tv CSIS Forum on U.S.- South Korea Relations CSPAN June 24, 2019 2:29pm-4:30pm EDT
think in europe we successfully have been doing over the decades but i think it's something missing in the korean peninsula and between the u.s. and north korea. i will leave it there for my opening remarks. >> okay. thank you with the experience of european union, it seems that maybe you are going back to the comparison of the two different approaches of one peace through denuclearization. so putting the emphasis on denuclearization and then through which you can have the peace approach. and the other one is, denuclearization through peace potentially. so promoting peace or creating
some conditions for peace, then we can expect that at some point we can realize we can achieve denuclearization. i think on this particular subject we can come back later. after that, we have dr. paik. >> thank you, chair. i'd like to talk about the denuclearization process, which is critical to the peace building process on the korean peninsula. we had previously two nuclear crisis in korean peninsula. the first one was in 1992, and we had between the united states and dprk after that. and by the framework the north korean nuclear program had frozen for several years. but second nuclear crisis had come because of the uranium
enrichment facility's closure. and at the time there was party talks but this kind of effort ended significant progress towards the denuclearization. after 15 years, in 2017, dprk conducted its last nuclear test, confirming its nuclear capability. and international community once again chose to sit at the negotiation table with the dprk, and we realized that the current situation is totally different from the first or second nuclear crisis, because north korea is almost complete their nuclear programs. and it's -- it's not possible just to simply reverse the situation.
but from the first u.s. dprk summit we had a little hope that it might be solved without any detailed plan or procedure, but after the second summit between the united states and dprk we find out that it's not going to be work and we need more detailed and planned procedure for the dprk's denuclearization. from the two summit we realize that there is a huge discrepancy between the concept of denuclearization between the united states and dprk. for the united states, the concept of denuclearization is just denuclearization itself as it is. but for the dprk, it seems that it's just freezing of detectable
activities or dismantling of symbolic facilities. and this is totally from the denuclearization what we know. so because of this huge discrepancy, we cannot solve everything at once. we should draw the bottom line and we should prepare every calculation. so we have to think about that, what is a lot for the united states. last month john bolton mentioned that the president is determined that neither iran nor north korea will get deliverable nuclear weapons. so if it's the bottom line for the united states, we are a little bit worried about the term deliverable, because
currently north korea doesn't have deliverable nuclear weapons towards the united states. but for the south korea, north korea already has deliverable nuclear weapons. so in the negotiation process, consideration about how much south korea can tolerate about the north korean's nuclear weapon should be a very -- should be considering very importantly. and another thing we should think about is what north korea really wants for denuclearization. and what is the most urgent thing for north korea. the urgent thing is the economic for north korea. but the important thing for the north korea is keeping their nuclear capability. so we have to think about it, can economy overcome the
importance of having nuclear capability for dprk. how much tradeoff are they ready for at the negotiation? and the other thing is, the international community's acceptance. we have our european colleague here, and we have to think about that, the international community is ready for accept another israel or another iran or maybe are we ready for having another three or four dprks in the near future? if international community is not ready for accepting these kind of conditions, then we have to first dprk to agree to the denuclearization concept. and if dprk agree to accept the denuclearization concept, then dprk should commit its intention towards denuclearization.
it should confirm that there is no further weapons or missile test and it should confirm there have been no production of materials. then commitment for the inspection, dismantlement of weapons, removal of materials and destruction of facilities should follow. even with the plan, without the immediate implementation. however, this is going to be very -- a long process and it's going to be very painful. because the dprk's nuclear program has been lasting for several decades and their capability is very diversified. they have brand new production facilities, and for the uranium alone, they have refining facilities, enrichment facilities and have lots of uranium related facilities like
rights, production facilities and they have -- already have some capability of producing the centrifuges. for the plutonium production they have reactors to make the fuels also they have the process plant and the chemical production plants for the reprocessing. and for the hydrogen capability, they have a lithium production or treating production facility inside their land. so we have to identify all those facilities and have to verify if it's really a dismantled or if it's really disabled for the denuclearization. so this kind of process would be very long and we have a case of south africa and for south
africa, it took about two years. and they have four years nuclear development program. and they had only primitive uranium nuclear weapons. but for the north korea, they're capability is very diversified and we have to make inspection over hundreds of facilities and we have to conduct maybe thousands of interviews and documentedati documentation reviews and because north korea is closed associa society, i wonder if they can allow their people get interviews by experts from the outside world. so we have to cautiously plan or design the denuclearization process and it's going to be a very difficult thing. but even it's going to be a very
long and painful process we have to move onto the denuclearization of north korea. and the key goal of negotiation is reducing tension on korean peninsula and we have to ensure elimination of nuclear program of dprk. and the approaches of simple maintaining dialogue or negotiation momentum should be avoided because it's going to be a long process. and we have to always empathize the importance of the denuclearization and we have to put empathize about the u.s. alliance and have to really get -- we have the same concept and common interest between the u.s. and the republic of korea.
i will stop there. >> thank you very much. pointing out that there is tthe discrepancies or diver jen sis of the concepts of denuclearization. that denuclearization process would be very difficult, long, and quite complicated one. so now dr. su natari. >> good afternoon. i counted i'm the ninth person out of two panels talking about north korea. so hopefully you'll get through the jet leg and i'll summarize quickly and answer your question on where we think we are and where we're headed. i think no matter what your view
is on u.s./north korea policy, since the singapore summit, it's been a little over a year. we have to agree that it was disappointing outcome, right? this was not what we thought, even with the best of hopes. and we don't even have the basic agreed-upon definition on denuclearization right now as of today after a year of -- after a year has passed. that said, the first panel brought this point up. we are seeing some positive momentum, we're seeing some positive signal, so that's a good thing. we have at least first communication between the two leaders since hanoi, beautiful letter, excellent letter. and we -- not only that, i think not only they have exchanged letters, kim jong-un has sent his sister to pan moon on, meeting with the south korean
officials, so all of this is a positive sign. i think kim did say last week that he would be more patient or at least be patient until the end of the year. so with these overtures to washington, kim at the moment obviously is pursuing a diplomatic strategy that's based -- a combination of charm and coercion in order to create a new life into the stalled negotiations. north korea's testing of the short range missiles since hanoi are not to scrap the talks, but obviously it's designed to sort of project strength at home and designed to pressure washington to return to negotiations. to build up leverage and reset the terms of the negotiations. so kim was careful to launch short range missiles, not
intermediate or intercontinental missiles. but obviously the message kim was trying to send to trump is north korea can escalate so u.s. should, enough is enough, back down, come back to negotiation in terms that's favorable to north korea. so contrary to what she said, she said this ominously and hastily arranged press meeting, briefing, a midnight press briefing after trump took off in hanoi, contrary to that, what she said kim has not lost the will to continue the dialogue with the united states. kim does want to separate president trump from his advi advise advisers, that's clear. he does want to appeal directly to president trump. but he nonetheless wants to deal with president trump and still a path to engagement of dialogue is open and that's a positive thing.
obviously we've seen president trump on his part is also interested in negotiations. this is why he played down the short range missiles, directly contradicting his own national security advisor, and prime minister abe in tokyo. and he wanted to -- he said he's open to a third summit and so on. so that, all of it i think is positive. so what we have at the moment are, we have both north korea missile, intercontinental missile testing. we have a freeze on that. at the same time we have a freeze on u.s./south korea joint military exercises. second we have exchange of these letters, they're both speaking warmly of each other and we have returned to the dark days of 2017 with the fire and fury and all of it. so where are we with that? so i do think, given all of
this, i agree with the first panel and interim deal is possible. i think that's certainly possible. in hanoi, the united states was reportedly ready to grant a peace declaration to north korea, open offices with north korea, so all of that remain in play. those concessions were ready to be given but not given only because i think it was kim's overreach. i think it was kim's overreach of demanding so much of extensions to be lifted. but all of this still could be forthcoming in the future. before the end of the year, obviously two scenarios are possible. first scenarios we talked about today, the interim deal scenario, third trump/kim summit. i think it's going to be a small deal. i don't think it's going to be a big deal to be honest with you. it's still going to be a small deal since both leaders want it to happen. the second is a modeling through scenario without a return to
dialogue. we have to be careful to all say, hey, do you all think we're going to have a summit and everybody raised their hand. we should be careful because we're dealing with an unpredictable u.s. president and one thing he likes to do is prove everybody wrong. so when all the pundits said he was going to give in to bad deal in hanoi, he proved us wrong. if we want a third summit maybe we should say we don't predict that. so i do think it is possible, also, that -- you know, that we go through for some time. i don't think kim jong-un will return -- i don't think he will break the soft moratorium he has on tests because he did say he would give trump until the end of the year. he told president xi he would be patient until the end of the year. so if the first scenario unfolds and i think that kim could offer something on the negotiating
table, that -- we don't know what exactly that is. maybe inspect other suspected facility. i don't think kim will necessarily agree to a time line or a road map to advance a single declaration. i think that's expecting too much. i do not think he's going to give a declaration of nuclear missile arsenal or stock pile, but he could offer a young gun plus because from kim's perspective, his calculation could be it's still worth it to him because he gets to keep his nuclear weapons and missiles. and this is obviously has to be for some sanctions relief. but again, i am concerned about not necessarily getting there, because, particularly because if the trump administration does not budge on sanctions. and right now we do have a
bipartisan legislation that was just introduced recently, under new sanctions they would cut off from the u.s. banking system any person or entity doing business with north korea and the senate is expected to approve that. this is an amendment to the senate's annual defense bill. so my point is, there is a sort of also momentum towards not lifting sanctions. so again i think we have to be careful, i think these two scenarios are possible, or it depends on president trump and how much he wants to have that third summit. so if we don't have the first possibility, option 1, i think kim has to resort to then plan b, which is a graduated escalati escalation, and i think we have to prepare for that. in that second scenario what that means is kim has to escalate, not to violate the
moratorium he has, but he can certainly escalate. he can do for example a medium range missile test over japan to continue to pressure the trump administration if we don't move on the sanctions front. so -- and then what we'll have is a crescendo statements closer to the end of the year, again which scenario will prevail will depend on president trump and the two leaders. one last comment on the peace building process on the korean peninsula. i think the main difficulty would be time line and sequencing of that. the challenge is that the necessary condition for peace, as identified by u.s. and the united states, is right now unacceptable to north korea. whether it's verifiable denuclearization, forward deployed, north korean forces along the dnc, it's not what the
north koreans want. but the reverse is true as well. what the north koreans demand are not necessarily what we're ready to give. we've suspended the u.s. military exercises but we're not ready to give relaxation of sanctions. and not ready to give u.s. sanctions and call forces down. i think that's the difficult ahead for us. >> thank you. yeah. for the full panel, just summarizing their perspective what has happened and where we are and what we can expect from here. it seems what we've seen and shurnc experienced in hanoi and early
perspectives. it takes four months to settle down. just now in the middle of june we see some activities resuming, exchange of letters, beautiful letters between trump and chairman kim and visits to pyongyang. next week, we will see president trump in seoul. again, have we seen what has been talked about and discussed or happened in hanoi received, a lot more work still we need to do. to move forward from here, i can see what is most urgently needed or importantly needed is to nato with a cap between the
approaches, between two sides. so far, the major emphasis on the north korean side is the phased approach and suggested in hanoi and refused by the united states and asking the united states to reconsider by the end of this year. on the north korean side is the phased approach is the basic position. on the international side, the united side then what we can keep reseb -- resecting this phase by phase approach. there shouldn't be discussions between two governments.
at the same time, on this kind of level we may need some further exploration. how do on this panel your ideas on this issue? some differences between two approach, one phased one? >> in the mornings, in the morning session, the first session, actually, the need to understand small deal versus big deal, particular small in the context of big deal. what happened in singapore was a big deal, comprehensive, in other words, bring all the
issues and concerns from both sides and decide on how to give-and-take those important items in the context of big deal. a small deal is the process in the context of big deal. in that regard. what has to be done to narrow the gap, which was revealed in hanoi. i think, again, as i said in my presentation, there is a need to have a full account what happened, between the two negotiators, precise as well.
as a result of osaka hanoi, president trump's visit to south korea and the summit talks that already happened between china and north korea and exchange of leaders. there is amp hopes for resuming i do logs and negotiations between the -- resuming dialogues between north korea. and negotiations first is a natural process of reaching up to summit talks. so, we're -- i hope both sides, both negotiators sit together and have a full account candidly
in a problem solving facing to understand and narrow the gap what happened. >> thank you very much. >> that's all -- sounds great, i just don't know if that's realistic. i wouldn't necessarily characterize singapore as a big deal. it was an aspirational statement. it was good that they met. we can now see by they did not make progress in singapore it was not efficient, too vague and aspirational. i agree that working level is important. i'm not sure if that's where trump and kim are doing. he's verbally attacking bolton and won't directly deal with president trump. this is what we want to see but
don't know if that is necessarily possible. what is possible, because in hanoi, what north koreans were asking, for a majority of sanctions to be listed. there is an interim deal to be had. the only thing kim has to decide, can he try something more, so at least president trump can say, okay, i got more out of hanoi. i won't let you defy the resolution sanctions but we can get some sanctions lifted. i think there is some medium space you could meet but that takes the will out of whether trump and kim wants to do that or not. i'm not disagreeing. i think working the process is extremely important. we saw hanoi and don't know if it has been worked out and not sure what to expect. >> even a phased approach,
right? >> yes, there is. you don't necessarily have to call it that. that bothers people. >> one minute, please. >> when i talk about small deal or big deal or you two of working level negotiation working level negotiation is taking place in the context of having summit talks at the highest level, not just like working level negotiations without having any -- no goal, not reaching anywhere. so, it is different. we have to begin working level negotiation immediately in order to have the summit level, so that they can decide. >> any comment?
>> i don't see much difference between the big deal and phase to faze approach because if we can agree with the concept, it doesn't matter for me. the concept of denuclearization. the first thing we have to do is trust building that kim jong un should know this kind of process can last administration to administration. if the u.s. government is changed, it should be lasting. if the south korean government changes, it doesn't harm this kind of negotiation. we have to give that kind of trust to kim. also, the north korean side should give trust they will not
reverse the negotiation as before. >> i think that's -- how do we do that? how do we make him think it's not going to get reversed when you have president trump going back on iran. they already experienced this from clinton to bush. they continually blame the bush administration coming in initial hard line for things falling apart. they already experienced that and very skipty squall. they also see what's going on with iran. i absolutely take that point but how do we think we have different administration and it will be all good when they have history that tells him otherwise. >> i think it's time to open the floor and have some question and answers. you want too make one comment?
>> two points. one of them, i agree with the point. it is up to north korea to offer more. the u.s. can live without an agreement with north korea. nothing is going to happen without politics with north korea. jim jong un told his people there will be a good future and your life will be improving and him going back and et cetera, and he has some point as a dictator and have to deliver on the economic front. he's not the first dictator that has to deliver on this front. i think at some point he has to offer more than what he offer in hanoi and take less than he was asking for in hanoi. if he's not willing to make that
trade-off, it will be very difficult to make an agreement. the second point, raises an important question, how can you make any north korean government, kim jong un know that it will survive past the current administration. when you meet with north koreans and different officials, in different settings, from their perspective, all their international community, european nation, et cetera, would be to guarantee the agreement might be able to continue. for example of iran is very good. the only reason the european authority has not completed it is they're trying to see if it will survive. the agreement is in place and thinking in brussels, maybe the next administration who comes in power, who knows, maybe next year, will want to survive this agreement to another agreement.
north korean officials have raised that -- not saying the main deal, between the u.s. and north korea and two north koreas and china as well but can guarantee some agreement it will survive over a period of time. >> thank you. just one question from the moderator to the panel, particularly to seoul, it seems like there is a perception in -- maybe even in europe or in the united states that the korean government is lukewarm in the denuclearization issue and focusing even more on relations rather than denuclearization. that is true. nuclear weapon in north korea is more threatening to south korea than any other countries.
how do you think why this kind of phenomenon perception occurs, and what would be the remedy to correct it? >> i don't necessarily think everybody thinks that. it's just that maybe -- it's not -- if some people think that, i don't want to think for key folks that might think that, it's not because south korea does not care about denuclearization, the premium is so much on north korea relationship regardless of north korea's behavior. it's something that can be -- it is a misunderstanding. i do think -- we had this conversation yesterday. i do think it is something that needs to be discussed. i think it's just if that perception is there because we're looking at the actions of the government and seems so
heavily leaning. i think most people know that. >> i think in europe that people who understand that denuclearization is key for south korea as well and made a point. if you go to more hawkish countries, france, they think south korea doesn't care about denuclearization, that's the thinking, right? because they focus on the nuclear issue, if you don't share the french position and et cetera, et cetera, you don't care about nuclear weapons. if you go to eastern europe, countries that used to be communists, they say we understand what north korea is doing and why south korea is different and opening up the economy little by little and
denuclearization korea is trying to achieve. we understand why this is important, not that denuclearization is not important for south korea. if north and south korea reach an agreement, they went say you have to remove denuclearization before. i don't see any country in europe slowing down the process like that. >> thank you. we have 10 minutes now to open this floor to anybody with any questions or comments, please raise your -- ah, oh. >> i'm brigitte coggins from the university of california and chair here at csi.
i think a good pint that kim should come with, but you raised an interesting point that a lot of technical issues or things suggested in the past, like full declaration are technically absurd things that won't be offered. have you thought all about -- what advice would you give to the north korean team that they could offer? what is the plus? >> you could be another suspected facility, for example. i think it's unrealistic to expect them to give up on any part of the warhead or nuclear missiles, which is what we would want and unrealistic to get a full declaration, also what we want. knowing president trump and because it fell apart in hanoi,
saying it's not enough, it's moving it a little bit forward to show that there is a momentum, we're interested in making a deal. right? that's why i said -- perhaps i -- that's a possibility. again, from kim's calculation that's okay because he gets to keep his nuclear weapons and missiles. >> yes, you might make comment. >> of course, the plus is a good idea with measures from the united states. otherwise, we don't have it. you know, i want to make comments on the perception you pointed out, that south koreans might have be lukewarm on denuclearization themselves.
there is a misunderstanding if that's the case. we koreans are thinking of national denuclearization as the ultimate goal. nuclear north korea is an obstacle. regardless whether it is or not, there are a substantial number of people that believe there should not be a nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons and equipment north korea in the process of national unification. as a korean to point out the perception, there is particularly among the
conservative governments that all -- you -- south korea tried to improve relations with north korea while north korea is an enemy of us. we are allies. why don't you listen to us? allies advise, not trying to do something for the enemy. that simple dichotomy persists, in my opinion, but remember north korea is a korean nation and we have a lot of things to do and the first place is reduce tension as demonstrated in the military agreement recently and other things to do to reconcile between the two parts of the nation. politically, economically, let alone military area. i hope americans will be paying more attention to the fact that
we are koreans, we have to think -- south koreans are thinking of national unification eventually. that's it. >> any more comments? yeah. far behind me and the next one over there. >> yes. i'm a recent graduate of johns hopkins university and my question is related to sanctions and humanitarian assistance which has never been mentioned throughout this session, and the doctor just mentioned the possibility of sanctions relief, but at the same time she also said the new legislation strengthened and targeted by sanctions against north korea. at the same time, people keep talking about the dire humanitarian situation in north
korea. currently, the u.s. sanctions does not even allow humanitarian logistics access to north korea. what's your thought of the possibility of sanctions ex-exceptions for humanitarian needs in north korea or general thought in the con toeskt this peace movement? context of this peace movement? >> i will let the panel respond. >> doug samuelsson, infologics incorporated in the suburbs. what do you think about the prospect of persuading north korea to announce any a plans to export nuclear technology to other parties. >> export? >> yes. good, and yes, good. i think -- in fact, the u.s. government, we're ready to give some sanctions relief around
humanitarian aid. that's something that i think that wasn't even considered for hanoi. that's not a far-fetched scenario. we understand there's a humanitarian need and united nations came out with more origin report. i think there's willingness for that. we need to make progress. what you were saying about one of the greatest concern with north korea is proliferation. north korea has proliferated everything under the sun except for nuclear weapons. to get them to say that would be important step. again, is part of the whole negotiation, right. >> you want to respond on the humanitarian issue? >> yes. just last week, we issued a report, a key part from harvard medical school, precisely from your point, what can be done under the current sanctions.
we don't need to remove sanctions and to create a comprehensive medical program and north korea is dicey as to medical care. we have tourists dying from accidents and the system is much more developed. for example in north korea, even ambulances are non-sxit stent. i agree with you. this is something they showed an interest in this. they are not opposed to this. if i bring the european perspective, your member states, and this is something they should do. this way, we show to the north korean people, not the regime we don't agree with your government but we are willing to help you
out as much as possible to humanitarian assistance. >> thank you very much. the time is up. i hope the session has helped to raise our understanding of the situation and how we can proceed from here. we appreciate all experts on the panel. we can give them applause. thank you very much. >> thank you for your attention. >> thank you us, ambassador cho for moderating that session. before we take a break, i want to invite you to join us for our reception tonight including an open bar and hors d'oeuvres and we have a special video with comments from surprise guests and our final featured panel. i would like to announce our next door prize winners. matthew ha, i believe i saw him.
joyce kim, eliza clinger and ko. please collect your prices at the front desk. thank you. a brief break now in this day long forum in u.s.-south korea relations, hosted by the strategic for international studies and will continue in 15 minutes live on c-span3. while we wait, we will take you back and show you earlier conversations from the forum. >> one of the areas congress led traditionally, the area of human rights. started the bureau over at the state department that covers this, produced the great staff
member, became ambassador to human rights, bob king, here in the audience today. how should we be thinking? in your op-ed you talk about denuclearization, how should we be thinking? >> if we want to be the world leader we have to keep the tragic human rights in north korea in mind. if you help build an economy you start to address the human rights issues. if i'm thinking about this from chairman kim's perspective, the art of dialogue and negotiations using those principles of akito, you have to look at the world
from your anniversary, opponents' perspective. he's accomplished his nuclear capabilities right now and i think he's shifting towards the economic peace of it. that's the carrot we have in two decades we want peace we have to engage in economic development. the south koreans do as well. this is a roundabout way of answering your question. as we're doing that we have to make sure we're not losing sight of the humanitarian piece not the spoils going to north korea development but how do we engage in these masses. >> we are in a think tank so roundabout answers are perfectly
acceptable here. let me ask you about how should we be thinking about economic development? if we engage, we can enter some of the north korean projects and might bring progress to the value of them and bring this into negotiations. how do we think about economic development as a catalyst for change or instrument for pushing the north koreans on the denuclear front? >> the sanctions have worked, right? they've been biding sanctions,
certainly some secondary sanctions. the goal will never be that north korea will give up their nuclear weapons. we would be kidding ourselves that at some point they will just lay down their nuclear capabilities. the sanctions have been effective getting them to the table a little bit. if we take kim at his word, if the wants to shift towards investing the economy in north korea, we know they have a lot of natural resources and look at the southern part of the peninsula and look where the republic of north korea was in 1970 to where they are today to understand what's possible. this is where we have to take the long view. i do think, speaking for myself
here, that if there is a credible first or second step to destroy some of the nuclear assets, yeah, opening some of these joint projects potentially starts to send the right message. again, we'd be at a different place if north korea hasn't already obtained nuclear capabilities, but they already have. if we're taking a decade, two decade view here, you have to take those and, again, this is where the republic of korea will have a huge role. we will certainly have a role if we want to see that vision of some sort of economy in north korea, and some sort of engagement with the rest of the world, a large part of that responsibility will fall to
south korea. >> you mentioned sanctions. this gets to the news of the day, just in terms of linkages or global examples of other programs or issues around sanctions and nuclear weapons, iran, right? the iran issue, you've dealt with that in congress, you have the north korea issue. what do you say to constituents in korea or around the world that wanted to contrast between the two cases and/or messages we're sending with our actions towards iran to the north koreans and vice-versa? >> i think whether you like the jcpo, iran-nuclear deal, or didn't like it, i think we did irreparable damage to our ability to negotiate in one administration making a deal and a new administration coming in and pulling out of the deal. if you're chairman kim, and you're sitting in north korea,
you have to be paying attention to that to say, yeah, if we agree to something, a new president comes in and they may toss it out. our word has to mean something. again, this is where congress is so important. again, congress is going to be here for the long haul. if i were to give the trump administration a piece of advice, and i've got lots of advice, as we're dealing with iran, involve congress in this conversation. let's not make this a partisan issue, issue of american interest. i think -- so one is, what happened with the jcpo, that's something that ties into a parallel, how we move forward with north korea. a second piece is we're trying to prevent iran from getting
nuclear weapons. we know north korea already has nuclear weapons. let's learn from decades of negotiations with north korea and think about how we approach that. i think all of us agree that a nuclear armed iran would be a very dangerous precedent and set off a nuclear arms race in the middle east in a very unstable region. are there lessons we can learn from the negotiations with north korea in the hope we start a dialogue with iran as well or restart a dialogue. i think those are two things. the third is when we're thinking about the middle east, i talked about the north korean peninsula, we have to take a long view, long sustained engagement. with the middle east it's going to be a longer more sustained level of engagement. this is where, again, the beauty
of the cold war was it maybe changed a little bit on the margins from one administration to the next but there was a bipartisan strategy and congress was engaged and a long term level of engagement. we have to take both these regions in a sustainable way and we don't have to do it by ourselves. if we thought we could engage them by ourselves. we shouldn't engage both our allies in this region but not our adversaries. there's not a long term that won't involve the chinese or russians and we have to think what that level of engagement looks like. >> let's use your very artful comments on the long game about the uk alliance and questions there.
i'm guilty as the moderator, the thing i hated as ambassador, i'd be in my office in seoul, have guests from out oftown and get 75 questions about north korea. there is another piece you're sitting in, a global area of success of the u.s. and crea create -- korea playing the long game together. where are some of the challenges and opportunities? >> the people to people side and the firsthandness of south korea and the united states i think is very strong. the conversation around section g22 was very real. some of the concerns, the
koreans feeling we tried to negotiate with you in good faith. why are you including one of your close allies in the steel and aluminum tariff conversation? i think that's still very real. that does put a damper on the relationship. certainly, as a member of congress does think the importance of trading relationships is hugely beneficial not just the republic of korea but also the united states, we have to figure out that path forward. we're happy to see the administration back off with mexico and canada. we would encourage the administration not to back off on the koreans as well.
these are our friends and the economy has been good for both countries. >> you touched on trade. another key element the congress has oversight on intricately involved in was spending, right? that leads to the burden sharing conversation. the sma, special measures agreement. we had a long negotiations last year if you believe the press reports, the korean side was ready go up in terms of burden sharing, where do you think we should end up on this burden sharing agreement. we'll hear more from general brooks today. we're just previewing the later panel here. >> look, i don't think the president's wrong to say that we should have some level of burden sharing and partnership. i think the cleans have done an
admirable job trying to address that. without putting an actual number what that looks like i also think we can't move the gold post and we have to be conscious of korean domestic politics as well. it's in our interest to maintain the partnership and troop levels you touched on domestic politics and you hear the u.s. public saying, why do we heavy troops all around the world. it is important for the congress to say we're there to protect the united states interest is in the region.
if we're not there, it may be more costly. we were very worried president trump may have reduced the troop presence you've seen and others put in provisions if it starts at a certain number, i think it is 22,000. i think that is not a democratic or republican issue. i think we congress, it is important to maintain that presence. >> not with standing some comments asking about eliminate u.s. presence overseas, not limited to korea in congress by and large broad bipartisan support for troops in korea and understanding of the value of
the alliance? >> very much so. we think it's beneficial and we have lots in the region and that is very important. >> one or two more questions. one is this gets to alliance equities and often what you hear from the korean public at time, koreans themselves talk as the shrimp between the whales. i quibble with that because they have a top economy and one of the best militaries and bts is on the verge of taking over the world culturally and maybe some room for argument there. how should the koreans think about this issue, not put yourself as a korean. if you were getting that question and say we feel caught. we feel caught on fad and the infrastructure bank and now on
the u.s.-china on trade and huawei. what would your response be? >> i don't think the republic is the shrimp between two whales because they are one of the most innovative economies in the world and certainly one of our close friends. land mass-wise they may be smaller than america or china but they certainly are punching above their weight class. we have to think of korea as partner, not just how we engage in the issue of china and region of politics. we've had these conversations. how do we partner with the koreans to help solve some of the world's challenges. they're starting to become a donor nation and their aid and development work-around the world is sending resources to --
we're about to begin our third session. our third session is moderated by the senior fellow here at csis. the title of today's session is the regional dynamics, east shay and beyond. thank you. >> last panel of the day. we saved the best for last. we co-defendant the issues and we will talk about the region. there's a lot to discuss obviously, for china, north korean nuclear drama is playing out in the context of u.s.-china mistrust. and deteriorating u.s.-china
relations and xi jinping's visit and the first visit in 14 years, note worthy including right before the g20. many see it as a signal that xi jinping is sending to washington that they still have leverage and signaling to president trump that maybe he should modulate his trade war accordingly if the wants to see progress in nuclear negotiations with kim. there was president trump's recent trip to tokyo and prime minister babe's desire to meet with kim. kim jong un has now met with presidentxi jinping five times and president trump twice and putin once but still have not met with abe. then we have g 20 later this
week. it was much anticipated trump meeting. just this last friday, the trump administration added five chinese entities to the u.s. blacklist further restricting access to american technology and further complicating efforts to reach a trade deal and stoking high tension between the u.s. and china. with all of this going on we cannot ask for more excellent and distinguished panel to discuss this and other issues. no one on this panel really needs an introduction and you have a full bio. i will make the introductions very brief so we can start the discussion. we have on my left, ambassador kurt campbell, chairman and ceo of the asian group and certainty of new american security. former assistant secretary oofr state for east asia pacific affairs where he is widely credited for being a key architect to asia.
we have left of him from asia university, prior to working at smu, worked as an assistant professor at university of technology and brookings and visiting pressure. left of him, dr. thomas christenson, professor of public and international affairs and international of china. he arrived in 2018 from princeton university and formerly served as deputy secretary of state for east asia and pacific affairs. then we have dr. kim song jun, a professor and serves as role of director and well-known japan specialist in korea. i will give, ask each panelist to give brief opening remarks no
more than five minutes or stow set the scene for us. >> you really summarized really nicely recent events. as a moment, want to pay refolks our good friend, victor and congratulations of 10 years as a wonderful program here and we have a chance to commemorate it together and grateful for the opportunities together. it's almost always said in every opening statement about global politics we're living in a strike period of flux. any time over the last 20, 25 years. if you look at the situation today there is more strategic uncertainty and angst about mirmmir primarily the role of america in the world even perhaps before the close of the cold war. the good way shorthand to think about it through three numbers,
70, 20, 40, i will go through it quickly. you think about the last 70 years, it has been largely about a substantial american endeavor to create and support a global operating system that is an intricate web of strike commitments, alliance formulations, the support for freedom of navigation, peaceful resolution of disputes, a framework that has been very good for asia. we've seen the longest period of prosperity, very strong commitment on the part of the united states for peace and stability and remarkable growth throughout the region as a whole. that period and that framework that has been very good for us, i would argue, is coming under challenge as never before by two nations in particular. the first is perhaps understandable. common would like to adapt parts of that framework.
parts of it have been good for china but parts they would like to adjust towards fulfilling and supporting china's part on the global surprise. that's not a surprise. the other big surprise has come from the united states. many place is across the political spectrum, clearly with president trump and his team and also on the left in american politics, question about for deployed american engagement, over ambition american pursuits, trade, et cetera. i would encourage you all to look at the center for american progress that makes very clear this once robust supporter that the liberal national order has
dwindled substantially. and we have to recognize some beliefs most of us share are under siege and particularly in the united states. even if president trump is no longer president, i think his biggest contribution will be to raise questions about america's role in the world. that's extraordinarily important and we're only at the beginning of what could come next. those that think an election could be about raising the status quo, i don't think they're paying attention. we were in beijing a couple weeks ago for the china development forum. at the same time, chinese friends invited, really, for the last time, the architects of engagement between the united states and china, to celebrate the 40 year of engagement
between the united states and common. i think chinese friends did this to send a message how important this u.s. period in china relations has been and to see distinguished, mostly men on their last legs, visiting, sent an unmistakable message this era of engagement has come to a close, or at least we're on the verge of enter agnew set of debates about where u.s.-china relations are going. i would say they're only one of the areas you find a degree of consensus is a sense that the u.s.-china relationship requires deeper questioning of the way forward. that does not mean descent into horrible cold war but the framework of the u.s.-china relations are the top of the list. that's the 40.
20, simultaneously at the same time, i think there is a recognition that the united states has been deeply engaged in the middle east in south asia 20 years. rarely has a great power gone on this kind of detour with so little to show for it. remarkable loss of money, life, prestige, for almost nothing. quite negative. i think it undermined american stature in the world and broader recognition across the united states we have overinvested and it's time to focus more on other regions particularly the asia-pacific region. any of those developments would be ethical in the execution of american foreign policy. the fact that all three are anticipating taking i think suggests as we think about the north korean issues in asia and
the american policy pursuits has perhaps never been greater. at least the ends of the cold war i knew where republicans and democrats would come down. i find myself going into meetings with no idea where people are on certain issues and old tribal patterns animate strike debates. as we go forward in this discussion we need to recognize the level of uncertainty has the period has never been greater. >> we will skip, if okay,dr. christensen, could you set the stage about u.s. and china and the policies and the trade conflict and what you believe are the opportunities and risks, dangers of current strategy towards china. >> thanks. i want to say something about victor, my classmate. >> you can do that.
>> my classmate at columbia university and colleague in the u.s. government and six-party talks. he is a role model for young professionals. he has shown in his career you can be incredibly successful and still be humble and be a leader without being bossy. you can be in sitive without being aggressive in tone and an example of what you can achieve on human and professional level. you asked me about common. my view we're in a strategic competition with china and the advantage is our partnerships. there is no other realm where the united states has a bigger lead over a potential rival than the united states has over china in terms of alliances and partnerships. i am concerned about the overlap of economic and security
policies are playing out in the region in northeast asia and southeast asia are reducing our ability to draw partners and allies towards us and making it's easier for china to divide our relationships with our friends and allies. the trade war with china is very painful for some of our national partners because of the post-production chain. i was in singapore and their exports dropped precipitously in large part because of the trade war with china and in malaysia, they're concerned about it. they're concerned about what it means about huawei and to have them on the enemies list and they sell some things to huawei. there's a lot of concern and confusion on that score and china's environmental economic policy not accepted by many of
our partners and allies, pretty much all of china's economic policy is predatory. nobody's more childrened aboonc the negative aspects of chinese policy than their neighbors. they've been subjected to it. in malaysia they were concerned about corruption that was in the previous government of prime minister najib but at the same time, they see china as the one game in town for getting infrastructure built. the new government has made a revised deal to build infrastructure. when they say all policy is predatory they're not just criticizing beijing, they're criticizing the partners of beijing. they're calling them prey. it's difficult when they say you have been preyed upon and allowed yourself to be preyed
upon. most worry about down sides and negatives. unless the united states is bringing money itself, only starting to happen, it's very difficult to sustain that narrative that builds those relationships. in southeast asia and japan seems nervous about implications of u.s.-china trade war. it's notable japan has move into the gap in a sense. trade between japan and china has gone up in the last two years. investment in china has gone up in japan, not really running in the same direction as our policy. the last thing is north korea and iran. the united states has to accept, i think president xi was trying to drive that home, no way to put maximum pressure without beijing and that will complicate
the u.s.-china relationship going information ward, particularly iran is because we want to put maximum economic pressure on iran. we don't have that much additional room to sanction iran ourselves. we will be pressuring chinese entities and the government to do more and that will be very difficult in that we have the trade war and huawei, a multifaceted issue, huawei. the one that got people's attention. i was in singapore with a chinese think tank a few days ago, one of the things that's really gotten people's attention in china is the entity list, which seems different than not allowing huawei into one's infrastructure. this seems more like we want to cripp cripple huawei. we want to keep them from developing as a company and keep china from developing in the
high-tech area and that seems like cold war position to them than the other aspects. that's my take on it. i've been interested in the recent months of nexus between environmental and security policy. i believe we're more powerful than china. arguing that for years. i think china is plenty powerful enough to spoil our whole day and don't dismiss its monetization. but one of the reasons the united states is more powerful is our alliances and relationships. we sometimes forget our relationship with common can impact our allies in ways that can affect our exhibitses and interests of a strategic competitor. >> professor, how do you assess the landscape of northeast region, china going more
militarily economically and the u.s. first principle no longer so depend knowledge as an ally to south korea. we talked about these sources of various tension in the region? >> let me also start by echoing what the previous speakers said about victor and csis chair program for the last ten years. when i got out of grade school in the early '90s, people used to talk about globalization, orderly society, and so on and so forth. but i think that era is probably gone. international liberal order is fraught now. so, and nation states are coming back very strong and everybody's
talking about national interest. and particularly the issue of -- and the instability being felt everywhere in the region of east asia. and that is what i'm going to focus on for the next few minutes. i think basically, u.s./china strategic competition has begun and i think it is being manif t manifested in the form of third-party coercion. you can't even call it a regional bipolarization or even proxy competition. so pressure is coming from both the u.s. and china to the regional states. so basically, the exclusivity question of are you with us, against us? i think that pressure is being
felt by many countries in the region. i've been also to singapore and malaysia and other countries in february and, i mean, people i've talked to in those countries were also having that particular strategic dilemma sandwiched between washington and beijing. in the case of rok, since 2011, we have been having about eight or nine different issues over which we had a very accurate strategic dilemma, starting with rcep tpp, the choice between rcep tpp. whether or not to join aaid because washington was against it and whether or not to support the chinese agenda at the meeting in shanghai 2014. whether or not to go to the commemoration in tiananmen square in 2015, and whether or not to deploy the system in 2016 and that still continues.
and then the south china sea issue, and then huawei and indopacific initiative and so on and so forth. i think the frequency will only increase down the road. these issues are very complicated. the huawei issue, i think theat least three issues are involved. first of all, the technical proof. i mean, backdoors is a possibility, but it's very difficult to prove. second, double standards. i think there might be some mere image involved in this particular issue. there's also an issue, for instance, among the countries, you don't even have a consensus.
and, of course, rok is a third party issue. last year there was a very close encounter between american and chinese ships, within 50 yards, bh but it was the u.s. ship that made the first defensive maneuver. what does that tell us about the reassurance in the region? so there are a lot of questions which cannot be answereded very clearly. and i think the strategic dilemma that regional states have about this particular strategic competition between washington and beijing will only continue and that is a big pr problem for the regional states. i'll stop there. >> thank you, professor chung. can we move a little bit away from china and its talk about south korea and japan relationship. south korea and japan relationship obviously still currently is one of the most troubled relationship between all democracies, from
washington's perspective, this continued poor relationship between the two allies really jeopardizing foreign u.s. interests including making trilateral cooperation over north korea policy more difficult while hampering, to, you know, our ability to respond more effectively to china. so where are we in terms of japan's welfare relationship? >> as you mentioned the relationship between south korea and japan is really troublesome. so maybe you quan thican think like this, not just a problem -- i think it's we can have -- i can decide, areas, or problems. one is, as you know, the historical problem and then there's a political problems and economic and multilateral, why? so it's all this distinctive area with south korea and japan has very, very different
positions and images, understandings, i think. across the word, for example -- south korea really have preoccupied with colonial memory. of course, there are issues, territorial issues. basically, i think the understanding about past problems, colonial memory. but japan, how about japan? japan is not -- not much about crkorea memory. usually war memory. different memories. it is very hard to compromise because they cannot share the common experience, i think. this is one thing. the second one is political coordination. cooperation. okay. the political coordination is always, think, is very, very important. very useful. but the cooperation between korea, japan, it's not -- for example, south korea is because
basically they have different stance toward china, between south korea and japan. many cases -- u.s., too. cooperate bilaterally. alliance, relationships. but the south korea, we have a very strong economic partnership with china. so in that sense i think you can -- huge caps between in terms of the coordination, right? and also it's more -- so, okay, it is similar. like you. you asian people, i envy you, your community. but you know if you look into the two different economies, right, south korea is fundamental -- 80% going to export side. rather than regional market. and japan is more -- we have a huge domestic market and then also a long history of the
regional economic cooperation without formal -- so all three distinctive areas we have fundamental differences i think. so nonetheless, right, no nonethele nonetheless, i think as political leaders on both side pursue this, and the colonial period, i think there is only one option was pursue, for example, political coordination. as you know, 1965, political coordination. they ignored or controlled -- and at that time didn't emerge. so then in the post-period, others emerged. why? if you have three distinctive areas, easily have the cases, right? there are some people, for example, here he only emphasize the economic region. he emphasized the past.
past issue then regional issue. maybe kind of asian-centric ideas, right? and then some -- south koreans only focused on the past issues. so some people -- and here, again, people are, okay, maybe you are supporting -- you are supporting the political coordination past rather than the economic integration or the -- right? okay. all this eight different cases, so political leaders pursue, their political philosophy and leadership, but actually right now and -- nothing is pursuing the strong -- okay. so i think south korea, now this is -- agony.
so korea has a problem in past with china and current problem with north korea. actually, we have future problem with china. so i think we are facing some difficulties, especially china and japan. >> yes, yes, yes. can i ask about president trump and foreign policy. president trump and his foreign policy and how do you think maybe the region is seeing him or interpreting president trump's foreign policy, so, for example, how do you think trump's actions iran, regarding iran last week, are seen by china, north korea, or so, you know, our alley alleys as well south korea and japan. does president trump's reversal or backing off from attacking ir iran, at least with north korea and china, does it undermine his credibility theest wiat least w
countries or undermine potency of his threats. not saying it was a right or wrong decision. how is his foreign policy interpreted, do you think? how is china seeing this, for example? >> just -- >> we're talking uncertainties. we're just adding more. >> yeah. i would love to know how leaders fundamentally make judgments on these issues, and it's difficult to make clear assessments from what we know. my assumption would be that they view president trump as deeply unpredictable. somewhat transactional. and that you need to appeal to his sense of his personal role,
potentially financial relationships more generally and things that make him look strong. i think so -- i think many of the leaders around asia initially felt relatively confident that they could figure out a way to engage with him. i think over time, we've talked primarily about the trade issues with china. but we have is to recognize that there are very substantial trade issues with japan. i mean, real threats have been issued against japan. we have not focused at all on india. what the trump administration has done with india just since prime minister modi was re-elected is very worrisome, and i think south korean friends are always anxious that at a moment's notice, there could be questions about the trade or host nation's support, so i think probably the watch word is deep unpredictability.
i don't think anyone views -- i think the wrong lens is that somehow, the president is, you know, not prepared to follow through. i think -- >> yeah. >> -- the leadership in asia knows that in a moment's notice, the president could do something profoundly -- >> unpredictable. >> and dangerous that could lead the region into a -- into an unpredictable phase ahead. so that would be my sense, but there are those -- i've talked to some japanese friends who feel that they understand the president and that they think we have a good relationship with him. i would say to those friends, good luck. but i -- i think if this goes on very much longer, i mean, every country is trying to develop a nuance strategy that involves engaging united states, that involves developing some independent capability, working with other like-minded states
and as importantly, despite what any country is saying upfront, i think every country's trying really hard to develop more predictable relations with beijing. over the longer term, i accept tom's assessment, but i will say that the debates about whether the united states is the strongest and unquestioned leader in asia, or whether the united states is in the midst of a hurtling decline, i can find reasonable very smart people that will debate across that spectrum. >> doctor, do you agree? >> again, i've been writing for a long time that china doesn't need to be an equal of the united states to spoil our whole day, and i take chinese power extremely seriously. i think there's too much emphasis in my field as an academic and i think in the political world to say that a country has to be, you know, the same height as another country to pose a challenge.
we've been fighting much weaker actors in central asia and the middle east for a long time to no avail. china is certainly more powerful than any of those states. i'm not dismissing china's power. what i'm trying to emphasize is we have certain advantages over china and sometimes take them for granted and i think we can harm those relationships that give us the advantages over china by treating the bilateral relationship with china without paying attention to the impact that that bilateral relationship has on those partners and allies. i was in south korea a couple weeks ago and heard there, too, they're nervous about this choice that dr. chung raised that this choice that seems at least some elements of the u.s. government are asking of our friends and allies. you need to side with us and not with china. they don't want to make that choice. they don't need to make that choice from their own perspective. by asking that, we sort of weaken our relations with them. we need to be more sophisticated than that. and the biggest and most direct
impact is on the economy. you raise the stuff -- the question about iran. i don't know what individual leaders draw in terms of resolve. i can say that there's probably a lot of relief in the region that there wasn't a conflict with iran. for a couple of reasons. one is that energy prices obviously would spike and much more dependent on middle east than the united states. but a second reason is they don't want more distractions, to use kurt's term from his book, "the pivot." they don't want the united states to be tied down. they want the united states to pay attention to asia. but i agree with things that kurt said about uncertainty. there is just incredible uncertainty. i felt it in malaysia. i felt it in singapore. i felt it in korea in the last few weeks. and then there's uncertainty in korea. that's something that concerns me is that, you know, it seemed to me from when i was reading while i was there that president trump is very popular with the progressives and he's really
disliked by the conservatives in korea. >> hmm. >> because they don't think he's tended to the alliance. key canceled the exercises. and he seems like he's too soft on north korea. and progressives love him because he has the summits and because of the things he said in singapore after the first summit. i worry about that because my expectation -- i'm not -- people said they don't make predictions. my colleague, she doesn't make predictions. my prediction is the trump administration is going to become disappointed with north korea. and then i don't know who's left in south korea. who's going to be close to the united states because the progressives are going to be disappointed with the trump administration. the conservatives are already disappointed and that worries me because i think the u.s. rok alliance, here we are, look at the title, is an extremely important thing for both the south and the united states. i worry there's too much unserpt now. i really think canceling the exercises was a bad idea.
a really bad idea. because to restart them now is to make a political message about something that should just be normal. >> well, just follow on north korea, you said on north korea there's no way -- north korea and iran -- there's no way to exercise maximum pressure particularly in north korea without buy-in. you followed xi ginpijinping's . >> i think north korea is playing a long game, going to be building n ining infrastructure to include north korea in all these things. i did something that's very dangerous for an kdic academic in 2017-2018. i praised the trump administrati administration. i think they did a very good job of getting kim jong-un to the table in singapore. but i felt, you know, i said they had to do two things to get china to pressure north korea to get to the table and two things at once which are kind of opposite. president trump had unique capabilities. they had to credibly threaten
the conflict and i think a lot of us were very concerned there was going to be a conflict in late 2017 on the korean peninsula. and at the same time, they had to convey that they didn't care about the north korean regime and weren't going to try to seek to overthrow it. and it's very difficult to do those two things at once. and the trump administration was able to look aggressive enough to go to war and indifferent enough to say they would live with the kim regime if it just gave up the nuclear weapons. that's the magic combination for getting china to pressure north korea. the problem is at singapore, he declared victory, predictably, according to reports, china reduced the pressure. when china reduces the pressure, there is no maximum pressure on north korea. i don't expect the pressure to go up again in a hurry. i don't think the president can then create that combination of credible threat and credible indifference in the future the way he did in 2017-2018. i can tell you, in academia, to say that, the trump administration is doing this right, boy, you really pay a price.
>> dr. chung and dr. kim, too, dr. chung talked about soth korea's difficulty with that issue and south china sea, huawei. ambassador campbell talked about this consensus forming u.s. about the framework. i think -- i agree, i think this is sort of -- this multipronged strategy on china, there's a strong bipartisan congressional backing. there's backing among the elites. regardless of who gets the -- whether trump gets re-elected or there's a democratic president, this is sort of i think this is your sort of your long-term here to say. where is south korea in terms of -- south korea was able to hedges to hedge, to be honest, between china and the united states on all these issues particularly sort of hesitant to take action or be vocal about things that south korea is not actively involved in like in south china
sea, regarding china's actions in south china sea. where can south korea go with this? can they just continually hedge or what is south korea -- given this reality of uncertainty? >> if you look at east asian states, most of them are hatching. you know, except for cambodia and laos. except for, i don't know about japan, taiwan, but most of the east asian states are hatching. it could be a midpoint between balancing and bandwagoning or could be a mixture of balancing and engagement. it could be an intermittence. it could even be issue-based or selective support or any combination of these four.
but i think east asian states which have been hatching have recently realized that it comes with more cost now because china, particularly, is trying to impose higher cost to the countries who do not come my with its own priorities. i think many countries have experienced it, mongolia, japan, taiwan, korea, even palou. so it's difficult because many of these countries have were high dependence on trade, for trade on china. i think china know s exactly where to apply power. that's where shop power comes in even though shop power is a terrible term. it does have some interesting analytical utility. as for south korea, i don't know.
recently, a new unit has been established within the ministry of foreign affairs just to deal specifically with the strategic dilemma between washington and beiji beijing. so it tells how seriously rok government is taking this issue. >> could i ask just one more question and i'll open it up to the floor. i'm sure there are many questions you have. i wonder, can we talk a little bit about hong kong and taiwan in terms of taiwan's view on hong kong, and what extent does hong kong demonstrations, just remarkable to see, may have -- what kind of impact did it have? did it have a negative impact on the chinese government? and to what extent do you believe hong kong demonstrations may have galvanized maybe taiwan's will to either defend democracy or independence? how would the events in hong kong, perhaps, impact presidential race in taiwan and
china's hope to put, you know, hope for a more pro-prc government to emerge. >> for me? >> for you and maybe kurt, anybody else. >> you know, i could respond. i've always said to my students that hong kong is a losing bet for beijing in its relations with taiwan, no matter what. so the one country/two systems idea was set up for hong kong with taiwan that mind and people in taiwan across the political spectrum said this has nothing to do with us. hong kong was a former colony and now it's being turned over to china. we've always had sovereignty. and people in taiwan define sovereignty differently, either as taiwan as a nation or as a republic of china. they all believe they have sovereignty. so hong kong doesn't matter unless beijing screws up in hong kong then it matters a lot because then people in taiwan say you just can't trust beijing. so it's only a losing proposition for beijing and handles hong kong very well,
people in hong kong says it doesn't affect us. if they handle hong kong very poorly, then everyone in taiwan says, you see, you can't trust beijing, you can't really -- so i think the dpp and the pangreen coalition in taiwan received two large political gifts this year in their electoral prospects for early 2020. and one was president xi jinping's speech in january of 2019 in which he emphasized one country/two systems at a record number of times in his speech which was never, as i said, popular, in taiwan, and seen by everyone as kind of unacceptable. then the second was the hong kong issue with the extradition, and i think that's another reminder to people in taiwan about the difficulties in reaching a settlement across the strait and it undercuts the position of those who want to have a more accommodating stance toward the mainland and the
electoral campaign. so i think those are both gifts. i don't know how it's going to may out. there are so many candidates. i think president tsai is probably in a better place than sher she was before the two events by quite a large margin. >> i would agree with tom. it would be hard to underestimate what a substantial setback the developments in hong kong have been for president xi. think it's very easy for us to underestimate the impact that's had on his relationship. i think when you talk to friends inside the u.s. government, i think several of them have been surprised that the issue that is often raised first is not tensions on trade or north korea, is hong kong and the american role there. tom, perhaps, could say more about that. i would say that what we are seeing, i think president xi's decision to go to north korea could actually have been impacted not so much by
president trump, by, you know, if you're looking for a way to assert your stature, you've got to find some place that you can go without any chance of something going wrong. probably the only place on the planet for president xi that could accommodate that at this time is north korea. i think it's entirely likely one of the reasons he chose to go to north korea is because of a sense of a very substantial set of setbacks in hong kong. >> there were no protests in -- >> shocking. >> i lived in hong kong from '93 to '96. back then, i think many hong kong people had this idea that a neighboring city on the mainland would eventually be assimilated into the hong kong way of life. and eventually the whole mainland would be assimilated into hong kong. but now what is happening is actually the other way around.
hong kong is being assimilated into the chinese way of thinking and living. so when 20 years ago the chinese and hong kong had a prediction that chinese government would probably live up to the beijing law, in change in 50 years but i think that day has come and now they talk about today hong kong, tomorrow taiwan, and many other states in east asia the day after. >> we will open it up to the floor. i think we have some 20 some minutes. gentleman over there. could you please identify yourself? brief question. >> yes, i'm from stonebridge group. my question was surrounding kind of forecasting how both the blue house and the white house will be conducting foreign policy in 2020. it will be the election year for both countries. national assembly will be having
elections in april while the u.s. presidential election will be happening in november. how do you anticipate that this very highly politicized time for both, you know, the americans and the koreans, especially seeing as the national assembly is under gridlock, will impact foreign policy decisionmaking both bilaterally and not only that, but in the east asia pacific region as a whole? >> okay. right there. >> take a couple nr. >> a couple. right next to him. then i think there was one. yeah. >> hello. congratulations to the panel. it's been excellent. there have been some collaboration between china and russia on different issues in recent years, but it seems clear to me that this year in the case of venezuela and recent meeting of the two presidents, the
collaboration between china and russia has been increased. it's open now. which are the consequences of this new collaboration for the korean peninsula? thank you. >> here's a question here. >> i'm peter humphrey, intel analyst and a former diplomat. i'm imagining a day in which we lock up a couple l million muslims in the u.s., bulldoze a couple hundred of their mosques. the fury around the world would be beyond comprehension. >> yeah. >> embassieies would burn. diplomats would be assassinated. tourists would be at risk every second of every day. so i'm wondering why china gets a pass. >> yeah. >> and the significance of this is china is creating the next generation of muslim terrorists. and it's taking way too many lessons from the north koreans about how to construct these camps and run them. where's the global outrage?
where do -- when do we start standing up and saying, no, you don't get to run the affairs of a quarter of mankind, you have lost legitimacy. why is that so hard for us to realize? >> so we have three questions. the blue house/white house election consequences, china/russian relations impact on korean peninsula and the last question. >> big questions. >> who wants to -- >> professor kim hasn't spoken in a while. >> professor kim. >> are you going to just -- >> professor kim -- >> i'll talk about the uighurs if you like, eventually. i don't mind talking about the uighurs. >> i just -- one thing about the japan relation. so why -- unrelated to the questions, but the last one is really important, think about the bihat rlateral things, multilateral things. japan is very important --
otherwise, create -- north korea and japan, too, so the law of the u.s. is really important but how to -- building the u.s., south korea, and japan, right, it is more for the relationship, important, otherwise the recent -- xi jinping, north korea created a large -- >> go ahead. >> so to the question on -- the very good question on china and russia, i actually think the dynamic between beijing and moscow has been in play, as you suggest, for a longer period of time than we've really focused on. i believe it is more aveovert n and i think -- i'm struck by how little this dynamic both animates our foreign policy, but the foreign policy in the region as well.
one of the developments we've seen in the last week is a recognition on the japanese side that the hopes for a breakthrough finally between japan and russia is not going to come into being. they're not going to be able to come to terms on the status of the islands. but fundamentfundamentally, ours would be to try to see a better relationship between japan and russia so that the sole line of engagement for russia is not through china, and the problem here is, in fact, that, frankly, m maximalist japanese desires and negotiations, we should try to find a way forward so japan and russia can find some middle way to work together in the asia-pacific region u, ultimate if the russia/china relationship forms in such a way that they reinforce each other in different spheres, it's very bad
news for the united states more fundamentally. you would think deep down that the anxiety in russia over china's future would be enough to cause hesitations in moscow, but it's not the case. the animosity and distrust and fundamental animus toward washington is so great that it overcomes any concerns about working with china in the immediate and near term. >> i'll just say something about russia and china. it's been my impression for a long time that what brings russia and china together is not balance of power politics. what brings moscow and beijing together is their mutual aversion to american regime change diplomacy. >> yeah. >> it's the bipartisan fetish for regime change in color revolutions that have brought them together. but even within that situation, it's a difference between beijing and moscow, i believe. so if you look at venezuela,
beijing and moscow both said they don't want the united states to intervene politically, militarily, or otherwise. that's traditional sort of bu h bumper sticker diplomacy of both capitals. it seems moscow has sidled up to maduro much more than beijing. beijing has kind of said, let it play out the way it's going to play out, we'll get along with whoever comes out of it, washington, you stay out. and i think that's really the difference between moscow and beijing is that moscow's not a peer competitor. there's a rand report that says moscow is not a peer competitor of the united states, not a near-peer competitor of the united states, but it's revisionist in terms of ideology. trying to spread authoritarianism. whereas china is -- china is a much stronger competitor of the united states, but it's not actually exporting authoritarianism in active foreign policy. that were to change, that would be very significant. and the excellent question about sh shinzuan, i raised this question
at a meeting in malaysia. i said -- i was sitting in a room with graduate students and scholars and seven women and i said, you know, why is it that malaysia hasn't taken a tougher position on what's happening in shinzuan? it's a mystery to me. if you look at the belt and road initiative, it goes in all the directions through muslim majority countries. this ought to be costing china a lot more in its diplomacy than it has. maybe it will over time. the only country that's really spoken up is turkey and my sense is that president erdogan, he's raised this not so much as a religious freedom issue but as a turkish national issue because the uighurs are turkic, right? that's not really the principle message you want to get out there. i'll just say out of sadness about my own country, we're not in a very good position to lead that kind of international response because of our own
policies toward islam around the world in recent years. it's unfortunate. we ought to be in a great position to go to capitals to point out to beijing that it's going to harm its own relations. this is no way to solve these problems. i'm sure we're doing that but i think we have a lot less leverage in the process than we should because of things like the muslim ban. so it's just unfortunate. >> professor, do you want to address this question? >> in korea, generally speaking, national assembly election is more backward looking in nature. in other words, people tend to look at what the past performance of the -- of each party was. particularly in economic terms. while the presidential election is more forward looking, therefore, north korea -- may figure more prominently. so unless something happens in the -- in terms of whether it's a small, middle, or big deal,
regarding the north korean equity issue happening and the timing that is closer to the election date, unless that happens, i don't think, you know, noneconomic issue will loom large in the national assembly election. >> great. take a few more questions. >> richard, cpp, retired. best-case scenario from my standpoint, we survive the next 19 months and we have a new administration. what's the long-term penalty box for the united states foreign policy and destruction of the state department, how long do you think it would take to recover and how much encouragement should we expect? >> thank you. >> my question is for secretary campbell and christensen.
mr. campbell is talking about a question and debate in the united states about the u.s. engagement policy with china. i'm wondering if you believe the u.s. one-china policy framework which is based on three communiques and pra is being challenged and questioned in the united states. what will be the consequence if it's really changed? thank you. >> one more question. >> good afternoon. this is marti with newsnet news. approximately an hour ago, the state deparent announced that u.s. special representative for north korea, stephen biegun, i hope i'm pronouncing that correctly, will travel to seoul june 27th through 30th and meet with republic of crkorea officis before joining secretary pompeo for the president's visit to seoul. this seems to be an add-on to the i