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Inter-Korean Relations: Past, Present and Future (Introduction)

Moderator: Robert L. Gallucci, Dean, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Introductory Speakers: Kurt M. Campbell, Vice President, Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Alton Frye, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
June 12, 2002
Council on Foreign Relations

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Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, if I could just interrupt your dinner quickly we'll obviously save the main course for dessert and Ambassador Galluci's statement. I just wanted to take a couple of minutes to welcome everyone on behalf of the Council on Foreign Relations…It's wonderful to see such a collection of friends of Korea and…and I just want to say a few words of welcome and thanks to the people as we get started on what we hope will be the…productive meeting tonight and tomorrow. 

First of all, none of this would have been possible without the support….and it's been a wonderful…friend…all of us…Ambassador…I'd like all of us to join in…just a couple of quick words of thanks to people who've really done a lot to make this a success. A couple of people just have to be named.  Derek Mitchell…team.  Our president, Caroline Gifford…thank you all so much and a particular thanks, if I can, to Bob Einhorn and Joel Wit both of whom have played such an enormous role in getting this started. 

And I just have to just quickly tell you the story of Joel and Bob because it is a story that plays itself out throughout Asia in terms of how they both ended up…a couple of months ago both of them left the State Department using…They made their way sort of like they were walking and they ran quickly when the doors were open into his…and they huddled downstairs. And they demanded to be interviewed. 

So, we interviewed them.  And I asked, you know, "How are things going?" “…really can't return to the State Department because we just don't think we can implement the North Korean policy” (Laughter).  We, of course, found this to be just totally unsatisfactory. And, so, we put them back on the street. But they were complaining to the mailbox and unfortunately, as they were being sent back to the State Department, the…and they, of course, published it in the newspaper.  And of course, then, we were forced to have them accepted here. It's been our good fortune to have them both here and they've really helped us…program.  I'll have a few words subsequently for Ambassador Dean Galluci. Please enjoy your dinner.  And thanks to all of you for coming (Applause).

?: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I am very pleased to see so many esteemed friends and colleagues here tonight.  Ambassador Kim, Ambassador Walker, Ambassador Gleysteen.  Of course, and Mr. Galluci.  Tonight's keynote speaker.  There are just too many distinguished guests for me to acknowledge.  However, I'd like to particularly thank Dr. Kurt Campbell, senior vice president of CSIS, for organizing this seminar.  In Korea, June is a month for commemoration.  We pay tribute to the sacrifices and services of people from home and abroad who defended the Republic of Korea from Communist invasion during the Korean War.  These months, we remind ourselves not only of war destruction and mutual distrust of the past but of the need and desire to cultivate a new path of peace, reconciliation and mutual trust for the future.  This new path is best exemplified by the historic South North Summit which impressed(?) in Kimbejung(?) and Chairman Kim Young Il in the year 2000. 

This month marks second anniversary of South North Summit, summitry, and the first anniversary of President Bush's call for dialogue with North Korea.  Thus, it is very timely for the CSIS to organize this well-focused conference.  Billions of people around the world are watching and talking about the World Cup these days. But let me assure you that I'll not breathe a word about it (Laughter).  Not even the game between Korea and the U.S.  Instead, I would like to make a few points here regarding the Sunshine policy. 

There are two major criticisms.  One is the allegation that South is just giving away everything to the North without receiving anything in return.  The plain truth is that either in comparison with the previous South Korean government or the former West German aid to East Germany, the Kim Dae Jung government's assistance to North Korea has been rather minuscule.  For example, our aid to North Korea in the year 2000 was only .017 percent of South Korea's GDP which is less than one-fourth of the former West Germany's annual aid to East Germany.

Moreover, if we consider South Korea's aid to North Korea as a peace expense, or a unification cost, it is a prudent and even wise investment.  Thanks to the Sunshine policy, the tension level on the Korean peninsula is now at an all-time low.  Our economy has quickly recovered from its worst financial crisis since the Korean War.  In the midst of a world-wide economic recession last year, South Korea economy fared well.  And its total trade surplus as well as the total amount of foreign direct investment to Korea for the last four years were unprecedented.  We did pay. We have former vice president of World Bank, Dr. Jessica Einhorn here. 

We did pay most of our international loan three years ahead of schedule.  Above all, the human, urgent human needs in North Korea are alarming.  My government and the U.S. government are in total agreement that we must not and cannot link humanitarian issue, humanitarian aid to issues of North Korean security and politics.  Six or seven million people, or more than one-third of North Korean population, are either starving or are malnourished.  How can we turn our backs to this desperate humanitarian emergency?  Second criticism against the Sunshine policy stresses that it is a Korean version of appeasement.

It alleges that South Korea's making a series of unilateral concessions while North Korea attempts to manipulate South Korea by its whims and schemes.  But this accusation is also groundless.  To me, appeasement is like Neville Chamberlain's Munich Pact, which led Hitler to take Czechoslovakia without a fight.  Or, even looking the other way, when Nazis annexed Austria earlier.  But let me tell you. Not a single inch of land in South Korea has been given over to the North under the Sunshine policy.

To the contrary, if any land deal is involved, it must concern the Mong Kungdan(?) area of North Korea, where nearly half a million South Koreans, South Korean tourists, have visited thus far and where Shunday(?) constructed the dock facilities and other tourist infrastructures to facilitate tourism.  Perhaps I sound overly defensive of the Sunshine policy and self- righteous in my reversal of its criticisms.  It is, of course, for you to judge and ultimately for history to judge.  In closing, let me point out some salient characteristics of South Korea today which is in rapid flux.  Its fundamental transformation in demography, economy, politics and geography are, indeed, vast…

These are the new challenges that Korea and the United States as the staunchest allies and partners in the fullest sense must respond to and resolve those now and in the years to come. Demographically, more than two-thirds of the Korean people now belong to what we call the Post Korean War generations who are under 40 years of age.  They are best represented by the soccer fans who call themselves the ‘rabdabbles’(?), quote, Red Devils. 

They are young, assertive, relatively affluent, information technology friendly, and predominantly urban.  Economically, Korea is on the verge of becoming a full-fledged free-market economy.  Again, this is owing to the Korean people and their government's gallant reform in restructuring for the past four years under the vision and leadership of President Kim Dae Jung.  Politically, the Republic of Korea will demonstrate to the world this year that democracy is firmly entrenched once and for all.  First, through tomorrow's local election and this December's presidential election.  Geographically, Korea is right in the middle where four major powers, the United States, Japan, China and Russia and their political, economic and strategic aims and ambitions intersect.  Amid such regional complexity, the Republic of Korea is now fast becoming the dynamic hub of Asia.  Thank you very much (Applause).

?:Thank you very much, Ambassador, for those heartfelt remarks.  And we're very grateful that you did not mention the soccer result.  And we promise not to mention the new dance that's swinging the United States, the "Oh, No!"  So, we'll leave that for later.  It's my great pleasure today to be able to introduce Dean Ambassador Bob Galucci(?).  I don't think anyone here needs any recitation of his tremendous experience in the State Department, his value to the Georgetown faculty, and his support to all of us as friends and colleagues.

I do, however, want to tell one very quick story.  This is a true story, by the way, about Ambassador Gallucci.  Every culture has a way to distinguish through a little saying someone who's a fantastic negotiator.  In South Africa, its local saying is that he could sell spears to the Zulus.  In Russia, he could sell samovars to Tula, which is a city where samovars are made.  England, sell coals in Newcastle.  So, you know all of these things.  Every culture has one.  In the high-level meeting that took place immediately before Ambassador Gallucci was named for his most important role in which he negotiated the agreed framework, senior people of the Clinton administration were sitting around and debating, you know, who's the right guy?  And someone said, you know, that Bob Gallucci's very, very good, and I think we should go with him.  He could sell nuclear reactors to North Korea (Laughter).  And who would have thunk it?  You know.  So, anyway, we're very grateful that Bob took the time.  Thank you very much for coming, and we look forward to hearing what you say (Applause).

William Gallucci [BG]:     Want you to know, Dick, every bit of my skill and ingenuity to do that.  Thank you all.  Thank you, Turk.  A month ago, or more, Joel asked me if I'd be free this evening, and I said, "Yes."  I said, "What did you have in mind?"  He said, "Oh, dinner and a show (Laughter)."  I'll be more careful next time.  I would not normally start a presentation to an august group like this with a story.  But I don't know what you were doing at your tables.  At our table, we were listening to Jessica Einhorn tell stories.  So, I'm going to tell her the story she just told us which is really just too perfect to avoid. It's a story about what happens when you go to heaven, if you should be so lucky. It turns out, as one gentleman found out when he was going up to Heaven that St. Peter greets you and tells you that there's a tradition in Heaven, and that is that on the first evening at dinner, you get to, it's your first night, you get to tell a story about the most significant event in your life and impress everybody else in Heaven.

And the guy said, "That's great.  Because I got a great story about the Johnstown Flood."  And St. Peter said, "Well, good, good, but I think maybe that wouldn't be such a great idea.  Why don't you think if you've got another story from your life?"  And he said, "No, no, really.  The Johnstown Flood was extraordinary.  And I can ..."  How am I doing, Jessica?  "Johnstown Flood was extraordinary, and I was there. I saw it.  So, this is what I want to talk about."  St. Peter said, "I understand you were very impressed. But I'm not sure it's really appropriate." 

He said, "I'm going to do this.  Why wouldn't I do it?  It's an extraordinary event."  Said, "Well, okay, you can do it.  But you should know, Noah is in the audience."  (Laughter) My problem this evening, folks, is that Noah is in the audience.  And to talk about US-South Korean relations, US-North Korean relations, North Korea and South Korea relations and with this audience is for me presumptuous.  I mean, it's not going to stop me.  But it is presumptuous. So, I'd like to morph that assignment just a bit and talk about American policy towards North Korea.  That used to be something that I would do fairly regularly. 

And I thought in my mind that I was doing it fairly well because I thought I knew American policy when I was involved in its formulation.  It has turned out, as I left government, to be harder to do.  It was harder during the second Clinton administration when I wasn't in government.  It's gotten even harder now.  Now, that may have to do with the greater distance I have from policy.  Or it may have something to do with the difficulty of discerning policy these days.  Or, both.  I don't know.

But I know that I don't find it easy, and, so, I'm assuming that others find it difficult as well.  So, I'm going to offer some observations about American policy towards North Korea in this administration.  I'm going to suggest that you could define discern three phases that we have moved through in our policy.  Each one, lasting about six months.   The first phase, beginning of the Bush administration, I think that the administration looked at Korea as one of a number of rogue regimes that were pursuing weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles as a means of delivering those weapons.  Most significantly, in this phase, North Korea was regarded as the other rogues, as not open to deterrence. 

By virtue of their very rogueness, the North Koreans could not be counted upon to be deterred, as other countries had, who were thought to be enemies of the United States, such as the Soviet Union, and, at one point, China.  So, therefore, with a state like North Korea, the only way to deal with North Korea and the other states that were rogues, was to develop a defense in light of the fact deterrence was inadequate. 

And, so, North Korea at the beginning of the Bush administration, I think, was sort of a poster child for our national missile defense initiative. This was the cutting edge of the threat against which we were planning and shaping our defense.  It was the first country mentioned in terms of its proximity to a capability to deliver a nuclear weapon by a ballistic missile to the United States in the Rumsfeld Report.  A second element in this first phase was a belief that North Korea and the other rogues, but, certainly, North Korea, was not to be dealt with by negotiation.  That we got to understand, I think, fairly crisply, if somewhat painfully, when President Kim Dae Jung visited Washington and we heard from the President and many others, but not necessarily the Secretary of State, that North Korea was a country that we probably could not consider an adequate partner in negotiations.

Indeed, I think, during this phase, we heard from the administration, officially, unofficially, what we had heard from critics earlier on in the Republican camp about the Clinton administration's engagement with North Korea:  namely, it was guilty of at least three things in its approach to North Korea:  naivete, perhaps immorality, and, certainly, a wish to fail.  The naivete really was born of a belief that these regimes would honor agreements.  The critique, I think, then, is…with that North Korea, of course would not. 

Naivete was over the degree to which North Korea respected force and nothing else.  Naivete over North Korea's history and use of force.  Generally, an unwillingness to look hard at the reality of North Korea and the regime.  The immorality of pursuing negotiations with North Korea, I think, turned on a belief that North Korea was succeeding only in blackmailing the United States.  After all, what was the agreed framework was an arrangement, I think, that has been characterized as the result of America's response to the North Korean threat, and if a deal is made in response to a threat, and good things, such as nuclear reactors are offered up, then what we have here is not really a negotiation.  We have blackmail. 

And to be blackmailed, the most powerful country in the world, to be blackmailed by a country that is experiencing negative growth, is immoral.  And to engage in negotiation with a partner whose respect for human rights is non-existent and whose proximity to democracy is also non-existent suggests that there are values at work here which are reprehensible.  And the third quality was that this was a policy that was bound to fail and set a bad example. 

By dealing with North Korea in the way that the previous administration had, we could expect other countries to belly up to the bar and ask for comparable treatment, perhaps nuclear reactors.  Indeed, we were going to have a hard time dealing with the Russians in their assistance to Iran, if we could not distinguish the Iranian case from the North Korean case.  And in any event, over the long term, this kind of appeasement was bound to fail. By the way, I wrote these words before Bob Einhorn passed me a copy of today's editorial in "The Wall Street Journal."  Just to make that point.  I think that this policy lasted about six months.  And then I think it began to change. I think it began to change for a couple of reasons. I think there was a real impact as a result of the policy review. 

I think that some of what was revealed in the course of the peri-policy review was also revealed during the first six months of Bush policy, and the wisdom of perhaps engaging the North, indeed, the problem of apparent imprudence of failing to engage the North pressed itself upon the administration. Second, I think there was a degree of respect for the impact of the administration's policy in the first six months on our treaty ally, South Korea. 

And I think, third, that with the growing enthusiasm for a possible engagement in Iraq, the idea of what we used to call two MRCs at the same time looked pretty unappealing.  And perhaps there was some virtue in discussing issues with the North. That brought us after about six months and the end of the policy review to, I think, phase two.  Phase two was captured by the phrase, negotiations with North Korea at any place at any time, without preconditions.  And I think that was the declaratory policy of the Bush administration.  The objective, as I understood it, was to improve upon the agreed framework in these discussions to most significantly add the North Korean conventional force deployment to our list of concerns but also to go to what the Clinton administration had been after, namely, the ballistic missile program of North Korea as well as the nuclear program and go after their export, their deployment, their production and their testing. 

And finally, to resurrect a word from the past, to emphasize verification of whatever arrangements were agreed upon.  A second element in this phase, too, I think, was the continuation of rather negative rhetoric about North Korea, notwithstanding a declaratory position that we were prepared to negotiate. 

Some unhappy things were said about the leadership in North Korea, accurate, perhaps, but not flattering, and there was certainly no suggestion, as we talked about our willingness to show up for talks, that the administration was prepared to engage in inducements, positive inducements to bring the North a long a road that we had defined as wanting to take with the North Koreans.  I think this phase lasted also about six months.  And then we got to January, and we got to the State Of The Union speech, and that well-known speech, with a well-known phrase, I want to read just that sentence.  "States like these," President Bush said, and he was referring, as you know, to Iran, Iraq and North Korea, "and their terrorist allies."  "And their terrorist allies."  Repetition added here.  "Constitute an access of evil in aiming to threaten the peace of the world."

What happened, I think, in phase three, is that North Korea was, and other rogues were linked to the threat posed by terrorists.  There was a recognition, I think, more broadly after September 11th that the United States was moving into a new phase of vulnerability that had not been expected, in which we had not had experience for a very long time.  We had against these terrorists no deterrence and no defense. 

We had no deterrence and no defense against a strategic threat to the continental United States.  The newness of this, I think, is extremely important to understand, where the administration is currently. I would say, we hadn't, the United States hadn't been in this position since about 1812.  After 1812, through much of the 19th Century and the first half of the 20th Century, the United States had oceans and competent navies and friends, or, at least, non-threats in the North and South. And so, we were able, in fact, to defend the United States and to use the phrase from the strategic literature, defend by denial, to actually prevent states from reaching our shores, our enemies from reaching us. 

With World War Two and the aftermath, that changed, of course, and we had air power, that could attack the navies and span the oceans, and we had nuclear weapons, a few of which could fundamentally alter American history. And we had a vulnerability that we were unhappy with.  And, so, we developed a lot of nuclear weapons, a lot of offensive capability to deal with that.  The offensive capability would deal...had three objectives, pre-emption, preventive war and deterrence.  These are words we're going to hear more about these days than we had for a long time.  Preventive war, in the literature, as I understand it, means a war you launch not against a current threat but against a threat that may emerge at some point and become more difficult to deal with in the future.  Therefore, your advantage is to attack it now and deal with it.  That's a preventive war.  The pre-emptive attack is something you do on the eve of the anticipation of being attacked by someone when you believe there's an advantage to going first.  So, you pre-empt.  And the third, deterrence, we are all familiar with. 

The problem after the Second World War with this strategy of pre-emption, preventive, and deterrence, was that the Soviet Union did the same thing we did and developed a big offense with a triad and pre-emption and preventive war didn't look so good because they went into a deterrent mode as well. So, we were in deterrent mode and so were the Soviets.  And this was greeted with not a great deal of glee as a method of defending the United States against the Soviet Union.  So, we have naturally tried to recapture the possibility of defense, and we have in the 60s an effort at an ABM system. But we discovered, again, in the language of the literature that the offense/defense cost/exchange ratio was not favorable.  And, simply put, all that meant was that an increment of offense could be had more cheaply and easily to overcome an increment of defense. 

And so, deploying defenses just led to an offensive arms race.  For this and other reasons, we had the ABM treaty and we had no defense.  We also had no defense because we found out it was pretty hard to do.  When Ronald Reagan became president, he once again found deterrence unacceptable and attempted to employ a defense, Star Wars, hoping that lasers had reversed the offense/defense ratio, discovered, I think, that that again was harder to do than anticipated and then, of course, the threat morphed significantly with the disappearance of the Soviet Union. 

George Bush, Sr. did little in national missile defense.  Clinton did little in national missile defense in terms of deployment and then George Bush, I think, can be characterized as trying to recapture the day in which the United States not only had deterrence through overwhelming offensive capability but also had the capability to defend the United States by denial to prevent an attack from reaching the United States and by embracing a national missile defense which technologically, again, he hoped would work. 

But then, 911 happened.  And 911 meant that national missile defense could not defend America because the threat was not going to come from missiles. It was not going to be a threat against which we could deny an enemy the access to the United States.  It could come as we all know from all the studies of container ships and the 12 million containers that reach America.  that's one way it could come.  But it can come from 100 other ways as well.  And we could not really expect to defend America against that. 

But also we were losing deterrence. And we were losing deterrence because we could not be sure if we were attacked by these terrorists that we would know from whence the attack came, and if we did, we couldn't be sure that if we went to respond that the attacker would still be there, and if we were lucky enough to find out who did it, and they were hanging around, we couldn't be sure that they'd really care very much that we retaliated, because they might be willing to die for their cause.  So, deterrence did not look very good to us.  We were then back in a situation in which we had no defense.  By denial.  We had no deterrence.  And we had vulnerability at the strategic level.  And I want to assert that.  That's extremely important, I think, to understand where we are.  Strategic vulnerability. 

I mean, that the enemy is capable of producing weapons that will be of strategic destructive force for the United States of America.  Not plutonium core weapons but highly enriched uranium, gun-type devices, of the kind we dropped on Hiroshima, not the kind we dropped on Nagasaki, a weapon that does not need to be tested, a weapon that it is very plausible Al Qaeda could fabricate.  Or, the virus that moves from person to person and is both easily transmitted and quite deadly:  One of the reasons we are concerned about smallpox.  This vulnerability at the strategic level, against which we have no defense and no deterrence led the administration to look to pre-emption and preventive war but not just against terrorists because terrorists were linked with rogues. 

And so, we've come full circle, and now our policy to North Korea, and, I think, in other rogue states who threaten us with weapons of mass destruction threaten us not only because they, themselves, might not be deterrable, but because they may transfer this capability to those which can't be deterred nor defended against. 

Hence, we have the State of the Union message linking rogues and terrorists. We also have the nuclear policy review, the leak of which describes five countries which we may target with nuclear weapons in a pre-emptive or preventive mode, adding to the axis of evil Syria and Libya.  We have the speech at West Point just recently in which President Bush is quite clear about the imprudence of waiting too long before we deal with a threat coming from a rogue state and a rogue state that might transfer that capability to terrorists and, then, of course, if we were unconvinced by this, we have the absolute authority.  The "Washington Post" on Monday in a headline:  "Bush Developing Military Policy Of Striking First." 

So, in phase three of the administration's policy to North Korea, our nonproliferation policy has gone to counterproliferation policy, and it is now the counterterrorist policy, and it is squarely in the crosshairs of our counterterrorist policy.  If you're looking at North Korea and beginning a discussion with North Koreans, I think that is one kind of inducement for the North Korean cooperation, not what the Clinton administration had in mind, but an inducement, nevertheless.  So, what does this mean? 

And where does this leave us in our policy to deal with North Korea?  First, what is the continuing threat?  What are we worried about with North Korea?  I think the threat continues to be ballistic missiles.  Exports to the Middle East.  We publicize Iran and Pakistan.  That's not all.  That's a major concern, continues be.  Tests by the North Koreans, if their moratorium should lapse, they allow it to lapse. I would say that this is not a terrific atmosphere for a North Korean test of a ballistic missile over Japan, given the debate in Japan these days. I think that the nuclear weapons concern continues.  The nuclear weapons concern was drawn sharply by Undersecretary Bolton along with a concern about biological weapons. 

He said, and I quote, North Korea has a dedicated national level effort to acquire a biological weapons capability.  He goes on to say that he has named North Korea and Iraq for covert nuclear weapons programs in violation of the NPT.  The Undersecretary of State identifies North Korea as having a covert nuclear weapons program.  We put the conventional threat aside.  We've been dealing with that for 50 years.  So, that's first.

Second point to be made here is that there was an overt nuclear weapons program in North Korea that we had sized at about 150 to 160 kilograms a year of production capability of plutonium yielding, perhaps, 30 to 40 nuclear weapons a year and that program has till now, we can pretty well verify, been checked as a result of the inspections and the arrangements that followed from the agreed framework. But the administration has put the agreed framework at risk, I think, quite purposefully.  And they have done that in deciding that they would not certify North Korea in compliance with the framework but, rather, to waive the requirement for compliance in order to continue with its own steps consistent with the framework.  It did so not by actually quoting the phrase, anticipatory breach, the language that is used to describe North Korea's failure to move ahead with the inspections necessary to ultimately lead it to comply with IA safeguards requirements.

The argument here that I think most of you are familiar with is that if the agreed framework anticipates North Korea coming into compliance with its safeguards agreements and accepting these special inspections before the nuclear components of the power station are delivered and we expect to be at the point where they would be livid(?) in a couple of years, and it'll take a couple of years to do the inspections, those North Koreans had better get going or then when the time comes, we won't be able to continue right on to deliver the nuclear components. 

That all makes perfect sense, except the agreed framework doesn't require them to move ahead.  It doesn't say anything about that, actually. It only says they won't get the nuclear components until they complete the inspections to the satisfaction of the IAEA.  And if you can't read the language clearly enough, and I've found out that some people can't, then I would suggest you look at the negotiating history which is very, very, very clear. I encouraged Vice Prime Minister…to begin perhaps even immediately to show his good faith with the negotiations with the IAEA to come into compliance with their full scope safeguards agreement in 1994. 

And Vice Prime Minister was kind enough to explain to me that those inspections that may include special inspections would be a reward for America's delivery of the conventional portion of the plant.  And that would amount to transparency when they allow these inspections, and they weren't going to reward us until we'd delivered the first part of the plant as the framework anticipates.

We understood that. That's consistent with the language of the framework.  But the administration would like those safeguards discussions to begin sooner. I applaud them for that.  I wanted them to begin in 1994.  If they could begin tomorrow, I think it would be neat. The question, though, is, if we unilaterally insist they must agree, and we put the framework on the block, in order to push them to do that, and they refuse, is it a good idea in terms of America's national interests, South Korea's and Japan's, for example, to break out of the framework, because they refuse to accept a unilateral reinterpretation of the framework?  We can talk about. The third point, of course, is the most important, and that is that if Undersecretary Bolton is correct, I'd say we all have a fairly big problem here, if he is correct that there is a covert nuclear weapons program in North Korea, then I'd say we are in June of 2002 looking at a situation that looks a little bit like June of 1994, only a few years ago. 

In June of 1994 in the Clinton administration, we were looking at a nuclear weapons program and the North Koreans removing the fuel from the research reactor putting it in a pond and presumably then reprocessing it and separating the plutonium.  And we thought there were three options essentially.  We could bomb the North Korean nuclear facilities.  And if we did it early enough, before the plutonium was separated, we were pretty sure, whatever the known nuclear program was, that was the program we ultimately froze, we could destroy it. 

So, that was an option.  A second option is we could negotiate with the North Koreans and try to freeze and stop the program, including inducements. And the third option was we could have sanctions and rely on sanctions.  We could improve our defense and deterrent posture. We could threaten but neither bomb nor offer adequate inducements.  The third option meant accept North Korea as a nuclear weapons state with ballistic missiles. Nobody thought that sanctions would stop the nuclear weapons program. 

It was a necessary step, we thought, if we wished to do either of the other two.  If the negotiations failed, we had to do it.  But nobody thought that it would stop the North Korean program.  So, there are only three options in 1994.  We decided to try number two, which was negotiate and put light water reactors and heavy fuel oil on the table.  I believe it was pretty clear that if number two didn't work, our fall-back position was number one. 

We would not allow North Korea to acquire nuclear weapons.  We would attack it.  And three, accepting North Korea as nuclear weapons state, was simply unacceptable.  Now, we fast forward to June of 2002, and if I'm correct, we are confronting a, if Bolton is correct, and I'm correct about the characterization of this, then we are confronting a similar situation, and we look at those three options.  In 1994, I think it would be fair to say that Seoul and Tokyo would have been reluctant allies in an attack upon North Korea but allies, nonetheless.  It would be my assertion, which I would welcome some discussion of, that right now, if the Bush administration proposed to its allies that we deal with the North Korean covert nuclear threat, assuming we could find it to attack, by attacking it, neither would find this acceptable. 

So, option one may not be plausible unless one was willing to do it at the cost of alliance with Japan and alliance with South Korea.  Second, there's the negotiate option and the positive inducements.  Now, that, I think, has been almost philosophically eliminated from the table, as we went through these phases.  It could be put back on the table.  But right now, I don't sense that that is where the administration is.  I think we have in a sense removed that option ourselves.

That leaves option three.  Option three might be a defense buildup.  It might be a threat. It might be any number of things.  But they resolve to, all of them, accepting North Korea as a nuclear weapons state armed with ballistic missiles.  This would, indeed, be ironic, if it is the Bush administration that ends up managing the international situation in North East Asia, and North Korea becomes a nuclear weapons state for all the world to see with all the implications that might have for Japan and others in the region.  I am, therefore, concerned, and I'm glad that you will be here tomorrow.  I wish I would be with you in order that you could figure out what to do about this.  Thank you very much (Applause).

Moderator?: Ambassador Gallucci has agreed to take a couple of questions.  Just a few, because we have an early morning tomorrow.  Could you please, when you stand up, raise your hand?  I'll call you.  And identify yourself, if you would, please. 

[Audience] :(Unmiked/Inaudible Portion)

BG: That's sort of what I'm a little concerned about.  I mean, there's an assumption in what I said, and that is that headlines in "The Washington Post" about pre-emption and preventive war and a capable United States, which we are, does not in itself create sufficient intimidation to cause the North Koreans to back down. I mean, if that worked, then I would say this administration might be applauded for its courage. It's a bit risky.  But I would say that was impressive.  I would also be surprised if that worked. And in your question, I see that, what I see about that is:  suppose we straightline, sort of, the last year-and-a-half, the first three phases.  Where do we end up?  Well, I don't know who is going to go and represent the United States or what they're going to say when they get there.  But I worry that it will not be enough.  And I worry that Bolton may be correct.

If there is no nuclear weapons program, then we are where we are, and maybe we stumble through the agreed framework, maybe we don't. If you abandon the agreed framework, then, of course, you've got the existing program that you can see.  If you keep the agreed framework, I wonder what you're keeping it for.  The purpose of the agreed framework was to stop a nuclear weapons program.  If there's a covert one, the agreed framework isn't working.  If you don't use the agreed framework, as we did in 1998, to lever the North Koreans to permit access, then why are you continuing with the agreed framework?  I don't get it.  Frankly. 

All right?  If however, they, I mean, there's time for that kind of strategy to unfold. But I think, philosophically, it will be hard for this administration to do that.  The philosophy they've put forth I believe is quite important to them.  I'm talking about the administration as though it was a single unified entity.  And I think we know it ain't that.  But I'm concerned about straightlining the current situation and where we will end up. 

[Audience]: (Unmiked/Inaudible)

BG: No.  I mean, I can't.  My view of that statement is that I will take it at face value that he said that.  But the administration at the time, I don't believe that would have prevented a strike.  You recall the record.  He is pretty clear that planning in Washington was, well, remember, President Carter had parachuted into Pyongyang, and he was negotiating there with Kim Il Sung while they were meeting back in Washington. And that was about the three options.  The force packages for upgrading and improving American presence in North East Asia. And I think that we would have gone ahead under the circumstances, if we had to and we had, in fact, described the window, and the window was, you know, was opened, when the fuel went out of the pond and into the reprocessing facility. 

And then once it, the plutonium was separated, that window for attack would close because you wouldn't know where to go.  And I do believe that President Clinton would have struck that reprocessing facility rather, and the other facilities, rather than have seen the material go off and be used to fabricate nuclear weapons. This is a game anybody can play.  And you know, but I do believe that that's true.  I can't really say any more about Kim…statement. Sorry.

Moderator: The last question, please.  Yes?

[Audience]: (Unmiked/Inaudible)

BG: I think, I was right with you at the first part of your comment.  If there's a covert nuclear weapons program in North Korea, it is profoundly in America's interest, South Korea's and Japan's, to stop it.  I'm with you.  There is nothing, in my view, nothing that connects a covert nuclear weapons program in North Korea to special inspections, to plutonium that may have been separated in 1990, or 1991, to the resolution of that issue in the timing of the light water reactor. 

You can have special inspections until the cows come home.  You can satisfy the IAEA with about what happened before.  You can produce one, two, three, four, five, six, eight kilograms of plutonium.  And if you've got a covert nuclear weapons program in North Korea, you're in big trouble.  I am not seriously concerned about the past as a threat. It's a political issue in my view.  At some point, it needs to be resolved.  There's no urgency. That's why we kick that can, as we say, down the road and said it can come whenever we're going to get to deliver part of the reactor. There's a real material difference in terms of security, real security, between resolving the past, which has to happen at some point, and covert nuclear weapons program, which is active now, aimed at giving the North Koreans fissile  material secretly so that they can build nuclear weapons. 

The framework, I say again, the virtue of the framework in 1998 is that it was useful in resolving our concern about a particular site, because, I think, the North Koreans very much wanted to keep the framework in place.  It may work again if we have a site, if Mr. Bolton has a site in mind.  It may work again.  It doesn't work unless you try it.  And you have to focus on that as the objective. 

And I think you need to focus on that and rather than political statements about anticipatory breach and can we get special inspections sooner or later, this is to me, and I don't mean to insult anybody who's invested in this, pure nonsense. It has nothing to do with security and everything to do with politics, and it troubles me greatly.  There is a security issue, and I would like the administration to address it.  Thanks (Applause).

Moderator: Thanks very much to Ambassador Gallucci for starting us off with such a wonderful presentation this evening.  Thanks again to the Korean Embassy, to Ambassador Young(?), to the Korean Foundation, and please, to Korean friends who came a long way.  We wish you a good night's sleep, and we'll start bright and early tomorrow morning. Thank you all very much for coming (Applause).

Welcoming Remarks

Kurt Campbell [KC]: I’m Kurt Campbell, Vice President here at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and on behalf of the Center, let me welcome you all to what we hope will be an excellent conference that is designed to look at U.S.- Korean relations, inter-Korean relations in the past, in the present, hopefully into the future.  I think this is an excellent opportunity to take stock.  We've tried to invite the people from both the Center and the Council on Foreign Relations, who have devoted their lives, a good measure of their professional and private lives to improving relations between all three parties, and we're looking forward today to having people address these issues as we go forward.  Let me just say very quickly that we're very grateful to the Korea Foundation and particularly to the Korean Embassy for all their support and leadership on these important issues.  We got up to a very good start last night, with Ambassador Gallucci, who really gave a very deep set of remarks concerning the future of American policy on the peninsula, and what it might mean for North Korea.  If any North Korean friends were in the audience, I don't think they would have taken very much heart from what was described.  Let me just say very quickly that we're also very grateful to the Council on Foreign Relations who approached and said, "Let's work together."   We've had a series of meetings, and much like North and South Korea, we managed to come together around a common goal.  We've worked with Alton and his excellent staff, and we're really very grateful to have him here.  Let me just ask him to say a few words of welcome before we get immediately started on Panel 1.

Alton Frye [AF]: Kurt, thank you very much.  I also want to add a very warm welcome to people that have been working on an issue of great importance to all of us, even those of us not as attentive to it as the rest of you.  I think one of the most important aspects of the collaboration, a happy collaboration, the Council enjoys with the CSIS community, with Kurt, and John Henry and the others, is the ability to speak openly and directly about these large issues in international affairs, that affect all of us, without regard to party or position.  One of the enduring challenges in the public policy sector is to keep focus on the major issues, the major challenges that demand attention but don't always get attention.  I think especially when we find ourselves preoccupied with such a consuming problem as terrorism.  A very important question slipped to the periphery.  Officials like presidents and prime ministers have 365 degree responsibilities.  And it's extremely difficult to keep focused even on other important problems.  So I think both the Council and the Center share an important goal of helping keep focus on the long standing, profound and chronic challenges that it bear on security in the Korean Peninsula.  At the Council, we've been doing that for the last  several years, in the continuing task force on Korea,  Co-Chaired by Ambassador Jim Laney and Ambassador Morton Abramowitz.  Many of the participants in that task force are involved in this conference and I'm delighted to see that.  The task force has issued several reports, and has another major report coming early this Fall, on the Bush administration responses to developments in the Korean area.  And it has also sent forth a stream of significant letters to the President, Secretary of State, and others.  An aspect to which Kurt referred, has been important to that task force activity, and that has been the collaboration with friends from Korea.  And the capacity to work bi-nationally on this shared problem.  I think that there's one other, lighter point I would make in this rather ecumenical assembly.  One of my favorite ecumenical stories I started to tell before the meeting, is about the Irish Protestant, who married a lovely Irish Catholic girl, and converted.  He had a certain degree of identity problem and he went to see his priest to say, "You know, I've converted in good faith, but I am having some difficulty thinking of myself as a Catholic."  The priest said, "You should repeat to yourself, faithfully, "I am a Catholic.  Not a Protestant.  I am a Catholic, not a Protestant."    So the man goes away, saying, "I am a Catholic, not a Protestant, I am a Catholic, not a Protestant."  Friday comes in Ireland, and in traditional Irish preface, it's meatless Friday.  The day when the priest happens to come to visit for dinner, with the newly wed couple, and as he walks in the home, he detects a certain beefy aroma.  Well he slips into the kitchen, and he finds the recent convert stirring a skillet full of gravy, and lovely chunks of meat, saying to himself, "You are a trout, not a cow.  You are a trout.  Now a cow.  You are a trout.  Not a cow.  You are a trout.  Not a cow."  (Laughter)  We often find in diplomacy and policy debates that language is important.  Euphemism is important.  Labels are significant.  Sometimes ambiguity is useful.  Sometimes bluntness is necessary.  I hope that we never lose sight of the reality beyond the language, and my one encouragement to this conference is, I hope it will not be distracted by the substantial debates about the vocabulary that has recently been used about the Korean dangers and risks coming out of the current administration.  Whatever we call it, there are problems.  And I hope those realities will be the focus of this discussion in the coming hours.  So on behalf of the Council, I do want to add my welcome and my encouragement, in the mission you have undertaken, I wish you well and look forward to learning from the proceedings.

AF: Thank you all, and I would just second, I think that the task force on Korea that has been meeting over the last several years has been basically the focal point for keeping this community together, and we really are grateful for all that leadership. Just a couple of final points, the entire day, except for lunch, is on the record.  Mike Green from the  White House will be joining us for lunch, very quickly, Ambassador Howard is in town, he's responsible for that meeting with the President at 1:15, but he's been good enough to come over and share his views on where we stand, or where we don't stand on relations with North Korea over lunch.  That will be off the record.  Everything else is on the record today.  I urge all of us to speak with candor and let's let the games begin.  Let me ask, if I can, Chairman Kim to bring his first panel up, and we will retire to the side table.  Again, welcome, and thank you very much. 

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