[House Hearing, 113 Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
TWENTY-YEARS OF U.S. POLICY ON NORTH
KOREA: FROM AGREED FRAMEWORK TO
SUBCOMMITTEE ON ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED THIRTEENTH CONGRESS
JULY 30, 2014
Serial No. 113-214
Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.foreignaffairs.house.gov/
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COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California, Chairman
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey ELIOT L. ENGEL, New York
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American
DANA ROHRABACHER, California Samoa
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio BRAD SHERMAN, California
JOE WILSON, South Carolina GREGORY W. MEEKS, New York
MICHAEL T. McCAUL, Texas ALBIO SIRES, New Jersey
TED POE, Texas GERALD E. CONNOLLY, Virginia
MATT SALMON, Arizona THEODORE E. DEUTCH, Florida
TOM MARINO, Pennsylvania BRIAN HIGGINS, New York
JEFF DUNCAN, South Carolina KAREN BASS, California
ADAM KINZINGER, Illinois WILLIAM KEATING, Massachusetts
MO BROOKS, Alabama DAVID CICILLINE, Rhode Island
TOM COTTON, Arkansas ALAN GRAYSON, Florida
PAUL COOK, California JUAN VARGAS, California
GEORGE HOLDING, North Carolina BRADLEY S. SCHNEIDER, Illinois
RANDY K. WEBER SR., Texas JOSEPH P. KENNEDY III,
SCOTT PERRY, Pennsylvania Massachusetts
STEVE STOCKMAN, Texas AMI BERA, California
RON DeSANTIS, Florida ALAN S. LOWENTHAL, California
TREY RADEL, Florida--resigned 1/27/ GRACE MENG, New York
14 LOIS FRANKEL, Florida
DOUG COLLINS, Georgia TULSI GABBARD, Hawaii
MARK MEADOWS, North Carolina JOAQUIN CASTRO, Texas
TED S. YOHO, Florida
LUKE MESSER, Indiana--resigned 5/
SEAN DUFFY, Wisconsin--
CURT CLAWSON, Florida--
Amy Porter, Chief of Staff Thomas Sheehy, Staff Director
Jason Steinbaum, Democratic Staff Director
Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio, Chairman
DANA ROHRABACHER, California ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American
MATT SALMON, Arizona Samoa
MO BROOKS, Alabama AMI BERA, California
GEORGE HOLDING, North Carolina TULSI GABBARD, Hawaii
SCOTT PERRY, Pennsylvania BRAD SHERMAN, California
DOUG COLLINS, Georgia GERALD E. CONNOLLY, Virginia
LUKE MESSER, Indiana--5/20/14 WILLIAM KEATING, Massachusetts
CURT CLAWSON, Florida --
C O N T E N T S
The Honorable Glyn Davies, Special Representative for North Korea
Policy, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S.
Department of State............................................ 6
The Honorable Robert King, Special Envoy for North Korean Human
Rights, Office of the Special Envoy for Human Rights in North
Korea, U.S. Department of State................................ 14
LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC., SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARING
The Honorable Glyn Davies: Prepared statement.................... 8
The Honorable Robert King: Prepared statement.................... 16
Hearing notice................................................... 36
Hearing minutes.................................................. 37
TWENTY-YEARS OF U.S. POLICY ON NORTH
KOREA: FROM AGREED FRAMEWORK TO
WEDNESDAY, JULY 30, 2014
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific,
Committee on Foreign Affairs,
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 2 o'clock p.m.,
in room 2172 Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Steve Chabot
(chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. Chabot. Good afternoon and welcome to this afternoon's
subcommittee hearing. I want to thank Mr. Ami Bera for serving
as today's ranking member and also thank our distinguished
witnesses for being here. It has taken 6 months for our
schedules to align, so we hope this afternoon's hearing is a
In March, this subcommittee held a hearing to examine the
findings of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry Report on
human rights in North Korea. Anyone would be hard pressed to
deny the extent of human rights abuses being committed by the
most repressive totalitarian regime on earth. The report, the
first of its kind, was a shocking wake-up call for the
international community to take action--for the U.S. to take
action. Unfortunately, it's been over 5 months and we're still
waiting for some pretty significant action on this.
North Korea is one of the greatest security threats to the
peace and stability of Asia and one of the United States' most
vexing security challenges. It is also one of the greatest
policy failures of the past two decades.
This year marks the 20th anniversary since the United
States and North Korea signed the Agreed Framework, which
called on North Korea to freeze operation and construction of
nuclear reactors suspected of being part of a covert nuclear
weapons program. While this agreement framed our relations for
about 8 years, from North Korea's vantage point it was a ruse,
as the entire time Pyongyang continued to develop its uranium-
Then, in an effort to continue nuclear negotiations with
North Korea, we took a multilateral approach and began the Six-
Party Talks. Once again, concession after concession, this
method of negotiation also failed and has been stalled since
So where are we today? North Korea has tested three nuclear
devices since 2006, the most recent in early 2013, and has
declared itself a nuclear armed state. Belligerent and
threatening rhetoric from Pyongyang's dilettante leader has
escalated since he took the Kim throne in December 2011. It has
launched nearly 100 ballistic missiles, artillery and rockets
combined since the beginning of this year. And its web of
illicit activities and dealings with terrorist organizations
around the world has expanded. Ultimately, North Korea's
proliferation of nuclear weapons and support to groups that
oppose Western interests continues unfettered and without
Most of the world's attention today is locked on Ukraine,
where Russia is supporting the infiltration of rebel troops
into Crimea and Eastern Ukraine; and the Middle East, where
Hamas operatives in Gaza are trying to wipe Israel off the map.
But we must also look East. It should come as no surprise that
just this past weekend, it was reported that Hamas militants
are negotiating a weapons deal worth hundreds of thousands of
dollars with North Korea for missiles and communications
equipment. This relationship was first made public in 2009 when
35 tons of surface-to-surface rockets and rocket-propelled
grenades were destined for Iran, which then planned to smuggle
to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. And last week, a
U.S. Federal judge ruled that North Korea, in concert with Iran
and Syria, was responsible for providing materials and
assistance to Hezbollah terrorists who fired rockets into
Israel during an offense that occurred in 2006. But again,
nothing is being done to obstruct these weapons sales or the
cargo ships traversing the world's oceans with weapons in the
Over the years, North Korea has branded itself as a one-
stop shop for missile and nuclear materials and technology--the
ultimate facilitating bad guy--providing whatever its anti-
American friends want so long as it gets the oil, cash and
materials it needs to maintain the power of the Kim regime. It
is not a secret that North Korea has long cavorted with the
likes of Iran and Syria, and in fact helped build Syria's
nuclear facility destroyed by Israel in 2007. North Korea's
last nuclear test, where Iranian nuclear experts were
reportedly present, also underlined the harsh reality--North
Korea's weapons capabilities are advanced and possibly more
advanced than Iran's, further highlighting the tremendous
failure of efforts made by every administration since the early
As the evidence continues to mount of the grave threat that
North Korea poses to the rest of the world, the Obama
administration's official position is that North Korea is ``not
known to have sponsored any terrorist acts since the bombing of
a Korean Airline's flight in 1987.'' Even more staggering, on
July 20th, Secretary Kerry noted that North Korea was
``quieter'' than previous years and that the U.S. is indeed
``moving forward'' with efforts to denuclearize North Korea.
According to our records, the past few months have been one of
the most historically active periods by North Korea in terms of
testing missiles, including U.N. restricted ballistic
technology. I don't think North Korea's recent behavior can be
Simply put, the administration's do nothing ``strategic
patience policy'' is crumbling to pieces waiting for North
Korea to beseech for negotiations aimed at limiting its nuclear
and missile potential. Kim Jong-un has no interest in
denuclearization. Outsourcing our North Korea policy to China,
North Korea's top trading partner and source of revenue, has
also yielded little progress, but we are still sitting idly by,
waiting for Beijing's patience with Pyongyang to wear thin.
The ongoing pursuit of restarting Six-Party Talks is
futile. It has been 6 years and at this point, we are only
wasting time as Pyongyang augments its fissile material
stockpile and improves its missile and nuclear capabilities.
The administration refuses to impose tougher and more targeted
sanctions on North Korea like those on Russia, Zimbabwe, Iran,
Cuba, Sudan, and Belarus because it believes doing so would
``unnecessarily hinder its ability to conduct foreign policy.''
It won't list the world's most prolific money launderer,
counterfeiter, and state drug trafficker as a country of
Primary Money Laundering Concern, but Iran and Burma are; and
our current policy has done nothing to help the North Korean
people. I remain disappointed that so little has been done to
hold the Kim regime responsible for its horrific human rights
abuses detailed in the U.N. Commission of Inquiry Report.
North Korea is a grave threat to the United States and our
allies in Asia. We cannot continue to wait for North Korea to
decide it wants to negotiate. A non-nuclear North Korea is an
elusive goal if the administration maintains its current
strategic trajectory. The Kim regime is responsible for the
horrific deaths of people not only within North Korea, but
around the world. It is time to put our resources together and
act. Rewarding North Korea for ``reversible steps'' on the
pretense that it will commit to denuclearization has failed
before, so let us not ``buy the same horse twice.''
I look forward to hearing from our witnesses and I yield to
the ranking member, Mr. Bera, for 5 minutes.
Mr. Bera. Thank you, Chairman Chabot. Thank you for calling
this important hearing. I also want to thank the witnesses
today for your service to our country and your patience in what
has to be one of the most diplomatic challenges in terms of
moving North Korea forward.
As mentioned, this year marks the 20th anniversary of the
agreed framework between the United States and North Korea. Our
foreign policy toward North Korea has always been challenging,
given that North Korea's posture in the region is inconsistent
and at times aggressive. That said, throughout the years we
have tried on numerous occasions to negotiate with North Korea
on denuclearization, while also promoting the strategic
patience approach. However, I continue to be very concerned, as
the chairman has mentioned, with North Korea's nuclear
ambitions, its aggression toward our allies in South Korea and
Japan, and its dismal human rights record.
North Korea's testing of ballistic missiles and nuclear
tests throughout the last 15 years is unacceptable and poses
serious security concerns in the region. Earlier this month,
North Korea fired more than 100 rockets and artillery shells
toward South Korea's border presumably in protest of joint U.S.
and South Korean military exercises. And our allies in Japan,
even as they attempt to promote diplomatic dialogue with North
Korea on resolving the abductions of Japanese citizens, the
Korean People's Army launched short-range missiles into the Sea
of Japan in late June. These type of provocative actions toward
our allies are deeply concerning. The U.S.-China relationship,
along with our trilateral relations with South Korea and Japan
is crucial in solving the inter-Korean conflict. We have to
take an original approach and we have to work together with our
partners in the region.
The conflict has multilateral implications and therefore is
not only a U.S. interest. As the world's greatest democracy, we
must take a tougher stance with the international community on
North Korea's threatening antics. North Korea must view our
partnership as a regional effort to support a peaceful and
stable Pacific region. We have to put the pressure on the North
Korean Government with stricter sanctions so we can engage in
diplomatic dialogue and make positive steps toward
denuclearization. We should also encourage North Korea to
enforce the 2005 Six-Party Talk agreements. North Korea should
be sincere with its commitment to the 2005 joint statement and
allow IAEA inspectors to renew their activity in the country.
I am also concerned with North Korea's deplorable human
rights record. North Koreans do not have freedom of speech,
movement, or religion and are also subject to chronic
starvation and a dismal public health system. The U.S., based
on our values as Americans, should remain a strong supporter
and leader within the global community in promoting human
I look forward to reviewing our actions, positions, and
policies toward North Korea as we work on denuclearization and
our human rights record. Mr. Chairman, with that, I would like
to yield back and thank you for calling this hearing.
Mr. Chabot. Thank you, the gentleman yields. The gentleman
from California is recognized for an opening statement.
Mr. Sherman. Thank you, Mr. King, welcome home. Mr.
Chairman, thank you for holding these hearings. It was just a
few months ago that you and I were at the DMZ and also
discussing North Korea with President Park and with Prime
Minister Abe. North Korea doesn't trade with us, doesn't need
us. It needs China from which it obtains enormous subsidies. We
should be trying to change the behavior of North Korea directly
and more importantly China with a combination of carrots and
sticks, even though the North Korean Government is despicable
and politically we could all try to outdo each other and who
could be more opposed to the government, both carrots and
sticks are called for.
On the carrot side, we ought to discuss with North Korea a
nonaggression pact. They have asked for that in the past. It
isn't our usual way of conducting State Department business,
but it is something they want, something we can give them. And
if they ever see that Mr. Cheney might be Vice President again,
they might appreciate an official U.S. position against
Second, we can tell the Chinese that even if there is
unification, no American military forces will be stationed
north of the 38th parallel.
As to sticks, we have to look at the lopsided trade
relationship with China, access to the U.S. markets is not
guaranteed by the U.N. charter. North Korea may not be quite as
dangerous as other states because it is not as ambitious as
Iran. It seeks only to oppress its own people. But with a
erratic government shown to be even more erratic in the last 6
months, and a growing nuclear stockpile, we have ever reason to
try to trim the danger posed by North Korea. I yield back.
Mr. Chabot. Thank you. The gentleman yields back. I would
now like to introduce our distinguished panel here this
afternoon. Ambassador Glyn Davies is the Special Representative
of the Secretary of State for North Korean policy. He was
appointed in January 2012 to facilitate high-level engagement
with our other Six-Party Talk partners. He serves as a senior
emissary for U.S. engagement with North Korea. He also oversees
U.S. involvement in the Six-Party Talks process, as well as
other aspects of our security, political, economic, human
rights, and humanitarian assistance policy regarding North
Special Representative Davies is a career member of the
Senior Foreign Service and served as the Permanent
Representative of the United States to the International Atomic
Energy Agency and the United Nations office in Vienna. His
prior assignments include Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary
of State, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs and
Executive Secretary of the National Security Council staff and
we welcome you this afternoon, Mr. Ambassador.
I will next introduce Robert King. Ambassador Robert King
became the Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues
in November 2009 following confirmation by the United States
Senate. Ambassador King works under Ambassador Davies and has
the lead on human rights and humanitarian affairs. Prior to his
appointment, Ambassador King worked on Capitol Hill for 25
years--24 of those years as chief of staff to Congressman Tom
Lantos. He was concurrently staff director of the Foreign
Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives,
Democratic staff director of the committee, and held various
professional staff positions on the committee since 1993.
Ambassador King holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from
the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. He
has authored several books and numerous articles on
international relations and we welcome you here this afternoon
as well, Mr. Ambassador.
I am sure you are both familiar with the 5-minute rule so I
won't take a lot of time. The yellow light will come on and it
means you have 1 minute and we hope you wrap up as close as
possible when the red light comes on and we will limit
ourselves to 5 minutes as well.
We will begin with you, Ambassador Davies. You are
recognized for 5 minutes.
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE GLYN DAVIES, SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE
FOR NORTH KOREA POLICY, BUREAU OF EAST ASIAN AND PACIFIC
AFFAIRS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Mr. Davies. Chairman Chabot, thanks so much. Representative
Bera, and members of the committee, thanks so much for inviting
me and my colleague, Ambassador King, to testify today on U.S.
policy toward the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, DPRK
for short, commonly known as North Korea.
The North Korean regime is a global pariah. It works
against the interests of its own people, its neighbors, and the
Mr. Chabot. Would you mind pulling the mic just a little
Mr. Davies. Sure, absolutely.
Mr. Chabot. I want everybody in the room to hear.
Mr. Davies. Here we go, is that better?
Mr. Chabot. That is better.
Mr. Davies. It violates its obligations by pursuing nuclear
weapons and ballistic missiles, posing a growing threat to the
United States, our friends and allies, and the global
nonproliferation regime. It devotes an enormous amount of its
scarce resources to weapons, to a massive standing army, and to
vanity projects, all while nine out of ten North Koreans
We have no illusions about the nature of the regime. We
have refused to reward its provocations with concessions. We
have instead tightened sanctions and told the DPRK that neither
its occasional charm offenses nor its more frequent aggressive
behavior will lead us to accept a nuclear armed North Korea.
Like all recent administrations, we are open to engagement when
possible, but will apply pressure as needed.
Despite DPRK backtracking, we remain committed to authentic
and credible denuclearization talks, but talks won't succeed
until Pyongyang recognizes and demonstrates that it will live
up to its promises. Regrettably, the DPRK increasingly rejects
meaningful negotiations. Instead, it has unleashed multiple
provocations that have drawn condemnation and increased its
isolation. Just in recent weeks, it has conducted repeated
ballistic missile launches in violation of U.N. Security
Council resolutions. These followed similar launches earlier
this spring, punctuated on March 30 with threats to conduct a
new type of nuclear test.
The DPRK says it wants talks without preconditions.
Translation: It seeks open-ended Six-Party Talks to gain
acceptance as a nuclear weapons state, and to camouflage its
secret weapons development. We are not interested in talks
unless their primary order of business is implementing North
Korea's September 2005 promise to denuclearize.
The Republic of Korea is squarely at the center of our
efforts. There is no daylight between us on what we expect from
North Korea. President Obama, speaking in South Korea in April,
expressed support for President Park's vision of peaceful,
progressive unification. The U.S.-ROK alliance in its 60th year
is stronger than ever. Our day-to-day combined efforts to
maintain peace and stability on the peninsular send a strong
deterrence signal to North Korea that the security it seeks is
not to be found in nuclear weapons. Our growing U.S.-ROK-Japan
trilateral security cooperation also sends a powerful message
of deterrence to Pyongyang.
As North Korea's last remaining protector and patron,
China, has a key role to play in convincing North Korea to
denuclearize. That is why North Korea remains at the top of our
bilateral agenda with Beijing. Secretary Kerry raised it
prominently there in early July.
We welcome the steps that PRC has taken to oppose
Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program. Since 2012, China has
voted for two new rounds of U.N. sanctions and last year,
published a 900 item control list banning their export to North
Korea. Together with our allies and partners, we seek to show
North Korea its nuclear program stands in the way of the secure
future it says it wants. We continue to increase the cost of
its illicit activities by unilaterally tightening sanctions. We
work closely with the U.N. Security Council and like-minded
partners to ensure full implementation of the four key Security
The July 2013 seizure by Panama of a huge cache of military
gear demonstrates U.N. sanctions are effective.
The welfare of North Korea's people is an essential focus
of U.S. policy. The vast majority suffer from the Government's
self-impoverishing military-first policy. The U.N. Commission
of Inquiry's sobering report detailed the systematic,
widespread, and gross human rights violations being committed
by the DPRK.
My colleague, Robert King's tireless efforts for many years
demonstrate that human rights is a constant focus for us. There
are three U.S. citizens that are being held by North Korea.
Their continued detention is a serious stumbling block to
approved U.S.-DPRK relations. We will continue to advocate for
their freedom and thank Congress for its steadfast support in
Mr. Chairman, we aim to convince the DPRK to comply with
its obligations, end its isolation, and respect of the rights
of its people. Each outrageous North Korean act discredits the
assertion it is driven to act belligerently by others'
hostility. It is now clearer than ever that North Korea is
developing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles merely to
prolong the Kim regime and to obtain benefits from the
international community. North Korea alone is responsible for
North Korean actions and resolving the DPRK nuclear program is
a multilateral task.
Just as North Korea's original aggression against the South
was met with a strong response from the United Nations,
standing up to North Korea today requires a concerted effort by
the entire international community.
Thank you again, Mr. Chairman, and members of the panel for
the opportunity to appear before you today and I am happy,
obviously, to take your questions.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Davies follows:]
Mr. Chabot. Thank you very much, Ambassador Davies. And we
will now turn to Ambassador King. You are recognized for 5
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE ROBERT KING, SPECIAL ENVOY FOR NORTH
KOREAN HUMAN RIGHTS, OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL ENVOY FOR HUMAN
RIGHTS IN NORTH KOREA, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Mr. King. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, Congressman
Bera, members of the committee. Thank you for this invitation
to testify with Ambassador Davies on U.S. policy on North
Korea. I will focus on human rights aspects of our policy on
which there has been broad bipartisan cooperation.
I want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, and committee members,
for your interest in the North Korean human rights issues for
the hearings that you have held, for the meetings that you have
held both here and in Seoul and Tokyo with victims and their
North Korea remains a totalitarian state which seeks to
dominate all aspects of its citizens' lives including denial of
basic freedoms and human rights. Reports portray a vast network
of political prison camps where individuals are subjected to
forced labor under horrific conditions and the government
commits human rights violations that include extrajudicial
killing, enslavement, torture, prolonged arbitrary detention,
abduction of foreign citizens as well as rape, forced abortion
and other sexual violence.
This past year, we have made significant progress on our
efforts to increase international pressure on the North, to
improve its human rights. In March of last year, the U.N. Human
Rights Council established a landmark Commission of Inquiry to
examine grave, widespread, and systematic violation of human
rights in North Korea. Refugees from North Korea gave the
Commission first-hand accounts of abuse and violence and
leading international experts described the government policies
that repress their people. Public hearings were held in Seoul,
Tokyo, London, and here in Washington, DC, video and written
transcripts of those hearings are available on the U.N. Web
The Commission's final report was one of the strongest and
finest reports that the U.N. has produced. The Commission
concluded that the gross violations of human rights have been
and continue to be committed by the North Korean Government and
its officials. And in many cases, those violations meet the
high standard, the high threshold required for proof of crimes
against humanity and international law.
The Commission formally presented its final report of the
Human Rights Council in March of this year. After hearing from
the Commission, the Council overwhelmingly approved a
resolution calling for accountability for those responsible for
the abuses and for the creation of a field office under the
High Commissioner for Human Rights to preserve and document
evidence of these human rights abuses. South Korea has agreed
to host this office.
Building on this momentum in April, the United States with
Australia and France convened the first ever U.N. Security
Council discussion of human rights in North Korea. The
Commission presented its report. Two North Korean refugees
spoke of their personal experiences. Eleven of the 13 Security
Council members who attended that meeting expressed support for
the report and called for accountability for the crimes that it
As I participated in the various U.N. meetings this past
year, two things have struck me. First, it is clear that the
North is feeling the growing international pressure. The
mounting condemnation of its human rights record has struck a
chord in Pyongyang. Second, with a growing number of countries
critical of North Korean human rights, the only countries who
defend the North are the world's worst human rights violators:
Belarus, Cuba, Iran, Syria, Zimbabwe.
Mr. Chairman, another key human rights matter that I want
to raise is our effort to increase access to information by the
North Korean people. That country is one of the most closed
societies on this planet. Internet access is reserved for a
tiny, tiny elite. It is illegal to own a radio or television
set that can be tuned to any channel other than the official
government media. Anyone caught listening to foreign radio or
television will be sent to a reeducation camp.
Despite these consequences of listening to foreign media,
35 percent of North Korean refugees and travelers listen to
foreign radio broadcasts in North Korea. Foreign DVDs are now
being seen by even larger numbers. Eighty-five percent of those
interviewed have seen foreign, primarily South Korean media.
Some 2 million cell phones for North Koreans to communicate
with each other, although only domestic calls are permitted and
phone use is carefully monitored.
Because of the closed nature of North Korea, our
international media efforts are among the most effective we
have of breaking the government's information monopoly. Thank
you for continuing congressional support, for the Broadcasting
Board of Governors and the media that it supports including
Radio Free Asia and the Voice of America.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, I want to reiterate one point that
Ambassador Davies has made. We have no greater priority than
the welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad. We continue
actively to seek the release on humanitarian grounds of Kenneth
Bae, Matthew Miller, and Jeffrey Fowle, so that they may be
reunited with their families.
Just as important as it is that North Korea address the
issues that Ambassador Davies has talked about in terms of
security and nuclear issues, it also must address its egregious
human rights violations. The choice is clear. If North Korea
does not take this action, it will continue to face greater
isolation, condemnation, and increasing pressure from the
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Mr. King follows:]
Mr. Chabot. Thank you very much, Mr. Ambassador. Members
will now have 5 minutes to ask questions and I will begin with
Ambassador Davies, on July 20th, Secretary Kerry was quoted
as saying that North Korea has been quieter. I wouldn't
describe the historic number of missiles and rocket and
artillery launches this year--so far nearly 100--as quiet. I
also don't believe that solely because North Korea hasn't
staged another nuclear test this year that we would necessarily
call Pyongyang's behavior quiet. Can you perhaps clarify why
Secretary Kerry is describing North Korea as such and tell us
how you can justify that classification?
Mr. Davies. Mr. Chairman, the Secretary said a lot of
things. That was one thing he said and I think that to kind of
place it back in context, the Secretary was referring to the
fact that we are now some time on from the last major strategic
provocation by North Korea. It has been a while since they have
either launched a three stage intercontinental ballistic
missile or tested a nuclear device.
Mr. Chabot. Do you think he would want to rephrase that
perhaps differently or would you?
Mr. Davies. I think in context it is easy to understand
what the Secretary was saying which is that the cooperation,
the collaboration, the diplomacy that we have been conducted
with South Korea, China, and other partners in the process has
gotten the message through to Pyongyang that when it acts
strategically, when it tests a nuclear device and it is the
only country on earth to have done it in this century, when it
launches a three stage intercontinental ballistic missile that
the world will react, it will react strongly and unanimously.
So I think that is what the Secretary is referring to.
It is absolutely the case and the Secretary has also spoken
to this as have other senior officials, that North Korea's
recent behavior is unacceptable. The fact that it continues
time after time to launch these ballistic missiles, violates
U.N. Security Council resolutions, that cannot be
Mr. Chabot. I would certainly agree with you and the
administration that it is unacceptable. I certainly wouldn't
have called it quieter, but that is okay.
I am going to turn to Ambassador King if I can at this
time. Ambassador, you have done a commendable job representing
the North Korea human rights portfolio. I also recognize the
difficulties you face since the administration doesn't make the
human rights issue, in my view, enough of a top priority. I
think at best it is a second-tier issue behind nuclear
proliferation, even if it is given sometimes lip service by
calling it a top priority and constant focus. As such, I am
disappointed that following the release of the U.N. Commission
of Inquiry Report--in my view--little has been done. No human
rights sanctions, no executive orders, and no move for a vote
in the Security Council. Ambassador King, can you tell us what
is being done at this time to hold North Korea accountable for
the mass atrocities described in that report? I mean, it was a
horrific thing to read, and there has been so little movement
since the report's release. Also, are you aware that there are
three Americans currently detained in Pyongyang? I am deeply
concerned particularly about their well-being and safety and
one of those individuals, Jeffrey Fowle, he is from right
outside my district in Ohio. I am told he is being brought to
trial, accused of carrying out hostile acts against the
country. Can you provide us with an update about this situation
and where in the process the administration is to get these
individuals released out of North Korea? And I certainly
understand in a forum like this, you have to be careful because
we don't want to jeopardize their situation or put them in any
more jeopardy than they already are. So I understand that, but
to the degree that we can, in a forum like this, I would
appreciate some comment.
Mr. King. Thank you very much for the question, Mr.
Chairman. With regard to the attention that we give to North
Korea human rights, I believe it was Lyndon Johnson that said,
``You have got to be able to walk and chew gum at the same
time.'' I think that is what we are trying to do in terms of
pushing on both the nuclear issue, but also pushing on the
human rights issue. And I think as we have talked earlier,
there is a lot that has been done this year with the release of
the report. We have been attempting to use the U.N. report to
continue to put pressure on North Korea. In the U.N. Security
Council, we have already had an informal meeting where we have
had 13 of the 15 members attend, discuss the report and discuss
We are also in the process of looking toward activity in
Geneva. We will continue our pressure in Geneva, the Human
Rights Council on the human rights report. We are also going to
have discussions in the General Assembly in October at which
the Commission of Inquiry's report will be discussed. There
will be a resolution that will be prepared and adopted in the
General Assembly by the end of this year. We are very active in
terms of looking at how we might further push this forward in
terms of action with the Security Council.
With regard to sanctions, we are looking at sanctions. One
of the issues that we need to do is try to do whatever we do in
concert with other countries. Sanctions by the United States
alone are very limited effectiveness. We have very little
relationship with North Korea. We have very little trade. We
have very little economic connection. And to the extent that we
can work together with our allies and jointly adopt sanctions
and look at actions that we can take together, I think the more
effective those issues will be.
A brief quick comment. The three Americans who are being
held in North Korea are of great concern to us. We have
communicated with the North Koreans our concern. We have
requested repeatedly that they be released on humanitarian
grounds. This includes Mr. Fowle, as well as Kenneth Bae and
Matthew Miller. We are hoping to be able to have some progress
on that. We continue to press the North Koreans. We have
continued to work through the Swedish Government which takes
care of our interest with regard to American citizens there. I
briefed your staff on this. I know you were aware of that. If
there is anything that we can provide you directly, I would be
happy to come up and talk with you about that.
Mr. Chabot. Thank you for that. I would like to continue to
follow up with you at the staff level on Mr. Fowle, in
particular, but all of them. Thank you very much.
I now recognize the acting ranking member, the gentleman
from California, Mr. Bera.
Mr. Bera. Thank you, Chairman Chabot. Ambassador Davies, in
your opening testimony, I think you laid a framework that said
any movement forward really starts with the framework that was
laid out in the 2005 Six-Party Talks. That is a starting point
for us to move forward.
Also, Ambassador King and Ambassador Davies, in describing
North Korea, you described them as global pariah. We described
the crimes against humanity, the human rights violations. And
it is from this vantage point when you look at the Kim regime,
it is a regime that is less focused on its people and more
focused on itself. I empathize with the difficulty of these
negotiations. We can continue to further isolate North Korea,
but we have also seen when we do that isolation how the Kim
regime responds in provocative manners. I think you accurately
lay out that this is not a U.S.-North Korea negotiation. This
is a U.S.-Japan-Korea-China-Russia negotiation in the framework
of regional stability. And of those countries, we all have a
vested interest in creating a stable region, but the key really
in this case lies with an active engagement on China's behalf.
I guess, Ambassador Davies, I would like you to comment on
the talks that we have had with China, how China is viewing the
new North Korean regime, and comment on China's role in moving
these conversations forward.
Mr. Davies. I would be happy to do that, sir. Thanks so
much. China and North Korea are not at their best historical
comment right now. China was very vocal and active beginning
over 2 years ago when the new third generation of leadership
took over in Pyongyang in signaling to the North Korean regime
that they would not support North Korea taking provocative acts
and North Korea went ahead and did it. So in a sense North
Korea has not been a good partner of China's of late. And this
has triggered, I think, a debate in China about the nature of
its relationship with North Korea. The Chinese have begun to
take acts that are somewhat remarkable in the historical scheme
of things, publicly signaling and warning North Korea not to
engage in strategic provocations, publishing this 900 item
control list which is somewhat dramatic, cutting off banking
relations with the Foreign Trade Bank of North Korea, also
imposing strictures on some customs controls and so forth.
So our role in this is to work with the Chinese to try to
figure out and this is the top down. The President has been
very engaged in this from the Sunnylands Summit of last summer
on forward and a series of meetings with Xi Jinping how can the
United States and China in a bilateral diplomacy, but also
working with our other partners and the five parties to
convince North Korea that its future does not lie in pursuing
these weapons of mass destruction. Its future lies in living up
to the promises that it made in the middle of the last decade
abandoning the weapons, coming back into the fold of the
international community, behaving better as an international
actor, and the Chinese have done these unprecedented things. We
have said to China that we appreciate it very much. We said
there is only one problem with the acts that China has taken
and that is, of course, that they haven't yet worked to
fundamentally change the calculus of Pyongyang. So this is a
work in progress. But we have made progress. And we are going
to keep at it.
I think the new leadership in Beijing understands they
can't retain the status quote deg. forever and this is
a case where I think if we keep at it, in a multilateral
endeavor, with the ROK at the core of our concerns and our
diplomacy, China also quite central that we can ultimately make
Mr. Bera. And if we look at this North Korean regime that
is provocative and potentially unstabling in the region, as
inter-trade and inter-dependence, increasing trade between
Korea and China, Japan and China, ourselves and China, our
economies are increasingly interconnected in trade and we all
benefit from a stable region that allows trade to occur. There
is a real--China has to recognize that an unstable region is
not in China's interest and really creates some problems. So we
do have to move forward in a regional conversation. We do have
to move forward in partners. And I hope China is there
increasing the pressure and isolating North Korea that they are
on the wrong path. Thank you. I will yield back.
Mr. Chabot. The gentleman's time has expired. Thank you
very much. We will now recognize the gentleman from
Pennsylvania, Mr. Perry, for 5 minutes.
Mr. Perry. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Gentlemen, thanks for
being here. I was a little late, so I missed your testimony,
but listened to some of the answers to the questions. It just
gave me some new questions and some new things to think about.
Mr. Davies, you talked about we have made gains. And one of
my questions is going to be this strategy of strategic patience
and many would contend that it really hasn't done anything and
my question would be what are the significant results of that?
Quite honestly, I feel like asking what are the significant
or insignificant results from the context, maybe I should first
ask this strategy of strategic patience what is the time frame
of this? Are we looking at like 1,000 years? Or 100 years? Is
this my lifetime? Because convincing North Korea's leadership
that this isn't their pathway to the future, who are we
Does anybody in this room think that these people have the
same mindset about their future that the people in here have?
The leadership? Maybe peasants, maybe the under class, maybe
the people cited in the Human Rights Council report have that
view of some brighter future possibly and that it should
What would motivate the people at the top to change
anything? I am really curious. Let me give you a question. What
are the significant or insignificant results? How long is this
strategy supposed to go and what makes you think that these
folks would change their mindset whatsoever?
Mr. Davies. Well, a couple of things. Strategic patience is
like a bumper sticker that gets stuck on a car and just doesn't
get taken off even when the views of the driver change. I have
been at this job 2\1/2\ years. I have never described our
policy as strategic patience. So it predates me. It is
Secretary of State, when he was asked about it when he
first came into office said no, that is not our policy. Our
policy is strategic impatience with North Korea. We are going
to continue to do everything we can not to sit down and have a
coffee klatch with them and try to convince them of the logic
of it, but to use pressure in particular, to point out to them
that there is only one way forward. It is the peaceful
diplomatic path forward. It is living up to their obligations,
commitments, and promises that they made freely 11 years ago
and it is going down this path of denuclearization.
So I think what they care about most in Pyongyang, this
regime, is surviving. They want to preserve the status quo.
They don't want anything to rock their boat. They are now--it
is the world's only historical example of a dynastic communist
system, father to son, now in the third generation. They want
to keep that party obviously going on.
What we are doing, what we are seeking to do with China,
South Korea, Japan, Russia and the rest of the international
community is pump up the volume of a message to North Korea
that that is the road to ruin for North Korea, that trying to
pour scarce resources into the development of these expensive
weapon systems while also trying to feed their people which
they have not been able to do adequately for now almost a
generation isn't going to work. So what they need to do is give
up these weapons, begin to play by the rules, begin to live up
to their own promises----
Mr. Perry. Listen, I don't mean to just completely
interrupt you and I am trying to listen. I have got a limited
amount of time, but pumping up the volume on rhetoric, they are
hoping to keep it going. And as far as the West or somebody in
the West or our coalition partners telling them that it is not
going to work from their perspective at the top, well, it has
worked for three generations. We are not going to rock the
boat. And with all due respect, folks, the Human Rights Council
includes the likes of Cuba and the Democratic Republic of the
Congo, and some of these bad actors that abuse their own
citizenry and acting like that is going to be a vehicle to
shake North Korea's leadership off its foundation.
I would like to have whatever you folks are drinking and
eating every day because you have got a wonderful view of some
rose-colored future. To me, we are the United States. Now
listen, I am not trying to pose--this is a 20-year-old failure
in my opinion or so it is not fair to impose all this upon you,
but taking the same actions of the past, okay, it is not
strategic--to me, it is strategic apathy or avoidance or
something. I don't know what it is, but doing the same over and
over again for the next 20, 30, 40 years and expecting a
different outcome, if I were here in 40 years, we are going to
be having the same conversation. You can go ahead and comment,
but I am frustrated.
Mr. Davies. Look, again, we are not just talking about
diplomatic messaging and sending them nice letters. We are
talking about cutting off the inputs to their weapons programs
through sanctions, through interdiction. And there have been
successes there. When Panama rolled up the largest shipment of
North Korean conventional weapons in July of last year on a
Korean freighter trying to go through the Panama Canal, that
was an indicator that the rest of the world gets the message,
when 80 countries condemned North Korea's decision to test a
nuclear device beginning of last year and took action to join
with the sanctions regime internationally to impose costs on
North Korea, that is what we are talking about here.
No, we are not talking about some kind of a hortatory
attempt to convince them through a high school debating
society. We are talking about taking actions that reduce their
running room, that cut off their resources, that prevent them
from selling the weapons systems that they need to sell in
order to get the inputs for their weapons programs.
But we are also talking about keeping a hand open to North
Korea if they have this change of mind. That is the diplomacy
part of it. I was engaged in negotiating with them at the
beginning of 2012. We cut a very modest deal with them that
could have given them a chance back to what they claim they
want which is security guarantees and all the rest of it and
they chose not to take it. Instead, they launched a rocket in
honor of the 100th anniversary of his grandfather's birth. That
was his choice to make. The result of it was near universal
condemnation and action taken by nation states.
It is a little bit like watching paint dry. I understand
that. The Cold War took three generations. Sometimes, these
problems are so pernicious that they simply take the patient
application of increasing amounts of pressure accompanied by
diplomacy in order to get these actors to realize that they are
going down a path that leads them nowhere. And so that is our
strategy. If there is an alternative, we are all ears.
Mr. Chabot. The gentleman's time has expired. And I would
like to associate myself with the frustrations of the gentleman
from Pennsylvania. I think they are well said.
The gentleman from Virginia is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. Connolly. Well, if we are associating ourselves with
frustration, I am frustrated, too, and I am sure you are and I
am sure everyone in the audience is. I am not quite sure what
the relevance of our frustration is to try to fashion an
efficacious public policy that creates change. And I would like
to explore that with both of our witnesses.
First of all, as you know or may know, we managed a bill
the other day on the floor, Chairman Royce and myself, that
passed unanimously adding to the sanctions regime on North
Korea and I assume you both probably were aware of that and I
welcome your reaction. I assume you support it and hopefully if
it becomes law, we can use it as another tool in the kit bag.
Mr. Davies. For us, it is a bit of a third rail to be
commenting on pending legislation, so I am going to steer clear
of that with your permission. I think sanctions are a tool that
is of value and I think we have demonstrated that through the
actions we have taken both unilaterally and working with our
partners around the world. We remain very open to further
sanctions and options, when and if they make sense to deploy
them, to use them. I am committed to finding a multilateral way
forward. I wish there were a silver bullet we could fire to
solve this problem.
Mr. Connolly. Right.
Mr. Davies. Smarter people than me would have figured it
out long ago.
Mr. Connolly. Let us explore that just a little bit. Where
do you think the pressure points are? I heard what you were
saying about China which was quite intriguing, but in some ways
if China has lost leverage over the regime of Pyongyang, well
then where are the pressure points that the West can turn to or
South Korea can turn to to try to rein in behavior or reward
good behavior, punish bad behavior? I mean where are those
Mr. Davies. Well, China hasn't lost leverage. They have
just decided there are limits to the leverage that they are
willing to exercise. So when it comes to food and fuel for
North Korea, China is absolutely critical in that respect. So
there is more that China could do. But we think it works much
better if the world and in particular the neighbors of North
Korea act together on this, supported by the rest of the
The Achilles heel of North Korea is the fact that it
doesn't have sufficient fossil fuels. It is unable to feed
itself because it has broken its own economic system, hollowed
it out over the years. And so in terms of ways to put pressure
on them, these are some of the ways that we can use to do that.
Mr. Connolly. And I appreciate that, but I was thinking
about the normal kinds of leverage when you look at sanctions
regimes, we are looking at it on Russia right now. Well, the
ruble is exchanged. They have a stock market. They have
external investment. They had trade flows, all of which can now
be influenced in a way they were not as influenced when they
were the Soviet Union. So they are feeling some heat.
We don't really have that kind of leverage with the North
Korea regime, do we?
Mr. Davies. We have limited leverage because we have almost
no trade with them.
Mr. Connolly. Right.
Mr. Davies. That is correct.
Mr. Connolly. And of course, they use their nuclear program
as leverage over the West in terms of food supplies, emergency
food supplies and the like.
Mr. Davies. That is correct.
Mr. Connolly. Yes.
Mr. Davies. But I should say one of the biggest points of
leverage we have is the strength of our alliance relationships
and in particular with the Republic of Korea because it is
their peninsula, but also with Japan and staying strong and
solidarity building up our alliance and our ability to defend
our friends and ourselves against North Korean threats is a
huge part of what we have.
Mr. Connolly. Let me just in the last minute I have got,
explore China's relationship again. If I understood your
testimony in a sense there has been a reassessment in China
about the nature of the relationship with the regime in
Pyongyang. Is that your testimony?
Mr. Davies. They are debating it, that is correct.
Mr. Connolly. Okay, they are debating it. Do you believe
that as part of that debate the new leadership in Beijing is--
well, first of all, the economic ties to South Korea are far
more important for Beijing, frankly, than North Korea, is that
Mr. Davies. Many multiples.
Mr. Connolly. Right. So given their exposure and the fact
that they are stakeholders in the success of the capitalist
Korea economy, are they, do you believe, more open to
pressuring the North for say market reforms, similar to their
Mr. Davies. They have been trying to convince North Korea
for years to engage in reform of their economy and the North
Koreans have resisted that.
Mr. Connolly. What leverage are the Chinese prepared to use
to rein in belligerent behavior, try to achieve some of those
market reforms, and are they prepared, do you believe, in some
kind of timetable to move eventually toward an accommodation
with the South, if not outright reunification with the South?
Mr. Chabot. The gentleman's time has expired, but you can
answer the question.
Mr. Davies. I think this is one of the fascinating
conversations that has sort of occurred during the recent
summit meeting between President Xi Jinping and Park Geun-hye
of South Korea and it is fascinating that Beijing is voting
with its feet, that now the President of China has met multiple
times with his counterpart in South Korea, has yet to meet
with, travel to North Korea. So things are beginning to change.
I wish they were faster, but these are the changes we are
Mr. Chabot. The gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Holding,
is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. Holding. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Davies, how has
Rouhani's regime altered the North Korea-Iran relationship?
Mr. Davies. I am not sure I am qualified to describe what
is happening between those two countries other than that we
watch very closely any proliferation or signs of proliferation
that might exist between North Korea and his regime.
Mr. Holding. Does the administration have any evidence or
reason to suggest that North Korea and Iran have intentionally
focused on different aspects of nuclear weapons capability to
speed up the final results for both countries?
Mr. Davies. Well, sir, with great respect, you are starting
to get me down deep into intelligence matters and these are the
sorts of things we would be very happy to brief you on in a
closed hearing, but again, it is a matter of serious
concentration and strong study by the administration.
Mr. Holding. Given Iran and North Korea's cooperation in
the past, do you think it is likely that North Korea would
share any future nuclear test data with Iran?
Mr. Davies. You are calling for speculation on the part of
the witness. I just don't know.
Mr. Holding. I don't think we are bound by the Federal
rules of civil----
Mr. Davies. I am sorry. I am trying to be a little glib.
But no, again, I think intelligence information----
Mr. Holding. The witness will answer the question.
Mr. Chabot. Thank you, Your Honor. You may proceed.
Mr. Davies. Pardon me, would you like to restate that?
Mr. Holding. It is a concern of Iran and North Korea have
cooperated in the past.
Mr. Davies. I think there is every incentive between them
to cooperate in some aspect to this, that is correct.
Mr. Holding. And you don't think there is any--the Rouhani
regime coming in hasn't changed any of that dynamic there that
would lead to that--that has led to the cooperation in the
Mr. Davies. Not that I am aware of, but one would hope that
there would be changes.
Mr. Holding. Your report suggests that North Korean energy
needs have been met by Iran and that Iran's desire for
armaments have been met by North Korea. Reports have suggested
that cooperation. What do we know about trends in oil
consumption by North Korea and if they are stockpiling Iranian
Mr. Davies. I am not aware of the provision of Iranian oil
to any great extent I have got to say to North Korea. I am just
not aware of that.
Mr. Holding. Switching to Russia a little bit, how have
increased tensions between Russia and the West affected
Russia's relationship with North Korea?
Mr. Davies. Well, Russia's relationship with North Korea
fundamentally changed in 1989, 1990 when the Soviet Union
disappeared and the client relationship that existed
disappeared. And so now they have a very, very small economic
relationship quite frankly. They have a political relationship,
but it is not nearly as important as that between Beijing and
Pyongyang, between China and North Korea.
Mr. Holding. So you don't believe that the Russians have
intensified or accelerated any weapons sales to North Korea in
Mr. Davies. I am not aware of anything significant in that
regard, no, sir.
Mr. Holding. North Korea skirts international sanctions in
a lot of different respects. One thing, I believe they are one
of the largest suppliers of counterfeit cigarettes in the
world, believe it or not, counterfeit currency as well. Any
current administration actions to close these loopholes and
more rigidly enforce the sanctions that you would like to
expound on for 1 minute and 10 seconds?
Mr. Davies. Sure. From the standpoint on counterfeit goods,
there was a day when that was a booming business. I think that
that day has passed to some extent, that that is something that
we watch very, very closely, but North Korea will obviously
stop at nothing to try to gain resources to develop its weapons
programs and that is why we concentrate so much energy on
nonproliferation, not just unilaterally with our friends and
allies and partners.
Mr. Holding. All right. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chabot. Thank you. The gentleman yields back. The
gentleman from Georgia, Mr. Collins, is recognized for 5
Mr. Collins. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. In listening to your
testimony, I think it is rather interesting, again, with one of
the key players, with basically the rogueness of North Korea
and whether their relationship with Iran at least something
studied a little bit more and I think using your words and I
may have gotten this just a little bit wrong, but it was
something to the effect of study and watching what is going on.
That to me, and there is something in your written testimony
that says ultimately, Mr. Chairman, our policy is to bring to
realization that North Korea must take steps necessary to end
its isolation, respect the human rights of its own people,
honor its past commitments and national obligations.
In light of that, what we will call the desirous goal, many
experts contend that the administration's strategy of strategic
patience or basically watch and see, has not yet yielded any
significant results, but rather has served only to benefit
North Korea by offering it more time or affording it more time
to pursue its own objectives. What is the administration's
assessment of its strategy of engagement and strategic
Mr. Davies. Our assessment is that we have made some
progress, not nearly enough. We have got a lot further to go.
Mr. Collins. What would you say your greatest
Mr. Davies. I think our greatest accomplishment is in
achieving in just the last couple of years two United Nations
Security Council resolutions with teeth that had attached with
them resolutions. These were unanimously achieved. China voted
for them. Russia voted for them. And Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran,
this whole nexus of issues which I know is very important to
you, we are doing more than just studying and watching this.
Obviously, what we are doing is seeking to disrupt illicit
shipments, enforce these sanctions. We are doing it with our
partners. We know that they would naturally like to deal with
each other, but we are doing everything we can to prevent that
Mr. Collins. I think in the end is what other things beyond
two United Nations resolutions which may or may not have the
teeth and the enforcement that some would like to see, beyond
that, what is the next step? What is the next big
accomplishment? What is the next thing to ensure basically what
you said is your own goals, is to encourage North Korea to
become a model citizen which under the current leadership I am
not even sure it understands the definition of model
citizenship. It is a discussion here to have. What would be the
Mr. Davies. Well, we would settle for North Korea starting
to do what it promised to do a long time ago and has
tentatively started to do in the past which is to take steps in
the direction of denuclearizing. In other words, freezing their
nuclear programs, inviting the IAEA back in to inspect them,
eventually leading to the dismantlement and elimination of the
North Korean nuclear weapons program. That is the foundation of
the six party process that we have been engaged in for many
years and we have made a great deal of progress with
particularly China, keeping the solidarity of Japan and the ROK
There is no daylight between any of the three of the
allies, in order to get North Korea moving down that path of
denuclearization. They are far away from it. And therefore, we
are in a pressure phase. And that is what we have concentrated
a lot of energy on is putting pressure on North Korea so that
it understands it only has one option and that is the peaceful
diplomatic option of denuclearization.
Mr. Collins. And I understand there is some issue and I was
discussing it with my very capable staff this discussion with
Iran and going about that issue, but there seems to be at least
somewhere along the line for North Korea, there is at least
some ways around what has been quote deg.``put in
place for strategic containment and isolation'' for them
because at this point some of that is just not, in fact, if
anything, there has been actual--I won't say regression, but
there has definitely not been a lot of progress shown. They
seem to be happily going about the fact that they are isolated
and would like to get back, but they want to do so on their
So I guess the concern and the good part about--and I
appreciate the chairman having this discussion--is just simply
the fact of working through others which is a good thing,
working with others, but somewhere there is a gap in the
system. Somewhere there seems to be again rogue nations, others
who will have dealings with North Korea and not pursuing these
assets and I think that is where maybe a situation which there
is a much bigger stick along with a carrot that maybe can
influence this and especially with our South Korean partners in
this process as well.
Again, I think it is not an easy situation to answer and I
appreciate your answers. Thank you.
Mr. Davies. Thank you.
Mr. Chabot. Thank you. The gentleman yields back. We will
go to a second round. I think there will just be two of us
here, so we should be wrapped up within 10 minutes and I think
we are going to have votes here shortly. I will begin with
Recently, Japan and North Korea have reengaged on the issue
of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korean agents back in
the '70s and the '80s, an issue that froze relations for the
past number of years. In fact, I met with the Yokota family
whose daughter, Megumi Yokota, was abducted by North Korean
agents back in 1977 at the age of 13 and I have met with them a
number of times over the years, as well as a number of the
other families. It is truly a sad and outrageous story.
Pyongyang agreed to further investigate the fate of
Japanese abductees in exchange for Tokyo's lifting some
sanctions which they apparently agreed to do. And it is a
pretty sad state of affairs when you can leverage kidnapped
citizens for some relief in sanctions. My question is, what do
you think will be the likely outcome of this agreement? What is
North Korea's motivation for reopening the investigations? And
how much advance notice did the administration have before
Japan and North Korea reached their agreement? Do you have any
concerns about these negotiations considering North Korea's
long record of deception and deceit?
Mr. Davies. Well, we stand with Japan in terms of their
desire which we completely understand to try to resolve this
humanitarian catastrophe. I have met with the Yokotas a number
of times myself. I was there with our new Ambassador,
Ambassador Kennedy, when she first met with the Yokotas and the
families of abductees, so we understand why not just the
government, but the people of Japan want this resolved and we
support them in their efforts to do this. The Japanese have
kept us very closely informed as they have taken these steps,
these limited steps, with North Korea. And we have indicated to
Japan and we have said publicly that we are supportive of all
of the efforts that Japan is undertaking as long as they are
undertaken transparently. And obviously, what is very important
for all of us and it is shared concern of the Japanese is that
we have this paramount concern of the North Korean nuclear
missile threat and the Japanese have been very explicit in
indicating to us that they agree with that very much.
We will watch. We are supportive of it. And we will see
where it heads. North Korea is now on the hook. They have got
to conduct this investigation that they promised the Japanese
that they would conduct and so we will be watching very closely
to see what kinds of results the North Koreans come up with and
whether or not it meets the tests that the Japanese are
imposing on them.
Mr. Chabot. Also, Ambassador Davies, in your prepared
statement, you said that China is ``North Korea's last
remaining patron.'' Considering its budding relationship with
Russia and illicit networks with countries in the Middle East,
Iran especially, I wonder if that is completely accurate. And
the recent economic trade deal between Russia and North Korea
comes at a very opportune time for Pyongyang. It provides
Pyongyang with an economic boost that it needs to counter the
sanctions and also to counter balance the Chinese who have been
putting some pressure on them but not nearly enough in the
opinion of many of my colleagues and I. And for Russia, this
deal undermines U.S. efforts to cut off North Korea's financial
and economic well being while enhancing its own web of
influence vis-a-vis the U.S. in, for example, the Ukrainian
crisis. Can you tell us what sort of goods Russia is providing
to North Korea, weapons, or oil, or gas, or food? And how is
the Russian-North Korean relationship being considered as part
of the administration's strategic calculus and efforts to
effectively pressure North Korea since Russia is also trying to
bolster ties with China. Is anything being done to counter this
trilateral cooperation between these nations?
Mr. Davies. Well, Mr. Chairman, actually the Russia-North
Korea relationship is very, very small in terms of trade. And
some of the steps that Moscow announced were basically a
recognition of the existing state of affairs. For instance,
they announced some debt relief for North Korea. I don't think
anybody in Moscow ever expected that they would get that debt
repaid to begin with.
The trade is measured in a few hundreds of millions of
dollars a year. They have been talking about some new projects
that could be of interest, infrastructure projects. These are
longer term undertakings and so far they are still a bit at the
margins. So we stay in touch with the Russians. I go out to
Moscow and try to talk to them about this problem. We have a
shared interest in denuclearization and this is serious on the
part of Russia. Russia is a stakeholder in the nonproliferation
treaty. They don't want North Korea to develop nuclear weapons.
I think they are serious about that. We may have tactical
differences there that we are going to continue to work on. But
right now, I think it is fair to say that the agreement, the
level of agreement that we have on strategic issues with Russia
outweighs some of these deals that they are talking about at
the margins right now.
Mr. Chabot. Thank you very much. My time has expired. The
gentleman from California is recognized.
Mr. Bera. Thank you, Chairman. My staff has given me an
article from The Hill, from yesterday's paper that says North
Korea threatens nuclear strikes on the White House. I am not
going to take that seriously, other than maybe they are
watching some DVDs from Hollywood as well that are getting
smuggled in. But I do take seriously that they continue to try
to develop longer range missile technology and so forth and as
they acquire and develop that technology, they really are a
threat to not only our regional partners and allies, but Guam
and some of our territories all the way to Hawaii that we do
have to take very seriously. And that does create a sense of
urgency in moving things forward.
My colleague from Virginia, Mr. Connolly, kind of
underscored the challenge here. Sanctions with a regime that
does not seem to care about what happens to its people are very
difficult and all indications suggest that the Kim regime is
not taking the interest of the North Korean people at stake
here. So they are the ones that clearly are suffering. But we
have a limited tool box here. So certainly as we ratchet up
those sanctions just thinking through various scenarios,
Chairman Chabot touched on your opening testimony, Ambassador
Davies, where China is North Korea's last remaining patron.
What would happen if China joined us in the sanctions, if we
are just thinking through and really did cut North Korea off?
How would North Korea respond?
Mr. Davies. Well, China has said that they support fully
the United Nations sanctions And I talked about some of the
signs that the Chinese are beginning to take really
unprecedented action in that direction, the signal to North
Korea that they will pay a price if they don't come around in
particular on the nuclear issue.
This is why when we talk to the Chinese, we try to talk
about how we can work in concert to bring pressure to bear on
the North Koreans in a surgical way because we don't want to do
anything to the people of North Korea, but we do want to affect
the interests of the regime when it comes to obtaining these
weapons. And we are going to keep at that because we think
increasingly the core Chinese interests and stability on the
Korean Peninsula and our core interests in security that these
are converging concerns. And we are seeing signs for the first
time in decades that the Chinese also recognize this, that
their stability will be affected unless we can address
proactively North Korea's pursuit of these weapons. And so that
is where we are concentrating our energy and we are saying to
the Chinese there is more you can do. We respect the fact that
you are going to make decisions about how you do it, but we
need to do more. And it is more effective if we can do it
together with our partners.
Mr. Bera. What we need to do this in partnership is we are
increasingly showing North Korea there really is only one path
forward, that is de-escalation, denuclearization and becoming a
more conventional nation.
Shifting to a different scenario, again, North Korea
continues to posture with missiles toward the South Korean
border and so forth. Again, not helpful. What would South
Korea's response be at this juncture? I think South Korean has
shown incredible restraints, given some of North Korea's
provocation in recent years, if in fact, there was a misfire
accidentally or intentionally that were to land in a South
Korean city. Seoul is not that far away and what have the South
Koreans indicated that their response would be at this
Mr. Davies. The South Koreans are increasingly resolved
that should there be a provocation on the part of North Korea,
that they will respond. This is, of course, due to the fact
that in 2010 there were two deadly attacks by North Korea on
South Korea, that resulted in some deaths of South Korean
civilians. So this is what our alliance with South Korea is all
about, ensuring that together we can present this united front
on the peninsula to North Korea and they can understand that
they can't repeat the aggression that they portrayed on the
South in June 1950, that those days are gone and that the best
path forward is, in fact, the vision that has been laid out by
the President of South Korea who has talked about a path
forward involving peaceful unification, people to people,
infrastructure development and so forth and so far Pyongyang,
North Korea, has rejected that.
Mr. Bera. And I would want to make sure that the people in
South Korea know that, as one of our close allies in the
region, we do stand with them in this and the right to defend
Mr. Davies. Absolutely.
Mr. Bera. And to make sure that those listening in North
Korea understand that we stand with the South Koreans.
Mr. Davies. It is job one for us. That is correct.
Mr. Bera. Absolutely.
Mr. Chabot. Thank you very much. The gentleman's time has
expired. That is the end of the questioning this afternoon. We
want to sincerely thank our panel, Ambassador Davies and
Ambassador King for your testimony this afternoon. Members will
have 5 days to revise their statements or submit questions in
writing and if there is no further business to come before the
committee, we are adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 3:20 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
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