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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 9, 2009 9:30am-10:00am EDT

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renew negotiations immediately, asking to the two-state solution that the us -- u.s. stands behind and much of the world stands behind and focusing on the issue of the west bank in particular. i think he's going to be forced to pick a initiative and to indicate some gestures about terms under which he's prepared to move toward peace. the real issue, of course, the u.s. point of view is whether the two key issues the president put on the table, meaning negotiate on the basis of two-state solution which is a principle position of the united states of america, and agreeing to the request from the united states to freeze all settlement activity. those are really the ones that the u.s. will be watching for. whether or not the prime minister of israel will include those in the statement remains to be seen. host: peace and development professor at the university of
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maryland. thanks for being with us and share with us your perspective on the middle east. guest: my pleasure. host: two headlines this morning both putting the situation in north korea on the front page. two u.s. jurmists facing a harsh sentence, 12 years according to the north korean government, and the "l.a. times" putting it in broader perspective. the u.s. caught in a diplomatic tight spot. we'll get a perspective on north korea, what happened in the past, what should happen in the future in terms of the bush administration policies, and now with president obama as "washington journal" continues. it's tuesday morning. back in a mom. >> elizabeth warren will testify this morning before the joint economic committee on the recent bank stress test. we'll have live coverage right after "washington journal" beginning at 10:00 a.m. eastern.
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on c-span3 today a couple of fiscal year 2010 budget hearings. first up, treasury secretary timothy geithner and the i.r.s. commissioner today before the subcommittee talking about their 2010 budget, 10:30 eastern. in the afternoon at it it:30, health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius on her department's budget. both of those theargs on c-span3. you can also find them online at >> how is c-span funded? >> private donations. >> i don't really know. >> from public television. >> donations. >> i don't know where the money comes from. >> federally? >> from donors. >> how is c-span funded? 30 years ago america's cable companies created c-span as a public service. a private business initiative. no government mandate. no government money.
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>> there's still time get your copy of c-span's "2009 congressional directory." district maps, how to contact committees and caucuses. it's $16.95 online at or call 1-877-on-c-span. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we want to welcome dan blumenthal with the american enterprise institute. a couple of weeks ago you had this in the "the washington post," "what to do about north korea." this is before the developments over the last couple of days. you said that we would support military action against north korea missiles and missile sites if we had prepared ourselves over the past few years to protect our allies against possible north korean retaliation. can you elaborate? guest: well, yes. we referred to what former secretary of defense perry and current undersecretary of
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defense ashton carter had written in the washington post a few years ago. right before a missile launch by the north koreans. and they advocated a strike we basically took the position that that would not be responsible right now because of the retaliation that the north koreans could take if we did strike them. host: i want to share with you and with our audience one of the many photographs from the "baltimore sun." it's an a.p. photo in south korea as they watch the news developments of two u.s. citizens charged and found guilty by a north korean court facing up to 12 years in hard labor camp. how long, ultimately, do you think that they will stay in north korea? guest: i think they will will be for months, ma a year. the north koreans will use them as they now have some bargaining chips to get the americans back to the table somehow. host: what do you know about these journalists?
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guest: all we know is it what we've read or seen on tv that they were in north korea or close to north korea, trying to investigate stories about refugee that are coming up through tchine i can't and the north korean authorities grabbed them. as they have done with others in the past to use, again, as a bargaining chip to get the americans to come to the table and give something up in return. host: as a way of drawing the connection, as our audience probably knows by now, we weren't for one of the co-founders of vice president al gore who said he would travel to north korea. is that what the north korean government wants? guest: they certainly would like that. that's a very high-profile visit of a former vice president. north koreans always like that kind of attention. so that is the sort of thing that they would want very much. host: let me ask you to go back to 1999 and 2000. the north korean government, pyongyang did make some overtures to the clinton administration. they invited president clinton
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to travel to north korea. he did not go but secretary of madylin albright did go. what transpiped that's kind one step forward two steps back? guest: well, i think the bush administration came in and realized basically -- basically caught the north koreans cheating on some of their declaration that they gave to the clinton administration with regards to not the processing of plutonium but the processing of highly enriched uranium which is another pathway towards nuclear weapons. so the bush administration confronted the north koreans with that. and the north koreans pulled out of the nonproliferation treaty and a host of other obligations that they had signed up to. host: there are a lot of players in this, including china. are we speeding too much diplomatic in a nufereability to the chinese government? guest: i think we are. i think in this case we and china do not share interests. think that our main interests
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and those of our key ally -- and this is important to underscore, our key allies in asia are gentleman pap and south korea. they've sustained the peace with us in asia since world war ii. and i think that our position together with them has been a lot stronger in terms of wanting to disarm north korea than the chinese have. the chinese can fundamentally live with a nuclear north korea as long as there's stability on their boreders. -- borders. host: kim jong il, his son designated as his potential successor. who's in charge? guest: well, it's so hard to know. it's such a totalitarian state with such a news blackout. but it seems from all indications that kim has picked his youngest son early to be his successor. but that doesn't mean the story's over. there could be a power struggle for some time in north korea. the military is very strong as are the other factions of kim's
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own party. host: mike is on the phone from new jersey. democrats' line. good morning, mike. caller: hi. how are you doing? i'd like to know why is it that we as americans feel our people are above other countries' laws because those two reporters were arrested inside north korea and they were there illegally. and then my second question is, what if we find out that these two women have been waterboarded? are we going to sure moral outrage? after we've been waterboarding people? guest: well, i don't think they're going to be waterboard. i actually think they're going to be treated better than most of north korea's prisoners. north korea has a massive prisoner system. it's basically a prisoner state where ordinary farmers and ordinary workers who do anything that upsets the regime in any way serve a lot of time
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and hard labor in the system. it's basically one big concentration camp. but i think that they won't put these two journalists in that kind of camp because they won't want the rest of the world to see just how bad the conditions are for the north korean people. host: our next call from one of the students at woodlawn school. our c-span civics bus is in davidson, north carolina, to be with the students go. ahead with your question. caller: hello. i was wondering, do you think the u.n. will pair up with the u.s. to stop north korea's missile testing? guest: well, i think it's very difficult to get any real action at the united nations because the chinese and the russians who are members of the permanent five on the u.n. security council will ultimately i think want to water down anything the u.s. -- and, again, we have a lot of allies. it's not just us. but the japanese, other perm
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five members from europe work want to put some teeth on u.n. resolutions to actually north korea. but i think it will be very difficult because the chinese and the russians will try to water down any of those sanctions. host: dan blumenthal, a graduate of washington university, studied at johns hopkins university and duke law school among his other capacities he was a former researcher at the washington institute. he focuses on north korea and asian studies at a.e.i. next, a call from sheila in ohio, republican line. good morning. thanks for phoning in. caller: thank you very much. why don't we use our submarine, our united states submarine and its missiles to bomb their missile sites? guest: well, i think that there are really no good military options right now with respect to north korea. we're stretched very thin around the world. we always have to worry about
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north korean retaliation. they really hold the capital of south korea, seoul, at risk. it's very close to where north korea has all of its artillery. seoul is a beautiful and very vibrant city. so we really have to be careful about military actions that -- it wouldn't just be a one-off action. we have to be really concerned about retaliation. host: let me go back to this headline, front page of the "u.s. times." in listening to some of the discussions over the last 24 hours or so it seems like there are two different tracks dealing with these two journalists and getting them freed and the larger issue of trying to bring -- to keep north korea from developing nuclear weapons. how do they connect? guest: i think the north koreans are trying to connect them and we're trying to disconnect them so north koreans are looking for any way to get international attention to get the u.s. back to the table to extract concessions
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from the united states. meanwhile, the united states is trying to disconnect them by going through asia right now and trying to get tougher sanction out of north korea and responding in a fairly tough fashion. saying, you know, we're not going to go back to the table if you don't give up something. and not only that but we're going to make it hurt for your regime if you continue along this path. host: if you wanted to go to north korea, how do do you so? how do you get in the country? guest: it's quite difficult. we don't have diplomatic relations with them. so you have to apply through special means, go through china, go through south korea. get a special invitation from the north koreans. and that sort of thing. host: mark son the phone for new york city -- is on the phone for new york city. caller: good morning. i wonder if you think that it's a little bit insane that these two reporters who were, you know, it seems were clearly put them sflelfs a position to be
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-- themselves in a position to be taken by the north koreans illicit a response from, you know, not only the families but the secretary of state. aren't we in a difficult enough position with north korea that we shouldn't allow, you know, these two individuals to become a part of the equation? guest: well, i think you raise a very good point. what were they doing there? there's a lot of danger. on the other hand, a lot of people whether they're relief workers or humanitarian workers, risk the lives and livelihood to help north koreans get free through china and so forth. they don't do it under the auspice of the u.s. government. they do it on their own. and now we're faced with the situation where we have two american citizens being held in a very ruthless place. we do have to take care of our own citizens.
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host: a couple of editorials. in the "new york times" and this from "the washington post." "hostages." pointing out that one good way for beijing to send a message would be to relax controls along the border and invite international aid workers to assist the desperate women and other refugees whom ms. lee and ms. ling were investigating. mr. king could not endure such a policy for long. a related email. "if china wanted it, then the girls would be free." guest: well, i think it raise as a few points both editorial and the email. a few good points. that is, the chinese have lots -- they have a border, a long bored he, with north korea. a lot of refugees try to get out of that, as i said, that prison state. and a lot succeed. they go through china. china has international obligations under the united nations to work with the refugees and to find a home for them. but -- and oftentimes and often cases the chinese actually send them back to north korea.
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call them economic my grapts and send them back and try to close that border. so china has to, i think, live up to theable obligations under the refugee treatee that it signed with the united nations. host: here's a look at the editorials and how the story is playing out in a couple of newspapers as we are joined by scott from davidson, north carolina, one of the students at woodlawn school. good morning. caller: hi. i was wondering. what do you think the u.s. and the u.n. are planning to do about north korea's nuclear testing now that north korea has declared itself an isolated nation? guest: it's a good question. it's one of those really tough issues without a lot of solutions. i would say since 1990, over a few decades, we've been talking to them, we've been talking one-on-one, multilaterally. we've been offering them all kinds of inducements to give up their drive for nuclear weapons. they've been sanctioned before.
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there's not much left to sanction. there's not really a good military option. i believe we should still talk to the north koreans in some form. but i think we really have to wait out the kim regime until more reasonable leadership comes into power that it can actually make a deal. >> another demrent you can send your tweets. again, if north korea is isolated, how do they know the girls wrp coming to the border from china to investigate women trafficking? >> a very good question. north korea is a very strong police state. one thing they do very well and spend most of their resources on rather than feeding their people who are starving and so forth is tracking these kinds of things. they're very sensitive to people coming in or their own people coming out. they have a very sophisticated surveillance system and police state that basically keeps people in or keeps people out.
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host: good morning brian go. ahead, please. caller: good morning. i think maybe you answered my question about wait out the regime. but it's no secret that the united states has been sending fuel, oil and rice shipments. i don't know when it began, but it happened under the clinton administration. i think what may be the -- maybe the general public doesn't understand is that i think maybe 99% to 100% of those shipments go to the north korean military. i just would like your opinion on the current administration, the bush administration, the future administrations in a position to where they can't cut off those shipments because it would be perceived in the international community as being too harsh but yet make the american public aware that we're actually fueling the north koreans' military machine k. i have your comment on that?
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guest: sure. that is correct. in large part. i think the two countries that i think are most responsible for propping the north carolinians up because it is a failed state -- the north koreans up, because it is a failed state. they don't produce anything besides things -- narcotics and ballistic missiles and w.m.d. that they sell on the market. but china has been i think number one in terms of investment and aid to north korea. south korea has been a big supporter of neek neck's economy. and sos -- so have we. we did it under president clinton. we did it under president bush in the latter part of his administration and right now what i think president obama and his administration are grappling with is whether we're going to continue or not. host: darius knot from woodlawn
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school in north carolina. go ahead. caller: i was wondering, do you think north korea is a n a position to launch a nuke hear tack? if so, will it happen closer than we think? guest: north korea is gaining the capability by testing its missiles and by conducting these nuclear tests to engage in a nuclear attack. and certainly in blackmail. think the key again here is the concerns of our really key ally, japan. and south korea. about how destablizing all of this is. and we really need to stick with our long-time allies and listen to their concerns about how destablizing north korea's program is. host: joe biden said barack obama would be tested in the first six months of his administration. is this that test? guest: this is one of many. the world obviously doesn't --
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north korea acts almost like clockwork in terms of its festing -- testing of new governments and old governments. but i think so i think they're trying to see -- there's two things really driving it. one is eternal unrest and crisis within north korea. and the other one is trying to see what a new administration -- what they can extract from the new administration, basically. host: let me go back to the map to give our audience some geographical perspective. this is a google image that has been downloaded quite frequently over last couple of years. you can again see the lights on in south korea. and not on in north korea. what does this tell you? >> well it tells you that the character and the nature of the government in a placematters a whole lot. the korean people are very similar. they both emerged basically the same place, after world war ii. and the korean government --
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the south korean government had a successful government, now a democratic, free market government and is just thriving. and the north korea still lives under this kind of stalinnist, totalitarian state where there is no economic activity whatsoever. host: this tweet. his name is dingo star, at least that's what he says. being that the u.s. is still technically at war with north korea, would congressional approval be needed for the u.s. to take military action? guest: that's a good question. you're right that it was the korean war in the 1950's under u.n. or policing action under the u.n. auspices. i would think that the united states would if it took action, seek approval at the united nations. again, i don't think we're going to do that. i don't think we're going to go
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to war with north korea. and i personally don't think that would be a very good idea. host: democrats line. welcome to the program. caller: hi. host: good morning. caller: good morning. you know, i was thinking that it reminds me of the pirates in somalia. like is north korea holding these journalists for money because their people are starving? and maybe they're on the verge of, you know, a civil war of some sort. and is that why they're possibly holding these journalists, for money or for some sort of something else? guest: another very good question. the north koreans have taken a number of actions after their missile and nuclear tests this past spring. they have threatened us out. they have pulled out of the agreements with the south. they have threatened the south -- the south koreans.
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so to put a bigger context on this, i think what they're trying to do is raise the stakes and play this game of brinkmanship to its most extreme level and try to get the united states to give them more of something. whether it is food. whether it is money. whether it is ultimately recognition as a nuclear state. but, again, president obama and his team have been pretty clear that they're not going to do that. host: morgan from wooddawn school on the phone. go ahead with your question. caller: there has been at least six missile launches in north korea recently. they've continued to tell the u.n. that they're go tock need to strengthen their -- going to need to strengthen their defensive countermeasures. do you think the u.n. will take any action? guest: i think the u.n. will take limited action. the united states is now pushing for a tough resolution that would sanction north korea
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and also allow states throughout the world to stop north korean proliferation and to check vessels, airplanes for we will we will -- weapons of mass destruction. in terms of defensive countermeasures, i think the united states is the country that has the power to defend itself and its allies in j pan and south korea. and those would be things like missile defenses and the ability to strike back in case the north koreans actually did strike one of our allies. host: another tweet from the viewer who speculates. says north korea may have known lisa ling's sister was in a group back in 2006. lisa did an unflattering piece on north korea. how dot people live in north korea -- do the people live in north korea? basic necessities, food, shelter, education, clothing? guest: it's a real tragedy. it's one of the poorest states. as the caller mentioned.
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most of the food aid, the hard cash that comes in for the sale of mostly illegal goods goes to kim and his family and his cronies. the people have gone through famine and starvation. they live very badly. it's one of the greatest human tragedies i think on earth today. host: again, does this give the administration any leverage in trying to free the hostages or resume any type of dialogue with pyongyang? guest: if the administration was successful, which i think would be very difficult, then, yes, that would provide a great deal of leverage. but i don't think the chinese will do that. host: albert from atlanta. good morning. caller: yes. i had a question or two weren't we supposed to help north korea build a reactor which would require so much upgraded plutonium? wasn't that one of the
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agreements mrs. albright made at some point and it never was carried out? secondly, and then i'll hang up. can you explain how much chemical -- how many biological and chemical weapons were used by the u.s. air force in the war between 1950 and 1953 against north korea? didn't they pretty much make it a moonscape up there and didn't that cause a lot of the damages that they're still suffer from today? host: thanks, albert two different points. guest: on the first point, both the clinton administration and the bush administration to some extent, offered react ares -- reactors down the line in negotiations. but the north koreans were supposed to honor their obligations first. that's the way the deal was structured. those obligations include not only the freezing of one facility but also a full and complete declaration of all of their programs, all of their nuclear programs which they
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didn't do. so the negotiations in both administration got hung up on that. in terms of the korean war question, i'm not sure specifically about how much chem-biowas used. my reading of the korean war was there was a whole lot damage inflicted both to the north and the south. but most of that was done through conventional mean. host: mallery, good morning. caller: good morning. i have one question. how would a republican response have been to the missile testing contracting with obama's reaction? guest: a very good question. i think we saw republican responses over the last few years. there was a missile test in 2006. and also a nuclear test in 2006. and the response was not much different. at first it was -- we got some
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toughly worded sanctions at the united nations. and after that i think we started to negotiate with the north koreans. host: tony from chapel hill, tennessee. good morning. caller: good morning. host: go ahead with your question. caller: all right. first two points. host: sure. caller: serve twisting this around to make them hostages. they got into north korea on their own. so i think they're just prisoners of north korea. why do we always have american enterprise institute speaking for us? that's the jewish lobbyist. that's one of the problems with our country right now. host: our guest is here at our invitation. and whether it's the wilson center or brookings or a.e.i. or the "weekly standard" or "nation magazine" or "american prospect" the purpose of this prax is to hear from a number of different points of view.
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we appreciate dan blumenthal's time to be with us. if you'd like to respond? guest: yeah. i work on asian issues. i don't work on any middle eastern issues. that's it. host: what will happen next? can you walk us through various scenarios? guest: various scenarios with respect -- host: with the hostages and any diplomatic moves that we make, any developments with china. what potentially could we see? guest: i think what the administration is going for is a very tough set of measures that include our own ability -- our ability as well as our ally's and friends' ability to interdict any on ward proliferation, being any proliferation of w.m.d. from north korea noted to be able to check vessels and check airplanes and so forth at ports as they come in if


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