North Korea's balance of power
Gordon Chang on missile tests and its relationship with Iran
- Duration 9:48
- Date Apr 4, 2012
Gordon Chang on missile tests and its relationship with Iran
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Hi welcome back to death country -- have a problem in Asia or trying to figure out what's going out in North Korea or China or Adam Hall Pacific region who we get.
Gordon Chang who is the author of two incredibly good books that when he wrote that nobody thought they were all right let's turn -- Gordon Chang is right he's written a book.
Nuclear showdown North Korea takes on the world.
And he's written another -- China the coming collapse of China OK let's go first or North Korea and the nuclear showdown.
We've never gotten word that the north Koreans are going to cast another long range missile or at least they've about it and they've shown one and their parade.
Is that a real -- Think it's -- -- threat.
You know last January then Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that within five years.
North Korea will be able to hit the continental United States with a ballistic missile and it's now four years.
And essentially what we're gonna see is probably a missile with a 4200 mile range maybe a bit more.
-- and that puts the US within.
Target range and then they've got a 6200 mile missile just behind it which they haven't tested yet.
So clearly we have to be concerned because we don't have a missile defense system that can reliably hit a North Korean incoming missile.
Yeah I think this is what stunning people -- realize okay China.
Russia they have nuclear weapons and missiles capable of reaching the United States.
But we're not really worried that the Russians are gonna wake up tomorrow in new New York or the Chinese are gonna wake up tomorrow and decide they're gonna take at San Antonio.
But all of a sudden if the north Koreans have that ability don't have any defense for that.
No we don't and we have a regime which may be able to be deterred but we really don't know.
And so this creates a lot of uncertainty and the worst thing of course is that North Korea is selling its ballistic missiles tour -- with China's help by the way.
And so essentially we've got this unholy triangle where -- facilitates the transfer of ballistic missile technology to Iran.
And China is also helping the Iranians get nuclear weapons technology.
So among these three countries they pose a serious and critical threat to the United States and we're not doing very much about it either.
-- -- -- -- About the new guy all right Kim Jong-un.
This -- in April 15 was when he was supposed to be unveiled an anointed as the successor to his father.
Six his father died prematurely here too soon.
So Kim -- -- -- good start there too right he can candor I'm Tori and I -- others have been in charge for several months.
What's it take out and is he really insurance.
They probably isn't but you know.
What we're gonna see next week -- a series of events in Pyongyang are not exactly.
Is a hundredth anniversary of the birth of campaigns don't sign the founder of north -- real granddad.
And Kim Jong L said that North Korea would be a strong and prosperous nation on his hundredth anniversary so that's why were having a missile launch because it's a demonstration.
Of North Korea's ability to shake the world.
So clearly the north Koreans were planning this a long time including.
Before they signed up the agreement with the United States which was announced on the last day of February that they would not test ballistic missiles so they knew all along -- we're gonna do this this is just Kim Jong -- tactics Kim Jong on the current leader is just using the same playbook is -- -- It's likely to be more aggressive hard to believe that more aggressive that his father was.
To try to show off to the generals.
And that's a possibility but what we've got right now is a military run regime.
The military was very strong during the last days -- Kim Jong -- rule.
At and now they're much stronger because Kim -- -- has not had the time to consolidate his position in the regime.
Which is basically he's got to balance.
He is sort of power bases that are in North Korea there is the security services -- the military the -- family circle.
-- the party and he needs to sort of keep that imbalance while he hasn't had the time to learn how to do that he has had the time.
To put his people and the place to control these various factions.
That's why he's probably a weak leader right now in the military is saying we -- to test the missile so Kim Jong-un is in no position to say no.
And what do you think they're they're ultimately getting two meters North Korea what is -- wanna do with these different weapons as they want to show the world it's.
Important as that water.
Haven't explored -- property which is its nuclear or -- it when they're really wanna have some kind of conflict.
Well you know maybe all of the above.
North -- not a status -- regime get back your first question about we're being really held hostage.
North Korea has not been a status quo regime it is traditionally use violence to upset.
-- -- current status quo so to make it more to his liking and now it's got nuclear weapons and it's got long range missiles.
And so they can upset the status quo in ways which really threaten the core security interest of the United States.
And I you know it's really hard to say what Kim -- wants except of course -- surviving keep his regime going.
But clearly what he's able to do right now is told the United States to ransom.
To me about the your rainy in North Korean relationship.
Moving along the track to get its own nuclear weapons system as you said.
The missile technology.
Our rainy and engineers are on the ground and -- -- when North Korea tests these missiles.
Iran trying to follow this and this footsteps of North Korea saying look North Korea.
Got nuclear weapons everybody said it's the Red Line North Korea got nuclear weapons so -- did a darn thing about it.
What the -- -- around tape from this little -- Really the Iranians -- really looked at the response to the United States to North Korea's.
And they've basically seen for a decade a big Green light because the north Koreans would do something awful and we -- -- -- that's really bad time but we've never did anything to stop the north Koreans we've never given the north Koreans an incentive not to do.
Destabilizing acts like.
Test long range missiles or detonate nuclear weapons or even to kill South Koreans which they did in 2010 with the sinking of the South Korea -- 46 dead the shelling of the South Korean island -- dead two of them civilians.
You know we haven't done anything to stop them and really it's up to us because us fair access its us the United States because -- the only -- and basically able to keep the peace in North Asia and we haven't been doing that.
And it's not just in this administration has been failing but also in the one before -- You know.
The Bush Administration did some really good things and then if for instance its 2005 sanctions which really cut North Korea often the global financial system.
But they'd let him up too early and so North Korea then saw what -- can just push the United States around.
We need to go back to those 2005 sanctions put them into place and also sanctioned Chinese banks that are involved in the sale of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology that the north Koreans sell the Iranians the Chinese banks are in the middle of it we need to sanction those -- Okay well and let's move to China what leverage does the United States however were -- you know for a cents of every dollar.
The American government spends is far out and half of that is far from China.
We have the air we have positioned the -- of the Chinese we want you to do this we want you to do that and itself.
If you don't we're gonna punish human I would let me.
Definitely do we -- all the high cards China has an economy which is now growing only in the low single digits is becoming much more dependent on sales to the US.
Last year -- 190 point 5% of China's overall trade surplus related to sales to US they run deficits with the rest of the world so they can sell stuff to us and we don't use that leverage.
Also our problem is not that they're too few.
In other words we -- say we're gonna map prior stuff we don't know who we're gonna inspect your stuff that imports we're not gonna bias you know we're going to do the same things that you do that we're gonna say things to you that you do to us on trade.
The Chinese would sort of pick up -- know oh my gosh we've got to start playing fair now.
But the other thing of course is that the United States.
Our problem is thought that there too few people don't want to lend this money are problems there too many so the Chinese didn't -- treasury obligations.
It really wouldn't hurt the United States not -- -- would create a little bit of discipline in congress.
To not -- and that -- that fast but the other thing is that China buys treasury obligations because they sell things in the US they have to -- -- to keep their economy going.
So they need -- as much as -- -- -- more much much more we can do without China China -- not do without the United States.
Leadership current crisis in China is there's something going on and we thought it was all supposed to be a smooth transition.
But there's been some incidence in the last month that they would indicate otherwise.
-- every established China watcher you know two months ago said that this transition.
From Hu Jintao to see Jean -- the current current vice president.
Is going to be smooth the Communist Party -- institutionalized itself and then you had a guy named bush -- and solution which is a city in southwestern China.
Essentially invaded another problems with an army.
To surround the US consulate in this it's one capital -- do to prevent one of his former lieutenants from defecting to the United States.
And then we've had -- dead body.
In some shading we know we've had bush you lie being stripped of his post we have this intense infighting and it's gonna get worse before it gets better.
Wow OK you -- come back and talk -- -- about the not only coming collapse of China nuclear showdown with North Korea.
But the Chinese internal politics.
Yeah China's right now is not stable.
It might be able to sort of reinforce itself but right now it is a regime that is in crisis -- -- Gordon Chang thank you very much.
Thank you this --