to implement the peace treaty, which is going to be quite difficult given internal ethiopian pressures.
so overall, ethiopia had major human rights problems in the past. i'm encouraged that each year, it will get better and better, and if confirmed, i will certainly engage very strongly with ethiopia, given my own history with that country, to make sure it goes forward. >> i hope to be very tough on this. we seen other countries like berm, where we thought they were on a path and they made an abrupt change in direction. the struggles and ethiopia are real so i would hope that you would continue to do that. we had a chance to talk and raise the port issues in regard to yemen. yemen is a major humanitarian crisis now and it's complicated as to how we can get help to the people. there's clearly outside forces trying to prevent that from happening. but we don't have the sensitivity that we believe is
necessary from the saudi's or the uae. obviously they have security concerns. we understand that. how much more aggressive can we be to make sure the people of yemen get the help they need? >> thanks, senator. i think more can be done, certainly. we have a u.n. verification and hasection team which provided some assurance that saudi's and the uae and contraband weapons are not arriving from the eastport. it perhaps can be we can pressure parties there to bring in cargo planes, that might help the situation. but it's a very complex and difficult situation.
i thinmore can be done and pressured on our allies. they have made commitments to humanitarian goods getting into the country. >> i think you can play a very critical role here because there's a lot of activity by the uae and the kingdom in washington. there's a lot of engagement. i think it's important that they get a very clear message as to the importance of being as strong as possible in regards to humanitarian aid. i appreciate your statements on that. >> thank you, senator. >> i want to talk about north korea. most of the experts we've had before this committee, we've had outside experts that were in the
administration. we haven't had yet the administration's people. you need to do if there is going to be confidence north korea will give up nuclear weapons, you have to have a declaration. you've got to know what going on in north korea. you got to know the venues, you've got to have inspectors in to verify what the starting point is, and then you need, not just a statement that you are going to end the nuclear program, but you need a game plan that is realistic for the dismantling of their nuclear from beginning to end, including the delivery systems. that's what the experts that have testified before this committee said is the first step. the first step, not the final step, but the first step in achieving our objective. we have not heard anything about that from the singapore summit. but do you agree with that assessment that we are going to
be able to have success, we need to know where we are starting from? >> sure, senator. but i believe the first step has to be a meeting, right? we had that meeting. >> we had meetings before. not directly -- >> not meetings of this level. >> that's correct, but we've had high-level meetings in the past and commitments in the past, and we've never really had our eyes on exactly what they have and an understanding on how you dismantle that. >> i agree with you completely and the what you've formulated that. i think that after the meeting, the president said the meeting, the summit in singapore wasn't designed to solve all issues all
at once, but to be a starting point for serious negotiations. that's the next step. complete verifiable denuclearization means. that's the work of the negotiating teams and the experts and denuclearization, which we have many in the united states, scientific experts that have done this in the past. and we need to rely on them to help us get to that point where we can be satisfied that north korea has denuclearize. and said they are ready to help should it come to that. >> thank you. >> thank you, chairman corker, for holding this important hearing and for your families.
we are blessed to have men of your strength and character to continue serving our country and i'm grateful for the opportunities to meet with you before. thank you so much for our conversation yesterday. i look forward to supporting your nomination. if confirmed, you will confront some of the greatest challenges the united states faces around of the world, strengthening and sustaining our vital partners, embracing the opportunity of the continent of africa while also confronting terrorism and humanitarian crises. very real challenges and risks of iran, syria. you have a full plate. the trump administration has given high priority to addressing competition with -- china in africa. senator corker and i have worked on a bipartisan bill that would create a new development finance institution that will be marked here next week. this new dfi would shape u.s. efforts to counterbalance china's growing economic influence on the continent.
i'm encouraged the white house expressed strong support for it. if it passes in the law, how could you use this tool to promote international development in africa? >> thank you very much, senator. if it passes into law, it would be a tremendous asset for us to use, especially regarding when you mentioned china. because in talking about china's activities in africa, we can make a list of all the negative impacts, but the big so what question is, what do we displace it with? how do we get more american businesses involved in getting into africa? i know large businesses have no problems with multinationals. but when i was in west texas, so my companies and to me and said we are investing in africa. how can we do it? we are afraid to do it because it's not a level playing field. if we get into a dispute, we
would lose. that act would be perfect to ofplement the other side warning about china's activities and extraction and indebtedness and everything. >> thank you. we hope to deliver that tool for you and partner with usaid to advance development and security. let me move to a country where we have an opportunity to advance democracy in a real way that they are watching very closely what is said and done here, zimbabwe. setters like an senator booker were also with me where we visited zimbabwe, both of which have relatively new presidents. there will be an election in zimbabwe. prospects for democracy are uncertain. in our lengthy one-on-one meeting, the president said all
the right things and he is saying and doing good things, but there are significant on a unaddressed barriers to the restoration of their community. we introduce an amendment to the recovery act. do you agree the united states should not release sanctions on zimbabwe until the government takes concrete actions to demonstrate its respect for human rights, commitment to free and fair elections, and pursuing anticorruption measures and a rules-based economy? >> absolutely, senator. actions speak louder than words. >> one of the core actions we could take would be to send an american ambassador. you were once recalled from retirement to serve as our ambassador in nigeria. we have a nominee now from the administration who we might be able to get through this committee to the floor in a month, thus would arrive a week before a significant collection.
-- significant election. would you recommend they look for a former ambassador to send as well as moving forward as best as we can to confirm a new ambassador? >> if confirmed, once i can look at all the details, i promise you if i belve that that would be a solution, i would move as quickly as possible for that. in my own case, it really did help to spend some time there. >> having someone with the length of service you have is going to be a terrific opportunity for us, but i'm concerned about the press for time in a country that has a once in a generation chance to get this right. i wanted to commend you both for your long service and your wife's long service in the united states navy, and to welcome you and thank you for your willingness to take on this job. would you insure talks in north korea don't destabilize the korean peninsula at the expense of extending chinese influence?
my concern is there is a prospect of making a strategic mistake of canceling exercises, withdrawing american troops without having complete verifiable path to denuclearization. i met with human rights activists and folks who defected after many years. should the government of south korea play a role in advocating for human rights in north korea and should that be a central part of our advocacy? >> if confirmed, i'll do all those things that you said. with regard to human rights, i believe that the government of the republic of korea, south korea, has a big role to play in the issue of human rights and the gross violations about the north. also, there are the issues of
abductions of japanese citizens. the president raised those in his discussions, so i think that's a positive, as well. >> let me close to saying to mr. schenker, we sent a letter to the president urged that he not withdraw forces from korea. -- urging him not to withdraw forces from syria. arguing the vacuum would put at risk or harm our allies worked with us, our partners in combat against isis, and the vacuum would simply be filled by iranian proxies. is it your view that our departure from the ground in syria would create a significant vacuum and we would be at the risk of having iranian proxies fill that vacuum? senator, thank you. i am concerned.
i think we have to make a decision based on conditions on the ground and in conjunction with combatant commanders say is important. >> i appreciate your previous comments that white helmets do terrific work. i hope you will also be able to make progress in releasing those vital humanitarian funds that support a number of ngos and vital work in syria. thank you all for your testimony. i look forward to working with you. senator rubio, i am going to go vote and then we ll hav senator kaine to follow you. >> perfect. i can go as long as i want now. but thank you all for being here. thank you for your willingness to serve. i wanted to begin with admiral harris. you had a great amount of service in the end of pacific region. just on your experience in the region, you would agree that perhaps one of the leading reasons why what we saw earlier
this week was even possible. kim jong-un looking for a meeting and so forth is because there was serious doubts about whether they could attach a warhead to a missile before the economy collapsed? they were on a race between being able to prove to that capability and an economic collapse to the regime. they had doubts the collapse would come before they could and there were trying to stop that from occurring. >> thanks, senator. i'm not sure what is going on in kim jong-un's mind, but i do believe the maximum pressure plan that was led by the state department and and enforcement , pretty harshons
sanctions by many countries including china, i think the force of those sanctions and the maximum campaign pressure campaign is what brought him to the negotiating table in singapore. >> i only raise that in the context of what we had, these are relevant to some extent. ultimately, the thing that will keep him at the table is the sanctions. as long as that pressure is there, but is the one thing they need to desperately figure out. >> i agree with you. i am concerned that china is andting to relax sanction they want the further relaxation of sanctions. i think it is important for us to maintain sanctions until we reach the point where we believe that kim jong-un is serious about negotiations and the ultimate aim of the talks, which
was to have the irreversible denuclearization. think one ofed, i the roles you will play a critical role in is the attempt of the chinese and north koreans to split the united states and south korea. inflatedhave been expectations and south korea about with this deal could mean. this reaches that a point and a construct out -- and northagged out korea is saying, these ideas are fine by us, but they are not good for the united states. say, if south korea is ok with this, and north korea and china are ok with
this, the united states is being unreasonable. that could undermine the international sanctions. in particular i'm concerned about a push that would say something like, we have a deal but in order for us to do some concessions short of denuclearization we want this to be step by step, we do something, you do something and in that sort of negotiation step by step, two of those steps along the way towards a final deal would be number one, we want you to have a significant reduction in troops and the other is we want you to remove the missile defense system from south korea. and each of those steps would be met by some reciprocal concession short of denuclearization but it would show progress and the south korean government given this expectation could come forward and say we are in agreement with that and then the world would say to the united states they are all in agreement with it, you guys are being unreasonable by not agreeing with it. i think there is a real danger of a protracted process here
where they are able to gain very valuable concessions, some of which directly benefit the thad presence in south korea -- it's removal would deeply benefit china and russia but would be against our national interests but it would be something that the south koreans would like favorably on in a step by step process. and we are now cast in the role of the bad gs e standing in a deal yet to be consummated. i truly believe that one of the most important functions you will play will be to ensure that that split never happens, that we do not allow that they create a gap between us and south korea as part of the negotiating tactic. i believe that part of your challenges you will face is an incredible amount of expectation within south korea and the amount of political capital the president of south korea has put on this deal being successful. i was curious whether you shared that view as a risk and what your views would be about ensuring that that split doesn't happen. >> thanks, senator.
i do believe that it is important that we stay synchronized and aligned with our ally in south korea. and that the decisions that we make regarding, you know, troop levels or the terminal high altitude air defense system or any other thing that could come out of the negotiations that those decisions that we make that we undertake are alliance decisions, or decisions that are made with our south korean ally and not unilaterally. and they need to make their decisions based on the aligns as -- the alliance as well. just like the decision to put the thad into south korea was an alliance decision, i believe that is important and i think that that is one of the roles that i will have as you said if confirmed is to stay synchronized and aligned with the leaders in south korea. >> can i ask because of your
background? the existence of a missile defense system in south korea, separate -- even if north korea did not have long range missiles and nuclear capability, would it still be in the national security interest of the united states to have a missile defense presence in south korea and in the in-pacific region beyond the north korea threat? >> senator, based on my previous job we puthe thad ballistic missile defense system in south korea with south korea and that alliance decision because of the threat from north korea. it is now there for anything from china or russia or anywhere else. it's based solely on the ballistic missile threat from north korea. ? so there would be no justification for it if there was no north korean -- >> i don't think there would be justification is not the issue. i think there would be no need for it. it is there. it's a very tactical system designed for ballistic missiles coming from north korea.
>> towards the mainland of the united states? >> no. no. the thad is there for ballistic missiles coming to south korea. it's there for the defense of the americans in south korean, our south korean allies and the people there. >> ok. >> senator kaine. ? thank you to my colleagues and thank you and congratulations to the nominees. i think this is a very, very impressive panel of nominees. i want to say that admiral harris, you know, my worry as a member of the armed services committee when you last appeared before us to complete your time at pacom was that i would never have an opportunity again to torment you across a witness table. i'm glad to see those opportunities are not coming to an end. to ambassador nash, i have to say of any resume i have ever seen of anybody, i'm giving you the best resume. born in hungary and a member of the communist youth pioneers as
a youngster. until your father got a death sentence and you guys left the country. you have been involved in three political campaigns for president, barry goldwater, mitt romney and barack obama. that's an unusual hat trick. there are not a lot who would say that. and some others. and your tremendous service in africa, your multiple language fluency you are the most , interesting man in the world. [laughter] but i will tell you the thing about the resume i like the best -- those of you out in the audience didn't have a chance to read this. listen to this sentence. "you failed the foreign service exam the first time he took it, but passed in 1977. who puts that in their resume? a very confident person who is attributing success to the most important element, which is persistence. look at the career being an ambassador twice and now being nominated, you put that front and center. that's very much to your credit. my questions are going to be for mr. chancre, thank you for the opportunity to visit in the office and your work. i am the ranking member on the
sfrc subcommittee that coincides with your area of responsibility. in your professional expertise, i'm not requesting about administration policy, i'm talking about your professional expertise working in this area, do you think a peace deal between israel and palestine, two states for two people living in peace, is still a possibility? or have facts, you know, violence from gaza against israel or israeli settlements into the west bank, have facts eclipsed the possibility of a two-state peace deal? >> thank you, senator. it was a pleasure meeting with you as well. no, i think it's still a possibility. i think it depends on the wills of the party. ultimately any solution to the israeli-palestinian conflict will be determined by the parties. the united states has a role in facilitating those negotiations, but both parties have to be ready to make the sacrifices necessary. >> let me ask you this, do you
think it should still be u.s. policy now to promote under the right circumstances, as you point out, it's the will of the parties, but to promote that as the ideal which has been u.s. policy since the u.n. first recognized the state of israel? do you think that should be our policy? >> i do. >> what do you think israel must do to make that possibility a reality? >> senator, i don't want to, you know, pre-judge the negotiations and i haven't been privy at all to any of the internal administration deliberations, what jared kushner and jason greenblatt -- >> and i'm not really asking you about the administration. you are an expert in this field, you lived there, you studied there, you're fluent in the languages, you've worked in think tank organizations who have worked on this for years. so what i hope to do in my remaining three and a half minutes is just get as your
professional expertise based on a life of working in the area what you think israel must do, what you think the palestinians must do, what you think the united states should do, what you think israel's neighbors should do. so, again, i'm not talking about the negotiation, but just in your expertise in the area i'd hope you could educate us. >> well, thank you. i think broad outlines are land for peace. there is a west bank for the parties to determine the lines . there is gaza for the parties to determine the lines. territorial swaps, recognition. >> and that's on the palestinian side. >> right. there are difficult decisions that are going to have to be made potentially about -- between the parties about where the capital ultimately may be of the palestinian state. for the palestinians once again, its recognition of israel's
right to exist as a jewish state. i think that's what the israelis are demanding right now. >> and that was the terms of the original u.n. decision. safe and secure borders and that is for the parties to determine of course but whether this future palestinian state is largely demilitarized. so i think some of the key issues on that front and i think those are surmountable. >> if each side is willing to do the things that you outlined. >> right. ? and both israel and palestinians have some things that they have to do if this desirable reality will be accomplished. i'm not going to ask you what the u.s. should do because you're right, there is -- you know, the state department and jared kushner and others are working that. what about the neighbors of israel and the palestinians? what do you think they need to do to help make the desirable outcome a reality? >> thank you. i think this is the key element
here, which is that for israel presumably to make some very difficult decisions in return there would be recognition from across the region and others parties to follow and that is acceptance and opening ties with gulf states that may be ongoing now, but are i think very quiet. >> right. sort of subrosa that we would want them to be publicly supporting any peace deal but also opening up true nation to nation relations in the sunlight with israel. >> that would be the hope obviously. like wise, i think some funding support for the palestinians to help them develop their economy in a very big way which will be i think important to both stabilize and strengthen and counter violent extremism in these areas. >> i hope that we remain very committed to this. i despair from my first visit in
israel in 2000 until my most recent visits. it seems like the prospects have gotten farther and farther apart but i always describe having ancestors from a part of the world where the prospects looked zero for hundreds of years in ireland and then in our lifetime after the good friday accords there was an accord and there's generations of kids important in -- born in ireland today who don't even know what it was like that there was centuries of troubles. so we need to remain committed to it and watch for those opportunities and i appreciate your long work in this area and encourage you to keep that front of mind in your capacity should you be confirmed. thanks all of you. thank you. >> senator markey for a full 7 minutes. >> thank you. we hoped that our agreement is matched by president trump's negotiating skill with president kim. thank you. and, by the way, senator kaine,
i agree with you. that's an incredible resume for most interesting man in the world. he really -- it's amazing, but i was talking to admiral harris yesterday -- you are going to sink his nomination if you keep saying he is the most interesting man in the world. >> the president is the most interesting man in the world. ? this is true. ? this is true. but, admiral harris, you know, his father in the navy meets his mother in japan after world war ii. they get married, move to tennessee, and then to florida and he returns as the head of our pacific command -- >> those are both states with no income tax. he is very smart. [laughter] >> and then to be here as our ambassador to korea, just
absolutely amazing. each of these stories is just an american dream come true in each instance and we thank you for embodyinl of that. and, by the way, i support wholeheartedly each one of your nominations for confirmation. we thank each of you for your service. i'd like if i could with you, admiral harris, just move over to the sanctions regime which is in place and some of the coming out of china that there might be an interest in relaxation of that sanctions regime before we see full compliance by president kim in the denuclearization of north
korea. could you talk about that, your philosophy in terms of what the sequencing should be in the removal of any of those sanctions? >> sure. senator, as i understand it sanctions remain in effect, full sanctions remain in effect until north korea makes concrete steps, demonstrates concrete steps toward denuclearization. the full range of united nations sanctions is what i'm talking about and i believe that it's those sanctions that brought north korea to singapore in the first place. that brought kim jong-un to singapore. so i think that we need to maintain those sanctions until there's some concrete demonstrations of moving toward a denuclearized north korea. >> are you concerned that china kind of unilaterally might just begin to turn a blind eye to an
increase in trade that will help to bolster the regime? >> i am concerned. china is a member of the united nations and the united nations has determined that north korea should be sanctioned b their nuclear weapons development program and they haven't -- and the united nations has not relaxed those sanctions. so china as a member of the united nations in my opinion is obliged to follow those rules. >> i was there in korea last august with senator van holland and senator merkley while military maneuvers were being conducted in south korea. could you talk a little bit about the relationship with south korea? the concern which they voiced on day one that they had not been notified of the -- in the change
in terms of those military exercises? and what you think is necessary going forward in terms of maintaining a close working partnership with south korea. >> sir, i believe that president moon jae-in said it right after the talks in singapore. he described them as talks of the century. i think that he is optimistic and wants to create that negotiation space so that north korea has an opportunity to demonstrate the seriousness by which it is willing to undergo denuclearization. so i think the first step we have to do is create this space, that negotiating space, and then go forward from there. >> is your definition of denuclearization the complete removal of all nuclear equipment
before there is any relaxation of trade sanctions? >> not necessarily to the nt that you just described. i believe that denuclearization means complete denuclearization of equipment, research, existing stockpiles and all of that including the means to deliver , them. i think that's what denuclearization means. i don't know, quite frankly, where along that timeline toward complete denuclearizeation that we should start to relax sanctions. i think that's part of the negotiations and certainly part of the deliberations that will happen here back in washington with south korea. >> so how concerned are you that this kim is still working from
the kim family playbook, which in the 1990's and now in the 21st century just continues to result in them pocketing the rewards of negotiation while delaying the concessions and then accepting those rewards without ever having seen any benefits that flow to the united states, south korea or the rest. -- or the west. >> we saw with the predecessors this happen in 2004 and 2012. but i believe that the president is spot on when he says that he's not going to wait that long. he'll know within a year or maybe less and we'll know within a year or maybe less in which kim jong-un approach his part of the deal, and we'll be able to make that decision then. >> we think each of you for your
service to our country and we look forward to trying to help you to do your job in the years ahead. >> thank you, sir. senator menendez. >> thank you, chairman. let me just ask you, do you use defense, diplomacy and development, the 3 d's as important to our work in africa? >> absolutely, senator. if you get rid of th terrorists, you have to fill the space with something. and if after you get rid of the terrorists the same conditions remain there with poor governance, abuse of human rights, a couple years later a new terrorist will come as we saw in somalia. >> do you think we have the balance right at this moment? >> senator, i can promise you if i'm confirmed i will be as aggressive as i can be in trying to obtain the resources that i
believe are necessary. of course, at the end of the day i will support whatever budget the president puts out. but in my career i've had to i've had to deal with better budgets, and i promise you i will optimize the resources the best i can. >> my goal is not to have you dispute the administration's budget. nobody can defend that. but my question is will you be an advocate if you are ultimately approved -- confirmed of creating the right balance among these three critical elements? >> absolutely, senator. >> let me ask you what's the effect of having such a significant military footprint like niger? >> senator, i do have niger has resources from usaid. they do have a limited mission. they're also supported from other regional offices. it is one of those cases where
niger is threatened from several different directions. i think it's probably one of the most vulnerable countries in the sahel. the question will be rightly when the terrorists are gone what happens next? , and i can promise you if confirmed i will do my best to fight for those resources to replace the vacuum that's left behind. >> let me ask you this, given the concerns somewhere have voiced of radicalization due to abuses by security forces when and how should we be weighing in to sell arms the countries with well documented human rights abuses even in the face of significant terror threats? >> senator, abuse by security forces is a significant problem. in my experience in africa i have seen the positive role that u.s. military exchanges can play in actually improving the security forces from systematic
abuses to a point where it's only rogue elements to rogue individual. based on my exrice senator, i'm very -- i'm talking about selling arms. senator, i totally support u.s. law. and i promise you if confirmed i will examine very closely the human rights situations in each of those cases. >> as you know the committee, the chairman and i have jurisdictionver arms sales in an informal way, and i would be interested in having an understanding of what the right calibration is here. and finally what's your position investments inof democracy and governance sections as it relates to the african continent? >> in my view governance and democracy is the glue that holds all other programs together. without governance and democracy
-- for example we can have , phenomenal power africa program but if the citizens , don't believe in their government or people are paying for their bills, the infrastructure will be destructive. from my experience i am totally committed to governance and human rights and democracy. >> and i'm thrilled to hear yr answers. as a follow-up to that, i hope you'll be within the confines and state department, an advocate in that regard because we're solely lacking. lastly, i would like commitments from you that if confirmed you will return in a relatively brief time to brief us on the status of the development of a coordinated diplomatic approach to both the horn and the sehel part of the continent. >> you have that, senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. i want to thank all three of you
for your willingness to serve. i can tell you in recent times we've not had a committee hearing like this where all the nominees are so broadly supported on both sides of the aisle. i think it speaks to who you are as people but also your professionalism. so we thank you for that and your families for joining you in your service. and we're going to keep the record open until the close of business tomorrow so there'll be some written questions. i have all of you are very three familiar with this. if you could respond to those quickly, it would help speed along your nomination. >> one brief comment. you suggested your children archangels. -- are not angels. they have behaved extraordinarily well. you want to respond to that? >> no comment. >> thank you so much. and with that the meeting is adjourned. thank you very much.
>> tonight, filmmakers discuss their documentary, history of faith and resistance about the actions of the catholic activists who protested the vietnam war. >> the antiwar movement was mostly thought of as scruffy haired college ad protesters. here were middle-aged clergy. the public thinks if they are against the war, maybe i should reconsider it myself. that was a turning point for the antiwar movement. >> their actions do not end the vietnam war, but it don't see how you can argue it cannot help end the draft.
the head of the selective service said publicly they felt they were under attack. i think it clearly -- you can job line from what they did to the draft ending in 1973. >> tonight :00 it is -- tonight at 8:00 eastern. afterwards,n television and radio host talks about his book "from left: a life in the crossfire." he's indicated by mona chair of. >> who was one of the most persuasive guests? >> john mccain. >> on what subject? >> just about everything. he was such a maverick. he was also really honest. he was willing to take on his own party. i wrote a book about barack obama. of my fellowf crap
democrats but about there were some things i lived barack obama let the progressive side down. john mccain felt his party was not living up to what he believed the republican party should be and was willing to say so. >> watch afterwards tonight at 9:00 eastern on c-span2's book tv. >> monday night on the communicators, this week's decision by a federal judge approving the $85 billion merger of at&t and time warner. joining us to talk about the president ofa moss the american antitrust institute, and joshua wright of george mason university's global antitrust institute. >> no mention of the word "market power" in the decision. that is really the key issue here. in a vertical merger and a horizontal merger is how does the merger change the companies
incentives and ability to exercise greater market power? >> i teach antitrust law. i have a casebook. we have looked a long time to find a vertical merger opinion after a fully litigated case to teach the students. there is not one in the modern era. i think whatever wa the case came outy, and whichever way it comes out on appeal, should be one, being the first litigated opinion and a vertical merger challenge in a long time i do think, even of it is one district court judge, one fact, what specific opinion in one industry on one proposed merger does give it some degree of importance. i think other judges, should there be another vertical merger are looking around to see what their article three judicial colleagues have done in these opinions cannot miss this one because there is nothing else. >> watch the communicators
monday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. and today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events and washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. susan: welcome to c-span's newsmakers. our guest joining us from capitol hill is congressman jerrold nadler of new york. he is in his 14th term of the house of representatives and he is the lead democrat on the house judiciary committee. let me introduce the reporters who will be asking questions this week. kate irving covers congress for mcclatchy newspapers.