tv U.S.- North Korea Talks CSPAN May 6, 2018 3:39am-5:42am EDT
for younger readers. today, line from from noon until 3:00 p.m. eastern time on book tv, c-span2. >> now, scholars debate whether or not negotiations with north korea can need to denuclearization. intelligence squared u.s. and the new yorker hosted this event. it is two hours. >> i know that some of you are regular fans of intelligence squared u.s. including the gentleman -- there you are. it is great to have you. you have been to our events in new york at now you are here. for those of you that are newcomers, i want to share a couple of things about what we are doing and our delight in being in partnership with the georgetown women's forum, this first ever run at a georgetown women's forum event intelligence
squared u.s. was founded about 11 years ago. we have done 150 debates. our goal is to enhance and raise the level of public discourse by showing there is in fact good argument and argument can shed light when it is done well. to get it done well, these debaters are here with the express purpose to persuade you to vote for their side. we'll have you vote now to see where you stand on this motion as you come off the street.
they are trying to appeal to you, so we ask you to listen to the arguments they are presenting you with. our goal is to keep it civil and respectful because how rare is that these days? we think it is something we do very successfully. we do encourage applause for points you hear that you like. this is not like the presidential debates where you have to sit on your hands if you hear something you like. go for it if you hear something you like. applaud. the reason i say that is this debate lives on in a lot of forms, including as a podcast and radio show. we want the people who ultimately hear this to know that there were really people in the audience on this night and these debaters were really trying to get you on their side. it is good for that audience to hear that you were here. imagine, in 30 years from now, you can listen and hear your own applause. if you have a particular pattern
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if i think it is going to take us down too much of a tangent, i will have to pass. think of how you would ask a question. really make it a question. if whatever comes out of your mouth, if a question mark naturally lives at the end of that sentence, then that is a question. we hope everyone has now completed their preliminary vote. we will be voting again later on. we are in this terrific partnership with the georgetown women's form. i want to start this by welcoming to the stage by skiing of the georgetown law center, jane aiken. [applause] jane: thank you. thanks, john. it is great to be here. i just learned we have lots
of georgetown connections, which is terrific. john's wife teaches that the medical school, and his daughter is going to be in the class of 2022.
we are claiming them. it is wonderful to be at the newseum. we are just steps away from the capital, from the supreme court, and from georgetown law school. we are nearby, and we are very supportive of intelligence squared and the work they are doing. for much of the reason john was talking about, the opportunity for respectful debate, an antidote to the political polarization we have and about one of the most important issues we are facing now. this is the kind of activity that we encourage and that reflects
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she was trained at georgetown law. we, like intelligence squared, believe in training our students to engage in thoughtful critique and debate and respectful communications and collaboration and problem-solving. looking at some of the things that our jesuit values that form georgetown law inspire. we are happy to host this event and are happy that it is kicking off the women's forum, the 25th anniversary of the women's forum. it is great. it is wonderful that we are doing it with the first all woman debate. [applause] >> it is great. we are very lucky to have bonnie jenkins, who is going to be
debating, who is a graduate of the law school. enough of me. not enough of georgetown. i appreciate this opportunity and look forward to hearing this debate. i am going to turn it back over to john. >> thank you, jane. there is just one other thing i wanted to mention. i mention we are turning this into a podcast and broadcast. we edit it down. to a degree you are going to see the sausage getting made. there will be times when i will say i will be right back, and i won't actually be going anywhere. i will just keep talking. i will be saying repeatedly that "i'm john. " you will say, we know.
that is so we can edit the broadcast integrates, coming into breaks, coming back from breaks. for the atmosphere of this production, there will be moments when i need your applause, spontaneous applause. it would be great if they could be spontaneous when i do like that. [applause] john: if we could practice one round to get the energy of the room into some spontaneous applause. wow. [applause] john: that was a very good level of spontaneous applause. we are going to begin the program, the part that will ultimately turn into the podcast. applauseon, your starts for real. the way to start that is with a round of spontaneous applause. [applause] a nobel peace prize for
donald trump, is that what it could all come to this talk of talks with u.s. and north korea? with the aim on the u.s. side of getting a real to abandon its their ambitions. if that were to happen, that could be big league peace prize stuff? does diplomacy actually have a chance here? that sounds like the makings of a debate. yes or no to this statement negotiations can denuclearize north korea. i am john donvan in partnership with the georgetown women's forum. we have four debaters. question attack this from opposite sides. i want to welcome to the stage
a journalist and best-selling author who went undercover in north korea 2011 posing as a missionary and english teacher to the sons of north korean elites. welcome suki kim. [applause] john: hi. where did they decide to seat us? i just give away a little of your astounding story. i, as a journalist, foreign correspondent, i went to some of these similarly dangerous, oppressive places, but never taking the level of risk that you took. the fact that we are here at newseum that is meant to be a monument to the best of journalism, i have to congratulate you on what you did
and i want to understand where the compelling interest came from. professionally, it was very obvious in 2002 when i went by joining a pro for you organization based in new jersey. jong-il'sfor kim birthday celebration. i did a cover feature your -- for the new york review of books. about 1/10 of the population had died. approximate. you cannot verify the number ever. that is about how many people died.
north korean population is about 25 million. or 3 are counting about 2 million deaths. 2002, when i went in, the devastation was in your face. in 2002 i went in. the devastation was in your face. it was freezing. i slept with a coat on. i slept in the vip quarter back then. there was just no heat. beyond that it was the sense of what this world was. where you can't go anywhere. you can't say anything. there is nothing except the great leader. everybody's nightmare was just in my face. i needed to understand this. how do i understand is a little bit better?
i am korean and i was born and raised in south korea. my family was also separated by the korean war. so there was a personal interest ct understanding gut instin what this might be. professional instinct tells you to understand. finally, being immersed in journalism. john: who ended up where? suki: my mother's brother was taken to the north during the korean war. my father's cousins were taken. usually young people, my father's cousins were nursing students. at the time, the first ones to be grabbed where the young people. because they were useful. it was such a tragic reality.
on either side they just never saw them again. it is not like they died. in my mother's mother's case, it is not like she died. he was taken away. she thought he would be coming back. the drive was just a couple of hours, it is so close. but suddenly they put this border there. and that generation just thought that anyone who ended up on the other side would just come home next week. literally, my grandmother never moved. because when he came whome,
-- home, she wanted to be home. and this is just not one. they are counting millions of separations. that entire generation, there was a heartbreak that killed us. i believe that separation is very different from death. you are forever wondering what might have happened. and you will be forever thinking if there will be a closure. will that person come home? to think of these mothers and sons who just waited. and here we are years later. john: the disappeared members of your family, you never found them? suki: we never found them. there was one letter that supposedly came. my father's cousins through japan. them saying we are ok sometime in the 70's. because of that, my aunt was always called for possibly
being a korean spy. then she never heard anything since. this is just not that unusual. every other family in korea has this story. when i look at the korean division you're asking me what drove me to it. beyond the famine and gulag, it is realizing i generation died this way. generations later, what does that mean? like in a movie, some answers are given. always some closure happens. but what if that closure never came and that generation died without meeting again? and i think that as a writer, my job was to somehow deliver this reality to the world who does not know this part of north korea. of things like
beyondy dictator, and all of that was actually a generation that was missing. john: i want people to buy your book so that they can read your whole story. in 2011, the key plot is that you got a job teaching english. you pass yourself off as in as an english teacher in a school. thepecializes in teaching sons of the power elite. elite boys whose parents were powerful. interestingly they learned english. you went in there for six months as a journalist. your agenda was to report but you told everyone you were an english teacher. you spoke english every single day, you're not allowed to speak
korean. the amazing part of the book is that. if you had been cut you would would likelyu not be sitting here now. suki: it took, everything you could imagine. i interviewed so many families. so many factors. from mongolia, to thailand. there's all these routes the defectors take. not only that, interview them in a hiding place. to try to verify how many of their testimonies might be true or might not be true. i did all this research. i went to africa to try to understand who might be in the audience, for example. who ended up being a contract worker who was shipped. the media was reporting they
were chinese actors. the media would make stuff up. i needed to understand from every aspect of this country. from the border area of china, to try to get to what is at the heart of north korea. another thing i realized was in 2008 i went in for harper magazine to cover the new york philharmonic concert. trying to cover north korea by going there, you get a pr message that the government wants you to go right about it and spread though word. it is really like going to disney world and you are in a tour with cinderella. that is what they want you to tell the world about it. but in this case, it is the world's most brutal regime. show meis is what they
and i go out and tell the world, then you have just fulfilled their agenda. that is why it is really hard, how do i get immersed in that? the school that i went in, pretending to be an evangelical schoolteacher, that was not the only one. there were different threads that i was constantly joining in trying to be in. i was trying to write a book. it was years before i decided what i was going to write in there, i just needed to get in. i was not even sure if i would promised with the north korean
regime to not proselytize. basically, fundamentally, the christians are not pretending to be christians in north korea. and i was pretending to be a fundamental evangelical who was pretending not to be evangelical. [laughter] john: let the lying begin. [laughter] suki: if not for that, i would not have gotten away with that, because like, i had never read a bible in my life. i was not even allowed to talk about christianity ever. they are very young man. being abused makes you vulnerable. that was one thing that was very
obvious with my kids. be eight.n that year, 20 11, was also year 100 for north korea, because north korea counts their calendar system different from the world. soap 100th year, they could say it is the train leadergreat le's birth. john: he was born in 1911, so 100 years ago. suki: in order to celebrate, they shut down the university for about a year. every university student, they put them in construction fields. which they said it is to build a prosperous nation. what they were basically doing was doing manual labor, all university students. -- t plucked the triple
then they plucked the crème de them, they putf them into this brand-new school. in fact, the evangelicals around the world were funding the education of north korea's elite. that is where i ended up, in this military compound. there were guards around my room, and they were watching 24/ 7. no one was allowed to leave. they were always watching. i brought small usb sticks and i wore them around my neck like a necklace. i kept all my notes in usb sticks and erased all my data from the laptop. you are not allowed to have this in your laptop. from page 100, the book begins.
i would have to erase it every single time. i would write really early in the morning and really late at night and get rid of all the traces of that pad in case they go through it. john: you were living two lives. aki: and you have to have background. backup. imagine losing this document, what would happen to me. i had to have a backup. i hid it in the room. i knew the rooms were bugged. john: did you like your students? suki: i loved them. i think that, it is complicated, because i was a journalist looking at them as a subject. , to be ae same time really good immersive journalist, you also have to be there as a real teacher. it was unbearable to be there. for multiple reasons. it was, i was completely under surveillance 24/7.
it was a really exhausting way to be because you were always worried. one thing i remember doing was always going over what i might have said. i had to also eat with a student toee times a day, and we had practice english but sometimes the conversation gets private. sometimes they would start talking about their girlfriend. in the beginning, they did not. it might be only about the great leader. they would start talking about their girlfriend. these are 21-year-old boys who supposedly had no interest in girls. obviously they were lying. only for me, then they would tell me about their girlfriends. but then, this kind of conversation you end up slipping things to find out what is going on in this country. how many channels of television? for example, they might ask me, because korea only has one channel that officially works. and it only shows things related the great leader programs.
show?is that a good [laughter] suki: it looks so bizarre to the western world. but in there, it is the same information that is being told over and over again. and to think this has been going on not just for a year, not just for five years, but for 70 something years. john: do these boys know what the outside world is about? suki: when you try to tell someone what north korea is -- first of all, they did not even know what the internet was. they all said that they did, but they did not. it is a science and technologies will, so their majors were computers. how do i know that they didn't know what it was? because they would ask questions that clearly -- they would say
butnow exactly what it is," they would say things like, how many movies can you watch on your internet, teacher? if it five movies or is it 10? than actually, it is more 10. you realize they don't have the concept when you think about it. it is hard to explain that. how much do they know and how much do they not know? first of all, north koreans cannot travel outside were within the country. there are checkpoints. everything is blocked. all the information you ever get is about north korea. education is not really possible. my students didn't know about a lot of things. basically they would just get information about the great leader or everything is about the great leader. john: you refer to the great leader being the content a lot of the tv shows.
what about this music? suki: that is the funny thing about it. i rumored thinking this when i went to cover the new york philharmonic. we saw k pop stars going in there to perform for the elite of north korea. but in reality, for the average person in north korea, music is about the great leader. i either the theme is about the great leader or it is written by the great leader. a better way to think his you don't really imagine the beatles being played inside a church. people do not sing rock 'n roll songs inside a church. it is kind of like that. like all of the music is about the great leader. any books, any idea or concept is about the great leader. john: how does north korea prepare itself for a future when if this generation of star students -- they are learning
english, but they don't know anything, in a certain way? suki: we have never seen anything like north korea. if you want your citizens to basically be the machine for the nation, for the ideas of the great leader, which is an absolute cult leader, then you really do need your citizens to be as, you know, they are not dumb, but all the information has been stripped. for them to not think critically. that is one of the things i really began noticing about my students. when i said they were pretty much younger, in an abused world, you never make decisions on your own. they never make you wonder about the outside world. it might make you want to leave. john: we are talking about the possibility of peace. this population that you're
talking about, whose students are so cut off from the world, can you see these two populations integrating? reintegrating, influencing each other? suki: i don't mean to influence the debate that is coming up , but absolutely not. john: i mean at the personal level. suki: at the personal level, i think it is a rehab process. people think it is simple. you reunify and somehow everyone is happy. no. people have been abused for seven generations. people need therapy that will take another generation. it is irrevocable, the damage that has been done to them psychologically. john: the title of your book, what does it come from? suki: one of the most popular songs in north korea. because it is only the great leader that owns everything in that world. john: he alone can fix it. suki: without him there is
nothing. john: suki kim, thank you so much for setting the table. [applause] john: that was great. thank you, suki kim. now we will move on to our debate proper. our motion is this -- can you denuclearize north korea? our debate will go in three rounds. our audience here in online will vote to choose the winner. as always, if all goes well, civil discourse will win. our audience to cast your predebate vote. this is your last chance to cast your vote. iq2us/vote. we are going to keep that vote
open for just a few more minutes. and i want to point out how the web we do is we have you vote again after you heard the the difference between the first and the second will determine who is the winning team. our motion is who can denuclearize iran. let us -- my apologies, i said iran. there was a very smart person backstage that caught me. if any of you catch me doing that, you can stand up and shout as well. our motion is who can denuclearize north korea. let's welcome our debaters to these days, beginning with suzanne dimaggio. [applause] john: bonnie jenkins. bonnie jenkins. [applause]
john: mira rapp-hooper. [applause] john: and sue mi terry. [applause] john: now it's time to meet our debaters. for the motion negotiations. arguing for the motion, let's welcome suzanne dimaggio. suzanne, you are a senior fellow at north america. you have led diplomatic missions in places like iran, north korea for nearly years. 20 you have facilitated the first official discussions between the trump administration and the north korean government's representatives. let us get this out of the way. if you can tell us and 30 seconds what is track one and track two.
suzanne: i can do that. is fiscal diplomacy between governments, and track to its unofficial dialogue between nongovernmental participants. at the risk of sounding wonky, track 1.5 includes a mix of official and unofficial components. -- participants. 1 here tonight. welcome, suzanne dimaggio. you have an impressive partner on your side as well. bonnie jenkins. ladies and gentlemen, bonnie jenkins. john: bonnie, you are a non-resident fellow. you were at the state department under the obama administration. you are an ambassador. you are working on chemical, biological, nuclear threats on a daily basis. you got into the field of arms control by accident.
how does one get into that by accident? bonnie: i got into it by accident mainly because i was a fellow at the department of defense at the legal office, and i went with my colleagues, who were meeting, and i had no idea what they were going to talk about, they had no ideas about these issues. i thought this is really cool. i want to do this. i have been doing it ever since. john: thank you, bonnie, and the team arguing for the motion to denuclearize north korea. we have a team arguing against it. please welcome sue mi terry. you are widely recognized as one of the experts on north korea. you have worked for the nfc, the nic, and the cia. you were one of the top korea analysts during the bush administration. when you when you were recruited to work for the cia, they told
you if you wanted to know what kim jong-il eats for breakfast , you should come work for them. did you ever get the answer? no, i never found out. but i found out his favorite food in the world is toro, fatty tuna. so that is something i kind of had in common with kim jong-il. thank you so much, sue mi terry. [applause] john: and another important partner on your site, please welcome mira rapp-hooper. a, you are a senior research scholar at yale law school. your areas of expertise are deterrence, nuclear strategy, alliance politics, among others. you recently cowrote an essay titled "perception and misperception on the korean peninsula." that was in "foreign affairs." among the many as conceptions americans might have about north korea, what tops the list for
you? mira: i think the biggest misperception is either the u.s. or north korea reads the other side's signals as intended. this is often a major problem in politics. because there is so little diplomatic contact between our two countries, and the relationship is so strapped, signals are harder to read between the two. john: did i say misconception and you corrected me? i think you gave very gently without embarrassing me. i appreciate that you did that for me. [applause] john: arguing against the motion to denuclearize north korea. we go in three rounds, and in the first round, each debater makes an opening statement. they will be five minutes each, and uninterrupted. and first to speak for the motion, negotiations to formerarize north korea,
state department official, ladies and gentlemen, ambassador bonnie jenkins. [applause] bonnie: good evening. when i was first told i would have an opportunity to be a part of this debate, and that my motion would be that you can denuclearize, i said of course, why not. but then i said let me step back and say why i have that perception. let me step back. i spent my life sitting at the table with others negotiating treaties, working with delegations, drafting treaty text. and drafting what might seem to make the impossible, possible. seeing where we can find common interests to find a way or a process for agreement.
i have been in the world of the possible. i have also done some research on this. my topic for my dissertation was "why do countries decide that they want to develop or not develop nuclear weapons. nonproliferation play a role in the decision-making? " i found research that the important part of this is the leader and what the leader wants to do. when a leader decides their country is ready to give up a nuclear weapon, then you they are ready to step up to the table and talk. we have examples of countries giving up nuclear weapons or programs. we have argentina and brazil. we have belarus, ukraine, and kazakhstan. we have south africa. all of these countries decided at some point that they wanted to give up their nuclear weapons or their nuclear weapons program. at some point, a leader decided that was the right thing to do.
we have iran. we all about the iran agreement. that was an agreement that many said that could not happen. but there were fortunately some that believe that it was possible, and as a result, after jca, months, we have the the joint conference of agreement. it can happen and it did happen. there is no reason it cannot happen again. of course we do have one wrinkle. it is north korea. the problem is we have a history. we have a history with north korea where there have been agreements, and those agreements did not work. however, we are not saying you should not take account of these things. in fact, when you're going into a negotiation, you should take account the past. as you prepare yourself for the positions you will take, you
should take those things into consideration. that will help you decide how you will negotiate. however, those are not reasons not to negotiate. those are not reasons you cannot reach a conclusion. you can never give up on diplomacy. you can never give up on trying to reach a conclusion with the other side. what are the other options? do we want to go back to where we were? do we want to go back to the point where there was a lot of insecurity? do we want to go back where there are two countries with nuclear weapons who were facing each other with different communications on both sides? we want to finally say ok, let us sit down and talk. we can make a difference now. and the table is set. we have all these negotiations. we have the meetings between north korea and south korea. we have the meetings with north korea and china. we have the upcoming meeting with the u.s. and north korea. a lot of this would've happened if we do not think it was possible.
happened if weve did not think it was possible. what is the point of doing all this if we cannot have denuclearization? the table is set, the time is right. we have had everyone do their thing with threats. now, let us step back and do what we need to do to make sure that we can come to some decisions and agreements on denuclearization. understanding the past is important. but it should not prevent you from making progress in the future. for that reason, i know you will all vote for the motion that negotiation can lead to negotiation with north korea. [applause] john: thank you, bonnie jenkins. our next debater will be speaking against the motion. negotiations can denuclearize north korea. that is mira rapp-hooper, scholar at yale law. ladies and gentlemen, mira rapp-hooper. [applause] mira: there is no bargain that can fully denuclearize north korea at the negotiating table.
that is what you are arguing tonight. if our opponents can convince you of the opposite, that there is a clear deal that kim jong-un would prefer over his now complete nuclear arsenal, then you should vote for this motion and against our position. but throughout this debate this evening, we ask you to keep in mind one critical definition, and that is the definition of denuclearization. denuclearization is the complete, verifiable, irreversible disarmament of north korea and its nuclear weapons program, as defined by policymakers and the trump administration itself. that is the heart of what we are debating tonight. in the time i have remaining, i want to make three brief points. the first is north korea believes it needs nuclear weapons to survive. the second is the united states does not have a reasonable substitute it can offer north korea.
the third is that by chasing a denuclearization pipedream, we put ourselves at considerable risk. first, north korea believes it needs nuclear weapons to survive. the korean war ended in 1953 with an armistice, and tens of thousands of american troops still on the peninsula. north korea invested in its conventional military all along the demilitarized zone to ensure that south korea and the united states could not invade it to topple the regime. it has had an active and secretive nuclear weapons program in 2006. it has now had nuclear weapons for over 10 years and added nuclear deterrence to the conventional deterrence it already possessed, to ensure it would never be invaded and the regime could survive. since coming to power, kim jong-un has invested more in its nuclear programs and missile
program than his father or grandfather before him. in the last few months, he has finally declared them complete and north korea's survival assured. for north korea nuclear weapons , are existential, a matter of survival, and something that are now guaranteed. what could the united states offer up in exchange? it could offer north korea a security guarantee. a promise that it would never be invaded and the regime would never be toppled. it sounds like a pretty good thing to offer, but the only problem is that we have offered it countless times before and we have always been rejected. take, for example, a 2005 agreement by which north korea agreed to denuclearize completely in exchange for a public u.s. promise of the security guarantee that north korea then violated. in private, north korea nuclear negotiators tell their american counterparts that u.s. security guarantees cannot be
trusted. they point to examples of the united states invading iraq or libya, having disarmed their opponent, and invaded those countries to topple the regime. they show those as reasons to why our guarantee cannot be trusted. why would they accept now what they have never accepted in the past? now that their nuclear arsenal and weapons program is complete? third and finally, by chasing this denuclearization pipedream, we risk missing the diplomatic opportunity at hand and courting catastrophic conflict. we cannot buy what is not for sale. north korea is not selling its full nuclear weapons program right now. but by continuing to chase that goal, we allow north korea to keep building nuclear weapons. what we can do is do much better than we have in the past, and that means pursuing realistic goals towards obtainable ends. arm control that will return weapons to the countries and get a handle on these programs.
working with our allies to contain and control north korea and prevent it from spreading the world's most dangerous weapons. but if we chased a promise that kim jong-un has not made and does not intend to keep, we face two very real risks. the first is we make real confessions in exchange for a promise that is not real at all and miss this diplomatic opportunity. but the second and worse still is that when the trump administration awakens from its denuclearization dream, it takes us to the world of our worst nightmares. it returns to a world in which it is considering a world in war the korean peninsula, something that was all too real a few months ago. finally, i want to conclude by being clear about what we are not arguing tonight. we are not in favor of the use of force. we are in favor of diplomacy. we ask you to vote for smart diplomacy towards meaningful
ends and to vote against this motion tonight. john: thank you, mira rapp-hooper. a reminder of what is going on. we are halfway to the opening round of this intelligence squared debate. i am john donvan. we have two teams fighting it out over this motion. negotiations can denuclearize north korea. you have heard the first two opening statements, and now on the third. now debating for, suzanne dimaggio, senior at new america and dialogue director. ladies and gentlemen, suzanne dimaggio. [applause] suzanne: good evening, everyone. i am so happy to be here. as we saw at the historic inter-korean summit, kim jong-un told south korea's president, moon jae-in, that he was ready to give up his nuclear weapons in exchange for the united states ending the korean war formally. and promising not to invade
their country. the two leaders signed a joint declaration that called for a nuclear-free korean peninsula. and complete denuclearization. that was their common goal. diplomacy iso a homeles in most welcome, especially when you consider we were on the verge of war with north korea. we have seen similar language in previous agreements and previous failed attempts, but that should not stop us from pursuing what i think is the biggest opportunity for diplomacy with north korea in almost 20 years. i understand the skepticism. in fact, i share it. but we should not let the past failures get in the way of us trying again. so when considering this evening's motion, i think there are three key questions we should explore.
the first one is -- is kim jong-un ready to come in from the cold? we have seen more of kim jong-un these past few weeks than we had during his entire six-year tenure as north korea's leader. my best assessment of what is behind this unprecedented outreach is that he understands he needs to do this in order to gain acceptance of a new strategic policy he just put forward. this is the policy of economic reconstruction. in my informal conversations with north korea senior officials, they have explained that they do not want to amass a humongous nuclear arsenal. they want just enough to deter an attack of the united dates states and then turned their attention to economic development. this follows kim jong-un's line
and that is national policy that has on one track the development of the nuclear program, and on the other tracks, economic development. of course, what we have seen over these years is kim jong-un pursuing relentlessly advancements in the nuclear program at great cost to the well-being of the north korean people. 2017 was a pivotal year for kim jong-un. that is when he declared the completion of his nuclear force in november and reiterated it again in his new year's speech just this past january. why now? the north koreans say they have a deterrant to deter an attack from the united states. they want to be equal to the united states as a nuclear power. kim jong-un is not his father, he is not his grandfather.
he is 34 years old, he sees decades of rule ahead of him, and he must understand, i hope, that in order to maintain the kim family dynasty, he has got to do something to address the economic conditions in north korea. there is only one way to do that. and that is to lift the sanctions. the third and final question is -- how do we get to a successful outcome? that's the most important question. i think we need to rigorously test whether kim is serious about giving up his nuclear weapons in exchange for security guarantees and economic development, and to increase the chances for a successful outcome, we should be thinking boldly. we should be thinking of a kind of comprehensive package we are going to offer kim. peace treaty. normalization of relations. security guarantees that of course would have to include beijing. on the economic side, we need to
be thinking in addition to the relief of economic sanctions. we need to be thinking about investments, trade, economic aid . as a senior advisor to president moon said, what the north koreans want is a trump tower and mcdonald's. surely, kim jong-un knows what it will take to get there. i would like to wrap up by saying that the wording of tonight's motion is particularly important. negotiations can denuclearize north korea. the operative word is "can," which points to possibility. negotiations was will denuclearize north korea, i would not be up here to defend that. we do not know if that will be the outcome. it made all the difference to me. it's possible. please keep that in mind when you cast your vote in favor of this motion. the way i look at it is a vote in favor of this motion is a vote in support of diplomacy. thank you.
[laughter] [applause] john: thank you, suzanne dimaggio. our final debater in the opening round will be debating against the motion. negotiations can denuclearize north korea. that is sue mi terry, former cia analyst and senior fellow at the center for strategic and international studies. ladies and gentlemen, sue mi terry. sue: thank you. as a child growing up in south korea, and as an adult who spent almost all of my career following north korean issues, ave to say, when i saw the north korean leader, kim jong-un, actually crossover the cross over the demilitarized zone and step foot in south korea, it was a moving moment. i got a little bit emotional. it was moving. it was momentous. it was historic.
and i am happy that we are now on this path of trying to sort something out, particularly since several months ago, i was having sleepless nights because i was so concerned about all this talk of preventative military strikes against north korea that would have had catastrophic consequences not only for the korean peninsula, but for the region and for the world. that said, ladies and gentlemen, can negotiations lead to denuclearization that is complete, irreversible, verifiable? i do not think so. i think negotiations will lead to another agreement with north korea, sure. the only agreement between kim and trump. we have many agreements with north korea. everything will time, it fell apart over verification. we have 1994 agreed framework, bilateral agreement between the united states and north korea.
we have 1999 geneva accord. north korea agreed to stop all its long-range testing, missile testing. we have six rounds of six party talks, which led to 2005 joint statement, 2007 joint declaration, in which north korea also agreed to declare all of its nuclear weapons and disable nuclear facilities. every single time, agreements fell apart over verification. i do not believe negotiations will lead to complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of north korea. what has kim jong-un been doing since coming to power? six and a half years, he has done for out of six nuclear tests, including hydrogen bomb tests, that were 17 times more powerful than the one that flattened hiroshima. he did 90 ballistic missile tests in six and a half years. 20 last year alone. three intercontinental ballistic
missile tests. the last one, the one in november showed capability to reach all of the united states. north korea has declared itself a nuclear weapons power. this is what kim jong-un has been doing, speeding towards completing the nuclear program, accelerating towards it. and why? because he, like his father and grandfather, believes that nuclear weapons are the only way to guarantee the regime's survival. he has pursued this program at the cost of millions of lives and billions of dollars. now he has completed it. he's going to all of a sudden give it up. every single time, i met with north korean officials. i am sure that will do this, too. they talk about iraq and libya, that they don't want to be another iraq or another libya. in the case of libya, we
convinced qadhafi to give up his nuclear weapons program, and then we ended up overthrowing qadhafi and killing him. how many times north koreans have said "qadhafi is dead. i don't want to be dead." there's a lot of things he wants. he wants sanctions relief, money, food, fuel, to flow into pyongyang's high plains. he wants diplomatic -- it is not irreversible denuclearization of the north. often times, you have to distinguish what does north korea mean by denuclearization of the korean peninsula? because, suzanne brought this up, there was a peace declaration. north koreans have historically denuclearization of the
korean peninsula, the region's security is guaranteed. that does not mean the disarmament. he's talking about breaking u.s.-south korea alliance relationship, getting u.s. troops out of south korea, and ending extended nuclear umbrella the u.s. has over south korea and japan so the regime can feel secure. this is what he means by denuclearization of the korean peninsula. this is a long way to go, and we are not going to get there. please vote for the opposition side of the motion today. [applause] john: thank you, sue mi terry. that concludes round one of this debate, where our motion is negotiations can denuclearize north korea. we move on to round two. this is where the debaters address each other directly, and they take questions from me and our live audience in washington, d.c. the team arguing for the motion,
made up of suzanne dimaggio and bonnie jenkins, they have argued that basically, right now, this table is set, that we are living in a very optimistic time, and they are arguing for optimism. the past, they argue, is that deals that once seemed impossible can be reached. they say they understand and share the skepticism from the other side, but they do not think that should blind us to the possibilities we are in. they also argue that the current leader of north korea, kim jong-un, has an incentive, to bring his nation into the world of nations, and to repair its economic disaster. and for that, it might be willing to trade what it has and what it has worked so hard to turn into a bargaining chip, mainly the nuclear weapons. the team arguing against the motion, sue mi terry and mira rapp-hooper, they are saying that denuclearization is a pipe dream. denuclearization, as it is defined, is complete and verifiable and irreversible, they argue that they cannot conceive of a deal that the
united states would offer kim jong-un that he would actually accept, that he and his leadership thinks that that nation needs its nuclear weapons in order to survive. so there is a lot dividing the se two sides, and i think a lot of it comes down to issues that relate, i would say, to matters of trust, incentives, possibilities, dangers. we would like to work through all of them a little bit, one at a time. i want to go first to this question of trust that has been brought up. can kim jong-un be trusted? also, we heard the counterargument that they have little reason to trust us, us being the united states. i should not identify as the moderator. them, the united states versus the north koreans. it is an old habit. somebody has been involved in a great deal of negotiations. the issue of trust where it applies to north korea in kim jong-un, can he be trusted? sue: trust is obviously very
important. when you are thinking about negotiating with someone, you want to believe you can trust them, but you do not have to trust somebody necessarily to have a negotiation. you have negotiations because you want to come to a conclusion, and that's why you have verification. you have verification because you want to make sure that whatever agreements are made that the other side will do it. we had numerous negotiations with the soviet union and with russia. there were times we did not necessarily trust them, but we still came to an agreement on arms control issues, on nuclear issues, and we a verification regime. so we were able to make it happen. of course you want to have trust. but if there is an important issue you want to work on, which is reducing nuclear weapons, you find out how you want to make it happen, and then you verify. john: mira rapp-hooper, would
you like to respond to that? mira: i was certainly agree with the point that you don't necessarily have to have trust to negotiate with an adversary. i do not actually think that trust is the crux of our argument today. what we have seen on the north koreans i is that we have not seen an indication of an interest in complete nuclear disarmament. we have certainly seen an interest in negotiation. that is an idea that we very much support. we have seen an interest in kim jong-un getting sanctions relief and maybe even in making some meaningful concessions we could verify. when it comes down to the fundamental question of denuclearization, it's not just a matter of trust. it's a matter of will. we are arguing we have not seen it. john: suzanne, would you like to jump in? suzanne: sure. i think it is not a question of trust. when you are sitting with an adversary, and it's decades we have had this relationship, the right approach is mistrust, but verify. that's the approach we should be
taken with the north koreans. that is certainly the approach we took with iran when we pursued the iran deal. yes, stability now, north koreans from either with kim jong-un, but let's think ahead in terms of the economic troubles that north korea is facing. they are only going to worsen with the sanctions regime that is currently up against them. the situation is not going to improve, and that, in turn, will become more of a liability for kim and threaten his regime stability there. i think, in my talks with the north koreans, there are looking ahead to the years ahead, where that is going to harm them. that is the motivation. john: suzanne, let me jump in also, because i actually want to explore the point you made about the incentive that kim jong-un has, but i would like to devote a little bit of time to that and come back to that later and just stay for a little bit on this question of trust. sue mi, you are arguing also
that the north koreans have made agreements and made agreements and never really have lived up to them. that's where this question of trust comes in again. just to stay on that point -- sue: absolutely. north koreans don't trust us either. , they take the 1993 framework and then when the putin administration ever, they skirted the deal, according to the north korea perspective. we get it. you are a democracy. you scuttled the deal. we are looking at the trump administration. how can the north koreans trust us? the same goes for us to them. because of the agreements we do have with them -- every single time they fell apart. they talked about verify and verify. that is exactly the crux of the problem. we were not able to verify every single time discussions fell apart over verification. he is so popular now over all of the south korean diplomacy.
can we not forget that a year and a half ago, that this is a guy who killed his half-brother in a major international airport? [applause] john: bonnie? bonnie: i think we can all agree he is a bad guy. i don't think there is disagreement about him being bad and him not being trustful. and that he has broken promises, i think that is a given. i think the point here is that you have to think about how much is not going to weigh in what you want to do now? do you want to say no to a possibility to denuclearize, or do you want to say you are a bad guy, it did not happen in the past. we can try to find a way to get rid of the nuclear weapons and try to find a way to make the
korean peninsula a lot more peaceful. we want to say we are not when to do it because you are a bad person? sit-down, roll up our sleeves, and think about how we can try to make the situation. john: bonnie, i hear heavy notes of pessimism. does that mean your side actually has optimism? or is that going too far? bonnie: you have been hearing a lot of people with optimism to be careful. you have to be optimistic. you don't want to walk in there with failure on top of your head and say what did not work in the past. sue: let's face the facts. we are dealing with the trump administration. you want them to have optimism. we are talking about john bolton as the national security adviser. you want them to be optimistic that they will get completely verifiable, irreversible denuclearization, and then they don't get that? i think it is better to temper
so this does not blow up in our face. mira: part of the reason we have focused the debate the way we have today is that this definition for denuclearization, complete verifiable and irreversible, is exactly the definition the trump administration is using and most sincerely. it was reiterated by former cia director, now secretary of state mike pompeo, calling not only for the complete disarmament of north korea's nuclear arsenal, but its chemical and biological arsenal as well. the complete dismantlement of all of its wmd programs. and our concern is that if we go into a negotiation with this as a legitimate objective, and the trump administration feels burned, that it immediately goes back into thinking about preventive war, again with john bolton as the national security adviser and mike pompeo as the secretary of state. that is not what we want. suzanne: i am not arguing for
optimism. i am arguing for pragmatism. you make peace with your enemies, not with your friends. nobody is saying here that kim n "honorable guy," as the president said. i want to bring to the table that mike pompeo met kim jong-un just a month ago in pyongyang. rather remarkable. mike pompeo has said he discussed extensively with kim jong-un what complete verifiable, irreversible, denuclearization would be. pompeo then reported that kim was prepared to lay out a map to help us achieve it. so here, we have our cia director, who actually heard it from the horse's mouth that he understands what denuclearization is. he talked to him extensively. i don't understand experts who are saying we should drop the goal of denuclearization when the north koreans themselves are saying they are ready to discuss
it now. that does not make sense to me. john: let me add, before your other side responds, there is this excitement coming from the south koreans also. they have the highest stakes in this of anybody. i want to quote something from " written by ars foreign advisor to south korean president moon, he wrote, after attending all three summits between the two koreas in 2007 and 2018, i believe this one represents progress. he is not naïve, i am assuming. what's your response to that? sue: he is naive. [laughter] sue: actually, there was blowback with this controversy. this was a "foreign affairs" article. it got too far ahead of itself.
that's my opinion on that. i want to reiterate -- john: bottom line, all of that excitement is naivete. sue: professor moon is forward in this enough so they had to walk back. they actually went out and said this today and yesterday, so i am just pointing this out. i want to point out that north koreans have never said they will unilaterally disarm north korea. they talked about, again, the korean peninsula. commitment to denuclearize the korean peninsula, continually involving south korea. i have no problem with and negotiation, and i truly believe trump will be successful because both parties have incentive to make sure this goes well. but again, the point is, afterwards, what would happen after this initial meeting, will it lead to this complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization? john: ok, suzanne dimaggio, you were trying to develop the point you made in your opening
statement. i want to get to the now. your opponent saying that north korea and kim jong-un in particular have no incentive to give up nuclear weapons, and you are presenting them with one. this idea that he wants to step out in the world, that he has something to trade and would be willing to trade it. your opponents respond to some of that. suzanne: believe me i'm not , saying that this will happen overnight, denuclearization. even under the best circumstances. what i have saying is i think a process could be put in place that would lead to that evens will goal. a lot of things would happen before we get there, and it would have to the action for action along the way, because there is so much mistrust. for example, right now, the north koreans should stop testing their weapons. the next thing should be that they stop advancing their weapons, and that would include verification. i think, you know, if kim jong-un is indeed not serious, we will know soon enough, right? because once we get to the
stage, if he does not let inspectors in, we will know. if he does, we won't. what i don't understand is why would kim take this risk right now. he has this nuclear program, icbm's that theoretically can hit where we are sitting right now. he could just hunker down, sit there in pyongyang, and continue life as it is without any backlash. so something is motivating him. i think they have made a calculation that without drastic changes in their economic conditions, that regime will fall. john: and you are saying despite your opponent saying he would never give up his nuclear weapons, because that is existential for them, you are saying that is a price you would pay for the benefit you are outlining? suzanne: it is the ultimate bargaining chip. it would be a process. a lot of things would have to happen. security guarantees would be chief among them, and that would
have to include beijing. john: your opponent is actually presenting an incentive that would make it worth it. why don't you take that on, mira rapp-hooper? mira: this is a really important argument to engage because we are not disagreeing that sanctions may play some role in north korea coming to the negotiating table. on the basis of this economic incentive, they are not prepared to fully disarm. suzanne, in her opening statement, made the essential point already that kim jong-un has claimed victory already with his nuclear arsenal. he has pointed to the fact that it has the nuclear deterrent it needs to ensure its own survival and can pursue other goals as a result. the economic health and stability of the regime is surely one of those secondary goals that kim jong-un would like to pursue over and above his survival, which he has now guaranteed. i do not think that should surprise us that he feels he can come to the negotiating table from a position of strength with
the regime security guaranteed. hoping to make it stronger still by improving north korea's economic situation. my partner, sue, pointed to several statements regarding that. suzanne: but a nuclear weapons program will not see korean people, not keep the economy up and running. these are things you have to think about. it makes total sense now that he has an ultimate bargaining chip. his negotiating position is peaked right now. he can come to the table with confidence. for the north koreans, one of the most important thing for them is to come to the table and say we are coming here as an equal, we are coming here on equal footing, and that's very important to their psychology. john: let me bring in your partner, bonnie jenkins, on this point as well, of incentives. basically, they are saying no one thing that gives him security, gives him clout, gives
him power in the world, he would never give away, because it is just worth too much to him. john bolton has cited the libyan model. they use that against, your kim shouldy saying not trust the united states, because qaddafi did, and now he is dead. take on this incentives question, including the economic incentive. bonnie: i don't really understand how that is going to be a problem in terms of whether we can reach agreement on denuclearization. i am still not understanding why that is a threat or why that is a problem, so i need to have that better clarified, because it is not -- john: sue mi terry? do you want to yield the floor to your opponent? sue mi: to suzanne's point, there would be a deal.
north koreans are coming in from a position of strength. they are coming in, offered a deal. we do not say there will not be a deal. they could offer a deal because trump thinking we can walk away from this and it's a deal that's going to be good for america. "look what i was able to accomplish. no other predecessor was able to accomplish that." even though he does nothing to protect japan and south korea, our allies. north korean leaders coming in from a position of equal strength, because he thinks he will offer a deal, but it's not a full irreversible, complete denuclearization of the korean peninsula as we have defined it. suzanne: we don't know that. the fact is, we are at the beginning -- we have not even started the negotiation. what mr. pompeo and mr. kim discussed is very interesting to me. it seems to me they have agreed to some extent on what's going to be on the agenda. again, i want to come back to this question. why would kim take this risk now if he was not ready to move
forward at least on a process? if things fail, you can imagine it would strengthen the hands of people who were calling for military strikes against north korea. it is not just the economic incentives. it is also the real possibility of military strikes against north korea is motivating him. john: i want to let you respond. right after mira rapp-hooper response, i would like to go to questions from the audience. the way that would work is if you raise your hand, i will follow you. if you can stand up -- the people on the upper tiers, i cannot call on you. i just cannot see you. wait for a microphone to come to you and ask a focused question. mira rapp-hooper the floor is , yours. mira: i just want to weigh in on this question of -- why now?
why under the type of pressure that kim has been facing? in addition to the fact that he has the severe threat of military strikes, he also faces the possibility of being able to enter negotiations and dragged them out. we are suggesting denuclearization is not a feasible goal. if he comes back to the negotiating table, makes minor , very modest concessions, holds out denuclearization as a pipe dream goal that he never intends to make good on, he can reduce the risk of war to him and began to get economic benefits without ever making good on that promise. john: so you assume he will fool around and doddle and never really mean it? that is your assumption? mira: absolutely, and that's what history would suggest. bonnie: just a couple of things. you have to keep in mind that this will not be a negotiation that happens overnight. when you are saying he's going to drag it out. keep in mind that the iran agreement took over 20 months. this is not going to be something that trump is going to go there and make an agreement , and they are going to go home. this will take a while
regardless. it's very important that people understand that this is going to be a process that takes time. we cannot really at this point predict that that is going to happen. we are not at that point where we can say that that specifically is going to happen. john: their prediction is he will never give it up. you are saying that is ridiculous, but you cannot make that assumption. bonnie: you cannot make that assumption at this point. suzanne: we don't have a crystal ball. bonnie: you don't have enough to say -- you are basing all your arguments on what was happening in the past. and i understand why you would do that, but in the world of negotiation, diplomacy, it's about meeting with other people, having negotiations, and trying to find a resolution. you are not going to say "we are going to have a discussion with you at all." obviously, he has come forward and said he wants complete denuclearization. sue: again, we are not saying we
are not going to have a discussion. i am for engagement and dialogue. we can even have -- like mira said, he could even ask for a grand bargain. denuclearization. >> we don't know how many weapons they have, so many covert facilities and thousands of underground tunnels and it the be hard to verify, definition, completely irreversible has been used by mike pompeo today. what we're saying is it is unrealistic. >> it might be easier to verify if you have people looking around. >> all over north korea. we will not get that unless we have negotiation.
we cannot say this point we will not find it. you have to have discussions and the people in there and you don't have that now. >> gwen moore. >> -- one more. >> i want to weigh in. we in our opening statements called for negotiations. we called for arms control and inspectors in north korea and getting our arms around these programs. we are responding to the motion as constructed, which is can we denuclearize north korea? it is to denuclearization we are saying, no. everything else -- >> they are saying they are ready to discuss. what negotiator would go into a -- any negotiation and step back from the position that the north koreans themselves are saying they are ready to discuss? [applause] of course we will go in with our maximum position, you would be crazy not to. the united states has done a poor job over these years of reading the north koreans.
a lot of times you read what they say, you hear what they are pronouncing and you are understanding what they are trying to do. any good negotiator will go into this like a tiger, see the north koreans, kim jong-un discussed it with our secretary of state. why would we go in there and give up that? it doesn't make any sense to me. goingy briefly, if you're to argue that it is ok to have inspectors and do that and have a negotiation to have inspectors, isn't that part of the process of denuclearization? you want to have inspectors in there so you're having it and also not having it. i also want to go back to the optimism point. >> by the way, i'm not -- you said never -- you never set optimism. you do not have to defend against that >> the words you have heard everyone say is cautious optimism. be cautious because there is a
history of working with the country. you don't go in their blind and say, it will go great. you because just any be careful about what you do and what you say because you know the history. >> let's go to questions. in the green shirt. if you can stand up and tell us your name, and ask a question. >> my name is luke. one of the things we heard was accountability with kim jong-un. i don't think anyone in this room would trust the sky. what about -- would trust this guy. what about regional actors, south korea, japan, china, what role may they play in denuclearize in the korean peninsula? >> let me take that first two, side arguing against. agreement,ion any whether arms-control, was the
big lofty denuclearization goal requiring other countries not the united states. south korea, japan, china, essential. ultimately, and arms-control regime, that will rely on international community like the international atomic energy agency to do that inspection. there is another side. every country that has a deep interest in the north korea nuclear interest has already staked out bargaining positions. one example, china. not going to be represented at the trump-kim summit. certainly he made his feelings known when he visited beijing. in response to kim jong-un's visit to beijing, the chinese have promised to begin letting gas workers from north korea back into china. that is before kim jong-un has done anything. the chinese have already begun to grant him economic relief.
part of what we are calling for here is realistic goals, that all of these international actors can get behind because if they are too lofty, everyone gets to define it for themselves and move the levers of pressure and incentive as they see fit, as opposed to a relationship to something tangible we can all agree to definitively. >> i'm glad raise the question. not beorea -- we would here without president moon. we must give him a great deal of credit. he read the situation well. he offered attractive off ramps to kim jong-un into dialogue. it wasg-un told moon oney to step back from obstacle to past negotiations -- the north korean insistence that the u.s. remove troops.
the north koreans are saying they won't insist on that -- that is a major positive sign. he also told moon, they did not expect economic sanctions to be lifted immediately. they understand it is a process and we have control over it. unless and until they do verifiable steps towards denuclearization, we don't have to do a thing. why do we have to lift a sanction? this is a child's play. this is something professionals do. negotiations,k in who work in verification. this is not something we have to give away before we get to the table, certainly without it being verified. >> another question? right in the aisle. >> does the north have enough in the way of conventional to giver aimed at seoul up their ultimate bargaining chip without giving up all their chips? >> they have a conventional power. 14,000 conventional tubes zeroed
in within 60 seconds of seoul. preventive war would be catastrophic. south korea also has conventional power. north korea lost in terms of bribery with south korea on every possible thing. nuclear weapons is the only thing they have over south korea. [indiscernible] >> if i understand your question -- until north korea had a reliable nuclear deterrent, u.s. military planners assessed the united states and south korea would win any war with north korea. any conventional war. >> even without u.s. military -- south korean military is capable enough -- >> and they still inflict enough of a blow, -- >> of course. for theinteresting is,
first time, the north koreans have put forward the possibility of discussing a reduction of conventional forces as well, which is very interesting. we have never them say that before. and why this time is different. they are bringing things to the table they have not before. >> in front? >> can i ask? >> 15 seconds. >> this. it is against the united states. that is why they developed intercontinental ballistic missiles. their goal is against the united states. >> my name is christine. this question is doubling down on optimism. it seems like a commonsense solution for the u.s. to offer to denuclearize. has that ever been on the table? if it were, do you think the north koreans would trust that and both sides would move forward? [applause] >> i'm so glad you asked that
question. suzanne. >> great question. in the past, when north koreans have talked about denuclearization this is what they meant. reciprocal. they have at times a very expansive definition. they are not saying that now because they know it is a nonstarter. that is another signal this could be serious, another signal why we should take the risk of engaging. a small risk. try to get what we can out of it. the fact they are stepping back from demanding we remove troops, from saying, we have to denuclearize too. all these things -- if they had been saying it, i would be the first to say, look, they are not serious. let's cut this off right now. but they are not saying that. they're saying the opposite. >> all right. >> the u.s. -- that has never been an issue with the u.s. getting rid of nuclear weapons.
probablyize that is not going to happen anytime soon. that is probably part of a bigger argument. >> other side. >> when my thing, talking about -- one more thing, kim jong-un said weapons are not targeting south korea and the u.s. it is interesting. >> i will return because my partner said it several times already and i don't want to ask her to repeat again -- that is the fact that north korea has always called for the denuclearization of the entire korean peninsula. that is the language that appeared in the joint statement between north and south korea last week. when they say the denuclearization of the entire toinsula, they mean, the end the u.s. alliance with south korea, the removal of troops from the peninsula -- >> that is not true. how can you say that? >> they have not set it --
>> in fact what they are saying is removing the nuclear strategic assets from south korea. not our troops. we don't have any nuclear assets. >> exactly. >> we take them there and tell them, have a look. >> i think the audience -- i might be wrong but i think audience member optimism was, why not? why should the u.s. not agree to troops and,000 remove the nuclear umbrella if that would be the price of getting kim to give up? >> asking about american nuclear, american denuclearization? >> all of it. >> the question, is a much broader question and is basically about the global 0 movement, to get to zero nuclear weapons, something that
president obama was committed to, not reiterated as an objective under this administration. [laughter] i would not suggest that is on the table right now from an american perspective. it requires participation from other countries. when it comes to the question of removing troops from the peninsula, the question there is whether we have removed all remaining elements of the north korean threat. if the united states was to agree to end the alliance with south korea and remove 28,000 troops, ticket could only do that under conditions where it was sure south korea was secure. that is not just the denuclearization of north korea but that is the inability of north korea to invade the south. agreement to denuclearize would not give that. >> my .1 more time, the north koreans are not demanding the removal of u.s. troops from the peninsula. they said the opposite. they accept it.
it is our president who seems to be the most interested in removing our troops, that we just learned yesterday out of this report who seems more interested in doing that than the north koreans. let's not make up facts. let's follow what the north koreans are saying. let's bring them to the table. let's hold them to account. let's pursue this to the fullest extent. [applause] robust applause can be or more so. [laughter] if you could tell us your name? side,name is dave, the nowledgeryone would ack that china has the most influence and we have seen china has been condemning north korea for its nuclear program. given that the chinese themselves have not been able to denuclearize north korea, how can we then come up to the same
table? china's primary goal with north korea has not been denuclearization -- regional stability. keep that in mind. that is what they are motivated by. they don't want a collapse of north korea, refugees flooding the borders and they certainly don't want u.s. troops on their border, which would happen if north korea collapsed. the point about china -- let's keep things in mind -- they have done a much better job of bringing tougher sanctions against north korea and enforcing sanctions. not perfect. that is one of the reasons we are at this point. the sanctions are biting. secondly, the resolution of the issue, china will play one of the key roles, in terms of security guarantees, who do you think will be the guarantor for north korean security? beijing. >> do you think china's role strengthens your argument?
>> absolutely. at the end of the day the chinese would like to see this problem go away. they don't want to see north korea go a, they don't necessarily want to see kim jong-un go away because that is the buffer between us and them. they would like to see kim jong-un stay, tensions reduced, certainly if kim jong-un gets rid of the nuclear program, china would step up to the plate and be a guarantor for their security. >> opposing side? >> i think you could also make a clear opposing argument. exactly as susan said, the chinese have always been more interested in stability on the korean peninsula then denuclearization. under severe stress from the trump administration, they have put more pressure on north korea this year. more sanctions in place, and those have started to bite. what they're looking for next is to be in a position where they can take that pressure off.
there started to do that already. >> they won't do that because eventually we will move back to the threat of u.s. military strikes, the empty strikes on north korea -- that is the last thing the chinese want. >> they want to do it already. >> i'm also not sure how far china wants to get ahead of the process. they had the meeting and that was good. i don't know how far ahead they want to get in the negotiation with what is going to happen with the u.s. and north korea. you're making the case that they are arty giving things -- they are already giving things. i'm not sure how are they want to get ahead. -- far they want to get ahead. question fororal the people for the proposition. this is the third time we are negotiating.
there is bluster in this ,dministration that you can get without trying to bias the audience, what i think is impossible, -- a complete denuclearization of north korea. you think that you can, i'm sure that -- >> encouraging to get to the -- 90's you had people starving, millions died because of sanctions, actions on part of the international community to get them to the table -- >> i need you to -- no more exposition. >> my question with this run-on sentence -- >> with a lot of commas. >> is it moral to use this as a bargaining chip when you have somebody who is in a position where he thinks he will die if he gets rid of the nuclear deterrent?
-- iswill hold onto that it moral to do that when this is the third time we failed, millions of people have died -- can we not try to change your assumptions going in to something else? >> weight. ait. i don't mean to be dismissive. can you boil it down to one sentence? >> -- >> we're out of time. >> my question is -- morally, is it ok when you have been wrong bluster, assume you will be right the third time when there are millions of lives at stake in something like this? i think that is why china -- >> can i answer. >> i want to get someone else -- one last chance.
i don't think your presenting it with bluster. if you could be terse with this question. >> i am with rand. the trump administration seem to be optimistic. what are each size source of leverage, and what are each side's weaknesses. >> very briefly. but i incentive, mentioned, security guarantees, peace treaty, normalization, bringing north korea in from the cold, the economic part. liabilities, i will be frank -- our administration. our decimated state department, can we carry out such complex negotiations? hopefully mr. pompeo will build up -- [applause] koreans see anth
opportunity in donald trump. they see someone who is a very, very eager to cut a deal. someone who has wavered on alliances -- look at nato. t aboutt give a hoo human rights so they don't expect lectures. [applause] this is the u.s. president for us, let's do this. [laughter] >> are you giving ammunition to the other side? [laughter] >> they want to do a deal with this president. when i was in pyongyang in february, 2017, he was in office three weeks and they brought up the idea of a summit at that point. they have been thinking about this for a long time and planning. , the iran add situation, what we do with iran is something that is a game -- also, our recent nuclear review,
where we committed to building more nuclear weapons. that, hey, by all still wants to meet. he still wants to talk. he is still saying things he is not said before. in light of that, he still wants to have a conversation and we think we can do this. >> i agree with everything suzanne said. north korea has been thinking about this for a long time. they have completed their program and are now walking into this meeting thinking they are in a position of strength and they will try to play trump and the administration. they will offer something that will look good that will come back to haunt us later, and this is the scenario we are warning against. >> at the end of the day cannot be verified, it is no deal. that is the hard facts of it. >> the last word. >> i would agree that north korea's greatest strength is its negotiating position it has been playing for the last year, the completed nuclear arsenal, and
it has south korea and china on its side because of our president's bad behavior and that the primary weakness on the u.s. side, his desire to deal in ill preparedness, which they will fall for a deal that is not good for the united states or the world because it is looking so much to score the win. i will also underscore strength on the u.s. side which is our state department though it is decimated, we have extraordinary civil servants, staffing the back channel and trying to staff this summit. [applause] to prepare as best as they can. john: that concludes round two of the intelligence roundtable. our motion is negotiation 10, denuclearize north korea. [applause] john: now we move on to round three. round three will be closing statements place debater in turn. speaking first for the motion, ambassador jenkins, from the brookings institution and former
state department official. bonnie: i hope you all enjoyed the debate, and i just want to say, one thing i did not talk about is i have been 22 years in the military. i was in the navy and air force, then switched to navy reserve. during my time, i did one of those exercises. i went to south korea. i did one of the military exercises, one of the exercises north korea is concerned about. it was a great experience, and i met a lot of great south koreans, made good friends, and it was a big exercise, all the branches of the u.s. and soviet -- soviet, south korean military involved. i will say despite the fun we had and the friends we made, none of us want that to be a reality. none of us wanted to say this is something we have to be worried about and everything we are practicing we really have to do. so we should be doing everything possible to try to bring peace
to the region. we should do everything possible to negotiate, whenever we have a chance, to take every opportunity to try to find a way to denuclearize the korean peninsula, and reduce the tensions that we don't have to worry about a nuclear exchange or any other kind of war on the peninsula. thank you. [applause] john: thank you, bonnie jenkins. our next speaker will be speaking against the motion, sue mi terry, senior fellow at the center for strategic and international studies. sue mi: my paternal grandparents came from north korea. they happened to be in south korea when the war broke out and never made it back, so their lifelong wish was to see their separated parents and siblings and see unification and peace on the korean peninsula. unfortunately both of them passed away without seeing either.
we are asking you to vote for our side of the motion not because we don't want a peaceful solution but because we do. suzanne said we need to pay attention to what north koreans are saying. we need to read what they are saying. so i brought something to read. because too often we debate u.s. policy towards north korea based on what we wish it to be rather than reality of the situation. in the new year's editorial address, which talked about diplomacy, kim jong-un said the u.s. will not dare to invade because we have a powerful nuclear deterrent. he stated to the korean workers party that the north has completed nuclear arsenal is a guarantee the north koreans worked hard with their belt tightened to acquire a powerful sword for defending peace.
does this completion of the nuclear arsenal is a firm guarantee for the security or well-being of prosperity? sound like a pre-lateral disarmament? north korea has a different definition of denuclearization. does it sound like, because you said we should read what north koreans have been saying, this is what he said two weeks ago, does it sound like a leader ready to give up universally his nuclear weapons program? we need to hear what they are telling us. we are urging you to vote against this motion today because falsely raise expectations are more dangerous and risky and not for the piece -- the peace of the korean peninsula. [applause] john: thank you, sue mi terry. the motion is negotiations to denuclearize north korea. here to make her closing statement in support of the motion, suzanne dimaggio, senior fellow at new america and u.s.
dprk. suzanne: thank you. over the course of my career, i have spent many hours sitting across the table from what, from those many would call adversaries. one of the things i have learned from this experience is that things, unexpected things happen when you are face to face. suddenly preconception, what has happened in the past, assumptions fly out the window. you really never know until you get there. one of the greatest lessons i have learned through my work is that even though we live in the 21st century, the internet age, nothing can take the place of that face to face dialogue. and we have not had that in north korea for a long time. the fact that we came so close to a war, perhaps a nuclear war
just months ago, means it is time to get it started again. this is not a case where president trump is going to sign an executive order and with the stroke of his pen, make this happen. this is a process, as they said, so we need to be pragmatic. i think at the end of the day, what it is going to come down to is whether or not we can change the nature of our relationship with north korea, and anyone engaged in diplomacy knows how hard it is to do that with an adversary. look at iran today. but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try and i would like to end with a quote by a great diplomat and friend. if you ever want to win the the great richard holbrook. i think it was richard holbrook who told me that. great diplomat and risk taker.
he understood taking a smart risk to get peace, so he said, i think history is continuous. it doesn't begin or end on pearl harbor day or the day lyndon johnson withdraws the presidency or on 9/11. you have to learn from the past but not be imprisoned by it. you need to take counsel of history but never be imprisoned by it. quote. u.s.-korean relations have been riddled with missed opportunities, failed attempts to make peace. we can and should learn from these past mistakes. our opponents have raised the fact that we have not been able to do this in the past as the reason we shouldn't do it now. that makes no sense, and it makes me more revved up to get this done. i think the opportunity is too big. john: thank you. suzanne: please vote for this motion. [applause] john: you are just out of time. that motion is denuclearizing north korea, and here to make her closing statement against
the motion, and you have extra time to even things out, mira rapp-hooper, from yale law. >> desiring to eliminate the danger of nuclear war through denuclearization of the korean peninsula and thus to create an environment favorable for peace and peaceful unification for our country, north and south korea declare they shall not test, manufacture, release, deploy or use nuclear weapons. was this the declaration from last week's summit between north and south korea you suppose? alas, it is not come it is the text of the 1992 agreement to denuclearize the korean peninsula. signed by north korea only -- while it was in the midst of launching the missile it has just now completed.
we have been down this road before. we believe that some deal with north korea might be possible but we also know that denuclearization has never been further from site. have our opponents persuaded you tonight that there is a specific tol that will cause cam disarm completely at the negotiating table? they have argued that there are talks that could be productive and we agreed with that when we entered this room. but we do not agree that those talks will make him give up his arsenal and that is what denuclearization is and we do not think they have met that burden. to not be full into buying what is not for sale. motion tonight is a vote for the same policy we have been persuading towards with korea's nuclear weapons program for the last 30 years. join us instead in calling for smart diplomacy that has a
fighting chance of making the world safer and more secure through realistic goals. think through the history we have presented tonight and demand that we do better than we have done in the past. join us in voting against this motion. [applause] >> thank you and that concludes our closings take mints and round three. and now, it is time to learn which side you feel has persuaded -- argued most persuasively tonight. you can go to your mobile device. rl that you used the first time. you will be prompted for, against, or undecided. s.org/vote.
you also have instructions on how to get to that in your programs. while we are collecting the votes, the first thing i wanted to do was to say how pleased i am on a bunch of levels about this debate. the first level is at the partnership with georgetown women's form has been so spectacularly positive for us and we thought the promise was excellent and it turned out to be so much better than we anticipated. great partners and a great event for us to be part of. thank you so much. [applause] an interesting thing was we started planning to do a debate on north korea probably less. over. when i worked at nightline, and when you work for months on a project, we would travel around the world and work from hours and hours and months and months and the day we were to put it on the air something happened in the news to give a whole new impetus and we called that the
news gods smiled upon us. and we thought the same thing happened in the fall. it was again a pleasure that it came to fruition tonight. in terms of our goals of raising a level of discourse by bringing , is- debaters to the stage our goal and the way in which all four of you conducted yourself tonight is a model for everyone that will ever have an argument. so thank you so much for that. we launched tonight, kimonversation with sue ki -- i have to to you that her book is so beautifully written. i thank you so much for still being here. [applause] i wanted to let you know that later on this month on may 14, the u.s. will be back in new
debate wherea automation will crash democracy. our debaters are ian bremmer, and andrew keen. in june, he will travel to aspen, colorado to host two debates at the aspen ideas festival. you can get those debates on our website. i know we have some fancier of people that we really follow our debates already. but if you are just learning about us, you can learn a lot more by visiting our website. you can vote on debates. watch our podcast. membership is free. setup an account. and you can watch all of our debates on demand on river to -- on apple devices. our debates are also featured on public radio stations across the country. results toit for the
come in, and i think we are two minutes away, i have a question i would like to ask our debaters that this is not part of the competition anywhere but we are just curious. we have been talking about the impact on north korea of everything we have been talking about it in terms of, if and when there is a summit between andp and -- donald trump kim come in terms of donald trump's legacy, do you think this have -- has domestic impact? do you think it will matter in midterm elections and in the political game? >> at think president trump is hoping for that. really going to come out of this meeting desperate for a win because he can say this is my foreign-policy success.
no other predecessor from clinton to push was able to accomplish this. i don't know if it will actually have an impact but i think that is probably what he is hoping for. >> i have two answers. we are talking about the nobel peace prize. apparently, they are thinking this will somehow make him eligible for the nobel peace prize. i think that in and of itself will make him want to have success, whatever it may be to get the prize. the other thing is that unfortunately, a lot of these issues do not always resonate touring elections. a lot of these issues regarding nuclear weapons do not resonate with voting. americans focus more on domestic issues. mostly on issues that are closer at hand that they can see and taste. and this matters to us in washington. and it may matter to people on
university campuses studying the issue. comes to elections, when people go to vote, it is not what they focus on, unfortunately. , i agree with bonnie on that point. if the summit is a success and a gets us on a sustained path towards negotiation, it will have an effective mystically but not in a political sense. when i think what happened in hawaii a few months ago when missileot a text that a was incoming, everyone assumed it was north korea. my heart went out to them in my -- and i felt terrible. i think if the summit is a success, the prospect of that happening, the prospect of a civil -- nuclear war diminishes greatly and that is something we should hope for and work towards. while il just add that
completely agree with sue that the president is looking to appoint to something that is a win as they head into the midterms, when it comes to the presidential election, whatever this becomes will be held up against his foreign-policy record. another crucial issue is coming up later this month and that is the iran nuclear deal. if he scores a cheap win with north korea but simultaneously dismantles a real deal that was keeping another nuclear program in a box, that will not burnish his legacy. >> speaking of elections and voting, you have voted and i can declare the winner of the result. , negotiations can denuclearize north korea before 34% agreed with the motion, 41% were against, 25% were undecided. those are the first results.
the difference between the first and second determines our winner. in the second go, the team arguing for the motion, the first vote was 34%, the second was 27%. they lost seven percentage points. wasteam against a motion 41% and then 67%. so the teamup arguing against the motion that negotiations can denuclearize north korea was declared to be our winner by our audience tonight. congratulations to them. our audiences are still tuning in online and on public radio. team, you won. congratulations to both of you. thank you, everybody. it has been a pleasure. we will see you next time.