tv MSNBC Joy Reid MSNBC May 13, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
it to yuse the secondary sanctions against the chinese banks to stop them from propping up pyongyang, and there have to be told according to the experts, you have a choice, either continue financing north korea, or trade in dollars in the banking system internationally through the rest of the world. north korea or the rest of your economy, because these banks are obviously part of the world economy, and if we are shutting them down at the mid level range and then keep steping up the pressure as we did with iran, that will get china's attention. it is a tough strategy, but many people believe it is the only non-military strategy. >> so as a it is standing now, and if i am understanding this correctly, one of the reasons that china and japan are especially china is not more motivated militarily or in any way to put a stop to all of this or at least slow it down is money? >> it is more that china is
afraid aftera afraid of refugees overrunning the borders and afraid of u.s. and japan becoming strengthened and potentially a unified korea with the u.s. as a major player. so as long as north korea, this rogue regime is on the border, it is continuing to prop it up as a checkmate against the u.s. enemy in the area, and so unless they take it more seriously, and begin to see the nuclear threating right next door, they are not going the doing anything, and the only way to pressure china is to pressure china economically. >> andrea mitchell, thank you. and please stay with us, because we with have much more ahead. i want to recap the breaking news that we are talking about at the top of the hour. north korea has fired sunday an unidentified projectile from a
region in the south coast, and this is according to south korea military, the nature of the projectile is not clear right now. a south korean military official said this earlier today, and the news agency there reported that the projectile launch appeared to be a ballistic missile and we do not know the exact nature of the missile just yet. hance nicke hans nickels is at the pentagon and what can you add to this? >> we are still awaiting a official assessment and normally they are very quick to judge whether the test was a success or failure in immediate turn. andrea made a important point that every time north korea t t tests, they are learning something, and this is a risk-averse culture under the current political leadership so they take a great deal of effort before they launch and the fear and concern of the pentagon is that every time they do, even if it is blowing up shortlyf a t e
takeoff, like the last one, they will pick up something, and get closer to the goal of having a long-range ballistic missile to reach the western part of the united states if not the central united states, so we don't know if it is successful, and we don't know how long it flew or what direction it flew. and also noting that this is the second test of the ballistic missile of north korea since the mar-a-lago summit, and you have heard some talk from the pentagon that after trump and president xi of china got together and there was more pressure from the chinese on the north koreans, and the north koreans were starting to behave. that theory does not seem to be holdinging a lot of water right now, right? this is the second test, i believe in a week basically and it was last friday they had the last one, and they are, friday our time, and saturday night our time, and they are of course 12 hours ahead, so the idea that the chinese have some sort of secret key to solve this riddle, it does not appear to be the case. i would also stress that the
military options that andrea sort of rightly correct put this the right contextt is that what is concerning iing the people a the pentagon is that diplomacy won't work. every time you ask somebody about what is the strategy on northkorea, you ask what is the plan, and they say diplomacy. and the thing that is concerning folks at the pentagon is that if you have any sort of military action, there are over 4,000 artillery pieces of the 48th parallel, and andrea mentioned the 38,000 troops there, and there are also 300,000 americans and close to 30 million residents of seoul all within range of 4,000 individual pieces of artillery with thousands of rounds which is challenging, and you could have world war ii level casualties. >> and so earlier, you said that you were talking about how they considered it a success or a
failure. how do they decide whether today's launch because success or a failure, and how far have they come say in the past year learning from everything? >> well, they have made it into our geography on this has gotten better, but they have made it within japan's economic zone which is within 200 miles of just west of japan, and so in the sea of japan. nothing within japan's actual waters which is the international waters starting 12 miles off of the border. that is what they have done in the past six months, and i think that the most successful one was in december. don't think of success as a binary question, as failure or success. and sometimes they fly farther or sometimes they detonate right after they are launched, but what they have not been able to do is to do the reentry, and that is a big issue on icbm, the
intercontinental ballistic missiles which is the big one that people are concerned about and they are pretty far from tha that, but the issue u with the icbm and even though the threat is not imminent, the moment it is imminent, it is too late. that's the challenge that, and the puzzle that they are trying to work through at all levels of government, the white house, the national security council and the pentagon and the state department. the state department is very much involved in all of this. >> well, thank you. please stay with us. let's bring back colonel jack jacobs, military analyst, here at msnbc, and we have heard from a couple of people, and andrea mentioned as well, that military interjengs vengs in north korea would be a mired mess. can -- intervention in north korea would be a mireded mess. can you explain that? >> well, it would be extremely difficult to do it. and one of the most important principle of war is the principle of the objective. that is to say, what is it that you are trying to accomplish before you make a decision to employ any resources, you have
to decide what it is that you are trying to do. trying to dissuade the north kore koreans from continuing on the path in a measured kind of way is fraught with difficulty. they have all been enumerate and andrea mentioned the enormous dispersion and fragmentation of the force and the fact that a lot of it is reare vetted and underground and difficult to find and hit because there are so many of them, and in so many places, and so, it would be extremely difficult to do a surgical strike to stop the north koreans from doing what they are doing, and then while you are attempting to do that, you are going to be having a retaliatory strike. seoul is extremely close to the demilemilitarized zone, and is completely and totally at risk as is the nearly 30,000 american tro troops. so trying to conduct, trying to influence north korea in a military way is nothing is
impossible, but it is, this is as close to impossible as possible, unless what you are willing to do is to commit the entire force of the united states, and overwhelm north korea, and that is not going to happen. we don't have the political will for it among other things. so, it is trying to conduct any military exercise in order to change, change north korea's course of action becomes really impossible. >> the south korean news agency, jack, they are just saying that it is a ba lllistic missile. tell us about the different kinds and what they all mean. >> well, i mean, there are short and medium-range missiles, and ballistic missile has the capability of hitting a specific point, and follows a ballistic trajectory. in orderer for this to -- and they are testing them all of the time as we have heard, and every
time they conduct the test, they learn something even from the failure, and what is the most important thing from the military standpoint of using a ballistic missile for aggressive purposes is to hit a specific point in the target, and that is requiring a wide variety of thing, and not the least of which is the accomplishment of sufficient range to get to the target and telemetry, and the guidance of where to go. and it is this bit of it that north korea is attempting to get to as quickly as it possibly can. and then it has the additional problem of trying to miniaturize nuclear warhead so that it can be delivered by a ballistic missile. so what north korea's doing right now is following several
developmental tracks, and one is to develop a delivery vehicle, and the other is to miniaturize the nuclear weapons to get it on top of a ballistic missile. you hear various estimates of how long it is going to take the north koreans to do this, and i have heard as little as 12 months and as long as five years and the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. but the longer that north korea is permitted to test without being restrained in any way, the quicker it will get to, to its objective. andrea mentioned something of significance that is worthy of note. i talked earlier about how important it was to be together with the chinese in order to influence north korea, and
andrea mentioned that because of the chinese so reluctant to exert any influence on the north koreans that we may in this administration in particular may seriously consider strictures on china's economic restrictions on china in order to force them to take some action. in any case, this is a dangerous situation, and north korea's continued development of miss e missiles is going to make things much more difficult and complicate and certainly difficult to solve in the near futu future. >> thank you, colonel jack jacobs. and joining us now, from the north korean peninsula, and you have been hearing what colonel jack jacobs was saying, but as this is going on for a long time, and as mentioned several times, these are never a huge success, but you know they are learning one or two things from the failure, and know nag it is
a future they are sticking with, is there any kind of discussion about the missiles shield in that region? >> well, there has been, and in fact, starting in the obama administration and continuing through the trump administration there is a high altitude defense system that is being implemented along with the south korean allies. so this is a relatively new development, and it is not fail-safe, but it is certainly not in place yet, but it does provide some measure of odefense against, you know, north korea's continuing missile capabilities. >> and we are hearing now that korean president moon is going to hold a national security meeting elected last week, and part of the platform was to have more dialogue with north korea, and possibly that this could change that. do you agree with that? >> well, i think that it is clearly a pretty stunning rebuke by the north koreans to president moon's offer.
again, it is, it could not be clearer that the north koreans have very little interest in negotiating the the end of their ballistic missile or other weapons program. you can sit down to have negotiation s negotiations to them, but it is not going to lead to the outcome that we would like to have, and there are reasons to continue to have dying log and meetings w-- dialogue, and meetings with the north, but we have to be cle clear-eyed about what is possible. >> there are agreements here and there, and we know that with china's upcoming silk road summit that they are talking about with what they want to build through europe, and et cetera that north korea was invited or planning to at the end something. we understand that there are conversations going on. but you mentioned diplomacy, and it is possible? >> is diplomacy possible? >> in that are region, yes. >> again, you have to be very
clear what the goal is. if you want to engage the north koreans economically, i am sure they will be happy to sit and listen to what you have to offer. but if you want to end their ballistic missile or the nuclear weapon pros gragram, the answer clear, and i don't know the phrase in korean for groundhog day, but the fact is that the north korean are regime under the son, the father and the grandfather have been doing these programs for half a century. this is a national effort that has gone on for decades, so it is very unrealistic, and impossible actually to think that we can negotiate away the end of these programs on the ballistic side and the nuclear weapon. >> thank you, hans nichols,. we will take a quick break and when we come back, much more on the breaking news out of knot korea. ♪ ♪ korea. oknot korea. rknot korea. northknot korea. not kor t korea. t
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i'm milissa rehberger here at msnbc, and we are continuing to follow breaking news out of north korea which earlier today, 5:30 their time launched a ballistic missile just west of pyongyang and this is coming from courtney kub, e, a u.s. official, and we are not certain if it is a success or failure as assessment is continuing on. and joining us now is gordon, and gordon, what are you seeing going on? >> i believe that from the south korean elections, they got the candidate for president in they wanted moon jai-in, and they got
assistance to the north, and it is significant that the north koreans did not test the missile before the election, and they did not want to upset the chances of moon jai-in winning, and now that he won, they are trying to get the south koreans to the bargaining table north korean style. if you want to talk to south kor korea, you pick up the phone, but that is not the way that the north koreans do it. >> and that is counter intuitive to my mind that you have a neighbor who is willing to say, let's soften up our relations, and let's have some negotiations, and going back to talking, and that is a positive thing apparently in his opinion. he did not do this last week, as you mentioned, but he did it today. and now, it almost seems from an outsideer that is looking like he is thumbing his nose at his new neighboring president. >> well, i agree with you, and i
think that exactly the same way that you do, but that is not the way that the north koreans have treated the south koreans or other members of the international community for instance. in the north korean way of thinking, they believe that if they are intimidating the neighbors or intimidate the prospective dialogue partners, they will give the dialogue partners an incentive to actually sit down with the north koreans and give the north koreans something. so it is a different way of thinking, but nonetheless, that is the way that pyongyang has approached all of the attempts to start negotiations. >> so the question there is, if this is aiming to get what they want, what do they want? >> well, i think that they want a couple of things. short term, they do want a relief from sanctions. north kr north korea has a diplomatic initiative about two weeks, about one week old where they are trying to get the u.n. to lift the sanction, and the u.s. to lift sanctions, and longer
term, the goal of north korea has remained unchanged. and that goal is to the destruction of the south korean state, because the north koreans believe they have the right to rule the entire peninsula, and so they have the short term and long term strategies, and they think that this is the way to accomplish them. >> what do we know about the nuclear capabilities? >> well, they have detonated, and they have had five tests. they now have buried a device at their test site in northeastern north korea and they have sealed the tunnel and completed all of the the initial preparation, and the only thing that they are waiting for is kim jong-un
to make a political decision of when to actually set the thing off. so at this point -- >> and let me just get that -- sorry, to interrupt you sh, butt me get that straight. are you saying that they have a nuclear weapon that is ready and set to go? >> yes. >> specifically not -- >> and yes, with the telemetry.
>> and yes, it is 15 or 20 weapons at at this particular time, but we also thinkidly inc producing enriched uranium to give them perhaps two or three or fourer or five weapons a year. so they are in a position to produce, develop the weapons at an industrial scale. >> so what do we know about the systems? how far can they go perhaps to the united states? >> well, with a missile, i think that they have got at least three missiles that can reach the lower 48 states, and the taepadong 2. some
of them have not been tested at all, but all based on the proven technologies, and in the absence of the american cyber sabotage, they probably work. but the one thing they cannot do at this time is to put a nuclear warhead on the longest missile and that is three, four, five
years down the road, but we believe they can mate a nuke to the nodong missile to cover all of the korean peninsula, and all of japan. >> okay. well, that is terrifying for that region, and so we won't negotiate, and he won't, and you know, he is treating his new somewhat friendlier neighbor in this way. what is the future of any kind of negotiation? what, you know, we know apparently where some of the weapons are, and apparently incredibly hard to sabotage, and so if there is no negotiation, and the weapons are incredibly hard to sabotage, what are the option options? >> well, if we decide to not go to negotiation route, and we have seen president trump start some initiative s s in that reg, and we know that the south koreans want to negotiate with the north korean, and the chinese position has been consistently been to have talks, but if we don't go that way, really, the only other possible
solution is sanctions on north korea and hopefully getting china to help. but if we can't get china to help, then the united states need s needs to start imposinging sanctions on china and china has been providing ballistic missile technology in all probability, and we know that they have been providing components and semi processed missile materiel to the program that is obviously unacceptable to us. so there is a lot of negotiation right now between washington and beijing, but eventually, president trump has to make a decision that if the chinese can't solve it, he will, as he has told everyone, he will solve it himself, and that is going to be extremely ugly. >> i askcolonel jack jacobs thi before, and i will ask you again, this is the on going threat for some time, and any discussion of having a real missile defense system in that
region? >> we have the terminal high altitude missile system deployeded on the korean soil, and that is two weeks now. and the new president of south korea moon jae-in wants it removed and this is a matter of contention between washington and seoul for some time. the united states is quite effective with missile defenss s if we move the aegis missile destroyers off of the coast of north korea, but also, we don't have much in the way of the effective defenses in japan and elsewhere and we have patriot batteries, but not really the best stuff that we have. and in protecting the american homeland, we have 30 intercepters in alaska and california and they are particularly unreliable, and maybe successful is tests 50% of the time when they know that a test is going to occur, and in the real life situation, it is going to be much lower probability of success. so only the things that we really have that work are the thadd system in south korea, and the navy's a aegis system that
we can deploy off of the coast of south korea. >> given the fact that south korea is the easiest and the most direct target why would moon jai-in, and the most e cent president choose to remove a system like that? >> well, it is a great question, baecause the chinese are very upset at the thadd system for a number of reasons, because they believe that we can turn the knobs on the system to use it to defend against the chinese missiles, and china obviously does not like that, and also, china doesn't like the obvious show of disoobedience on the part of the south koreans. and so china has been employing sanctions against south korean businesses, and those sanctions have hurt the south korean economy, and also moon jai-in believes generally speaking that a more positive approach towards both china and north korea are go ing the work. i don't agree with that, but that is the way that he and the supporters are looking at it, because they believe that the
korean nationalism is the most important force in the world, and not the defense of the south korean homeland in a conventional way. so it is just a very different approach that he has, and it is 180 degrees from our approach. >> it is curious, because, you know, so often including today, we have found out about this through a south korean news agenc agency. have we come any further, or anybody else come further in predicting where this is with anymore accuracy and where it is, and when? >> no, we have very little ability to predict when they are going to test a ballistic missile or for that matter detonating a nuke. we can see from space when they make the preparations at the test site in northeastern korea, but sometimes the north koreans have waited a year before setting off a device. and so, it is very difficult for us, because this is a political decision made by north korean
leaders and we can't look into the mind of kim jong-un or his father kim jong-il when he was alive. so it is difficult for us, and we learn about it when ut okit occurs. >> what about the possibility of a cyber attack that we were rumored to use in iran and elsewhere, and is north korea in any way vulnerable to a bug or some other kind of scyber attac that has been used in the past? >> well, "the new york times" reported that the united states had employed scyber sabotage against north korea, and there is no firm indication that we have done that, and also, there is no firm indication of succ s success. but i suspect that we have indeed tried it. north korea though, because it is isolated is much less vulnerable to cyber attacks than for instance the united states is. so, if it is something that has been successful, it is a feat,
but nonetheless, a cyber attack, and cyber sabotage only works to slow down the program, and it is not going to end the program. it is only going to give us more time to settle what has been very difficult, and which no ed a ministration a has found the keys to auk cessful conclusion. >> gorgon ch adon chang, very g, and we hope you will stay with us as well. and we will be talking to our reporter inside of neighboring china. we will be right back. (vo) more "doing chores for mom"
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thithis is the new new york.e? think again. we are building new airports all across the state. new roads and bridges. new mass transit. new business friendly environment. new lower taxes. and new university partnerships to grow the businesses of tomorrow today. learn more at esd.ny.gov i'm milissa rehberger with breaking news out of north korea where we know that at 5:30 sunday their time, as they are a day ahead, they did launch a ballistic missile north of pyongyang and it traveled 400 miles. we don't know yet if it is considered a successful launch
overfailure, and it is being assessed. jackie frayier is there in beijing with more on the launch. jan n jan jannice. >> there is a sharp reaction from the leaders who have long wanted north korea to stop the program, and also for the u.s. to stop military exercises in south korea to have all sides move to talks. and there was a suggestion that in the last couple of weeks there would be a opportunity, and president trump said that he would meet with kim jong un under the right condition, and also, the new president sworn into south korea, where he said that he would be willing to meet with north korea if the conditions were right. and just the past couple of days north koreak coed the same thing, and one of the top diplomats in the united states saying that the right conditions
could predicate talk, and so this is seeming strange timing certainly with the tests of of the new president of south korea moon jae in who was sworn in just last wednesday morn, but also a test for china. this is the opening day of a massive summit here that is something that has been touted by the chinese as part of the going global strategy -- >> are you talk about the silk road summit? >> -- and xi jinping is going to be very annoyed with the fact that north korea is trying to throw it off track, and so that with 1,500 delegates here from some 130 countries and 29 heads of state. so this is going to be very much an embarrasst for china. >> i believe what you are talkinging about is the silk road china summit where they want to have a build up of the trade route, and north korea was invited to that, and something that many people took exception to, and including the u.s. even after donald trump called kim jong un a tough cookie, and a
north korean delegate said it is possible to meet at the white house if relations were correct. the point of what i am saying, and that you were just saying is that relations with the u.s. korea, and also, the relationships with everybody in the region are fraught with difficu difficulties, cultural, military and even monetarily. >> well, there is also the issue of the missile defense system. this has been an ongoing issue for all sides involved. just in the last few days, north korea released what it said was satellite imagery of the terminal high altitude areas of a system that had been deployed with the u.s. in south korea, and that is construed as a very bold move in itself. to say that, look, we are wa watching wh you are doing, and is not without controversy.
moon jae in said that he is open to negotiation, and as far as he is concerned, it is not a done deal and one of the issues that he campaigned on. moon is a liberal and changes the entire political landscape of what has been for the better part of the last decade of a kon scon ser vative decade. and the so moon saying from day one that thadd is not a done deal, and that he is open to negotiation with the u.s., but it is also a message to china who has been fiercely opposed to the missile defense system from to get go, and the previous guests were talking about the soft sanctions that have been implemented to hurt south korean businesses, and so this is very much an issue for the south korea, and the thing that goes to the economic orbit in this part of the world is very much in line with china, and so in trying to negotiate some sort of arrangement with thad, the, south korea is conscious of the optics with china, and so there is the sense that it is not
necessarily a done deal and that ch china is exerting that economic pr pressure in order to realize the goal, and the goal is to have thadd removed outright, and they see it as a threat to their own strategic balance. they are looking at the long game, and seeing thadd deploied in south korea and ill proved missile defense employed in japan, and they are seeing the formation of the strategic alliance in the region that is all aligned against china. so that is why they will continue the push, and in every way possible whether it is soft sanctions or whether it is more vocal opposition to the new government, itself, and these are a lot of the dynamics that are happening behind the series of provocations that we can continue to see from the north. >> and janis, as is always the case in situations like this, we are talking about what the governments are thinking, and what the governments are doing. have you had any sort of intel of what people in china and p s
possibly south korea are thinking about all of this considering they are right there in the region looking at all of the horrifying images know ing that they could be a target? >> well, in china, the public opinion has shifted over to the years. there is a growing sense that although they have long been communist allies, there is a sense of the north korea fatigue mounting here, and not the public support for their neighbor as there once was. that said, there is nobody officially who is taking a position against north korea, and yes, there is a voice in opposition, and they are urging things in editorials and newspapers and threatening things, and suggesting that if there is another nuclear test, then perhaps, there could be some sort of sanctions on the part of china that they could curb oil shipments which would be devastating to the north
korean economy. and you have officially the foreign minister saying that china and north korea are as close as blitz and krieg as what was said about north korea. so there is a chance of some history in terms of what is the closeness of the relationship of the two countries, but also in terms of the contemporary lenses, there is the sense that this government is going to be less tolerant than past regimes. xi jinping has yet to meet with kim jong un, and that is telling. it is apparently not for a lack of wanting to on the north korean side, but very much a sense that under this regime china feels that continually embarrassed by the actions of north korea and that it wants to, and china wants to push ahead with the agenda of the going global and also to build the economy and the sense that
perhaps xi says that the close alliance is not going the serve the purpose very well. in south korea, after having just returned from there, the sense is that the people have been through it so in times before, and the provocations are worrisome, but the sense among the people that they need to continue to push along and put their faith in the government and the hope that negotiations will prevail. certainly, there is the threat of the nuclear test which is more worrisome, but the sense that, that the new government is willing to the try new options and things that have not been tried under nine years of conservative rule, and perhaps that is going to be, that will be a game-changer that people are looking for the have some sense that the peninsula is not going to go through the same cycle of tension and de-escalation year after year. >> all right. janis mackey frayer, our msnbc
reporter there in beijing. and the now, let's go a senior aid to former president george w. bush, and special envoy to north korea for human rights, and thank you for being here. what is your reaction to today's missile launch? >> well, i think that it is not unexpected on the one hand, and obviously, north korea is going to continue to test and to test until they get it right. because, you know, the history of advancement in missile technology is failure after failure after failure until you get it right. from the failed tests, you will learn a lot, and tweak it, so they are marching ahead as they have made clear. at the same time, we heard earlier in the week, a statement by one of the senior officials from north korea that they are open to bilateral talks with the united states. i think that this is really the same pattern that we have seen over the past 20-some-odd years.
pro provocation, and provocations in order to bring the united states and some of the other western count countries to the table in order to effectively prop up the regime through hard currency and other support in, change for a promise to step back from the brink, and then it recycles again. the psyche of negotiation and provocation is what we have had for 20 years, and all of the while, they have gotten closer and closer to having a viable nuclear program with a delivery system, and i think that what -- go ahead. >> well, to actually to your point -- >> and so -- >> yes. to your point, the japanese officials are saying that it flew for 30 minutes, and landed in the sea of japan and went 400 miles. in your opinion, how is that compared as sfas far as successr fa failure compare to previous launches? >> oh, this is a big step forward for them. i think that they will probably
see this as a very successful test. i don't know what the ultimate parameters and the objectives were, but they have to be satisfied with this. and i think that the united states has to react in a stronger way, but react in a way that brings china more clearly into the picture. the fact is that china doesn't want to have an increased u.s. presence in the region. they have reacted strongly to the deployment of the terminal high altitude aerial system, and that is to just help to protect south korea, and the next step is for the united states to make it very clear to china that we see north korea as an imminent threat to the united states, and maybe not now, and maybe not next year, but within a few year, and we have to take steps to protect ourselves, and that might mean, deployment of the anti-missile system in the region, and perhaps with south korea, and perhaps with japan much the way that the united states did in the 1980s in germany, and europe. i think that china has to
understand that we are not looking to necessarily unify the peninsula, and not necessarily looking to impede on their autonomy, and their insolance in their region, but the they are becoming more and more of a threat to the west, we will have to deal with it in a way that will make china more uncomfortable. >> and you have described what is adding to our confusion. the united states is across the world, and china does not want a missile defense shield for the reasons that you have described which are the same reasons in europe that it could be used gai against their country as well to shoot down their missiles and somehow mean that between us and japan and maybe south korea, the united states would have a very strong military foothold in that region. with that said, why would china
not right now be taking more of a role to ensure the region's safety and their own without having -- go ahead. >> i think that china is concerned about taking too harsh of action in north korea, because they don't want a flood of the north korean refugees in china anymore than south korea wants the flood of refugees flowing south there. are 23 million people in north korea, and most of them are close to starving. they need a better life, and they would flow north or they'd flow south if they could. and think they china's concerned about the destabilizing effects. i think that what china could do is if they could help to bring about a chinese style government in north korea that could be stable, and frankly, if it were non-nuclear, the united states would be very satisfieded, and
we could cede that sort of influence to china if it promoted real regional stability. i think that china, japan and south korea would all have enhanced safety and security, and the united states wouldn't have to be quite as involved militarily. and the issue is that if china is not going the do tha-- is no going to do that, the united states has to step up to protect itself, and we can't wait for the moment three or four years from now when north korea has the ability to launch a missile sill that will land in seattle or san francisco. >> interesting. okay. thank you very much. we are going to take a break, but we will be right back with much more on this breaking news out of north korea. we will be right back. i no longer live with
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and we know that according to the japanese officials that it flew for 30 minute, and it flew for 400 miles and landed in the japanese sea. bruce clinger, former cia deputy chief for korea is joining us on the phone. given those two things, oftentimes we describe these whether these were a success or failure with the understanding that each time north korea does this they learn something, even if it was a failure. but in your mind, flying 30 minutes for 400 miles, would that be an improvement on previous launches by north korea? >> well north korea has done a number of tests this year and last year and while there's a perception that, you know, they always fail, the ones that are failing are the ones that are still in development whereas the ones deployed are exercising the military plan. this one flew 400 miles, we don't know -- several times when they've flown them, they flew
them to a high trajectory to shorten the range but to test it to what would be a longer range. so, we don't know what kind it is. the u.s. government has not made any indications. it flew out of a place called kuson where previously a missile flew from there which is a new land base of that your exhibit marine launch missile. >> so what does this tell you about the progress that they've made say over the past year >> well, we've seen north korea has had break through successes in the past year on their submarine launch ballistic missile as well as their intermediate-range missile which puts guam in threat. every time they fail they learn from it. it seems to be a successful test of that and that's a land base
variant of a medium or intermediate-range missile and because it's solid fuel, that's more dangerous because it can fire quicker than a liquid fuel and harder to detect and if necessary attack during a conflict. >> bruce klinger, thank you very much. let's go back to jonathan at the brookings institution. we spoke with you earlier. what else have you found out? >> i think the most important thing to note here right now is political and it involves china. the chinese sunday in beijing are opening their one belt, one load summit. they have dozens of heads of state descending on beijing. this is a real loss of face for china because the north koreans whom the chinese did invite to the summit and supposedly the north korean minister of external economic relations was to arrive in beijing on
saturday, participate in this event on sunday and monday against american objections, i might note, and here yet again at this moment when presumably things are going in directions that china wants to encourage, giving north korea yet again one more option to, you know, show a smiley face to the world and instead what we get is the next logical step in this development program that bruce klinger has accurately talked about. so, you know, here's a case where xi jinping despises kim jong-un. so in this case when the chinese have been telling us privately and publicly, please, please, make concessions to north korea, get them back to the negotiating table because we think there's really room here for something good to happen, instead what we
get is the sustainment and reactivation of this missile program. the bigger test, very frankly, is whether or not north korea would proceed with the six nuclear tests. the chinese have warned that if north korea were to engaging that test, another nuclear test, that china would impose much more severe restrictions on its involvement with the north koreans, restriction on petroleum exports. this would be a very big step for china to take, something that really tightens the vice if you will. so the chinese now have a real problem on their hands. xi jinping has to decide whether or not this latest test is, again, indicating that pyongyang is not listening to anyone, least of all to china and
whether or not china decides to impose at a cost, because very frankly if the chinese expect the united states to show renewed flexibility one more time to north korea, and this is what you get, you're not going to get any kind of response from the united states, nor should you. one other thing i should emphasize. the argument i heard from one of your participants china needs to get a reform order leadership in the north as if they have control over this, the chinese have been trying to nudge the north koreans for 35 years to move in this direction and they never have. and the question is whether or not the chinese, despite their obvious incentives to get north korea on better behavior, to have north korea move in the direction of being a more normal developmentally oriented state, simply can't do it for reasons having to do with the structure of their own belief system, their own long term goals, and
their defiance of everyone, including china. these missiles, by the way, whatever, they can range japan and they can also range china very easily as we're reminded. the chinese have a border with north korea and north korea seems to be on a course that gathers all kinds of countries in adversarial relationship against them and the challenge and also frankly the opportunity for the rest of the world, beginning first in east asia is if we all recognize this as a common danger and a common threat -- snien >> interesting. thank you. we hope to know more soon. thank you. msnbc contributor ned price former special assistant to president obama and msnbc spokesperson and senior nsc
spokes experience and senior director is joining us. what is your take on today especially considering that both south korea and china have recently made kind of concessions by inviting north korea to certain things? >> well that's right. this is not unexpected. this is the tenth missile launch this year from the north koreans and 76th since kim jong-un took power several years ago. so they have tested and this is the latest indication. what's different about this test is that there's a higher degree, appears tube higher degree of success with this missile given it flew 30 minutes and flew a distance of 345 miles as the crow flies. there are analysts now outside of omaha, nebraska at u.s. strategic command who are taking a close look at the data that the u.s. government has retrieved from all sources of information to determine exactly what type of missile this was and to determine if the north
koreans have, in fact, made an advancement. you're right. this test comes about 72 hours after president moon of south korea, the new south korean president was sworn into office. this is significant because president moon has taken the power on what's known as sunshine policy a policy of engagements with north korea, something that was strikingly at odds with the policy not only of the united states but under the obama administration, at least but also of the previous south korean administration. so, i think what north korea is now signalling is that this is not a challenge that anyone will be able to solve easily. it will not be something that the trump administration itself can solve. certainly not something that china alone can solve which your previous guest was speaking to. even renewed from the south koreans we learned with this latest missile test will not be a quick fix in what remains to be an enduring challenge. >> are these missile tests in
the mind of kim jong-un meant to be an absolute provocation even amid what you just say the president of south korea changing that country's attitude towards its approach to its neighbor and china, including them in their summit this weekend and his reaction is to fire off missiles. from what you know, is this -- is that what he's thinking? is he thinking that, okay, well thanks for being nice to me but this is my response? >> no. it's always difficult to assign motivation when it comes to someone like kim jong-un, especially when someone like kim jong-un who may not be the most rational of world leaders we have seen. but all that said, however, the north koreans have tended to favor anniversaries, strategic dates, summits, fourth of july of july, for example one year in the united states to do these type of tests. i do not think it's a
coincidence we're seeing this launch so close on the heels of inauguration of -- >> i have to stop you there. we got to go. thank you so much for that information. we'll continue to follow this breaking news out of north korea all night long here on msnbc. we'll go back to our program right now. since the president fired the director of the fbi, james comey, three days ago now, we've now got multiple reports that the fbi's investigation of the russia issue, the russian attack on the presidential election last year and the question of whether or not the trump campaign was involved in it somehow, we now have multiple reports that at the time that the fbi director was fired by the president, that fbi investigation into the trump/russia issue was expanding and accelerating. and the director himself was involved in the expansion and acceleration of it. "the new york times" was first to report in the days before he was fired, director james comey reportedly requested additional