Stephen Biegun - International Diplomacy Challenges: North Korea

September 6, 2019 1:22:00
Kaltura Video

Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun discusses U.S. policy and strategy for achieving the denuclearization of North Korea and the transformation of U.S.-North Korean relations.


Good afternoon, everyone.

Welcome back to campus.

I'm Michael Barr.

I'm the Joan and Stanford Weil dean of the 

Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

at the University of Michigan.

I’m delighted to welcome you to all of this,

the first event of a series of

distinguished speakers to mark the

launch Weiser Diplomacy Center.

I want to start by thanking regent Ron

Weiser and Mrs. Eileen Weiser who are

with us right here today for their generous

Donation to establish the Weiser 

Diplomacy Center. Ron was U.S.

Ambassador to Slovakia and

Eileen served alongside him in their

time, and they are both passionately

committed to the importance of diplomacy

and to the men and women to serve our

country abroad.

They are wonderful friends, and we are

grateful for their strong support of the

Ford School and the University of

Michigan more broadly.

So let me begin, please let me ask you

to join me in thanking Ron and Eileen



 This Weiss diplomacy center serves as

a unique hub for academic and practical

training and policy dialogue, preparing

our students to become the nation's next

foreign policy leaders, diplomats and

experts in foreign affairs.

As a meeting point for practitioners,

men and women whose careers span the

apex of important policy and academics,

the WDC provides a bridge between

University of Michigan and the

foreign policy community.

With Ron and Eileen's help, the WDC can

become the country's leading institutions

for International affairs.

The previously the mission of the WDC has

three parts.

First, hands-on practical training and

mentor ship for rising foreign policy

professionals who have access to, Sr.

diplomats serving as professor of

international diplomacy and visiting

professors here at the Ford school.

Second, oversee study and policy

engagement with internships and

engagement opportunities that span the


This summer students went to the forgs

an international migration in Jenn eve,

a the Asia.

The U.S. embassy in Bogota and a leaned

development organization in India,elingy

with the DWDC also funds shorter student

initiatives over spring break for

example last year four students went to

Guatemala to work with a leaned human

rights group on forensic anthropology.

community on a wide ray of topics Frank

peace and security to development

document to humility rights and the


This line-up this fall exposes our

students tie breadth of experience and

policy perspective including today's

speaker Steve Biegun as well as Steve

hadley, Samantha power, Condoleezza Rice

and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As well as leading former ambassadors

from many eras and countries.

You will note that this launch series

also supports our conversations across

difference initiative.

As you well know, these are challenging

times in our nation with fractious

political discourse, gridlock and

partisanship and be an increasing lack

of trust in institutions everywhere.

It is in moments like this when the

craft of diplomacy is even more

essential, and when talking and

listening across political and other

differences is really essential.

We are thus honored to bring to the

campus a wealth of expertise this fall

and we could not be more delighted to

begin with the insights of today's

speaker U.S. special representative for

North Korea, Stephen Biegun.

I'm going to turn over the podium now to

faculty director of Weirs diplomacy

center Ford school faculty member John

who will introduce our speaker.



 Thank you, Michael, and welcome to

all of you.

It's very much my honor to introduce

Steve Biegun.

He's a Michigan man and he embodies

leader qualities and the commitment to

serve that we aim to foster at the new

Weiser diplomacy center.

Since his undergraduate studs here atum

in Russian and political science he's

pane a leader in the practice of a

attorney affairs through several

different channels on Capitol Hill,

through the executive branch and

business in the non-profit sector.

Shortly after the cold war at a critical

junk commuter in Russia he what is the

In country director in Moscow for the

International Republican Institute, a

leading non-profit organization

promoting freedom and democracy abroad.

He has held senior positions in the

house foreign relations committees as

well as been chief of staff to the

Senate foreign relations committee and

national security adviser to former

Senate majority leader Bill Frist.

In those capacities he's worked on a

wide array of issues including the

foreign aid budget, trade agreements

with various partners, defense,

intelligence, European affairs and more.

During the George W. Bush administration

he served as executive secretary at the

national security council.

This is essentially the NF treatment

chief operating soar ppts it's a crucial

roll in creating policies and effective

interagency process, exactly the kind of

of practical foreign policy knowledge

that we're trying to cultivate and that

our students are learning in the Ford

school's new course on the NFC this


Steve Biegun has extensive

leadership experience in the private

center having sender as a VP at

international affairs at Ford Motor

Company overseeing Ford's interanswers

around the world.

He returned to government I year ago as

U.S. special representative for North

Korea, ab pointed shortly after the June 2018 Singapore summit between

President Trump and North Korean leader

Kim Jong-un.

The summit was a bold and controversial

step, one of the signature foreign

policy initiatives of the trump


The president and secretary of state

Pompeo saw somebody who had the

diplomat skills to capitalize on the

political opening and drive progress

toward the very difficult issue of North

Korean denuclearization as well as

related challenges in the relationship.

The fact that they chose Steve Biegun

for that role testifies to the strength

of both his diplomatic skills and his


Over the past year he's led U.S. policy

toward the DPRK, that's the democratic

people's republic of Korea on North

Korea, and spearhead U.S. negotiations

with okay.

Yong and engagement with reasonable

explies partners toward those pames

we're privileged to be able to hear from

Steve Biegun today about the challenges

and the opportunities and the reply

diplomacy undergoing noirks, and we're

also grateful for co-sponsorship of this

lecture by our friends and colleagues at

the name center for Korean stud it's a


Before he begins we'll have a time

toward the end of the session for

audience questions.  Please write your

questions on the note cards that our

staff will provide and collect.

Ford school students Ryan van we and

Zachary will present the questions with

our own ambassador.

Now on behalf of the Ford center and the

name center give Steve Biegun a warm

weerchl welcome.


-- Wolfe even welcome.



 Thank you, Dean Barr.

Thank you, John, for that kind


And thank you all for inviting he here


I had a long day already here on campus.

I had an opportunity earlier today to

meet with a group of students, started

the program at the Ford school called we


It's geared to have civil discussion,

thoughtful discussion and to engage

each other on public policy issues.

It's a truly inspirational group.


And if you don't know about it, I'd

recommend you look up their website.

If you're a student here, I'd recommend

you think about it.

They're doing great work for the


I also had a chance to have lunch today

with a group students from the Ford

school, an incredibly impressive bunch.

Many of them already well into

successful careers.

And it was a real privilege and honor to

spend this time this morning with so

many we never students.


I can't tell you what a great pleasure

it is to be on the campus of the

University of Michigan where for me it

all began so many years ago.

Tomorrow marks exactly there go years

since I first sat down in a lecture hall

here at the University of Michigan.

Having left a small Michigan town where

I grew up, I stepped onto this campus to

begin an educational journey that has

served me my entire career.

It opened the world to me and, more

importantly, it opened me to the world.

I'm grateful for the incredible

teachers, visiting instructors, guest

speakers, the teachings, the rallies, the

protests and the vibrant, eclectic,

diverse and irrepressible student body

that the University of Michigan has

always attracted.

I've learned to think in ways that have

benefited me throughout my career.

It's great to be home.

Go blue.


I'd like to add my thanks to the

University of Michigan's Ford school

public policy and the Nam center for

Korean studies for hosting me this

afternoon, and it's an honor to be the

inaugural speaker of the Weiser

diplomacy center's speaker series.

Ron Weiser has for many years been a

friend, and for a few years even a

colleague in government.

I know firsthand of his and his wife

Eileen's devotion to public service and

to the advancement of American interests

and ideals around the world.

This new diplomacy center is a fitting

embodiment of that devotion.

Thank you, Ron.


In the three decades since I left Ann

Arbor I have had the opportunity to work

on many challenging and interesting

issues in government and the private


But none that approaches the

consequences of the issue that I'll

speak on today as the United States

special representative for North Korea.

  Prior to taking this job, I wasn't

really looking to return to government.

In fact, I was quite happy in a job I

loved at wunt great American auto -- one

of the great American auto companies,

Ford Motor Company located just up the


It was there that my grandfather and his

father before him made their livings,

and it was a great place to work.

But as is the case with Ron Weiser and

with so many other graduates of this

great university who, over the decade,

have answered the call of public

service, last year I accepted the

challenge of Secretary of State Mike

Pompeo to take up and carry forward a

remarkable diplomatic opportunity, an

opportunity created by President Trump

In June of 2018, the decision of the

president to meet at a summit in

Singapore with chairman Kim Jong-un of

North Korea was truly momentous.

At the con dilution first-ever meeting

between the leaders of our you two

countries, they shed a simple strayed

forward statement outlining a plan to

change the course of events on the

Korean peninsula through the

transformation of relations through the

establishment of a permanent peace and

the complete denuclearization of the

Korean peninsula.

And while there's still much work ahead

of us, if we are to fulfill those

commitments, the this fact of bold

leadership and the simple roadmap it

produced may well prove to be the key to

unlocking the puzzle of the Korean

Peninsula that has bedeviled the world

since the end of World War II.

Since that historic commit meeting in

Singapore, the president has maintained

a strong and focused deployment search

for a lasting peace on the Korean


He refuses to accept the fact that 66

years after fighting ended in the careen

war we have yet to find a successful

path to transforming relations and

establishing a permanent peace.

But the president has also been clear

that doing so will require the daunting

task of eliminating the growing threat

of weapons of mass destruction on the

Korean panes law.

The president has directed the starter

state, myself and the entire U.S.

national security team to spare no

effort in our negotiations to fulfill

the commitments that the two leaders

made at Singapore.

  We are aware that this diplomatic

opening is fragile.

We fully understand the consequences if

did I diplomacy fails, and we are

clear-eyed about the dangerous reality

of ongoing development by North Korea of

weapons of mass destruction and the

means to deliver them to the region and

to the world.

This is in defines of international


It is in violation of United Nations

security council resolutions.

And it is in contravention of Muppet

promises made by North Korea to never

possess such weapons.

For to us make progress towards peace

and to take major steps towards

transforming our relationship, North

Korea must be willing to fulfill its

commitment to achieve complete


North Korea will never be able to

realize its full economic potential or

enjoy true economic security and

stability if it clings to weapons of

mass destruction.

The United States and the world will not

accept that.

And we and other countries in the region

need to understand that the outcome of

this diplomatic process will have

ramifications well beyond the Korean


Last year, after taking on this

assignment, I had the rare and special

opportunity to sit down with former

Secretary of State Henry kissinger to

discuss the way forward.

As he shared his observations and

thoughtful advice, one comment made a

particularly deep impression upon me.

Dr. Kissinger noted that we were charged

today with working toward the

elimination of North Korea's nuclear

weapons, but, he said, if this effort

fails, we will be working tomorrow on an

Asia wide nuclear proliferation


  It does not require a leap of logic to

understand what Dr. Kingser was


A North Korea that retains the ability

to threaten its neighbors with neecialg

weapons risks breaking the international

noamples non-proliferation built over 50


While a number of countries and

economies in Asia have the scientific

wherewithal and the technical capacity

to develop nuclear weans they have made

the judgment that po sense such weapons

creates more risk for their security and

for their people.

Allies such as Japan and South Korea

have fore sworn nuclear weapons programs

in part because they trust the

protection of extended deterrence has

included in their alliance relationships

with the United States of America.

But how long will that conviction hold?

If such weapons air mere short range

ballistic missile night away from their

own territory?

At what point will voices in South Korea

and Japan and elsewhere in Asia begin to

ask if they need tro consider their own

nuclear capabilities?

And what will this mean for a region

whose prosperity and growth has been so

inex entribly tied to long-term

stability and peace.

It is very much in the interests of the

United States of America and every other

nation in the region to avoid this


If we are to escape an outcome that will

press nations in the region to consider

new and more dangerous strategic

choices, we must work together as allies

and partners in east Asia to achieve the

vision that was laid out at the sing   

Singapore summit.

As always, there are consequences for


And I fear Dr. Kissinger is correct,

that if the international community

fails in the undertaking, in this

undertaking, North Korea will not be the

last nuclear ceaps state in            

nuclear weapons state in Asia.

At this moment to achieve further

progress the most important step we can

take is for the United States and North

Korea to work together, to overcome the

policies and demonstrations of hostility

that compromise the simple ability of

our diplomats to talk and to sustain the

rhythm of negotiations.

  If we are to succeed, North Korea must

set aside its search for obstacles to

negotiations and instead seek the

opportunities for engagement while that

opportunity lasts.

  We have made clear to North Korea we

are prepared to engage as soon as we

hear from them.

We are ready, but we cannot do this by


  Between the United States and North

Korea there has been too little

communication, too much room for missal

accumulation and misunderstanding,

and almost no room at all for error.

Through direct engagement we must create

space and momentum for diplomacy.

We must set in motion anens intensive

set   of

set of negotiations and only if we do

that will we able to fulfill the our or


One we begin intensive negotiations we

can have action that both sides can take

to create more and better choices for

our leaders to consider.

Following the outline of the joint

statement issued last year by President

Trump and chairman Kim at the Singapore

summit, we can construct a set of

actions that are undertaken to elevate

relations from a place of hostility and

distrust toward an agreed and state that

fulfills the vision of our two leaders,

provided that there is a clear

commitment to fulfill all the

requirements of the agreements made

between the two leaders.

  Now, either the United States --

neither the United States nor Korea has

to accept all the risk of moving

forward, and there are immediate actions

that we can take if negotiations make


Judging by the talks President Trump has

had with chairman Kim and those that our

team has had over the past year with our

North Korean counterparts, it is clear

that both siding quickly agree to

significant actions that will declare to

our respective peoples and to the world

that the United States-North Korea

relations have taken an irreversible

turn away from convict.

Actions, much more than any words, can

infuse this diplomatic moment with more


the Korean peninsula and the Dorothy

orthodox is and necessities of at   at the

deternses to which they gief rise make a

peaceful-U.S. North Korea's relationship

hard to imagine, hard to imagine in the

way our current strategic and economic

relationship with Vietnam was hard to

imagine a mere 20 years ago, hard in the

way that alliances with Germany and

Japan were unthinkable in the waning

days of World War II, hard in the way

the e unification of Jeremy and a Europe

whole and free were difficult to imagine

even as the Berlin wall was falling.

There have been prior irrelevant it

negotiations with North Korea

over the past 25 years, to slow or

reverse the development weapons

of mass destruction but none of have yet

succeed in overcoming the legacy of a

brutal war and the decades of hostility

that followed.

Of course we are mindful that there is

no guarantee that our current diplomatic

efforts will succeed where others have

failed, but with the president's

direction and strong support, we are

committed to try through did   diplomacy to do

more, not pleps over the past year we've

been able to sustain political space and

momentum at home with bipartisan

agreement that diplomacy remains the

best choice.

Our team has invested significant time

and effort in consultations with

Congress, and we continue to draw

support from both sides of the aisle to

continue to test this opportunity.

Ion our borders, policies on

denuclearization of North Korea stand on

eye firm foundation of international


Guided by a series of resolutions,

unanimously supported in the United

Nations security council and actively

supported by allies and partners in

Asia, Europe and around the world.

We are fully committed to bring an end

to the vestiges of hostile relations to

the Korean peninsula to follow the path

of security for north and South Korea

answered and to build the trust that is

the necessary foundation for a lasting

peace.  And through this, achieve the

elimination of weapons of mass

destruction and their means of delivery

on the Korean peninsula.

And if we are successful, there is so

much potential for opportunity ahead of


Our two countries in the Indo Pacific

region as a whole would greatly benefit

from enhanced connectivity through the

Korean peninsula.

More open sea lands and overflights in

and around the peninsula, combined with

high-quality infrastructure investment

in North Korea would diversify and

shorten transport routes, open new

export markets for North Korean goods,

and open up vast additional areas for

economic development in North Korea and

in neighboring countries.

Energy flows in and out of North Korea

would lift the North Korean economy in

new diversified trading relationships

would improve living standards

throughout the peninsula and the region.

In terms of security, lowered tensions

will mean that our military forces will

no longer need to stand and train

perpetually ready to fight a war.

They could instead serve and cooperate

to build a foundation to support a

lasting peace.

And if we can forge a sustainable peace,

forge the modalities of cooperation, we

will reap the mutual rewards that will

spring from Frank discussions and many

other issues that divided the United

States and North Korea over all these

many years.

This is President Trump's vision and it

is a vision he is confident that

Chairman Kim shares.

When the president took as of more than

two years ago, North Korea represented

the most urgent national security

priority waiting on his desk.

What has moved the Korean peninsula off

of a path toward conflict and onto a

path of peace has been the bold

leadership of President Trump and

Chairman Kim.

Whereas the experts cownsd

incrementalism, the president understood

that the situation called for a clear

break with the past.

We needed to do something different,

something dramatic to head off conflict.

The president's decision to hole two

summits and to seek agreement at the

highest levels with the North Koreans

was not to say the least the

conventional wisdom of the Washington,

DC, foreign policy establishment.

The decision two months ago to propose

ap impromptu meeting with chairman Kim

had no guarantee of success, in fact,

Chairman Kim could have rejected the

last-minute invitation out of hand.

But he didn't.

And as a result of each of these

engagements between our two leaders, the

door to diplomacy has been held open a

little longer.    Over the course of

this past year, the president has made

clear to North Korea and to the world

that he has made this choice for the

United States.

He has given our negotiating team clear

instructions to deliver on his deep

commitment to transforming U.S.-North

Korean relations through diplomacy, as

agreed with chairman Kim at Singapore,

and he has said he is confident that

Chairman Kim will not sploint disappoint


Bringing lasting piece to the Korean

Peninsula will ultimately only succeed

with the leadership of President Trump

and chairman kill.

Both must be able to see opportunity

where others inside their respective

systems do not.

Opportunity that could blossom from the

successful transformation of our

relations, the establishment of a

permanent peace regime on the Korean

peninsula, and the complete

denuclearization of the Korean


To succeed, both must choose this course

and follow through with actions that

will seize that opportunity.

The president is fully committed to

making significant progress toward these

goals in the year ahead and should

Chairman Kim share in President Trump's

commitment to advance the ideas I have

laid out today, he will find our team is

ready to turn this vision into reality.

Thank you.



To start off with our

question-and-answer session, I'm going

to have a few questions for Mr. Being be

UN to give Ryan and Zack a bit of time

to review some questions that you have

submitted from the audience and then

we'll open up the rest of the session to

hear your queries.

If I may, I'd like to start with a pair

of questions, one that's more a medium

term question and one that's more a

immediate short-term question.

A medium term question is this.

For many years the United States' policy

and expressed goal of negotiations with

North Korea has been to achieve a

complete verifiable and not easily

reversible denuclearization of the DPRK.

And surely Kim Jong-un and other leaders

in North Korea look at the cases of Iraq

and Libya and think of the weapons, the

nuclear weapons program as both an

extremely important bargaining chip with

the international community and some

form of insurance for a deeply

disfavored dictatorship.

And so I'm sure you agree that even if

the goal is realistic websites a very

challenging one to achieve.

The question is what do you see as the

key conditions under which this North

Korean regime would give consideration

to the types of serious and potentially

even irreversible reverse alsz   als of their

nuclear program that the United States

is demanding?

 Thank you, John, and certainly

something that we've spent a lot of time

thinking about.

  One of the -- there are several things

that are different about this diplomatic

initiative than how we have engaged

North Korea in the past, but one area in

particular that addresses the underlying

question you asked is that we're seeing

do a lot more than issue weaches mass


The Singapore statement that I referred

to in my remarks actually has two parts

or four pillars as we refer to them.

The first is that the two leaders

committed to transform the relations

between our two countries.

The second is that the two leaders

committed to the establishment of a

permanent peace regime on the Korean


I imagine not everyone here is an expert

on the history of Korean peninsula, but

it's worth pointing out that the war

when it ended in 1953 ended in an


Technically that war has not been

concluded with a treaty.

Establishing a permanent peace regime is

going to be critical to changing the


The two agreement they made was the

Korean peninsula.

The last, the fourth pillar which we

don't talk about as much is a

humanitarian initiative.

It's to recover the remains of the U.S.

soldiers and Marines who fell during the

Korean war, invest in other countries to

recover and account for their losses in

the Korean war, and we've expanded it

also in our discussions with the North

Koreans to include finding ways for

Koreans inside and outside North Korea

to reunify as families to meet each

other after a period of long division.

It is challenging.

As I said in my remarks, we're trying to

overcome 70 years of hostility on the

Korean peninsula.

That's a long time.

One of the anecdotes that was mention

today        mentioned

to me that has really Meads me was that

North Korea has existed longer than the

Soviet Union existed.

The Soviet Union is now the historical

blink of an eye.

North Korea-U.S. relations for seven


We have a way find more than just

weapons of mass destruction issue.

We have to change the incentives.

And by changing the trajectory of our

policies, it's our hope that we can

likewise change the trajectory of


North Korea doesn't need nuclear


The United States does not intend any

hostile action toward North Korea but

we're going to have to build trust in

order to get them to a point where that

conviction is reflected in their


 I promise aid shorter term question,

and that is the immediate question of

how to get the North Korean delegation

back to the table.

There have been periods of on

again/off-again diplomacy.

Recently the North Korean leadership has

suggested that negotiations may be tied

in some fashion the to nature and extent

of U.S. joint exercises with its South

Korean military.

What do you see as the key steps that

the trump administration needs to take

to encourage or incentivize the North

Korean delegation to come back and talk?

After all, as you said in your remarks,

there is a sense in chts window of time

available for seizing this opportunity

is not infinite.


So of course we have to be ready.

We have to be prepared.

And we have to convey to the North

Koreans that we're prepared to have this

discussion on all parties, both sides.

We can and we have communicated that tom

North Koreans.

We've done it directly and indirectly.

We have down it through third parties.

We've I didn't publicly we've I didn't


The North Koreans know where we are.

The North Koreans know what the

opportunity is.

The North Koreans have a decision to

make on engagement.

We're prepared to do so when they're


As I said a moment ago.

And it's worth repeating, that we're

ready, but North Korea has to make that

choice too.

 I want to turn now to our excellent

students Ryan and Zack and allow them to

ask some of the questions that you all

have posed.

Ryan and Zack, if you could each

introduce of your very briefly before

you lead into the questions.

We want to give everyone in the room a

little illustration of what some of our

students are working on related to the


 Thank you, professor.

Thank you, sir, for being here us with

us p I'm my name is Ryan am eye second

year national public policy student.

My focus for research has been on

international security policy.

The first question from the audience is

to what extent has the trump

administration withdrawn from the

comprehensive plan of action with Iran

impacted negotiations with North Korea?

 So the Iran nuclear corridor, the JCP

JCPOA certainly is an issue that the

North Korea answered would notice and it

goes to an underpinning concern that

they will certain have as to how any

agreement we reach together will be


I'm not responsible for the JCPOA but I

am undertaking the direction of the

Secretary of State and the president

diplomacy on that not entirely

dissimilar set of issues and a not

entirely dissimilar set of


But our answer, what's going to be

different about our efforts with North

Korea, is that we're trying to do much

more than the JCPOA did.

The JCP government, the Iran liewcialg

agreement targeted very narrowly the

issue of Iran's nuclear weapons programs

and suspended for a period of time those programs in hopes that some

other changes might occur in the

external environment that would allow

for the progress but also allow for fact

that Iran could revert back to the full

operation of its nuclear enrichment

after the conclusion

of that agreement.

That agreement was also intentionally,

the agreement intentionally excluded the

broader set of issues in the U.S.-Iran


And so what the United States saw in

the aftermath of that agreement being

reached was that the increased economic

resources and the immediate gains that

Iran made in some of the settlements

that came Mel after the agreement

provided them with resources that they

chose to spend to further engage in

the destabilization of many nations in

region, including Yemen, Syria where

they had an active combat presence

undertaking brutal, brutal treatment of

the Syrian people, and also to strengthen 

their hold on Lebanon

through Hezbollah, and those eroded the

environment in which progress might have

been made with Iran, even with the

tenuous nature of the nuclear agreement

that had been reached in the temporary


In the case of North Korea, we answer

that question in our engagement with the

North Koreans because we're trying to do

much more.

We actually -- the president has

committed to transforming our

relationship with North Korea to

bringing about a permanent peace regime

to the Korean peninsula, to find areas

of cooperation to move forward in this

relationship at the same time that we're

also addressing the compelling and

dangerous threat of weapons of mass


It's going to be hard.

I don't for a second take lightly the

mandate that the president has given us.

The North Koreans are willing to do the

same, we have a lot of potential to put

together a very durable agreement

between our two countries.

 And I'm also very honored to help

welcome you back.

My name is Zachary.

I'm currently a fourth year

undergraduate at the Ford school with a

focus in diplomacy, and my first

question to ask you is historically the

North Korean problem is also a China


To what extent, in your.

, have the tariffs, rhetoric and

adversarial posture toward China

affected negotiations.

 So a big country like ours and a big

country like China are going to have a

lot of interests around the world, and

to simplify it, we have to be able to

walk and chew gum at the same time.

The economic issues that we're

negotiating with China right now are

very important issues.

They aren't just important for the


They're important to the economy and to

the future economic security of the

United States of America.

And that is a very tough negotiation

because we're trying to shift the

direction of China's economy to try to

convince them to shift the direction of

their economy in a way that has been

established over the course of the last

two decades.

        We work very closely, China on North

Korea, needless to say.

China has the largest land order of any

country in the world outside the

demilitarized zone.

Choon is going to be instrument       instrumental in the

cities success of international

diplomacy with North Korea as we go


We have invested quite bit of a time in

working with our Chinese counters parts.

We have developed a close relationship.

The Chinese in our SUV sent the right

messages to North Korea at every Surin.

And my Chinese counterpart told me when

we first met several months ago is

notwithstanding the other areas of

tension in the U.S.-China relation, that

China would compartmentalize North Korea

and their cooperation on that.

I told them that we would accept that

until we had evidence to suggest

otherwise, and we don't have any

evidence to suggest otherwise.

That's not as to say it's not,, of

course, there are enormous tensions in

hufs China relations.

Not only do we have the economic issues

that we're seeking to negotiate.

We have various national security


We have differences over Taiwan.

The student -- the street prophecies in

Hong Kong have exacerbated tensions in

the relationship even though we're not

driving that, China is feeling besieged.

There are many things China is doing in

places like Shenzhen and other parts of

of the south China sea that are add her

ents to us and we've raised concerns


So it's not easy.

It's not easy to compartmentalize but

we've been successful so far, and I'll

tell you why.

Because China is not doing -- China is

not pursuing its policies in North Korea

as a favor to United States of America.

China's pursuing its own interests in

North Korea.

What I have told people before when

asked this question is my assessment of

China is they're 100% with us some of

the way.


China wants peace and stability in the

Korean peninsula.

China wants the elimination of weapons

mass destruction on the Korean


There's a lot of thing we won't agree


Our military alliance with the South

Koreans, other things like that.

But China for its own interests

parallels our interests, and that's the

basis for countries to work together.

I'm a big fan of countries acting in

their own interests and finding a way to

work with other countries that share

those interests.

In the case of North Korea so far we've

been able to do that pretty well with

the Chinese.

 Let me follow up very quickly with

that and ask you to expand on what you

see as China's constructive roles with

regard to North Korea.

There are sanctions enforcement,

political pressure.

I'd love to hear a bit more on that.

 First, just the messaging that comes

from the Chinese leader to the North

Koreans for the need to engage in a

intensive diplomatic process towards the

achievement of a peaceful and stable

Korean peninsula and elimination of

weapons of mass destruction.

China is not shy about that.

China voted for every UN security

council resolution by definition because

they can only pass with the unanimous

vote of the permanent five members of

the UN security council.

China has given voice to the policies

the same as us.

We share our objectives and our strategy

to a certain degree with the Chinese.

They give us useful feedback about they

have a lot of experience the in region.

But, of course, above all in the

maintaining the pressure on North Korea,

as we search for a diplomatic solution

there's no country that's more important

than China.

China is North Korea's largest trading


It shares a large land border and has

territory territorial waters add Jay

tent to North Korea.

So China's role in that dimension of the

critically important to the cities.

Again, we meet regularly with the

China's convoy.

Many times.

We just had a turnover in China of their

representative on North Korea did --

lead rep Tift on North Korea.

We are just in the beginning stages of

building a relationship.

But my counterpart over the past year

has been a tremendous partner, and I'm

looking forward developing the same

modicum of cooperation with their new


 Sir, given the centralized authority

of North Korean regime, have you

encountered difficulties when working

with your counterparts in the North

Korean diplomatic core having the

initiative and leverage to negotiate on

terms without seeking higher guidance?

 So in any system of government, ours

included, there has to be some

connection to the direction of the

ultimate leadership.

In our case with separate branches

government, that includes me being

attentive to the interests of Congress,

but ultimately I serve at the pleasure

of president, Secretary of State, so I

need to know that what I'm doing is

consistent with the president's

decisions on these policies.

If that's the case in our system, which

is a democratic system in which we have

divided branches government, multiple

voices in the democratic debate, it's

all the more so in the North Korean

system which really is a centralized

rule where chairman Kim Jong-un runs

that country in every dimension.

And as such, as the leader North Korea,

it's incumbent upon him to create the

space that his negotiators have in order

to enter into an discussion with us, in

order to enter into the kind of of

give-and-take that's necessary to

explore solutions of the very

complicated issues like the ones we're

working on now.

But that's also why it was so important

for us to change the trajectory of the

diplomacy on the Korean peninsula with

leader-to-leader engagement.

Hopefully what President Trump can do

with chairman skim give chairman Kim the

confidence that if he opens that space

to his team, that he will find it will

be a fruitful diplomatic process that

will allow us both to Chief Executive

our goals as -- achieve our goals as

laid out in the Singapore summit just a

year ago.

So it is a strictly controlled system.

It's a rigid system.

It is leader driven in its entirety.

But that also is why we think that it's

a very constructive step forward for the

president to engage directly and try to

create that diplomatic space for the

people inside the system.

 As a leader-driven system, it's also

been clear that despite how closed off

it is, we've been able to see that North

Korea is a major violater of human

rights, so in this case and with your

educational, what place does human

rights play in this sort of U.S. policy?

 So the United States, of course,

assigns high value to human rights

around the world.

We have historically.

It's part of the core of who we are.

This has been an issue of some tension

and discussion between the United States

and North Korea over many years.

And it is and remains an issue of


The United States is not -- has not

listen its voice through resolutions and

international organizations, through

corporation driven reporting process,

and through the kind of designations

that we undertake as the United States

government not only to fulfill our

ideals but to fulfill our laws.

I should also be very clear that my

negotiating priority is not human

rights of North Korea.

My negotiating priority starts with

the elimination of the weapons of mass

descrowcts Korean peninsula.

It sentenced into transforming

relations, it sentenced into creating

more peaceful and stable Korean

peninsula and to addressing some of the

harder edges between our two societies

that trace back all the way to the

Korean war.

In this process we open up space for

discussions on a number of i that have

divided the United States and North

Korea over many, many years.

We've got to start with the highest


We have to address all of our

interests and ideals.  And, of course,

these negotiations and the United States

needs to continue to give voice to I'm

human rights around the world.


 Sir, do you think that this potential

lowered U.S. operational readiness on

the screek, screek talks need to


The question from the audience is would

that also be possible to decrease the

overall footprint of the U.S. military

in South Korea in exchange for total


 We're well away from that, but

certainly in my speech when I talk about

the U.S. military presence can move away

from being a state -- being in a state

of preparedness and training for

perpetual war to playing a constructive

and stabilizing role towards a durable

peace, it includes a lot of strategic

reconsiderations that might be available

to us as we make progress in all the

issues I laid out.

Again, we're a long way away from there.

And I think we have to start with the

objective of solving the problem,

lowering the threat, lowering the risk.

Then we need to leave to it our military

leaders to may be make a sober judgment

on the level of risk and the appropriate

response the United States has an an

allied partner of South Korea.

But, of course, the forces are driven by

the perception of threat.

If we can address the threat, we give

ourselves a lot more options.

 Going back to China, you spoke about

forging ties with North Korea.

Now, in your opinion, would China permit

a border nation that they support to

grow closer with the U.S.?

And if so, how much closer, in your


 So I say China is 100% with us some

of the way.


Not that far.

That is not the way.

We and China, we have a lot of issues,

the miedz and China need to sort out as

China rises and as we try to find a set

of global norms that both of our nations

are willing and able to support and

abide by that will produce an

opportunity for our peoples, our

respective peoples to thrive.

We're not there yet.

That underlies a lot of the issues that

Jenn theme underlies a lot of the issues

and tension with China and those you are


Of course, China not welcome a U.S.

military ally on its border, and the

Chinese have said as much in the past. 

But that's not our goal, either.

So this isn't going to be a major point

of contention.

I think it's fair to say that the

Chinese would judge that a stable and

peaceful relationship between the United

States and North Korea has attend

benefits for the people's republic of


I laid out some of the security benefit

duty also the economic benefits a moment


The domestic benefits for that Ranger


This part of China that neighbors the

Korean peninsula is among the poorest

areas of the people's republic of China.

It's an industrial area, heavy

industries that historically have been

something of the industrial driver of

China, but like so many of our

industrial cities here in the midwest,

time has taken its toll and an infusion

of cross-board trade and economic

invention would be hugely beneficial.

The same for Russia.

One of the most economically challenged

of the Russian federation is the far


Population is in declain client.

Opening frayed and opportunity for that

part of Russia would likewise be hugely


I talked about the opportunities for --

I've talked about today about the

opportunities for South Korea as well

that would evolve from that.  You have

to think about South Korea as an island. 

South Korea is one of the largest

trading nations in the world, but

there's not a single good that comes

into or out of South Korea that isn't on

a ship or an airplane.

There's no land drops.

South Korea is isolated from the rest of

Asia by North Korea.

Imagine the benefits that could come

from an infrastructure that would be

built across the Korean peninsula tying

all of these economically challenged

areas together along with infusions of

international investment, international

trade, the United States would engage


It's not -- it's a great outcome.

But we have a lot of work to do to get


And it's -- it is a lot of work, and

it's going to take us some time to get

to that point, and the North Koreans are

going to have to decide on what terms

they want to enter that world, if that's

the choice that they make, and we hope

it is.

  All of this is premised upon also

addressing the national security risk,

and as an American diplomat I have to

keep coming back to the central

interests of the United States of

America, which is to address the issue

of weapons of mass destruction on the

Korean peninsula.

None of this vision is going to really

come to fruition if we can't make

progress on that, but we have to

convince the North Koreans is the

benefit of that, is the future for North

Korea for North Korea.

That's what we're trying to do here.

 During your speech you talked about

how the potential forral fail could

result in increase proceed lifer as a in

the regional if North Korea has able to

develop and maintain a successful

nuclear arsenal.

The question is has the administration's

calls for an increased burden sharing or

at least that perception among allies,

cast out on the long term U.S. extended

deterrence policy, and does that have

implications for long-term cooperation.

 We're not there yet and I don't

expect we will get there.

We will work closely with our allies to

try to find a balanced solution to

address usuals of burden sharing that

have plagued the United States with its

alliance partners around the world since

World War II.

The burden-sharing debate didn't begin

in 2017 when President Trump took office   


I cut my teeth in Washington on European

affairs for almost 15 years before I

took on this portfolio.

And I can tell you that the issue of

defense spending in Europe has been a

plague on the U.S. alliance with NATO

practically since its very founding.

And it's just an objective fact that in

many cases the allies don't even meet

the minimal commitment in defense

spending that they committed to achieve

in order to make those alliances real.

The worst thing in the world for us

would be to have an alliance

relationship with a country in which we

were tied to their national defense but

they didn't take adequate steps

themselves to defend themselves.

And so what we want to see from all of

our alliance partners is a full

commitment in that regard.

Certainly, a modicum of stability on the

proliferation front does come from

confidence in the extended deterrence.

But that extended deterrence can be

brought into question for reasons on

hern the failure of thal lions.

NATO was still a viable institution in

the 1980s when the Soviet Union began to

deploy new missile systems that were

designed specifically to sever security

ties between the United States and


The Soviet Union sought in the 1980s to

create a scenario in which one or the

other might choose to sit it out in the

case of a war because it really wasn't

their business, what was going on, and

they didn't want to take the hit if they

stuck their nose into it.

President Reagan, work can with many of

our European allies, president mitt

rafned France, chancellor Cole of

Germany, prime minister that Cher in

Britain, made a very controversial

decision to employ the Persian 2

missile, deploy the euro missiles into

Europe to signal the U.S. security

against the face of external threat.

These are the kind of debates that we

put behind us at the end of the cold


We were able to move into a much more

optimistic posture ash the world, but we

have seen the rise of new missile

systems in other parts of the world, and

we've also seen development new

capabilities like those in North Korea

with its weapons of mass destruction.

Any foreign policy, any national

security expert will tell you that this

creates stresses on the strategic

choices that every country in the region


And that's to everybody's detriment.

We do not want more nuclear weapon

states in the world, full stop.

China doesn't, either.

Russia doesn't want it, either.

So we have to work together even with

countries like China Russia.

We have other areas of disagreement to

sustain also this 50-year commitment of

non-proliferation that arose out of

non-proliferation treaty.

Each time we confront a breach in that,

we face the possibility of a dam burst,

and so it's very much in our interests

to cooperate and succeed not just on the

denuclearization of North Korea North

Korea but in the broader sense in the

full sets of transformational steps that

I described.

I feel like you guys are asking me these


I know they're coming from all of you.

But these are great questions, and thank

you much, very much for them.

These are all questions that we really

are wrestling this.

These are Reagan     realtime.

You should know that these questions

you're asking are the same ones that are

asked nide is halls of government eye

daily basis, and we have to have answers

to these because these are the stakes.

So thank you.

Please go ahead.

 Let me undertake to say that we have

dozens of questions here.


And we don't have time to -- for to you

answer them, but we'll undertake to at

least send you the questions so that you

have a sense of the audience and the

sense of what our students are thinking

and others in the audience.

We don't expect an answer, but just to

give you a sense of the rest of the

audience because we're never going to

get to   all the questions.


Anyway here comes the next question.


Given the U.S. decision to pull out of

the JCPOA agreement and with the

president calling it a one-sided

transaction, at the same time President

Trump announced a decision to remove

additional sanctions from North Korea

despite having violated UN security

resolution -- violated UN security

resolution and having conducted recent

little before           

ballistic missile tests.

How would you explain the source of

disparate in foreign policy with the

approach between Iran and between North


 So just a slight correction.

I don't know if the transcription or a

mistake in perception.

We have not lifted any sanctions against

North Korea at palm in fact, the

sanctions of North Korea by the United

Nations secure council are


But this comes back to the issue of the

JCP oovment which is the larger issue --

and it is to some degree the question

answered a moment ago.

Let me just say that we're going to have

to do things differently.

The mandate that I have and the mandate

that the international community has

agreed to in the UN security council

resolutions dating back to 2:00 is the 2:00 2006 is

the complete elimination of nuclear


It's not the sus tension of uranium to

test if and see if other elements in the

relationship with change.

What we're trying to do with this

diplomacy is transform the relations

with North Korea in a way that also

shifts incentives.  When a country

doesn't feel like it's at risk from

invasion or a threat or hostile policies

week can we work together with them to

also address dangerous technologies like

weapons of mass destruction that

ironically are also the source of that

risk and that hostility.

We've got a lot of work to do with our

counterparts in North Korea to test and

see if this is possible.

But what we're trying to do is much

bigger than the JCPOA represented with

Iran, and it's probably, not to

foreshadow too much what my colleagues,

it's probably very much the nature where

we go with Iran if engagement does, in

fact, begin between us and the Iranians.

 If I could, I'd like to interject a

question to make sure we address a

little bit of what's happening in

Washington and what's different about

this administration.

You've got a lot of experience with the

George h W. and George W. Bush


You were serving in Congressional roles

throughout the Clinton years, certainly

following and intimately familiar with

the Obama administration.

Each president is unique but this one is

obviously so in om respects.

And I want you, if you would, to tell as

a little bit about how that empowers you

in diplomacy and what are some ways in

which it causes you to have to adjust to

the way in which you conduct diplomacy.

 Thank you.

In the case of North Korea, it probably

offers some significant examples, to

answer your question, because the

president is personally invested in this


President Trump very much feels

ownership of the course of our diplomacy

in North Korea.

And he has personally given direction to

me and to my team and to the secretary

of state on where he wants to go and

what he wants to do with this.

As an aside, I am a public servant.

I serve at the pleasure of the president

and Secretary of State.

But I also have to think he's right.

I think what he's trying to do here is

long overdue and I think there's a

chance that we can do it.

And so that's also motivating, is when

you are fully engaged with support of

the policies, professionals in

government work on all sorts of policies

that they don't always agree on.

I have the great opportunity to be right

on the issue in the place I believe.

Now, the advantages that have come from

that, of course, the president in our

system has cleared the space.

The will the has given direction on what

he wants done.

That helps a lot.

We have a big and sprawling government

with a variety of views, well-informed

views and well-substantiated scepticism

or concern about various elements of

policy, but when the president has

provided the direction, that's kind of

empowering, to Zais the least.

The -- say the least.

The president has consistently messaged

to chairman Kim Jong-un his commitment

to do this in a way that, as I

described earlier, in our view is

important to opening up and changing the

direction in North Korea to meet us and

to achieve these goals.

Very important      that's very important.

Every time the president tweets, our

counterparts in North Korea read it


They study it closely.

And the president has been consistent in

his messaging about diplomatic


Some challenges do arise from this as


We have -- it's no secret that it's been

challenging to get the North Koreans to

engage at the working level and do the

real daltd negotiations that are going

to be necessary to bring to life, to

bring to reality the vision that the two

leaders have laid out.

They're going to have to work with us.

These are complicated issues that    that

require enormous expertise and

thoughtful, thoughtful exchange in order

to realize solutions that are acceptable

to both sides.

It has to happen.

And that's my message to you today is

we've got to get this going.

It's time for us to get started.  The

North Koreans, not surprisingly, have

wanted to talk to the president, and so

the Hanoi summit was an opportunity

where the North Korean side brought

their ideas directly to the president's

meetings, and unfortunately it

illustrated the challenges of reach an


We were unable to reach an agreement.

We haven't done the work necessary to

really test these ideas and get

sufficient feedback on ha was viable and

what wasn't.

The process isn't going to work unless

it's got both the top and the bottom.

The challenge, of course, is when the

president is so directly associated with

it, he's going to own that as well.

It works.

With the totality of circumstances that

we have, it works.

We have space for diplomacy.

We still have time to be able to resolve

these issues.

And I'm confident we can do it.

But I think it's quite clear in both my

remarks and in my answer here, John,

we've got to get going.


 You discussed the good working

relationship that you have with your

counterparts in Russia and China, and

the question from the audience is how

does the isolation of the North Korean

diplomatic personnel working on the

negotiations impact the process and are

there any -- that you can elaborate on?

 I know you didn't ask the question,

but let me address it more generally.

So North Korea has a ministry of foreign


It has very skilled diplomats p it's got

seasoned negotiators who have worked

with the United States on these issues

for 25 years.

In fact, some of the very people that

we're working with today in a more

junior capacity were involved in the

first iteration of these negotiations in

the early 1990s.

Framework negotiations they were called

back then.

And so North Korea has a set of skilled

and experienced diplomats.

North Korea has embassies around the


They don't have an embassy here in the

United States of America but they do

have a permanent representation, but the

United Nations and New York, they have

diplomats who live abroad, who work

abroad, and they interact with many

countries around the world on a daily


  North Korea has a number of -- the

North Korean government has a number of

relationships historically that have

been closer, including China, including

Russia, including some of the other

countries with whom it was in common

cause during cold war.

So Poland and the Czech Republic and

Bulgaria and these countries still to

this day have embassies in Pyongyang as,

incidentally, do the Germans, the

British, the French.

Well, the French have a diplomatic

representation and the Swedes and many

other countries.

So North Korea is definitely an insular

government and it's very difficult for

us to communicate directly with and


But but I think both sides know each

other very well and I and I know weave a

lot of experience working together and

there's a lot of work we can do together


 More of a personal question.

As a former we   Wolverine what advice would

you give to a current student to achieve

a career in foreign policy such as


 You already made the first important



Being at   a University of Michigan student.

And I will say this, in all seriousness,

having on my resume at a young age

University of Michigan was a helpful and

impressive credential, even when I had

no experience in anything else.

I can only tell you how I did it, for

whoever is asking me that question, and

there's no one way you can do it.

But what I -- over the course of the

years I had the opportunity to work very

closely with the university in other


For many years I was a board member of

the Michigan and Washington program,

which is the university's semester in

Washington program where a cohort of 25

to 30 students will to ... full semester

coursework while interning, working in

the institutional government, none of

profit NGO, in Washington, DC.

For those of you who might be interested

in a career in waisht highly recommend

that program you can still carry a full

class load and you can have a very

interesting career experience that opens

doors for you later.

So I'm no longer on the board of that.

I had to resign when I took this


But the professor from the political

science department now leads that


We have a -- the university has a

permanent team in Washington, DC.

So that's an option.

But I mentor, all of us who are on the

board mentored Michigan students who

came through and gave them career


My number one piece of career advice for

any student who is getting ready to

purchase sigh career in Washington is

move to Washington.

You can't phone it in.

There is a land of constant opportunity.

Jobs are opening and jobs are being

filled on a constant basis, but being

there is half of it.

You have to take a chance.

But chances are if you're a student at

this university, you have a friend or a

former roommate or a classmate who has

got an apartment, who has got an open


You can get out there and you can knock

on doors.

Second is ask people for help.

All of us, myself included, somebody

helped give us a leg up in our careers.

When I went out to Washington, DC, I

knocked on doors, some people were kind

enough to sit down, spend a little bit

of time with me, and they did it because

there's a lot of interest in helping

young people and it's a great spirit in

Washington but they also did it in many

cases because that's what someone did

for them when they got their start.

And so they're willing to do it as I'm

willing to do it, as I have done over

many, many years with other students as

well but with a particular bias towards

University of Michigan students.


I guess that's how I got my start.

I started out on Capitol Hill.

And I know the Congress is the subject

of a lot of derision.

I know that the political stalemate and

the caustic nature of our politics takes

some of the shine off of it.

It is a great place to start your


You will find that you can match up with

a member of Congress or senator whose

policies you support, whose issues you

can be passionate about, and it's a

great upwardly mobile place.

Virtually everyone who starts here I

don't know care what your degree,

everyone starts as a staff assistant, a

phone answerer, a secretary, but the

advancement is fast because there's

constant turnover as young people are

moving to other jobs, other

opportunities, grad school and oh on.

It was a great place for me to start and

that worked for me.

But there's other great ways to start

your job.

Of course, the sphorn service exam for

those of you who are interested in

international relations, take the

foreign service exam.

It's the doorway into our professional

diplomatic core.

And by the way, it's a start to a

tremendous career opportunity,

particularly for young people to see a

lot of the world and to work on behalf

of their country.

So I commend that to you as well.

  I'm not going to go on too much more

with that, but you have a lot of great

reseizures sources in the university --

resources in the university.

My search started at the career planning


I looked at the public service

internship program.

We didn't have the Michigan in

Washington seminar program when I was a

student here, but it's a tremendous

resource for the student body now.

You have a lot of options.

Just have to go out and find them.


 Sir, given the public nature of the

ongoing negotiations and difficult

problems, implications across the U.S.

interagency team, can you expand on your

role, especially unique role how it

interacts with its national security

experts broader U.S. government.

 The national security council plays a

hugely important role in this, in any

foreign policy issue.

It is the location where all the views

of the agencies are consolidated and

synthesize into what want you hopes is a

coherent policy, and so we have a

process inside the national security

council that I attend on behalf of the

department of state at times usually

with the deputy Secretary of State.

For those of you who are a little bit

more informed of the ways of Washington,

you know that the MSC actually is a

stratified organization.  It has the

principles, which is a national security

adviser, the Secretary of State,

secretary defense, CIA director.

It's got to departments which are the

number 2ness each of those agencies and

it's got a whole set of foreign policy

professionals in different rairchtionz

assistant scerts, deputy assistant

secretaries, et cetera.

So it's a layer dollars process and

ultimately at the top is the national

security council, and really the

national security council is not the MSC


National security council is the

president of the United States with his

or her national security team

surrounding them to discuss issues.

So that process brings all those views

from all those agencies in, and my

issue, the issue I work on cuts cross

eye lot of parts of of the federal


North Korea touches on economics and

trade and sanctions, treasury

department, Congress department are

deeply involved in North Korea policy.

Of course the Department of Defense, all

of the attendant issues related to

nation security.

If presence of U.S. troops the in Korean

peninsula to our deterrent on the Korean


We have a lot of parts of the department

of state hav to come to the table

through our deputy secretary John

Sullivan or myself at these meetings.

Then, of course, you of the NFC staff

which is comprised of a lot of


Not surprisingly, there are differences


There   People have different responsibilities.

They have different experiences.

They have different points of view.

And the goal of the NFC is to coherently

forge that into a set of policies that

can be recommended to the president of

the United States.

On its a push and a pull.

I talked about my issue and the issue

I've been asked to serve, North Korea,

as one that has a lot of push because

the president has set out what he wants


What we're trying to do is how to

succeed in the plam terrace of the

president how they play out for North

Korean policy.

      .  Of    This can be consent shus.

It has been across administrations.  You

have people here in this room with me

who, like me, have served at these

levels of government and have

participated in that process.

Obviously, it should be easy.

These are heady issues.

These are important issues.

We want to hear a wide set of points of


I think it serves the president, serves

the country to have those all vetted.

And our North Korea policy, I think we

have a strong policy and I think we're

serving the president very well.

 Now, given the timing of the -- of

the Vietnam summit and considering the

fact that not long afterwards North

Korea began to test more short-range

missiles, what effect have those actions

by the North Koreans had on our most

recent educational with them?

-- our most recent educational       dealings with them?

 So our view is that the most

important thing we can do in North Korea

is to set aside any vestiges of hostel

behavior and engage in the kind of

diplomacy that's going to be necessary

to build a stronger understanding and a

address the full range of the threats

and risk on the Korean panes law.

We     peninsula.

In recent weeks and recent months there

has been a lot of talk about short range

ballistic missiles by a of the North

Korean test, but this is against a

backdrop of a system that's also tested

intermediate range ballistic missiles,

intercontinental ballistic missiles,

that is clearly in possession of nuclear

ceaps with the demonstrated testing that

has been done a couple of years ago,

that's been reaching nuclear materials

in order to -- raw material in order to

build weapons.

And also it's widely reported to have

chemical and biological weapons


So the threat is there.

The risk is there.

The challenge is to find a way through

diplomacy to resolve it.

And the president has made clear that

the short range ballistic missiles don't

make him heap but it's not going to

disrupt our efforts in order to engage

diplomacy to resolve the very issues

that we're referring to.

So these are the kind of of things,

though, that also challenge the

diplomatic space we have in which we

have to operate weeks expo there's a, and so

there's a whole set of circumstances we

have to manage bilaterally, at home,

domestically in the interaction with

our corporation, with our press, with

our expert community in national


It's a surprise maintain, and --


-- and we're just going to do our very

best to work with it help?

This is the last question from the


As you seek and the administration seeks

transformational change between the

relationship between the U.S. and North

Korea, if you could just speak or expand

on the importance of verification

monitoring and what steps are being

taken in the process to ensure that

actions are enforceable in the final


 We haven't gotten to a point in

negotiations where we have discussed in

detail an agreement on verification


But suffice it to say, meaningful and

verifiable steps are going to be

necessary for us to be convince that had

we have made the progress that we need

to make on the elimination of weapons of

mass destruction.

It's not going to be easy.

Again, it's going to be another issue

that's going to be challenging for us to


But there's an absolute international

consensus, including our partners in

China and Russia that verification has

to be part of any meaningful steps on


We're going to have to work to figure

out how to do that.

That's something that's going to be an

important part of our negotiation, but

we don't have an agreement yet that

would lead me to the confidence to say

that we can do that.

 So just a question about process,

which is often very important for

foreign policy.

Could you talk a little bit about your


You've mentioned your team.

Who are they?

And how do you -- what do you do day by


What's sort of the pace of work when

you're dealing with an issue like this,

which is very tight and focused?

 Let me take this as an opportunity to

give credit where credit's due.

      The president has obviously

entrusted and the Secretary of State has

entrusted in me an important priority in

U.S. national security, but I could not

do this with without a team of

professionals working with me both

inside my organization, inside the

department of state, but also we have a

second team.

We really have two teams.

The second one is our negotiating team.

On the first inside the department of

state you have a mixed of foreign

service officers of civil service

experts in their field and also some

people who came from outside, political

appointees in the department, and they

work tirelessly.

There's a tremendous, tremendously

talented, motivated group of people,

many of them young, and the hours they

work and the commitment they make and

the rewards, financial rewards compared

to my experience in the private sector,

it's just intimidating to see, really

tremendous talents.

We get -- don't ever lose faith in your


We get the best and the brightest and we

have a bunch of them, and I'm fortunate

to have them on my team working on this

issue on behalf you all, on behalf of

our secretary and our president, on

behalf of our people.

We have a negotiating team that we

brought onboard.

We have saw the to draw from the best

resources across the government.

So we have the best gliewpt United

States government.

We have the chief scientist of the

department of energy and the University

of Michigan graduate, I found out.

I have two Ohio state Buckeyes on my



Who are tremendous, incidentally.

We have representatives at the

department of treasure.

We have representatives at the

Department of Defense.

And we brought all this to bear in our

discussions with the North Koreans.

We invited them to engage us with the

same level of expertise in the same

breath, and to date I can tell you one

of the frustrations has been that the

North Koreans have not brought the same

level of expertise to the table, and as

a consequence we know a lot more about

some of the things that we're

negotiating with that are in their

country than they have known at the

table, and that makes it challenging


But it's always an honor to serve our

country, and I am deeply grateful to the

president and the Secretary of State for

giving me this opportunity.

For me, it's a return to government.

For those men and women who are

tirelessly working every day, my hat's

off to them.

It is a great great team.

 This is wonderful and we greatly

appreciate you sharing all of these


I particularly appreciate the fact that

you have discussed a whole number of

different levels or are forums in which

diplomacy occurs.

It occurs working with your team in a

complex interagency process in a set of

relationships with alloys, ultimately

also, of course, with the nowshans North


In a moment I'll ask the audience to

join me in thanking you.

First I want to thank the Weitzer family

again for making possible for the Ford

school to welcome leaders in the

practice of foreign affairs to come to

campus and share insights that we are

sure are very helpful to those of you

who are interested until the topic or

those of you who plan to be

practitioners yourselves.

The second is to draw your attention

again, as Dean Michael said at the

outset, to the array of activity we have

coming this fall and beyond.

We have a simple website to remember,

Come visit us in Weill hall.

Come is on see many of the other

interesting events we have from public

forums to student-focused simulations

and workshops and a whole array of other

opportunities that the Weiser diplomacy

center is able to make available for the

University have Michigan community.

And so in a moment we'll start a

reception across the hall, but before we

head over there, can you please Ontario

me in thanking Steve bieng for being