tv Amanpour on PBS PBS March 13, 2018 6:00am-6:30am PDT
welcome to "amanpour" on pbs. tonight, silence from north korea as the wor waits to find out if kim jg-un will meet with president trump. but is each side prepared for the other's unconventional diplomacies? i'm joined by the former nuclear negotiator on iran, wendy sherman. plus my conversation with the mayor of london sadiq khan on his rocky relationship with president trump, the problem with populism and why he's come to america with a word of warning for big tech. ♪
"amanpour" on pbs was made possible by the generous support of rosalind p. walter. good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. i'm christiane amanpour in new york. still no word from north korea about the potentially historic meeting between kim jong-un and president trump. three days after trump accepted kim's invitation which came through south korean officials. seoul says pyongyang's radio silence probably means it's approaching this matter with caution, but if the summit does happen by the end of may north korea is bound to be looking closely if mr. trump abandons the iran nuclear deal which he calls a disaster as a way to test the water before it jumps into any kind of nuclear talks. i'm speaking with wendy sherman, the lead u.s. negotiator on the iran deal for president obama and the special north korea adviser under the clinton
administration. and she joined me from london. wendy sherman, welcome to the program. >> great to be here. thank you, christiane. >> so from a purely negotiating and negotiator's point of view, with your experience in both north korea and iran on these issues, what are the pros and cons, the possible pitfalls or the opportunities of a presidential meeting even before goerks negotiations are under way? >> it's quite extraordinary in the annals of diplomacy. nonetheless i'm glad that we're getting into talks even if we art off with a meeting and n formal negotiations because talk is certainly better than war and we need to give diplomacy a chance. war should be the last resort, not the first. i think the president has to be extraordinarily well prepared. and i know he likes to shoot from the hip and has tremendous confidence in his ability as does kim jong-un. if there was ever a symmetry
between leaders, it is here, not that president trump is an autocratic dictator in the way that kim jong-un is. he is president of a democracy, but these are two men who believe that their choices, their decisions are the only things that matter. but all of that said, this is a very, very complicated, very difficult negotiation, much more difficult than the iran negotiation because north korea has nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. so this is a very uphill climb. >> which iran didn't. and i will come to the whole iran/north korea symmetry and president trump's disdain of the iran nuclear deal in a moment. but i want to pick up on what you said, that the president has to be very well prepared. a couple of questions on that. there is no ambassador to south korea. the main state department north korea adviser has retired, resigned. there doesn't seem to be the
officialdom, the infrastructure of the key advisers around the president. they have, obviously, gone through their national security review and north korea featured at the top of that. do you think that he will be well enoughrepared by the time he goes io a meeting if it should happen? >> well, it worried me to hear that he wanted to do it as soon as possible and the south koreans and others around him pushed him to at least after the south korean/north korean summit which pushes this to may because you've got to put a team together. whatever comes out of this meeting for good or for ill, someone's going to need to follow up. the president will not be able to do it all. this is a highly technical negotiation. usually before you start these things, you figure out where you nt to go. u might even draft the kind of agreement you would hope you'd get to at the end jus to give you a sense of all of the elements that have to be on the table, all the things you have to think about. it also involves a lot of
preconsultation because it's not just our interests that are at stake. of course, that's what the president is most and should be most concerned about, but we have allies with south korea, with japan. we certainly want china to be in the mix. russia has interests. they want to build a gas pipeline through north korea to the south. so we have to not only have a range of consultations but understand everybody's interests because this negotiation is about denuclearization of the korean peninsula, but is also about the future of asia and northeast asia and who is going to decide what that's going to be. >> should we at this moment be taking any warning signals or be cautious that north korea itself has, as yet, not confirmed that it has offered this presidential meeting? or at least it's not confirmed it publicly. >> yes, i think that is of concern. i think we certainly need to be wary. i don't know whether the message that the south koreans conveyed was in writing. i believe that it was.
which certainly helps, but we would want to hear from north korea, and i would hope that there would be a direct channel between north korea and the united states as the logistics and the substance and the agenda of this meeting is put together. i appreciate our south korean colleagues' work in this regard. it's critical that we be shoulder to shoulder with south korea. but we need a direct line of communication as well. >> now, you said the endgame must be denuclearization, but i put it to you that, first and foremost, the north koreans, as you mentioned, are way ahead of iran, which doesn't have nuclear weapons. north korea has anywhere, according to the community of 20 to 60 warheads as we've seen it perfecting its delivery mechanism, the ballistic missile technology. is north korea really going to be denuclearize? and i want to play for you these two portions of interviews that i've done with experts on this precise question. >> what's going to have to happen is we're going to have to learn to live with this just as
we learn to live with china having nuclear weapons that can target the united states and the soviet union before that. that is a very unusual thing. you know, we haven't gone through this in decades. so it's a very jolting and bracing thing particularly in washington, d.c., for people to come to grips with. >> let me give you what i think is a truth. a very, very sad truth. the truth nonetheless. it is my judgment that it will be more dangerous to prevent north korea from getting to that state than it would be for us to try to cope with a north korea in that state. >> so wendy sherman, you heard what these experts are saying. what is the best that the united states can expect, total denuclearization, really? >> well, i certainly think denuclearization should stay as the objective because we don't want to encourage other countries to take the nuclear weapons th. that said, certaly stabilizing
the situation, making sure it doesn't go further, containment of this situation, having an open channel to manage what's going on, hopefully getting the iaea, the international atomic energy agency back into north korea. all of these things are steps along the way. and i agree with your experts to the extent that full denuclearization is certainly a long ways off, but we need to get going because ultimately we all hope there's a world without nuclear weapons including ours and russia's. >> i want to ask you about what you might think lies behind the north korean objective or its move, its reach out right now? you've been there. you've been special adviser on north korea. you've been with madeleine albright as secretary of state in that last time, you know, just before the clinton administration ended, to try to push forward these deals that would make the whole peninsula, the united states and everyone safer. what is it like negotiating with
them. what do they really want? what is their mind-set in we ask because we don't really know what goes on inside the hermit kingdom. >> it's hard to fathom from time to time. but i do believe that kim jong-un is a rational actor within his paradigm. i do believe that he's not in any rush to denuclearize even though he may say, okay, we can talk about that. but let's see how we go from here to there. i think his objectives are several. one, he is in the driver's seat at the moment. he has been able to get the president of the united states, the most powerful leader in the world to sit in the same room with him as if he's an equal. so he's already achieved a major objective from his perspective. he ultimately wants to reunify the koreas but under north korean leadership which is certainly not something the united states is going to agree to. i certainly hope not. and he wants to hold on to his nuclear weapons because he does not trust the united states. he doesn't believe there's any guarantee for his security and
his regime's security. and he's well aware that there are many people in the united states that are pushing for regime change and there are even hints that the president may bring out -- in an outside envoy and one who believes in regime change. >> who might that be? it sms that you know who that might be. well, i think the word that has been reported in the press is there's some consideration of having john bolton come in as that envoy. i think that would be quite an unusual and quite a difficult circumstance. >> well, many people of your ilk, people who sat down and had these negotiations may be equally worried. i wonder if you can spepeak the to the worry about, in your community around europe and elsewhere, the president trump's disdain and also john bolton's da disdain for the iran nuclear deal. i've been talking to many leaders whether emmanuel macron of france not to mention other
leaders, if the president pulls out and discards the iran nuclear deal, there is absolutely no way north korea would have any incentive to enter negotiations or to believe a deal that was ever offered and done by the united states. >> well, i agree with that assessment. however, having a bit of appreciation for how president trump operates, having watched him over the election in this last year, i think he may believe if he says to north korea i pull out of this deal because i'm going to negotiate the kind of deal we really need, he mi indeed do that. it would be disastrous and it would make no sense for him because he would have two nuclear crises at the same time. it's difficult enough to manage one, very difficult to manage two. >> ocmany of the pundits on television have questioned president trump's bluster to north korea. all the words being hurled around on twitter in speeches
and at the podium as well and likewise jim congress unkim jon responses, all blustery and very scary, frankly. but do you think that this tone has actually led to where we are right now, this potential diplomatic opening? and do you think that president trump backing the south koreans sort of, you know, winter olympic diplomacy, their desire pursue diplomacy has helped? >> i thi there'so doubt that the pressure campaign which was begun under president obama and has continued and accelerated under the trump administration particularly at the united nations has helped. i think our military posturing to a point has helped. i'm not sure about the rhetoric on all sides as being helpful. but all of this shoul be in service of diplomacy. you always need a credible threat of force in service of diplomacy. a pressure campaign is
important, but none of that matters if you end up as the only option being war because you haven't really given diplomacy a chance. i hope that the president can put together the team that's necessary. i hope he puts in the persistent effort that will be needed here. he's going to have to have patience which isn't his strong suit because this is going to take a lot of time. as i said, it's highly technical. the iran agreement was 154 pages long, the most extensive verification and monitoring system ever put in place in such a situation. and that's where we knew where the enrichment was going on the plutonium production was going on. we don't know where everything is in north korea. the iaea has not been inside of north korea for some time. so this is a very daunting undertaking. >> and there's another crucial aspect to this. and that is that in certain quarters in the united states including with the they appear to believehat negotiations and compromise is a
sign of weakness, that it has to be all. it has to be a zero sum game. that the united states has to come out with all the chips. what is the reality? and are people in the u.s., important people who have to sign off and agreed to these negotiations, going to be, you know, acclimatized to the fact that it's a give and take situation? >> well, this is, i think, the greatest risk here, christiane, which is that the president and his team give this an effort but because they don't get every single thing that they want, that they say is hopeless and really create the prerequisite for war, the pretense of war, and that, i think, is the most dangerous road that we are on. it is not that we should not achieve the objectives that will protect our national security and the national security of our allies and partners. we absolutelshould. and that should be the common ground on which we all work, but
between that and an agreement, there are lots of choices that are going to have to be made. and if the president feels that they all have to go the way the united states wants them to go, we probably won't get to an nd ourselves at war.obably will >> it's terrifying. >> it is terrifying. >> wendy sherman, let us hope that this leads in the right direction. thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you, christiane. >> so invaluable insight on the way to this summit between the two presidents should it happen. now, one of president trump's most frequent targets isn't here in america but thousands of miles away in london where he's the mayor. sadiq khan became the first muslim mayor of a western capital in 2016, and it was a rare break from the politics of fear in that year when britain voted to leave the european union and america elected trump as president. khan is now in america pushing his progressive vision while at
the same time donald trump's erstwhile svengali steve bannon is dhalging europe to champion right wing nativism. i caught up with khan in austin, texas, where he told the techie south by southwest conference that technology is fueling division and they've failed to stop it. mayor khan, welcome to the program from austin. >> good to be with you. >> so you're there at this very innovative tech conference. and your speech is taking o the tech giants in no uncertain ll me what you mean precisely and what you're calling for. >> the point i'm making to people here in austin is actually, you know what? social media, the tech revolution has been a source of massive benefits. we've been keeping touch with our loved ones. we can access that information. we can make new friends. and it's wonderful. but actually, i think politicians and policymakers have taken their eye off the ball when it comes to making
sure our regulation evolves with the tech revolution. the point i make today is, you know, if they don't act responsibly and take action, then don't be surprised if there's pressure put on politicians to regulate like germany has done. >> so let me ask you then, if you have obviously supported the transport for london campaign against uber in your city. and you are a mayor who believes in pragmatic action rather than ideological warfare. how do you thread the needle between trying to restrict and ban certain aspects of a tech giant like uber and actually being, as you declare yourself, the home for tech innovation and all the rest of it for london? >> well, you raise a very important point. i'm going to challenge the premise in your question. it's not a question of wants to ban uber for the sake of banning un uber. it's saying there are rules for operating in dlon. the fact that you have an app to
provide the service doesn't mean you can avoid the regulations. the rules are there for everyone to abide by. and the good news is the newish global ceo of uber recognizes this unlike his predecessor who wants to play by the rules of the game and engage with transport for london. so that shows an example of, you know, regulation when it's enforced properly leading to not a race to the bottom, a race to security and safety and concerns, but actually standards being improved. i think cities and mayors are uniquely placed to take advantage of the tech revolution, making sure that we design systems that can complement the tech revolution with consumers and citizens. in london we have a program called skills for londoners twinned with a digital tech program to skin up londoners to get jobs created by the tech sector. that's why i want london to be a
byword for smart cities. >> i'm talking to you from the united states where cities, mayors and even states and governors are trying to enact policies that perhaps doesn't get looked at or doesn't get enacted on a federal level. but i want to ask you because yo profile has now been raised to a global level iart due to the constant twitter warfare between yourself and the president of the united states, donald trump. how do you deal with that? and at the same time, how do you deal with the lift it's given you to, you know, put forth your politics and your policies on a global stage? >> i'm a reluctant participate in this twitter 50 metaphorically speaking with the great president of the united states of america. look, i'm not going to apologize for standing up to the values that londoners have had. we're the most diverse city in the world. more than 300 languages spoken in my city. i think diversity is a strength. but i say this. the context is that we in
london, we in my country, we love america, we love meamerica. we love your films, your music, your culture, your fashion, dare i say it, cnn, but one of the advantages of having a best friend is not simply to stand shoulder to shoulder in times of adversity and to be an ally, but when your best friend, who is very different from an acquaintance or a friend you hardly ever see, when there are things you disagree with, you have to call them out. i would apologize for calling out things that our best friend says or tweets. >> well, your best friend, the president of the united states, his now departed chief adviser, steve bannon, is in europe right now taking this very nativist, nationalist populist message around to france and italy and elsewhere. this is what he said. i'm going to play you a little bit of what he said this weekend
talking at a le pen rally in france. >> let him call you xenophobes. let them call you nativists. wear it as a badge of honor. >> wear it as a badge of honor, mr. mayor. what do you say to that? >> the idea of dividing communities, the idea that protectionism, the idea that seeking to droive a wedge betwen nation states in europe is the long-term solution is ridiculous. what we've got to be careful of is people like this man seeking to divide communities in europe like he's clearly done in parts of america as well. those of us who are progressives, those of us who are proud social democrats have to think carefully about addressing the fears people have. one of the roles that i think politicians have failed to do in the recent past and i say it in an unpatronizing way is to be teachers, to be educated, to
explain the complex challenges we face and realize that we have to be calm, cool and collected. there are gimmicks to the real challenges people face in france. we saw a couple of weeks ago in my country and in the usa, dare i say it. >> and i just wonder how you explain, for instance, your own victories amid a very ugly campaign in britain when you were running for mayor where your conservative opponents sort of insinuated that you backed extremists and was trying to sort of divide and conquer there. and we also saw in france le pen tried to say the same thing about emmanuel macron but he won with a centrist or globalist agenda. what is your advice to fighting political battles from the center? >> the campaign that i fought in 2016 is one where we were optimistic, positive and honest with the electorate. i'd rather underpromise and overdeliver. but also unapologetic and proud of who i am. i am a muslim.
i'm of asian origin. i'm a londoner, british, european, a husband, a father. that's who i am. we're positive in our campaign but also explaining. the housing crisis is a marathon not a sprint. it's a result of specific governments letting down -- it's not the fault of immigrants, to have homes in london to make sure we've got a decent public transport system and invest in public transport. i say this in a respectful way to people who vote in countries all around the world. analyze, examine, look at carefully what you're being sold by your salesmen and saleswomen for that particular party. be careful of quick fixes. if it's too good to be true, then it's not true. >> i wonder if you can comment on some of the promises made by the brexiteers. you obviously voted to remain
part of the eu. they told british people they'd be heading for the sunlit uplands. in the meantime, we see the united states potentially slapping steel tariffs on the eu and on britain. we see already word that air routes for airlines, britain will be put to the back of the queue for favorable airline routes. what do you have to say to that? analysts of a major bank, ubs, talking about moving several hundred employees out. >> to do a good deal with these big nation states is made very, are very hard. because why would they bend over backwards to have deals with us? we're a member of a club, the european union. our ability to do a deal is strengthened. my worrys this, the british voters, who voted to leave the european union, the phrase we use is sold a pup. they've been made promises that simply can't be met. the promises made by the brexit
campaigners was once the vote was taken, we would benefit from £350 million each week. if you were made that offer, you'd be a fool to turn it down. lo and behold we vot to leave e european union. this is what turns people to being cynical and saying all politicians are i'm going to give up on politicians and that's why you showed a clip of mr. bannon in france and italy which sees the election results in italy in the last two weeks. when it is the case that it doesn't arrive in italy in the next few weeks and the few people who voted the way we did will say, we voted the way we did, what's left? that's why we have a responsibility as democrats to explain to people, to educate people about some of the challengs we have, the opportunities around the corner and how we can surf that wave.
that's why in austin it's not all doom and gloom with the tech revolution or with social media. there's opportunities there as well if we embrace them. >> indeed. challenges and opportunities ahead. mayor sadiq khan of london. thank you for joining us from austin. two important issues for america and the world in our focus tonight. and that is it for our program. thanks for watching "amanpour" on pbs and join us again tomorrow night. "amanpour" on pbs was made possible by the generous support of rosalind p. walter.