tv Cross Talk RT June 13, 2018 3:30pm-4:01pm EDT
hello and welcome to cross talk where all things are considered peter lavelle the tram came summit in singapore was certainly rich when it comes to optics but what about the substance both leaders sort of clearly looking for a win a process has started there are plenty of obstacles ahead and no shortage of people whose worst nightmare might come true peace coming through the korean peninsula. cross talking the singapore summit i'm joined by my guest gareth porter in washington he's an independent investigative journalist and historian as well as author of manufactured crisis the untold story of the iran nuclear scare also in washington we have one she is a visiting professor at georgetown university and a former senior special advisor for embassador and christopher hill at the u.s. state department all right crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in
anytime you want and i always appreciated gareth let me go to you first even bing about what was happening before the summit what are your what are you or your reactions to the summit now now that it's gone into history go ahead gary. you know peter it was never the case in my view that this summit was going to produce a substantive document that was going to represent you know negotiated agreements on some of the tricky issues that necessarily will have to be resolved in reaching the agreement on nuclear deal. in korea therefore you know the rather and substantive document that was produced didn't surprise me at all i thought this was about what one would expect from the first meeting ever between a u.s. president and the current leader of north korea given
the history of that issue and the politics that attend the issue particularly in the united states you know obviously this is not going to be a document this is going to give you a roadmap to a settlement it's not going to have the. timetable that some people in the media said was missing of course it wasn't no surprise there this was a political document that shows that they got along well and they're ready to start a process but with them basically the same question to you i mean i agree with gareth it's not really a road map i mean least the document that they released i mean it's kind of long on hope is this a beginning of something being in washington go ahead while i certainly agree with gareth and i've also argued exactly the same thing but i also argued that this entire summit was never really about the nuclear issue and in fact really the nuclear issue in another itself has been distracting the nuclear issue was
never really the problem then the nuclear issue with north korea was really a symptom of the much bigger problem of north korea itself really being the. problem itself meaning that was really the heart of the issue of the division of the korean peninsula itself and really what we're talking about is the division of the korean peninsula and that being at the heart of the issue in northeast asia and the stability of the entire region well that's a very interesting point it's interesting but it's kind of gotten ahead of me because that's where i really wanted to go here because this process if it is a process we really don't know yet but it's trump owns it now ok and it seems to me that he's actually given a stamp of approval for the koreans to actually get down to business i think about being as points very interesting there because this is if anything is actually really going to happen it's going to happen between the koreans themselves ok and i
think that's the door that is been opened here and it looks like the koreans north and south want to walk through it go ahead. well i think melvin is right that was the sort of missing link in the in the whole presentation of the problem in singapore and it obviously was a crucial part of the run up to this summit that both north and south korea were ready to go i think further than ever before in terms of enter korean peace and i am quite sure that president moon's role in bringing president trump along with the process that he started with north korea was crucial to getting trump to singapore and so there's no doubt in my mind that is a crucial part of the background and the dynamics that will continue to support
a process of reaching agreement i think it's a very positive extremely positive me to part of the entire issue that is going to help to propel this toward the ultimate goal of a u.s. north korea agreement ok but i mean it one of the interesting things and the next step that's possible and it's and again we're dealing with the koreans the united states never officially went to war against north korea was a quote unquote police action remember under truman but for the koreans it's a very different thing if they could in the next i think reasonable step would be a peace treaty ending that conflict sixty eight years after the fact but that is a really interesting move because if hostilities come to an end in on the peninsula then ultimately you have to ask the question then why are u.s. troops there ok you can you can justify it now because there's an armistice but if the peace comes then that question is you know maybe not immediate in the north
koreans aren't pushing it now but it's going to be something you're going to have to confront go ahead by being in washington. well this is exactly the heart of the issue and i think what people don't seem to understand is that again we're conflating all of these issues so americans for the last specially in the last six months to a year we have sort of you know distilled this down to americans are suddenly frightened about you know nuclear bombs raining down on american cities from north korea ok well that this was completely essentially this was never really the threat if you're really worried about americans in the homeland being frightened about north korean threats you should frankly be far more worried about cyber attacks that is actually a far more realistic threat and you know every single american should be far more worried and you know sitting in your home and having your internet connection go
down and you know your facebook connection going down or your bank account your. more realistic farmer the exact or your electricity grid or you know these are the things that you know most americans should be frightened about but aside from that you know a nuclear that is completely unrealistic but the point being that that so so there is that issue number one but but the point being that first of all peace you know declaring the end of the war yes that is between the two koreas and it is not for anybody else whether it's china or the united states or any other country that was involved during the korean war or of the united nations which was the official combatant to be involved the two koreas must decide this but let me also point out that peace does not equal stability on the korean peninsula which also does not equal unification which also does not necessarily mean that the end of conflict or
hostility so these are all different things which also does not mean the end of north korea's missile programs or the end of. north korea's threats or the end of the north korean regime or the end of north korea's nuclear programs so all of these issues are all completely separate and the world different countries in the region and americans we all need to understand these a separate issues and i think everybody just thought that on june twelfth that president trump and kingdom would want to sit down and suddenly americans and everybody else would feel safe if well the summit succeeded or if it failed we would suddenly go to war well i'm simply not the case so i think the media and gareth you've been talking about this i mean the media's been pretty shameful in the narratives that they've been pushing but that almost has everything to do with domestic politics in the united states let me go to gareth because you wrote written recently on this topic go ahead. well yes of course it's true that the
media have played a very nasty role in the run up to this summit really trying to discredit the idea that there could be an agreement that would effectively denuclearize and i guess i from from what i heard. say just a moment ago i think i disagree with the conclusion that there can't be. a connection between the various aspects of a peace agreement. between the united states and north korea as well as between north and south korea and denuclearization i think there is every reason to believe that those two things are intimately connected i didn't think that they had said ok i'm going to say i am happy to well you know we're going to reply finish up your point there get them ok. so the point the point i want to make the point i want to make is that the media have been saying that north korea has no interest in ever
giving up its nuclear weapons and that i think is simply not supported by the historical evolution of north korean policy excuse me they they have in fact. made it clear that they believe that north korea's interests lie in reaching an agreement with the united states and that their nuclear program as well as their missile program have been aimed at ultimately that outcome yeah that was that was part of what i wrote about in my latest piece starting in two thousand and thirteen when kim jong un came in to power he immediately embarked on a build up it's true nuclear and missile program that would give him more to bargain with but it was also made clear to americans who met with the north koreans in two thousand and thirteen that the intention was that when the united states was ready to negotiate seriously north korea would negotiate on denuclearization in
order. to achieve that ultimate goal ok if you're in a peace agreement let me let me jump in here i want to go but what about being a giver of forty seconds reply before we go to the break go ahead well being in washington go ahead what well first i didn't say that it can't be linked i just simply said that they don't necessarily all linked together so so i don't think you know i don't think we necessarily disagree on that what i will dispute though however is your conclusion that north korea will bargain away these nuclear weapons and the reason i say that is that the nuclear weapons are a strategic. nuclear weapon serve a strategic purpose to chant i don't think that the nuclear weapons well absolutely they are a deterrent but the purpose they serve is not so that the united states will provide the sick security guarantee it's not just about the united states ok but being absolutely right now not just
a let me just let me jump in here we're going to go we're going to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on the singapore summit stay with us. in a world as big partners truth. and conspiracy it's time to wake up to dig deeper to hit the stories that mainstream media refuses to tell more than ever we need to be smarter we need to stop slamming the door on the shouting past each other it's time for critical thinking it's time to fight for the middle for the truth the time is now we're watching closely watching the hawks. short term at the expense of a longer term growth salyut said it best think it's your. and products and
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ok let's go back to being in washington right before the break here trying to finish up a point go ahead. yeah the single biggest mistake that people make when analyzing the korean peninsula is that the focus is on the united states i agree you have to understand that for the entire korean peninsula and remember that north korea and south korea have only existed as separate entities for the last seventy years korea has been around for two thousand years for two thousand years korea has been surrounded by great powers united states has only been around for as far as korea's been concerned for one hundred years so for for north korea the united states for the last seventy years so for for north korea's nuclear weapons united states is only one actor so so the nuclear weapon serves a strategic purpose about independence and security for all the great powers so
even if the united states provides a guarantee of independence and security for north korea now it's still about independence against china russia and potentially any other great power that threatens the korean peninsula in the future ok you said that is why north korea will not give up its nuclear weapons to the united. to the united states are you gareth i mean. brings up a fascinating point because when watching kim and trump signed the document and then the. spoke to reporters and then and then trump. rather strange i have to say encounter with the media afterwards because it was so vague. what does denuclearization actually mean because we really don't know what that means ok because now being a brings up a very good point and and so it's still kind of a here and that's the obstacle here i mean we had a lot of optics you know photo ops and stuff like that in the look good it was felt
good but now there's the hard work ahead go ahead carol. well you know i don't think it's really quite true that we have no idea what denuclearization means well i mean like the time like a time frame like a time frame ok i mean it then sanctions i mean if that's a day i sleep better it takes five or seven years to go through this and and then sanctions are only dropped then i mean again this is all really really they go ok i'm for this process very much for this process i very much agree with what del being is saying but it's a korean deal that has to be worked out here but i mean filled the lid language here is so very vague ok and expectations are higher than they were go ahead carol . you know the the language is vague and i think that's to be expected but but i think that both sides have agreed on a principle of that there will be a phased process in which both sides will make certain moves in
tandem with one another i think that's the key to this and that means that the north koreans have agreed to basically get to have the the destruction of nuclear weapons or process that obviously would be i.a.e.a. driven watched over. to get rid of the nuclear weapons as well as the capability to deliver them. certainly to the liver than to united states at the very least and that process of figuring out what the precise relationship is in terms of time between the different steps and which steps go with which is obviously a very detailed process that can't be done in a few days or few weeks it's going to take some months to do it it goes i think the agreement at this point has gone farther than any previous agreement in this regard
and i've looked at the record of what happened in the clinton and bush administrations the us government was nowhere near where they are today in terms of agreeing to the kind of. sort of arrangements that the phased mading of denuclearization with the political security moves and economic moves that are contemplated in this agreement so i think that this is really on track and i think i have to say that i disagree with the idea that north korea cannot exist without nuclear weapons if you go back to the early period of three thousand there was a ok ok well i thought that was the implication i'll be glad to have you clarify it but. i want to simply state that i believe the north korea does. that does that north korea does believe that it can exist. securely without nuclear weapons as long as it has certain preconditions that have been realized so you're saying
security guarantees i mean my pompei i came out and said that ok you want to jump in that's the whole point of the program go. ok well let me again clarify i did not say that north korea cannot survive without nuclear weapons all i simply one more time nuclear weapons serve it is one simply one tool of serving the purpose of independence and security for the korean peninsula now can other substitutes be served that purpose absolutely and at some point north korea may decide that something else can be substituted for nuclear weapons in fact north korea and kim jong un may have decided that another asymmetric weapon could easily in fact be much more efficiently serve the purpose of nuclear weapons and in fact perhaps cyber weapons for example could actually
substitute and be much better than nuclear weapons that that is that in fact what may have brought him to the table i don't know so yes i agree he north korea could have made that decision i don't know so absolutely i'm not saying he it has to be nuclear weapons so that was my point ok now i don't know what statement you read but that statement absolutely is not the most comprehensive go back and read the six party agreements and i don't know why you're referring to the agreed framework the six party agreements was absolutely the most comprehensive this statement signed yesterday was a joint agreement and it completely just reiterated in the vegas terms every other previous agreement that was already signed by north korea it simply reiterated in the vegas terms everything that was reiterated that is simply all it did ok with me and it just restarts all over again occasionally but this time it will be done with
it i think this time it will be different because we have historical precedent and it's called libya and it's also the u.s. walk. away from the iran deal gareth this is what really is interest it's an interesting mix right here because it's a question of trust i mean why you know i if i were in the north korean leadership i'd be saying well why would we go down a long road of negotiations when this president this country that we're dealing with walks away from internationally agreed to agreements i mean this throws into the mix here and of course bolton really wanted to poison the well when he was saying yeah the libyan example you know and of course i don't think trump was aware of it when he was backing it up at the time ok. the point the reason why i'm saying that because i saw his press conference and he's kind of thin on historical facts ok so i mean about libya talk about iran when it comes to the north koreans go ahead karen. well we know that the libya model that was advanced by john bolton
was aimed at sabotage again the whole process of reaching a summit and beyond and that failed fortunately for very good reason that both trump and kim did not want to have that interfere and both took steps to overcome that obstacle and i think that's why we are talking about the summit as we are now but i think it's not just the libya model that is the problem in terms of trump in terms of mistrust and trump it's really the wider much more fundamental problem that the u.s. political system has a serious difficulty. actually reaching right an agreement that can be then transferred from one administration to the next it appears that we've lost the ability to pass international treaties in this country and that i think is a serious problem that i'm sure kim jong un and the north koreans have been
thinking about they're going to insist i'm quite sure on a treaty and the question i have really is whether at this point the u.s. congress is going to be willing and able to deliver on an international treaty surrounding this agreement but being as usual you want to jump in john and. let me point something out first of all one more time. please understand that not everything is about the united states no no no harry i don't hate of all hang up a rough well being that has no hang on my point is no no my point is very different than nuclear weapons my point is trust because i know. you could talk as you can talk about size when you can just about thirty or nuclear weapons but you have to talk about the ability to negotiate go right ahead and go ahead. libya iran and trust so that those are the three things i would like to address go ahead
number one trust is simply i think over and. in international relations trust a simply over emphasized let me point out that north korea the korean peninsula has never trusted any neighbor ever for two thousand years you have to understand the mindset of the korean peninsula the world. has been. then one i wish there is some and then why would somebody if they have no trust of outsiders why did they have put on this whole shirov in in singapore that's when i sense to me i mean if you they see a chance he certainly want something that's why they said it was our go right ahead go right ahead so let. i'm trying to explain this so the korean peninsula has been an independent kingdom for almost two thousand years so it but it doesn't trust its
surrounding powers because it has been constantly invaded and for the last one hundred years it was colonized its sovereignty it was taken away and then it was divided at both sides both korean sides of the north and the south believed that it was divided not because it wanted to be outside us by the great powers that it went to war ok because it was forced to and that the south is occupied now why did kim jong un come to the summit because it wants it wants recognition and it wants to assert kim jong un wants to assert his legitimacy and he wants to be recognized as a world power that's why he came to the summit now whether or not he was going to give up i didn't bargain away as nuclear weapons we still don't know we still back to libya any ron so. we still don't know yes that is correct now back to libya and
iran north korea does not believe that libya and iran are good examples yes north korea follows other countries but north korea says we're on like any other country here's the thing ok this is a very it's very game i need ninety four anybody anywhere but out of time gary speed to be any run out of time many think so my guess and washington and and thanks to our viewers for watching us here at r.t.c. unix i mean remember crosstalk means. palestine is getting international recognition with the help of israel at least in the world of zoos. this is looking good. this is my cousin he is going out on the sunday i'll be able to. kill john just like with
a ship the only palestinians is who gets the most help from its jerusalem counterparts i don't think there's some of those who in the world and those who question the only could do this. and the earth is a lot at that age to have this lady of the muscle that you had i not going to compete in the doesn't seem to do more commandments also because of. the. kids at. least.
a little going on in. those who don't consume the jail you've been talking to the whole joking there on the stand on the bus and in that equal distances also means what he calls this tells me if i. don't please don't sit on him till you've got to those old wooden men as a solicitous i would ask it all to the sitting on. a good thing i'm not interested in anything to get.
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