tv National Security Adviser Holds Briefing CSPAN May 19, 2022 4:42am-5:09am EDT
i hope you guys will bear with me. i actually do have a number of things to get through because we have quite a stretch ahead here with respect to the president's foreign policy and national security priorities. very good to be back with you guys today. today, finland and sweden submitted their applications for nato membership. president biden has welcomed those applications, and he looks forward to working with nato allies and with congress on a swift accession process. it's all happening again. we got the audio. small interruption of the accession process right there. but everything will be on track just fine. tomorrow morning, the president will welcome the president of finland and the prime minister of sweden to the white house to coordinate on the path forward. and the three leaders will also have the chance to compare notes on our united efforts to support ukraine in its defense against russia's brutal invasion. they will also have the opportunity to speak to the press and the public to affirm our shared vision for a peaceful and secure euro-atlantic region. this is a historic event, a watershed moment in european security. two nations with a long tradition of neutrality will be joining the world's most powerful defensive alliance. and they will bring with them strong capabilities and a proven track record as security partners. and president biden will have the opportunity to mark just what a historic and watershed moment this is when he meets with them tomorrow. after that meeting concludes,
president biden will board air force one for a trip to the republic of korea and japan. this will be his first trip as president to the indo-pacific. and it comes at a pivotal moment. president biden has rallied the free world in defense of ukraine and in opposition to russian aggression. he remains focused on ensuring that our efforts in those missions are successful. but he also intends to seize this moment - this pivotal moment - to assert bold and confident american leadership in another vital region of the world: the indo-pacific. that began last week with his hosting of the u.s. asean summit here at the white house, where he welcomed nine leaders from southeast asia for a substantive set of meetings that covered a diverse agenda from economics and security to technology and energy. president biden made a series of significant announcements to show that when it comes to engagement with asean, we're not just talking the talk, we're walking the walk as well. this week, the president turns his attention to northeast asia. and on this trip, he'll have the opportunity to reaffirm and
reinforce two vital security alliances, to deepen two vibrant economic partnerships, to work with two fellow democracies to shape the rules of the road for the 21st century, and to thank his allies in korea and japan for their remarkable and in some ways unexpected contributions to the effort to support ukraine and to hold russia accountable. in korea, president biden will meet with the newly inaugurated korean president, president yoon, who campaigned on the platform of strengthening the u.s.-rok alliance and on improving relations between the rok and japan. president biden will engage with technology and manufacturing leaders in korea who are mobilizing billions of dollars in investment here in the united states to create thousands of good-paying american jobs. he will see american and korean troops standing shoulder to shoulder in defense of our collective security and consult on the challenge posed by the dprk's nuclear and missile programs.
and he will highlight the truly global nature of the u.s.-rok alliance, from climate and energy and technology to economic growth and investment. in japan, president biden will meet with prime minister kishida and his team. and we believe that the u.s.-japan alliance, at this moment, under these two leaders, is at an all-time high. this visit can take us even higher. the two leaders will consult on the broad and deep economic relationship between our two countries, as well as on a range of regional and global security issues. we'll also cover the dprk as well as a number of other security issues both in the indo-pacific and more broadly around the world. the u.s.-japan alliance is the cornerstone of peace and stability in the indo-pacific, and japan's contributions as a security partner are rightly growing as the regional security picture becomes more challenging and dynamic. president biden and prime minister kishida will also be able to compare notes on the g7
agenda as the g7 summit approaches next month in germany. in japan, president biden won't just have a bilateral program, he'll also have the opportunity to participate in the second in-person quad summit, following on the summit he hosted here in washington last september. he will do this alongside the prime minister of japan, the prime minister of india, and the prime minister of australia. and we believe that this summit will demonstrate, both in substance and in vision, that democracies can deliver and that these four nations working together will defend and uphold the principles of a free and open indo-pacific. while he's in tokyo, president biden will also launch a new, ambitious economic initiative for the region: the indo-pacific economic framework. "ipef," as we affectionately call it, is a 21st century economic arrangement, a new model designed to tackle new economic challenges - from setting the rules of the digital economy, to ensuring secure and
resilient supply chains, to managing the energy transition, to investing in clean, modern, high-standards infrastructure. president biden will be joined in person by the prime minister of japan for the launch of ipef and virtually by leaders from a number of indo-pacific partners, from down under to southeast asia to northeast asia. on security and economics, on technology and energy, on investment in infrastructure, we think this trip is going to put on full display president biden's indo-pacific strategy and that it will show, in living color, that the united states can at once lead the free world in responding to russia's war in ukraine and at the same time chart a course for effective, principled american leadership and engagement in a region that will define much of the future of the 21st century. and with that, i'd be happy to take your questions. yeah. >> thanks so much. can you talk to us about turkey and what the administration is doing and what conversations you might be having with turkey about their plans to block finland and sweden's applications?
is there a deal to be struck with turkey? mr. sullivan: we're confident that, at the end of the day, finland and sweden will have an effective and efficient accession process, that turkey's concerns can be addressed. finland and sweden are working directly with turkey to do this, but we're also talking to the turks to try to help facilitate. i spoke with my counterpart today; secretary blinken is meeting with his counterpart perhaps as we speak, in new york. and we feel very good about where this will track to. and president biden will express that confidence as we believe the president of finland and prime minister of sweden will express that confidence tomorrow. yeah. >> the korean media is reporting that president biden will meet with former president moon jae-in during his visit to seoul. is that accurate? mr. sullivan: we don't have a meeting scheduled with president moon at this time. >> have there been any discussions between u.s. officials and korean officials about moon jae-in potentially taking on a "special envoy to
north korea"-like role? mr. sullivan: i'm not familiar with any discussions along those lines. yeah. >> in the statement today welcoming finland and sweden's application to nato, at the very - or almost at the very end, it said that "while their applications for nato membership are being considered, the [u.s.] will work with finland and sweden to remain vigilant against any threats to our shared security, anddeter and confront aggression" does that mean that the u.s. is extending, like, the nato security umbrella to them while their applications are in process? mr. sullivan: article 5 only kicks in once all 30 allies have ratified the accession protocols and they become full-fledged members of the alliance. but the united states is prepared to send a very clear message, as are all of our european allies, that we will not tolerate any aggression against finland or sweden during this process. and there are practical measures that we can take along those lines that secretary austin will coordinate with his counterparts in both finland and sweden. yeah. >> jake, two questions. one on the accession and one on your trip. so, when the initial nato expansion happened, of course, there was a huge debate in washington about whether it was a good idea or not.
i remember kennan himself wrote in the new york times that he wasn't in favor of it. was there any similar debate that went underway here about whether or not bringing finland and sweden in was a good idea, or whether it would further corner putin? and on the trip, tell us a little bit about what you know on the evidence that north korea may attempt either a nuclear test - hard to imagine what they would accomplish by a seventh test, but - the seventh test - or a missile launch, and what your preparations are if that happens during the trip? mr. sullivan: on the first question, president biden posed the question to his national security team, to his cabinet principals who cover national security, as to whether they supported the accession of finland and sweden, and for them to consider the risks as well as the benefits of bringing finland and sweden into the alliance. unanimously, president biden's national security team emphatically supported the entry
of finland and sweden into the nato alliance on the grounds that they have already proven themselves as highly capable security partners. in the parlance, we say "net security contributors," meaning they give a heck of a lot more than they take when it comes to a security partnership or an alliance. and that we believe that russian aggression has only reinforced the argument for the kind of defensive alliance that - that nato presents and poses. and finally, we have the principle of the open door. and the open door says that if countries meet the criteria of nato membership and display that they can be net contributors to the alliance and to overall european security, they should be admitted. that is a principle that president biden has believed since long before he occupied the oval office. and finland and sweden are two cases that are pretty clear-cut when it comes to meeting those terms. with respect to the issue of north korea, we've said from this podium, we've said at the state department, and we've indicated in quite clear terms
that our intelligence does reflect the genuine possibility who that there will be either a further missile tests - including a long-range missile test or a nuclear test or, frankly, both - in the days leading into, on, or after the president's trip to the region. we are preparing for all contingencies, including the possibility that such a provocation would occur while we are in korea or in japan. we are coordinating closely with our allies in both korea and japan on this. we have spoken with counterparts in china. i met - i spoke with my chinese counterpart this morning and covered this issue of the dprk. and we are prepared, obviously, to make both short- and longer-term adjustments to our military posture as necessary to ensure that we are providing both defense and deterrence to our allies in the region and that we're responding to any north korean provocation. yes. >> jake, thank you.
two questions on different topics. one, could you update us on the situation with the russian blockade on grains? and also, on haiti: what happens with the title 42 with the haitian migrants and maybe migrants of south america as well in the caribbean when it comes to the end of title 42 on may 23rd, if that happens? mr. sullivan: so, first, it is russia's war of aggression against ukraine and nothing else that is stopping tens of millions of tons of food from getting out of the breadbasket of europe - ukraine - and onto the world market to feed people in africa, the americas, asia, and everywhere else. and that is true in two critical respects: first, russia is bombarding odessa, which is the port from which that food departs on large cargo ships bound through the black sea and then on to the world market. second, russian ships are engaged in an effective blockade
of commercial ship traffic that would - could leave odessa port, were it not under this bombardment, and head out to the world. so we have publicly called upon russia to end its attacks on odessa and to end the blockade and to permit the traffic - the commercial and humanitarian traffic of ships into and out of odessa port. we are working closely with both ukraine and the united nations on this issue, as well as other allies and partners. and we are supporting efforts to facilitate the delivery of that grain to the world market so that it can alleviate food prices everywhere. and we would like to see an outcome in which the facts - not just the rhetoric - the facts bear out the actual permission by russia of large numbers of ships moving through the black sea and onto the world market. >> is russia responding to that
request? and also the question i asked you about title 42. mr. sullivan: there are ongoing intensive diplomatic conversations. the united nations secretary-general is involved in this, the ukrainians are involved in this, some of our other partners are involved in this. i'm not going to get ahead of those discussions. i'm only going to say that the united states stands ready in any way to help facilitate and deliver on that diplomacy to try to produce an outcome in which food is getting to the world stage. with respect to haiti, we will have to see. obviously, there are a number of issues bound up in the courts right now. but with the end of title 42, the united states has put in place a process by which those individuals who claim asylum and have legitimate asylum claims can stay and those who come and don't will go through the process - the legal process that exists and has existed for some time. even when title 42 was in effect, large numbers of individuals were not subject to title 42; they were subject to
the standard legal process by which we deal with claims at our border for people who want to come and stay here. >> jake, on ukraine again: u.s. intelligence chiefs recently offered assessments that putin continues to bank on the fracturing of western resilience to continue this war. is turkey's concern about finland and sweden joining up perhaps an example of that? and what about the, i guess, also congressional pushback, or the growing congressional pushback, to ukrainian aid? what are you guys doing, sort of, in both regards to make sure that that doesn't continue to happen? i know you've described some of it, but it does seem now that there are examples of these growing concern or criticism resistance. and then i got one other on another part of the world. mr. sullivan: so, first, growing congressional pushback, to me, is a strange premise for a circumstance in which the house of representatives voted overwhelmingly not just in favor of approving what the president sent up, which was $33 billion, but actually adding $7 billion to it to make a $40 billion
package. and we expect a similar overwhelming bipartisan vote in the senate once the final procedural hurdle - hurdles are cleared over the next 24 to 48 hours. so there are some voices against this, but the chorus of voices on both sides of the aisle, from all sides of the political spectrum, in favor of standing up in defense of ukraine's sovereignty and freedom and independence - it's quite powerful and, frankly, in a way, quite moving. and it sends a clear message to the world that the united states can pull together behind the brave people of ukraine in their hour of need. what was your other question? >> well, just turkey's continued concern here and whether there might be others who are going to raise concern about nato expansion. mr. sullivan: look, the great thing about the free world - about the western alliance, about nato - is that you've got a raucous collection of states that all have opinions, that all have perspectives, that all have interests. but they also know how to and when to pull together and how to settle any differences. and i expect these differences will be settled.
i expect that nato will speak with one voice in support of finland and sweden at the end of the day. and i think the remarkable unity you've seen with respect to sanctions coming out of the eu, the united states, and our indo-pacific partners; the support that we have provided ukraine in terms of military and humanitarian assistance - it's only grown stronger over the course of the last 12 weeks, and we expect that that momentum will continue, and it's having a major impact on the battlefield. ukraine won the battle of kyiv. ukraine has now beaten russia back from kharkiv. and ukrainian defenders are putting the military assistance we provided to good use in defending territory in the donbas as well. yes. >> just a little bit about the challenges of trying to focus on the indo-pacific - a priority for you all around the -- from the get-go - given just - i mean, look, a bulk of the questions even here today have focused on other parts of the world. tomorrow, finland and sweden are going.
just the juxtaposition of what is going on in the world right now as you all are trying to focus (inaudible). mr. sullivan: and, you know, it's interesting, we actually don't regard this as a tension between investing time, energy, and attention in europe and time, energy, and attention in the indo-pacific. we regard this as mutually reinforcing. first, look at the indo-pacific partners that have stepped up to help make these sanctions and export controls as effective as they are: korea, japan, australia, even singapore. second, look at the extent to which european countries are increasingly invested in the indo-pacific, in helping ensure that our vision of a free and open indo-pacific is actually realized. we see that with the auukus partnership, where you've got the united kingdom alongside australia and the united states. we see it with the way the european union has, for the first time ever, put out an indo-pacific strategy. and so, actually, we think that there is something quite evocative about going from meeting with the president of finland and the prime minister of sweden to reinforce the
momentum behind the nato alliance and the free world's response in ukraine, and getting on a plane and flying out to the indo-pacific not just to deal with security issues, but to unveil a new far-reaching economic initiative, to host a quad summit that will cover climate and cyber and emerging technologies, and to deal with korea and japan on issues that actually affect working people here in the united states, including major investments that will create jobs in states across the country. so, for us, there is a certain level of integration and a symbiosis in the strategy we are pursuing in europe and the strategy we're pursuing in the indo-pacific. and president biden's unique capacity to actually stitch those two together is, i think, going to be a hallmark of his foreign policy presidency. >> can you provide an update on when the president will visit israel? and secondly, can you elaborate further on the specific security guarantees that the united states has made finland and sweden in the interim period?
mr. sullivan: so, first, on israel, we are actively working with the israelis to fix a date for the visit at some point in the not-too-distant future. the president is very much looking to go. but unfortunately, i don't have an announcement of a trip or a timetable for it standing here today, other than to say the president is excited to get the opportunity to go to reaffirm the strength of the u.s.-israel relationship. with respect to the specifics on security commitments or assurances or actions that we will take with finland and sweden, those are ongoing conversations that are happening at an operational and technical level between our department of defense and their ministries of defense, and also with other nato allies and partners. and so i'll leave it in those channels for now - only to say that the u.s. stands ready to ensure that deterrence and defense for finland and sweden will be there should they need it, even though they don't get the full benefits of the article 5 alliance until the accession process is properly complete, as
is required, frankly, under our constitution, where we need to get advice and consent from the senate for that treaty. >> regarding the trip, to what extent is the message on this trip going to be like a cautionary tale delivered to china to say, "look what happened in ukraine. look how we've responded. don't do anything similar"? is that going to be part of the messaging during the president's trip? mr. sullivan: the message we're trying to send on this trip is a message of an affirmative vision of what the world can look like if the democracies and open societies of the world stand together to shape the rules of the road, to define the security architecture of the region, to reinforce strong, powerful, historic alliances. and we think putting that on display over four days - bilaterally with the rok and japan, through the quad, through the indo-pacific economic framework - it will send a powerful message. we think that message will be heard everywhere. we think it will be heard in
beijing. but it is not a negative message, and it's not targeted at any one country. it's targeted at an audience the world over about what american leadership, working flanked by allies and like-minded partners, can deliver for people everywhere. and we think we go into this trip very much with the wind at our back, with a strong case to make that we have what it takes to be able to deliver against the security and economic challenges of our time. and president biden will head into the indo-pacific with a spring in his step, and we're very much looking forward to this visit. services