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JPI PeaceTalk
Subject JPI PeaceTalk with Robert Gallucci, Distinguished Professor of Georgetown University
Author JPI  (admin)
File
  Robert Gallucci.JPG  (109KByte)
2019-08-09 오후 2:00:55


 

 


Ambassador Robert Gallucci explained that the North Koreans have been trying to pursue a nuclear weapons capability since the 1980s—some would say even sooner. He believes there has been some elements of continuity over the 30 years. All three leaders of North Korea have been interested in having a way to prevent the overthrow of their regime, which North Koreans have seen the US do in other countries, said Amb. Gallucci. When it comes to dealing with North Korea’s denuclearization, Amb. Gallucci believes there are only three options for the US to deal with North Korea: the first is a military intervention, which is inadvisable and costly. The second is containment, which the US has generally pursued. The third and his favored way of proceeding that is to find a negotiated way of removing tension between the North and the US, and ultimately between the North and the South, to achieve a solution which meets the security objectives of North Korea, South Korea, the US, China, and Japan—that’s really the issue. To this end, the US and North Korea have to engage over a period of time—nothing can happen quickly if it is to be durable, Gallucci said. You can have a summit in Singapore and a summit in Hanoi—summits are nice, but from his perspective, summits are not where work gets done. Summits endorse something.


 

 


Q1. It seems you are one of the most popular panelists in the Jeju Forum. How many sessions are you taking part in? What kind of topics are you giving opinions on?


I’m on three panels—they all generally focus on security issues with North Korea and that’s somewhat disaggregated into those that are interested in the technical side of denuclearization and others that are interested in larger picture questions of where the US-North Korea relationship is going as it relates to the Republic of Korea and its interests with the DPRK.

 

Q2. You served as a chief U.S. negotiator during the North Korean nuclear crisis of 1994 and have been one of the leading scholars studying and analyzing the North Korea’s nuclear programme. Why do you think North Korea is developing nuclear weapons over three generations? Would it be possible that they had different motivations in each generation?

I think it’s a fair question. If anything, I’m happy that many in the US at least know the answer—I’m certain I do not know the answer. I have thoughts about because, as you say, I’ve been watching this program since the 1990s. The program is quite old. The North Koreans have been trying to pursue a nuclear weapons capability since the 1980s—some would say even sooner. I think there are some elements of continuity over the 30 years. That’s not to say that Kim Il-sung had the same perception as his son, or that Kim Jong-il had the same as the current Kim Jong-un. But I think all of them were first interested in having a way to prevent the overthrow of their regime. From the North Korean perspective—and I’ve been told this by many North Koreans in many different settings—they look at what the US has done in other countries when it has been unhappy with one regime and they see a rather aggressive American policy. The overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s government or Qaddafi’s government, for example. Nuclear weapons, for the North Koreans, certainly mean they provide a deterrent to regime change. I’m not saying that’s all they intend to do with them—to intimidate, to blackmail—but certainly at base there’s a deterrent objective.

 

Q3. What kind of action can and should be taken to seek denuclearization of North Korea?


In a general way, I’ve always thought there were only three options for the US to deal with North Korea. There’s a military option, which would be very costly for Koreans and Americans, and it should not be favored by anyone as a first course. Then there’s containment, which the US has pursued along with South Korea on and off for the last thirty years or more. That can avoid war, but it doesn’t resolve the issue and intermittently the North Koreans have launched various provocations at sea and at land, and containment is a fallback position. It leaves the peninsula divided and the Korean people divided. The favored way of proceeding that we keep coming back to is to find a negotiated way of removing tension between the North and the US, and ultimately between the North and the South, to achieve a solution which meets the security objectives of North Korea, South Korea, the US, China, and Japan—that’s really the issue. Certainly when I was a negotiator 25 years ago, that was the road I hoped we were on.

 

Q4. What is your advice to U.S. and Korean government on dealing with the North Korea’s nuclear programme?


It somehow seems inappropriate to me that I should be giving advice to governments. I know what I think is a reasonable way to proceed for the United States and that is for us to begin by recognizing this a security issue for all of us—for North Korea, for South Korea, for China, for Japan, for the United States—and we have to take care of our security as the number one objective. That means for the US an alliance with South Korea and an alliance with Japan. First, we protect our alliances, and then we can go onto the second step. It’s hard for me to imagine a positive result and a peaceful resolution that does not involve engagement, negotiations, and discussions. And I’m not talking about whether they’re five-party talks or two-party talks, do the Russians come, or do the Japanese come. We can have all those discussions, but the two parties that need to be in the room are the DPRK and the US. I have no objection to a larger regional context, but at the heart of the issue is the relationship between the North Koreans and the US. If that were working well, there would be a great relationship between the North and the South.


The US and North Korea have to engage over a period of time—nothing can happen quickly if it is to be durable. You can have a summit in Singapore and a summit in Hanoi—summits are nice, but from my perspective, summits aren’t where work gets done. Summits endorse something. You don’t make complicated deals at a summit. Usually those are hammered out at the working level by professionals and are presented to the leaders, and the leaders endorse them. But to ask Chairman Kim and President Trump to come to a meeting and talk about denuclearization—I used to do it for a living and now I teach about it—I think you need engagement at the working level. I don’t mean for hours or days, I mean for months or years. And finally, we have to recognize that no matter how much we might want trust, there’s not going to be trust for a very long time. In the meantime, we can do arrangements or frameworks, but they must be verifiable. We have to be sure of reciprocal steps for all of us.

 

Q5. You have filled the post of Chairman in the US-Korea Institute (USKI). What’s your opinion on the role of think-tanks in dealing with the North Korea’s nuclear programme? How can security dialogues such as Jeju Forum contribute to it?


I was chairman of USKI for a year, while that was rewarding because I thought it was a fine entity that did a good job as it was intended to do located as it was at an American university, it is not KEI, which is another entity and is much closer to the South Korean government. USKI was an institute of the Johns Hopkins University SAIS in Washington and it was independent and needed to be such. It no longer exists because it wouldn’t compromise that independence, and for that I am sorry that the South Korean government took the position that it did. That said, I think the US government, the South Korean government, and others benefit from NGOs and academic institutions that a dialogue over critical issues. USKI for example hosted a website, 38North, which now moved to the Stimson Center. That website contributes to everyone’s understanding of what’s happening in North Korea—that’s very useful to public understanding. The sessions that the USKI would host, the venue it would provide for people coming from the South Korean government in particular to speak to people in Washington in and out of government was a tremendous platform to exchange views with Americans outside of a governmental context. In a well-functioning international system, there are lots of venues to exchange views between experts, whether academic, NGO or governmental. The more they can interact with one another, the more we can avoid conflict.