U.S. POLICY TOWARD NORTH KOREA
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS
SEPTEMBER 24, 1998
Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York, Chairman
WILLIAM GOODLING, Pennsylvania
JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska
CHRISTOPHER SMITH, New Jersey
DAN BURTON, Indiana
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
DANA ROHRABACHER, California
DONALD A. MANZULLO, Illinois
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
PETER T. KING, New York
JAY KIM, California
STEVEN J. CHABOT, Ohio
MARSHALL ''MARK'' SANFORD, South Carolina
MATT SALMON, Arizona
AMO HOUGHTON, New York
TOM CAMPBELL, California
JON FOX, Pennsylvania
JOHN McHUGH, New York
LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina
ROY BLUNT, Missouri
KEVIN BRADY, Texas
RICHARD BURR, North Carolina
LEE HAMILTON, Indiana
SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut
TOM LANTOS, California
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
HOWARD BERMAN, California
GARY ACKERMAN, New York
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American Samoa
MATTHEW G. MARTINEZ, California
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
ROBERT ANDREWS, New Jersey
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
ALCEE L. HASTINGS, Florida
PAT DANNER, Missouri
EARL HILLIARD, Alabama
BRAD SHERMAN, California
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
STEVE ROTHMAN, New Jersey
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
BILL LUTHER, Minnesota
JIM DAVIS, Florida
LOIS CAPPS, California
RICHARD J. GARON, Chief of Staff
MICHAEL H. VAN DUSEN, Democratic Chief of Staff
PETER BROOKES, Professional Staff Member
KIMBERLY ROBERTS, Staff Associate
C O N T E N T S
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Ambassador Charles Kartman, Special Envoy for the
Korean Peace Talks, U.S. Department of State
Dr. Kurt Campbell, Deputy Assistant Secretary for
Asia and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense
Hon. Stephen Bosworth, American Ambassador, Republic
Ambassador James Lilley, Resident Fellow, American
Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Dr. Fred Ikle, Distinguished Scholar, Center for
Strategic and International Studies
Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt, Visiting Scholar, American
Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
The Honorable Benjamin A. Gilman, a Representative in Congress from
New York, and Chairman, Committee on International Relations
The Honorable Christopher Cox, a Representative in Congress from California
Ambassador Charles Kartman
Dr. Kurt Campbell
Ambassador James Lilley
Dr. Fred Ikle
Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt
Additional information submitted for the record:
Article by Mr. Gilman in Defense News submitted by Mr. Gilman
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Article by Gregory Vistica and Melinda Liu in Newsweek submitted
by Mr. Gilman
Article by Robert Manning in the Los Angeles Times submitted
by Mr. Berman, a Representative in Congress from California
Article by Donald Gregg and James Laney in The Washington Post submitted
by Mr. Berman
Letter to Mr. Hamilton, a Representative in Congress from Indiana,
by Hong Soon-young, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Republic of
Korea, submitted by Mr. Hamilton
U.S. POLICY TOWARD NORTH KOREA
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 1998
House of Representatives,
Committee on International Relations,
The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:15 p.m.
in room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Benjamin A. Gilman (chairman
of the Committee) presiding.
Chairman GILMAN. The Committee will come
I want to welcome our distinguished panel of witnesses
to the House International Relations Committee today to testify on our
policy toward North Korea. We appreciate all of you taking time out of
your busy schedules to appear before us today.
It should come as no surprise that we are concerned
about our policies toward North Korea. The stakes are very high for our
Nation and our allies on the Korean Peninsula and in East Asia. Recently,
I dispatched a staff delegation to review the station inside North Korea.
Their report was grim and sobering.
Deterrence has been successful there for 45 years,
but I fear that the combination of political weakness on our part, coupled
with the growing vulnerability of our forces are leading the United States
and North Korea down the road to a conflict, a conflict that no one would
like to see occur.
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Our policies toward North Korea have not been successful
under the current Administration. We are paying for bad behavior by rewarding
North Korean brinkmanship with benefits. North Korea is now the largest
recipient of U.S. foreign aid in East Asia. And in response to recent North
Korean provocations, the Administration proposes only to increase its level
of assistance. Our current policy of weakness may lead North Koreans to
miscalculate our resolve.
Former Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger called
our policy toward North Korea, and I quote, ''reckless appeasement and
naive.'' He called the Agreed Framework ''dangerous nonsense.'' Regrettably,
some of us agree. According to press reports, the Agreed Framework created
to stop North Korea's nuclear program has not. The problem goes far beyond
the press reports of an enormous underground facility north of Yongbyon.
The Agreed Framework is a deeply flawed accord that
has failed to change North Korea's behavior as it was predicted it would.
I believe that North Korea has used the Agreed Framework as a cover for
their real goal: the ability to deliver nuclear weapons against the United
States by the end of the century. In their world, it is a bargaining chip;
in our world, it is a clear and present danger to our national security
and our allies in East Asia.
The shortcomings of the Agreed Framework include
a lack of onsite verification methods, a failure to address nuclear weapons
research and development, and a questionable inventory of North Korea's
plutonium holdings. If recent press reports are correct, it is dangerous
to perpetuate the myth that the framework has ''frozen'' North Korea's
nuclear program when it may have only ''frozen'' the work at one nuclear
KEDO is in serious financial difficulty. The House
voted recently to modify portions of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961
because the Administration intends to misuse its authority to fund the
financing of heavy fuel oil for North Korea. Former Secretary of State
Warren Christopher assured us that it would never cost more than $30 million
in any 1 year. Clearly, the Administration has backed away from that commitment.
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We understand that it is hard to entice other countries
to contribute. It is especially difficult when you place certain governments
off limits as we have apparently done with Taiwan. If KEDO desperately
needs money, it will take it from anywhere, including Taiwan.
The Four-Party Talks designed to find a lasting
peace on the Korean Peninsula have achieved nothing after 2 years and 6
meetings. These talks were so ineffective—and so meaningless—to North Korea
that there has been great difficulty in even arranging a date for the next
North Korea remains the No. 1 proliferator of ballistic
missiles and enabling technologies, primarily to Pakistan, Syria, and Iran.
A few weeks ago, North Korea fired a Taepo-dong medium range ballistic
missile over our allies and service men and women in Japan. We believe
the North Koreans will soon be selling this weapon to Iran and to other
We have achieved very little other than talk. The
Korean Peninsula is no less tense today than it was 4 years ago. North
Korea continues its armed provocations against South Korea in the form
of incursions by submarines, special operation forces and tunneling under
There have been no significant military ''confidence
and security building measures.'' North Korea may be continuing its nuclear
program. It has made great strides in its missile program. North-South
dialog is nonexistent and the North Korean People's Army still stands as
one of the largest in the world with a force of over 1 million personnel.
Moreover, North Korea achieved its long-term goals
of canceling U.S. military exercises such as ''Team Spirit''; removing
U.S. nuclear weapons from the peninsula; easing political and economic
sanctions; dealing directly with the United States while minimizing contact
with South Korea and receiving massive food aid—500,000 tons this year
This generosity and expression of goodwill toward
a brutal Stalinist police state has led North Korea to believe that there
is no cost to continuing its nuclear program; the proliferation of weapons;
incursions into the South; the firing of ballistic missiles; the abuse
of human rights; starving its people to feed the party and its military;
the trafficking of narcotics; and the counterfeiting of American dollars,
not to mention the threat to the lives of 37,000 American service men and
women who are serving in South Korea and some 47,000 serving in Japan.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Holding out for North Korea to collapse is not a sound
basis for any policy toward Pyongyang. It is high time to build our U.S.-North
Korea policy based on political strength, military deterrence and reciprocity;
no small task, but something that could be done without delay.
First, we should inject some new thinking into our
new policy. The Administration presents us with a false choice: support
the Agreed Framework or go to war. That certainly is a false dichotomy.
We need some fresh thinking on this issue. We are calling on the Administration
to appoint a bipartisan blue ribbon commission to conduct a zero-based
review of our North Korea policy and propose a course of action which takes
into consideration new perspectives on the nuclear and missile threat.
The Rumsfeld Commission on the ballistic missile threat, which has been
tremendously successful in this regard, could serve as a model for what
you are suggesting.
Second, the Administration should get serious about
Theater Missile Defense (TMD). It must be made a national defense priority.
Diplomatic initiatives should be accompanied by a firm commitment to protect
our troops in the field. TMD will go a long way toward ensuring that.
Third, we should consider appointing a high-level
envoy or a small group of envoys to negotiate solutions to the problems
which confront us. A high-visibility, senior-level envoy could work with
our allies to reinforce military strength, research on missile defense
and to unify our approach to the North. Perhaps we should renegotiate the
1994 Geneva Agreed Framework in order to address its significant shortcomings.
This senior envoy, with a senior North Korean counterpart with real access
to senior North Korean decisionmakers, could perhaps make that a reality.
The nuclear and missile problem is no longer limited
to the Korean Peninsula. It is a threat to East Asia and possibly our Nation.
We must not be so wedded to an outdated policy that we cannot see its shortcomings.
Only hard-nosed, well-considered diplomacy and U.S. military superiority
will ensure continued peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
[The prepared statement of Mr. Gilman appears in the
Chairman GILMAN. I think we have assembled
an outstanding group of panelists today to address these issues and others.
We look forward to their testimony and to their recommendations. I want
to thank them for coming.
To Mr. Rohrabacher for an opening statement. We
are being called to the floor for a vote, we will try to continue. Mr.
Bereuter has gone over. We will try to come back so we don't have to break
up our testimony. Mr. Rohrabacher.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Thank you very much, Mr.
Certainly, we can't sit around and wait for the
North Korean regime to collapse, if we are propping up the North Korean
regime. What kind of nonsense policy do we have where we are giving money
to a regime that we hope goes away? China continues to proliferate to North
Korea and North Korea continues to proliferate weapons of mass destruction
and terrorism to terrorist states around the world.
North Korea continues to develop missiles of its
own and nuclear weapons. It is belligerent toward Japan, toward South Korea,
toward the United States. The repression level in North Korea puts it into
competition for perhaps the most repressive nation in the world. And any
money that we give to North Korea and its own limited resources are squandered
on weapons, weapons that are aimed at killing the friends of the United
States of America, if not the American soldiers that are in South Korea.
We are subsidizing that regime. That is the most
nonsensical program that I have ever heard of. I have never heard of a
policy that makes worst sense than that. Our policy shouldn't be giving
food and giving aid and trying to make life happier for a regime that encompasses
all of the traits that I just described, a repressive, brutal, belligerent
Mr. Chairman, when it comes to Korea, our goal should
not be the status quo, it should not be stability; our goal should be the
overthrow of that government and the replacement of that government with
something that is more consistent with the democratic values our country
is supposed to represent, as reflected in Japan and Korea and other countries
of the region.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I am, unfortunately, going to have to participate in
the debate on the floor that is going on right after we get out of here,
when Mr. Bereuter comes back. I am sorry that I cannot be here to go back
and forth with the witnesses, because I am sure that there is some reaction
to some of my statements. But there are many people in the United States,
when they find out about what our policies actually are, that are just
scratching their head and saying, how could anybody ever go home with policies
So I would like to say, Mr. Chairman, I applaud
your leadership. Your statement was very well said. And I hope that they
pay attention to the points that you were making, especially about missile
defense and the other points that you are making in your opening statement.
Thank you very much.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you very much, Mr.
With that, I would like to welcome once again our
first panel. It will be led by Ambassador Charles Kartman, Special Envoy
for the Korean Peace Talks in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs,
Department of State. Ambassador Kartman, we appreciate your efforts to
keep us informed of your extensive efforts in North Korea. We have had
a number of conversations and meetings with you over the last several weeks,
and I know your task is a difficult one.
Next to Ambassador Kartman is Dr. Kurt Campbell,
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
Dr. Campbell, we look forward to your testimony on our Department of Defense
concerns and policies, and we welcome closer consultation between you and
your staff and the staff of our Committee. I am concerned, though you appear
before this Committee often, we don't hear enough from OSD Policy outside
of these hearings.
And rounding out the Administration panel, I also
want to welcome our Ambassador to South Korea, Steven Bosworth, who happens
to be in town, and a good time to be in town, and we welcome your participation,
Mr. Ambassador, and look forward to your thoughts on Seoul's perspective.
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Welcome, gentlemen. For the sake of time, we would welcome
if you could summarize, or you may submit your full statement for the record,
whichever you may deem appropriate. As you know, I ask Members to withhold
their questions until all the witnesses on the panel have testified. I
am sure that as soon as this vote is over, more of our Members will be
Ambassador Kartman, you may proceed. I have 3 minutes.
I am going to ask that the Committee stand in recess just briefly until
Mr. Bereuter returns, then you may start your testimony. The Committee
stands in recess.
Mr. BEREUTER. [Presiding] The Committee will
come to order. Chairman Gilman authorized me to proceed with the witnesses.
But I wanted to give a chance for the Ranking Minority Member, the distinguished
gentleman from Indiana, to make an opening statement. I am sure Chairman
Gilman will return shortly. As the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia
and the Pacific, I am very interested in the subject. I look forward to
I do not have a lengthy statement to delay us any
further. I will just say I am pleased that the Chairman has decided to
elevate this issue to the Full Committee, and I will sure look forward
to your testimony. I turn now to the gentleman from Indiana for any opening
comments that you would like to make.
Mr. HAMILTON. I thank the Chairman for permitting
me to do that. I apologize to our witnesses. We had the President of Colombia
with us and didn't feel quite right in kicking him out quickly. So I thought
we should stay there for a while, and I regret the delay. I do want to
commend Chairman Gilman for having the hearing.
I think that North Korea probably presents us with
one of the most, if not the most serious, foreign policy and national security
challenges that we have now. North Korea is one of the world's last Stalinist
dictatorships. Five percent of its entire population is under arms. It
has the fifth largest army in the world. It is diplomatically isolated,
economically exhausted, and ideologically bankrupt.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We are, I think, still technically at war with North
Korea, and it aspires, of course, to acquire nuclear weapon arsenals that
would send shock waves through Asia, the Pacific, and the world.
In the face of all of this, the President and his
Administration finds the entire thrust of their North Korean policy under
fire. For 4 years, American policy toward the North has been built around
the October 1994 Agreed Framework. A diplomatic deal, if implemented, it
promises to rein in North Korea's nuclear weapons program. And now the
basic tenets of the Agreed Framework are being challenged, not only by
the North Koreans, but by Americans as well.
That this should be the case is not surprising,
because North Koreans make it very difficult to have a normal relationship
with them. Indeed there are many, I am sure, who doubt we have ever had
anything other than an adversarial, confrontational relationship with the
North. Some would have us repudiate the Agreed Framework. They apparently
believe that it is so seriously flawed as to be beyond repair. Others,
while professing no intent to walk away from the Agreed Framework, nonetheless
advocate policies whose implementation would almost surely lead to the
termination of the 1994 accord. I think both of these groups should ask
this question: If the Agreed Framework falls apart, what is your strategy,
what is your policy? Specifically, how do you keep North Korea from resuming
the production of plutonium and the manufacture of a nuclear arsenal?
Before we junk the Agreed Framework, we should be
very careful in our assessment of this difficult relationship. The Agreed
Framework is a limited agreement. It is designed to deal with North Korea's
nuclear program, not with missiles and not with other aspects of the relationship.
In my view, the agreement has worked reasonably well. The judgment of the
intelligence community, as I understand it at least, at this point is that
the North Koreans have lived up to the agreement.
Obviously, we need to monitor developments that
are occurring there with great care and verify everything that we possibly
can. But I do not think for the present that we should abandon the Agreed
Framework, and I think we should meet our responsibilities under KEDO.
Page 13 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We must also ask: What are the consequences of a collapse
of the Agreed Framework; what would be the North Korean response? I think
it is fairly easy to answer that question.
If we fail to live up to our commitments under the
Agreed Framework, the North Koreans will have no incentive to live up to
their commitments. What does that mean? That means that the North would
throw out the international inspectors who, for the past 4 years, have
been monitoring North Korea's principal nuclear facilities. That means
that the North would begin reprocessing the spent nuclear fuel it currently
possesses, a step that in a few months would give it enough plutonium for
four or five additional nuclear bombs. And that means that the North would
resume operation of its current nuclear reactors which can produce, each
year, enough plutonium for another 10 to 20 bombs.
Right now, according to news accounts, the CIA believes
that North Korea might have one, or at most two, atomic bombs. So if the
Agreed Framework collapses, the North in a matter of months would be able
to increase its nuclear arsenal from 1 or 2 bombs to 5 or 7. And each year
thereafter, it could increase its nuclear arsenal by another 10 or 20 bombs.
The issue is not whether we like North Korea or
whether we trust North Korea or whether we are happy about recent North
Korean actions, nor is it the issue whether the Agreed Framework has solved
all of the problems of the North. It of course has not. The issue is how
we can best advance American interests, how we can keep the North from
developing a large nuclear arsenal, how we can maintain peace and stability
on the Korean Peninsula, and ultimately, of course, how we can safeguard
the lives of 37,000 American soldiers stationed on that peninsula.
As we wrestle with these important policy questions
today, I hope Members will ask themselves the following questions: Are
we better off if the Agreed Framework falls apart? Are we better off if
North Korea resumes an all-out nuclear weapons program? If, as I think
it must be, the answer to these questions is no, then I hope Members will
allow these fundamental realities to guide their consideration on the policy
issues that we will be discussing today.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. Chairman, I apologize here for being late to the
meeting. I think you know we had the Colombian President with us, and I
thank you for giving me the opportunity to make this statement. I look
forward to the testimony.
Chairman GILMAN. [Presiding] Thank you, Mr.
Mr. KIM. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for yielding.
I do have an unprepared and unwritten statement I would like to make, Mr.
Chairman. I do have some serious concerns about this North Korea. I am
glad you made this hearing possible today. I hope I can learn quite a bit
about North Korea today.
One of the concerns I have is the assurance issue.
I have heard about this many, many times. Yet I saw an extravagant inauguration
ceremony the other day for Kim Jong Il. It doesn't look like they are starving
people. As I was wondering a couple years ago, if they were so starving
that they are going to collapse any minute, why are they are still there?
As for the missile satellite situation, we were
told that there was a missile, then we were told it was a satellite. A
missile is actually hostile behavior, but the satellite isn't. The satellite
can be considered a kind of scientific research. And I don't understand
And, finally, $200 million compensation for not
selling nuclear weapons to hostile nations. Are we accepting this? What
happened to the Four-Party Talks; how come we are not hearing anything
about this anymore, that Four-Party Talks have been initiated by this Congress?
What happened to the liaison offices? I have been
hearing all the time, all of a sudden it was a dead issue. Drug trafficking
and counterfeiting, I have been hearing every day; what is happening? Are
we doing anything about this? Does China play? How come China is so quiet
about this issue, acting like there is somebody else acting on this issue?
China is right there near North Korea; how come they are not picking part
of this dilemma?
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
KEDO funding. We talk about cutting back the KEDO funding
or not even allowing any KEDO funding. What is going to happen to that?
Isn't that an agreement we reached quite some time ago? Is it right to
cancel the KEDO funding or delay it? What happened to all of these policy
objectives? What is our overall objective anyway toward the Korean Peninsula?
I read an article this morning that last week there
was a seminar sponsored by the International Asian Center, with one speaker
named Brian Baker and several other speakers, former staff from the Carter
Administration. They insist that we withdraw our troops from Korea in order
to have the Korean Peninsula be united. I don't understand this Administration's
policy. Is that a new direction? I mean, I have a lot of questions.
I am glad to have this hearing today, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Kim.
Mr. ACKERMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman,
for holding this hearing. Mr. Chairman, as we all know, on August 31st,
North Korea escalated tensions in northeast Asia by testing a two-stage
ballistic missile which plunged into the Pacific Ocean beyond Japan. Regardless
of whether the launch was a missile test or an attempt to put a satellite
into orbit, it clearly indicates that North Korea's ballistic missile program
is further along than many of us have thought.
It also raises serious proliferation concerns about
whether North Korea will attempt to sell this missile technology to Pakistan
or Iran. While these are legitimate and serious concerns, the response
of the House last week zeroing out the funding for the Korean Peninsula
Energy Development Organization is, I strongly believe, inappropriate.
As my colleagues recall, the 1994 Agreed Framework
had as its centerpiece the halting of North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
This central achievement remains intact. My colleagues will also recall
that the Agreed Framework did not address missile proliferation, although
the Administration rightly continues to press the North on this crucial
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
A more direct threat to the Agreed Framework is the
report that North Korea is constructing an underground nuclear facility.
But these reports have yet to be confirmed, and
until they are, we should keep our commitment to KEDO by providing the
$35 million the Administration has requested. Not providing the money will
undermine the progress we have made in freezing the North Korean nuclear
program and will only confirm the North Korean view that we never intended
to provide the heavy fuel oil anyway. It doesn't seem to me that this is
the way to get further cooperation from North Korea.
Mr. Chairman, I hope that as the conferees work
on the foreign operations bill, they will restore the money for KEDO because,
as Ambassadors Greg and Lilley have said, without it we would be back at
ground zero in our dealings with Pyongyang and with mutual suspicions at
dangerously heightened levels.
I thank the Chairman.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
We are pleased that we are joined today by the Chairman
of the Policy Committee, the gentleman from California, Mr. Cox. By unanimous
consent, we will request Mr. Cox—if he has an opening statement.
Mr. COX. Mr. Chairman, thank you for an opportunity
to present my views before the Committee this afternoon. As Chairman of
the House Policy Committee, I have been heavily involved in assessing U.S.
policy toward Communist North Korea. There is no place on the globe where
the fragile peace maintained by U.S. forces is so openly threatened by
a Marxist-Leninist dictatorship.
We owe it to ourselves and to the security of our
troops on the Korean Peninsula, to our South Korean allies, and to the
people of North Korea to pursue a policy that limits the regime's ability
to divert its scarce resources to its military buildup and to its unwise
economic policies. Regrettably, the Clinton Administration's policies actually
have the effect of permitting North Korea to make strides in its military
program and reinforce its adherence to unsound economic policies.
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
When the Agreed Framework was first considered, Secretary
of State Warren Christopher told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
that the framework's benefits would be provided ''after we have had an
opportunity to judge North Korea's performance and its intentions.'' He
promised the light water reactors would not be provided ''until North Korea
fully complies with safeguard obligations, which includes accounting for
its past activities.''
Even before reaching the final stage of the process,
however, North Korea has already blocked inspections. It has delayed the
canning of spent fuel rods and it has made it impossible to trace past
activities. Nevertheless, the United States has already provided $105 million
to North Korea for heavy fuel shipments and other benefits under the agreement.
The Agreed Framework has failed to achieve U.S.
security objectives. Part of this is because of North Korean intentions,
but part of it is because of the agreement's flawed design. Its emphasis
on light water nuclear reactors was always bad economics. For North Korea,
light water reactors is an expensive and dangerous means of producing electric
Light water reactors of this size will generate
an electric load that North Korea's antiquated power grid cannot handle.
The light water reactors will be expensive to run, nearly impossible to
maintain, and prone to failure. Electric power experts have pointed out
that providing distribution capabilities, a need that was not covered in
the Agreed Framework, will cost an additional $1 billion at a minimum.
Providing light water reactors was also unwise in
terms of nonproliferation objectives and other security concerns. The Clinton
Administration considers light water reactors intolerably dangerous in
other parts of the globe because of their potential for the proliferation
of nuclear material. It has vehemently protested a Russian transfer of
light water reactors to Iran. Nuclear arms experts have pointed out, because
of their size, the light water reactors can produce more weapons-grade
plutonium at a faster rate than the nuclear plants North Korea promised
not to build.
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The reactors may be ''proliferation-resistant'' in the
sense that it is harder to extract the weapons-grade material from them,
but North Korea has the same capability that Iran has to be able to perform
that technical task.
Likewise, North Korea has made tremendous strides
in missile technology since 1994. It has developed and deployed No-dong
missiles for use in South Korea, Taepo-dong I missiles that are capable
of striking U.S. forces in Korea, Japan, and Guam and longer-range Taepo-dong
II missiles that will be able to reach Alaska and Hawaii.
In the past year, North Korea has provided missile
technology to Iran and Pakistan. It has facilitated the tests of Pakistan's
Ghauri on April 1st and Iran's Shahab missile on July 21st. Jane's Defence
Weekly claims that after both tests, data was sent back to Pyongyang
to aid in the development of the missile it launched over Japan in August.
This kind of technology networking is precisely what the Rumsfeld Commission
predicted could speed missile technology exchanges.
Meanwhile, the United States is subsidizing North
Korea as it adheres to the same devastating economic and agricultural policies
that reduced Stalinist Russia and Maoist China to mass starvation, and
these same collectivist policies have now led to the same result in North
Korea while the regime spends over $5 billion dollars annually on its war
An important defector from North Korea's inner circle
has asked us to stop providing food aid. Former Secretary General of the
Workers Party, Hwang Jong Yeop has said, ''North Korea controls people
with food—the food distribution is a means of control.'' American food
aid has been found in both of the submarines that have recently been discovered
in South Korean waters during North Korean commando infiltration missions.
Last year, Representative Tony Hall and I successfully
offered an amendment to the fiscal year 1998 agriculture appropriations
bill that required that our aid be provided, and I quote, ''by the U.N.
World Food Programme or private voluntary organizations, and not by the
Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea'' That has been
our law. Yet, can anyone doubt, when food aid is discovered in North Korean
submarines on terrorist missions, that this condition of the law has been
flouted by the Administration?
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
On August 6th, Members of the House, including Chairman
Gilman, Chairman Hyde, Chairman Livingston, Chairman Solomon, Representative
Skeen, and myself, wrote President Clinton to insist that food aid to North
Korea continue only with adequate safeguards against misuse. In particular,
Congress must have confidence that food aid has not been and will not be
diverted to military use.
Finally, in order to guarantee that U.S. policy
is not susceptible to North Korean blackmail, extortion, and threats of
war, U.S. forces and our allies must be strong and well-defended. The Administration
should take immediate steps to correct whatever vulnerability it believes
we may have to North Korean belligerence. Congress has a clear record of
support for measures necessary to strengthen U.S. and allied forces in
The Administration should accordingly undertake
measures including the following: increasing the number of troops and assets
arrayed against the North Korean threat; providing Patriot batteries and
other defenses against North Korean artillery to our allies; speeding the
deployment of TMD systems to protect U.S. forces and entering into agreements
with allies to develop an antimissile defense network and improve our early
I thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity
to speak today.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Cox appears in the
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you very much, Mr.
Cox. Thank you for joining us in our Committee. We appreciate your commitment.
Mr. HAMILTON. May I ask unanimous consent
to include two articles submitted by Congressman Berman for the record?
Chairman GILMAN. Without objection.
[The articles appear in the appendix.]
Chairman GILMAN. And to the panelists, we
regret the delay and thank you for being patient.
Page 20 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We will proceed with Ambassador Kartman.
STATEMENT OF AMBASSADOR CHARLES KARTMAN, SPECIAL ENVOY FOR THE KOREAN
PEACE TALKS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Ambassador KARTMAN. Thank you very much, Mr.
Chairman. It is always a pleasure to be with you. I have submitted a statement,
and I will abbreviate in the interests of time.
We all recognize that North Korea remains a potential
threat to peace and stability in northeast Asia and in other areas. We
recognize that the principal problems of the Korean Peninsula must be solved
by North and South Korea, that it is in our interests to support them,
and that we can also engage the DPRK through dialog on issues of key concern.
This is a policy that is not based on trust or confidence in the North
Korean regime. On the contrary, it reflects a sober judgment of how best
to contain the threat of the North Korean nuclear program and other destabilizing
activities such as missile development.
Although it is a difficult task, we are convinced
that we can achieve our objectives best by carefully engaging the North
Korean regime, not by isolating it. This is a view that is also shared
by our allies in the region, including the Republic of Korea.
We remain convinced that firm and steadfast use
of KEDO and the other channels that are open to us is the best way to obtain
the results we seek with respect to North Korea both in the short and the
long term. We are hopeful that the resumption of dialogs with North Korea
on missiles, terrorism, the Four-Party Peace Talks, and the suspect underground
construction will each result in concrete results. And we firmly believe
that the Agreed Framework must continue to be the centerpiece of U.S. policy
toward the DPRK for some time to come.
Though not perfect, the Agreed Framework is still
the only viable alternative we have that has a chance to keep North Korean
nuclear activities in check and keep the North engaged on other matters.
Without the Agreed Framework, North Korea would already have produced a
sizable amount of weapons-grade plutonium. We prevented that for close
to 4 years and we are committed to ensuring that this remains the case
for the future.
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
This is without doubt in the interest of the United
States and our friends and allies in and beyond the region. We are clearly
better off with the North Korean nuclear facilities at Yongbyon shut down.
To cite specifics, those nuclear facilities are under IAEA monitoring,
Pyongyang has agreed as a result of this past round of negotiations to
finish—to can its remaining spent fuel, and there is a team on its way
there now for that purpose. And the DPRK is not reprocessing nuclear fuel.
In other words, a dangerous program at Yongbyon is frozen and under monitoring.
We have made it crystal clear to the North Koreans
that we expect them to continue to live up to these obligations under the
Agreed Framework. In New York, I also made it clear to them that our suspicions
about their underground construction must be resolved and that access will
be essential to doing so.
Mr. Chairman, what we also seek in our present dealings
with the DPRK is to avoid a return to the circumstances of 1993 and 1994,
when tensions between North Korea, its neighbors, the United States, and
the international community were dangerously high. To return to that state
now would be particularly debilitating as Asia seeks to recover from its
financial crisis. We will look for ways to reduce tensions on the Korean
Peninsula, in particular, through the Four-Party Peace Talks, but we will
also continue to be firm and deliberate with the North.
There is no question that much depends on North
Korean intentions and behavior. I have no illusions about dealing with
the North Koreans. The outcome of any negotiations with such a regime must
be viewed with skepticism until implementation is confirmed. But progress
can be achieved only a step at a time.
Finally, a word about our humanitarian assistance.
As you know, Mr. Chairman, on a parallel but separate track, the U.S. Government
has responded generously in pledging food assistance to meet an acute humanitarian
need in North Korea. Our policy has been and continues to be not to link
this assistance to our broader political concerns. By all accounts, our
assistance has had a significant positive effect on the health and nutrition
of those vulnerable groups that it targets, especially North Korean children.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I have stressed to the DPRK that adequate monitoring
is a requirement for additional food assistance. While the current monitoring
arrangement is far from ideal, we are confident that our assistance has
reached those for whom it was intended and that there have been no significant
diversions. The monitoring arrangements have been improving, and we will
continue to press for greater access.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Ambassador Kartman appears
in the appendix.]
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Ambassador Kartman.
We are now pleased to hear from Dr. Campbell, Deputy
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Affairs in our Department
STATEMENT OF KURT CAMPBELL, DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR ASIA AND
PACIFIC AFFAIRS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Mr. CAMPBELL. Yes. Thank you very much, Mr.
Chairman. And I appreciate your comment about being in close consultation
with members of your staff. I take that remark very seriously, and I can
assure you we will be making further efforts to be in touch. I appreciate
your encouragement on that behalf, and we take that responsibility very
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
Mr. CAMPBELL. Let me say we submitted a statement
already. And in the interest of time, let me summarize just a few points,
if I can, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman GILMAN. Without objection, the full
statement will be made a part of the record.
Mr. CAMPBELL. Thank you very much. First
of all, I think we share the concerns of most of the people we have heard
today in terms of facing a regime in North Korea that is deeply unpredictable
and very dangerous to the maintenance of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific
region. And I would say that the United States confronts this challenge
in a number of ways.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I want to talk first, if I can, about the unilateral
steps that the United States takes, the steps that we take on our own accord.
And I think the most important commitment that the United States makes
to the region is a commitment to deploy very large numbers of troops. That
number now is about 100,000, and we continue to maintain that level. And
we will make a further statement later this year that maintains our commitment
at about 100,000 for the remainder of the century and beyond.
The U.S. public supports our efforts at maintaining
deterrence in securing the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.
Our sense is that any hope of diplomacy that Ambassador Kartman underscores
rests on the reality of deterrence. And we believe that taking steps to
secure that deterrence is our most important mission of the Department
Second, in addition to our unilateral commitments
to remain deployed in Asia, particularly in Japan and Korea, are our bilateral
relationships; and, again, here primarily with Korea and Japan.
I will say, Mr. Chairman, on the issue of our joint
readiness, I would say in the last 4 years our interaction with the South
Korean military has increased almost exponentially.
We have more military training, more joint exercises
with South Korea, I believe, today than with any other country in the world.
I urge you in your consultations; I know your staff had an opportunity
to talk with our senior military officials in South Korea—over the last
5 years, we have taken steps to increase our military capabilities across
the board in accelerated programs that allow us to go after North Korean
artillery, increasing our air capabilities, our attack fighter squadrons.
All of these efforts underscore our ability to enhance deterrence and,
if necessary, fight and win a war on the Korean Peninsula.
Last, in addition to our bilateral steps with South
Korea, or our regional steps, we are working often behind the scenes with
China, who has been at times helpful at the Four-Party Talks. Immediately
after the missile tests, Mr. Chairman, Secretary Cohen asked us to go to
China for consultations about the situation in North Korea. We urged them
to take steps to put whatever pressure they could on North Korea to refrain
from such dangerous and provocative steps as this missile launch.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We have also worked closely with Japan. I think you
may have seen over the weekend that the senior Japanese officials and American
counterparts, Secretary Albright and Secretary Cohen signed far-reaching
agreements to cooperate, where possible, in TMD. The United States and
Japan have taken steps to enhance our cooperation in terms of what are
called ''defense guidelines,'' which allow the United States and Japan
to respond to potential challenges on the Korean Peninsula. And last, of
course, we are taking steps to increase our intelligence cooperation. So
all the points that Chairman Cox has underscored, we believe we are undertaking.
Let me just conclude with one point, if I may, Mr.
Chairman. These are the traditional kinds of challenges that we face on
the Korean Peninsula and that we faced for 45 years. We have a high degree
of confidence that if we are tested or challenged militarily that we will
be able to respond. I can assure you, however, that the damage associated
with any conflict on the Korean Peninsula would be devastating.
The other challenge that we face more recently,
shall we say, are the kinds of security challenges that flow from unpredictable
situations in North Korea. And those, of course, are the security implications
associated with instability or humanitarian concerns. The Department of
Defense has been working closely with our Korean counterparts to develop
plans for how we would respond in the face of humanitarian situations which
sent millions of refugees searching for food or that led to internal instability
in North Korea.
Let me just conclude by saying I think that we have
had many years of alliance, military and security alliance, that is the
bedrock of our relationship with South Korea. I think that if you consult
your South Korean counterparts, you will find that our security relationship
is as strong as it has ever been.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you very much, Dr.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Campbell appears
in the appendix.]
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Chairman GILMAN. We are pleased now to have Ambassador
Steven Bosworth who is serving as our Ambassador in the Republic of Korea.
And I might note, prior to that, Ambassador Bosworth served as the Executive
Director of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, known
as KEDO, and something that we are very much concerned about.
STATEMENT OF HON. STEPHEN BOSWORTH, AMERICAN AMBASSADOR, REPUBLIC OF
Ambassador BOSWORTH. Thank you very much,
Mr. Chairman. I find myself here this afternoon without a lot of advanced
preparation. I do not have a prepared statement. But I would be prepared,
if you would like, to comment very briefly on some of these issues as seen
from the perspective of Seoul.
Chairman GILMAN. Please proceed. You are
there on the front line; we welcome your thoughts.
Ambassador BOSWORTH. All right. First of
all, Mr. Chairman, I would note that South Korea's attention is focused
at this time very heavily, not to say exclusively, but very heavily on
overcoming their own economic crisis. This is, in the words of Kim Dae
Jung, their President, the most severe crisis Korea has faced since the
So it is not surprising that they are concentrating
national resources and national energy on overcoming this crisis. This
hearing is not on that subject. And I won't go into detail, only to say
that it is indeed a very severe crisis. And we are doing everything we
can to help them get through this.
I think there has been a significant change in South
Korea's attitude and view of North Korea over recent years. And that is,
I believe, that in South Korea there is now a firm view that the decades-long
competition with the North politically, economically, and ideologically
is over, but South Korea has won that competition. That, therefore, creates
a situation in which South Korea can deal on a more confident basis with
North Korea than has been perhaps the case in the past.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
From the South Korean perspective, the essential cornerstone
to any effort to deal with North Korea is their security alliance with
the United States. And I might say, as Dr. Campbell indicated, they and
we are fundamentally confident that we have a strong military deterrent
in place, and that in the event that deterrent should fail and that there
should be armed conflict on the Peninsula, we are entirely confident that
we would win. We would win relatively quickly. But as Dr. Campbell indicated,
there would be very serious damage done to South Korea in the process,
and that is obviously an objective reality of which both South Korea and
we have to take very careful account.
So on the basis of that deterrent posture, the alliance
with the United States and their own confidence in dealing with North Korea,
South Korea under the leadership of president Kim Dae Jung, is engaged
in an effort to try to put in place a series of opportunities for North
Korea to engage with South Korea, both in the private sector and in the
public sector, the underlying hypothesis being that should they engage,
should they continue to develop a stake in commercial cooperation and in
cultural exchanges with the South, that this will temper their behavior.
In other words, it is a policy designed to induce change in the way North
I think South Korea is confident, and I believe
we should be confident, Mr. Chairman, that time is on our side. This is
not a regime that we are dealing with in North Korea that is undergoing
any strengthening. In fact, it is progressively growing weaker. Either
they change their economic policy, which implies change in their political
behavior, or they will at some point fail.
Now, when that failure might occur is, of course,
beyond prediction. But I think those are the two realities that North Korea
faces and the two realities that should be built into our own strategic
approach to this question.
From South Korea's perspective, the Agreed Framework
has become the essential cornerstone of any strategy toward North Korea.
In their view, as in ours, it has neutralized the nuclear threat from North
Korea for a period of 4 years. No new fissile material has been produced
by the facilities now under the freeze at Pyongyang and now under IAEA
inspection. South Korea, too, is concerned about what might be the purpose
of the much-discussed underground facilities in North Korea.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And they agree with us that we must move to satisfy
our concerns. And they support us in that effort, just as they agree with
us and with Japan, that we must begin trying to deal effectively with the
missile question in North Korea. But they very strongly believe that we
should maintain the Agreed Framework while we work our way through these
questions, and that to risk the loss of the Agreed Framework would risk
a very serious strategic setback in their own efforts to deal with their
I think, Mr. Chairman, I will conclude my remarks
with that. I would be very happy to participate in a further discussion
of this. I would only underline that, as I indicated at the beginning,
South Korea is concentrating, rightly in my view, its efforts and energy
on overcoming its economic crisis. Without a strong economy, the ability
of South Korea to function as an effective partner in our security alliance
will, over time, be at risk. Thank you.
Mr. BEREUTER (Presiding). Thank you very
much, gentlemen, for your testimony. I am going to turn now to the Ranking
Minority Member, the gentleman from Indiana, Mr. Hamilton, for such questions
as he may wish to pursue under the 5-minute rule.
Mr. HAMILTON. I thank the gentleman.
Let me begin with just a few questions which I hope
can be answered briefly. Do we have any evidence that North Korea is currently
producing plutonium or that it has produced plutonium at any point since
the Agreed Framework went into effect?
Ambassador KARTMAN. Mr. Hamilton, the answer
to both is that we have no evidence that they have produced any or that
they are producing any.
Mr. HAMILTON. So North Korea has produced
no plutonium since the Agreed Framework went into effect?
Ambassador KARTMAN. Since the Agreed Framework
went into effect; yes, sir.
Mr. HAMILTON. Do we have any evidence that
North Korea is producing spent nuclear fuel, as I understand it, from which
plutonium can be extracted, or that it has produced spent nuclear fuel
at any point since the Agreed Framework went into effect?
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Ambassador KARTMAN. Mr. Hamilton, it is the same
answer. We have no evidence that they are now producing spent fuel or operating
a reactor, other than those facilities at Pyongyang.
Mr. HAMILTON. All right. Now, from the standpoint
of North Korea's ability to make nuclear weapons, what is the significance
of those two conclusions?
Ambassador KARTMAN. Well, what we have done,
Mr. Hamilton, is to block their weapons program at a critical point, thus
preventing the production of additional fissile material that can be reprocessed
into plutonium which is, of course, the critical part of a nuclear device.
As we have all mentioned earlier, had the Agreed Framework not been in
place, had Pyongyang been in operation, had the other reactors been constructed,
North Korea would today be sitting on top of a very sizable nuclear arsenal
that would have changed the security picture in northeast Asia already
Mr. HAMILTON. With regard to the underground
facility, what can you tell us? Does that, at this point, to your knowledge,
violate the Agreed Framework?
Ambassador KARTMAN. Mr. Hamilton, I would
like to be rather careful with this, because there are areas of an answer
that are better dealt with in a closed setting. But at the risk of sounding
too lawyerly, at this point we do not know what is in that area, but we
do not have any information that indicates that they have violated the
Agreed Framework at that site at this time.
Mr. HAMILTON. And we are watching it carefully?
Ambassador KARTMAN. We are watching it very
carefully, and this is a question that we intend to get to the bottom of.
Mr. HAMILTON. And we have talked to the North
Koreans about this for some time?
Ambassador KARTMAN. Yes, sir.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. HAMILTON. How have they responded to us?
Ambassador KARTMAN. Again, taking some care,
because this is an ongoing discussion that has commenced but not concluded
at this stage, we have told them that this is one of the most critical
questions now before us; that we have very deep suspicions about their
activities at that site; that we must have these suspicions satisfied and
that we are not going to simply be able to accept their word on a matter
of this import; that this is something that is going to require access
to the site.
They have agreed to enter into further discussions
with us on getting to this, but providing us with that sort of access that
we require is going to require some difficult and probably lengthy negotiations
over establishing terms and conditions that are going to be satisfactory
to both sides.
Mr. HAMILTON. How likely is an attack from
the North today across the parallel there?
Ambassador KARTMAN. I will turn to DOD.
Mr. HAMILTON. Compare it, say, with a few
Mr. CAMPBELL. Congressman Hamilton, I would
judge that North Korea's traditional military capabilities, their abilities
to project for us, their motorized capabilities have declined rather substantially
in the last several years because of the lack of training, the lack of
food, and the lack of spare parts. I would say their artillery capabilities
have probably grown across the DMZ.
Mr. HAMILTON. Are the military tensions greater
Mr. CAMPBELL. I am sorry, I will answer it
very quickly. But I want to be quite specific in this; it is an important
question. Also we have talked to you about their missile developments as
well. Overall, we have remarkably little communication between North and
South. The DMZ is a much more dangerous area in the sense that we do not
have some of the mechanisms in place for dialog in the event of a crisis,
although recently we have been able to reestablish some lines of communication.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I would say, overall, we have seen no heightened tension,
for instance, no increased North Korean military readiness associated with
these missile tests. But I would argue that the DMZ and the situation across
the parallel into North Korea is still probably the most dangerous place
on the planet.
Mr. HAMILTON. Finally, let me just ask you
what our policy is toward North Korea. Do we seek the collapse of North
Korea? Do we favor reunification of the two Koreas? Do we want a so-called
soft landing? What is our policy?
Ambassador KARTMAN. Mr. Hamilton, the answer
to that requires a little bit of explanation. We do not seek their collapse,
although we cannot rule that out. It is a very real possibility, given
the steady decline of their economy, their ability to take care of their
people, and so it is an outcome that we do have some anticipation about.
What we do seek to do is support the Republic of
Korea policy in how it chooses to deal with the ultimate future of the
Peninsula. And the Republic of Korea policy has already been very articulately
stated by Ambassador Bosworth. And we have sometimes, for want of a better
term, called it a ''soft landing,'' but that is such an imprecise term
that I am reluctant to use it in this setting.
What I would say is that we seek peace and stability
on the Korean Peninsula and support for the aims and aspirations of the
Korean people for peaceful unification.
Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous
consent to insert in the record a letter addressed to me from the Minister
of Foreign Affairs and Trade of South Korea.
Mr. BEREUTER. Without objection, that will
be in order. Thank you, Mr. Hamilton.
[The letter appears in the appendix.]
Mr. BEREUTER. Ambassador Kartman, I would
like to pursue a line of questioning that was brought forth by Mr. Hamilton.
I would say that, unless we have access to the underground facility by
the end of this calendar year, as difficult as that is for the Koreans
to accept, and then periodically thereafter, we should reach the conclusion
that they are violating the nuclear framework and that they are proceeding
with the nuclear program. If you do not reach that judgment as a government,
then I think you are derelict in your responsibilities.
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
After the first of the year, I will regard the North
Koreans as violating the nuclear accord unless we have that access.
I would like to ask you this question. Perhaps Ambassador
Bosworth would like to comment as well. Why does this Administration believe
that the North Koreans would give up a nuclear development program they
have been working on for 30 years for heavy fuel to light water reactors?
What is there that gives us that confidence that they have the motive to
keep the agreement?
Ambassador KARTMAN. In 1994, when the two
sides entered into the Agreed Framework, it was our belief then that Kim
Dae Jung had determined that the only future for his country was to accept
some assistance from the outside and to change its fundamental relationship
with the United States, and probably with the ROK and Japan. And it was
based upon his guidance that we are able to conclude the agreement, the
Agreed Framework, even after he passed away.
At this point, we are now some 4 years later and
the ultimate intentions of Kim Jong Il, who now runs North Korea, are more
obscure to us, I would say in all frankness. And so one of our highest
priorities is to come to some sort of informed determination about what
Kim Jong Il intends to do with the direction of his country.
Unfortunately, because of interruptions in dialog,
the slow pace of the improved relations, we are not very far along in reaching
such a decision. But we are at a point, I quite agree with you, that we
are rapidly coming to a point where we must make that kind of decision.
Mr. BEREUTER. Ambassador, would you care
to comment on this subject? I have other questions, but if you have something
you would like to contribute, you are welcome to do so.
Ambassador BOSWORTH. Very briefly, I think,
Mr. Chairman, I would agree that this represents perhaps the outline of
an intention on the part of Kim Il Song, and perhaps carried on by the
current ruling group in North Korea, to seek a way out of this deep, dark
cave that they have gotten themselves into over the years. But I don't
say that with great confidence.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I think that there is the reason to have some belief
that may be the case. But I think that it has to represent a decision that
to pursue their nuclear option in the way that they were pursuing it, and
continue to go down that path, was going to lead the country further in
the wrong direction and could indeed at some point result in a catastrophe
Mr. BEREUTER. Thank you.
Dr. Campbell, I am wondering if you have seen or
had any formal indication that the Japanese are considering participating
in a TMD program in light of the recent satellite launch over Japanese
air space. I would like some assurance that if and when you receive that
kind of indication from the Japanese that that indication will be shared
promptly with the Congress in a proper venue.
Mr. CAMPBELL. Sure.
Mr. BEREUTER. I will give you a chance to
respond to that, but I first want to express one concern to you. Earlier
this month I scheduled a closed briefing of the Asia-Pacific Subcommittee
on the North Korean nuclear issues, and the DIA was directed by the Secretary
not to testify regarding the nuclear program. I don't understand that decision.
I don't think it is appropriate. I expressed that concern to the Secretary
just last week.
I will wait for a response. But I would respectfully
ask that the Department of Defense reconsider the hold placed on the Defense
Intelligence Agency briefing on North Korean nuclear programs, as I considered
that decision to be unjustified and counterproductive. We are the authorizing
subcommittee. The senior Democrat and the Chairman of the Full Committee
were in attendance at that briefing. We had expected we would receive it.
There were a few people in Congress who already
had been briefed on this sensitive issue, and those people handled that
information responsibly, with full compliance with security safeguards.
And so I don't understand the decision, and I protest that lack of willingness
of DIA to come and testify.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Now back to the theater missile issue and the Japanese
if you would.
Mr. CAMPBELL. Thank you. First of all, Mr.
Chairman, let me just go back to some of the questions that Congressman
Hamilton was asking Ambassador Kartman. I will say and I think you know
it from our briefing and other briefings that you and your staff have received
over the last several weeks, we can answer some of these questions in much
greater detail in another venue and we will of course stand ready to do
so in a less lawyerly fashion, shall we say.
Mr. BEREUTER. Sometimes apparently, but not
Mr. CAMPBELL. The second point is I take
your concern and I will be speaking to our Secretary later today and I
will make sure that is passed on directly to him and I understand it.
The third point is the question about TMD and Japanese
interest in it. Japan and the United States over the last 5 years have
been in a dialog about the purposes associated with TMD. We briefed them
about what our strategy is, the kinds of technologies that we have been
following and how we would employ such a system if we were to be successful
in our testing and production. We have a national policy, Mr. Chairman,
that if Japan would like to participate or to cooperate in a joint decision
to work together toward a TMD, then we would do so. That has been briefed
rather significantly over the last several years. Japan, I think it would
be fair to say for a variety of reasons, has been very careful, has moved
very slowly. Japan moves very slowly on a variety of issues but has been
particularly inclined to look at the technology, the costs associated,
concerns in the region. With the launch of the North Korean missile, there
are greater calls in Japan for taking steps to address this concern. TMD
is one of those issues.
Last week in New York, our two sides represented
at the Secretary level; Secretary Albright, Secretary Cohen and their two
counterparts, signed the memorandum of understanding that we would proceed
together expeditiously to explore whether there were areas where United
States and Japan might suitably cooperate in this area. To translate that
very briefly, it will be a long process. Japan is still interested in looking
at how that cooperation might take form, and I can assure you that no matter
how we proceed, we will be in close consultation with the Hill on this.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. BEREUTER. Thank you, Mr. Campbell. Can you
assure us there are no impediments on our side to cooperation by the Japanese
with our country?
Mr. CAMPBELL. I can tell you, Congressman,
that there will inevitably be, as there always is in complex security and
commercial interactions, such as the FSX fighter planes, there will always
be questions about which technology can or cannot be shared. I feel relatively
confident at this juncture that there is such a high precedence now being
placed on TMD that we will be able to arrive at understandings with our
Japanese interlocutors, should they decide to proceed, where we can cooperate
in a way that will allow them to both contribute to the program and get
the benefits of such a program.
Mr. BEREUTER. Thank you. Now I turn to the
distinguished gentleman from New York, Mr. Ackerman, for questions he might
Mr. ACKERMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Let
me just add a word of welcome to the very distinguished panel. The depth
of their responses is certainly very, very gratifying and a special word
of welcome to Ambassador Kartman, who I have not seen for a while since
at least his new assignment.
I would like to throw out two questions, one following
up on yours, Mr. Chairman, and that is with regard to Japan, just what
is Japan's policy toward Korea and what are the differences in that policy
with our policy, or subtle nuances if there are no major differences, and
second, a different question, basically with regard to the new great leader,
Kim Jong Il, and what do we know about him any more than we might have
known when he was the ''dear leader'' and what is his position besides
his titles in the government relevant to the decisionmaking process?
Ambassador KARTMAN. Thank you very much for
your warm words, Mr. Ackerman, and I was hoping that you would have some
comment on Kim Il Sung rather than Kim Jong Il, since you were one of the
last Americans to meet with Kim Il Sung.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. ACKERMAN. I am not a suspect I was told.
Ambassador KARTMAN. I can't recover.
First on Japan, I take some personal pride in having
worked hard to ensure that the United States, Japan, and the Republic of
Korea all had a unified policy with respect to North Korea. That dates
back to 1991 when we initiated regular trilateral meetings which have continued
right up to the present. Of course, Japan, indeed all three of us, have
certain issues that we are more concerned with than the other two parties
and in Japan's case, they have a long-running concern about certain Japanese
citizens who may have been kidnaped from Japan some 20 years ago by North
Koreans. And this is one of their foremost bilateral issues and it is going
to have to be resolved before there is progress made toward normalization
with North Korea.
Similarly with respect to the recent missile launch,
I think it is fair to say that Japan has felt that launch in a way that
we and Korea could not, since the missile traveled over their territory,
and so we have complete sympathy and indeed understanding for why this
has generated such a hot reaction in Japan. But with respect to the principal
goals on the Korean Peninsula, it is peace and security and the prevention
of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Japan, the United
States and the ROK are all in complete agreement and we work together toward
Your question about Kim Jong Il is far harder for
me to answer because to the best of my knowledge, no American has ever
met Kim Jong Il. He is still largely unknown to us. The fact that he chose
not to take the title of President but instead is choosing to run the country
from a position as the head of a defense commission I find discouraging,
not encouraging, because of the emphasis that that places on the North
Korean military. He apparently is a person who does not care to interact
with foreigners. He also, as far as I know, does not care to interact very
much with North Koreans since he doesn't deliver public speeches and he
doesn't get out and mix and mingle as ordinary world leaders do. So this
man is, whether by personal characteristics or by design, still largely
an enigma, and that is all I can tell you, sir.
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. CAMPBELL. Congressman Ackerman, just to add
another adjective. In addition to Kim Jong Il being surrounded by military
people as being discouraging, I would just say that we also find it worrying
and concerning. The only part of Chairman Gilman's statement that really
struck me was his suggestion that somehow we had to get at senior North
Korean decisionmakers. I have no idea who that group of people is or are.
I have no idea that there is anyone except for him. There is no person
in the world that we know less about. Actually I heard from Ambassador
Kartman once that he has only spoken—that we are aware of—three words in
public, they are the same words, basically ''hooray''. We know almost nothing
about his policy, proclivities. I think, as you know, he was rumored to
be a reformer a few years ago. I don't think we have seen any indication
that that is the case during the last 3 years.
Mr. ACKERMAN. Where is Kenneth Starr when
we need him?
Thank you. If I can offer a question that was suggested
by our colleague on the Committee, Sherrod Brown, a question, the answer
of which I am curious about as well. And that is, has China or anybody
else that we know of assisted North Korea in its missile program and did
China or any other country or power have a role in the recent rocket launch?
Mr. CAMPBELL. If I may, it is clear that
the North Koreans have received some substantial external support for their
missile program. Much of that support came from the former Soviet Union,
and there has also been some support from other countries in East Asia.
What I would like to ask, if I may, Congressman, we are involved in intensive
review of our information and our intelligence to get at precisely this
Mr. ACKERMAN. Would you like to get back
to us on that?
Mr. CAMPBELL. I would like to come back in
another forum, perhaps privately and give you a sense of what we think
Mr. ACKERMAN. We would appreciate that and
perhaps the Chairman of the Full Committee and Subcommittee would consider
a closed-session meeting to discuss in some detail the responses to that
question. Thank you very much.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Kim.
Mr. KIM. Thank you. With your permission,
I would like to ask all the questions first and then go back and seek the
answer. The first question to Ambassador Bosworth—you have been explaining
South Korea's point of view which I believe is very comprehensive. You
mentioned time is on our side. Are you implying that perhaps by dragging
out time maybe North Korea, before they have deteriorated, eventually will
self-destruct? Therefore we should continue to just talk and talk? Is that
what you mean, time is on our side?
The next question is, you mentioned that you are
talking to the Japanese about creating a theater missile. I understand
South Korea has been completely left out. Why talk about equipping Japan
with the theater missiles while leaving Korea out? Don't you think that
South Korea should be involved in these talks? Don't you think they should
have some kind of theater missile to protect themselves against the North
Koreans' aggression? Another question I have is about the framework you
mentioned. It works fine. That is what South Korea believes. You truly
believe the framework agreement really works? Then why does missile technology
keep advancing in North Korea? I wonder about the effectiveness of this
My second question to Mr. Campbell, you mentioned
that two-thirds of North Korea's 1.1 million military personnel are in
position in the area and that they have substantial artillery to attack
South Korea without any notice. What are we doing? They are shooting missiles,
which is 3-stage rocket booster, almost the same as IBCM—all sorts of things
are going on in North Korea. Are we doing anything or still just sitting
back? Are we putting any military equipment out there? Are we mobilizing
more personnel out there? Are we doing anything? I didn't hear that.
The question to Mr. Kartman. You mentioned that
we are carefully engaging the North Korea regime by not isolating it. We
have been isolating North Korea for quite some time. Is that a new policy?
Does that mean—engaging means we may lift sanctions against North Korea?
Is that what you mean when you talk about engagement? What precisely do
you mean by engagement?
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
My next question is why the underground construction
must be dissolved. Well, I understand that underground digging is a big
show. They are really not building anything; it's just a big show. We know
that. If it is a big show, why do we make such a big deal out of this underground
construction? Solve it as a first priority. Otherwise no more talk. Supposing
they ask for money to stop digging—ask for some kind of compensation, are
you going to agree?
Those are the questions I have. Let's go back to
Ambassador BOSWORTH. Thank you very much,
Mr. Kim. Let me try to respond to at least two of your questions. The one
on TMD for the Republic of Korea I may pass to my friend here on my left
since that is more properly within his bailiwick. But let me say what I
mean when I said that there is a view in Seoul that time is on our side
is that given the current set of policies that North Korea is pursuing,
particularly in the economic area, given the fact that their economy today
is not much more than 50 percent the size of their economy 10 years ago,
that the ultimate destination of an economy on that path is fairly clear.
When it arrives at that ultimate destination is very difficult to foresee.
That is one way in which time is on our side. The
alternative, of course, would be if North Korea decides to make changes
in that policy which would perhaps prolong its life economically. Those
changes in the view of South Koreans and my own personal view, those changes
would by their very nature greatly attenuate, ameliorate, the militaristic
threat that now comes from North Korea, that they would, in other words,
have to be much more attentive about how they are perceived by the outside
world, particularly by the Republic of Korea. They would then acquire a
vested interest in preserving the ties that would result between them and
South Korea, the economic ties. On the question of the Agreed Framework,
does it really work, you mentioned the subject of missiles. I would only
respond that the Agreed Framework was never intended to cover the question
of missiles. It was designed to deal with the nuclear question. And there
I think it has worked in that, as Ambassador Kartman pointed out in his
testimony, for the past 4 years, and as he pointed out in his responses
to Mr. Hamilton's questions, the past 4 years North Korea has not to the
best of our knowledge produced any fissile material. So their nuclear threat
is no greater now than it was in 1994. I think that means that it has worked.
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
On the subject of TMD, as I indicated, I would like
to ask Mr. Campbell if he would like to respond to that. Simply to say,
however, in passing that for South Korea, there is a missile threat short
and medium—intermediate range missiles. More fundamentally of course there
is an artillery threat on metropolitan Seoul coming from upwards of 10,000
artillery tubes. We have, we believe, the ability over time to neutralize
those tubes, but it would take time. And in the meantime, there could be
and would be substantial damage incurred in Seoul. Given the economic crisis
that South Korea now faces, they have been forced to postpone, not cancel,
but postpone some of their military modernization moves that they, and
we, had hoped that they would be able to make. Those have now been moved
downstream albeit terms of timing. But I think that same set of economic
realities would come to bear on any questions such as their ability to
invest in and deploy a TMD system.
Mr. CAMPBELL. Congressman Kim, I think what
you just heard from the Ambassador is exactly right. I think as you know,
we now station in South Korea surrounding U.S. facilities some of our most
sophisticated Patriot intercept systems. We have briefed extensively our
Korean military counterparts about our efforts in developing R&D programs
associated with TMD. Let's keep in mind that these are still programs in
their infancy, programs that have yet to demonstrate, at least to the satisfaction
of many of the people who look on possible partners, satisfaction that
we will make significant progress. We, of course, have that confidence
that these systems will be developed.
If you look at the amount of money that we are spending
potentially in the future on TMD, the entry fees for countries like Japan
and South Korea that actually spend a small fraction of their GNP on military
expenditure as compared to the United States, the entry costs are daunting.
However, we believe that the benefits associated with our own unilateral
development, or bilateral with other countries, of TMD that if and when
those systems come to fruition, if there is still a threat on the Korean
Peninsula, then that is the kind of capability that we would, I think,
in principle share with our South Korean counterparts.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Chairman GILMAN. Ambassador Kartman, did you
want to comment?
Ambassador KARTMAN. Thank you. I will try
to be brief in describing what I mean by engaging North Korea. It is the
opposite of what we did in the years from 1953 until approximately 1988,
when our policy was indeed to keep North Korea isolated. We didn't speak
with them anywhere. If a diplomat bumped into a North Korean, we wouldn't
say excuse me. So in 1988 at the time of the Seoul Olympics, in order to
support then President Roe Tae Woo, we began to change and modify that
policy so that we could open up a bit of a channel to North Korea. Over
time, that policy became articulated as one that was designed to draw North
Korea out of its isolation and change its behavior. And this gradually
became embraced as the policies of our allies in the region as well, and
now it is really specifically those dialogs that I described to you which
are designed to address specific issues of concern to us. Terrorism, missiles,
the peace process to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and now the
resolving of our suspicions about their underground construction activities.
You also asked whether it might be possible that
this underground activity was just a big show and I don't rule anything
in or out since I haven't been in there and I don't know what is going
on, and that is the nature of what we must do. We have to find out if indeed
there is something there to worry about, but I think that, as has been
briefed in other settings—if it is a big show, it is a big show that has
been going on for a while and at considerable effort by the North Koreans.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you. The gentleman's
time has expired. Gentlemen, our Nation decided to give North Korea 300,000
tons of wheat. In early August Chairman Livingston and I wrote to the President
saying we need unsupervised, unscheduled food aid and monitoring visits
before 300,000 tons of that food is given to North Korea. Have we required
those conditions of the North Koreans before the food is delivered? Any
panelist willing to address this issue?
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Ambassador KARTMAN. Mr. Chairman, the 300,000
tons are being provided in the same setting as we have provided the previous
food aid. That is, through the World Food Program, through their monitoring
and supervision and also through the PVO consortium, which provides additional
monitors. Our view is that this provides an adequate level of monitoring
and supervision, but it does not really meet the standard that you just
described. I would say that that is probably not presently a realistic
Chairman GILMAN. We would ask for additional
Ambassador KARTMAN. Yes, we have consistently
asked for additional monitors, Korean-speaking monitors, and we will press
that without fail.
Chairman GILMAN. We would hope you would
be able to pursue that. Does the Administration intend to disregard our
Committee's hold on the $27 million in reprogramming requested for KEDO
funding for this year?
Ambassador KARTMAN. Mr. Chairman, as you
are aware, we have been engaged in the formal consultations on the 614
process. Those consultations have now concluded. We are forwarding the
results to the President. As you are well aware, a number of specific objections
were posed to the process itself and all of those objections have been
forwarded in this report. I would say, however, that we are also reporting
to the President at the same time the judgment that the alternative to
providing the money on the schedule that is required by working within
this fiscal year, that the alternatives are very dangerous and there is
some risk of very unsafe situations developing if the Agreed Framework
were to fail. So we are presenting those judgments and my personal judgment,
Mr. Chairman, respectfully, is that the President should proceed with this
Chairman GILMAN. Then you are suggesting
the President should override the Committee's hold? Is that what you are
Ambassador KARTMAN. Mr. Chairman, I will
repeat that we are providing the President with the specific objections
that have been posed and the dangerous alternatives.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Campbell, there has been
a lot of press discussion about the missile launch, satellite or no satellite.
Can you bring us up to date whether it was a satellite or a missile launch?
Mr. CAMPBELL. Mr. Chairman, I am not a satellite
specialist. I, like you, receive the same kinds of briefings from our intelligence
folks and people who are technology specialists in terms of particular
missile tests. My sense is that there is a general agreement now among
at least some branches of the intelligence community that this was a failed
satellite test. Personally I think it is if not part—I believe it is completely
irrelevant and I don't care whether it was a satellite putting in a small
radio up in space or whether it was a straight missile test. The fact of
the matter is that the North Koreans have demonstrated its capability to
do a multistage missile that has the potential to carry a warhead a considerable
I think that we underestimated some of North Koreans'
missile capabilities and what we have seen and what we have evaluated since
the missile test is a source of very real concern. I think that is one
of the reasons why our representatives in Geneva will press hard on the
North Koreans to get more satisfaction in the realm of missile talks.
Mr. HAMILTON. If the gentleman would yield.
Chairman GILMAN. Pleased to yield.
Mr. HAMILTON. I appreciate the Chairman bringing
that up. We originally identified that as a missile and we had briefings
up here from the intelligence community that it was a missile. And then
a week later or 10 days later they say no, we don't think that was a missile.
We think that was a satellite launch. You say it doesn't make a difference,
but I think it does make a difference because the perception at least from
those of us who don't know these fine distinctions on these various space
efforts is that a missile is more threatening. And I just really don't
understand why the American intelligence community would say that this
is a missile launch without being sure of it and spread the view throughout
all the world that the North Koreans are producing a missile that could
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. CAMPBELL. Congressman Hamilton——
Mr. HAMILTON. I know you are not in the intelligence
community but this is an important matter. I will tell you why it is important.
When it came out that it was a missile launch, you had immediate action
in the U.S. Congress to cut money from KEDO.
Mr. CAMPBELL. Congressman Hamilton, if you
will allow me, let me stand corrected. I think from a diplomatic perspective
and a perspective in terms of veracity in public, you are absolutely right.
I think I misspoke. What I was talking about was from a security perspective.
Mr. HAMILTON. I understand your point.
Mr. CAMPBELL. And the capacity and capability
this kind of test presents. There is always a balance and in fact one of
the points that I think Congressman Cox raised about intelligence or early
warning sharing. I think you will find that there are two concerns that
you will hear often in Congress and from our allies in terms of intelligence.
One is timeliness. And second is veracity. Now, on this particular example,
we did very, very well on timeliness, or the intelligence community. Within
a matter of seconds or minutes, critical people were informed.
Mr. HAMILTON. But they were informed wrong.
Mr. CAMPBELL. Well, as you will find, as
everyone who deals with intelligence understands that, sometimes early
assessments are modified subsequently. It is another way of saying they
were wrong first time out but the fact is that that is the nature of the
beast and trying to explain how that works. This balance between timeliness
and veracity is a very difficult one. I will tell you I think the intelligence
community—I am not going to speak for them. I think they were surprised.
I think some of them are kicking themselves that after looking at the preparations
for this test for literally weeks, that we were not in a position to be
able to predict what kind of test this was.
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Campbell, I have a lot of respect
for our intelligence community. I think they have a terribly tough assignment
and they do very good work. I don't mean to be overly critical but I must
say a miscall like that has a lot of immediate consequences. And it is
a pretty bad error, it seems to me, in terms of the intelligence information.
That is my only point.
Mr. CAMPBELL. I would only say one last thing,
Congressman Hamilton. You are not the first we have heard this point from
and we take it very seriously.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Campbell.
Ambassador Bosworth, we don't want you to go unheeded here. As a former——
Ambassador BOSWORTH. I was quite content.
Chairman GILMAN. As the former head of KEDO,
could you tell us why KEDO structured its operations to exceed Secretary
Christopher's promise to the Congress that appropriations wouldn't exceed
$30 million per annum. For example, why hasn't China, with obvious concerns
about the nuclear peninsula provided any funding—what about Taiwan?
Ambassador BOSWORTH. Well, Mr. Chairman,
I was executive director of KEDO. I was not involved in U.S. policy in
support of KEDO at that point. I was employed by the three KEDO governments,
not just by the United States. And I tried to function as an official of
an international organization, which is what KEDO was. I would say that
the cost of heavy fuel oil, the total cost of the heavy fuel oil provided
to North Korea was somewhat higher than I think many people had anticipated.
It was higher largely because we were not able to take advantage of any
cost savings that might have been achieved by buying forward in the market
because we never had money to buy forward in the market. We were always
operating under pressure, a budgetary pressure.
I think that as an observer of what was going on
in the funding side, I would note that I think that original expectations
about funds that could be raised from other non-KEDO governments were not
met. We did negotiate an accession agreement with the European Union in
the fall of 1996 which resulted in their making a significant contribution
to KEDO, which has helped on the budgetary side. But fund-raising efforts
both by me at KEDO and by U.S. and ROK and Japanese officials in other
parts of the world frankly fell short. China's position has been, as you
are aware, that they are supportive of KEDO's objectives but they have
elected to remain outside KEDO and to work toward what is basically a common
set of objectives, but independently and through other channels. They were
very interested always in what KEDO was doing, and I made it a point to
keep them informed of that.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you very much, Ambassador
Bosworth. I want to thank our three panelists—yes, Ambassador Kartman?
Ambassador KARTMAN. Mr. Chairman, if I could
just add a word to Ambassador Bosworth's statement. In addition to the
other problems in fund raising, the Asian financial crisis dried up a lot
of potential financial sources in Asia. However, I am well aware of the
point that you made earlier with respect to Taiwan. We began a discussion
at that time and I intend to continue on that subject also.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you very much. Again,
I want to thank the three panelists, Ambassador Kartman, Mr. Campbell,
Ambassador Bosworth. Please forgive us for unduly delaying your testimony
and now we will proceed to panel number 2. With that I would like to welcome
our second panel headed by Ambassador James Lilley, Resident Fellow at
the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Ambassador
Lilley, it is good to see you again. We welcome you. Especially the depth
of experience on the Korean Peninsula that you bring to our table today.
Ambassador Lilley will be followed by Mr. Fred Ikle,
Distinguished Scholar, Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Mr. Ikle is a former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in the Reagan
Administration. He has been before our Committee on a number of occasions.
Welcome back, Mr. Ikle. We welcome your perspectives on our policy toward
Finally, we will hear from Mr. Nick Eberstadt, Visiting
Scholar, also at the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Eberstadt is a
leading demographer on North Korea. He will give us hints on how the food
shortage and economic implosion in North Korea is progressing. Mr. Eberstadt,
we are glad you could join us today to give your perspectives on the North
We welcome all of our panelists. I know many of
you have appeared before our Congress before. But for the sake of time,
I suggest you summarize your statements and have your full statement be
entered into the record, whichever you deem appropriate. Gentlemen, you
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
STATEMENT OF AMBASSADOR JAMES LILLEY, RESIDENT FELLOW, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE
INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY RESEARCH
Ambassador LILLEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I will run through it quickly as you suggested, sir. First of all, the
North Korean programs identified, documented and first acted under the
Reagan-Bush Administration where it was opened up for the first time. Second,
South Korea took the lead in those negotiations and came through with landmark
breakthrough agreements in 1991, 1992. The United States did not relegate
the South to a minor role in supporting money and manpower to this project.
The United States did not pay for access to North Korean nuclear facilities
and Chinese cooperation was obtained.
The first direct meeting took place in New York
in January 1992, and we insisted that if they wanted future meetings, which
we knew was their objective, they would have to meet the standards of North-South
dialog and challenge inspections. They didn't meet these conditions. We
never saw them again.
Let me just say a couple of things about what our
people are saying. I am going to diverge from my testimony now. During
my tour in 1986 to 1989 in Korea, I would say that we managed the North
Korean positions north of the DMZ differently. There was less of a threat
of war because we had effective deterrence and we were handling the North
Koreans through the Military Armistice Commission.
What I heard today is the threat of war has substantially
increased since our Americans started dealing with them in 1993. There
must have been something that went wrong between 1993 and 1994. War has
become more likely by their own admission and we must deploy more modern
advanced military capabilities in Northeast Asia to deal with it. I think
that is the one thing we should look at in terms of the success of our
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
What you had happen in 1993/1994 is the North Koreans
launched a major onslaught on us to change the ground rules for the negotiation.
They wanted to deal directly with the Americans and push aside the Military
Armistice Commission because they sensed weakness and they smelled both
vulnerability and a window of opportunity. They used brinkmanship tactics
which we should have known all about from our dealings on the Military
Armistice Commission. We have been dealing with them for 40 years. They
rattled sabers, threatened war, demanded compensation, refused challenge
inspections, suspended talks with the South and threatened to pull out
of IAEA. What they got from all of these brinkmanship tactics, threatening
war, et cetera, was the Agreed Framework with roughly $5 billion for them.
Now, what I was hearing around this table today
is: if we can get access to one cave in North Korea and it turns out it
is not nuclear, then we have again solved the problem. They have, in fact,
11,000 caves in North Korea. Newsweek identified at least 10 where
they could have hidden nuclear facilities. The problem is you don't know
what they have because they have deliberately blocked you from challenge
inspections and from getting access to nuclear waste sites that could tell
you how much plutonium there is.
So if we try to buy their terms and we sell them
as basically good guys, we are playing their game. They can play the shell
and pea game with us on this forever. They will try to make us prove the
unknown but they won't let us get into their secret areas. They will let
us get into Yongbyon, and our friends here were saying there is no more
fissile material. Do we know this is happening in the 11,000 caves? We
will never know. We will never know what they are doing because they have
And let me deal just a little bit with this problem
of starving children. There isn't an American alive that wouldn't want
to give humanitarian aid to starving children but I might say that in your
own report done by Peter Brookes, the 9-27 schools to incarcerate wandering
children looking for food in every city in Korea are not boy scout camps.
This is rough stuff the way they treat their own starving kids.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Let us go on to one more point. I have the greatest
respect for Ambassador Bosworth. He is a very effective officer. He did
a very good job with KEDO, but I would like to quote ''Moby Dick'' when
Captain Ahab said, ''My methods are sane, my purposes are mad.'' That very
good work was done where the purposes were insane; namely, what you have
pointed out, what Congressman Rohrabacher has pointed out. You are feeding
a regime which is diverting its resources to threaten you. It is a vicious
cycle which we have not broken. We have dug ourselves into a very deep
hole that we can't seem to get out of.
As an old intelligence man, I want to deal with
one more problem where I heard some comments here which sounded almost
verging on silly. We don't know anything about Kim Jong Il. Now come on.
We have his mentor in South Korea who dealt with him as his rabbi for 20
years, Hwang Jang-Yop. You mean this man has told us nothing about him,
nothing about his associations? We have two film defectors that came out
and who were with him for years, went through his drunken parties, saw
him talk. They have tapes of this and we know nothing about him? We have
Russians and Chinese who saw him all the time and we can't find out? Even
I found out when I was in Vladivostok a young former Russian naval officer
who spoke Korean who met him and had very distinct impressions about him.
The Chinese have seen him any number of times. They talked to people about
him. We don't know anything about this guy? We don't know anything about
his associations? I think we better go back to the drawing board on that
one. Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Ambassador Lilley appears
in the appendix.]
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Lilley. Mr.
STATEMENT OF FRED IKLE, DISTINGUISHED SCHOLAR, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC
AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
Mr. IKLE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for inviting
me. Let me first depart from my statement and summarize the rest. The discussion
so far illustrates that we are in a way debating the pros and cons of appeasement.
Appeasement became a dirty word at the beginning of World War II, but it
hasn't always failed. Sometimes it has prevented war. Hence, we need to
be careful in flatly rejecting any kind of appeasement. To be careful means
we have to look at whom we are dealing with. Everybody today here appearing,
Mr. Chairman, agreed that North Korea is the most awful regime we are dealing
with. It has been that way for 50 years, atrocious, cruel. So that would
argue against a policy of appeasement because of whom we are dealing with.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Likewise, the record of broken promises over the last
50 years. And despite that record, the Clinton Administration asserts that
now, suddenly now, we can rely on new North Korean promises indeed to become
the ''cornerstone'' of our policy for the peninsula. Also as an aside but
I think a serious one, I heard that the Clinton Administration has become
in a way a conveyor belt that unloads North Korean blackmail on Members
of Congress saying that if the money is not appropriated for the Framework
Agreement, that this could lead to war and the Members would have on their
conscience the fate of our 37,000 troops in South Korea. With this kind
of an attitude, we are goading North Korea to ratchet up the stakes. The
result will be new missile tests, more exports of dangerous weapons, new
chemical and biological weapons programs, new nuclear threats and new demands
for gifts to propitiate North Korea.
People have been saying in the previous 2 hours
that time is probably on our side. It has also been reported this is a
view of some people in South Korea. I don't think we can be confident about
that. The more fear we show about North Korea's weapons program, the more
we propitiate North Korean blackmail, the more we will eventually tempt
the dictatorship of Pyongyang to launch larger and larger probing attacks
against the South until one day the dictatorship may decide that it can
safely launch a new major attack on South Korea by relying on its weapons
of mass destruction to deter us from mounting a decisive response. This,
Mr. Chairman, I think is the larger ambition that North Korea is up to.
The decision before Congress now really is whether to fund the U.S. contributions
envisaged by the Framework Agreement. This agreement, like all with North
Korea, is full of trapdoors and easy to repudiate by North Korea without
It has been mentioned that the agreement limited
the reprocessing of the spent reactor fuel. And the spent fuel rods have
been encased under U.S. supervision in steel containers, the so-called
canning. They remain stored in North Korea available for reprocessing.
Whenever the regime decides the time has come to build more bombs, a country
that can build ballistic missiles can surely open up some steel containers
to take out the fuel that has been enclosed. And this is only one of the
many flaws of the framework agreement. I think Congressman Cox has illustrated,
has listed, a few other serious flaws about the light water reactor.
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Another aspect which has been barely noted (Ambassador
Lilley is if course fully aware of it and has alluded to it in his summary
testimony) by paying for the framework agreement and pressuring our allies
to contribute billions, we purchased almost exactly the same unenforceable
promise that we had purchased before. Now, I refer to the Joint Declaration
of 1991. In 1991, we scaled back our military exercises, Team Spirit. We
announced the withdrawal of our tactical nuclear weapons from South Korea,
and then North Korea signed this joint declaration where it promised it
would not seek nuclear weapons, it would not separate plutonium, and it
will accept nuclear inspections.
Now, what is wrong with that agreement? It seemed
to offer precisely all of the guarantees we have been trying to get since.
Easy to say what was wrong. It had a worthless signature, the signature
of North Korea.
May I make a recommendation, Mr. Chairman? Congress
should cease providing funds for the Framework Agreement; but since the
remaining weeks of this congressional session are burdened with other demanding
issues, it might be best to cope with this problem in two steps. First,
in this session to scale down the funding so as to provide just interim
funding as a stopgap measure till, say, next February. Second, after this
interim money has expired next February or next spring, to have available
to Congress and to your Committee, Mr. Chairman, a report by the CIA providing
an honest technical evaluation of the ways in which North Korea can move
ahead with its nuclear weapons program by taking advantage of the limitations
and loopholes of the Framework Agreement, including the underground facilities,
all of them. Second, a report by the Department of Defense to update the
assessment of the existing and required military capabilities to defeat
any kind of North Korean aggression, including measures needed to deter
or cope with North Korean use of chemical-biological weapons and to deter
nuclear weapons. This kind of information and the partial funding that
lasts only till next February, Mr. Chairman, I think would help Congress
to work with the Administration next year to shift U.S. policy toward North
Korea from escalating blackmail payments to a reinvigorating deterrent
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Ikle appears in the
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Ikle. Mr.
STATEMENT OF NICHOLAS EBERSTADT, VISITING SCHOLAR, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE
INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY RESEARCH
Mr. EBERSTADT. Thank you, sir. Mr. Chairman,
I will summarize my remarks. I would also like to request that some of
my studies be entered into the record.
Chairman GILMAN. Without objection.
[Due to the tremendous amount of material involved,
the reports mentioned above will be kept in the Committee files and can
be seen upon request.
Mr. EBERSTADT. Today I have been asked to
discuss the state and prospects of the Democratic People's Republic of
Korea for offering my own analysis. I should emphasize that all outside
analyses of the North Korean economic conditions are severely limited by
lack of understanding about that system and the lack of information about
it. Consequently, the judgments I share with you today should be understood
to constitute judgments. They should hardly be taken as the final word
on the matter.
With those caveats in mind, I would offer the Committee
First, while North Korean authorities now acknowledge
that their economy is in perilous straits and admit to both steep declines
in output and the emergence of starvation, they insist these crises are
due to factors beyond their control. In particular, they blame their current
economic difficulties upon the collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1989 to 1991
and on a series of freak natural disasters, floods, tidal waves and the
like from 1995 onwards. But contrary to protestations by Pyongyang, neither
bad weather nor bad luck can explain away the disastrous performance of
the contemporary North Korean economic system; in the main, that the economic
system has been battered and continues to be battered by self-inflicted
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Indeed, when one reflects on Pyongyang's distinctive
approach to economic affairs: its insistence upon underwriting an astonishing
degree of militarization; its penchant for ''planning without facts'';
its fetish for what it labels investment irrespective of the productive
returns of such expenditures; its continuing attempt to delink price relations
from resource allocation decisions and its largely successful attempt to
demonetize its domestic distribution of goods and services; its protracted
war against its own consumers; its tendencies to treat all foreign loans
as concessionary donations, and its allergic reaction to generating export
earnings, it is not difficult to understand the pattern of economic failures
the DPRK has thus far experienced.
The Soviet collapse and adverse weather conditions
to be sure were negative, not positive, influences on recent North Korean
economic performance. But they do not explain the dismal long-term trends
that have gripped the North Korean economy any more than the eruption of
the volcano at Pompeii accounted for the decline and fall of the Roman
Second, although a variety of changes in rules and
practices within the North Korea economy can be identified, this corpus
of changes cannot accurately be described as constituting a serious movement
toward policy reform, at least as that term is understood in the West.
North Korea watchers have taken note of the number
of developments that seem to betoken the measure of economic relaxation
or economic pragmatism on the part of North Korean authorities in recent
years. It is one thing to acknowledge that these steps and others represent
a distinct change in the official policy and practice and quite another
to divine their significance. While these signs of movement may seem noteworthy,
they beg the question of intent. Should these changes be viewed as the
beginnings of a conscious and deliberate redirection of policy or are they
simply concessions to exigence as a brittle policy sags under the weight
of its own troubles?
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
It is not even clear that North Korean leadership today
would understand how to go about embarking upon a new economic direction
even if they were so inclined. Let me mention an anecdote. Earlier this
year, an official from the World Bank visited North Korea and met with
senior decisionmakers in the fields of banking, finance, and foreign trade.
In the course of his meetings, his interlocutors asked a number of arresting
questions. At one point a top economic official asked him briefly to explain
the difference between ''macroeconomics'' and ''microeconomics''. On another
occasion, he had to define the terms ''market economy'' and ''centrally
North Korea's current leadership might quite possibly
be more economically naive than any other leadership configuration to govern
a country in the period since World War II. Such economic innocence tends
to encourage resistance in the face of crisis, not least by confounding
diagnosis and prescription.
Third, however bizarre North Korea's economic approach
may appear to those in the outside world, I would suggest it is nevertheless
governed by an internal logic, albeit a logic with which Westerners are
almost entirely unfamiliar. For the DPRK's economic strategy is subordinated
to its political strategy and its political strategy operates according
to priorities and imperatives that are not in keeping with international
sensibilities. An overarching political priority for the North Korean project,
for example, is the quest to unify the Korean Peninsula on its own terms
that is to say, under an independent socialist state governed from Pyongyang.
North Korea's military investment policies, its trade policies and other
aspects of its economic policies devolve directly from that imperative.
Similarly, Pyongyang's self-conception as the vehicle of destiny for a
long aggrieved Korean people directly influences the government's approach
to international economic relations. That predisposition may help to explain
North Korea's continuing concentration upon eliciting aid from the outside
world and its parallel disinterest in developing avenues of mutually beneficial
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And finally, it may be worth observing that severely
beleaguered economies can collapse. An aphorism circulating in certain
circles in Washington today has it that ''governments collapse, economies
don't.'' That aphorism is disproved by events within living memory. In
1945, the economies of both Germany and Japan collapsed before, not after
the collapse of their wartime regimes. Though economic collapse is an evocative
and imprecise term, one useful definition involves the breakdown of a country's
food system, the dissolution of rules and arrangements by which people
trade their own labor for food. Those rules and arrangements broke down
in both Germany and Japan before the end of World War II. In consequence
for millions of ordinary people, life became a terrifying daily hunt for
food. Since city people are poorly situated for such a hunt, a great deurbanization
commenced. Levels of urbanization in both West Germany and Japan did not
reattain their previous levels until years after the war.
It is too soon to say whether North Korea will eventually
suffer an economic collapse of its own. We must note, however, that economic
collapse per se is not a theoretical impossibility. And that North
Korea's current economic trajectory smacks of the perilous and unabated
economic decline that has yet to be seriously addressed by the country's
leadership. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Eberstadt appears
in the appendix.]
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Eberstadt.
Ambassador Lilley, do you believe that North Korea would abandon their
nuclear program or do you think they would continue covertly to develop
a nuclear weapons capability?
Ambassador LILLEY. I don't think there is
any question that they tie nuclear weapons development to their survival,
and that is their most important consideration beyond any other thing.
They will keep it—since we have given them the opportunity to have a covert
program, one and one still makes two. Of course they are going to do it.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Ambassador. Mr. Ikle,
what should we do about the Agreed Framework? It seems to be quite inadequate
right now in freezing the North Korean nuclear program in its entirety.
Mr. IKLE. We should phase it out, Mr. Chairman.
I say phase it out instead of stop it today because we have to consult
with the Republic of South Korea and Japan and we have to present to many
people, including colleagues of yours who have well expressed reasons favoring
its continuation, why it has to be terminated. The many flaws, technical
flaws in part addressed by Congressman Rohrabacher, Congressman Cox and
by many studies (I mentioned one or two) show that it doesn't really contain
the nuclear program. It doesn't freeze the nuclear program. It provides
a thin veneer over some nuclear activities that we have been able to observe.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you for your succinct
And, Dr. Eberstadt, I understand there are signs
that North Korea's population is declining. Can you review that situation
Mr. EBERSTADT. Yes, sir. Chairman Gilman,
as you know, the North Korean Government is not terribly forthcoming with
statistical data to the international community. In fact, to this point,
there is not a single statistical series that the North Korean Government
is regularly updating and releasing on its social or economic conditions.
What we are left with is a circumstance in which
we have to infer—a little bit, like Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot in a
murder mystery—about actual trends regarding demographics and other economic
conditions in that country. Outside observers, the Korean Buddhist Sharing
Movement, World Vision, other independent groups have come up with estimates
based on their contact with ''border crossers'' from DPRK, suggesting that
there has been severe and unnatural loss of life in North Korea.
While such loss of life doubtless has occurred,
it is not clear to me that one can extrapolate from those small numbers
of interviewed refugees to describe precisely conditions in a large country.
Page 56 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
But we do see, however, a few clues and hints, which
I think are rather worrisome.
For example, between 1948 and 1990, the North Korean
Government impaneled nine successive Supreme People's Assemblies, SPAs.
The North Korean constitution is obviously not a document that is followed
to the very final letter. But one article within the North Korean constitution
stipulates that an SPA delegate should represent every 30,000 persons in
Between 1948 and 1990, in each successive Supreme
People's Assembly, even in the one following the Korean War, there was
an increase in total delegates, indicating an increasing population. In
the latest and most recent Supreme People's Assembly, the one convened
earlier this month, however, exactly the same number of delegates was chosen
as had convened in April 1990 in the ninth SPA.
Work by myself and Dr. Judith Bannister, formally
of the U.S. Census Bureau, had projected—and I should emphasize ''projected''—that
population in North Korea would increase by slightly more than 3 million
persons between midyear 1990 and midyear 1998. And by very rough rule of
thumb, that would suggest that there should be perhaps 100 additional members
of the Supreme People's Assembly impaneled in the most recent SPA as opposed
to the ninth SPA. That there was exactly the same number convened in September
1998 as in the SPA of April 1990 can be interpreted in a number of different
ways, of course. One may simply be that North Korean governance in the
Kim Jong Il era pays even less attention to constitutional formalities
than in previous times.
Another possibility is that, however, North Korean
population did not grow between 1990 and the current time, even though
we would have expected an increase of perhaps as many as 3 million people,
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you.
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Dr. Ikle, what should our policy now be with regard
to North Korea? How should we handle North Korea?
Mr. IKLE. Mr. Chairman, it is a problem a
bit like confronting Stalinist Soviet Union in the deepest dark days of
the cold war, only it has been going on for 50 years. But it is easier
in that North Korea is a much smaller, much poorer country than was Stalin's
In short, it seems still at this time the only really
viable policies is a strong deterrent force to rebuff their claims for
blackmail payments, but also to work (and that we have been negligent about
in the last few years), on undermining the political standing of the regime
and emphasizing its illegitimacy and working, however difficult it may
be, on bringing it to a speedy end.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you.
And Dr. Lilley, do you have any thoughts about our
policy, what it should be with regard to North Korea?
Ambassador LILLEY. Well, I have certainly
heard many times the tired and repetitive statement, ''What are the alternatives
to KEDO?'' There are many alternatives to KEDO, which are much better and
much improved from KEDO. I think that is the point. I agree with Dr. Ikle,
credible deterrence is the first.
I would stretch that a bit by saying that the deterrence
we used against the Soviet Union, which succeeded, was massive retaliation.
In the case of Korea, the point has to be made that if you ever cross into
some kind of a military action, you will disappear. And this has to be
delivered authoritatively and clearly established with these men.
I think, second, you must tie your aid, whatever
it is, heavy oil, food, to some kind of concrete development toward economic
modernization or reform. To give them unconditional food aid is just putting
it down a black hole. We have got to take our money and not put it into
these great big lunatic giant reactors, but put it into fertilizer, new
dams, irrigation, so somehow they can be better able to feed their people
and do something that works. And I believe it has to be linked.
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Third, I think you have got to get to this business
of curbing proliferation. They have made us look like a paper tiger. And
you have things happening all over the world, where people say we can trick
the United States as Saddam Hussein did. India and Pakistan blew off their
bombs. China keeps proliferating. These North Koreans are going to Iran
and Libya with possible missiles. You have got to get a consensus in the
world that this is a world problem. We have to stop the North Korean proliferation
or else they will get no aid, nothing.
Again, you must move into the North-South dialog.
The South must gain dignity and take the lead on this. If the South sits
and carps at us, this is what we want. It always struck me that the United
States plays the role of the tough guy on this one, and if we do, this
gives the South room for maneuver.
The South can come here, and say they are trying
to get the Americans to come along, and so the North Koreans owe the South
one, and then get into tough bargaining. Because when the South dealt with
the North, as Dr. Ikle points out, they really got progress. Agreed, it
was on paper, but they made a lot more progress than we have made with
KEDO. They were better at it than we were. The United States took the lead
in getting reprocessing out of their agreements. My colleague, Paul Wolfowitz,
pushed this very hard. But it was the South that drove the hard bargain.
We have got to put the South up front in the center.
And finally, I would say that what the North Koreans have done for the
second time is to wreck Chinese plans. In June 1950, the Chinese were just
about ready to take over Taiwan and Kim Il Sung said, wait, I will take
over South Korea in 3 weeks and the Americans won't intervene.
He was wrong on both counts. And Taiwan is not in
the Chinese camp. Again, the Chinese have been shaking their fists in people's
faces and saying you can't have TMD because that is provocative to us,
and leads to the first strike against us. It is intolerable that you have
it. And they have made this point very clear.
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And now North Korea has fired the 3-stage missile over
Japan and Japan may be moving ahead on TMD. South Korea also has to rethink
it, and even Taiwan. So again they are a big spoiler for the Chinese. And
it seems to me this offers us an opportunity as we had in 1991–92 when
China moved positively in the United Nations, and in recognizing South
Korea. It also did a number of other things that were helpful. Now, they
sit back and watch this act that we are carrying out with the North, where
the North is pushing us around. Of course, they don't want any of KEDO.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you very much, Ambassador
Lilley, and thank our panelists.
Mr. BEREUTER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Gentlemen,
thank you very much for your testimony. I had a chance to read all of it
before, but I understand, Dr. Ikle and Ambassador Lilley, you departed
so dramatically from your written statements that I had to get a summary
from the staff of what you said. I appreciate Chairman Gilman asking the
basic question, what is your policy recommendations to us with respect
to North Korea?
I would like to ask all three of you gentlemen the
same question—I asked this question to Ambassador Kartman. What is there
which would suggest that the North Koreans would give up a nuclear development
program that they have been proceeding with for now 30 years? Why should
we have any confidence whatsoever that KEDO will realistically provide
the framework for the elimination of the nuclear development program, especially
in light of underground facilities which seem to be constructed for only
one purpose? What should give us some confidence, if anything?
Mr. IKLE. I think we should look at the KEDO
arrangement as something that temporarily may slow down the nuclear development
program. And we should ask ourselves why did North Korea agree to do that?
Because they are getting aid for it. They are getting a massive nuclear
industrial base in their country over which they will have total control
once these reactors are built. And the phasing that might require a lengthier
answer but there are studies on it—the phasing of the two reactors where
there is no dismantling of their processing facilities, such that they
are both in their hand, then they can say goodbye to the agreement—''is
over'', and they have two reactors that produce plutonium, which can be
reprocessed, as much as from the reactors in Iran (as was mentioned before).
And they have the encased, the canned fuel rods, which they can break open
in one day, and they can go back to the manufacture of nuclear weapons,
which they may have continued on a small scale already in many of these
underground facilities Ambassador Lilley referred to.
Page 60 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. BEREUTER. Dr. Ikle, if you had to make an
estimated guess today, do you think the North Koreans have stopped their
nuclear development program?
Mr. IKLE. In short, to summarize my lengthier
answer before, no, they have made some concessions slowing down the visible
reprocessing in order to humor us on the KEDO program so we will give them
the gifts that are attached to that.
Mr. BEREUTER. Ambassador Lilley, what are
your thoughts about motives for abandoning a nuclear development program?
Ambassador LILLEY. What I am afraid of is
that the North Koreans are going to put you in the position of proving
the unknown. You have to provide the proof that they are keeping their
nuclear weapons program going. You aren't going to be able to do that,
because they have got you blocked from inspecting it. We can't have challenge
inspections. We simply can't get into the key areas. They will take us
into one cave, and we won't find anything. Then we will come back and say,
it is clear.
And we will have our friends here at State saying,
look, we have taken care of that problem. There are 10,999 caves left.
We do have other signs of what they have been doing. First of all, you
have the sign in 1994 at the time that the agreement was signed that they
moved a lot of facilities out of Pyongyang. You would have to go to intelligence
channels for this. I gather from my own sources that there was a shipment
out of equipment from Yongbyon.
Second, we have these explosions that have happened
and that have been leaked to Newsweek now. Apparently they are carrying
out these typical explosions that are used to trigger a nuclear device.
Third, we have these underground suspect nuclear
facilities that we pick up from time to time and we also get the comments
from defectors that tell us that they have so many nuclear weapons. We
have these indications. But the trick is to get us to prove the unknown,
to persuade us to support their contentions and keep the real information
back from you. We shine the light on what they want us to see so we will
support their agenda. I don't know how we are going to get out of this
one, because they are going to block us from seeing what we need to see.
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. BEREUTER. Thank you. I was hoping you had
that answer. I am going to give Dr. Eberstadt an opportunity to respond
immediately. But I wanted to say that, Ambassador Lilley, I understand
the rationale that you offered for all of our assistance in the future
and, in fact, the past should be tied to economic reform, agriculture reforms.
But while there is always a risk that a collapsing government may go out
with a nuclear or at least a warlike action, isn't there some risk in us
pushing them to reform that will simply keep them as a major threat to
us and our neighbors for a period of time? Is there a reason to simply
let them proceed with their collapse?
Ambassador LILLEY. Well, this argument that
has been made that they will lash out if pushed into a corner has been
used very effectively by them since 1993 to get major concessions from
us. They have been skillful at using that.
The other thing I point out is that they were pleasantly
surprised when we as a country which they denounced daily as an enemy,
offered them food, and did not check on how it was being used (whether
it was diverted to their military).
They cannot believe their own luck. They then decided
that they could use our food aid, by appealing to our better instincts,
to start bargaining for certain other things. I understand that this came
up with talks in Geneva on missiles, that basically our 300,000 tons of
grain was a tradeoff for that. And they wanted you to hold off a week so
it wouldn't look linked. But they are also walking in to us and saying,
1.5 million for four-party talks, this sort of thing. Cold brutal bargaining
And it seems to be that we ourselves also have to
use linkage by tying it to reform, but not in any crude way that could
get their backs up and give them some ammunition to attack us for being
extreme hard liners. They are, in fact, making appeals to somehow break
out of this vise that they are in. You get from some middle level North
Korean officials, that they are desperate. They were trying to get the
World Bank involved and were working very hard to do this.
Page 62 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
There are cracks in that system that we can work on.
But as long as we do the things we are, then it will be more difficult
to get at them. So if we could somehow tie the international financial
institutions' support and other aid that the Chinese use, we could find
people in North Korea who might respond.
Mr. BEREUTER. Thank you. Mr. Chairman, I
am aware of the red light facing me. I won't ask any questions, but I would
like to see if Dr. Eberstadt has a response to my earlier questions about
Mr. EBERSTADT. Congressman Bereuter, briefly,
Professor Ikle's description of the current circumstance as a temporary
slowdown in DPRK nuclear development strikes me as very apt. There are
many things that I do not understand about the North Korean regime. But
two things that I find extraordinarily difficult to understand is why that
regime would forswear the development of nuclear weaponry, why that regime
would wish to make peace with the Republic of Korea, the South Korean Government.
The reason I say that is that it seems to me that
both of those conditions would be extremely subversive of the logic upon
which that regime is based. If North Korea were to give up its ability
voluntarily to threaten the world internationally with nuclear blackmail,
if it were to recognize the legitimacy of the South Korean Government and
come to peace with that, one would have to ask, ''What then is the basis
of the legitimacy of the North Korean regime? Its excellent agricultural
management style? Somehow, I think not.
So it is hard for me to imagine why a North Korean
Government would voluntarily wish to relinquish the development of nuclear
weapons or to enter into a significant peace process with the South.
Mr. BEREUTER. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Bereuter.
Page 63 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Thank you very much. I am sorry
that I have missed much of this hearing today. I was on the floor debating
an issue where we are thinking about letting 200,000 foreign workers come
in to take jobs in our high-tech industries. And I sort of feel it is kind
of a slap in the face to some of the people that I represent who might
need a job and could use the retraining or perhaps have been laid off by
those same high-tech companies. So I felt compelled to participate in that
However, this issue we are talking about today is
also of importance to the security of our country, and that is the safety
of the people I am talking about, our constituents. I would like to ask
one question and, first of all, you heard my statement in the opening statement,
which is we should be trying to aim to replace and eliminate the Government
of North Korea, rather than trying to find some stability for that area.
But I would like to know if the United States had
not intervened, and if we had not gotten together with China and Japan
and all of these others to intervene in what was going on, and thus provide
resources for North Korea, would the North Korean Government have survived
by now? I mean, wouldn't we be in a much better world had we not taken
the course of action that we took? That is my question to the panel.
Ambassador LILLEY. Well, it is in a way like
creating a crisis and then saying you solved it. This is what happened
in 1993. The way we behaved toward North Korea probably encouraged their
worst instincts. And then we are stuck with that now; we are way down deep
in the hole. They have developed some bad habits about how to deal with
When we look at the situation in 1991–92, it seemed
to me that we were moving in a certain direction. North-South dialog was
going, there were two joint agreements. The denuclearization process had
just started, but we avoided getting into this business of dealing directly
with the North, with Japan and Korea as our lesser supporting actors.
Denigrating our Asian friends in this way has hurt
us over the long haul. We jumped in with benign intentions, but we hadn't
read the long negotiating record. We didn't know quite how to deal with
the North. They pulled every trick in the book and it started working.
Brinkmanship started paying off.
Page 64 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
My sense is if we hadn't all jumped in then, we probably
would have been better off today, but the North Korean regime still would
probably be in power. They have such a ferocious system to maintain power.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Even though people are starving
and they are—I heard the testimony earlier here, the economy can fall apart
and your military can still keep on fighting like the Germans and the Japanese
Ambassador LILLEY. My sense is the Chinese
would have bailed them out, and the stigma would have been on the Chinese
to carry the ball rather than us. They would have moved in to help us,
they would not let them collapse.
Chairman GILMAN. Dr. Ikle.
Mr. IKLE. I agree that the Chinese would
have helped the North, perhaps regarding the division of the Peninsula.
But I still think for the longer term with persistent effort and careful
design, we should find ways to weaken that regime and to hasten its demise.
It may take another 5, it may take 10 years. Prestige is important for
it, the economic aid has been, of course, very helpful to its prolonged
life of which prolongation as Dr. Eberstadt has been talking and which
Dr. Lilley pointed out.
If you abstained from prolonging its life, from
sending gifts—something we didn't do for Stalin in the midst of the cold
war—if we undermine it, if we look for openings, for defections—a large,
rich and sophisticated program, I think, would eventually cause the regime
Mr. EBERSTADT. Congressman Rohrabacher, as
you know very well, history doesn't permit instant replays, so it is very
hard to say what would have happened in the 1990's, absent the support
the DPRK has enjoyed from foreign patrons. I suppose I should observe that
it remains something of a mystery to me how the North Korean regime goes
on from day to day. It is a little bit like looking at the Confederacy
in early 1865, wondering how economically this project continued. And yet
it did continue for a while.
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
One can also observe that North Korean diplomacy, however
strategically misguided, has been tactically very adept for decades from
extracting aid from big powers, originally the game being Moscow versus
Beijing. And those tactics, we now see it being deployed against Washington
and Tokyo and even its mortal enemy Seoul, and this is part of the dynamic.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Today we heard a talk of
massive retaliation or at least drawing a line that would put in place
a policy of incinerating hundreds of thousands of people if that line was
And let me just say that when we face these types
of decisions in Western democracy states, the decision of killing this
many people, and we know many of those people would not be our enemies
but just caught in that situation, I think it almost always reflects a
failure of policy on the part of an administration or a foreign policy
apparatus in the United States.
We had to retaliate against Afghanistan recently
because of a failure of our Afghan policy to prevent the Taliban, these
kooks, from controlling that country for the last 3 years.
I would hate to think that because we didn't have
the courage to do what was right now in the last 10 years in reference
to North Korea, that some day we might be faced with a decision of incinerating
hundreds of thousands of innocent people.
Ambassador LILLEY. Let me explain something,
Congressman, may I, on this ''massive retaliation''? I am not suggesting
for 1 second that nuclear weapons would be used. I point out in my testimony
that the model would be Desert Storm. And also the North Koreans remember
very clearly what happened to them in 1951 and 1952, that they couldn't
move a truck on the road because of conventional air attack.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Ambassador, some of
us believe that Desert Storm was a result of a failure of American diplomacy.
Ambassador LILLEY. I am getting to my next
point, that the most effective way to prevent war, as we found out, is
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. ROHRABACHER. We are in agreement.
Ambassador LILLEY. Yes. And Admiral Arleigh
Burke I think coined that phrase, and that if North Korea gets word in
advance that their whole power base goes up in smoke, it is not worth attacking.
We are not going to fight the Korean War again. It is not our plan, whatever
its number, where we are going to take Pyongyang in 3 weeks, no, it is
It is a modern warfare used against them, conventional
weapons, but it will be extremely punishing and it is just not worth their
while, so let's think about other ways of solving their problems.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. It would help us if, of
course, we could draw the line we had a missile defense system that would
prevent them from threatening some things against the continental United
Thank you very much.
Mr. BEREUTER. It would help us if we could
draw the line with the Administration as well.
The gentleman from California, Mr. Kim, is recognized.
Mr. KIM. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for yielding.
I would like to make a brief statement, and then
I will ask some questions. I do have some concerns, and that is to Ambassador
Lilley about this situation right now that I really cannot blame North
Korea, they are starving—when people are starving they will do anything,
blackmail or extortion or faking it, they will do anything.
What concerns me is our own policy, what we are
doing about this. I understand these four-party talks are useless, most
of the time they are arguing who is going to sit where. The North Korean
delegates, they don't want to sit across the table from the South Korean
delegates. After they spend the hours arguing, the only thing they will
have agreed will be to have another meeting, a total useless meeting, just
go on and on. Yet we call that a highly successful talk, because we agree
to have another talk.
Page 67 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
That bothers me. It seems to me that, from what the
previous panelists mentioned, that time is on our side and this engagement
policy, maybe it is all just related. Just keep talking about this thing,
without having any concrete policy. It seems like we are drifting.
I do have a slightly different opinion about the
humanitarian assistance. I think we should continue that. It has been our
policy, I know, that even though we have a hostile confrontation from government
to government, even our enemy always helped them in case they are having
a crisis. That is our spirit. I think that has been an American spirit
in the past.
North Korea is our enemy, no question about it.
But because of humanitarian reasons, I think we should continue to help
them in terms of humanitarian assistance. That is our spirit. But in government-to-government
talks, such as the Framework Agreement, I don't know how we can't take
stronger position. The agreement is drawn up between the two parties; that
can be amended.
Now, the previous panelists mentioned as well, the
missile has nothing to do with the agreement, and I know that. The agreement
only deals with the nuclear proliferation, but we can demand a missile
clause as a part of the condition. We can attach, we can give a lot of
other conditions, as you mentioned.
That is the question to you, Mr. Lilley, what do
you think about how we can deter this missile firing or stopping the missile,
because the missile is more threatening to me than nuclear reactor or nuclear
proliferation, because I understand they can reach California within 3
years or 2 years or 5 years, everybody agrees except as to when. And that
is frightening. All they have to do is attach a nuclear warhead. That is
it, it will take care of California.
The question to Dr. Ikle, you mentioned one of your
recommendations is to scale down the funding. That concerns me because
the scaling down of funding tells the rest of the world that we are not
fulfilling our agreement. The USA can change their mind later on and then
not fulfill the agreement once you agree to it. I think we have an obligation
to follow the agreement. I am not sure scaling down is a solution. But
if we do that, beware, as we don't know much about North Korea and who
this Kim Jong Il is. I understand he is not a rational individual.
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Supposing they went and attacked South Korea; it could
happen, they have supreme military power. If they ever attack Seoul, where
one-fourth of the population is concentrated, Korea is gone. It would be
a disaster to South Korea. Even though they don't win the war, what happens
after complete destruction? So that is what South Koreans most fear, that
is why we are walking on thin ice.
South Korea doesn't want to intimidate or agitate
Kim Jong Il by amending the existing agreement, such as scaling down the
funding or reduce the amount of funding. Thank you. That is my question.
Ambassador LILLEY. Well, I really never disagree
with Congressman Kim. In this area, humanitarian food aid, I will leave
to my colleague, Dr. Ikle. But we cannot give it to these people unconditionally—they
simply don't understand it, and they will misuse it. On the missile question,
which you posed to me, first of all, we have to get some kind of an international
consensus to deal with missiles.
It can't be just the U.S. problem, it has got to
be Japan, Europe, everybody, and consensus has been to be developed. And
what we usually have to do is to create lures and incentives to draw them
in, but that if they continue with the program, they will lose the incentives.
That is one way of dealing with it.
The second way was, which has already been mentioned,
is TMD. This is an anathema to China. If we proceed with TMD with Japan,
with South Korea and Taiwan, we are creating a situation for North Korea
and China which is decidedly not in their interests. I am not saying we
go ahead and deploy TMD, but it gives you good leverage in dealing with
this situation, because the North really becomes the rogue regime, the
spoiler, in that area.
And it makes sense, because if you go to the Chinese,
as we have, and say, TMD can hurt us more than it hurts you in some ways
because it is so expensive, but your friend up there in North Korea to
whom you give all of this aid and support, is causing great damage to your
interests. They already know that.
Page 69 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And then work from that point. TMD is useful as leverage
in this. Already the Japanese have moved another step in going for an additional
budgetary allotment for TMD. I don't know if we eventually get TMD, but
the process has already started moving Japan. And, again, this causes Chinese
considerable indigestion. We would have a situation hopefully that is beginning
to break our way on this, thanks to the North Koreans.
Mr. BEREUTER. The gentleman's time is expired,
but either of the other witnesses may respond to Mr. Kim if you care to.
Mr. IKLE. Just very briefly.
Mr. BEREUTER. Dr. Ikle.
Mr. IKLE. The scaling down of the funding,
I think, is necessary in order to get away from ratcheting up a blackmail
relationship where we pay more and pay for greater and greater threats,
which in turn I think feed the danger that you so properly, Congressman
Kim, pointed out, the danger to Seoul and to South Korea. It is clear the
dictatorship in the North wants to take over South Korea. They have wanted
to do that for 50 years. That is why they attacked in 1950. They haven't
given up on that.
And the more they get equipped with food, with reactors,
with economic aid, to maintain their military dictatorship, the more they
feel able to threaten us, eventually to attack the South and keep us from
responding in a vigorous fashion by the threat of their nuclear weapons.
It is a bad situation we are in, but I think we have to climb out of this
hole and not dig ourselves into it deeper.
Mr. EBERSTADT. Congressman Kim, can I just
say a word about humanitarian assistance, sir. Like you, I believe that
humanitarian assistance, in principle, if possible, should be separated
from security considerations given Western concerns about the value of
human life in attempting to prevent unnatural increases in mortality.
But there is a history in humanitarian relief efforts
of attempting to adhere to two overriding principles. And those are the
principles of nondiscrimination in distribution of relief and impartiality
in the distribution of relief services and goods.
Page 70 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
In North Korea today, unfortunately, I am not sure that
any of the PVO's or the world food programs can honestly say that they
have met those two objectives—nondiscrimination and impartiality. And as
long as the North Korean regime obstructs the impartial distribution of
relief food throughout that country, a big question remains over that entire
Mr. KIM. Thank you.
Mr. BEREUTER. Thank you very much, gentlemen,
for your patience in waiting through the Congressional voting schedule.
Your contributions to what I think is one of the most serious national
security problems that we face is very important to us, and I thank you
very much for your effort and for your assistance today.
The Committee will stand adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 5:08 p.m., the Committee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
Insert "The Official Committee record contains additional