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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  September 6, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PDT

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>> rose: welcome to the program. it is a new fall season. congress is back in session, and so we turn this evening in the beginning to bob costa of the "the washington post." >> we see a president, charlie, who's grappling with his base that wants purity when it comes to hard line immigration policy, that wants results, and his own instincts, his own advisors, even, and the republican leadership who want to show the republican party as more compassionate as appealing to hispanic voters, even though they know the president's well known as someone who's supportive of border wall and some of the more aggressive tactics on immigration. >> rose: and we continue this evening looking at the situation in north korea with david sanger, national security correspondent for the "new york times," david ignatius, columnist for "the washington post," nicholas burns, harvard
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kennedy school and lionel barber editor of the "financial times." >> there are many things we can do, some overt, some covert, they all suffer from the same problems is the war plan and all the times they war gamed this shows the united states and allies winning. in the interim you nay lose seoul or have huge casualties along the way. the covert options include some that president obama attempted in his last two years in office, including a cyber program against the missile launches. but if it worked, we don't understand how well it worked. there were a lot of missile failures, we don't know how many were because of the cyber program, and then it seemed to stop working, and most of the big missile launches they've had this year for the long-range missile launches appears to have
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gone along pretty well. so one of the difficulties of cyber is it's hard to get inside and then, even if you're inside, it's hard to know if it really is working. >> rose: we close this evening with something we just began called "an archived moment." this evening, henry kissinger on north korea. >> i think the better way would be to send some private emissaries to the chinese and say, here is our notion of the evolution of the region, if things continue as they are, that some military clash by somebody is inevitable. >> rose: the president's decision on daca. four experts weigh in on north korea. an archive moment with dr. henry kissinger. when we continue.
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>> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: we begin with this, the trump administration said it will end daca, the obama era program that grants temporary status to undocumented immigrants brought to the u.s. as children. attorney general jeff sessions announced a decision in a press conference this afternoon. >> i'm here today to announce that the program known as daca that was effectuated under the obama administration is being rescinded. the daca program was implemented
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in 2012 and essentially provide add legal status for recipients for a renewable two-year term work authorization and other benefits including participation in the social security program to 800,000 mostly adult illegal aliens. the policy was implemented unilaterally to great controversy and legal concern, after congress rejected legislative proposals to extend similar benefits on numerous occasions to this same group of illegal aliens. in other words, the executive branch through daca deliberately sought to achieve what the legislative branch specifically refused to authorize on multiple occasions. such an open-ended circumvision of immigration laws was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the executive branch. >> rose: today also marks the first day back for members of
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congress after their august recess with several legislative deadlines looming in the promise of an emergency aid of victims for hurricane harvey. the senate and house are faced with a heavy september workload. joining me from washington is robert costa, "the washington post" national political reporter and moderator for washington week on pbs and political analyst for cbs news and abc. great to have you. >> great to be back. >> rose: what were the president's instincts on daca and why did he make the decision h he did? >> it was such a revealing decision by the president to choose to delay making a decision. a man, a candidate, a politician and now a president who so revels in being this decider. he decided to punt the decision to congress to let the republicans on capitol hill decide the fate of the about 800,000 undocumented mostly younger immigrants who came here and were protected under the
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obama era executive action. we see a president who's grappling with his base, that want purity when it comes to hard line immigration policy, that wants results, and his own instincts, his own advisors and the republican leadership who want to show the republican party as more compassionate, as appealing to hispanic voters, even though they know the president's well known as someone who's supportive of borderwell and some of the more aggressive tactics on immigration, we see a president trying to navigate all these different forces and interests. >> rose: we also see what he clearly framed in the context of what you just said, his reference to the children. >> that's exactly right, and the president's aides tell me, charlie, he has wrestled with this for months, an it's different for the president because on immigration he's seen as wholesale on the right wing of the republican party except for this issue of dreamers, and because of the president's reluctance to move forward in an
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expected way, it's created this vacuum in washington where now congressional republicans and even some democrats think they can start to craft a revised daca policy, this deferred action for children program, established by president obama, they can try to keep thousands of these children and now young adults and adults here in the united states. charlie, this goes back, though, many years for president trump. he has often said long before he was a candidate that he's sympathetic to the view that the dreamers who came here as children and teenagers are not responsible for the mistakes of their parents but we're seeing this juxtaposition, charlie. you look at attorney general jeff sessions on tuesday, gives this hard line as you would expect press conference at the justice department saying that no one can just come to the united states, that these dreamers are here unlawfully, and then you have the president in his remarks to reporters in the pool really striking an entirely different more compassionate tone, and it presents the administration with
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a challenge moving forward. they're at a political crossroads. what is this administration really going to do with the dreamers? is it going to let congress come up with a solution and will he sign that bill? or will he just let it expire? that's the choice. >> rose: what is his relation today with congress? >> it's an uneasy relationship, and it's only gotten worse over the summer. we've seen the president clash with leader mcconnell. he continues to have somewhat of a frayed relationship with speaker paul ryan, but they have such a busy september in front of them, and now they're adding daca and immigration policy to the pile, trying to extend a dead limit, trying to get a budget passed before the government's set to shut down on september 30th, trying to deal with tax reform and so many other issues that really have begun to pile up here in washington. but the republican leadership, charlie, they want to acteon daca and immigration policy. they think even though president trump's a hard liner, ahead of the 2018 midterms, they
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want to make sure they appeal to hispanic voters and they'll try to come up with a solution maybe not in september but sometime this fall. >> rose: john mccain today said president trump's decision to eliminate daca is a wrong approach to immigration policy. >> that is the view of the mccain wing of the republican party. mccain is a real voice, leader for those who want to see comprehensive immigration reform. there was a report to senator mccain that let's wait and see, that though the president said he would phase out daca, there is little clarity what the future of the program would be. he kept saying congress should decide and when sarah huckabee sanders was asked what does that mean? what will the president do? she doesn't have a clear answer. attorney general sessions said he continues to be a hard liner but has the business community and his own family acing you
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don't need to go that far on the dream snores now that steve bannon is out, tell me about the factions within the white house. >> when it comes to steve bannon, he may be formally outside the white house but he still talks to president trump by phone i'm told by several people close to trump and represents the breitbart element in the republican party who wants no compromise when it comes to immigration or trade policy and, though bannon's gone, those kind of voices remain very powerful in this fractured washington, but they're not the only voices. sometimes bannon is seen as this overpowering presence, and he is a major presence, but the republican establishment controls congress, the business community is in tight with the republican establishment, and democrats are increasingly seeing new leverage because they know the republicans have all these different objectives in september and are likely going to need democratic votes, so look for the democratic leaders to make some questions if they want to get those democratic votes. >> rose: has the republican
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leadership met with the democratic leadership in a while? >> they're in close contact, actually, charlie. i'm told that during the summer when they've all been on recess, there have been many discussions behind the scenes such as this, democrats have said to republicans, if you want to address daca, you better do it as part of must-pass legislation, maybe like extending the debt ceiling. republicans and conservatives don't want to do that, they don't want to mash all this legislation together, but democrats say if you want our help you're going to have to do it our way. one of the big negotiating points this fall in particular this september is going to be how are all these legislative aims going to be cobbled together? what's going to be attached to what to get the necessary votes. >> rose: what's going to happen to the debt ceiling? >> the administration says it wants a clean debt ceiling. i think you will see the debt limit extended. the president said he wants to keep the markets from overreacting to some kind of standoff, but conservatives in the house, the house freedom
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caucus, they're still saying they don't want to attach the debt ceiling to the relief for hurricane harvey in texas, they want to have a stand-alone vote on the debt ceiling, so they don't have to be forced to pass it and be forced to have that texas vote tied to the debt ceiling, so how this all figures itself out is going to be a real test for the republican leadership and president trump. can they navigate all these competing interests and try to get something done? >> rose: do you see some alliance developing between the freedom caucus and steve bannon and breitbart news. >> steve bannon met with the republican house member monday before house came back to walk through how bannon, breitbart and the freedom caucus can be a thorn in the side of the republican leadership. if you see those alliances form, which they, are that means what the objectives are for mcconnell
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and rhine are going to be scrambled. it won't be easy to pass the budget if you have breitbart and bannon beating the ground every daying saying the republican leadership sold out and the president has been sold out by his own party. they want to do these things but it remains a split party. >> rose: steve bannon says he's going to war against mitch mcconnell, the republican establishment, wall street and silicon valley. >> and the bannon element of this is important because it's also driven by his own personal experience at the white house. bannon saw up close, based on my reporting, how jared kushner, the president's son-in-law, and other moderates in the administration were pushing the president on daca to make sure he didn't just let the program end to, maybe let congress figure out a solution. bannon was appalled at this inside the white house. he thought immigration was the issue for trump during the campaign and to somehow walk away from the hard line stance
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would be a betrayal to voters who lifted trump to the white house. you see him working at his office in breitbart now seething in a way with the way the republican party is bringing the administration and how the president is going along. the distinction is bannon is going to war with the republican party, not president trump. if that dynamic ever changes, it will be real chaos in washington but for now bannon is trying to stay with trump but go to war with the party is that and the establishment on wall street and on silicon valley and everywhere else he believes they are, in fact, resistant to the populous movement. >> that's so right. if you're in silicon valley or wall street now, i've talked to themepeople and i'm sure you have as well, they're somewhat happy right now with a possibility -- a possibility -- that stability could happen in washington, that they could actually extend the cet limit. clean they could pass a budget, avoid a showdown and try to
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protect the thousands who are bebeneficiaries of the daca policy, maybe even cut taxes. that's the optimistic view from silicon valley and the business community and the republican establishment, and i think with bannon gone, maybe trump and general kelly as his chief of staff can move in a different more centrist direction. that's the hope of jared kushner i'm told as well. again, looming over all this, breitbart, bannon, a republican base that wants the daca, the dreamers to be deported, they don't want to see some kind of compromise. and as much as there is this expectation that stability can come to washington, too many things are on the plate now to have that be a realistic expectation. >> rose: when you look at the president, peter baker had a piece in the "new york times" and often has done biographies of important leaders including president obama said a summer of tumult by feuds and racially inflamed controversy and nuclear age war of words left the president at odds with his own
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republican party supported by barely a third of the american public and the list of challenges has grown with little sense of how he plans to tackle them beyond twitter storms and declarations of determination. i asked that or i quote that in the context of what has been brought to the white house in terms of order and strategy with the new chief of staff. >> baker is such a student of the presidency and he's really nailing down on a key point which is that the president, as much as he wants to seek control of the process of legislating with his new chief of staff john kelly, we see in his tweets this week with his decision on daca, he's trying to throw the burden of leadership to capitol hill, a congress that's controlled by republicans but not really in step with president trump, and he remains an isolated figure in the republican party. when he's not dictating how congress will move forward, he's making suggestions, and that's
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going to create problems for him in september and october almost to be sure because he doesn't have this hold tore the political capital with the members. we see with general kelly, this is not an ideological figure. where are the idelogs, the republicans in the white house. ban's gone, you have kelly, kushner, and still kellyanne conway who's a veteran republican operative, but this isent a republican white house and the challenge is thereof this non-republican white house to have policy happens with the republican coming that operates with a different orthodoxy. quite a challenge. >> rose: bob costa, pleasure to have you as we begin the new fall season. >> thank you. >> rose: we'll be right back, stay with us. >> rose: sunday, north korea carried out the sixth and most powerful nuclear test it has
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taken to date. the country claims the test marked its first successful detonation of an advanced hydrogen bomb, the move considered a major step forward in north korea's efforts to reach the u.s. mainland with a nuclear attack. ambassador hailey urged the council to impose the strongest possible sanctions to deter kim jong un. earlier today russian president vladimir putin requested the effectiveness of additioning sanctions and warned of potential global catastrophe. joining me from washington david sanger, david ignatius and nicholas burns and lionel barber. i begin with david sanger. tell us about this latest hydrogen bomb test and the implications about its bigness. >> charlie, we don't know if it was a hydrogen bomb and there are many stages to getting to a
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hydrogen bomb. the best guess work i've heard from american intelligence officials and outside experts is that this was some kind of a boosted explosion which means that they're on the pathway to a hydrogen bomb and that it was probably about six to ten times larger than any previous detonation they had been able to accomplish, which is to say it's probably six to ten times larger than the bomb the united states dropped on hiroshima in 1945. so, politically, i'm not sure it makes that big a difference, whether it's a hydrogen bomb or not. the message was that, come the sixth test, like in nuclear powers before them, the north koreans have solved many of the biggest physics problems, and they are now capable of detonating a weapon that could destroy a large american city. that doesn't moan they can deliver the weapon to a large american city, and people are
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still wondering whether or not they can fit this as they claim into a warhead or whether they could make it survive reentry into the atmosphere, but if they can't do it now, charlie, they will be there pretty soon. >> rose: david ignatius, what are the implications of this? >> well, think the fact that they've got this very large, i have been hearing ten times any previous detonation of theirs, very large bomb, in addition to showing their technical expertise, i think tells you they are aiming for a kind of city-strike capability that, as the theorists think about this, would be their way of preventing the u.s. from following through after an initial, regional conflict, the u.s. city would be held hostage. so it's a seen that they really
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are not many any way backing off. i guess the other thing that strikes me is that this nuclear test and the last two missile tests follow a very deliberate effort by secretary of state rex terrellson to open the way for some kind of dialogue with north korea to signal the u.s. willingness to discuss a range of issues. tillerson went through a series of promises -- we won't seek regime change, we won't send troops north of the 38t 38th parallel, down the list of north korean demands. so in the face of that fairly forward-leaning american posture, you have to see this as a real rebuff, a real slap in the face of the idea of the diplomatic solution. >> rose: what do you think of what vladimir putin putin and the chinese are saying? >> a lot of posturing from the russians and chinese but there is no question that this is headed toward a new and dangerous phase of the crisis with north korea and for
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president trump, he's got to go back to what we did so well and effectively in the cold war, he's got to deter north korea from ever using these weapons. secretary mattis went out on behalf of the administration with general dunford and promised massive retaliation if north korea used these weapons against south korea, japan, nays forces in the region, gaum or of course the continental united states. we've got to do that. we've got to make the north koreans believe that threat is credible and, secondly, charlie, we've got to be arm and arm with our allies and i thought president trump very unwisely accused the south koreans of appeasement in a tweet over the weekend and threatened to withdraw the united states from the u.s.-south korea trade agreement. if there was ever a time when you need to a united front, japan, united states and south korea, it's now. they will have to wrestle in washington as to whether we
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could enter into a negotiation down the road that would lead to perhaps an unsatisfactory outcome based on compromise, some kind of freeze of north korea's program, very difficult to achieve but it would be extremely irresponsible to drive this towards a military conflict if you haven't given what david ignatius was talking about, secretary tillerson wanting to get to the table and that you can to this regime. i think that has to happen sometime in the next several months. >> rose: what do you think the regime wants, lionel? >> it's not clear what the intentions of kim jong un are other than -- and this is, i think, the really critical new development in this -- everything is going much faster than people expected, and for the north koreans to be -- may have been stage managed but to pretend they have a thermonuclear weapon, they have increased their delivery capacity, and it looks as though things are -- you know, people
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said 18 months before president trump took office that north korea would be in the position that it almost seems to be in now. so that's the serious point. and i think the other big risk is miscalculation that maybe kim jong un -- it's been assumed that kim jong un really, what he wanted to do was preserve the regime's -- make sure that the regime is, in effect, invulnerable to change. but what happens if he uses this weapon, this putative weapon, this arsenal for black mail? he might even miscalculate and think he could unify thecine peninsula by force. these are all calculations which americans and allies are having to figure out now. i also want to echo what nick burns said because this is a time when the trump administration needs to bring the allies close and japan as
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well as south korea and i think the notion that president trump would threaten to abandon the south korea free-trade agreement at a time he's trying to hug them close doesn't make sense. they need an integrated policy. they need to assess the military calculation but also to pursue diplomacy at the same time, integrated policy, not this sort of ad hockery we've seen in the last few days. >> rose: everybody says there is no military solution but is there something that the military when general dunford talks about, you know, we have all these kinds of possibilities and options, what does he mean, david ignatius? >> well, obviously, we don't know. there had been a war plan for north korea for decades, now. it's updated every year. it's elaborate. the problem with it is it takes almost two months for the forces that would be involved in the operations against north korea to get in place to act.
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so you have to start a clock ticking, announce the world that you will begin to move all this equipment and personnel into the theater. there are other shorter terms, special forces operations we can oment speculate about. they're the most secret things our government does but would involve going in and taking out certain facilities or leadership targets, and then there's this completely unknown realm of exotic, silver bullet, new weapons, cyber weapons. david sanger is a real expert on this so we should turn it over to him, but that's the range from, you know, heavy, big-tail operations that would take months to quicker special forces operations to this really unknown new u warfare.
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>> rose: david sanger? david's right, there are a lot of things the government can do, some overt, some covert. they all suffer from the same problem, which is the war plan and all the times they've war tbaimed this shows the united states and allies winning. in the interim, you may well, of course, lose seoul or have huge casualties along the way. the covert options include some that president obama attempted in his last few years in office including a cyber program against the missile launches, but if it worked, we don't understand how well it worked. there were a lot of missile failures. we don't know how many of those were because of the cyber program, and then it seemed to stop working, and most of the big missile launches they've had this year for the long-range missile launches appeared to have gone along pretty well. so one of the difficulties of cyber is it's hard to get inside and, even if you're inside, it's
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hard to know if it really is working. there are some options short of this the administration is talking about. i wrote this morning in the "times" about an effort to try to convince the chinese to go turn off north korea's oil as is sanctioned to presumably drive them to negotiations, but that would require the chinese cooperating. the chinese provide more than 90% of north korea's energy needs and, so far, the chinese have never been willing to do that. the white house is trying to set up a conversation now between president trump and xi jinping the president of china and, presumably, that's the major subject of conversation, but we don't -- that hasn't happened yet, and it would take a lot to change the chinese calculus. they would have to believe that interfering with the status quo and risking the collapse of the north korean regime -- which is what would happen if you turned off the energy flow -- was a
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lesser risk than letting the united states go ahead with pressure on japanese banks and companies or military action. >> rose: david -- i mean, nick, you're the diplomat among the five of us. what could change the chinese's mind so they become more aggressive about north korea in terms of trying to find a solution? they're already expressed disappointment about what the north koreans are doing even more recently. >> the chinese are clearly frustrated. they don't like kim jong un. they've not invited him to beijing. they think he's a troublemaker in the region. the chinese do not want a conflict on thecine peninsula, not for security or economic reasons. i think that president trump actually has been right to focus on xi jinping from the beginning, but we've got to be careful, as david sanger says, about what we're going to get back. they actually would prefer the status quo than to a situation where the north korean regime
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dissolved and there was a unitedcine peninsula in seoul and the united states and bring the united states up to their border. henry kissinger wrote a thoughtful op-ed in the "wall street journal" where he said, in essence, the united states just can't ask china to do what's in the interest of the united states. there has to be in essence a diplomatic joint venture down the road between beijing and washington, closely intertwined with the governments in japan and south korea, where the four of us would have a diplomatic agreement to try to coerce and leverage the north koreans to get them to negotiate. that would entail very painful compromises for the united states because the chinese and the russians, you asked about them earlier, they'd asked the united states to curtail military exercises with south korea, to get commitments that we would not seek the overthrow of a north korean regime and the administration's been trying to reassure madison
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tillerson, the north koreans of that recently. it's only that kind of sophisticated diplomatic campaign that's probably going to pay off, get us to the table and try to freeze the north koreans in place. that might be the best we can hope for. >> rose: is this primarily driven by kim jong un, or do we believe that the north korean establishment is behind what he is trying to do? and if it's only him or primarily him, whatever we know about that, is he subject to some kind of regime change of which the chinese would approve? >> well, you know, we know so little about this very opaque regime, but what we do know, judging from the time he took power in 2011, is that he has achieved ruthless control of that government. he appears firmly in charge of that government. it may be that there are people below him who would be willing to unseat him but it doesents
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seem likely. that's not been the history going all the way back with his father and grandfather. i think that the trump administration has to assume th him at some pointe to deal diplomatically or at least his lieutenants at a negotiation. >> rose: but it's a little like syria, we could never find a transition figure to assad when the most intense opposition to assad was there that would satisfy all the parties. >> right, and i think, charlie, this is very different than syria. we're dealing with a government that's in control of its territory, acting strategically. i have great respect for ambassador nikki haley but i didn't agree with her statement in the security council that north korea is begging for war. this doesn't seem to be a suicidal or irrational regime. they're calculating and we've got to meet them measure for measure in a sophisticated, diplomatic campaign ourselves. >> rose: does it seem a regime that's only interested in its own protection and defense, though? >> well, i think most people would think that, ultimately,
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this is almost a mafia-like family, they're interested in preserving this the regime, and kim jong un seems to have calculated that acquiring a vast number of nuclear weapons is the best way to assure his continuation in power. >> rose: gadhafi being the other example, i guess. >> and charlie he looked at the gadhafi example clearly and when you talk to u.s. intelligence people who follow this gadhafi gave up his nuclear weapons where it was just basically pieces in boxes and turned that over to the united states and the i.a.e.a. in 2003 and gets overthrown and the u.s. helps overthrow him. no matter how many times i agree with nick, it's important the u.s. government comes out and say it's not about regime change, but if kim jong un looks at the history here, he may not believe that the u.s. would resist the temptation to
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participate in regime change if there was an uprising in north korea against kim himself. and i think, as lionel and david pointed out, while we have assumed that self-preservation is the number one objective here, i think it's very possible that blackmail, that using a weapon to get aid, these are all secondary but important advantages that he sees, and that means the u.s. government is going to have to make a fundamental decision, we is do you accept north korea as a nuclear power the way we've accepted pakistan or india or others who didn't sign the n.p.t. or do you say no we will never tolerate you as a nuclear power. i don't think they've come to that decision yet. >> rose: we've come to that decision pretty clear, have we ery time i talk to american officials and i would be
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interested if david or lionel are hearing the same thing, that every time i talk to them they say our goal is full denuclearization of thecine peninsula and we will not acknowledge north korea as a nuclear state. >> that is obviously the aspiration. the question is the timing. you can aspire to the denuclearization of thecine peninsula, but that may be at the end -- that may be the end point of a long negotiation. just coming back to what nick was saying and david alluded to, china does have a key role here, but i think the problem has been, and i heard a lot of this when i was in beijing for a few days earlier this year, is that the americans have just you've got to do this, you need to impose sanctions, you are the one that has the leverage over this regime. questionable, by the way, about how much leverage they actually have beyond imposing oil sanctions. but they lookt a it and say,
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compared to the risk of regime change with the consequences, mass flow of population over the border into china, we would rather have them buffled you have as a -- buffled up as a nuclear power than topple the regime. >> rose: david ignatius, you were going to say? >> i was going to say, first, i think u.s. officials believe that the chinese are so fed up with kim jong un, they have warned him repeatedly against continuing both with his missile tests and his nuclear tests, and i'm told that, prior to this latest nuclear test last weekend, that they specifically warned through their chalgtz ks, if you do this we'll think of possibly going after oil supplies. that's what they're telling the united states. >> rose: what the chinese are
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telling the north koreans? >> this is an american version of what they're telling the north koreans. so i think the chinese are fed up. i think the other point i would come back to is, for all of the bluster from president trump, the fire and fury, there is an understanding across the united states government that a military solution, any conventional military solution to this problem is one that would be catastrophic, as secretary mattis has said, it would be another stalingrad in terms of human suffering for the people of our allies, south korea. so there is a desire to move forward with diplomacy. they have floated to the north koreans the idea that we would be prepared to negotiate finally a real peace treaty. we only have an armistice that ended the war. we would be be prepared to discuss the future status of
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u.s. forces on thecine peninsula, implying we would eventually be willing to remove those forces. there are quite a number of things that are at the center of north korean demands. we seem willing to address. the problem is there is no sign yet that they're prepared to come to negotiations, they were part of the six-party talks. there was hope in washington maybe china could reconvene the six-party talks that took place a decade ago. the north koreans i'm told have indicated they have no interested in that. they may be interested in talking directly the to trump but their recent testing activity goes in the other direction. again, the idea this administration doesn't want a diplomatic solution to this is wrong, they do, they just don't know how to get there. >> rose: should one assume kim jong un is looking in the mirror every morning saying, i'm
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winning, keep it up, i'm winning, keep it up? >> because he's in possession of an insurance policy which is the pols possibility of a nuclear strike. that's the story of the last six months. he's gone faster, further than everybody expected. and what would stop him now? how you freeze the position now, i think, is very difficult to see how you get to that. >> rose: nick burns, mentioning the kissinger piece he was here to the table to talk about, what could we offer the chinese, what would the chinese consider a nudge for them to be much or aggressive? >> right. this is a central challenge for the next month or two for president trump and his national security team. if china has the greatest leverage, we need to move -- attract china to our side to have the table. you might liken it in a rough sort of way to what the bush and
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obama administrations did in iran. we gave up a certain degree of independence when we brought china, russia, britain, france, germany in a group to negotiate with iran. we had lo listen to the others. what secretary kissinger said is this has to be a true joint venture where united states listens to china's concern, china listens to the united states' concern, and if we can do that and get a sense from xi jinping what they want as a result, which might be quite different from us, that might be the only way to get them to exact the kind of leverage through their energy and food shipments that would make, force north korea to the table. and again, charlie, this is a very messy process filled with compromise but that's where we are, and a messy compromise that ultimately froze their program in place is far preferable to having this program continue unconstrained for the next
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several. >> rose: nick burns i'm going to lose you because to have the satellite connection. thanks for joining us. look forward to seeing you again soon. >> thank you. >> rose: picking up on that point, reminds me of a piece peter baker wrote today i in the "times" saying trump's skills in the art of the deal yet to pay off. you would assume from a diplomatic standpoint that somebody is saying as an envoy or emissary through the chinese, what is it you need, sir, in order to solve this? >> well, i think that's right and, you know, one of the interesting things, charlie, is if you go back over the years and talk to past american diplomats who have dealt with this, they tried on several occasions to engage the chinese in a conversation about what would happen if north korea collapses, how you would go after securing their nuclear weapons, what would the future
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of the country be. the chinese were always very reluctant and they're reluctant to get involved in that discussion because fundamentally they view north korea for all of its trouble, and it has been a huge trouble to them, as a very necessary buffer between american forces and south korean forces, keeping them away from the chinese border. so the question is can you change the chinese calculus enough that they're willing to engage in that conversation and that they're willing to demonstrate to the north koreans that they really would be able to turn off the oil which i think is probably the only sanction that would get kim jong un's attention? i don't know whether, at this point, the chinese have made the decision to do that, but certainly as a head to their party congress, all they want is stability around the peninsula right now, and, so, maybe what we're seeing with all of this talk of military action is the trump administration trying to convince the chinese that there
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won't be stability if they don't act and that would be a pretty strategic move. the problem is we think they really are thinking about some significant military actions, and you have to be if you get news like you got yesterday that the north koreans are fueling up another missile with the possibility of launching in the next few days. >> rose: well, in fact, some others suggested at this table and cbs that the most bluster we talk the more it encourages kim jong un to believe that he absolutely has to have a nuclear weapon to protect himself, his own regime. right? >> i think that's certainly a risk. on the other hand, if you don't make the solid moves to show that you've got some military determination around there, he may well conclude that he can just continue on the path he's on which is build up as quickly as he possibly can so if there is a discussion about freezing his nuclear program, he has
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frozen it at a very high level where he'll have the capability for years to be able to claim he can strike the united states. >> rose: david back to the idea there are no options, i'd assume notwithstanding no military options at the pentagon, c.i.a., military forces ongoing sort of an urgent consideration of what possible steps can we take, how do we prepare for the fact it may be inevitable that we have to risk something? >> i think this is job one for both the pentagon and the c.i.a. the president is saying give me options. they come back, the options are limited. give me more. i think they're really pushing the envelope trying to think of ways the united states can have leverage in this situation. i think the point that we keep coming back to that the united states sees china as the essential sort of intermediary pressure leaver in moving kim
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jong un is correct. the u.s. in warning of the possibility of military conflict in boosting the defenses of japan and south korea is saying to china, north korea is now a severe strategic liability to you. it's not a strategic benefit. you get nothing but trouble from it. your own deterrent ability is limited as we put in thad, as we put in son of thaad, thaad being the anti-missile defense system, grandson of thaad, as the japanese move toward a much greater military capability of their own, these are all significant negative developments, from china's standpoint, and they're only going to get worse as long as kim jong un remains unrestrained. so the reasons why china would think, as much as we hate to take action, we've got to do
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something, are pretty obvious, especially as xi jinping heads towards this crucial october party congress at which the rest of his tenure, the rest of his regime as china's leader is going to be shaped. so the idea he's just going to do nothing and head off to this with his region a mess and china a passive recipient of all this trouble, i'm not sure that would be in his interest either? >> let me make sure i understand you on that point, david, because a lot of people are saying xi jinping doesn't want to do anything now. everything is geared toward the congress where he will solidify more of his power and have more his allies on the standing committee. >> i don't think he wants to do anything, charlie, that would undermine his status as a strong leader many china, able to put all of his five or seven members on the standing committee of the bureau. the only question at some point
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is this area so turbulent that he looks not as strong by doing nothing but weak, and that's the delicate balance. >> rose: in terms of the united states' policy and in terms of looking at the options and on the diplomatic front, do we have divisions within the government at all -- and forget what the president is saying even though that seems to be a powerful factor out will in terms of how they read where we are -- are there divisions between state and defense on this or are they simply looking at the separate responsibilities in terms of diplomacy and military action? >> let me lead off on that and turn it to others. i think there was very much an identity to interest, the lead player on this, i think, has been rex tillerson shaping the broad diplomatic effort to engage china, to communicate with north korea.
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as his diplomacy appears to have failed, at least in this round, the action inevitably shifts toward other theaters, other ways of dealing with this problem, so i think this has been a problem of significant setback for tillerson and the diplomatic approach, but, again, so far, this team still seems to be together, as far as i can tell. >> rose: david? charlie, i would say that david's analysis is exactly right but only add to that that i thought it was interesting over the weekend that after the nuclear test happened sunday, president trump met with his military advisors, and then it was defense secretar secretary o came out to speak, it was not the secretary of state. at the u.n. on monday it was nikki haley who spoke. so mr. tillerson apart from written statements that got
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delivered has been pretty silent out here, and i detect in the state department some frustration that so many military options are being examined. now, the question is are they being examined because that's what you pay the pentagon to do and because you've got a potential threat to gaum and the homeland and they would be remiss if they didn't do that or is that because president trump has concluded as he said in his tweets that the time for talking is over and he's got to do something more dramatic to get north korea's attention, and maybe then turn back to diplomacy. and i simply don't have the fidelity on the internal debate to know how serious their consideration of military or covert action may be. >> well, i'm somewhat one removed but, from what i can tell in conversations, you certainly don't see the kind of divide that you saw 13 years ago, 14 years ago in the runup to the war in iraq where state and defense and the
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vice president's office were really -- there was a gulf, a chasm, that's not the case. on the other hand, as has been alluded to, when secretary tillerson hasn't exactly been a kind of very talkative anyway. but the key player i think is general mattis. and remember the first trip that he made overseas was to south korea and japan. we haven't talked enough about japan, by the way. they are extremely, extremely nervous and, you know, the question might be at some point, well, if you have a new member of the international -- of a new country entering a new club like north korea, might japan consider that? and that's what david was alluding to, this changes the whole strategic calculus in the asia-pacific from all the players going nuclear including japan. i'm not saying japan would go
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nuclear. given the history, that would be a massive step. on the other hand, when we hear a lot about here in america people saying quite rightly that a missile strike against gaum, seattle, los angeles would be intolerable. if you're in tokyo and you're that much closer and have a neighbor like north korea, this is an extensional threat for japan, too. >> rose: and as always comes up in questions of diplomacy as all of you know better than i do, diplomacy is hard if you have no military leverage, if you have nothing that backs up both either the support of the president and, you know, the power of your military to be effective, if that's not there, that military option's not there, it makes diplomacy all the more difficult. thank you david ignatius, thank you david sanger. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: great to see you. >> rose: we conclude with our
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archive moment. this evening, henr henry kissinr talking about north korea. >> the nature of our foreign policy has been, on the one hand, to the threaten north korea with consequences and, on the other to ask china to help us. the threat is not fully effective because for the north koreans, they have spent decades oppressing their people and depriving them to build these weapons. so they're not going to yield to threats very easily. >> rose: threats of sanctions and the like. >> it's going to take tremendous physical threats even to imagine them yielding to it. on the other hand, china helping
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us, they are not there to help us, they're there to help themselves. we are at a moment when the interest of america and the interest of china coincide. we don't want the nuclear weapons in north korea because of many reasons, because of the threat it might represent to us and to others. the chinese do not want nuclear weapons in korea because if those weapons remain, other countries in asia assure to build nuclear weapons of their own. so then the whole area will be nuclearized, an these countries are in great tension with each other. so that would be an extremely dangerous situation of which china would be a greater target even than the united states. so i think we're at a moment
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where it is conceivable that if we continue our pressures and if china uses its influence and its pressures, then the north koreans might be induced substantially to reduce their nuclear threat. but at the end, denuclearization has to be the objective is that okay, but this idea's been there. a lot of people, even this president tried to get the chinese as they came to mar-a-lago, he talked to them about going right light on his complaints on trade if they'd use their influence with china. was that wrong? >> the proposition that we help them with trade if they help with china looks like a commercial proposition, looks like they're in business to extort economic progress. the problem for china will be that if north korea gives up its
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nuclear weapons, it gives up the only significant achievement to its sticking point and might therefore lead to either collapse of the regime or great unrest and it will lead to a period in all of korea of major judgment. >> rose: more more about this program and earlier episodes visit us online at pbs.org and charlierose.com. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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>> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. >> you're watching pbs.
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(intense music) - hello and bonjour. i'm jim west here in canada. it's a country with a unique blend of cultures, traditions, and crafts, as well as a multi-faceted history. and today, we'll tap into the secrets of one of canada's sweetest resources. - terrible. (laughter) - [jim] create a contemporary house post with a first nations artist. turn a blank canvas into a colorful masterpiece. craft beer in canada's first microbrewery. - (in unison) cheers. - [jim] and see first hand how canada leaves a lasting impression on me as i get my first tattoo. (yells) - it's just my finger. (sighs) - all this and more as we explore cultural and creative canada.

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