tv Discussion on U.S. Policy Toward North Korea Panel 1 CSPAN January 10, 2020 2:54pm-4:31pm EST
evidence already before us, much of which is sworn testimony already. it hasn't been cross examined, but it would be possible in my own mind for us to conduct a trial without having witnesses called. >> sunday, at 9:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span 3. next a discussion about u.s. policy toward north korea. the panel took a look at challenges to the korean peace process and perceptions of north korean leader kim jong un. >> i'd like to go ahead and get started. good morning, and thank you all for coming. my name is george bibi, i'm the vice president and director of studies here at the center for the national interests. i want to welcome you and thank you all for coming to this
conference today on north korea. as we think about what might be coming down the road on the korean peninsula and the broader region, it's very easy, i think, to succumb to the temptation to be pessimistic. in fact, as we sit here in washington today, it seems like there's all kinds of reason to be pessimistic. we seem to be facing on the home front a variety of challenges. we're in the midst of a wrenching presidential impeachment process. the broader country seems to have some deep cleavages societally. we have a big problem with mutual distrust in the country. when we look abroad
internationally, the headlines we were reading this morning suggest we might be on the brink of a very dangerous war with iran. we last week read about the development of hype tr sonic weapons in russia and coupled with the demise of arms control and the return of great power competition, it looks like the world is getting ever more dangerous. even american relations with some of our long-standing allies seem to be strained to the breaking point. and i need hardly tell you all, experts on korea, that the news out of the peninsula is hardly encouraging these days. but if there's one lesson that i think we can take from the past several decades it's that wise
leaders and creative experts can manage and reduce the dangers that we're facing internationally. here in the united states, we overcame the domestic vitriol and violence that we faced in the 1960s during the vietnam era. we managed to avoid nuclear catastrophe with the soviet union. and end the cold war peacefully. we helped germany to pivot from being a potential nuclear battleground into a united regional leader. we transformed our relations with vietnam fundamentally. none of these problems at the time seemed any less daunting than the challenges we seem to face today in the world. so even though it's attempting
to stand aghast at the dangers that we're facing, to marvel at the problems that confront us, we need to remind ourselves that it's not our job to contemplate the problem just for the sake of being scared. our challenge as experts is to think creatively about these problems, to understand the opportunities that are hidden amidst the dangers that appear so obvious. and to use our expertise, our understanding of these problems, to identify and take advantage of opportunities that are there even if they're not evident on the surface. so i look forward to hearing your ideas today about these challenges. i want to thank harry kazianis, our senior director for korean studies for putting together such an impressive agenda today
for discussion. and for gathering such an impressive group of experts today. i look forward to hearing your ideas. and i want to introduce harry who will talk more about the specifics of today's event. harry, thank you. >> good morning, everyone. thank you all for coming. welcome back to d.c., if you are just coming back. i know everybody, this is the type of year where, you know, everybody takes extended break and comes back, and we have congress in session today, so thank you for spending your morning and maybe your afternoon with us. i'm going to keep my comments very brief. i'm just getting over bronchitis. i promise, i'm not contagious, but i do after about speaking for about five minutes, i lose my voice, and i want to give these guys a great panel and moderate that so i'm going to keep it very brief, and very short. welcome to all of you. welcome to those who are watching us now on c-span 2, for our event, north korea in 2020, fire and fiery or path towards peace.
very important, this event is cohosted and sponsored by the korea foundation thanks to a generous grant by them. to thank them for all their support, you know, and great efforts in this area, somebody that's really great to work with, and we appreciate that partnership. so what we want to do today i think is very straightforward. over the course of, i think, three different panels, a lot of different speakers, different perspectives, different ideas, to really get a sense of where things are going to go with north korea in 2020, and look, i think it's an open question of where this goes. obviously the international arena keeps moving with events outside of the korea peninsula. as george indicated, we have a lot of problems that are occurring in the middle east with the death of general soleimani, a lot of people have questions about where trump foreign policy is going at the moment. those are a lot of things that i think are going to factor into issues on the peninsula. i think i'm going to just set the scene for a moment here, and talk a little bit about things, where they stand on the peninsula right now, and then i
think we can move forward into dr. moon's keynote address. you know, at the moment, we have a north korea that continues to build more fi sil material, for 30 to 65 nuclear warheads, i think that's up for dispute, we have a u.s. north korea policy that unfortunately right now is essentially stagnant. we don't really have a clear understanding of where the trump administration wants to go in the next couple of weeks, and months. as many of you obviously know, we're under a situation where the president has been impeached. there's going to be a trial in the senate that's very hard to understand of where, you know, trump's foreign policy is going to go because of this. will it stay stagnant the next month or two months, tough to say. on the other hand we have to factor in what will kim jong un do, will he for the next six, eight, nine months, hold back missile testing or nuclear testing and try to engage will trump be reelected, we don't
know. these are open questions i think we have to sort of factor in. also we have other events that are happening. in south korea we have elections that are coming up. does this limit president moon's ability to try and engage more with north korea, does he pivot to more domestic issues with the south korean economy looking to grow more in the coming year. these are all open questions. with that, let me just get to the, some of the procedural things that are going to happen today. all of you are think tank event experts but i'm going to lay these out anyway. obviously with the number of cameras today, we are on the record, so keep that in mind. you know, as you can see by the conference itinerary, dr. moon is going to open up everything and i'm going to introduce him in a second, then we're going into our panels, three panels today, each one of our panelists, starting off with doug bando, jessica lee, they will be speaking for 10 to 15 minutes, and we'll go into the classic q and a. one thing i ask, while we may
all know each other, our live audience on c-span does not know you. if you can give your name and affiliation, that's important, so everybody understands where you're coming from, news outlet, whatever. then after our panel we're going to have coffee breaks, a one-hour lunch break, and we'll move into the afternoon session, so with that i'm going to introduce dr. moon. many of you know him, know him well, over the last year, 18 months, i've gotten to know him quite well. great to call him my friend, one of the architects of south korea's sunshine policy and now in the government of moon jae-in. he is special adviser to moon jae-in. i will have to ask if he's speaking under his personal capacity or a different capacity, but it's great to have you here dr. moon, and we look forward to your remarks, thank you. >> thank you, harry. i speak for myself not for the
government. let me clif >> thank you, harry. i speak for myself, not for the government. therefore, let me clarify on that one too. and harry give me the topic of my talk as president moon jae-in's peace initiative, challenges and opportunities. i'll try to sum it up his policy and the challenge his government is facing in less than 20 minutes. okay. and then maybe we can have an open discussion. president moon was inaugurated on may 9th, 2017. first year, 2017 was nightmarish year. it was a crisis for him, but in 2018, he opened a new horizon of peace by holding three talks with chairman kim jong un. and then 2019, particularly since the hanoi talk, now he's
facing major stalemate. up and downs, and if you look at the korean history, it was the history of the one year good, the other bad, and we're having constant living under the uncertainty. but you know, going through the ups and downs, president moon jae-in made it clear, his goal is to make nuclear weapons free, and set four major principles, first principle is no war at any cost. the premise of peace has been the fundamental base of his policy line. it is quite obvious because he's a refugee from north korea during the korean war. therefore he himself witnessed the tragedy of the war.
he wanted to avoid war for whatever means. second, no nukes. he wanted nuclear weapons free korean peninsula. he support peaceful use of at atomic energy but opposed transport, testing of nuclear weapons. he stick to 1991 joint declaration under the denuclearization of the korean peninsula. we have been abiding by that declaration, north korea has not been abiding by that declaration. so no nuke is his second principle. third principle is that the no regime change in north korea. and he wanted to build a constant with north korea. he wanted to have new ways of
communicating and coexisting with north korea. i would say no regime change. he made it very clear, that point, when he give a speech at in berlin on july 6th, 2017. he still abide by that principle. finally, he believes that the south korean economy is dependent on the north korean economy. north korea department on south korea too. we can prosper. those are the four principles. then he has laid out the four main strategies. first strategy, the strategy of peace keeping. here peace keeping means that suppressing the possibility of war through military deterrence and strengthening of our
alliance. this idea of peace keeping really arose out of the crisis in 2017. it was a kind of past dependence he formed preceding conservative govr government. he strongly believed one way of preventing war is having strong defense capable. and he believes in the alliance with the united states. second strategy is called a peacemaking strategy. he wanted to reduce tension with north korea. he wanted to build a constant with north korea. he wanted to adopt an end of war, end of korean war declaration. he wanted to transform an armistice agreement into some sort of peace agreement or treaty, and he wanted to sustain viable peace regime in the korean peninsula.
in fact, that has been one of the most important strategies of the moon jae-in government. third, he's interested in peace buildings. peace building refers to the elimination of codes of war on the korean peninsula. he strongly believes that the peace economy can lead to peace building. okay. it's north and south korea make economic corporation, okay. and if they agree to come up with some kind of arrangements through which people, goods and services can move freely across the dmz, and if north and south korea can pursue common prosperity, he strongly believes that there won't be any war on the korean peninsula. in a sense, it is like emanuel kant in a permanent peace
theory, particularly article one of permanent peace theory, trading state. and finally, he emphasized proactive diplomacy. korea has been sandwiched between china and the u.s., between dplk and the united states. he want to pursue more proactive diplomacy. he want to be a mediator, facilitator, arbitrator or pace setter of the korean peninsula destiny. okay. therefore, he doesn't want to be a passive dictator, to changing external security environment. he did it in 2018 when there was a complete impasse between
washington and pyeongchang, he played a crucial role of facilitator between washington and pyeongchang. those are the four major strategies of moon jae-in government peace initiative. what are the challenges and opportunities, you clearly saw and witnessed the new horizon of peace, particularly on april 27 last year. i was there. i saw the great possibility of peace on the korean peninsula. north and south korea adopted a military agreement on september 19th in pyongyang. there was article i of a declaration. since then, last year, showed up in west coast, and ordered test exercise of missiles. there was perhaps the only violation of military agreement
adopted in 2019 -- 2018. in a sense, there has been progress. but overall, moon jae-in government is facing several dilemmas and challenges. first is the dilemma of peace keeping. a way of enhancing peace keeping capability, he was strengthening the current capability, and then our government had been purchasing 35, we have a security global hub, high altitude, you know, unmanned drone, surveillance, in a device, and strengthening, and will be spending almost 50 trillion. there is a slightly larger than defense spending of japan in this year.
north koreans are angry about it, saying the south korea not sick, and the military built up, but because of what happened in 2017 and also decisions made by the previous government, he had to follow to strengthen the line. therefore, the idea of peace keeping is extremely self-defensive but north korea think it is really offensive. which is well orchestrated with the united states. therefore peace keeping has been sort of backfiring. okay. peacemaking, president moon proposed parallel approach, denuclearization and peacemaking, but we are not
making any progress in denuclearization, peacemaking has become start. okay. of course we are maintaining september 19th's military agreement to some extent. however, we are not able to adopt end of war declaration. to have no discussion about the transformation of armistice agreement into some sort of peace treaty among major stake holders. okay. we talked about peace regime, but we haven't really touched peace regime. therefore peacemaking is undergoing major difficulty. peace building, you know, peace building, we got to have what, peace economy working, you know, to make a peace economy working, but international sanctions prevent south korea from engaging with north korea.
for example, president moon strongly desired to have railroad connection reconnected between north and south, he even had a ground breaking ceremony in january last year. but nothing happened afterwards. okay. and he wanted to reopen complex at mount project, okay, because, international sanction regime he couldn't do anything. the north koreans argued that south korea hasn't delivered anything to north korea. therefore, he's having a real hard time in pushing for the idea of peace building through peace economy. proactive diplomacy, contrary to what conservatives have been criticizing, we have been betting on the united states
100%, particularly since november 2018, we have been 100% coordinating with the united states. we have shown 100% transparency to the u.s., we got into korean economy exchanges incorporation. as a result of that interkorean relations have become completely frozen. now we have a dilemma, what should we do, if you can not make a breakthrough in his talk with north korea. i don't know what action president would take but both sentiments in south korea, if the u.s. reopen negotiation with north korea and come up with some kinds of negotiated settlement with north korea, moon jae-in supporters, south korea should take an independence action. okay.
if i would say we are going through critical period. okay. and moon jae-in needs continuing support from his supporters. if president moon cannot deliver to his supporters, then he'll face political dilemma. so in a sense, he's complete right now, but even he'll be giving new year's speech, i think tomorrow, washington time, and i will say that he will continue to rely on the united states in solving the problem, okay, but i don't know to what extent he can really go along that line. in conclusion, i would say that his korean peninsula initiative has been bold, ambitious and timely. but he's encountering all those
challenges, facing numerous impediments, can you overcome them, i do not know, but it all depends on to what extent he can communicate with the united states and come up with a common strategy to solve the problem. okay. but i really hope that north korea would come back to the negotiation table. north korean grievances, now it is time for north korea to come back to the negotiation table and try to find out some kind of a negotiated settlement. the united states needs to be more flexible and realistic. okay. you cannot really, you know, pursue the strategy of denuclearize first that won't work. okay. tell you why north korea has responded by saying you permanently, and ir reverboth s
to come up with some kind of compromised approach, and also need to be more bold, okay. very interesting report under the name of "risk realism", and he was arguing that yes, we can set the goal of denuclearization, but an approach to north korea, we might consider adopting nuclear arms control paradigm, therefore, united states needs to think about, okay. signing peace treaty with north korea, faced in u.s. forces and return for north korea's denuclearization. and also push for the corporate reduction fund where american fund or international fund, we can send a very clear signal to north korea that we are really
seriously interested in denuclearization of north korea with a set of incentives, and also we got to think of our snap back sanction with it, and also if we propose some kind of working group with north korea, and snap sanction relief, maybe they can change north korean behavior, but of course you may not agree with, you know, ben jackson's idea, but we must have to think about it, and also we got to think about, you know, china, russia, and you know, sanction relief, revolution proposal. of course it is very one sided, the resolution talk about what kind of incentive we give north korea, it didn't talk about in return what kinds of corresponding measures north korea should take toward the denuclearization. therefore, it is flawed.
however, the u.s., united kingdom, and france can come with more creative idea, and amend the proposal in such a way to open up new brakes to the stalemate. we have a lot of things to think about. what i want to emphasize is let us not be too rigid. let us be flexible. let us not be driven by inertia, let us come up with creative ideas, beyond past independence. thank you. >> thank you, doctor moon. it's best now that we will move right into o p >> thank you, dr. moon. i think it's best now we'll just move right into our panel discussion. i think first i'll go to my left with doug bandough, a featured columnist in our national interest magazine, as many of you know the center for national interests publishes "the national interest" the largest public affairs web site in the
world, we regularly get 25 million page views per month, and are read, interesting fact, in north korea, from time to time. doug, a quick introduction, many of you know him, a senior fellow at the k a to institute, he has been to north korea not once but twice. >> it's a great pleasure to be here. i suspect when harry planned this they thought that they had ahold of the hottest topic in washington at the time, and that was the case through at least thursday afternoon, but at the moment, some of our policy makers have other things on their mind. nevertheless, korea is extraordinarily important, indeed if one thinks about the potential dangers, i think north korea is far more dangerous than iran for lots of reasons. it's an issue we really do need to take on, and there's a lot of what ifs as we look into 2020, what's going to happen, and one can imagine things going badly.
one can imagine the north being quite ambitious, and angry, and restarting tests. one can imagine the president reacting rather badly towards that, and moving us back towards fire and fury, and in the middle of a presidential campaign criticism from democrats and republicans, et cetera, it could become quite interesting and quite messy. but i think the challenge for us is how to move forward. you look at this, and you think what is the impact of iran, it's very hard to know what this is, but it's added another level of complexity to the issue, one could imagine that the president has one crisis too many and more willing to make a deal or the president might decide it's more important that he show that he's tough, and establish credibility, which would make him less willing to do so. does kim jong un view this as a moment to make a deal because he
perceives trump is weaker, or does he think he should push harder. a lot of ponderables that make this a dangerous moment. even if we had a president without the peculiarities of the current occupant of the white house, it would be a challenging time. given this president, it's going to be quite challenging. and i think that there are a number of challenges to any kind of a peace process. the first is a number of us i think believe that kim jong un, whatever he says and whatever the statement in singapore agreement has never really had a plan, has very little incentive, and frankly very little reason to give up his nuclear weapons. i would argue there are plenty of reasons why he probably won't. one could imagine domestically, family investment in the prose, one could imagine the question of status, no one on earth could pay attention to the country, absent the fact it's waving
nuclear weapons, tools of extortion. but most important, my favorite example, which john bolton seemed to think would be helpful is libya, i presume kim jong un has watched the video of what happened to the sad dictator who gave up his nukes and it was a rather difficult ending. the challenge is if you want to convince kim jong un to give up nuclear weapons, there's an awful lot to overcome. if it's possible, despite all of that, it's certainly going to take time. as far as we can tell, the president thought this was going to be almost instantaneous. i'm not sure if he thought they would show up and the nuclears would be loaded up to air force one, and he would fly them back. if we take kim jong un at his word, there's a danger in there. if we believe he's a negotiating partner, we have to listen to what he says. the singapore statement was structured. north koreans told me they did it intentionally, they want a better domestic, bilateral relationship, a better peace
regime in the peninsula, and then there's denuclearization and there's a sensible way of looking at things. if you want proof that you won't end up out on your ear in another regime change operation once you have given up your nukes, you would like to have evidence along the way, and that is likely to come over time with an improved relationship as opposed to believed after a couple of meetings and promises from the man who throughout the agreement with iran that you probably want a little more proof there. so it's hard to imagine that any circumstance that this would happen quickly, set aside the technical difficulties of trying to actually have disarmament of north korea, which i think anyone in the field knows would be extraordinarily difficult. i do think that the president deserves credit. that he's taken a step that many in the field think was foolish and did not want him to take. i think the willingness to break kind of protocol and to negotiate was extraordinarily important. i think the idea of not talking with your adversaries is quite
stupid. imagine the cold war, if he hasn't talked to the soviets, imagine a cuban missile crisis, if we didn't have embassies, and people talking to one another. one could argue one of the reasons we had a long war in korea is the fact we didn't talk to china, and china had security concerns with us approaching, and we're trying to send those concerns through india and elsewhere. programs, and i'm not saying definitely but perhaps if there had been direct communication, some sort of motive might have been worked out, there might have been something at least that could have stopped that but a failure to communicate with one's adversaries potentially dangerous ones is a mistake. the way the president looks at this in personal terms is another problem we have. the president views this as a matter of relationship. he believes kim jong un has made a promise to him, like a contract. he said, at one point, someone who went to law school, i have
to say that was a very thin contract. i would hate to take that contract into court and try to get specific performance. i think i would probably lose that case, but i think the president is looking at this in very personal terms as opposed to in a much larger policy sense, especially in the notion of what would you do if you were running north korea, and what are your interesting, and what are your country's interests, and even if you happen to like the president, and i have no idea what kim jong un thinks of him, but even if you like the president, those interests will take control. it's not a question of having met somebody and gotten along with him. another challenge that was brought up in dr. moon's talk is in certain ways, the relative impotence of south korea. south korea has the most at what's in stake of what's going on. this should be repeated. lindsey graham said the war won't be that bad because the war would be quote over there. the war would not be quote over here, unquote.
that does not cause my friends in seoul to feel very secure. the point is south korea has enormous amount at stake, because of sanctions, it's hard for the south to push ahead and the kind of cooperation that might help, you know, in dealing with north korea. so it really is a dangerous moment, i think, set aside in the middle east, it's very easy to see how this could go very badly. the president is almost alone in his initiative. hawkish republicans like lindsey graham don't like it. people like john bolton think we should have been bombing north korea years ago, and on the right he has a problem, and democrats who were concerned the president would start a war are horrified afraid he's going to give everything away. he's partisan politics, and very dangerous. in a presidential e elector, one can -- election, one can imagine him a potential humiliation of a test by north korea, intensified by democratic krcriticism of hi being a wimp, giving away
american interests. one could see him political pressures to respond in rather dangerous ways. and that i think you'll imagine fire and fury back, north korea worried about preemptive attack, one could play out scenarios that could be very ugly. the question is what's the future relationship with north korea. i mean, i think the danger here is that we don't move forward with some negotiating process, and since we go back to where we were or worse. i mean, where we were with the obama administration essentially was kind of giving up on diplomacy, not getting anywhere with sanctions, and continued north korean development of nuclear weapons. and that was not very satisfying because the north simply proceeded ahead, and built up its arsenal, and moved ahead on missiles. we're getting to a point on missiles, where we believe at some point, the north will be able to accurately target the american homeland. i don't think they're going to start a war.
i don't think his end game is to end up dying in a radio active in pyongyang. we have dealt with worse, even if half of international population died, the world would be socialist and it would come back, and china has a really big population, you know, i don't care: he said things like this. we have dealt with these people before. nevertheless, none of us wants to be in that world, so then the alternative to that presumably is a cold war, intensified sanctions. i don't have any reason to believe more sanctions will work. this administration seems to be a pa a, raul castro is still living presumably in active retirement in cuba, the russians still occupy crimea, the iranians have not given in but rather cause trouble. the sanctions don't seem to be
working, so the notion we're going to get somewhere with this path is a new cold war. more dangerous because the north will have more nuclear weapons, more accurate missiles and probably view itself as giving up on diplomacy as opposed to looking forward to that as a possibility. an alternative to that is preventative war, areas written on this, others have as well, to my mind that's madness, the hope that you can launch limited strikes and the north will sit there and not assume you're trying to decapitate the regime, and regime change is next would be an extraordinary game of chicken and people would pay the highest cost would be the south koreans. the great success after the korean war is to prevent a new war. what we don't want to do is have that, to lose that. which i think then requires us to find a way to move forward diplomatically, with all sorts of skepticism, like i said, i'm very skeptical about the ultimate outcome of denuclearization but that doesn't mean talking. it doesn't mean moving forward isn't helpful, and i think van
jackson is right, i think the paper is good. it's something i have argued for a long time, that ultimately denuclearization is a good thing but you can make progress even if you don't get denuclearization, a north korea with a capped nuclear arsenal, with inspectors in, with production gone, is a very different creature than one that potentially has unlimited production, unlimited ambitions in the future, you know, what we should be looking for are steps to move forward to try to cap the program, maintain the ultimate objective of denuclearization. but nevertheless, look for more limited agreements. we should be taking steps to try to reduce the perception of threat, and again, what the north koreans think, how much of this is a game to them, how much is real. it's hard to know. if i was living in pyongyang, i would have reason to fear the united states, let's be honest, the u.s. bombs, invades and occupies any country that it
desires, whether or not there's congressional authority or un authority. the u.s. commits regime change when it feels like it. we can all argue whether or not those are good policies. we have presidents that argue it's good policy but if you are on the country, you are not going to be very comfortable. in that world, then, one is going to have to take some steps to try to create assurances. i would suggest, for example, liaison offices should be a top priority. we should talk. i want channels of communication. i would have as part of that that we should talk about human rights. that if we're going to talk, we're going to talk about everything. that is something we should do. i think a peace declaration, you know, is something that is important. could be useful. ending the ban on travel, which i think is mindless. there are lots of places americans might not want to go. i work with an ngo, and we hope to be going to iraq. that trip is probably not going to happen anytime soon. the point is there are lots of places one should be cautious
about. we want people going to north korea in my view, north koreans coming here, and i think the notion of trying to formalize moratoriums on testing on their side, exercises on our side, we should be looking for mechanisms to move us forward, and long-term, coming up with larger proposals, in terms of decommissioning their production facilities, sanctions relief, et cetera. everything should go on the table, i have been struck by people who tell me they're concerned about nuclear weapons, at the same time, they say, but of course we should never offer to take u.s. troops away. that is they prefer to have a nuclear armed north korea with the u.s. entangled, than to get rid of u.s. troops if that gets us denuclearization. i consider that idea as being really very strange. that is the greatest teenadange my mind is weapons of mass destruction in the hands of north korea. frankly it's worth a lot to get rid of. we should be prepared to talk about anything on that.
that, you know, ultimately, the famous chinese curse, we live in interesting times, we have a double, triple dose, look at domestic politics, the middle east and northeast asia, i indicated at the start, i think north korea is far more important than iran in terms of the damage of any war, the potential catastrophic consequences if it goes bad, the impact on other nations, china, russia, japan, all involved along with the united states, the risk to u.s. territories, even if they can't hit the united states today, presumably they could hit guam, american forces on okinawa, et cetera, we have to get korea right. the great achievement after the korean war is we have not had another war. it's been 70 years. you know, we have not had a war that that is good. we want to keep that, and i think that requires us to move ahead even in difficulty,
working with south korea, and taking chances, i think that dr. moon is exactly right. flexibility, willingness to take chances, you know, these are things that are necessary, and i hope that the president can do this. i would like see support on both sides of the aisle of him doing this. thank you. >> thank you, doug, appreciate those comments. that was great. thank you. so next let's move to jessica lee. you may not know jessica but you may have seen her on tv recently. she has been doing a lot of media with everything going on with north korea. she was on cnn's wolf blitzer on friday, she's a senior research fellow at the quincy institute which is a think tank here in washington that focuses on realism and restraint. with that, i'll give it to jessica. thank you. >> thank you very much. good morning. is this on? okay. perfect. happy new year. it's great to be here. i thought i would start by giving you a quick intro on what the quincy institute for responsible state craft is and
then lay out some of my key ideas for the day. the quincy institute was founded actually just a few months ago here in washington, but, you know, our philosophy actually stems from john quincy adams who said in 1821, so almost 200 years ago, that america should not go abroad seeking to destroy monsters, and i think that sentiment is all the more appropriate and poignant at this very moment when we are considering -- thank you -- when we are considering matters of world and peace in the middle east and in east asia. i wanted to start off not as you typically do in washington which is to talk about south korea last almost as a footnote, and to begin this conversation with south korea, and what we can learn from the public sentiments in south korea with respect to the korea peace process and u.s./north korea diplomacy, because i think it's extremely instructive for folks in
washington. i had a chance to visit the dmz last september, and for those of you who have been there, or even been to north korea, you know as well as i do how serious, you know, the situation in the korean peninsula really is. you know, it doesn't really hit you quite well out here in washington. we live in a bubble, but when you go to the dmz and see what has taken place 70 years ago, the fact that my korean father, probably served, patrolling, sort of worked along those ways to monitor potential north korea provocation in the 60s when he was, you know, 18 years old, all of these thoughts came into my mind as i walked the peace trail that opened a few months ago. i want to start off by saying the situation as doug mentioned is so grave, and i think it really behooves folks in washington who make foreign policy to understand that war is
not a distant memory for people in the korean peninsula, and something that could actually escalate quite rapidly and some estimate that 300 people, 300,000 folks could perish within a matter of days, even without the use of nuclear weapons and conventional weapons alone. this is a tremendous problem. and something that i think as george mentioned, requires policy makers and experts to think more creatively and outside the box in order to resolve, so i want to cite just one survey that i read as an example of the type of lessons we can learn i think from the south korean public when it comes to thinking about the north korea issue. the korea institute for national unification survey found two months after the hanoi summit broke down after the u.s. and north korea, south korean people supported diplomacy and dialogue, and compromise, rather than confrontation. i find that striking, even when
interkorea talks and relationship were at its low point, there was consistent support, you know, within the south korean public for there to be negotiation and diplomacy. i think this is an incredibly important point for, again, washington, to take into account. i also think that framing the issue of north korea really matters. in this particular survey from last april, they discussed how whether you talk about kim jong un's regime, and whether south koreans supported or trusted supporting kim jong un's regime, the numbers were lower than when you talked about north korea's regime. i think kim jong un actually has a negative factor in, you know, the public perception of the issue, and i think that's really important because, you know, the way we talk about this issue could be unnecessarily antagonistic, and unconstructive, and so i just want to point that out in terms
of that survey. i highly recommend you read that. i want to turn to some of the recent polling and sort of the shift that's happening here in washington because you know, policy makers, we talk about north korea, tend to talk about it, you know, in very monolithic terms like everything is stagnant, and you know, all of these things are happening abroad, and we react. here in america, you know, our public perception about our place in the world is changing as well, and that's precisely why the quincy institute was founded. according to brown university's cost of war project, united states is on track to spend $6.4 trillion on war on terror by the end of this year in 2020, and unless, you know, u.s. foreign policy, and war on terrorism stops tomorrow, this projection is assuredly going to increase in the coming years, so -- but interestingly, the public kind of perception and sentiment on foreign policy is
definitely shifting toward more of a demilitarized less aggressive one. data for progress in its recent survey found that the majority of americans want a demilitarized american foreign policy based on cooperation, peace building and what was most significant was that this was particularly among young people, people 30 and under. so, you know, what does this all mean. i think, you know, for a long time, the foreign policy establishment in both the united states and south korea has been quite anti-democratic in the way it makes policy, the way it explains the rationale for its policies and i think it's time to change that. i think american people, particularly after the afghanistan papers emergence, are seeing that, you know, our government has a role in explaining how our resources and our troops and all of these things that make america, you
know, the premise of america, you know, all of these things over time have gone unquestioned, and i think this o pasty with which the foreign establishment functions is deeply problematic and should be changed. i want to now -- i'd like to kind of talk about sort of the notion of the u.s. kind of narrative on north korea more broadly. i do think that part of the challenge right now is that it is entirely driven by a threat, a threat centered over militarized posture, that really doesn't yield for much flexibility, as doug mentioned. that resulted in policy stance that, you know, are out of sequence, and has been extremely detrimental and counter productive to denuclearization
of the korean peninsula, so once of the first papers i wrote for the quincy paper, quincy institute was on, you know, the possibility of a short-term deal. can there be an agreement over a 12-month period where north korea begins dismantling nuclear facilities. he has already stated that he would like to do in exchange for partial sanctions relief, opening of liaison offices and declaring an end to the korean war that would take away some of the north korea's power in blaming the united states and the world for all of its challenges. so, you know, i think thinking in smaller terms and more kind of piecemeal phased approach makes perfect sense. it's logical, and you know, frankly is something that i think washington needs to pursue now. i think, you know, just to end, you know, as harry pointed out in the beginning, the recent events in iraq and the killing of iranian top commander,
soleimani, really, i think, you know, goes to show, again, that some things in foreign policy take a very long time, like diplomacy, but in some instances, change happens very quickly. and things are very volatile between the united states and north korea. so this is not an issue that deserves to be on the back burner. it should be pursued with rig yorigor and focus, especially now that the number two diplomat in charge o. state department. there's no reason for the issue to be languishing, this is something that both government in singapore has already declared something that needs to happen. the question now becomes, you know, what is the united states willing to do to provide clarity on the kinds of concessions and inducements that it would provide in exchange for steps toward denuclearization, which has estimated will take about 15 years. this is not something that could
happen overnight. we should not be naive as to think that this problem of north korea's nuclear development will go away in the matter of days or months. finally, i want to go back to the theme of opening the foreign policy kind of process by showing you -- by providing a specific example of how folks in the korean american community and sort of the broader expert community has dealt with this issue of the north korea nuclear threat, so from 2016 to 2019, i worked for a korean-american national organization and part of what i did, you know, at the council of korean americans was to educate korean americans of which there are nearly 2 million in this country about, you know, what is at stake for our community and for the korean peninsula with respect to north korea. and this work really emerged in 2017 during the firing period
because there was this sense of imminence that some sort of a preventative attack against north korea could happen and there was a lot of curiosity in korean media how they would respond to the attack. fast forward to today, there has been a lot of work done by a number of think tanks, veterans groups, you know, women's organizations, community leaders across the country and when you see the kind of things that they rally around, for example, hres 152 that congressman rowe hannah has presented. you look at that and say why is there public support for hres 152. and what do people in the united states want, because if you ask people my age, i'm 36, if you ask folks my age who are in the army or a marine, right, do they want war with north korea or do
they want a more sensible policy that will take us away from this dangerous path toward peace. and i think, again, as a democracy, the united states and south korea really, you know, we should listen to the public on this issue. and the public is always going to support a sensible pragmatic approach rather than an open-ended conflict. i will say, you know, one of the first tweets that i read this morning, and this is the last thing i'll say, one of the first tweets i read this morning was by a emergency room doctor who served in iraq, and he was recounting, you know, the types of people that came into his tent in iraq as he was, you know, in charge of american service members who were serving there, and fixing, you know, their injuries and so forth, and it was really, again, very sobering and eye opening to see what war does, and this
particular er said, look, it's not about what happens out there in iraq, it's about what we carry back home. the fact that we can't, you know, ever see, experience joy again after the horrors of horr. these are the kind of problems and challenges that america will have to grapple with because of our middle east policy and i fear and our policy as well if we continue on this path, so i will end there and answer any questions. >> thank you, jessica. just to jump off of jessica's point, i've done war gaming when it comes to a war conflict with north korea, if you're aware of of iraq or iran war, let me tell you, not too long ago, six months ago we redid this war game and 20 million people died. tokyo, pussan, seoul were all obliterated. so this is the stakes we have to think about and it is great that the panel came up with creative
solutions but let me play devil saez advocate. as moderator i'll ask the first question and then throw it to the audience. we all have a lot of creative ideas to move forward when it comes to north korea. it is all personified here on this panel. but i want to look at this from kim jong-un's perspective and as somebody who thinks and looks at policy, we have to put ourselves in his shoes. let me ask the panel this, if you are kim, does it make sense to wait until after the u.s. presidential election because i think there is motivation for donald trump after impeachment come out with bold proposals when it comes to north korea but considering the situation with iran and the united states did pull out of the jcpoa and quite a few treaties otherwise over the last year or two, is there a trust issue and an election issue. so i want to throw that to the panel and get your thoughts on
that and then jump to q&a. jessica if you want to start and move down the line. >> i'm under in illusion that this is -- these types of advice that we're giving come at a very challenging time. the president, as you noted, harry, have a lot on his plate. a lot of political considerations. as much as i'm the first to advocate such partisan considerations not be -- not meddle with foreign policy deliberations, we all know in washington that unfortunately more commonplace than before. so i think that there is definitely a trust issue and, harry, the way i would address that is by saying that is all of the more reason and i argue in the paper the national interest will publish shortly. >> they did already. >> so you could read any op-ed. but to your point, i argue that
president trump needs to address north korea and make it part of the state of the union address before the joint session of congress because there are so many other things that make it very challenging for outside observers to believe the united states is going to prioritize north korea. and so using that platform in the joint session of congress to say, look, here is what my administration has done. here is what i expect to happen in the next 12 months, this is not about partisanship or impeachment. this is about doing something right for america and for the korean peninsula. so do think there is an opportunity but he needs to seize it. >> penny for your thoughts, chuck. >> well, trying to assess what kim jong-un really wants i think is very difficult. i mean, as i always tell people, they are not insane but it is a strange political system with an awful lot of strange incentives. so trying to figure out what the power centers are and who he has to placate is not easy.
there is some good that we see about him which is, number one, he does care about economic development in a way that his father and grandfather simply did not. and if you read his speech to the plenary, the session they just held of the party, it is an important one. it is a big chunk of his talk. and he's talking about the problems they're facing and thin thinks they're trying to do and he wants sanction relief because he wants economic development. the second i think is that he's good at diplomacy. compare him to his father and grandfather. bringing his wife along is extraordinarily different from either father or grandfather and the role she plays in north korean society. the biggest change in visiting north korea between 1992, which is a long time ago, and 2017 was the fact that fashion has come to the women of pyongyang. not men. they're still very plain and a lot is because of her. the first lady is a fashion
plate in many ways. and this apparently has had -- and it strikes me these are little things that suggest to me that kim does see something more than just sitting around in pyongyang. that you see him in singapore and walking along the water front and stuff. so i think there is a hope that he wants something more. so i think that is advantageous. he might want to deal with trump on the theory if trump is a little desperate, let's face it, trump will say everything has worked in foreign policy and my reaction nothing has worked. if he wants to sell success to the american people, korea would be the one, an agreement, high-profile signing et cetera. so kim might think he'll get more out of it. and the difference with the jcpoa would be this is trump's deal, not obama's deal. we know that everything that barack obama does d is horrible, the worst thing in human history and presumably the president thinks rather better of his own efforts.
and the interesting question is if you wait and a democrat wins, who knows what the -- what kim faces. and it is not clear at all to me where the democrats could go with this. so you might be a little nervous, you talk about uncertainty, they might decide kind of like trump, you have to undo everything trump did. it is clearly a trust issue. i think the way you face the trust issue are small deals. you do something you promised to close up yongben and get relief on sanctions. the point is if you don't get what you thought you were going to get and trump changes it, you stop what you are doing, it is harder to do the all or nothing. if you don't have trust, you will not give up your nuclear rowe gam. if you have a process by which to establish trust, with a trump, maybe you can. i do think you could make progress in a way that you can't all or nothing. >> but it is not about how north korea would utilize american
presidential election and impeachment processing in the united states. if you look at the north korean media talks and whatever, what north korea's concern is how the american political stakeholders take advantage of north korea for domestic political gain. the north koreas think that the united states has been politically abusing and misusing north korea for the political -- politicians personal gains. that is one fundamental difference. if i were to say that the presidential election and impeachment and the -- and the process, it is -- for north korea. and second, if you read the recent report of the plenary session of korea worker's party you could clearly see two major reasons why north korea is angry about the united states and -- and number one the double dealing. united states has been chanting that we ought to have a
dialogue. at the same time, the united states has been pushing for the maximum pressures. for north koreans, the dialogue is nothing but the fig leaf to isolate and contain and strang you' -- strangual ate north korea. they don't have the trust. the second point which the report raised this issue of asymmetric reciprocity. the report said that, okay, we have done -- we suspended the testing, we've suspended the nuclear testing and demolished the nuclear west test, and what did we get? we get nothing. i look at strengthen the joint military exercise in training, and also united states has for the cutting-edge weapons to south korea and the united states impose more than 15 times
individual sanctions against north korea. therefore, we do not get anything for what we have done then. the reciprocity on the part of the united states, that has been important reasons therefore if you carefully analyze what north korea is saying, the answers could be found in there. build the trust. by avoiding double dealing. and second, more treatment. go back, as i point out in my talk, american initial approach has been that north korea you denuclearize and then we promise the bright future of your economy. that was in hanoi. but what happened in stockholm, after meeting the north koreans saying that you -- your hostile policy against us completely and
irreversibly and even making american uses, the policy debt threatened security of north korea and hampers north korean people's right to existence in development. that is a quite serious demand. but we have not been paying attention to it. and then washington will say the hostile policy, that is old business in town. it is habitual, a statement by north korea but you got to analyze what is in side that the north korea demand and we have hostile on the policy of north korea. i think there is the current problem. because like americans say, oh, we have about two houses from the united states, did north korea sell two houses? i don't think so. that's my answer. >> so i think we'll open this up
to q&a now. we have plenty of time. we have until 11:15 so a little ways to go. like i asked in the beginning, state your name and affiliation and i'll try to get to as many people as we can and we'll get it done. so tim shark from the nation and then to eric gomez from cato. >> you said tim sharp. from the -- magazine. i was going to ask that very question. i was going to ask that very question. a lot of americans don't even completely ignore year after year after year what they keep saying hostile policy. we spent a lot of time saying, oh, we don't -- they don't understand what we mean by denuclearization. what do we mean by denuclearization, et cetera? what do they mean, what do you see how they view hostile policy? and i would like the other people answer that too. specifically, because i keep saying over and over again, what do they mean if we withdraw that
hostile policy, what specifically are they talking about? >> very simple. can i use this microphone? okay. first, i -- >> i'll just hold it for you. go ahead. >> first,el imination of sanctions and that is the most biggest indicator of policy by the united states. and second political matters, normalize diplomatic ties. the setting up the liaison office and having embassies and that is the most important indicator of ending the hostile relations. the military side.
signing the -- treaty and the lasting peace treaty. and obviously suspended joint exercise and training. and not deploying steady weapons around the korean peninsula. all of those things constitute -- military, you know, site of not hostile policy. and finally making north korea a normal country in national economic system. thought only lifting sanctions but also allowing north korea to be member of imf, member of world bank, member of asia development bank. let north korea engage in normal trade. and financial transactions and allowing financial investment in north korea. i would say that is what north korea want. and very clear.
>> thank you. eric -- from cato. you don't have to answer this question because we could literally meet at the water cooler later and talk about. it i'm a big fan of van jackson's proposal of maintaining this long-term goal of denuclearization and having arms control with north korea in the interim. however, recently i had a chance to speak with a few south korean academics about this idea and they were very resistant to it because they viewed this as essentially you would accept north korea as a nuclear power in order to have arms control with it, and for the panel i want to ask what is that perception like in south korea and in japan if the united states moves to this smaller agreement, focusing on what you can realistically get done which i think is sort of the only viable way forward, does that create certain problems with u.s./south korea and u.s./japan
relations if they fear you are going to lock in a north korea capability and might never be able to get to denuclearization. >> would you like to start? >> that's a great question. it's certainly the case that having a maximum kind of ambiguity laid in strategy has been an intentional part of u.s. foreign policy to north korea because of this very question of a potential nuclear arms race or the question of what -- accepting north korea as a nuclear state would do to regional actors, including our allies. i think it's very hard to argue that north korea is not a nuclear state. the challenge and the resistance in washington to talk about arms
control, i think, is real. and i think in that sense what you pointed out from the south korean academic circle doesn't surprise me. i think there is a perception that needs to be taken into account that we cannot move on to talks of arms control yet. because we're still debating over north korea is allowed to have nuclear weapons or not, even though it already possesses the nuclear weapons unlike in the case of iran when we began jcpoa talks. so it is not a good answer to your question. but i would just say that it is something that i've heard here in washington and it goes to whether the united states is willing to accept north korea as a nuclear state and also accept some of the potential consequences of that including armament of nuclear weapons by south korea and japan. >> but -- >> go ahead. >> i think the problem is the reality is north korea has nuclear weapons. the choice is not should they --
should they have them or not have them. they have them. they do. we live in a world where multiple u.s. presidents have said north korea can thought have nuclear weapons. okay, thank you very much. they have them. and the reality is the u.s. adapts to reality which is, guess what, israel has them. it isn't what the nixon administration wanted but we weren't going to bomb them. and pakistan, which i think is a far more dangerous place in having them and india have them. we tried sanctions it didn't work. indeed the greatest proliferation was pakistan. they were sending plane loads of stuff all over and we allowed it because what was the alternative. that is our challenge. so if you look at north korea, we could huff and puff and say you can't have them and they will build 100 or 200 or whoever knows how many war heads or come up with something that prevents that with at least a hope that maybe over time, if there is
greater trust, if the peninsula develops in certain ways, et cetera, maybe you could convince them to get rid of them. i'm not overly optimistic that will happen but the reality is they do have them. so it is silly to say they can't have them. they do. so the question is what do you do in a world where they have them and the only way to get rid of them is war. and i just don't see that as being a good answer. i mean, i think the great achievement as i said before is that we haven't had war since 1953. to risk starting a horrendous horrific war to get rid of nuclear weapons i think would be far worse than accepting them. it is not a good answer. but i do think that is the reality we're dealing with. they have them. this is not 1992. we've gone along 30 years in the process of where they're at and i think that world is gone. >> but i think to make a distinction between disarmament
paradigm, the denuclearization paradigm are somewhat artificial and misleading, right. because ultimately for us we can have the goal of denuclearization north korea and the peninsula and in the process we could control the techniques and method. therefore it is quite misleading to make an artificial distinction between denuclearization paradigm and arms control paradigm. if you look at the van jackson report, a lot of ideas that he suggested is an integral part of the denuclearization negotiation. but there is a fundamental -- assumed difference that if we recognize the north korea power at the status quo and if we have arms control for the sake of
status quo, that could be very dangerous for us. but for us, it is very clear, we won't have a nuclear-weapon free korean peninsula. we could adopt techniques and method if they could be complementary rather than reconcilable. >> george, i have you next. >> thanks, george bee bee, vice president for the center for the national interest. i want to ask about an episode from past history and asked to what degree it might provide some insights into how we might be creative in dealing with the problem in the korean peninsula today and that is europe. in the 1960s, there we had a situation where we have a divided continent. we had two hostile military blocks facing one another. nuclear weapons, large
conventional forces deployed against one another. and we had a soviet leadership at time that wanted a couple of big things. one, it wanted recognition of soviet control over eastern europe by nato and the transatlantic community. and, two, it wanted access to technology and trade that would provide economic benefits to the soviet union and the soviet block. neither of those two things were things that the west wanted to grant to the kremlin. we, in turn, wanted to talk about things that the soviet leadership didn't want to talk about, including human rights, democratic governance, environmental issues. and we struck what was in effect a very artful bargain in
creating what was then called the conference on security and cooperation in europe which under a very broad umbrella aallowed us to deliver some things in compromised form that satisfied at least some of what the kremlin wanted, in agreeing to some principles which in effect recognized de facto soviet borders in the east but we also enabled a discussion about broader issues that critics here in the united states said were in effect unmeaningful. these were simply paper agreements that would have no affect on the human rights situation. freedom of the press. democratic governance and that part of the world. in retrospect, however, this had a transformative effect. it not only enabled talk of confidence-building measures, arms control measures that had a big impact on the security situation in europe, it also
began processes that ultimately led to peaceful evolution there in the region. my question is, is the situation in the korean peninsula somewhat, at least, analogous to this problem today, and, two, are there things that we could apply in the current situation building on our experiences from that period that might have have an impact on how we go forward today and what might that look like? >> i think that is a very excellent point. in fact, in the final act of 1975, the most important benchmark for the 1992 beijing agreement on nonaggression and exchanged corporations on the korean peninsula, therefore south korea government still support the basic agreement because it contains military --
and it was in both human and socio based so in south korea, kim jong-un and the president and president moon jae-in, they all support the process and they have been trying to emulate the process in the korean peninsula. and particularly 1992 basic agreement is the most -- in an example of how we are learned from european process of cbms. >> i think that is an excellent question. i think one of the reasons why you want to have a diplomatic dialogue with the north is to hope to get to something like that. the critical thing is we did talk to the soviets. a lot of times it was rather ugly conversation but it was an important conversation and i do
think that that process you're talking about, the discussion about human rights, at a point it turned out they were embarrassed that these sort of things mattered to them. i think that is what, for example, you could imagine trying the same with the north on the idea that we want regular conversations but everything is on the table. that is we don't only talk about what you want, we talk about what we want, that will include human rights. i think emphasizing that is basically you get and we get. i think that is useful. i think anything that we could do to try to open them up more. i do think one of the differences of course is especially with the eastern block, some of the country is more open to others. most of them have west german tv. the knowledge base within east germany was radically more and to some degree with hungary and given the difference between the system and the access in a what way that north korea is much more isolated, we should do things and that is why the travel ban is stupid. it is not to say tourism will
transform north korea, but we want more people and want to any way we can to open things up a bit and get more ideas and have contact. so i think that is a useful model. it is a lot different with multiple states. a lot of complexity there. but i think that is right. and certainly the south has tried. but i think that with kim we have a better chance of it. because i think he's more open to diplomacy and the idea of inviting him to things and bringing him into things gives himself if he's agreeing to some of these and the hope for economic development, too, we have leverage with him in a way that i don't think we had with dad and granddad. they weren't interested and much more willing to close down as opposed to try to open up some. >> just to add to that -- >> go ahead. >> just to add to that i would say that something that came in my mind as you were talking is to the degree in which the u.s. state department has been gutted in recent years and we don't have senior officials and really
an army of diplomats, right, whose only job is to come up with smart nuanced strategies for tackling issues like north korea and to do it with the diplomacy and the skill that is required to tackle this massive challenge. we just don't have that. we have, instead, a massive defense department that is being asked to do all kinds of things related to foreign policy that should be left to the state department. and so i do think that whether it is the -- the example you provided in the case of europe and the soviet union or perhaps vietnam and the normalization between u.s. and vietnam in the '90s that were led by smart, thoughtful people at the state department who said this is what that would look like and these are the steps we can take and really pushed it forward. i think that is the kind of expertise that we need and i wonder if we have that and we're up to the challenge in the current configuration at state. >> we have a few more minutes
for a few other questions. please, sir. mic is coming over to you. right in front of you. >> thank you. young ho kim, george washington university. i think the washington consensus, if you will, is just trying to adapt a package of policy ranging from sanctions and deterrence and diplomacy, no illusion of denuclearization in the near future, but when it comes to the policy prescription, we have very diverse views. limited short-term goal as we discussed today. but also coercive diplomacy or maximum pressure or 2.0. and i think one of the reasons for that is different understanding of where kim jong-un wants to lead his country, especially after completing his so-called nuclear
deterrence and my question is do we have enough serious and informed debate on this, especially when it comes to the north korean economy? >> i'm not american. >> well, this is, of course, one of the more penetrable countries in understanding fully. we don't have a real window in the way would if we have 70 years of diplomatic presence. i mean, this is not one where you call up your local contacted and say, hey, what were they talking about in the pollet bureau last week. so i think it is a very difficult one and i do think we try to track change and clearly some reform process going on. you could argue about how serious is it, where is it going. we shouldn't have any illusions, kim is no humanitarian. this is not gorbachev in waiting. this is a man willing to execute anybody in his way including his
uncle. we should approach this with very -- with a lot of skepticism but also with a sense there is an opportunity here. and i would say we should have a lot of skepticism for past policy. show me an example where max pressure has worked. i just don't see it. it is useful as part of a process if you give them options and getting rid of it, which seemed serious. if you tell them get rid of your nukes and now we'll give you sanctions relief and if i was him i would say you're absolutely nuts. as opposed to we're going to force you to do what we want no matter what. so i think our policy in the past doesn't strike me as being helpful and if anything has failed, let's look at the last 20, 30 years. we've tried a lot of different things. none of those have quite have worked and is there something new we can do and we're struggling with that. i don't claim what i proposed will work but i think it is better than what we've tried in the past and a hope to it and try something different. so i think the president has
given us a moment. despite the criticism, i think there is an opportunity that we have not had and we don't want to lose it or give it away without doing everything we can to exploit it. >> i think that's good. >> okay, just let me -- i don't know about washington debate. but obviously if you look at the report from the plenary session in central committee works party in the pause lines and one is we should expect retribution protracted and second we should come up with a front break through -- and third, there will be major trade between self-reliance and sanctions. sanction we continue and sanction will be intensified therefore we should be ready for
self-reliance and self-sufficiency. in order that we should make more investment in science and technology and human resources. and also even though the report didn't mention about it, i could clearly see north korea attempt to strengthen the diplomatic and economic ties with china and russia. and i think that we'll be the most important part of north korea economy. and unless there are some kind of corporation in russia, i don't think that north korea has any chance for this based on the self-reliance and self-sufficiency. it is much worse than those in the mid 1990s therefore let us wait and see. but what is really so sad is this, if you look at his april 20 speech, 2018, he made it clear he's now shifting to economy first from the
simultaneous pursuit of nuclear weapons and incoming from pyongyang to sang byung but if you look at the report obviously he's going back to the pyongyang line. there is really where i'm concerned. >> we have time for maybe one or two more questions. we have about ten minutes. let's take us. please. coming right over to you. >> thank you. emanuel pastridge from the asia institute. so when in my discussions with my friends here in washington about security issues, there are two major topics that come up every day and i get emails every day, they are nuclear war and climate change. i noticed climate change was never mentioned in discussion about the korean peninsula, although the threats of rising
oceans and spreading deserts could be claimed to be the primary threat both to north korea and south korea. and it also offered a tremendous opportunity since the united states shifted away from militarism and military budgets and referenced that in response both in mitigation and adaptation, it could transform both our concept of security and open up a window for dialogue both with north korea, but actually also and the more important issue which is a regional peace regime architecture including japan and china which i guess from my personal feeling, the greatest concern is not the risk of a nuclear north korea, but rather the risk of a arms race between japan and china which would dwarf anything that north korea could possibly threaten. so your thoughts on the question
of climate change. thank you. >> thank you for that question. one of my jobs at the quincy institute in the east asia program is to come up with concrete actionable ways that we can address climate change, particularly with respect to cooperation with china which we believe is vital. this is all much easier said than done as we all know and it is going to go require a lot of concerted effort and thoughtful leadership on beijing and washington's part to make a real change and make a real difference on the issue of climate change. i do think that -- as i noted in my remarks earlier, there are data points and survey results that show that particularly younger folks in this country care a great deal about climate change. it is the same reason why when young people hear that we
authorized $700 billion through the pentagon to in part fund endless wars, they're appalled and the reason is because we're going to be living and paying off the debt and the borrowing of the money by our government to address these problems. much longer than folks who are older than us. so of course this is an issue that matters more to us, to me, my daughter, et cetera. so i do think part of the way we talk about climate change is really giving more of a platform to the folks who are in the earlier and mid-career stage, give them a platform to come up with creative solutions on climate change, because, guess what, we feel it more urgently than anyone else. so i think that is something that is missing. i think in general when we talk about climate change, you probably know this because you work here in washington, but it is one of the functional issues that some of the regional kind of organizations and bureaus in our federal agencies miss.
so there is not a lot of coordination and cross pollinization in terms of expertise and sharing of resources and attending conferences and coordinating as a whole of government that the issue of climate change and i think any serious conversation about clooimt change need to include china and all the more reason that north korea issue has to include china and some of the regional actors. this is not a problem that the united states could swoop in and solve and get out. all of these issues are far more complex than we imagine i think here in d.c. >> i think it's an important issue. it is one that is very hard to address with a country like north korea ab sent dealing with the military security issues. i've never had a conversation in north korea where they brought this issue up and suggested it is something of major concern. i think in many ways regime preservation from the standpoint of kim is focused on military
kind of issues as opposed to environmental. and given the stage of development, my perception is environmental policy is not high at the moment. does he care about science and technology. so there is i think that is a way in. but it strikes me unless we're able to make progress on the other, this would be useful to bring in if you start making progress on the other. you're talking about expanded cooperation. if we get to a point where we could move just beyond debating sanctions and military deployments, i think this is the kind of thing that would come in, in a regional cooperative way that could be very useful and i think that is where state, i presume, would be the one to take the lead, not pentagon. but i think we have to get there and don't think we're there yet but it is a useful idea to have in the back of ones mind as a break-through if you get there. >> i agree. in a sense i disagree. because north korea is paying a lot of attention to the climb change and eco ladies and gentlemen c-- for eco logical
issues too. i attended a conference in december which was mostly the united nations and they're talking about the micro greed, self-sustaining energy sources. that in the past they talk about really so-called normal greed. linking the nuclear power plant and thermal power plant and kind of things. but north korea did a complete change in they're talking about the village-based micro greed to sustain and energy sufficiency. and, look, number one priority of kim jong-un's wife is what? forestation of -- of north korea. so-called -- the number one project. there have been effort but the problem is against sanctions. to have such micro greed, they have to -- invitation of certain -- in north korea that
sanction blocks it. the frustration and the so-called plantation and houses and whatever, then they have to be invitation of shaw and et cetera and again broke by sanctions. therefore if there is a continuing sanction, there is no hope for climate -- fighting climate change -- against climate change in north korea. they have to be more flexible thinking about the sanctions. >> i think we're just at time. i would like to thank dr. moon and doug and jessica and we'll see you back at our next panel at 11:30. thank you, everybody. [ applause ] [ panel concluded ]