What's next in Trump-North Korea standoff?

Newell Normand
Thursday, May 17th

Newell talks to CATO Institute Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies Christopher Preble about what will come next in negotiations with Kim Jong-Un


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Join this is Christopher probable the vice president for good defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute welcome to show Christopher. And so is this just more Saber rattling and chest slumping in all of that that goes on up on into the lead in over the summit. Well it's certainly possible. We. We've seen that were on both sides all along and so I think you know sometimes the simple explanations that is the correct one but. I would say that way and that the north Koreans put out of state and a couple days ago. They were fairly specific about what they were objecting to achieve things in particular was. An ongoing. Military exercise in the United States and South Korea. These sorts of exercises are fairly routine but. The self. Has had suspended. Nuclear weapons testing a missile testing and so they were essentially sort of hinting that some sort of reciprocal. Act by the United States in the ups and two. Summit will be appropriate. But the more important thing that I think is there reference to. National security advisors John Bolton. Comment that the kind of deal that they hope to get out of North Korea is similar to the deal that the Bush Administration god will mark Qaddafi and Libya which is. Where Muammar Qaddafi do you have the nuclear weapons. I'm and that of course several years later market got in the dead and a military operation of the United States. Help support so needless to say I think the north Koreans not turn clues about going away Moammar Qaddafi. And so they've pushed back pretty hard on him if that's. If that's what the United States and trillion out of this deal then maybe we shouldn't even bother go it's important for. You know and you tell me if I'm wrong my feeling sometimes. Is that. Trumpet so in on this issue. And trying to create a diversion from the Russian collusion investigation. When I think about other summits there's just not this much chatter that goes on. Leading up other than broad policy statements about what you hope to accomplish. Right and it just seems to me that president trump is not really well versed in how to delivered. Measured remarks. I think you're right I mean it it goes without saying the president trumpet unlike any president and certainly in modern memory maybe ever and I think that's. Also part of what people find appealing his supporters like the fact that he's not like most president. But that doesn't mean that this the sort of skills communication skills and and techniques that he uses to appealed to has its supporters mostly through Twitter and sort of off the cuff remarks. That doesn't mean those necessarily that that's. It's communications strategy is up to the two teachers summit of negotiating. Perhaps to the disposition of North Korean nuclear weapons and security not nearly in the Korean Peninsula but throughout northeast Asia so I I sort of agree with Europe the premise to your question is. Maybe the president would be well advised to consult sort of to hone down the talk and then going into this and and keep. The discussions mostly private within the administration in terms of what they hope to achieve the so partisans seem to have done that. I mean you you. You know you have a narcissistic. And egocentric. Adversary on the other side. It I don't know what else he asked to do to display or convince anybody that that's. His is psychological makeup. And end. Bury it and you know and and we've coming off the heels a colony rocket man and each out you Q1 of them colony each other names. It would seem to me that you were just honed down that all of this rhetoric leading up to an end. Maybe for once let the diplomats do with a good deal. I quite agree and I think there are. Well I agree but there's one point to make I think that security pomp pay those remarks have been fairly measured fairly well considered and but those aren't pretty stark contrast to mr. Bolton remarks. Not nearly what he said before becoming national security advisor including famously party you know the North Korea to line their lips are moving. But more butts and becoming national security advisor invoking. You know anything ample. Like I said it would seem to be very attractive to the north Koreans so again I wonder if when you say the administration QB should be sort of speaking one voice the challenge may be that there are different places with the new administration in the disagree. Over whether this. Summit is advised in the first place and what. They think is essential to achieve world still recommend the president walk away. We you know what I find ironic is. And to the detractors the president trump say that he rules the you know he's very. Involved. It's all about him it's a very centralized administration it's not decentralized but it it seems to me that they have a real difficult time with this word called coordination. He's yeah I think that's I think the president expects. Paramount loyalty from those who work for him but you can be loyal to the principle to the president himself. Disloyal thing and sent to the administration as a whole yet. What you're not in the present you know in the what in the oval officers beat the president you're speaking to a reporter off the record. And essentially you know stabbing your your colleague in the back in and I think there is a fair amount of under infighting and that explains simple leaking competitive. That the trump White House. Certain money gamesmanship. And and that's been a problem from the very beginning. In I act as a leader of an organization in my previous life. I encourage that I'd like to hear the differing views I'd like to you're. Debate over the subject matter I think that's healthy for an administration. And and I say this all the time in I'm married in my wife and finally agree on happen the issues. Right. It and but it it's healthy I think in many respects but it doesn't seem that they are able to manage this very well as it relates to keeping things in side of the meetings and have body wouldn't open. Atmosphere that you to be able to articulate their views without that the Euro would be in a appearing on the front page of the paper the next. I think that's exactly right I think it when. Some people are giving advice the president it is a private meeting. Patients they should believe that that advice will stay in that me it is really intended for one person while law ultimately president. It states but I don't think people can can expect that audiences no problem that started with trump administration but certainly seemed to have gotten worse. Since president trump came into office and I think partly that to function people who are serving there don't have a lot of experience and kind of government. Actually John Bolton an exception to that rule. But for the most part at this time most people in the trump administration had not had extensive. Experience it's a government. Yeah an Emmy and and it's not like we're not we shouldn't be concerned. About the north Koreans because. They've been playing in this game and ship for what seven. Deck along you know and and I mean in tennis is as recent as 1990s they fought their finding tunnels that have been dug underneath the South Korean territory and things of that nature. I understand is new and teller urged all the intelligence reports that have been recently revealed that they actually have Roland ways for a air for airplanes to take off that are completely underground. These are these folks are ardent they're not hikers when it comes to how this type of situation. Now they've they've been living. Is state of war since the outbreak of conflict in 1950. And day you know that that is gonna change I think anytime soon. Even if he even if they went away from this came away from the meeting. Believing. The United States assurances that the United States wasn't committed to regime change which detectors they Pompeo has hinted that last weekend. I think they're still gonna have. You know they're just sort of after their arms Ulster. And not trust US assurances in an immediate like. And just very briefly for the listening audience I mean even when you talk about these diplomatic negotiations. There's a whole nomenclature. That has developed around that. Because some words in the public have. Moreover. A meaning than what actually it is so date they pick in the choose their words very carefully. That's absolutely correct two words should be chosen very very carefully and if you don't do that you risk those words being taken out of context or misconstrued or used. By people who maybe don't wanna see this means a loss in the first place I think that's exactly what's been happening in the last 48 hours so. And when you have someone like Kim you're known hoot. Has an administration. That is I think. Fragile other than the fact that he's a dictator. But I think it could tilt at any point in time if there's a certain kind of a crack in the philosophy in and they allow. An upsurge or no prize amongst their constituents that it's a fragile country on it on many fronts. Well I think they certainly fear about but on the other hand we've been predicting the demise became fairly reaching for seven years and now it's at least in his third generations so while I agree that sort of superficially. This is as good as one famous books this is an impossible statements in this state which could possibly be able to exist. As it does ruled essentially buy singles and in a very small circle of cronies and acolytes and yet here we art seven years after the studio and hand and it's still. There were still contending with it. And and power now we actually have this. The prospect of the US president meeting with a appropriately so. Here we are. Crystal ball. It happens or not. I don't know how to get to really question I think we'll have a better sense that maybe in the next few days. But I'll tell you there's there is quite a bit. And so it's sort of doubt here in Washington at its center now. All Roddy crystal probable from vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute thanks so much for joining us we really appreciate your time thank you sir. Already will be right back what do you think in 2601 point seven it sounds that you know it feels to me that trump is all in on this. I mean he's. The he's all in ended this ass to happen and obviously this is a little bit they had gotten their trying to work through this give us call 260187. In Texas at 8770. We're talking about the Korean Peninsula we're backed.