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– Hans Blix,
former IAEA Director-General

The 2017 Arms Control Association Annual Meeting
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Arms Control and Nonproliferation Restraints at Risk

Friday, June 2, 2017
9:00am to 3:00 pm
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Root Room
1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.

Program and Speakers

9:00 a.m.

Welcome

Daryl G. Kimball
Executive Director, Arms Control Association

Presentation of the 2016 "Arms Control Person of the Year" Award

John Burroughs, accepting on behalf of Dr. Tony de Brum and the Republic of the Marshall Islands

9:30 a.m.

Panel 1

The NPT and the Ban Treaty Talks: A Status Report

Thomas Countryman, former Acting Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security; former Assisting Secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation

Ambassador Jan Kickert, Austrian Ambassador to the United Nations

Moderator: Susan Burk, head of U.S. delegation to the 2010 NPT Review Conference, and incoming member of the Arms Control Association Board of Directors

10:45 a.m.

Panel 2

Curbing the North Korean Nuclear and Missile Threat 

Michael Elleman, Senior Fellow for Missile Defence, International Institute for Strategic Studies

Suzanne DiMaggio, Director, the U.S.-Iran Initiative; Senior Fellow, New America

Moderator: Kelsey Davenport, Director for Nonproliferation Policy, Arms Control Association

11:45 a.m.

 

(Luncheon Buffet)

12:15 p.m.

Luncheon Keynote

Christopher Ford
Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Counterproliferation, United States National Security Council

1:15 p.m.

Panel 3

Reducing Nuclear and Security Risks with Russia 

Ulrich K¸hn, Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; and Fellow, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH)

Anya Loukianova, Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow, RAND Corporation

Moderator: Kingston Reif, Director for Disarmament and Threat Reduction Policy, Arms Control Association

2:15 p.m.

Afternoon Keynote

Izumi Nakamitsu
United Nations Undersecretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs at the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs

 3:00 p.m.

Closing

Daryl G. Kimball
Executive Director, Arms Control Association


We would like to thank the following individuals and organizations for their support towards this year's annual meeting and reception: Pierce Corden, Deborah Fikes, Deborah Gordon, Jan Lodal, Andrew Weber, Anonymous (2), the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Women's Action for New Directions, and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy.


If you have any questions about the meeting, your registration, table or event sponsorships, or complimentary registration for congressional staff and media, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] or 202-463-8270 ext. 105. 


TRANSCRIPTS:

Introduction and Panel #1

KIMBALL: All right, good morning ladies and gentlemen. Good morning and welcome to the 2017 Arms Control Association annual meeting.

I'm Daryl Kimball, I'm the executive director of the Arms Control Association. And as most of you know, we're an independent, non-partisan membership organization. We were established in 1971 and we're dedicated to reducing and eliminating the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons which would, of course, be nuclear, chemical, biological weapons as well as certain conventional weapons that pose particular harm and risk to civilians.

You can find out more about the Arms Control Association, its history, its ongoing work, and get more information and analysis about these issues through our website: armscontrol.org. And you can follow us on Twitter at @ArmsControlNow.

The latest issue of our journal -- Arms Control Today -- just went online so you can check that out there. And you can also check out our resources on our Arms Control app, which is simply Arms Control on all of the app stores.

We're very pleased to see so many of you here today; members, friends, colleagues from the diplomatic community, journalists, and we welcome those of you who are with us watching in on CSPAN. And for those of you following on social media, the Twitter handle for today's event to be part of the conversation is #armscontrol17.

So the theme of this year's Arms Control Association Annual Meeting is Arms Control and Nonproliferation Restraints at Risk. And they are; we're facing serious and in some ways unprecedented challenges this year in the ongoing task to reduce the nuclear danger.

The bedrock of all nonproliferation efforts -- the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty -- faces serious implementation challenges. We have key commitments and nonproliferation obligations that are unfulfilled and that's led many of the world's non-nuclear weapon states to begin negotiations on a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons. And we'll talk more about that later today.

With the deterioration of U.S.-Russian relations, key arms control treaties, including the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, are at risk as well as the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty. And worse still all of the world's major nuclear arms states are either replacing, upgrading, or in some cases expanding their nuclear arsenals.

And last, but not least, unless we can work with our allies to engage North Korea in talks to halt and reverse its nuclear missile pursuits, its capabilities will become more dangerous in the years ahead.

So how the United States will respond to these challenges and whether the United States continues to provide global leadership is not entirely clear. And that's part of what we're going to be talking about today.

President Trump has made statements that concern key allies. He's made statements about expanding U.S. nuclear capabilities. He's been highly critical of some agreements like the New START Treaty and the Iran nuclear deal. We have a great lineup of speakers and experts and panelists to address these issues.

We're especially happy to have later this -- today senior White House adviser, Christopher Ford, during the lunch hour and the new U.N. High Representative for Disarmament Izumi Nakamitsu, who's going to be closing out the conference with perspectives from the international community and the United Nations.

But before we move to the first part of our program, I just want to give a brief bit of thanks and a shout out to some of our individual members and contributors who made today's event possible. Some of their names are on the tables here at the Carnegie Endowment for National Peace.

And that's important because we're a small organization. We try to have a big impact, but it means that your donations make a huge difference. And in response to these challenges, we are really gratified that our members have responded over the last few months. We're seeing an uptick in contributions at this very important time.

So we're very happy to have several organizations and individuals help with contributions for this conference including our colleague organization, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, which is committed to a world free of nuclear weapons; our partners at Women's Action for New Directions ñ WAND - which empowers women to be agents of change in support of disarmament and peace; and our individual sponsors for today's event; Pierce Corden, Deborah Fikes, Deborah Gordon, Jan Lodal, Andrew Weber, and two members of the Arms Control Association who wish to remain anonymous.

So thanks to you all and thanks to everyone who is here. We cannot do it without you.

And we also cannot make progress on these issues without leaders in arms control. And that's why 10 years ago we launched the Arms Control Person Of The Year award.

We felt it was important to recognize the important work of key individuals who, in various ways, in different parts of the world, have catalyzed awareness and action to deal with these weapons-related challenges. And so each year the staff and the Board of Directors nominate several individuals, about 10 to a dozen, who we think have provided notable leadership in the previous year. And then we put it all to an online vote and the top vote-getter becomes the Arms Control Person of the Year.

So it's an imperfect process perhaps, but so far our elections have been free of any cyber hacking and we think it's a free and fair process that is democratic as it can be.

And the Republic of the Marshall Islands and former foreign minister of the Marshall Islands, Tony de Brum, garnered the highest number of votes for 2016 and they are our Arms Control Persons of the Year. Over 1,850 people from 63 countries participated in the voting this year back in December and that's a record for this contest.

Our winners were nominated and are being recognized for pursuing a former legal case in the International Court of Justice against the world's nuclear arms states for failing to meet their obligations to initiate nuclear disarmament negotiations.

And it's also important to remember the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the people there were subjected to 67 U.S. atmospheric nuclear test explosions from 1946 to 1958.

Now unfortunately, Tony de Brum, who had accepted our invitation to come here, to fly all the way from his home in the South Pacific, is unable to be with us due to health difficulties. And the Republic of the Marshall Islands ambassador is out of Washington today on official business.

So we've asked John Burroughs, who's the executive director of the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, who is a member of the legal team that brought the suit to the International Court of Justice, to say a few words about Tony and the significance of the case in the larger scheme of things.

So John, thanks for being with us to explain the importance of this.

(APPLAUSE)

BURROUGHS: Thank you, Daryl.

In bringing the nuclear disarmament cases before the International Court of Justice, the Marshall Islands and its then, foreign minister, Tony de Brum, showed courage and determination rooted in tragic experience. They also showed good faith in seeking law-guided solutions.

Tony and the Marshall Islands have shown similar courage and determination in confronting climate change. Tony played a catalytic role at the negotiations that yielded the Paris Climate Agreement in December 2015. He helped to bring together a large coalition of nations, the High Ambition Coalition, that strengthened the agreement and perhaps even made it possible.

So in light of developments yesterday, I think I should quote a couple of things that the Marshall Islands and the High Ambition Coalition has said. President Hilda Heine said yesterday, that President Trump's intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, she said this, "While today's decision will have great impacts, we must not give up hope."

The High Ambition Coalition, convened by Marshall Islands, also released a statement, "For people around the world most vulnerable to climate change, the Paris Agreement represents the best hope for survival."

The Arms Control Persons of the Year Award, of course, was about arms control and so let me return to that. We were, of course, very disappointed that last fall, by the narrowest of margins, the International Court of Justice decided to not adjudicate the nuclear disarmament cases on their merits.

However, simply bringing the cases raised to world attention the failure of the nuclear powers to fulfill the obligation to negotiate and reach a global elimination of nuclear weapons. That was what the court said in its 1996 advisory opinion unanimously -- that's what the court said the obligation is.

For those of you who like to dig into things, the Marshall Islands pleadings are also a rich resource for the development of political and legal arguments for disarmament. In the U.K. -- a memorial in the U.K. case, the international legal team argued the merits because that's just the way that the case unfolded.

So as Daryl mentioned, from 1946 to 1958, the U.S. conducted 67 atmospheric nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands at the atolls Bikini and Enewetak. They included the first hydrogen bomb test, Mike, in 1952; and the infamous Bravo test in March, 1954: 15 megatons, 1,000 times the size of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki bombs.

Tony de Brum was a 9-year old boy fishing in a canoe with his grandfather when he witnessed the Bravo test 200 miles away. "The sky turned blood red", he told the International Court of Justice in March 2016.

However, the Marshall Islands cases before the International Court of Justice were not about compensation for the effects of testing. When the cases were filed in April 2014, Tony said, "Our people have suffered the catastrophic and irreparable damage of these weapons and we vow to fight so that no one else on Earth will ever again experience these atrocities."

Tony also said in accepting the 2015 Right Livelihood Award, "I have seen with my very own eyes nuclear devastation and know, with conviction, that nuclear weapons must never again be visited upon humanity. This is not just an issue of treaty commitments or international law, though it is that. And not just an issue of ethics or morality, though it is that, too. But this is an issue of common sense. How could any one common person walking down the street ever permit a possession or use of such weapons?"

So I think that the Marshall Islands and Tony de Brum richly deserve this award and I thank Daryl and the Arms Control Association very much for arranging it.

(APPLAUSE)

KIMBALL: And it's an actual award. I want to ask you, John, to help us get this to the Marshall Islands to Tony and to the RMI. Thanks a lot.

All right and thank you, John, for helping to explain and to remind us about the humanitarian impacts of the work that we're discussing here today and the interconnectedness of these issues for all of the Earth's inhabitants.

PANEL 1:

Now it's time to turn to the first panel of the day, which is the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the Nuclear Weapon Ban Talks; A Status Report. And I'd like to ask our three panelists to come up to the podium. We're going to make a quick transition here. They're already mic-ed up.

As they come up to the stage, let me note that our moderator is Ambassador Susan Burk. Susan, along with panelist Tom Countryman were just selected to join the Arms Control Association Board of Directors. And Susan, among other career accomplishments, was the head of the U.S. Delegation to the successful 2010 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference.

So with that, Susan, the floor is yours and we're going to begin. Thank you.

BURK: Great. Thank you. Good morning.

Our first panel today is going to tackle the challenges facing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty as it approaches its 50th anniversary of the entry into force. That will be in 2020, the Review Conference. And in particular, the panel's going to address the effort currently underway, under U.N. auspices, to draft a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons leading towards their total elimination.

Now challenges to the NPT are not new and pursuit of measures to strengthen its implementation is ongoing.

The negotiations on a ban treaty are the result of growing international frustration over the pace of progress on nuclear disarmament pursuant to Article VI of the NPT. And this frustration has fueled deepening concern about the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons use among many nations and civil society.

Now supporters of the ban treaty believe that it will fill a legal gap in the NPT and give a boost to disarmament in a way that compliments the NPT, not competes with the NPT. Another group of states, including the NPT nuclear weapon states, are insisting that their step-by-step or progressive approach to nuclear disarmament has been and remains a proven way to reduce existing arsenals.

Now this morning, we will hear from two experienced diplomats and experts on the subject. There is a brief biography of each gentleman in your program so I will be even briefer in introducing them.

Tom Countryman, who's a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, achieving the rank of minister-counselor and he served as the acting undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security and simultaneously as the assistant secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, where I had the honor of working for him for about a year.

Ambassador Jan Kickert is Austria's permanent representative to the United Nations in New York. He was the director general for Political Affairs in the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has also served in a number of other government positions. His government, as many of you know, has been among the leaders in the humanitarian consequences movement.

Now we will start with Ambassador Kickert, who is prepared to address the goals, value, and the possible shape of a new prohibition or ban treaty. And then we'll have Mr. Countryman focus his comments on the convention, on what the convention needs to contain, what its sponsors need to do to make progress towards its goals, and hopefully to address the intersection of the ban and the NPT.

So after about 15 minutes of remarks by each, we'll open the floor to your questions. And so without further ado, I will start off with Ambassador Kickert.

KICKERT: Thank you very much and I don't think I will need the 15 minutes...

BURK: OK~.

KICKERT: ... for introduction. But rather save time for Q&A. And at the outset I also have to say I am not a disarmament specialist. I am a diplomat for decades and I happen to deal also with disarmament, but I'm not a specialist. I'm not the Austrian chief negotiator for the treaty which is going to be negotiating starting the 15th of June at the United Nations with the view of hopefully concluding such a treaty by the end of the three week span at the beginning of July.

I just wanted to explain a little bit to you how did we come here. You said the traditional role of Austria in disarmament, it's not only with nuclear disarmament. You would have always found Austria at the core group, the vanguard of any initiative be it mines be it ammunitions because we believe that a world with less weapons -- especially deadly weapons -- is a safer one and not vice versa. So this is our general approach to it. And being here, I want to give you a little bit of perspective of those countries who are behind the prohibition.

I have the feeling that the United States discuss among themselves, maybe also with other nuclear weapon states, but don't hear so much what -- what you mentioned, the frustration of all those , the bulk of the parties at the Nonproliferation Treaty. Because it has really built up this frustration. If I want to give a very, very sharp insight of being cheated.

The NPT set out a set of commitments and non-nuclear weapon states, they are sticking to that commitment of not acquiring a nuclear weapon. But on the other hand, some of the other states do not stick to that commitment.

So the whole -- the result of this treaty is out of this frustration and a feeling that there needs to be some added element so that we will fulfill the NPT in its entirety.

So how did we come to today? It all started out with the humanitarian initiative that's based on a speech of then the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross Jakob Kellenberger in February of 2010. And this was taken also to the Revcon in 2010 and there was also a mention then of the inherent consequences. And built on that we have three conferences in (inaudible), in Mexico and Vienna to just go in-depth and ask experts about the humanitarian consequences of the nuclear weapons.

And actually this was an extremely sobering experience. I was there in Vienna and to be honest, I was shocked to learn that the dangers of nuclear weapons are so much graver than we, than I was aware of and I think we all are aware of. And that somehow this was shoved under the carpet that the huge danger nuclear weapons pose to each and everyone on this planet. Be it in the nuclear weapon states, be it those who just happen to be near those, like Austria.

And the thing with Austria, we are situated not so far away from North Italy. I should (inaudible) anything (inaudible) of the air base there where the (inaudible). If anything happens, we will -- we will feel the consequences of -- like the North Italians as much as them.

And so it is a bit of some shocking details. And one of them I like to cite because -- because of the huge potential impact of nuclear weapons, some (inaudible) are saying that the likelihood or that the danger for our children to die from a nuclear incident is actually higher than from a car accident. Because if something happens, it will be so devastating that the numbers are -- are so huge that those who -- who die from car accidents -- the danger is smaller.

So -- and then everything about the annihilation of humankind. And that we're just damned lucky that nothing has happened until today, accident, the human error and we can never (inaudible). That nothing has ever happened. It is a wonder and we're playing Russian Roulette here and why do we want to continue that?

So this was the motivation why we pushed. And this was not by coincidence, before the 2015 NPT Revcon, which, unfortunately, yielded no results.

There is no -- from our point of view, from the non-nuclear weapon states -- no willingness of the (inaudible) from the nuclear weapon states to disarm, to fulfill their obligation under Article VI of the NPT~. And yesterday, the nuclear weapon states, you have to disarm. But then one can turn also the others around as Article VI say -- working for nuclear disarmament -- that is also an obligation for non-nuclear weapon states to help fulfill Article VI and therefore the motivation for this prohibition treaty, which has the overwhelming support of the international community.

The General Assembly Resolution was supported by two-thirds of the member states who were against this process are the nuclear weapon states, the umbrella states and those countries' informal alliances with the nuclear weapon states.

And we were actually astonished also to see the -- the (inaudible) of -- of -- of working against, lobbying against our prohibition treaty which we believe, as you said in the beginning, a compliment to the NPT.

For us, the Nonproliferation Treaty is and stays the cornerstone of nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation. But add the word "cornerstone" (inaudible) this is not the whole building. And we have had other instruments to compliment the NPT -- the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty is an example for that.

We also see how important is to have more -- more and more weapons (inaudible) have nuclear weapons (inaudible). And maybe one day we will have a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty. These are all complementary to the goal. We have all committed ourselves, namely getting rid of all nuclear weapons. And I'd like to remind everybody also that the first General Assembly Resolution after the foundation of the United Nations was exactly on the issue of getting rid of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.

And we believe, the proponents of the Prohibition Treaty, that it is a good instrument to go ahead, to create a legal norm prohibiting it as we have done with the biological or chemical weapons. And the argument that we always hear is that it cannot be universal and they fail that (inaudible). Then yeah, well, the biological and chemical prohibition treaties were also not universal at the beginning. Even at NPT was not universal and (inaudible) today and so we believe that our endeavor could add a very important element to our common goal of ridding the planet of nuclear weapons.

BURK: All right. Thank you very much.

COUNTRYMAN: OK~. Microphone good?

Well, thanks, Susan, Ambassador Kickert. It's an honor to be here with you and it's especially an honor to be with the Arms Control Association for the annual meeting.

Among the many public issues that the American people have to be ready to discuss and to raise their own consciousness, arms control threats of nuclear, biological, chemical weapons have to be near the top. So it's important for all of us in this room to go beyond and to do further public outreach on these issues.

Now as I started jotting down ideas a couple weeks ago, they were fairly inchoate and then I read a couple of days ago an article by George Perkovich about the draft convention to prohibit nuclear weapons. And if you have 15 minutes, it is probably better spent reading George's article on the subject than listening to me. But you're already seated and I'm already seated so we'll plow right ahead.

(LAUGHTER)

Just a few words first about the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty which, as Ambassador Kickert said, is the cornerstone of the global nonproliferation regime.

There is widespread, as he said, frustration and disappointment that the goals of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty have not been achieved. And that frustration merits analysis. It merits discourse. It merits even pressure upon the nuclear weapon states to move faster to realize the commitments that they've made in Article VI.

What is not sensible is to doubt the treaty itself. What makes no sense is to say that the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty is the problem. That's absolutely aiming at the wrong target.

And I think that the current review process for the NPT -- the treaty -- is always at risk of being confused with the treaty itself. There is no question that the five year review cycle is a matter of great frustration to diplomats who's professional specialization is disarmament and nonproliferation. It is very difficult to get 180-some countries to come to consensus on a final document.

And that frustrates those who see that there ought to be progress. That there ought to be better reports on commitments made by both nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states on the progress that they've made.

But a couple of quick points about the Nonproliferation Treaty process. An unhealthy process, an overly complex, overly ambitious and overly contentious review process is one thing.

It does not mean that the treaty itself is failing or even that it is sick. The treaty continues to be, in my view, the single treaty that in the history of the world has done more to contribute to the security of every nation in the world by greatly restricting what could have been an unbounded nuclear arms race.

And even those countries that are frustrated continue to benefit from the essential agreement at the core of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. No other treaty has done as much for the security of non-nuclear weapon states as well as nuclear weapon states.

So this leads to just one point of connection between the NPT and the convention that is currently under discussion in New York, and that is the single strongest recommendation I have for those who are drafting the treaty, is to make explicit that membership and adherence to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty is a precondition for adherence to the convention on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.

There is no inconsistency at all between the goals and what is likely to be the final language of the convention on prohibition of nuclear weapons.

I have heard the concerns by some about what they would call "forum shopping." That is that there may be countries that for political reasons are tempted to embrace the convention -- the new convention -- but then to withdraw from the NPT. It doesn't sound very logical and yet I've done enough in the nonproliferation field to know that logic does not always win over politics. And it is possible to envision a situation in which for political, tactical reasons a country like Iran or Egypt could make that choice.

Why create an issue? Why create a circumstance in which the nuclear weapon states you are trying to convince have an argument about inconsistency between the most important treaty we have now and this new convention? Just avoid the argument by including a specific recommendation. A specific requirement for NPT membership in the CPNW. And don't hide behind frustration that we're not happy with how that treaty has been implemented.

And just one very small point, Ambassador, believe me, the frustration expressed by Austria and other leaders of this effort has been heard in Washington. Whether it's being heard today, I'm less qualified to judge.

All right, let me talk a little bit about the process so far. First I want to express my great respect for what's been accomplished so far in the draft of the convention. It's at the upper end of what I thought achievable in the first session of the negotiation.

And I think it is in the direction of what Ambassador Kickert said is the task. What can non-nuclear weapon states do to help to fulfill Article VI of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty? The requirement freely accepted by the U.S. and all the other nuclear powers to work towards nuclear disarmament?

It is a contribution in that regard. What is crucial and what I'll talk about more is what can be done in the next negotiating session within the text and in the statements that states make outside of the negotiation that actually moves us closer, makes a contribution to the very long-term undertaking of achieving its purpose.

So here -- as you draft -- I've been in enough of these things to know that a draft, especially if it is going to take the form of a treaty, is going to have some incoherence because it represents compromises among different states or groups of states.

I hope that the drafters seek to avoid that incoherence by focusing on what is the ultimate goal. And the ultimate goal is to persuade nuclear weapon states that they can go to complete nuclear disarmament without damaging their own security.

Much of the argument on the margins of the convention negotiation is not about security, it is rather about political pressure -- which matters -- about morality, about establishing norms. All of those are important -- none of those are going to win the argument. The argument will be about security.

So just a few free points of advice, you don't have to pay for them, honest. First, during the negotiation and afterwards, stay on the high road. Staying on the high road does not mean assuming an air of moral superiority. It does not mean giving lectures to nuclear weapon states. It does not mean taking a disdainful attitude or accusing them of bad faith, even if that's what you believe.

And I'm very conscious of the need to avoid giving lectures even at a time when we have a president who likes to lecture our closest allies. But don't reciprocate that urge to be hectoring and lecturing.

Rather, take seriously the real security dilemmas that both nuclear weapon states and those states that you referred to as umbrella states, I prefer the term those who enjoy extended deterrence, take seriously their security issues.

Second, pick carefully the targets that you want to persuade. And by that I mean above all, don't delay, don't avoid choosing the hard targets. Again, as George Perkovich points out in his article, it's natural with a movement that depends largely upon civil society, upon NGOs in democratic countries, to start by seeking to persuade the democracies and to leave aside those nuclear weapon states -- Russia, China, and above all, North Korea, that are impervious to any kind of outside rational argument -- but to focus only on the democratic states that are part of the Western alliance or the Asian states that are under extended deterrence. This being perceived as a discriminatory movement and it risks having that used against the movement.

It will be easy for people not only in this city but elsewhere to say that this is a one sided movement that seeks to damage Western national security without addressing what is happening in -- or the nuclear policies of non-democratic countries.

And in fact, again, I think Perkovich makes this point well. It actually risks emboldening the nuclear posture and the doctrine of use of those non-democratic countries.

How do you persuade those countries? Well, I know and I think anybody who has worked in arms control as a diplomat knows that one of the built-in frustrations is that the issues that we care passionately about and that we get immersed in and become expert in seldom rise to the level of our presidents or our prime ministers.

President Obama was an exception in terms of the time and serious thought and study that he gave to these issues. But in most countries, no matter how deeply the director general for arms control feels about the issue, it is unlikely that the president or prime minister is going to raise that or make them -- make that subject a primary topic of conversation with other world leaders, particularly with the leaders of nuclear weapon states.

So there's a need not only to make sure that your national leadership cares about this issue as deeply as you do, but also cares about it enough to apply equally the outreach to all the nuclear weapon states.

Now it's not only the five recognized nuclear weapon states and the others who are outside of the NPT, but it's clear from the discussions in New York that civil society intends to focus on those allies in NATO and in -- and in Asia who are covered by extended deterrence or, as you say, a nuclear umbrella. And that's understandable.

But just a word about the practical effects that you're likely to get in Europe. You should not expect great results within NATO, whether the goal is removal of the small number of tactical nuclear weapons that the U.S. has pre-propositioned in a few European states, or whether it's convincing NATO to change its self-definition as a nuclear alliance.

It is, for me, very difficult to see any of these governments changing fundamentals of their security policy at a time when there is a genuine threat of aggression. When, in fact, European countries are occupied by their neighbor and that there is a willingness to use both conventional and non-conventional means of warfare to destabilize NATO members.

Indeed, I think a lot of European countries, members of NATO, would see a change in that policy -- declared policy of NATO as inviting additional aggression, whether overt or covert. But again, I'd like to warn the advocates of the convention against giving lectures. I know I'm giving a lecture, I've got the irony.

(LAUGHTER)

A NATO ally or the Republic of Korea or Japan facing a genuine security threat will not take well, a lesson about their defensive policy from a state that is unwilling to give the same lecture, or even condemnation, or even condemnation backed by painful action against those who perpetrate aggression, whether it's in Pyongyang or in Moscow.

Just a further point on Europe and NATO -- even if one ally or five allies decides that they would like the U.S. to remove these tactical B61 bombs, it is a limited step and it doesn't fundamentally change -- it's an important change -- but it doesn't fundamentally change NATO security policy nor does it fundamentally change the United States nuclear posture.

While I'm sure it would be welcome by advocates of the convention as an important step forward, it's important to be aware of how limited that would be.

It's a huge step from discussing or changing policy on tactical weapons to questioning what not only the U.S., but other nuclear weapon states have defined as their central purpose of possessing nuclear weapons, which is to deter anyone else using them.

So to try to sum up, what can you do to make this current effort to negotiate a convention on prohibition live up to its potential? Well, a couple of things that are in the treaty that need attention and one I think others can talk about, which is to strengthen and make specific what kind of safeguard regime would be necessary for adherence to the convention.

And as I mention, my very strong recommendation to link this to the Nonproliferation Treaty by making mandatory membership as a prerequisite.

Second, I hope that the advocates of the convention, both in the next month and afterwards, will do all they can to elaborate a verification mechanism that would give confidence to actual declarations of non-possession.

Here again, George Perkovich has some good ideas, I would add that if the nuclear weapons -- the non-nuclear weapon states would be smart, work hard on initiatives such as the International Partnership For Nuclear Disarmament Verification. It is a concrete area in which nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states can work together towards a specific goal.

Third and very difficult, requiring long-term work is to elaborate what would be the actual process of disarmament. It is not something that you can dictate to the nuclear weapon states, but it is something where you can give serious thought to how to get, step-by-step -- I know people don't like that phrase -- you'd like it better if you wrote some of the steps yourself and it would add credibility to the movement itself.

And finally, on suggestions, once this convention is drafted, I would hope that the excellent diplomats who worked on it put their attention not just on public opinion on propagating the text, but on working with diplomats and military officials who are experts not just on negotiation, but on real world security challenges.

What can be done? What would you do if you were in the position of London or Paris or Beijing or Washington? What are the security challenges that could be addressed that would give those states confidence in building down and building towards zero?

And I would even suggest something that I think is of enormous practical value which is very extensive simulations of such discussions. If the U.S. and Russia are having a hard time talking to each other about their strategic stability challenges, I think we could learn something from diplomats, from Mexico and Austria and elsewhere, playing the role of Washington and Moscow and talking to each other.

And last point, this is what I would hope would be the U.S. position, and I hope we'll hear it from Dr. Ford today, and I think it's very well summarized in an article on the same topic by Michael Krepon. And just to summarize his summary; I hope the U.S. will express understanding of the sincere motives of those who are pushing for this convention. I hope that the U.S. will offer respectfully specific concerns about the text and about what comes after.

That the U.S. can articulate in detail the circumstances under which it will be possible to build down and to move to zero. And most concretely, I hope to see the U.S. agree with Russia on the extension of the New START Treaty and reassert its commitment to further strategic arms reductions.

A lot of this is very ambitious. I think it's no more ambitious than the convention itself. I hope that the sponsors will keep their eye on the long-term calendar not just to get through June with a text that elicits champagne and hugs, but a strategy that actually addresses the real world concerns of those who feel that nuclear weapons offer them security and that can lay the basis for a very respectful partnership between the non-nuclear weapon states and the nuclear weapon states. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

BURK: I want to thank you both for tuning up this issue in such a substantive and creative way. And I think ambition these days is something we all ought to strive for and positive energy.

I just want to ask one question before we open up the floor. You both focused on the ban negotiations and the ban treaty and I think we have a lot of great food for thought here and can have a conversation.

Looking ahead to 2020 and the NPT, if the negotiations are completed this year or next, the question I would have if I were active duty would be; will the nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states be able to agree to disagree on this issue when they convene for the NPT Review Conference and be prepared to move on to find common ground and also a constructive discussion of how do we -- how do they ease the growing tensions between the states?

I mean, there's real serious questions about security, instability. Tom, you made some clear references to that. Can we move with this now beyond that to again come together in a creative surge for common ground under the auspices of the NPT? And I open it up to both of you. Ambassador Kickert?

KICKERT: Again, from more a political and less of a disarmament specialist point of view, yes, I think we can.

I think -- thank you very much, Tom. I think that was extremely constructive and -- and -- and yes, we also use -- being used to be lectured so we -- we can take that. And -- but it was very constructive proposals. And I think there we find a lot of common ground.

For us and others who are in a bit of a core group, drive this process like Ireland, which we just begin -- as an outset of the NPT, we would do anything not to undermine the contrary strength of the NPT. And the suggestions you made and also on the safeguards and verification well taken. This is also our intention.

The big question is how do we integrate the nuclear weapon state at some stage? And we're not naive. We also understand the security dilemmas and discussion. And we want to keep that treaty open. And we do not -- and that maybe where we disagree a -- a bit.

We don't want to prescribe anything in this treaty to the nuclear weapon states, but once they would come in, together with them, define the circumstances that you select the landing zone.

And coming back to your question about the NPT. I think if we work on the spirit of complementarity and then look back to the goals of the NPT -- we had a 2010 action plan -- maybe we can make some progress there because the -- the -- the issue in 2015 was that -- that we looked at it and said, "What was fulfilled there?"

So I think this is not a competition. I think that's the most important w -- what we want to stress. Nothing to undermine the NPT, but something to add to it. And we would have in Austria and other countries really proponents that that we have to work together for security for all. And -- and we can have long discussions now on security, but what means that?

But I -- but I think we need to acknowledge. And our approach was always that we want security for all. Also for those in the nuclear weapon states, not just for us.

BURK: Thank you, Ambassador. Tom?

COUNTRYMAN: I think the best way to focus for success in the 2020 Review Conference of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty is to be less obsessive about it.

I mean a couple of things. First, we have a pattern through several Review Conferences which there is broad, painful consensus -- sometimes on an important -- important advances, sometimes on minor advances, that is then taken hostage to the issue of establishment of the WMD-free zone in the Middle East. And that is what caused the last review conference two years ago not to fail, because I don't believe it failed, but it did not reach a consensus document.

The more that we obsess about how crucial it is that we avoid another such outcome in 2020, if we label the failure to get a consensus document as a failure of the treaty, what we are doing is raising the leverage that the states that are obsessing about the Middle East zone have and raising the likelihood that we will fail to have an agreement. That's been -- so that's the first sense in which I say obsession is the enemy of focus in this process.

The second sense is a new one and it will have to do with what is likely to be by 2020 a new convention on prohibition of nuclear weapons that will already be in force by that point.

If that convention is tightly linked to the Nonproliferation Treaty along the lines I suggested, and if building out from adoption of that convention there has been a sincere effort by its advocates who engage with nuclear weapon states and the beneficiaries of extended deterrence in the ways that I suggested, there is no reason for that to become an obstacle to a meaningful conclusion at the 2020 Review Conference.

If, on the other hand, the NPT review process itself is used as a lever or as a shaming tool in a way similar to what Egypt does with the Middle East Zone, but in case with regard to the convention itself, it will be defeating to both purposes.

The nuclear weapon states that will have to one day change their policy, if this effort is to succeed, are not going to be moved by a deadlock and hand wringing over a deadlock at a conference in New York.

They're going to be moved by concrete actions and assistance in solving persistent security dilemmas. So I would hope, if we don't over think it, we can actually have a more beneficial outcome in 2020 that squares well with the purposes of this convention.

BURK: All right. Well, thank you. Great answers. And again, lots of food for thought.

We're going to open it up to questions. Is there someone with a microphone? So when you ask your questions, please identify yourself and to whom you're directing your question.

So front row?

QUESTION: Thank you very much. My name is Randy Rydell with the organization Mayors For Peace.

Susan, I would like to ask you...

BURK: Wait a minute.

(LAUGHTER)

I'm the moderator.

(LAUGHTER)

QUESTION: ... if I could draw upon your your vast professional experience and comment on the lack of any infrastructure in the government for disarmament?

There are no disarmament agencies in any of the states that possess nuclear weapons. When the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency was abolished in the mid-1990s, the "disarmament" term even disappeared from business cards and the organization charts in the State Department.

There's very little sign of institutional support for disarmament in the government. What extent is this a problem, is this a barrier, is this an obstacle to future progress in disarmament from a policy perspective?

And to Tom, I'd like to ask him: during the 1960s, the Lyndon Johnson administration was faced with the problem of whether nonproliferation should be a goal of U.S. policy. And they created the Gilpatric Commission, which produced this consensus report that, yes, it should. And that it should not -- be nondiscriminatory.

Now we hear that there's a nuclear posture review where disarmament is now being assessed as to whether it should be a goal of policy. What do you think would be the outcome of this assessment and what would be the effects if this goal is abandoned? Thank you.

BURK: All right. Well, very quickly, because I'm really not answering the questions. But the Arms Control Agency was abolished on April Fool's Day, 1999. No -- and I won't say anything further.

I think, from my experience, we always had a robust -- arms control safeguards, nonproliferation bureaucracy, and in contrast to many other countries that -- that do not, I think that gave us the opportunity to -- we had a responsibility to do more work interacting with our foreign partners, you know, through diplomacy. Engaging with foreign partners, educating, providing information and that sort of thing.

And I think, because we had this large bureaucracy, we could do that if we wanted to do that. I can't comment on today, because I've been retired now for four and a half years. But Tom can address that issue, since he's only recently departed the government.

COUNTRYMAN: Well, on your first question for Susan, what concerns me is not the absence of the word "disarmament." What concerns me is the absence of officials who are charged with implementing a coherent policy. I'm looking forward to Chris Ford speaking to us at lunch time. He's well qualified and leads this effort at the White House.

But, to actually move something ahead, we should have an undersecretary and assistant secretaries in these fields. And the Department of State has shown unprecedented lassitude in nominating anybody for any positions. Very good, fantastic, well qualified career professionals acting in those slots, but they are not in a position to move ahead on policy objectives.

Now, the nuclear posture review that the administration is undertaking, and to which it has assigned lead responsibility to the Department of Defense, is supposed to be completed by the end of the year.

I do have some concerns about it. I have no idea how it's going. I would love to be reassured by Mr. Ford today that, in fact, not only the Department of Defense but the Department of State and Department of Energy are deeply involved in the discussion. That would be reassuring.

The part that concerns you, I think, concerns me a little bit as well -- that the last time this nuclear posture review was undertaken, at the beginning of the Obama administration, nobody was putting on the table the idea that we need more nuclear weapons and more diverse types of nuclear weapons. Some people, some NGOs, some thinkers are putting that on the table this time. I'm completely unable to gauge their influence or the likely outcome.

Now, I know that, for example, on climate change, you can give a speech that says, "I love the environment. The environment is huge, it's a great thing."

(LAUGHTER)

But I am breaking a commitment that we've made. The effect is actually even more serious if the nuclear posture review were to conclude what you suggested -- that disarmament is not a goal.

That would be breaking not just a commitment to an agreement, but a binding, ratified commitment to a treaty that the United States has upheld for nearly 50 years. And that would be an extremely serious step. So let me not alarm you by speculating on how likely it is.

BURK: OK. Now that we're all depressed...

(LAUGHTER)

... over there.

QUESTION: Thank you. Richard Fieldhouse, I'm an independent consultant, but a former Senate Armed Services Committee staffer who worked on plenty of these issues.

I'm sorry to say, Susan, I'm not going to cheer up the crowd, perhaps...

(LAUGHTER)

... with my question. But Tom, I wanted to...

(CROSSTALK)

BURK: Just ask them to these two gentlemen here. OK.

(LAUGHTER)

QUESTION: ... I'm just warning you, lowering expectations.

Tom, I want to explore the other side of what you are suggesting about trying to do things in a way that's constructive, that won't undermine the NPT through this process.

And the question is: do you see a risk to the NPT or the possibility of undermining it, if those wise, constructive steps are not taken?

Could there actually be a result that would undermine the treaty -- commitment to it, et cetera? You know, it's the darker side of how this should run. Thank you.

COUNTRYMAN: I'm not very concerned about that, to be honest. A few of my colleagues in the U.S. government last year and some of my colleagues in the governments of other nuclear weapon states said that this effort would undermine the NPT. That's hard for me to see.

As I noted, there are definitely colleagues from some foreign ministries for whom disarmament is a game, is a tactic, rather than a goal, a pursuit.

And you could expect them to at least be tempted by that idea that, if I have two different treaties to demonstrate what a great world citizen I am, I'm going to pick the less restrictive one. I think it's possible. I think it's unlikely. It depends very much upon a couple of things I already mentioned.

If it's very explicit that everybody who's signing this convention loves the NPT and wants to push forward the goals of the NPT with a new convention, and you make that not just a preamble clause but a requirement in the new convention, I think you've minimized that danger.

And then, secondly, the other thing that could create or increase what is a small risk is what I think is a very unfortunate trend among some who advocate -- who portray themselves as great advocates of disarmament, which is to say we can't do any more steps on nonproliferation, no matter how rational they are, no matter how much they contribute to global security, until the nuclear weapon states do more on disarmament.

You know, it's this vision of hostage-taking, and it really makes no sense. So if states that advocate this convention begin to be obstacles in the path of improving the safeguard system, improving the nonproliferation system, then they will be doing the work of undermining the NPT.

So these are possibilities, but I am really not that worried about it -- any fundamental inconsistency between the NPT and the new convention.

BURK: OK. And we'll give out Tom's contact information so you can get in touch with him whenever you get worried, and he'll give you a comforting pep talk.

(LAUGHTER)

Back there. Alex?

QUESTION: This is for Ambassador Kickert. I have heard some say that, when they talk to the Chinese about abolishing nuclear weapons, they said, "That's an American plot, because if everybody does away with nuclear weapons, the U.S. will be by far the superior military power because of its conventional superiority."

What can you do to convince countries like China and others? I mean, obviously, this is not, you know, something that will happen tomorrow, but what can you do to convince countries like that that this is not what's going to happen, that their security is -- is preserved even under -- even in a world without nuclear weapons?

KICKERT: I mean, I personally would not be concerned as China concerning their conventional weaponry. And then on China, I find it interesting that they have limited themselves in the amount of nuclear weapons.

They don't -- my perception is that they -- they didn't expand to -- to a degree where -- where -- where Russia is, and the United States. So I -- I think they're -- they're quite happy to have this -- this -- this, let's say, necessary, from their point of view, limited amount of that -- nuclear weapons, and don't expand further.

I mean, let's not forget, 90 percent of our nuclear weapons are in the possession of the U.S. and Russia still. So I think it is -- it is still those two countries who have the key to press forward the nuclear disarmament agenda.

China, I think, is -- is conventionally beefing up. So I don't see China as an obstacle for the abolishment. They were even a little more engaged than other nuclear weapon states.

You had total disengagement by Russia. China was at least, now, at the first phase, also there as an observer. It, through (inaudible) participated also in the Vienna conference on the humanitarian consequences.

I think it even abstained in the General Assembly when we voted on going down this prohibition path. So I'm not so concerned that China is the biggest obstacle at the end of the day.

COUNTRYMAN: That's actually -- that's a concern or a comment I've heard more often from Russian colleagues than Chinese colleagues, and it's understandable. First, neither of them take very seriously the near-term prospect of going to zero.

But secondly, of course, China is a global power for a number of reasons. For Russia, there are only two things that make Russia a global power, and that is nuclear weapons and innovative computer programming.

(LAUGHTER)

BURK: OK. Ambassador Kennedy?

QUESTION: Thank you. Laura Kennedy, and, like Tom and Susan, I was proud to represent the Obama administration in this area in both Geneva and Vienna, and also honored to join the board today along with them.

I wanted to pick up on a point that Tom made about the importance of the nuclear ban proponents lobbying equally the non-democracies as well as the democracies. And specifically, I wanted to ask about North Korea, because my understanding is that they are in, you know, part of the process.

And I'm -- if that's the case, how do you deal with that? I mean, this is a country -- I mean, theoretically, if you pick up on Tom's point about making NPT membership a key part of the treaty, you could say, "Well, gee, that would bring them in."

But don't you run the risk of, having them part of the process, conceivably either allow them to discount the pressure to deal with a very real international security threat, or conceivably bring, frankly, some -- undermine the arms control process by having, say, a North Korea part of it, whereas, you know, the U.K., the France, the Japans, the Australians not part of it?

Thank you very much.

KICKERT: I recollect North Korea voted in favor of the G.A. resolution. But they are -- I haven't seen them -- I was not there the whole time, just sneaking in and out -- participated.

And one important aspect we implemented in the rules of procedure is that it would be a majority vote and not consensus, so that those who participate in there cannot block a decision by, I would say, the sane majority.

And it was, interestingly enough, proposed by some countries who want to have it exactly their way. It was Egypt, Iran. So -- but this was thwarted. So they are -- again, I -- I don't see North Korea playing any role in there. I mean, the North Korea dilemma is a different issue, and I think it will be discussed at the next session.

BURK: Daryl?

QUESTION: Thank you, Susan. Daryl Kimball.

I wanted to just note that, in the current issue of Arms Control Today, there are two very in-depth articles on the issues concerning the prohibition treaty and verification that are worth a look as we explore this subject.

I wanted to come back to one of the questions that Tom Countryman raised about the relationship between the prohibition treaty (OFF-MIKE) mentioned, Tom, that one way to deal with this would be to have (OFF-MIKE) obligations, all of the (OFF-MIKE) the prohibition treaty (OFF-MIKE). That might be problematic for India, Pakistan and Israel.

(OFF-MIKE) by (ph) the NPT, which is one of the problems with (OFF-MIKE). One other approach, I wanted to get your reaction, Ambassador Kickert (OFF-MIKE) require states that are already members of the NPT to remain (OFF-MIKE) other approach that still leaves the door open to those countries like (OFF-MIKE).

And also, I mean, Tom, you've brought this up a couple of times. You talked about what a successful (OFF-MIKE). I've always argued that the real threat to the NPT is not (OFF-MIKE) other than the U.S. and Russia (OFF-MIKE) why (ph) that (OFF-MIKE) the conference, which is a litmus test (OFF-MIKE).

COUNTRYMAN: OK. Well, on -- on the first point, not to be flippant about it, but the problem with India, Pakistan, and Israel is not a clause in the treaty. It's a lot more fundamental.

And if we were ever to get to a point where those countries are seriously considering joining this convention, it will not be a decision based upon whether or not that NPT membership clause is in the convention. It will be a decision based upon fundamental changes in their national security perceptions.

And that's very long-term. It's not going to happen soon. And I think that the advocates of this convention would do a disservice by not making that linkage and thus opening themselves up to the criticism that they have created an alternative pathway to the Nonproliferation Treaty. So yes, you're right in a technical sense. I don't think it's a terribly important factor in my productive lifetime.

On the New START Treaty, as you all know, the New START Treaty negotiated between the U.S. and Russia went into effect in 2011. It lasts for 10 years. It has a clause for automatic re-extension by an additional five years, until 2026, if both parties agree.

President Putin has already indicated -- has already suggested this extension. President Trump, by contrast, has said -- as he has said about anything that the previous administration has done -- it's a poorly negotiated deal, and has so far refused to consider it.

I would hope that, for all the right reasons, the United States comes around in the very near future to agreeing with Russia on this automatic five-year extension. It costs nothing.

It prevents, at least for the moment, an escalation -- an arms race in the number of weapons that both countries possess. It preserves important capabilities that cannot be replaced for verification and monitoring of the deal. And it would be the single easiest and most visible step for the United States to address the legitimate concerns of countries all around the world about our actual commitment to disarmament, so.

BURK: Thank you.

OK. Other questions. In the back, right in the middle. The lady there? Sorry, can't see that far.

QUESTION: Thank you. I'm Diane Perlman, George Mason School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. So this is for Tom.

Well, the logical implication of what you're talking about, and I think the next stage for us to go to, is what's known as a second-order change. First-order changes focus on eliminating the weapons and how -- you know, the humanitarian consequences and how bad they are.

Second order of change deals with the underlying -- analyzing the underlying conflict and looking at the needs of the parties and, you know, challenging flaws in -- or raising flaws in deterrence theory, addressing spiral theory and illusion of security, but also looking at how to reduce tension and work on addressing the underlying conflicts so that nuclear weapons are, like, unnecessary or irrational.

And -- so anyway, I just would appreciate if you would address that. And also, I registered -- I got three groups accredited for the ban treaty: Mediators Beyond Borders, TRANSCEND network of conflict transformation, and Psychologists for Social Responsibility. So I want to sort of build some energy around addressing second-order change.

COUNTRYMAN: Look, I have great respect for the academic work being done. I'm not an academic. I don't think in those terms. I think that the academic work could help to inform those who are trying to bring about what you term both the first-order and the second-order change.

But to be honest, I'm not sure how I would use that terminology or that typology to advance the subject.

BURK: OK. Any other questions?

Ed

QUESTION: Edward Levine, Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation.

One of the recurrent problems under the NPT has been the feeling on the part of some states that the treaty allows them to build up as much of a peaceful nuclear infrastructure as they wish, even if that brings them to the brink of nuclear weapons capability.

And I wonder what the risks are that the convention would increase the pressure on the nuclear suppliers group to stand down and stop putting roadblocks in the way of what it sees as incipient nuclear proliferation?

COUNTRYMAN: Good question. I haven't thought about it. I think it would be tremendously counterproductive for the advocates of this prohibition to either promote or to tolerate effort of some non-nuclear weapon states who claim to the argument that you've made -- that this allows us to develop nuclear capability right up to the edge of weaponization.

That would be damning to the credibility of the movement if that were tolerated. Now, the nuclear suppliers group includes a number of countries, not only nuclear weapon states, those under extended deterrence, but it also includes those who are advocates of this process.

And I simply can't picture that the nuclear suppliers group would say, "This has changed the reality, and it allows us to have more confidence in Iran's peaceful intentions because they've signed a new convention." I don't see it happening that way. So it's an interesting risk but, I think, a small one.

BURK: OK. I think we have time for one more question.

Larry, you get the last word, or the last question.

QUESTION: Larry Weiler. I'm old enough that I -- I often think I'm in error, but I'm never wrong.

(LAUGHTER)

And I've lived through 65 years of this business. And I was asked by a group where I now reside to do a little talk on arms control. And I haven't finished preparing the talk, but I took time to go through the whole history.

And I have a couple of things to add here, and that is, if you look at where we are, from the day when we first announced the American plan to take care of nuclear weapons and look at what's been accomplished.

And it's an interesting history because it's jerks and glides and jerks and glides. And we didn't know what to do about dealing with the problem for a long time. And then we started, and we got some first steps.

And, thinking about why we moved forward and why we stopped, in large part, there's a bit of accident involved. Personalities are involved. We could have started long ago with Harold Stassen, but Allen Dulles decided that the problem with Germany was such that he had to stop his program of negotiations.

One little step -- there are three or four of them as you go down the line. But, after you look at it, where we are today we -- with the -- with the test ban -- we haven't ratified the test -- the full test ban, that's true.

But there is a -- there is a -- basically, there's a test ban, and basically, there's a cutoff. And basically, we've learned how to deal with a lot of these problems. And we've dealt with the missile problem.

What we have -- and I could go on -- we've got pretty much the first stage of the original general and complete disarmament programs that people talked about in theory.

So don't give up. It's a long haul and we've really got stage one, we've got the cutoff. We've got all these other things. So don't begrudge that we haven't gone all the way further.

I have a question, however, that I would like...

BURK: OK, Larry.

(LAUGHTER)

QUESTION: ... my question is what is the difference -- what is the difference between the new proposal and the effect of having nuclear-free zones all over the world? I mean, just a -- it's a simple question. But what's the difference in practical terms?

KICKERT: Well, Tom is the specialist, but from the Austrian perspective, the big difference is we don't have a nuclear-weapons-free zone in Europe. And we have studied this also, this -- this proposal.

We're jealous about the other areas of the world where this -- this happens. Austria happens to be a neutral country, not in any military alliance, and we're in the middle of this -- it's a competition.

So yeah, if you would have nuclear-weapon-free zones all over the world, then we will have a nuclear-free world. And we can -- we can continue that. And if we expand it to Europe, we will be the first to -- to be happy about it.

COUNTRYMAN: Yeah, it's essentially -- those countries that have formed nuclear-weapons-free zones argue, and with great merit, that they cannot fully enjoy the benefit of security and safety that comes from living in such a zone if nuclear conflict can occur anywhere in the world.

You cannot isolate the nuclear-weapons-free zones from a place where a nuclear conflict could occur. They have a legitimate reason to raise that as a point in favor of a global ban.

BURK: OK. I think we're going to have to wrap up.

I've got to say that while I attend this group, and I know a lot of you tend to focus on the challenges, on the problems, and we're all high anxiety -- is that a Mel Brooks movie?

But I think what we're taking away -- what I take away from this panel is that we need to be -- we need to be positive, we need to be creative, we need to keep our eyes focused on the big picture and the prize and we can't afford to forget all of the accomplishments that we have over the years.

Larry summed it up: There's far more good things than there are -- and then I would say -- and we have to persist.

So let's give our speakers a round of applause.

(APPLAUSE)

PANEL 2: 

DAVENPORT: All right. We're going to get started. So, thank you all for sticking around for our second panel.

I'm sure it comes as no surprise that we would be discussing North Korea today, given the increased tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and the North Korean Policy Review that President Trump has just completed.

So, for North Korea watchers, 2017 has certainly been an interesting year. President Trump decided to review policy toward North Korea shortly after his Inauguration. And he came back with a policy that emphasizes maximum pressure and engagement. But there has been some mixed signals on what exactly the United States might be looking for from North Korea before entering into negotiations.

South Korea also has a new president, Moon Jae-in. He has expressed an interest in talking to the North Koreans, but again, under what conditions still remains somewhat of an open question.

And then of course in North Korea we've seen a number of ballistic missile tests already in 2017, including some new systems. And all of this is leading up to the summit that Trump and Moon Jae-in will hold in Washington, D.C. later this month.

So, to help make sense of all of these developments, we're very fortunate to have with us today Michael Elleman and Suzanne DiMaggio. We're going to start today with Mike Elleman.

Mike is a senior fellow for Missile Defense at the Institute for International and Strategic Studies. He has spent some time at Booz-Allen Hamilton. He spent some time working on cooperative threat reduction programs.

And I would be remiss if I didn't add that he also has written several excellent pieces for "Arms Control Today," which I would encourage you to take a look at. And his full bio is available in your program.

Then we're going to move on to Suzanne DiMaggio. Suzanne is a director and senior fellow at the New America Foundation. She has years of experience working on Track II diplomatic initiatives on a range of issues, including nonproliferation and international security with countries like Iran, Myanmar and North Korea.

She's formerly been at the Asia Society. And she was most recently in Pyongyang in February. And she has met with the North Koreans, I believe, just this past month, in a Track II dialogue.

So, I will turn it over to Mike to get the discussion started.

ELLEMAN: Great. Thank you, Kelsey. And thank you to the Arms Control Association for the opportunity to speak here today.

I'm going to try to keep my comments as brief as possible. And Kelsey's agreed to kick me if I go over my time. It'll be good entertainment for TV anyway.

So, I want to focus on making three essential points, instead of kind of rehashing the different systems and such that North Korea is currently developing. And I want to highlight them for a reason, and I hope this comes out at the end clearly.

One, we've - well, we've seen just this new pattern of missile testing under the regime of Kim Jung-un. His grandfather, Kim Il-sung, under his reign from 1984 to 1994 -- I know he began before 1984, but they started missile testing in 1984. He conducted a total of I think it was 15 tests, about 1.5 missile tests per year.

Kim Jung Il, under his reign there were 16 or so tests. This includes a few satellite launch attempts. But they came in clusters of in 1998 you saw the Taepodong-1. And then in 2006 the Taepodong-2, along with a number of other missiles were fired in a single day. And then again in 2009 you saw a cluster of testing.

In both instances, this would be inconsistent with testing to develop new systems, even though they were attempting to develop the satellite launcher, the Unha-2, as it turns out to be. But it seemed that the rationale for testing was to train troops, you know, to create operational readiness, and for political purposes, especially the July 2006 testing.

Under Kim Jung-un we've seen this ramp-up of testing. I think he's now done -- it's at last count 78 missile launches. There may have been more that failed, I don't know. But I think the number is right around there. That's 13 to 15 tests per year. That's consistent with a missile development program.

Compare that, say, what Iran is doing. Iran on average tests maybe three to five missiles a year. They make minor modifications and test them out. They use them in war games. That is far less, and it's not enough testing to develop a new capability in a short period of time. When I say a short period of time, I'm talking three to five years.

So, it's clear to me. And what we've seen is a number of new systems emerge. And I'll talk about them in a moment. But what is clear is North Korea is trying to create new capabilities. And they're going about it in a reasonably technically valid way.

The second point I want to make is that we've seen North Korea move beyond a legacy Scud and Nodong technology. All the missiles up until Kim Jung-un came to power were basically powered by either the Scud or Nodong engine. This includes the Unha space launcher, which it uses Nodong and Scud technology.

You can see it results in a very large system. It could, in principle, be converted into an ICBM. It'd still have to be tested as an ICBM to prove it as a missile, but also to validate the reentry technologies and warhead survivability. But this would be an immobile missile.

It would be launched and prepared to launch from a fixed site. It would be vulnerable to preemption. You would probably have few in number. The preparation time is on the order of days, not hours.

In 2016, we've seen the emergence of three new propulsion systems. And I think this is very important.

One, we've seen the Musudan. This is a very different engine, much more sophisticated than the Scud, Nodong technology. It's derived from the old Soviet-era ARS-27 or SSN6 technology. It's a retired system now. But it appears that North Korea was able to import the engines at least, if not more technology.

All this technology, by the way, comes from either the Makeyev or the Isayev design builds. Makeyev is the builder of Russia's submarine launch missiles. Isayev makes the engines for I think almost every Makeyev missile. And they had a very close working relationship. So, that's -- you know, up until a few months ago I thought that was the primary procurement network for North Korea.

With this new engine that we see in the Musudan, even though that missile has failed a number of times -- I think it's out of six to eight launches it's had one apparent success and one partial success. It uses a different type -- higher energy fuels. It's a much more sophisticated engine.

With that type of technology, you can now build, in principle, a road mobile ICBM. And in fact, the presumption has been that the Musudan engines would be the main power plant for the KN-08 or the KN-14s that have not yet been tested, but they've been paraded by the North Koreans.

We've seen -- and this is very puzzling to me. I still haven't quite been able to figure out exactly what new engine this is. In September of last year, they did a ground test of a, what they call an 80-thrust engine. The statements that came out after the test was that it was destined for use on a satellite launcher.

Then earlier this year, I think it was in March, they tested the same engine, but they attached four steering or veneer engines to it that operate in parallel. And they suggested that this would be used for a new capability. And they basically said be prepared.

And lo and behold, two weeks ago they tested the Hwasong-12, an intermediate-range system. It flew to a very high altitude of I think it was 2,200 -- 2,100 kilometers, but only about 500 kilometers range. If flown on a standard trajectory this missile could reach ranges of 4,000 to 4,500 kilometers. In other words, it's a real intermediate-range missile.

It's not clear if that was the first test launch of this particular missile. There may have been one or two that occurred before that failed. It's uncertain at this point, mostly because the intelligence agencies around the world have been less than forthcoming for us -- for Seoul to rely on open source literature.

I'll talk about why this new missile is really important, along with the Musudan. But I also wanted to note that we've seen North Korea expand beyond liquid propellant technologies. We've seen them employ solid propellant motors for the Pukguksong-1 and 2. This is a submarine launch missile, and then this new land mobile system that they launched out of a canister on a tracked vehicle.

I think they're in the first steps of mastering the production of solid propellants. I believe this is indigenously produced. It was probably designed locally. It is not a copy of any known system, although it shares the central features of all first-generation submarine launch missiles.

That is -- it's two stages. It's about 1.5 meters in diameter and about 9 meters long. There are technical reasons why you come to that design solution. So, I don't think they've copied this from anyone.

But it's a worrying trend that if they master fully the solid propellant technologies, they can make any missile of any size and any range that they want in the future. It'll just take a lot of time. And I'll discuss that a bit in comments on timelines for an ICBM.

This HS-12, the engine that powers it, it's a little unclear to me. It's certainly not from the Isayev Design Bureau or Makeyev. It appears to be consistent with the RD-250 engine that was developed by Glushko. It's another Russian concern. It's now called Energomash. It's the premier engine manufacturer for space launch vehicles in Russia.

This engine was used for a number of medium-lift space launch vehicles, but also for the R-36, I think we called it the SSN-9 -- or the SS-9 ICBM, which was produced in, of all places, Ukraine, back when they were part of the Soviet Union.

This means that North Korea probably has an expanded network for illicit procurement. And this is really worrying to me for two reasons. One, this engine in particular could be the basis for an ICBM.

But two, we now know that they probably have expanded their procurement capacity beyond Makeyev and Isayev. Therefore, we don't know how large it is anymore. We don't know what else they might have. So, predicting what systems they could develop in the near term to mid term is now complicated by this diversification of sources of technology.

The other thing I would note that because HS-12, or the Hwasong-12 is the new system and it's important, you know the outrage that we always associate with any missile launch, I think that we need to stop -- or start looking at those launches which are most consequential versus those that are just kind of standard and politically oriented.

I don't worry if they test a new Scud or -- a Scud or a Nodong type system. I do worry and I do think it's important when they test Musudan or this Hwasong-12.

I would be -- I would preserve my political capital to express sanctions or other punitive measures or preventive measures, and reserve those for the missiles that matter like HS-12, like Musudan. I would -- those are far more important than even satellite launches, in my view. I think we should rethink how we express our concerns about what North Korea is doing.

I want to wrap up with timelines for an ICBM, because that's what everyone seems to be interested in these days. It's always challenging to forecast the future. A lot of things can change. But if they wanted a near-term solution, meaning something that would be operationally viable at the end of 2018, 2019, they could try to transform the Unha satellite launcher into an ICBM.

They'd have to replace the upper stages with something new, test it and then validate the design as well as the reentry technologies. So, you could see something for what I call emergency use at probably 2019 or so.

A more practical approach would be to use either the Hwasong-12 or Musudan engines to create a road mobile ICBM. They need to continue testing and more fully develop the intermediate range capability. But with a few more successful flights of Hwasong-12, I think they could, from a technical perspective, move toward ICBM testing.

When they could create that capacity and operationalize it really depends on what the requirements North Korea imposes on their systems. How reliable does it need to be, 50 percent, 75 percent, 99 percent like U.S. and Chinese systems or Russian systems? That's an open question. And that's why it's difficult to project a timeline with any real fidelity.

But assuming they want something that's as least as reliable, that it's successful most of the time, you can define most as you wish. But I think that you would have -- you would see at least a dozen flight tests with 75 percent of them being "successful." Then they would be operationally viable in my view, granted it would be under a more relaxed criteria.

That could occur in 2020 at the very earliest. 2021 is a more likely date, assuming everything went well for them. It could stretch out even further. But it might be, you know, good for emergency use, say if they were being attacked, by 2020.

Third option they have is to use this new solid propellant technology. Now, it's one thing to make solid rocket motors the size that you see in the KN-11 or Pukguksong-1 and KN-15 or Pukguksong-2. Quite another thing to build a 25- to 30-ton rocket motor for a first stage for an ICBM.

Typically, it takes countries five to 12 years to move from the size you see in the KN-11 to an ICBM size. So, it's a long-term project that North Korea would have to embark upon to create an ICBM based on solid technologies. Therefore, I would be very surprised if they had something that was operational by 2025.

I think the more likely date would be 2030. It will result in a lot of embarrassing mistakes. That's just the nature of the development. We see it with the Musudan.

So, I think that will be a long-term project. The most likely and viable system they could develop would be based on either the Musudan or the HS-12 technology. As I said, we could see that as the next president takes office in -- you know, after 2020. If it's not Trump, it's someone else.

So, I'll conclude there. And leave room for questions, comments, outrage, whatever.

(LAUGHTER)

DAVENPORT: Thank you, Mike.

And for those of you in suspense in the back, I did not even have to kick him. He stayed on time.

So, now to talk about how we might be able to address the rising tension, and to think about some of the options for engagement with North Korea going forward, I'm going to turn it over to Suzanne.

DIMAGGIO: Thanks. And please kick me if I go over, which I'll try not to do.

First, let me extend my thanks to the Arms Control Association, to Daryl, Kelsey, Kingston, everyone. It's such an important organization at this moment, maybe more important than ever. And if you aren't already supporting them, I urge you to do so. That's my pitch.

DAVENPORT: Thank you.

DIMAGGIO: Let me focus. I want to focus first on -- mostly on the policy options for the U.S.

So, as Kelsey said, the administration now has completed its policy review, and for all intents and purposes, it seems like it was a fairly cohesive interagency review. It declared that the end of strategic patience is over. I think an actual funeral was held...

(LAUGHTER)

... here in Washington. And that a policy of maximum pressure and engagement was replacing it.

Frankly, to me it still seems very unclear if this new policy is very much different from the old policy, or if it's just -- it's been given a new wardrobe. That being said, there appears to be several key elements to this policy as far as I can see. One is that it puts back on the table all options, including military action, more aggressive action.

For example, just today we know that there are naval maneuvers happening in the area of North Korea. And for the first time in a few decades, it includes two U.S. aircraft carriers.

Also, the joint ROK-U.S. military exercises that just happened in April included Navy Seals, a Special Op team that reportedly was focused on so-called decapitation exercises. So, this does seem like a little bit of a ratcheting up on that side of the equation.

And during his visit to the region in March, Secretary Tillerson's statements hinted at the possibility of a preemptive strike to destroy nuclear capabilities. He also stated that all options are on the table when questioned about a military option, opening a door to the idea of preventive war.

The problem with this approach, if we rely on it exclusively, is that when you threaten the use of force, you have to be prepared to use it. It's a major risk. The fact that we do not know how the North Koreans would retaliate.

We would imagine that they would respond in one way, shape or form. And that could escalate. It could inflict mass casualties, severe damage to our ally South Korea, as well as to our other ally Japan, and potentially to the U.S. forces that are based in the region.

And this leaves out the question how would Beijing react. A regional war? A full-scale war? We all know that there's really no military solution to the North Korea issue, and I feel very strongly about that.

The second element I see is a greater reliance on China to mount more pressure against North Korea, at least rhetorically. China, of course, is Pyongyang's biggest trading partner. Last year I think 90 percent of the total trade came from -- was China, including most of North Korea's food and energy supplies. So, it is a very unique position.

I think today the U.N. Security Council is considering a new -- a resolution, additional sanctions. While Japan, South Korea and the U.S. are pushing the more pressure, more sanctions, it seems China is resisting and is instead pushing for dialogue at an emergency meeting of the U.N.S.C. That happened last week and is continuing today.

President Trump recently tweeted that "China is trying hard" to reign in North Korea. And U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley recently stated that Beijing is using a back channel to try to stop the DPRK from testing. This indicates -- this is worrisome to me because it indicates, do they not have direct channels?

We've heard rumors of worsening relationship between the two. The fact that Kim Jung-un, since he's gained power, has not visited Beijing. He's not met Xi Jinping. So, we really have to question whether or not a reliance on China to help solve this issue is a wise approach. I'm very skeptical about it.

And of course, China's national interests are not necessarily aligned with ours when it comes to North Korea. We can go through a whole litany of things, everything from a fear that the regime's downfall could lead to a mass refugee influx. A collapse could allow U.S. troops to have direct access to the Chinese border. And of course, the recent implementation of THAAD is threatening to the Chinese.

The third element of this new policy I see is an emphasis on more sanctions. Of course, President Obama's administration also focused on sanctions as well. So, it's not necessarily new.

The fact is, is that this approach hasn't worked so far. In fact, I would argue, as was outlined in the previous presentation, as we layered on more sanctions against North Korea, we see them steadily accelerating the progress on their nuclear missiles program, in the face of increased sanctions.

There was a study done by researchers recently at MIT that found U.S. sanctions imposed against North Korea have been largely unsuccessful at curbing the country's illicit procurement. Because of, in part, North Korea has been able to adapt, there's a growing capacity to work around sanctions.

So, could sanctions and pressure on North Korea alone resolve the nuclear issue? It's very unlikely.

I think even if we look at the case of Iran, extensive sanctions on their own didn't bring the Iranians to the table. There were other factors. We can talk about them. And this is even less likely in the case of North Korea because Pyongyang is not as reliant on the global financial system as Iran.

So, in this new policy, it also leaves room for engagement. So, that's the fourth element that I see. And my thinking on this is with a new U.S. administration comes an opportunity to try to forge a diplomatic path, especially when it's clear that the current approach is not working.

Relying on a pressure-only approach is dangerous because it is inherently an approach of escalation that either leads to conflict or backing down by one side, and not necessarily to a potential political agreement, political solution. So, we risk falling into a cycle of tit for tat escalation with real potential for conflict either by design or maybe more so by accident. So, we need an off-ramp.

The Trump administration has left open room for engagement. Still remains to be seen if that will be pursued. President Trump warned in an interview in late April that a major, major conflict with the North was possible. He also said he'd prefer a diplomatic outcome to the dispute.

Although the U.S. has explicitly ruled out talks with Pyongyang unless the government took verifiable action to freeze its weapons program. The president then said he would be honored to meet with North Korea's leader Kim Jung-un, under the right circumstances. I think these are very mixed signals, mixed messages that urgently need to be clarified.

That being said, it's interesting that following that, senior North Korean diplomat Che San We, also their lead nuclear negotiator, recently said that the DPRK is open to dialogue with the U.S. under the right conditions. South Korean President Moon has said something similar.

So, I think the task now at hand is to find out what those right conditions are. And the best way to do this of course, the only way to do it, is through dialogue. So, what's needed now is what I would call aggressive diplomacy, backed up by all the leverage that the maximum pressure that I just talked about brings.

Now, when we talk about a diplomatic approach, I do think there are some lessons to be learned from the Iran deal that might be worth considering for negotiating with North Korea. Of course, both cases are completely different. I've traveled to both countries. I've experienced it firsthand.

The biggest difference is of course North Korea has nuclear weapons. Iran has never possessed a nuclear weapon. And of course, Iran is a member of the NPT. The differences go on and on and on.

So, I'm not advocating that the JCPOA is a model for North Korea. It's technically quite different. But I do think the process of diplomacy that the U.S. pursued with Iran could offer some insights on how to begin engagement with a very strong adversary whose leadership is extremely distrustful of the United States, and of course vice versa.

There are three elements of diplomacy with Iran that I think we should be looking at. First is initiate a low-key diplomatic channel authorized at the highest level.

Prior to the start of official negotiations with the Iranians, both -- diplomats from both countries engaged in a series of meetings that were held secretly. There were 12 such meetings convened in Muscat, Geneva and New York over a period of about 16 months. This eventually led to the multilateral, P5+1 talks, and an interim agreement called the Joint Plan of Action, JPOA, in November 2013.

I think, given the level of mistrust between Pyongyang and Washington, I think it would be a good first step to try to have dialogue without preconditions to find out what is possible. We can call them talks about talks, to help clarify what those conditions that would be acceptable, what are they? How can we identify them? How to meet or overcome them? What are the non-negotiables? And then move ahead with the negotiations with our allies and others.

I think this work before the negotiations begin, that American diplomats and Iranian diplomats engaged in, really helped pave the way to not only a successful interim agreement, but then to the JCPOA, which by the way is an agreement that is working.

The second element of diplomacy with Iran I think that should be considered is to focus on a limited set of realistic objectives, not a grand bargain. The U.S.-Iran discussions, when limited to what both sides deem to be very specific, manageable set of items in the nuclear field.

And of course, the U.S. priority has placed on preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The Iranian priority was in exchange sanctions would be lifted.

So, now the U.S. really must decide on its highest priority with North Korea at this time. It must zero in on what that key goal could be. And also, something that's in the realm of achievability at this time.

So, to diffuse tensions I think the best bet would be to begin by pursuing an agreement that would freeze DPRK's nuclear missile testing. One of the key goals here would be to get IAEA inspectors, who do not currently have, and haven't for years had access to any aspects of North Korea's program, back into the country.

And when we look at the JCPOA, one of the things that's so remarkable about it is the extensive verification, monitoring requirements that come along with it. And that certainly is something to emulate.

So, suspension of testing of course is an interim step. Probably if we set the goal of a nuclear-free Korean peninsula as the end goal, this would be an interim set. It's not a solution.

As Graham Allison wrote in "The New York Times" this week, he said "Is United States national security really strengthened if a 33-year-old dictator with a record of executing his enemies can define red lines as left with an arsenal of 20 warheads and missiles that can deliver nuclear strikes against Seoul and Tokyo? We know the answer."

So, it's an important interim step, but it's not the final solution. It should be seen as part of a phased process.

The third element is what I would call pursuing a win-win approach. The U.S. and Iranians, in those early secret talks, both agree that they needed a win-win outcome, where at the end of the day, each of them could come forward and say they succeeded in filling their goals. This, of course, also came with the understanding that they would have to make compromises along the way so that both sides would be able to claim victory.

And then I think moving on, looking forward to what that phased approach might be. Bob Einhorn recently has written about this at Brookings, and I think it makes a great deal of sense.

Starting with the negotiations on nuclear freeze and missile freeze, setting the stage for an interim agreement that would freeze nuclear and missile development, and end proliferation. And then followed by further negotiations over next steps, with benchmarks that would be worked out over time.

Potential end goal could be a comprehensive regional security strategy, which I know is something Tom Pickering and Mort Halperin have been working on. That could take years.

So to conclude, I was on a panel recently and one of the experts on the panel was I think very much opposed to what I was proposing. And the reason was, is that he said we've tried this. We've tried diplomacy with the North Koreans. It's too hard. They cheat. They can't be trusted.

You know, I heard the same arguments with Iran for years. In fact, during the 35 years before the JCPOA, there were countless failed attempts, missed opportunities. And yet we now have an agreement that is working.

As Nelson Mandela put it, it always seems impossible until it's done. And I would apply that in that case. Because we've failed in the past doesn't mean we shouldn't attempt it again. We should learn from those failed attempts and move forward and try it. Test it.

That being said, there's no question the difficulties, obstacles of such an approach, the mutual demonization on both sides, the lack of interaction over years, the lack of relations, the lack of exchanges both on both the governmental level but also on a societal level, makes this all the harder.

So, I would just end on this note. If the administration decides to go down this path with any chance of success, it should also follow what President Obama did with the Iran deal. And that was put together an A team of diplomats, scientists, other technical experts to carry this out.

As I said at another event, this is not something you farm out to your son-in-law, if I may say that. So, this will require filling key staff positions, senior positions, a real negotiating team like we had with the Iran talks.

And it also means filling ambassadorial positions in key capitals throughout Asia and elsewhere. This would be a major undertaking of diplomacy.

Diplomacy is hard, especially with an adversary. But as the Iran deal showed, it's not impossible.

DAVENPORT: Thank you, Suzanne.

(APPLAUSE)

I'm now going to open it up for questions. And in addition to the standard instruction of please introducing yourself and asking a question, I'm going to ask everyone to make sure that they're really holding the microphones close, given the fact that we are trying to pick this up for the C-SPAN audience.

So, we'll start over there with Paul.

QUESTION: Thanks, Kelsey and Daryl, for a great event. Paul Kawika Martin, Peace Action.

It's my understanding -- and I agree that we need to touch out with North Korea on the diplomatic front. It's my understanding that there's some several thousand remains of U.S. soldiers that are still there from the Korean War. And that actually North Korea would like to give those back.

And that is touchpoint in which I think we can get even bipartisan support here in Congress. Because as we know, no member of Congress has been not elected for bashing North Korea too hard.

So, is there a way that we could touch out? It's my understanding that the Obama administration didn't do so on that specific issue. And maybe even get support, bipartisan support, even from Republicans, bringing our -- the remains of our servicemen home.

DIMAGGIO: I'm not so sure that the Obama administration didn't approach that. I think maybe they had tried. But I'm not certain. I can't verify that.

But I think that is -- you know, the fact that the North Koreans have indicated a willingness to talk about an issue like that of course should be pursued. I think what I had proposed, a quiet channel a secret channel, I think it'd be very hard to keep it secret. But a very quiet channel would be a way to begin discussions on these issues.

The fact is, given, like I said, the high level of mistrust, any effort that can be made to build confidence, wins along the way that could help do that, gestures by both sides that could help do that. We're in desperate need of that.

DAVENPORT: Greg, here in the front?

QUESTION: Greg Thielmann, Arms Control Association Board of Directors.

Suzanne, I very much agree with the objective of seeking an interim freeze on nuclear and missile developments in North Korea.

One of the things that I'm wondering about, though, and this is a question for Mike, is, is there also value in pursuing as an interim a limit on the kind of testing of systems that you were most alarmed by? That is to say, would it be worth presenting to North Korea a proposal to ban any flight tests of missiles above short range, for example?

Or even allowing space launch vehicles of the Unha series, as a bone to throw to Kim Jung-un? Wouldn't that still give us a very valuable security advantage in stopping testing of all these systems that you're most alarmed by?

ELLEMAN: Thank you, Greg. That was a nice softball you threw me. We've talked about this before.

I think it would be an interesting subject to explore with North Korea, that is a flight test ban on missiles that fly over -- or have the capacity to fly over some given range. That would be the subject of part of the negotiations what it might be. But it would certainly include intermediate-range systems, which you know anything that flies like more than 2,500 or 3,000 kilometers. So, it would capture Musudan. It would capture this latest HS-12.

Why would that be important? Well, in order to develop a missile, you have to test it. And that's why we see North Korea testing missiles. If you don't test it, and you look back you know from a systems engineering approach, or you look at kind of historical data from other countries that have developed intermediate or long-range missiles. Over the course of the first five to 10 launches the failure rate is greater than 50 percent, with few exceptions. Sometimes it's even much greater than -- you know, much greater than 50 percent fail. And that's just the nature of creating new technologies and new capabilities. So, if they're not allowed to test, they can develop or create a system, but they'll have no confidence that it works. And to field it would -- they would necessarily have to accept great risk that this system wouldn't work. If it's a systemic failure, it's likely all of them will fail. If it's something different with each launch, you know, then they have a 50-50 chance of getting -- there's -- 50 percent of them might actually reach their destination. So, I think that's something worth pursuing.

Now, what would you ask -- or what would they ask for in return? I think something logical would be allowing space launch activities. You know perhaps even providing some technological assistance.

But this -- you would have to have certain restrictions on what they could use and couldn't use. I would say they would be limited to using either Scud type fuels, which are low performance. It would necessarily result in very large launchers or very large, cumbersome ICBMs or long-range missiles if they tried to convert it at some later time.

You would -- if they want to use solid strap-on boosters, you would have some limitations there. You could provide them, say, with cryogenic technology, which would be less suitable for a missile system which has to work rather rapidly, 24-7.

There's a range of things you could do. And in fact, there is a small effort going on in trying to establish what those requirements might be. You would also need transparency, which would provide us with better insights as to what -- how they think, what they're doing. And I believe it would be worthwhile.

Now, this approach is not without risk. There is a risk that things will be diverted. There is risk that they're going to learn from their experiences in developing satellite launchers that they could apply to missiles later on. But I think those risks are much less than what we have now where they're allowed to launch whatever they want and learn specific lessons and develop specific technologies that are destined for long-range missiles.

So, yes, I think this is something worth pursuing. It would be outside the nuclear track. So, you know, you could get -- kind of get by with you know, not addressing the nuclear topic while addressing something strategic. You would lead to some confidence building, greater insights, et cetera.

So, in my view this would be worth -- a risk worth taking. But one has to understand that it's not a risk-free venture.

DAVENPORT: The woman here at the middle table.

QUESTION: Thank you. Hi. I am Kathy Crandall Robinson with Women in International Security. Thank you very much to both panelists.

My question is about the THAAD missile defense that we're delivering and deploying in South Korea. And Suzanne mentioned the concern and tension that's created in China. But it's also faced a lot of very serious protests from the civil society, the grassroots in South Korea. And a lot of tension around cost and so forth with the new presidential regime.

And I'm just curious if there's any value in changing the policy, if that would help in any way in moving forward with diplomacy and engagement with China. And if at this point any change is even possible?

DAVENPORT: Great. Thank you, Kathy.

Maybe we'll start on that question first. Mike, if you could just tell us a little bit about what THAAD can do and what THAAD can't do. And then, Suzanne, if you want to talk about how THAAD fits into the diplomacy?

DIMAGGIO: OK. Great.

ELLEMAN: OK. First, I want to separate regional missile defenses like THAAD, Aegis, Patriot from national missile defense here in the U.S., which is the ground-based interceptors, the system that was tested successfully a couple days ago.

Regional missile defenses are primarily aimed at blocking conventionally armed missiles. It's much like air defense. You're trying to limit what your opponent can inflict upon you, using aircraft or missiles. And when you combine something like THAAD with Patriot, you create a layered defense. And this greatly improves the efficacy of your capacity to block say 50 of 50 missiles over a given period of time.

You know, with what we presume to be the performance capabilities of Patriot, which is demonstrated, and what THAAD is currently tested and demonstrated in the design criteria, you could have 90 percent confidence that you could block 50 out of 50. Maybe one gets through, maybe two get through. But that would allow you to sustain military operations at key facilities, things of that nature.

This would be a great improvement over a single layer based only on Patriot. So, that's why it's being introduced into South Korea, in my view.

Now, against nuclear weapons or nuclear armed missiles, you know, there's a possibility that something gets through. It's not an umbrella. You know, no missile defense provides you with a perfect defense. And that's -- we need to recognize that, especially when making decisions over potential actions.

And it's important to remember, you know a 50-kiloton device is going to kill hundreds of thousands if not a million people in very dense cities. Is that a risk worth taking?

So, in my view, if you're looking at a conventionally armed threat from North Korea, THAAD makes some sense in preserving, probably military capabilities and protecting some critical assets within the Republic of Korea. It is expensive, yes. I think they probably need two THAAD batteries, by the way, maybe three, to really create a layered defense across the lower peninsula. And they would have to use Aegis to protect against a submarine launch missile. It's not the answer to all their questions.

As to the threat to China, THAAD does not pose a threat to China's current nuclear forces. There's a limited set of circumstances where THAAD can -- the radar can detect and track an ICBM that's headed to the West Coast, primarily, of the U.S. from I think it's three launch sites in China.

The information that would be gained is really minimal because you already have so many other sensors positioned around the world and in space. So, I don't know why China is so concerned with the deployment of this particular system.

I think it's a political maneuver by China. What they're concerned about is what comes next. Are they going to be -- is there going to be a ring of THAAD radars and other sensors as part of a larger architecture aimed at China?

That's why I think they've been protesting so vehemently, and using some really pretty crass tactics, if you will, in you know boycotting Lotte Industries and things of that nature. For that reason, I think it's difficult for South Korea now to back away from the deal because it would appear, whether it's done that for that reason or not, it's caving to the Chinese.

You know, I'm not a South Korean and I can't say what they should do in these circumstances. I'm not sure that it would lead to a more cooperative China in terms of solving this particular problem. So, I'd be inclined to leave it. But that's just a personal view.

And I think we also have to keep in mind that China cannot solve North Korea problem. But the North Korea problem cannot be solved without China's cooperation. And I think we're getting some. But remember, China's priorities are no instability, no war, and then no nuclear weapons in North Korea. So, it's going to be a difficult task.

DIMAGGIO: Well, just briefly I would just agree. I think it would be difficult for ROK to back out of THAAD now.

But of course, President Moon is coming to Washington later this month. We'll see if President Trump continues to insist that the South Koreans pay for it. That might have an impact on their decision.

Also, I also agree that you know the Chinese have overstated the case. So, I think for now I would agree to leave it at this stage. But I think the process by which we've moved forward with it, and now with a new administration in South Korea, I think we need to do better to be communicating with them on what they want and how they see it, and working with them in cooperation.

DAVENPORT: I think there's a question way in the back.

QUESTION: Thank you. I'm Professor Wayne Glass from University of Southern California School of International Relations.

A depressing topic to some extent, but I have good news. We have a whole next generation of policy wonks on arms control sitting with us from the University of Southern California.

(APPLAUSE)

My other comment here is from my experience with respect to the issues with North Korea. Congress's cooperation or involvement in this process is critical. And as we look forward to new moves, maybe if you look at it from the glass half full, pun intended, that the current political galaxy in Washington with the Congress under control of the Republicans, and the White House.

There's an opportunity to engage Republicans in Congress, as we strategize and take steps forward. And given the divide between the Congress and the White House, that produces an interesting dynamic as well.

Am I dreaming? Or are we going to be able to get ahead of this curve and incorporate Congress as talks about strategy and tactics move forward? Or is this a lost cause? I'm asking for some optimism. Thank you.

DAVENPORT: Well, not to load the answer ahead of time, but...

DIMAGGIO: Well, unfortunately I think...

(LAUGHTER)

... you know when you look at there're so few issues where there's bipartisan agreement these days. Unfortunately, I think one of them is North Korea, getting tougher on North Korea. I think Iran would be the other. But it's certainly worth trying.

You know, I also think Congress is part of the problem when we look at this because in the case of Iran you see Congress, especially the Republican side, trying to actively undermine the JCPOA.

And of course, this would lead -- if I was a North Korean considering engaging the U.S., entering into discussions on agreement, an interim agreement and so forth, I would really question whether or not the United States is prepared to fulfill that agreement, given the issues that are being placed against the JCPOA.

So yes, of course, we should always engage Congress in these discussions. But at the same time, we also have to be cautious about them playing the role of the spoiler as well.

When you look at the recent hearings on the Hill, there was one hearing recently where I think among the dozen or more senators who spoke there was really only one that even mentioned the word "diplomatic engagement," which shocked me.

ELLEMAN: Yes. I would just add one thing, and that is -- I mean, I do agree, Congress should be involved and co-opted, if you will. I mean, you want their inputs.

But I would urge some caution. Is what I would be afraid of is especially the more hawkish people in the Congress opposing any attempt to maybe work out a nuclear freeze as a first step. You know, tie the hands of the administration and not allow them to negotiate kind of interim steps. That would be dangerous and unwelcomed in my view.

So, in terms of what Congress -- it's more about what Congress shouldn't do than what they should do. So, I'll leave it at that.

DAVENPORT: We have just a few minutes left. So, I'll take a question there from that middle table. Right in front of you. Yes.

QUESTION: Michael Klare. I'm on the board of the Arms Control Association.

I have a question for Mike. You spoke about North Korea's missile development. Could you say a few words about North Korea's nuclear weapons development?

Because part and parcel of the process is, are they able to develop a warhead that would fit on an ICBM? (OFF-MIKE) anything about the timeline for that process, how that's pursued?

ELLEMAN: Well, the honest answer is no, I don't. You know the nuclear program is much more opaque than the missile program.

I mean, because you have to test missiles you can track them and you can get a sense of what their performance parameters are quite easily. Even the photographs that they provide and video can -- it offers many insights into what they're doing.

My presumption right now is that they can probably fashion a nuclear warhead that can be fitted upon the Nodong missile, you know, the larger diameter systems. Nodong has a diameter of 1.25 meters.

It's unclear if that would also apply to the Scud, which has a smaller diameter of 0.88 meters. But I think it's a safe assumption that they can shrink it.

I think the larger question is would it be rugged enough to withstand the reentry environment, and that is you know it has to be rugged. And you know there will be a lot of vibrations associated with launch and reentry.

What they haven't clearly done is develop the reentry technologies for a long-range missile. And I'm speaking specifically of an ICBM. But I think -- I don't think that's the long pole in the tent for an ICBM capability. I think that would be developed in parallel. But it would have to be tested to prove it right.

So, I think that's about as far as I can go because we just don't have the knowledge. And it's the reason -- suggestion that the IAEA should -- we should negotiate their reentry into the country would be so important because you learn so much just talking to people on the ground.

DAVENPORT: I agree with Mike that they certainly are likely to be able to fit a warhead on some of these missile systems.

But I think it's also important to note that the satellite imagery demonstrates that they're still operating their reactor at Yongbyon. That there is activity at the reprocessing facility. So, it's very likely that North Korea is continuing to produce fissile material that also expands the size of its particular arsenal.

So, just very quickly at the end, I wonder if each of you could just say a few words on what you might like to see come out of the U.S.-ROK Summit that's set to happen later in June. What do you think would be a positive outcome?

DIMAGGIO: I think some clarity on what their approaches are. I think obviously in order to move forward with the diplomatic approach they have to be on the same page.

As I said, we've heard some mixed messages from our administration and President Moon's administration is fairly new. So, I think you know, a joint statement that maybe spells out what they're willing to do. Not just on the pressure side, but on the engagement side as well, would be quite important at this time.

DAVENPORT: Mike, anything you'd like to see?

ELLEMAN: What I'd most like to see is very coherent collaboration and agreement between the U.S., the ROK and our Japanese allies in the region that whatever we decide as a policy is -- everyone concurs. And everyone understands the full risks because this notion that we can apply more and more pressure, and this talk about you know, left of launch solutions for missiles, destroying them on the launchpad is -- if they're not -- our allies are not completely on board, that could result in some real surprises or disastrous results.

So, I just want to -- I want to hear them make an offer, a very coherent strategy that everyone agrees upon.

DAVENPORT: Well, I guess we will see in a few weeks what happens.

After you join me in thanking our speakers, if you could all just stay seated for a few quick announcements from Daryl about lunch and moving forward.

So, thank you both so much for being here.

(APPLAUSE)

KIMBALL: Thank you, Kelsey, Suzanne and Mike. That was a great discussion. Very helpful.

We are now ready for lunch. We're going to take a 30-minute break. And then we're going to resume as promptly as possible at 12:15.

There are two food lines. So, please jump up, get in line, bring your food back to your table, and enjoy your break. Thank you.

END

DAVENPORT: All right. We're going to get started. So, thank you all for sticking around for our second panel.

I'm sure it comes as no surprise that we would be discussing North Korea today, given the increased tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and the North Korean Policy Review that President Trump has just completed.

So, for North Korea watchers, 2017 has certainly been an interesting year. President Trump decided to review policy toward North Korea shortly after his Inauguration. And he came back with a policy that emphasizes maximum pressure and engagement. But there has been some mixed signals on what exactly the United States might be looking for from North Korea before entering into negotiations.

South Korea also has a new president, Moon Jae-in. He has expressed an interest in talking to the North Koreans, but again, under what conditions still remains somewhat of an open question.

And then of course in North Korea we've seen a number of ballistic missile tests already in 2017, including some new systems. And all of this is leading up to the summit that Trump and Moon Jae-in will hold in Washington, D.C. later this month.

So, to help make sense of all of these developments, we're very fortunate to have with us today Michael Elleman and Suzanne DiMaggio. We're going to start today with Mike Elleman.

Mike is a senior fellow for Missile Defense at the Institute for International and Strategic Studies. He has spent some time at Booz-Allen Hamilton. He spent some time working on cooperative threat reduction programs.

And I would be remiss if I didn't add that he also has written several excellent pieces for "Arms Control Today," which I would encourage you to take a look at. And his full bio is available in your program.

Then we're going to move on to Suzanne DiMaggio. Suzanne is a director and senior fellow at the New America Foundation. She has years of experience working on Track II diplomatic initiatives on a range of issues, including nonproliferation and international security with countries like Iran, Myanmar and North Korea.

She's formerly been at the Asia Society. And she was most recently in Pyongyang in February. And she has met with the North Koreans, I believe, just this past month, in a Track II dialogue.

So, I will turn it over to Mike to get the discussion started.

ELLEMAN: Great. Thank you, Kelsey. And thank you to the Arms Control Association for the opportunity to speak here today.

I'm going to try to keep my comments as brief as possible. And Kelsey's agreed to kick me if I go over my time. It'll be good entertainment for TV anyway.

So, I want to focus on making three essential points, instead of kind of rehashing the different systems and such that North Korea is currently developing. And I want to highlight them for a reason, and I hope this comes out at the end clearly.

One, we've - well, we've seen just this new pattern of missile testing under the regime of Kim Jung-un. His grandfather, Kim Il-sung, under his reign from 1984 to 1994 -- I know he began before 1984, but they started missile testing in 1984. He conducted a total of I think it was 15 tests, about 1.5 missile tests per year.

Kim Jung Il, under his reign there were 16 or so tests. This includes a few satellite launch attempts. But they came in clusters of in 1998 you saw the Taepodong-1. And then in 2006 the Taepodong-2, along with a number of other missiles were fired in a single day. And then again in 2009 you saw a cluster of testing.

In both instances, this would be inconsistent with testing to develop new systems, even though they were attempting to develop the satellite launcher, the Unha-2, as it turns out to be. But it seemed that the rationale for testing was to train troops, you know, to create operational readiness, and for political purposes, especially the July 2006 testing.

Under Kim Jung-un we've seen this ramp-up of testing. I think he's now done -- it's at last count 78 missile launches. There may have been more that failed, I don't know. But I think the number is right around there. That's 13 to 15 tests per year. That's consistent with a missile development program.

Compare that, say, what Iran is doing. Iran on average tests maybe three to five missiles a year. They make minor modifications and test them out. They use them in war games. That is far less, and it's not enough testing to develop a new capability in a short period of time. When I say a short period of time, I'm talking three to five years.

So, it's clear to me. And what we've seen is a number of new systems emerge. And I'll talk about them in a moment. But what is clear is North Korea is trying to create new capabilities. And they're going about it in a reasonably technically valid way.

The second point I want to make is that we've seen North Korea move beyond a legacy Scud and Nodong technology. All the missiles up until Kim Jung-un came to power were basically powered by either the Scud or Nodong engine. This includes the Unha space launcher, which it uses Nodong and Scud technology.

You can see it results in a very large system. It could, in principle, be converted into an ICBM. It'd still have to be tested as an ICBM to prove it as a missile, but also to validate the reentry technologies and warhead survivability. But this would be an immobile missile.

It would be launched and prepared to launch from a fixed site. It would be vulnerable to preemption. You would probably have few in number. The preparation time is on the order of days, not hours.

In 2016, we've seen the emergence of three new propulsion systems. And I think this is very important.

One, we've seen the Musudan. This is a very different engine, much more sophisticated than the Scud, Nodong technology. It's derived from the old Soviet-era ARS-27 or SSN6 technology. It's a retired system now. But it appears that North Korea was able to import the engines at least, if not more technology.

All this technology, by the way, comes from either the Makeyev or the Isayev design builds. Makeyev is the builder of Russia's submarine launch missiles. Isayev makes the engines for I think almost every Makeyev missile. And they had a very close working relationship. So, that's -- you know, up until a few months ago I thought that was the primary procurement network for North Korea.

With this new engine that we see in the Musudan, even though that missile has failed a number of times -- I think it's out of six to eight launches it's had one apparent success and one partial success. It uses a different type -- higher energy fuels. It's a much more sophisticated engine.

With that type of technology, you can now build, in principle, a road mobile ICBM. And in fact, the presumption has been that the Musudan engines would be the main power plant for the KN-08 or the KN-14s that have not yet been tested, but they've been paraded by the North Koreans.

We've seen -- and this is very puzzling to me. I still haven't quite been able to figure out exactly what new engine this is. In September of last year, they did a ground test of a, what they call an 80-thrust engine. The statements that came out after the test was that it was destined for use on a satellite launcher.

Then earlier this year, I think it was in March, they tested the same engine, but they attached four steering or veneer engines to it that operate in parallel. And they suggested that this would be used for a new capability. And they basically said be prepared.

And lo and behold, two weeks ago they tested the Hwasong-12, an intermediate-range system. It flew to a very high altitude of I think it was 2,200 -- 2,100 kilometers, but only about 500 kilometers range. If flown on a standard trajectory this missile could reach ranges of 4,000 to 4,500 kilometers. In other words, it's a real intermediate-range missile.

It's not clear if that was the first test launch of this particular missile. There may have been one or two that occurred before that failed. It's uncertain at this point, mostly because the intelligence agencies around the world have been less than forthcoming for us -- for Seoul to rely on open source literature.

I'll talk about why this new missile is really important, along with the Musudan. But I also wanted to note that we've seen North Korea expand beyond liquid propellant technologies. We've seen them employ solid propellant motors for the Pukguksong-1 and 2. This is a submarine launch missile, and then this new land mobile system that they launched out of a canister on a tracked vehicle.

I think they're in the first steps of mastering the production of solid propellants. I believe this is indigenously produced. It was probably designed locally. It is not a copy of any known system, although it shares the central features of all first-generation submarine launch missiles.

That is -- it's two stages. It's about 1.5 meters in diameter and about 9 meters long. There are technical reasons why you come to that design solution. So, I don't think they've copied this from anyone.

But it's a worrying trend that if they master fully the solid propellant technologies, they can make any missile of any size and any range that they want in the future. It'll just take a lot of time. And I'll discuss that a bit in comments on timelines for an ICBM.

This HS-12, the engine that powers it, it's a little unclear to me. It's certainly not from the Isayev Design Bureau or Makeyev. It appears to be consistent with the RD-250 engine that was developed by Glushko. It's another Russian concern. It's now called Energomash. It's the premier engine manufacturer for space launch vehicles in Russia.

This engine was used for a number of medium-lift space launch vehicles, but also for the R-36, I think we called it the SSN-9 -- or the SS-9 ICBM, which was produced in, of all places, Ukraine, back when they were part of the Soviet Union.

This means that North Korea probably has an expanded network for illicit procurement. And this is really worrying to me for two reasons. One, this engine in particular could be the basis for an ICBM.

But two, we now know that they probably have expanded their procurement capacity beyond Makeyev and Isayev. Therefore, we don't know how large it is anymore. We don't know what else they might have. So, predicting what systems they could develop in the near term to mid term is now complicated by this diversification of sources of technology.

The other thing I would note that because HS-12, or the Hwasong-12 is the new system and it's important, you know the outrage that we always associate with any missile launch, I think that we need to stop -- or start looking at those launches which are most consequential versus those that are just kind of standard and politically oriented.

I don't worry if they test a new Scud or -- a Scud or a Nodong type system. I do worry and I do think it's important when they test Musudan or this Hwasong-12.

I would be -- I would preserve my political capital to express sanctions or other punitive measures or preventive measures, and reserve those for the missiles that matter like HS-12, like Musudan. I would -- those are far more important than even satellite launches, in my view. I think we should rethink how we express our concerns about what North Korea is doing.

I want to wrap up with timelines for an ICBM, because that's what everyone seems to be interested in these days. It's always challenging to forecast the future. A lot of things can change. But if they wanted a near-term solution, meaning something that would be operationally viable at the end of 2018, 2019, they could try to transform the Unha satellite launcher into an ICBM.

They'd have to replace the upper stages with something new, test it and then validate the design as well as the reentry technologies. So, you could see something for what I call emergency use at probably 2019 or so.

A more practical approach would be to use either the Hwasong-12 or Musudan engines to create a road mobile ICBM. They need to continue testing and more fully develop the intermediate range capability. But with a few more successful flights of Hwasong-12, I think they could, from a technical perspective, move toward ICBM testing.

When they could create that capacity and operationalize it really depends on what the requirements North Korea imposes on their systems. How reliable does it need to be, 50 percent, 75 percent, 99 percent like U.S. and Chinese systems or Russian systems? That's an open question. And that's why it's difficult to project a timeline with any real fidelity.

But assuming they want something that's as least as reliable, that it's successful most of the time, you can define most as you wish. But I think that you would have -- you would see at least a dozen flight tests with 75 percent of them being "successful." Then they would be operationally viable in my view, granted it would be under a more relaxed criteria.

That could occur in 2020 at the very earliest. 2021 is a more likely date, assuming everything went well for them. It could stretch out even further. But it might be, you know, good for emergency use, say if they were being attacked, by 2020.

Third option they have is to use this new solid propellant technology. Now, it's one thing to make solid rocket motors the size that you see in the KN-11 or Pukguksong-1 and KN-15 or Pukguksong-2. Quite another thing to build a 25- to 30-ton rocket motor for a first stage for an ICBM.

Typically, it takes countries five to 12 years to move from the size you see in the KN-11 to an ICBM size. So, it's a long-term project that North Korea would have to embark upon to create an ICBM based on solid technologies. Therefore, I would be very surprised if they had something that was operational by 2025.

I think the more likely date would be 2030. It will result in a lot of embarrassing mistakes. That's just the nature of the development. We see it with the Musudan.

So, I think that will be a long-term project. The most likely and viable system they could develop would be based on either the Musudan or the HS-12 technology. As I said, we could see that as the next president takes office in -- you know, after 2020. If it's not Trump, it's someone else.

So, I'll conclude there. And leave room for questions, comments, outrage, whatever.

(LAUGHTER)

DAVENPORT: Thank you, Mike.

And for those of you in suspense in the back, I did not even have to kick him. He stayed on time.

So, now to talk about how we might be able to address the rising tension, and to think about some of the options for engagement with North Korea going forward, I'm going to turn it over to Suzanne.

DIMAGGIO: Thanks. And please kick me if I go over, which I'll try not to do.

First, let me extend my thanks to the Arms Control Association, to Daryl, Kelsey, Kingston, everyone. It's such an important organization at this moment, maybe more important than ever. And if you aren't already supporting them, I urge you to do so. That's my pitch.

DAVENPORT: Thank you.

DIMAGGIO: Let me focus. I want to focus first on -- mostly on the policy options for the U.S.

So, as Kelsey said, the administration now has completed its policy review, and for all intents and purposes, it seems like it was a fairly cohesive interagency review. It declared that the end of strategic patience is over. I think an actual funeral was held...

(LAUGHTER)

... here in Washington. And that a policy of maximum pressure and engagement was replacing it.

Frankly, to me it still seems very unclear if this new policy is very much different from the old policy, or if it's just -- it's been given a new wardrobe. That being said, there appears to be several key elements to this policy as far as I can see. One is that it puts back on the table all options, including military action, more aggressive action.

For example, just today we know that there are naval maneuvers happening in the area of North Korea. And for the first time in a few decades, it includes two U.S. aircraft carriers.

Also, the joint ROK-U.S. military exercises that just happened in April included Navy Seals, a Special Op team that reportedly was focused on so-called decapitation exercises. So, this does seem like a little bit of a ratcheting up on that side of the equation.

And during his visit to the region in March, Secretary Tillerson's statements hinted at the possibility of a preemptive strike to destroy nuclear capabilities. He also stated that all options are on the table when questioned about a military option, opening a door to the idea of preventive war.

The problem with this approach, if we rely on it exclusively, is that when you threaten the use of force, you have to be prepared to use it. It's a major risk. The fact that we do not know how the North Koreans would retaliate.

We would imagine that they would respond in one way, shape or form. And that could escalate. It could inflict mass casualties, severe damage to our ally South Korea, as well as to our other ally Japan, and potentially to the U.S. forces that are based in the region.

And this leaves out the question how would Beijing react. A regional war? A full-scale war? We all know that there's really no military solution to the North Korea issue, and I feel very strongly about that.

The second element I see is a greater reliance on China to mount more pressure against North Korea, at least rhetorically. China, of course, is Pyongyang's biggest trading partner. Last year I think 90 percent of the total trade came from -- was China, including most of North Korea's food and energy supplies. So, it is a very unique position.

I think today the U.N. Security Council is considering a new -- a resolution, additional sanctions. While Japan, South Korea and the U.S. are pushing the more pressure, more sanctions, it seems China is resisting and is instead pushing for dialogue at an emergency meeting of the U.N.S.C. That happened last week and is continuing today.

President Trump recently tweeted that "China is trying hard" to reign in North Korea. And U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley recently stated that Beijing is using a back channel to try to stop the DPRK from testing. This indicates -- this is worrisome to me because it indicates, do they not have direct channels?

We've heard rumors of worsening relationship between the two. The fact that Kim Jung-un, since he's gained power, has not visited Beijing. He's not met Xi Jinping. So, we really have to question whether or not a reliance on China to help solve this issue is a wise approach. I'm very skeptical about it.

And of course, China's national interests are not necessarily aligned with ours when it comes to North Korea. We can go through a whole litany of things, everything from a fear that the regime's downfall could lead to a mass refugee influx. A collapse could allow U.S. troops to have direct access to the Chinese border. And of course, the recent implementation of THAAD is threatening to the Chinese.

The third element of this new policy I see is an emphasis on more sanctions. Of course, President Obama's administration also focused on sanctions as well. So, it's not necessarily new.

The fact is, is that this approach hasn't worked so far. In fact, I would argue, as was outlined in the previous presentation, as we layered on more sanctions against North Korea, we see them steadily accelerating the progress on their nuclear missiles program, in the face of increased sanctions.

There was a study done by researchers recently at MIT that found U.S. sanctions imposed against North Korea have been largely unsuccessful at curbing the country's illicit procurement. Because of, in part, North Korea has been able to adapt, there's a growing capacity to work around sanctions.

So, could sanctions and pressure on North Korea alone resolve the nuclear issue? It's very unlikely.

I think even if we look at the case of Iran, extensive sanctions on their own didn't bring the Iranians to the table. There were other factors. We can talk about them. And this is even less likely in the case of North Korea because Pyongyang is not as reliant on the global financial system as Iran.

So, in this new policy, it also leaves room for engagement. So, that's the fourth element that I see. And my thinking on this is with a new U.S. administration comes an opportunity to try to forge a diplomatic path, especially when it's clear that the current approach is not working.

Relying on a pressure-only approach is dangerous because it is inherently an approach of escalation that either leads to conflict or backing down by one side, and not necessarily to a potential political agreement, political solution. So, we risk falling into a cycle of tit for tat escalation with real potential for conflict either by design or maybe more so by accident. So, we need an off-ramp.

The Trump administration has left open room for engagement. Still remains to be seen if that will be pursued. President Trump warned in an interview in late April that a major, major conflict with the North was possible. He also said he'd prefer a diplomatic outcome to the dispute.

Although the U.S. has explicitly ruled out talks with Pyongyang unless the government took verifiable action to freeze its weapons program. The president then said he would be honored to meet with North Korea's leader Kim Jung-un, under the right circumstances. I think these are very mixed signals, mixed messages that urgently need to be clarified.

That being said, it's interesting that following that, senior North Korean diplomat Che San We, also their lead nuclear negotiator, recently said that the DPRK is open to dialogue with the U.S. under the right conditions. South Korean President Moon has said something similar.

So, I think the task now at hand is to find out what those right conditions are. And the best way to do this of course, the only way to do it, is through dialogue. So, what's needed now is what I would call aggressive diplomacy, backed up by all the leverage that the maximum pressure that I just talked about brings.

Now, when we talk about a diplomatic approach, I do think there are some lessons to be learned from the Iran deal that might be worth considering for negotiating with North Korea. Of course, both cases are completely different. I've traveled to both countries. I've experienced it firsthand.

The biggest difference is of course North Korea has nuclear weapons. Iran has never possessed a nuclear weapon. And of course, Iran is a member of the NPT. The differences go on and on and on.

So, I'm not advocating that the JCPOA is a model for North Korea. It's technically quite different. But I do think the process of diplomacy that the U.S. pursued with Iran could offer some insights on how to begin engagement with a very strong adversary whose leadership is extremely distrustful of the United States, and of course vice versa.

There are three elements of diplomacy with Iran that I think we should be looking at. First is initiate a low-key diplomatic channel authorized at the highest level.

Prior to the start of official negotiations with the Iranians, both -- diplomats from both countries engaged in a series of meetings that were held secretly. There were 12 such meetings convened in Muscat, Geneva and New York over a period of about 16 months. This eventually led to the multilateral, P5+1 talks, and an interim agreement called the Joint Plan of Action, JPOA, in November 2013.

I think, given the level of mistrust between Pyongyang and Washington, I think it would be a good first step to try to have dialogue without preconditions to find out what is possible. We can call them talks about talks, to help clarify what those conditions that would be acceptable, what are they? How can we identify them? How to meet or overcome them? What are the non-negotiables? And then move ahead with the negotiations with our allies and others.

I think this work before the negotiations begin, that American diplomats and Iranian diplomats engaged in, really helped pave the way to not only a successful interim agreement, but then to the JCPOA, which by the way is an agreement that is working.

The second element of diplomacy with Iran I think that should be considered is to focus on a limited set of realistic objectives, not a grand bargain. The U.S.-Iran discussions, when limited to what both sides deem to be very specific, manageable set of items in the nuclear field.

And of course, the U.S. priority has placed on preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The Iranian priority was in exchange sanctions would be lifted.

So, now the U.S. really must decide on its highest priority with North Korea at this time. It must zero in on what that key goal could be. And also, something that's in the realm of achievability at this time.

So, to diffuse tensions I think the best bet would be to begin by pursuing an agreement that would freeze DPRK's nuclear missile testing. One of the key goals here would be to get IAEA inspectors, who do not currently have, and haven't for years had access to any aspects of North Korea's program, back into the country.

And when we look at the JCPOA, one of the things that's so remarkable about it is the extensive verification, monitoring requirements that come along with it. And that certainly is something to emulate.

So, suspension of testing of course is an interim step. Probably if we set the goal of a nuclear-free Korean peninsula as the end goal, this would be an interim set. It's not a solution.

As Graham Allison wrote in "The New York Times" this week, he said "Is United States national security really strengthened if a 33-year-old dictator with a record of executing his enemies can define red lines as left with an arsenal of 20 warheads and missiles that can deliver nuclear strikes against Seoul and Tokyo? We know the answer."

So, it's an important interim step, but it's not the final solution. It should be seen as part of a phased process.

The third element is what I would call pursuing a win-win approach. The U.S. and Iranians, in those early secret talks, both agree that they needed a win-win outcome, where at the end of the day, each of them could come forward and say they succeeded in filling their goals. This, of course, also came with the understanding that they would have to make compromises along the way so that both sides would be able to claim victory.

And then I think moving on, looking forward to what that phased approach might be. Bob Einhorn recently has written about this at Brookings, and I think it makes a great deal of sense.

Starting with the negotiations on nuclear freeze and missile freeze, setting the stage for an interim agreement that would freeze nuclear and missile development, and end proliferation. And then followed by further negotiations over next steps, with benchmarks that would be worked out over time.

Potential end goal could be a comprehensive regional security strategy, which I know is something Tom Pickering and Mort Halperin have been working on. That could take years.

So to conclude, I was on a panel recently and one of the experts on the panel was I think very much opposed to what I was proposing. And the reason was, is that he said we've tried this. We've tried diplomacy with the North Koreans. It's too hard. They cheat. They can't be trusted.

You know, I heard the same arguments with Iran for years. In fact, during the 35 years before the JCPOA, there were countless failed attempts, missed opportunities. And yet we now have an agreement that is working.

As Nelson Mandela put it, it always seems impossible until it's done. And I would apply that in that case. Because we've failed in the past doesn't mean we shouldn't attempt it again. We should learn from those failed attempts and move forward and try it. Test it.

That being said, there's no question the difficulties, obstacles of such an approach, the mutual demonization on both sides, the lack of interaction over years, the lack of relations, the lack of exchanges both on both the governmental level but also on a societal level, makes this all the harder.

So, I would just end on this note. If the administration decides to go down this path with any chance of success, it should also follow what President Obama did with the Iran deal. And that was put together an A team of diplomats, scientists, other technical experts to carry this out.

As I said at another event, this is not something you farm out to your son-in-law, if I may say that. So, this will require filling key staff positions, senior positions, a real negotiating team like we had with the Iran talks.

And it also means filling ambassadorial positions in key capitals throughout Asia and elsewhere. This would be a major undertaking of diplomacy.

Diplomacy is hard, especially with an adversary. But as the Iran deal showed, it's not impossible.

DAVENPORT: Thank you, Suzanne.

(APPLAUSE)

I'm now going to open it up for questions. And in addition to the standard instruction of please introducing yourself and asking a question, I'm going to ask everyone to make sure that they're really holding the microphones close, given the fact that we are trying to pick this up for the C-SPAN audience.

So, we'll start over there with Paul.

QUESTION: Thanks, Kelsey and Daryl, for a great event. Paul Kawika Martin, Peace Action.

It's my understanding -- and I agree that we need to touch out with North Korea on the diplomatic front. It's my understanding that there's some several thousand remains of U.S. soldiers that are still there from the Korean War. And that actually North Korea would like to give those back.

And that is touchpoint in which I think we can get even bipartisan support here in Congress. Because as we know, no member of Congress has been not elected for bashing North Korea too hard.

So, is there a way that we could touch out? It's my understanding that the Obama administration didn't do so on that specific issue. And maybe even get support, bipartisan support, even from Republicans, bringing our -- the remains of our servicemen home.

DIMAGGIO: I'm not so sure that the Obama administration didn't approach that. I think maybe they had tried. But I'm not certain. I can't verify that.

But I think that is -- you know, the fact that the North Koreans have indicated a willingness to talk about an issue like that of course should be pursued. I think what I had proposed, a quiet channel a secret channel, I think it'd be very hard to keep it secret. But a very quiet channel would be a way to begin discussions on these issues.

The fact is, given, like I said, the high level of mistrust, any effort that can be made to build confidence, wins along the way that could help do that, gestures by both sides that could help do that. We're in desperate need of that.

DAVENPORT: Greg, here in the front?

QUESTION: Greg Thielmann, Arms Control Association Board of Directors.

Suzanne, I very much agree with the objective of seeking an interim freeze on nuclear and missile developments in North Korea.

One of the things that I'm wondering about, though, and this is a question for Mike, is, is there also value in pursuing as an interim a limit on the kind of testing of systems that you were most alarmed by? That is to say, would it be worth presenting to North Korea a proposal to ban any flight tests of missiles above short range, for example?

Or even allowing space launch vehicles of the Unha series, as a bone to throw to Kim Jung-un? Wouldn't that still give us a very valuable security advantage in stopping testing of all these systems that you're most alarmed by?

ELLEMAN: Thank you, Greg. That was a nice softball you threw me. We've talked about this before.

I think it would be an interesting subject to explore with North Korea, that is a flight test ban on missiles that fly over -- or have the capacity to fly over some given range. That would be the subject of part of the negotiations what it might be. But it would certainly include intermediate-range systems, which you know anything that flies like more than 2,500 or 3,000 kilometers. So, it would capture Musudan. It would capture this latest HS-12.

Why would that be important? Well, in order to develop a missile, you have to test it. And that's why we see North Korea testing missiles. If you don't test it, and you look back you know from a systems engineering approach, or you look at kind of historical data from other countries that have developed intermediate or long-range missiles. Over the course of the first five to 10 launches the failure rate is greater than 50 percent, with few exceptions. Sometimes it's even much greater than -- you know, much greater than 50 percent fail. And that's just the nature of creating new technologies and new capabilities. So, if they're not allowed to test, they can develop or create a system, but they'll have no confidence that it works. And to field it would -- they would necessarily have to accept great risk that this system wouldn't work. If it's a systemic failure, it's likely all of them will fail. If it's something different with each launch, you know, then they have a 50-50 chance of getting -- there's -- 50 percent of them might actually reach their destination. So, I think that's something worth pursuing.

Now, what would you ask -- or what would they ask for in return? I think something logical would be allowing space launch activities. You know perhaps even providing some technological assistance.

But this -- you would have to have certain restrictions on what they could use and couldn't use. I would say they would be limited to using either Scud type fuels, which are low performance. It would necessarily result in very large launchers or very large, cumbersome ICBMs or long-range missiles if they tried to convert it at some later time.

You would -- if they want to use solid strap-on boosters, you would have some limitations there. You could provide them, say, with cryogenic technology, which would be less suitable for a missile system which has to work rather rapidly, 24-7.

There's a range of things you could do. And in fact, there is a small effort going on in trying to establish what those requirements might be. You would also need transparency, which would provide us with better insights as to what -- how they think, what they're doing. And I believe it would be worthwhile.

Now, this approach is not without risk. There is a risk that things will be diverted. There is risk that they're going to learn from their experiences in developing satellite launchers that they could apply to missiles later on. But I think those risks are much less than what we have now where they're allowed to launch whatever they want and learn specific lessons and develop specific technologies that are destined for long-range missiles.

So, yes, I think this is something worth pursuing. It would be outside the nuclear track. So, you know, you could get -- kind of get by with you know, not addressing the nuclear topic while addressing something strategic. You would lead to some confidence building, greater insights, et cetera.

So, in my view this would be worth -- a risk worth taking. But one has to understand that it's not a risk-free venture.

DAVENPORT: The woman here at the middle table.

QUESTION: Thank you. Hi. I am Kathy Crandall Robinson with Women in International Security. Thank you very much to both panelists.

My question is about the THAAD missile defense that we're delivering and deploying in South Korea. And Suzanne mentioned the concern and tension that's created in China. But it's also faced a lot of very serious protests from the civil society, the grassroots in South Korea. And a lot of tension around cost and so forth with the new presidential regime.

And I'm just curious if there's any value in changing the policy, if that would help in any way in moving forward with diplomacy and engagement with China. And if at this point any change is even possible?

DAVENPORT: Great. Thank you, Kathy.

Maybe we'll start on that question first. Mike, if you could just tell us a little bit about what THAAD can do and what THAAD can't do. And then, Suzanne, if you want to talk about how THAAD fits into the diplomacy?

DIMAGGIO: OK. Great.

ELLEMAN: OK. First, I want to separate regional missile defenses like THAAD, Aegis, Patriot from national missile defense here in the U.S., which is the ground-based interceptors, the system that was tested successfully a couple days ago.

Regional missile defenses are primarily aimed at blocking conventionally armed missiles. It's much like air defense. You're trying to limit what your opponent can inflict upon you, using aircraft or missiles. And when you combine something like THAAD with Patriot, you create a layered defense. And this greatly improves the efficacy of your capacity to block say 50 of 50 missiles over a given period of time.

You know, with what we presume to be the performance capabilities of Patriot, which is demonstrated, and what THAAD is currently tested and demonstrated in the design criteria, you could have 90 percent confidence that you could block 50 out of 50. Maybe one gets through, maybe two get through. But that would allow you to sustain military operations at key facilities, things of that nature.

This would be a great improvement over a single layer based only on Patriot. So, that's why it's being introduced into South Korea, in my view.

Now, against nuclear weapons or nuclear armed missiles, you know, there's a possibility that something gets through. It's not an umbrella. You know, no missile defense provides you with a perfect defense. And that's -- we need to recognize that, especially when making decisions over potential actions.

And it's important to remember, you know a 50-kiloton device is going to kill hundreds of thousands if not a million people in very dense cities. Is that a risk worth taking?

So, in my view, if you're looking at a conventionally armed threat from North Korea, THAAD makes some sense in preserving, probably military capabilities and protecting some critical assets within the Republic of Korea. It is expensive, yes. I think they probably need two THAAD batteries, by the way, maybe three, to really create a layered defense across the lower peninsula. And they would have to use Aegis to protect against a submarine launch missile. It's not the answer to all their questions.

As to the threat to China, THAAD does not pose a threat to China's current nuclear forces. There's a limited set of circumstances where THAAD can -- the radar can detect and track an ICBM that's headed to the West Coast, primarily, of the U.S. from I think it's three launch sites in China.

The information that would be gained is really minimal because you already have so many other sensors positioned around the world and in space. So, I don't know why China is so concerned with the deployment of this particular system.

I think it's a political maneuver by China. What they're concerned about is what comes next. Are they going to be -- is there going to be a ring of THAAD radars and other sensors as part of a larger architecture aimed at China?

That's why I think they've been protesting so vehemently, and using some really pretty crass tactics, if you will, in you know boycotting Lotte Industries and things of that nature. For that reason, I think it's difficult for South Korea now to back away from the deal because it would appear, whether it's done that for that reason or not, it's caving to the Chinese.

You know, I'm not a South Korean and I can't say what they should do in these circumstances. I'm not sure that it would lead to a more cooperative China in terms of solving this particular problem. So, I'd be inclined to leave it. But that's just a personal view.

And I think we also have to keep in mind that China cannot solve North Korea problem. But the North Korea problem cannot be solved without China's cooperation. And I think we're getting some. But remember, China's priorities are no instability, no war, and then no nuclear weapons in North Korea. So, it's going to be a difficult task.

DIMAGGIO: Well, just briefly I would just agree. I think it would be difficult for ROK to back out of THAAD now.

But of course, President Moon is coming to Washington later this month. We'll see if President Trump continues to insist that the South Koreans pay for it. That might have an impact on their decision.

Also, I also agree that you know the Chinese have overstated the case. So, I think for now I would agree to leave it at this stage. But I think the process by which we've moved forward with it, and now with a new administration in South Korea, I think we need to do better to be communicating with them on what they want and how they see it, and working with them in cooperation.

DAVENPORT: I think there's a question way in the back.

QUESTION: Thank you. I'm Professor Wayne Glass from University of Southern California School of International Relations.

A depressing topic to some extent, but I have good news. We have a whole next generation of policy wonks on arms control sitting with us from the University of Southern California.

(APPLAUSE)

My other comment here is from my experience with respect to the issues with North Korea. Congress's cooperation or involvement in this process is critical. And as we look forward to new moves, maybe if you look at it from the glass half full, pun intended, that the current political galaxy in Washington with the Congress under control of the Republicans, and the White House.

There's an opportunity to engage Republicans in Congress, as we strategize and take steps forward. And given the divide between the Congress and the White House, that produces an interesting dynamic as well.

Am I dreaming? Or are we going to be able to get ahead of this curve and incorporate Congress as talks about strategy and tactics move forward? Or is this a lost cause? I'm asking for some optimism. Thank you.

DAVENPORT: Well, not to load the answer ahead of time, but...

DIMAGGIO: Well, unfortunately I think...

(LAUGHTER)

... you know when you look at there're so few issues where there's bipartisan agreement these days. Unfortunately, I think one of them is North Korea, getting tougher on North Korea. I think Iran would be the other. But it's certainly worth trying.

You know, I also think Congress is part of the problem when we look at this because in the case of Iran you see Congress, especially the Republican side, trying to actively undermine the JCPOA.

And of course, this would lead -- if I was a North Korean considering engaging the U.S., entering into discussions on agreement, an interim agreement and so forth, I would really question whether or not the United States is prepared to fulfill that agreement, given the issues that are being placed against the JCPOA.

So yes, of course, we should always engage Congress in these discussions. But at the same time, we also have to be cautious about them playing the role of the spoiler as well.

When you look at the recent hearings on the Hill, there was one hearing recently where I think among the dozen or more senators who spoke there was really only one that even mentioned the word "diplomatic engagement," which shocked me.

ELLEMAN: Yes. I would just add one thing, and that is -- I mean, I do agree, Congress should be involved and co-opted, if you will. I mean, you want their inputs.

But I would urge some caution. Is what I would be afraid of is especially the more hawkish people in the Congress opposing any attempt to maybe work out a nuclear freeze as a first step. You know, tie the hands of the administration and not allow them to negotiate kind of interim steps. That would be dangerous and unwelcomed in my view.

So, in terms of what Congress -- it's more about what Congress shouldn't do than what they should do. So, I'll leave it at that.

DAVENPORT: We have just a few minutes left. So, I'll take a question there from that middle table. Right in front of you. Yes.

QUESTION: Michael Klare. I'm on the board of the Arms Control Association.

I have a question for Mike. You spoke about North Korea's missile development. Could you say a few words about North Korea's nuclear weapons development?

Because part and parcel of the process is, are they able to develop a warhead that would fit on an ICBM? (OFF-MIKE) anything about the timeline for that process, how that's pursued?

ELLEMAN: Well, the honest answer is no, I don't. You know the nuclear program is much more opaque than the missile program.

I mean, because you have to test missiles you can track them and you can get a sense of what their performance parameters are quite easily. Even the photographs that they provide and video can -- it offers many insights into what they're doing.

My presumption right now is that they can probably fashion a nuclear warhead that can be fitted upon the Nodong missile, you know, the larger diameter systems. Nodong has a diameter of 1.25 meters.

It's unclear if that would also apply to the Scud, which has a smaller diameter of 0.88 meters. But I think it's a safe assumption that they can shrink it.

I think the larger question is would it be rugged enough to withstand the reentry environment, and that is you know it has to be rugged. And you know there will be a lot of vibrations associated with launch and reentry.

What they haven't clearly done is develop the reentry technologies for a long-range missile. And I'm speaking specifically of an ICBM. But I think -- I don't think that's the long pole in the tent for an ICBM capability. I think that would be developed in parallel. But it would have to be tested to prove it right.

So, I think that's about as far as I can go because we just don't have the knowledge. And it's the reason -- suggestion that the IAEA should -- we should negotiate their reentry into the country would be so important because you learn so much just talking to people on the ground.

DAVENPORT: I agree with Mike that they certainly are likely to be able to fit a warhead on some of these missile systems.

But I think it's also important to note that the satellite imagery demonstrates that they're still operating their reactor at Yongbyon. That there is activity at the reprocessing facility. So, it's very likely that North Korea is continuing to produce fissile material that also expands the size of its particular arsenal.

So, just very quickly at the end, I wonder if each of you could just say a few words on what you might like to see come out of the U.S.-ROK Summit that's set to happen later in June. What do you think would be a positive outcome?

DIMAGGIO: I think some clarity on what their approaches are. I think obviously in order to move forward with the diplomatic approach they have to be on the same page.

As I said, we've heard some mixed messages from our administration and President Moon's administration is fairly new. So, I think you know, a joint statement that maybe spells out what they're willing to do. Not just on the pressure side, but on the engagement side as well, would be quite important at this time.

DAVENPORT: Mike, anything you'd like to see?

ELLEMAN: What I'd most like to see is very coherent collaboration and agreement between the U.S., the ROK and our Japanese allies in the region that whatever we decide as a policy is -- everyone concurs. And everyone understands the full risks because this notion that we can apply more and more pressure, and this talk about you know, left of launch solutions for missiles, destroying them on the launchpad is -- if they're not -- our allies are not completely on board, that could result in some real surprises or disastrous results.

So, I just want to -- I want to hear them make an offer, a very coherent strategy that everyone agrees upon.

DAVENPORT: Well, I guess we will see in a few weeks what happens.

After you join me in thanking our speakers, if you could all just stay seated for a few quick announcements from Daryl about lunch and moving forward.

So, thank you both so much for being here.

(APPLAUSE)

LUNCHEON SPEAKER: 

KIMBALL: All right. Welcome back, everyone. Welcome back. And please find your seats so we can resume here at the Arms Control Association Annual Meeting with our first keynote speaker of the day. Thank you.

Once again, I'm Daryl Kimball. I'm director of the Arms Control Association. We're glad to have so many friends here for our 2017 Arms Control Association Annual Meeting.

Pleased to have with us today Cristopher Ford, who's special assistant to the president and senior director for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Counterproliferation Policy at National Security Council.

Chris, who has extensive experience on these issues, he's been on the professional staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Senate Banking Committee, the Appropriations Committee. He served on the personal staff of Sen. Susan Collins as her national security adviser.

And before that he served at the State Department as a special representative on Nonproliferation, and was a deputy assistant secretary of State for Arms Control Nonproliferation and Disarmament Verification and Compliance during the George W. Bush administration.

And as Chris knows, and as most of you here recognize, probably the most serious responsibility for any U.S. president is reducing the global risks posed by nuclear weapons and nuclear proliferation.

Why is that? Why have presidents seen that as a risk? Well, as John F. Kennedy said in 1961, "every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sort of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness."

Ronald Reagan in 1985 noted that a nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought. And last year in Hiroshima, President Obama said, "those nations that hold nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them."

And so, for decades, American presidents have, with varying degrees of success, Republicans and Democrats all pursued their commitment in the NPT, which we talked about this morning, the nonproliferation treaty to end the arms race, to pursue disarmament.

We have negotiated agreements that limit and cut nuclear arsenals, worked to curb the spread of nuclear weapons, ended nuclear testing in the atmosphere and underground, and sought to reduce the risk of miscalculation with nuclear weapons.

So, we're seeing many -- much progress in many areas, as Larry Weiler, one of the participants here and one of the original negotiators of the NPT reminded us this morning. But there are many challenges ahead.

And in some ways, as we heard this morning, the risk of nuclear weapons use appears to be growing due to tensions between nuclear armed states, the situation on the Korean Peninsula, and as some key nuclear arms restraint measures are put at risk.

And so, even before President Trump took the oath of office and came into the White House, there were already some tough challenges and decisions to make in the area of nuclear weapons policy such as how to use pressure and diplomacy to halt and reverse North Korea's nuclear program and missile programs, how to dissolve the dispute with Russia over compliance with the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, and to reengage Russia in the nuclear risk reduction process.

How to make sure that all sides abide by the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the six world powers that has been holding Tehran's nuclear capabilities in check. How do we forge international agreements about how to strengthen the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which will become 50 years old, and perhaps reaching a middle age crisis, next year?

And how do we manage the rising cost of the United States' own nuclear weapons arsenal, while reviewing the United States' own requirements and policies about the role of nuclear weapons in our military strategy?

So, these are tough questions. Chris, you have an important job. Not to put any pressure on you. But these are the toughest issues that anybody in government has to deal with.

And so far, we haven't heard a lot about the administration's general approach to these issues. And speaking frankly, in my view, what we have heard from the president on these issues has sometimes created more confusion than answering the questions that we might have.

So, because of all of that, because of the importance of these issues, we're very pleased to have Chris Ford with us here today to help update us on the administration's approach on these very important issues, this most consequential set of issues.

And in discussing this event in his remarks today, I told Chris that we know that he's not going to be able to answer all of our questions. In part because some of these issues are still the subject of policy reviews. But we hope that he's going to be able to do his best to help explain the administration's approach in these tough issues.

So, with that, I welcome Chris Ford to the podium. And after Chris delivers his remarks, we'll take questions from the floor. And there are 3-by-5 cards on your chairs. And if you have questions, please jot them down.

We know there are going to be a lot of questions. Pass them to the side. And my team will collect those, and sort out some of the most interesting ones and pass them forward. So, that's the process for the Q&A.

So, Chris, thank you so much for being here.

(APPLAUSE)

FORD: Is this mine perhaps?

KIMBALL: That is yours.

FORD: Thank you very much, everybody. It's a pleasure to be here this afternoon.

That's the live one. Got it. Is this also necessary? Dear me. All right. OK.

It's great to have the chance to talk to you. Thank you very much. I'm grateful to the Arms Control Association for inviting me, and of course to Carnegie for being such a gracious host.

As indicated, Daryl asked me to say a few words about the new administration's policy on nuclear weapons. This is a challenging assignment, inasmuch as many of our policy reviews on these kinds of topics are still underway, as I outlined in my remarks to Carnegie's own nonproliferation conference in March.

The Nuclear Posture Review, for example, and the Ballistic Missile Defense Review, which are being led by the Department of Defense, are, for example, still in progress. And we have also not yet completed our review of various arms control and disarmament related institutions and regimes and approaches.

These things are still ongoing. But yet of course it remains true that what our approach is to nuclear weaponry is of course a great topic.

And so, I resolve to try to be as forthcoming as I can, and also mindful of the fact that we are apparently on the record and on camera. Not something I'm all that used to being in the business of doing these days.

To try to -- to level sort of a baseline understanding of the sort of the approach that we are beginning to try to bring to these issues, and frankly to try to reign in some of what I think of as the more google-eyed assumptions that are sometimes made in media coverage about what the president has said on nuclear topics. I'd like to try to walk through some of that a little bit.

To hear some of our critics tell it, the new administration has been shackled to an incoherent series of rants across the spectrum of nuclear issues. Pronouncements and suggestions that if actually taken as guise to development of the U.S. nuclear policy, would result in essentially all but immediate catastrophe.

I hope I can persuade you that the reality does not deserve that hype. To the contrary, there are concepts and insights that inform the president's comments that will ground a sound and effective U.S. approach to nuclear strategy, an approach that I expect you will indeed see emerge in time as our various reviews and policy assessments run their course. Excuse me.

So, let's start with proliferation. The president's remarks during last year's election campaign on nonproliferation in East Asia -- on proliferation in East Asia had been widely repeated. And they've been the subject of much hand-wringing.

I've certainly seen this all over the place. They are often quoted, essentially for shock value. Apparently on the theory that they signal some kind of a cavalier attitude toward nuclear weapons and toward the challenge of proliferation.

If that's your concern, I'd urge you to reread his comments a bit more carefully. The president has spoken about the proliferation dangers that are attendant to continuing on what he has made clear he feels to be a U.S. course in recent years of relative military decline, a trajectory along which he has said our military has become depleted and our nuclear arsenal has become outdated.

In terms of our relative military position, the president has said -- I'll be intermixing quotes here from time to time, without -- I'm not going to go through the weird scare quotes thing to identify which portions are quotes, but they're all carefully sourced.

In terms of relative military capabilities, the president has said that "we are not the same country as we used to be." In his eyes, this decline has had a detrimental effect upon our reliance relationships, and upon peace and security in various regions, tense regions around the world.

Significantly, it is this impact -- it is to this impact that he has linked his widely quoted comments about potential nuclear proliferation in Japan and South Korea. "Were we to allow our downward slide to continue," he told "The New York Times," "there could come a point at which we would be unable to respond if these allies called for our help in the wake of some terrible North Korean provocation or even attack."

It is at that hypothetical point of future U.S. weakness and helplessness that the president suggested that it might conceivably make sense for those countries confronted by an existential threat to acquire nuclear weapons in order to defend themselves. "After all," he said of our allies, as we ourselves have let our strength in the world decay, I don't think they feel very secure about what's going on."

"Indeed," he declared, "if the United States keeps on its path, its current path of weakness, they're going to want to have capabilities that U.S. strength and geostrategic resolution presently keep them from needing." He made a similar point to CNN's Anderson Cooper around about the same time.

Characteristically, the president has made these points in ways that are perhaps more blunt and direct than it is usual to hear in traditional inside-the-beltway discourse. But at their core, I would argue that these comments rest upon a good deal of common sense. Moreover, they rest upon some of the same assumptions and arguments that we have heard from nonproliferation experts for years.

How many times, for example, have you heard U.S. officials or think tank scholars point out that the credibility and capabilities inherent in U.S. extended deterrence relationships are essential to assuring allies of the solidity of our alliance guarantees. And thus, also to reducing proliferation incentives in regions of the world in which U.S. allies confront the specter of aggression by a rogue state or by a large neighbor with territorial ambitions.

I, at least, can tell you that I've seen and heard that point made by many people over the years, including by scholars published by such diverse institutions as Johns Hopkins SAIS, just down the road; the Brookings Institution, next door; the National Institute of Public Policy, across the river; and the National Bureau of Asian Research. This is also a point that I have myself made, both in government and as a think tank.

And I don't think the president was wrong, also, to flag that one could imagine circumstances in which it might be reasonable for such a would-be victim state to contemplate weaponization, which is also a point that I have made myself, although not yet to David Sang or Anderson Cooper (inaudible).

However, the president's comments made very clear that the conditions of U.S. decline and weakening deterrent credibility that might make such proliferation seem reasonable to the would-be victim state is an unacceptable outcome for this administration. The whole point, in other words, is that we need to prevent proliferation for occurring for such reasons.

The president has said extremely clearly, with great clarity to "The New York Times," to CNN and in the first presidential debate in September of 2016, for instance, that proliferation is a huge threat to U.S. national security, as well as to international peace and security. He has said this in a range of contexts. I have a bunch of quotes here.

"Nuclear proliferation is the biggest problem the world has, the single biggest problem the world has. "It is one of the very, very big issues, I think maybe the biggest issue of our time." "It is the single greatest threat." "It is the single greatest threat this country has."

His quotes clearly suggest that he could hardly have been more clear that he is intently focused upon this.

Now, there are, of course, many tools with which one can, and I would argue that we must, fight nuclear proliferation.

A range of instruments that I can assure you that this administration is firmly committed to pursuing, to using, including supporting international nonproliferation regimes, securing or eliminating vulnerable nuclear material worldwide, preventing the spread of dual use and other enabling technologies and capabilities, ensuring effective safeguards on peaceful nuclear activities, and interdicting proliferation shipments, and otherwise doing all they can to slow the development of threat programs.

The president has made clear that he believes our chances of meeting the grave challenges of proliferation -- this is an important point. He's made clear that he believes our chances of meeting these challenges and arresting some of the dynamics that drive the friction are better when the United States is strong and resolute than when we are not.

So, opportunistic anti-administration hype aside, I would argue that this at its core is a gobsmackingly simple and common sensical point. And indeed, it's a central one to understanding the new administration's approach to international security policy in general, and to nuclear weapons issues in particular.

The president's underlying point about the importance of U.S. strength and resolution to the preservation of peace and security is one that resonates in fact through decades of U.S. foreign and national security policy.

Now, if applying such traditional and even Reaganite reasonings once again, the nuclear weapons arena sounds a bit novel today in 2017, it is only because it comes on the heels of years of policy, as articulated in the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, in which the United States quite explicitly prioritized reducing the role of U.S. nuclear weapons in U.S. national security strategy over maintaining strategic deterrence and stability, over strengthening regional deterrence and reassuring U.S. allies, and over sustaining a safe, secure and effective nuclear arsenal.

I think you'll find that this sort of peace through strength idea is a leitmotif that runs through all the president's comments about nuclear weapons, as well as for how we are approaching our current policy reviews.

This recurring theme, I would say, is one that represents -- shows a deep commitment to reducing nuclear dangers. But it is also one that is anchored in appreciation for the role of American strength and resolve, sound and thoughtful U.S. posture and policy can play in helping assure national security and strategic stability.

Our approach to these issues is built upon the understanding that U.S nuclear and conventional strength, and the wise combination of assertiveness and the strength that we aspire to show in its possession, is an essential element of preserving security and peace. And is of critical importance in preventing the very nuclear catastrophes that critics of the new administration have tried so hard to depict the president as being mindlessly unwilling to countenance.

Now, the president tends to express himself differently and far more directly on such matters than most politicians and policymakers, I'll grant you that. But I would argue that you can see this understanding that I'm describing quite clearly in his remarks, which unmistakably suggest that foreign perceptions of U.S. weakness and decline in the national security arena have helped to produce a world in which aggression and conflict, and yes, indeed nuclear use, are more likely than had we remained stronger and more firm in confronting the threats that we face in our evolving security environment.

He told Anderson Cooper last year of the Obama administration, for example, that we don't want to pull the trigger. But he noted at that point in 2016 that "nobody is afraid of our president, nobody respects our president."

By contrast, he felt that a more emphatically peace through strength type approach to deterrence would help forestall some of the nuclear challenges that continued perceptions of American decline could create.

At "GQ Magazine," he made clear that he intended to ensure that our military is strong and respected. And it was this strength and respect that he felt would help prevent nuclear weapons use by deterring aggression, and would indeed help proliferation.

So, that's proliferation, declaratory policy. As for U.S. declaratory policy, the president has said that in a perfect world, everybody would agree that using nuclear weapons would be so destructive that nobody would ever use them.

Using nuclear weapons in a confrontation with an adversary would clearly be, in his view, a very bad thing, the absolute last step. And as he put it to "The New York Times," "I would very much not want to be the first one to use them."

Nevertheless, he has signaled that he understands the importance of deterrence of maintaining a degree of strategic ambiguity of not telling a potential adversary exactly when we would or would not use such tools.

Ultimately, he told Today in April of 2016, "I don't want to rule out anything." He made clear that he hoped to be the last to use nuclear weapons, and that it would be -- make sure I get this right, and that it would be "highly, highly, highly, highly unlikely that I would ever be using them."

But he emphasized that he would never rule it out. "I can't take anything entirely off the table," he said during the first presidential debate with Sec. Clinton in 2016.

Now, there is essentially nothing here, I would argue, that is not consistent with decades of well-established U.S. strategic thinking on deterrence. Notwithstanding the fact that at least our immediate predecessors publicly flirted with different approaches to declaratory policy.

And finally, the issue of disarmament, a goal toward which the Obama administration declared itself to prioritize above strategic deterrence itself, above strategic deterrence itself, above strategic stability, above reassuring our allies, and above sustaining a safe U.S. arsenal.

On this topic, the president has been rather cautious. As I noted, he has said that "in the perfect world," those were his words to "The New York Times," "In the perfect world, nobody would ever use nuclear weapons."

And I should add, by the way, that so strong are his feelings about the unacceptability of WMD use against innocent civilians, that he went through the trouble of blowing up a Syrian airfield in order to help deter further atrocities in the wake of the Khan Sheikhoun attack with sarin agent in April of this year.

But back to nuclear matters. He said of nuclear weaponry, in the first presidential debate, "I would like everybody to end it. Just get rid of it."

The president has also made it quite clear that we do not live in that perfect world to which he was referring. The real world, at least today and surely for some very considerable time yet at the least, is a much more messy and challenging one than that.

At present, for instance, as he suggested to GQ, "you have so many people out there with nuclear weapons that disarmament is simply not available. We wouldn't get rid of the weapons." Regard to a long-term future.

The president, a month before his inauguration, tweeted about -- I've never used that sentence before, by the way. It's my first speech with "tweet" in it. He tweeted about his hope that someday the world might come to its senses regarding nukes.

Until the world comes to resemble the prefect world that he described in "The New York Times," however, the president has made clear that he believes that it essential that we maintain a strong and robust nuclear posture, and that we reverse what he sees as a decline in the capabilities that underpin deterrence and support proliferation.

At present, he said, in the first presidential debate, the United States is not keeping up with other countries and modernizing our nuclear forces. Russia, for instance, has a much newer capability than we do. And we have not been updating the new standpoint, as we should've been doing.

Until the world at some point comes to its senses in a fundamentally different way, therefore, and I'll quote him, "the United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability."

Now, fundamentally, I would argue that this is just another application of the Reaganite philosophy of peace through strength. That is, it represents a vision, or an instinct perhaps, about how the world works in which the maintenance and wise application of U.S. strength and resolve is not inimical to international peace and security, but rather essential to it.

This philosophy has implications that when honestly expressed, sometimes make members of the traditional arms control community squirm, such as the president's warning that he would not permit the United States to be outcompeted in the nuclear arena. If a hostile actor were determined to attempt this," he told Morning Joe last December -- that's also my first Morning Joe reference -- "we will outmatch them at every past and outlast them all."

At its core, this approach is one that is dedicated to keeping such an arms race from having to happen. And it is precisely our willingness to engage in such competition if we are forced to that he hopes will persuade potential adversaries. That for them, that path is a losing game.

I would submit that this is not a philosophy antithetical to arms control, but rather, in some deep sense, essential to arms control. For it provides a highly unattractive plan B, against which our competitors and our would-be competitors can evaluate their own situation, and which can give them a powerful incentive for constructive cooperation and engagement with us in this arena.

So, what I've tried to do is summarize what the president has actually said in public about nuclear weapons issues. And to point out how, once one puts aside the sometimes hysterical coverage that his remarks are wont to be given in the media, these comments can indeed be seen to hang together in a coherent and forceful way.

I also think one can trace a straight line from his comments to much of the work that we are now doing within the new administration to develop policies and approaches that are capable of meeting U.S. national security needs, both in today's increasingly problematic global threat environment and into a deeply unpredictable future.

The president's executive order of Jan. 27, for instance, minced no words about it being the policy of the United States to pursue peace through strength. And it directed the secretary of Defense to improve U.S. military readiness.

It also directed the preparation of a new National Defense Strategy, with the intention of giving our leadership strategic flexibility to determine the force structure necessary to meet requirements. It also directed initiation of the new Nuclear Posture Review, to which I referred earlier, to ensure that the United States' nuclear deterrent is modern, robust, flexible, resilient, ready and appropriately tailored to deter 21st century threats, and to reassure our allies.

All this work is presently underway. In addition to a broader range of policy reviews designed to ensure that we have appropriately reassessed and tailored our approaches to current and future U.S. security needs.

Because these efforts haven't yet concluded, I'm not in a position to say much more, I'm afraid. Though I look forward to doing so at some point in the not too distant future.

But I do hope that you can see that in the president's remarks can be seen some common-sensical insights about national security policy that we are today working hard to give institutional coin.

I look forward to talking about all these issues with you more further beginning in the question-and-answer session, and in much more detail as we actually conclude many of these reviews and it's possible to engage on the subject -- on the substance of their details in the months and years ahead.

But thank you for the patience of letting me talk to you, and the courtesy of having me here. It's been a pleasure to speak. And I'm looking forward to hearing what you're going to ask me.

KIMBALL: Thank you very much, Chris.

(APPLAUSE)

And congratulations on your first Twitter reference. It may not be your last.

FORD: No, probably not.

KIMBALL: And let me just encourage folks to pass their cards with their questions forward so that we can take those up. So, thank you very much, Chris, for giving some shape to those comments that we've heard about over the last few weeks.

And as we're collecting these, I just wanted to start out with one practical question, which came up in the earlier session about the United States relationship with Russia, and the future of one of the key nuclear arms agreements that was struck during the Obama administration that's still enforced, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. I think you'd agree that this is one of the key issues the administration will be dealing with in the course of the Nuclear Posture Review in the course of the next four years.

The administration, theoretically, has the option to negotiate a new agreement with Russia that follows onto New START, or to extend the treaty after Feb. 5, 2021 when it's due to expire. It could be extended another five years. Or, to let the whole thing go, which would be the first time since the 1970s since there wasn't a binding treaty regulating the world's two largest nuclear arsenals.

So, and President Trump has reportedly criticized New START, and reportedly spoken ill of the extension of the agreement in his first phone calls with President Putin of Russia.

So, my question is practical, straightforward. Does the administration plan to continue implementing New START? And as part of the Nuclear Posture Review and the White House review of Russia policy, and the two presidents are meeting in July, right?

(CROSSTALK)

FORD: Could be.

KIMBALL: The June 7 meeting -- maybe the G-20 meeting, are they going to be discussing options for pursuing further nuclear arms control or extending New START?

FORD: OK. Great question. When I -- well, OK. Let me just say, with respect to New START, we are first and foremost working very hard right now to make sure that we are on track to make -- to meet the central limits that would come into effect in February of next year.

We intend to meet them. We are on track to do so. It seems like it's going fine. We understand the Russians to be on track to meeting their obligations as well. So, in terms of it coming into force as scheduled, we are working to make sure that actually occurs.

Before I got into this line of work quite a few years ago, I used to think -- this is all fairly straightforward -- oh, you're supposed to come down to having x. Therefore, all you need to do between now and that point is just get rid of a bunch of those things.

Those of you who have done arms control in the real world know that it's a lot more complicated than that. And when I say that we're working very hard to make sure that we meet those central limits, there is a lot that is encoded in that.

We are working extremely hard. There are lots of very detailed interactions. There are always wrinkles and bumps and so forth along the way. But we're working those through, through the appropriate implementation mechanisms.

Both sides are making a lot of moving pieces come together in order to have this occur on schedule and as anticipated. And I'm happy to report that so far, it's looking like everything is fine. And our intention was in fact to do that. So, we're on track to meet those limits.

The question, of course, is what to do thereafter. That is a question on which I can happily tap dance because we have made an explicit decision not to address the question of extension until we have gotten through the process of our own NPR.

It did not seem intelligible to try to have a conversation about what to do in extending those limits or doing something else until we had decided what we think we need to be doing with regard to our programs of record, and the numbers and the deployment doctrine and all those sorts of things.

So, the issues that will be addressed in the NPR are necessary predicates for making a decision on New START extension. But I certainly -- to say that is not to rule anything out or in. It's just to say that that is a question which we have very carefully reserved for a point subsequent to the completion of the NPR.

So, I don't have an answer on that. But there's no a priori answer on what that's going to be. We're waiting for the processes to work their course in deciding what our process should be before we decide what constraints to put on the postures of the two.

That said, let me make two very important additional points. They're quite relevant to the future of arms control with the Russians.

One shadow, sort of somewhat darker worry, and then one much, I hope, more optimistic one. The darker question -- the darker problem, the cloud here on the horizon, for example, is of course the issue of compliance.

Arms control is something to which we remain committed and deeply attracted. But we're attracted to good arms control. We don't like arms control that doesn't make sense, doesn't provide stability and can't be enforced when people violate its terms.

Our effort is to make sure that what we do meets the criteria that we are beginning to set forth, for example, publicly in the preface, for example, to the State Department's Annual Noncompliance Report, more officially known as, help me, Harry Heinemann, the Report on Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments. Am I -- did I get that right? Damn, it's been a long time.

So, you know, we're trying to articulate a little bit more sort of a sort of philosophy of how to approach those things. And I said a few words about that to the Foreign Policy Association in New York just a couple days ago. But, it's precisely because we like the idea of good arms control that we think it's necessary to point these things out.

And in that context, we clearly had a problem with what to do about the INF challenges that we face right now. I mean, this was, as you all know, a pivotal arms control agreement, the first agreement of any sort to eliminate an entire class of delivery systems. A very important one. Worked out under the Reagan administration and the implementation of which went very well on the whole.

There's a problem with that now, as you all have been tracking over the last few years. It has been our assessment that the Russians are in violation of that agreement. And that's not going away any time soon, it would appear.

So, we are struggling with how to deal with the INF problem. And that's obviously -- that raises questions about the future of the arms control enterprise.

Not necessarily show stopping fatal questions, but ones that definitely need to be struggled with. And we are trying to figure out what our responses need to be to the INF challenges that we face.

And more importantly, that face not just us, but our European allies. And frankly, given the legacy systems and their relocatability, threaten our allies in East Asia as well.

These are things that need to be dealt with in one way or another, responded to in one way or another and resolved in one way or another before it is possible to say too very much about the long-term future of arms control.

Good agreements are only good agreements if the other side's trustable to stick with them. And so, we're struggling with that right now a little bit.

But that's the dark part. On the positive side, in terms of the future of dialogue and engagement on these topics, I believe you probably have seen from the aftermath of the Tillerson-Lavrov meeting in Moscow, that there is agreement in principle, upon some kind of strategic stability dialogue between the United States and the Russian Federation.

Exactly what form that will take, when it will occur and who will be involved is still something that we are working to figure out. But I can happily report that this is not an environment in which we are not engaging with the principle nuclear sort of rival competitor.

We're actually working very hard to try to reengage on matters that relate to strategic stability. And I say that not just through the very narrow prism of how many of which widget gets a raid against the other person's widgets. But broader questions also of how various pieces of our security postures fit together and either are conducive to or detrimental to broader questions of global peace and security.

So, we're -- we will be working those issues with the Russians, and working them as constructively and productively as we can. And this will be the first dialogue of this sort in some time. There were efforts to try to gin something like this up on the previous administration, but they're founded on Russia's invasion of its neighbors.

So, we'll see what we can do with that. And that, I hope, will be seen and remembered. And I hope I can encourage you to understand this as a hopeful and positive step that we are trying to do, even while we have -- feel duty bound to point to the challenges and to try to resolve the issues presented and the threats presented by Russia's violation of the INF Treaty.

So, these are all issues in progress. But -- or at the moment. I would love to have more to say, and I hope to at some point soon.

(AUDIO GAP)

FORD: The options mix is very broad. We are trying to figure out -- I mean, certainly in SVC is a possibility, you know, details pending. We're currently working interagency process to figure out exactly how we're going to be approaching this.

But I also think you would be wrong to conclude that this is an administration likely to be content just with another round of finger waving. The last SVC was not particularly productive on this, although one can't talk about those details for obvious reasons.

We will not just be tut-tutting. We will be taking responses that actually put meaningful pressure on them to return it to compliance. And perhaps responses that if that fails will help put us in a position to be in a safer place (inaudible) that. So, (OFF-MIKE).

We have another (OFF-MIKE). And I should say not before consulting also with our allies, which is a huge priority of course. So, this is not something we're going to -- we're not going to disappear into a room and come forth with the answer to which we will expect everyone to express agreement and concurrence.

This is a very important issue that concerns us as the United States, and also concerns our allies. And we are committed to making sure that we are in deep and close consultations with them throughout this process, which I've begun.

KIMBALL: Questions about the North Korean nuclear missile (OFF-MIKE).

FORD (?): He actually got one on his tie, but -- I've got this one.

KIMBALL: All right. All right. They complain at home that I speak too loudly. But all right.

We've got several questions about the North Korea policy review and the next steps. So specifically, can you elaborate what conditions would be needed for entering into discussions with North Korea for the purpose of ending its nuclear and missile programs?

The policy's titled Maximum Pressure and Engagement. There have been several different iterations about what those conditions might be. And it seems important to have some answers to this ahead of the Moon Jae-in visit later this month. So, on that question, can you give us some clarification?

FORD: A bit. Probably not as much as you would like. But obviously the current approach -- this is their first policy review, by the way, out of the box.

Events did not give us the luxury of sitting back and having long academic discussions about what the right answer is and how to build to this over the course of many, many months and years. We have to come up with answers and approaches very quickly.

We spent a lot of time on this. And it was, in my own view, a model of the kind of policy reviews that we aspire to do, in which options across the entire imaginable space -- and I'm not going to spell out exactly what they are, but you can picture the two ends of the continuum.

You can be sure that those two ends were in fact actively debated and explicitly discussed, as were a gazillion different options in between them. What we have ended up with, until further notice, is the policy, as you suggested, of substantially increasing economic and diplomatic pressure on the North Korean regime, while making clear that the objective of this is to re-engender serious talks about how to reduce the nuclear and missile threats that we face.

Our policy is not, repeat, not, one of regime change, but one of trying to actually get a real discussion back on again about what still remains our objective of denuclearization. We feel like we're off to a good start with the new -- with new President Moon and his administration.

They have underscored the paramount importance of the U.S. alliance relationship. And they've also underscored the policy goal of DPRK denuclearization.

President Moon shares our commitment to a policy of increased pressure through sanctions with the objective of eventually getting to talks. We think that is the right way to go. And it's very important to move in that direction.

We are working various angles to try to bring it about. One of the angles we are working more than usual is to cut off revenue streams more effectively to the regime and to its military programs, to make it feel the kind of pressure that perhaps, with a bit of luck, we'll get them to reevaluate the strategic choices that they continue to make that are bad and destabilizing ones.

And it's important also that we're trying to work very hard with China now in ways that have not yet been tried, though many attempts have been made over the years to try to encourage the Chinese to come to the conclusion that it really is in their interest to work with us in solving this problem.

I personally suspect that it has been Beijing's assumption for a long time that, in the name of stability in the Peninsula, they prize that more than what they imagine to be the alternative. They have been a little reluctant to work with us very effectively on this for years for fear of what comes thereafter.

But the point that we're trying to make to Beijing is that while they may think that the sort of festering sore of the status quo on the peninsula is better than the alternative, the status quo is not a stable, status point.

The status quo, of course, is a trajectory. And that trajectory is going downhill rather fast. The threat set is evolving. The problems are worsening, and the tensions are rising. The status quo is not stability.

The status quo is a recipe for very grave problems. And if we can convince Beijing that their interest in stability actually means they should be working with us to resolve this on a basis that is not one of regime change, but one of regime change, of course, when it comes to these threat programs, we will have made some very significant progress. And I am certainly hoping that that can be the case.

What conditions would it take to get -- what conditions would be involved in reopening those kinds of talks? There I'm going to have to play Potter Stewart for the moment. Context and details are crucially important. Hopefully this will be sooner rather than later.

But of course -- we think that we will know those -- we will know that expression of sincerity and the steps that demonstrate that sincerity if and when they take them. It's probably not a good idea to get into speculation about that at this time.

But we think this is a sober and sensible policy that builds on what's been done before, but takes things further in constructive ways, and does in fact still represent the best hope of working this out in an appropriate fashion.

KIMBALL: All right. So, given what you just said, one of the other questions we have on North Korea policy, how does this administration's policy of maximum pressure and engagement differ from the strategic patience label that was given to the previous administrations? Can you just quickly clarify what the difference is? Maybe it's a nuanced difference?

FORD: Well, I think we're less patient. The development...

(LAUGHTER)

The development of the threat doesn't give us the option of being patient over any significant period of time. You guys can read the papers as well as well as anyone. I mean, there are daily speculations about other nuclear tests.

The missile threat is developing with almost biweekly increments. My wife complains that every time we have a nice family weekend together, I start getting calls on my funky phone. Because the North Koreans are testing again. They -- you know.

KIMBALL: Welcome to the club.

FORD: Exactly.

The development of the threat set is not one that permits patience anymore. That may or may not have been true at some point. It may or may not have been wise to be patient before. I'll leave that for historians and others. We don't have that luxury. So, we are trying to do as much as we can to make them feel the imperative of a change of course as soon as possible.

KIMBALL: All right. We've got a few questions about U.S. nuclear weapons development possibilities.

There have been some voices since Election Day who've advocated for a resumption of U.S. nuclear explosive testing and possible new goals for U.S. nuclear weapons, and possible new types of nuclear weapons development.

The United States, as you know, hasn't tested a nuclear device in 25 years. We're a signatory to the conference of Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. And just in this confirmation hearing, Secretary of State Tillerson said the nuclear test moratorium that's been in place has served U.S. national security interests. And he recognized the value of that in the G7 foreign minister's statement.

So, the question is, does the -- does President Trump see the nuclear -- the absence of nuclear testing as a net plus for U.S. security? And how will he help to reinforce the global taboo against nuclear testing in the future?

FORD: The easy, tap dance answer would be to say that those kinds of questions are ones that are currently under review. And indeed, that would be a true answer.

What it is that we need for our posture and our long-term, middle-term, short-term planning is a series of questions that are obviously enormously complicated for those of you who have been part of those things. All kinds of working groups are working throughout the interagency right now to try to figure all those things out as part of the posture review.

There's also a Ballistic Missile Defense Review that is sort of running in parallel to this. So, there're lots of moving pieces on this.

And I probably shouldn't get out ahead of my squeeze in that regard. But, you know, obviously testing is a derivative question from that, right. I mean, this is what point or under what circumstances might it be necessary to do that or not?

I certainly have not myself seen anything that would suggest any of the sorts of concerns with the integrity or reliability of our stockpile that might drive any kind of a near-term decision to do that. Thank goodness. I would be very unhappy if I saw those. I would be extraordinarily concerned.

I haven't seen that. I don't think there's any meaningful likelihood of us changing the test moratorium as a policy choice any time soon.

Beyond that, there are questions about whether we think it is a safe and prudent policy to foreswear a resumption of testing forever. Don't know the answer to that. We'll have to be talking further about that at some point.

KIMBALL: Don't forget, you can always pull out of treaties anyway. That's just a side comment.

All right...

FORD: Although I have great confidence that you would excoriate me for doing so.

KIMBALL: Of course. Of course.

All right. We have a few questions about the United States' own nuclear weapons spending challenges. As we've discussed earlier today, the U.S. is on track to spend in excess of about $1 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office, over the next three decades to sustain, replace and refurbish existing delivery systems and warheads.

And the last administration conducted a Nuclear Posture Review. And as part of that, they determined that the existing force size is larger than is necessary for deterrence purposes. Sought to work with Russia on deeper reductions, but did not move forward with that.

Numerous Pentagon officials announced that experts have warned about the affordability problem posed by the current approach. So, as the Nuclear Posture Review looks at options to, with the U.S. arsenal, will it assess options to alter the pace and scope of the current plans, especially if there are significant cost savings that could be achieved while meeting what are determined to be the deterrence requirements under this review.

FORD: But, I -- I shouldn't get out in front in speculating about what the Nuclear Posture Review's going to end up deciding. You can be confident that these sorts of questions are the types of things that are indeed being chewed on.

This NPR comes at a challenging point. To my knowledge, there's never been an NPR before that has occurred at such a challenging consequence or circumstances.

I mean, right now we are doing a Nuclear Posture Review at a time when we are butting up against, in terms of programmatic planning, we are butting up against the potential block obsolescence of all three legs of our triad, as well as the decrepitude of certain portions of our nuclear infrastructure, which are working fine for now, but cannot be guaranteed to work fine in the future without a fair amount of attention, I would contend.

These things coming together at the same time clearly do present suspending challenges. We see Pentagon literature talking about, I think the phrase they use is the impact, the bow wave of the modernization program will have on other aspects of military spending. And that's far from a trivial thing. It's going to be a great challenge for us.

On the other hand, it is critical that we bear in mind and always remember -- and this is important I -- point I try to make in disarmament whenever I can. To remember what a small proportion of Pentagon spending the nuclear arsenal is.

And even if you add in infrastructure stuff, which I think we will probably need to be working on as well. This is still only a few percentage points of Defense spending. And the Defense budget itself, of course is only, these days, a small fraction. It's maybe half of discretionary spending or whatever, which is itself only a small fraction of overall federal spending.

So, we should keep this in perspective, given the magnitude of the dangers and the challenges that we all face.

Will this be easy? No. Will it be -- is it doable? I think so, yes.

KIMBALL: All right. So, we have a couple of questions about how the administration will approach efforts to strengthen the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, including whether there are any steps in the 2010 Action Plan, the 64-point action plan on disarmament, where the Trump administration hopes to or plans to make progress before the 2020 review conference.

And, another related question is, since you have been a key part of previous review conferences, the 2005 conference, we all understand what can look like a failed conference or a difficult conference. So, what kinds of things would you like to try to avoid happening in 2020 that might be considered detrimental to the nonproliferation system?

FORD: OK. I think you will indeed find us strongly committed to strengthening the nonproliferation regime as a whole. We are doing a review of how to do that and some of the approaches we think we need to be taking in that space.

So, hard to say exactly what we will end up choosing to do. But as I think I indicated, focus upon proliferation challenges is very acute. And we aim to do that as effectively as we can.

And I think that's the -- maybe sort of an intellectual prism that you should apply to how we approach issues such as how to handle the (inaudible) that's come up and that sort of thing.

I have said many times over the years, I think I said when I was doing our NPT diplomacy as Susan's predecessor, that I tend to think of this more in terms of looking for -- more for outcome metrics than for output metrics.

The usual -- the conventional wisdom says that if there is a failure to reach consensus on the final document, therefore it is a catastrophe. That is not necessarily the case.

Obviously, I would prefer to have a nice agree final document in any kind of a context. And we have a very important anniversary with the NPT as well.

So, the symbolic impact of this is certainly not trivial. But you know, it remains the case, as I have said many times in the saddle before, that no outcome -- no document is better than a bad one. We will be working as hard as we can to make sure we get a good one, and that is the objective.

And we think that that kind of a statement can indeed strengthen the cooperation and goodwill and constructiveness of the approach that is very important to strengthen the nonproliferation regime, which is the outcome based answer that we are seeking. But how exactly to do that in practice, obviously details matter. It remains to be seen.

Some of the issues that have circled the airfield for a while and made things problematic in that respect are not going away any time soon. Many of these debates are ones I suspect -- I suspect I could write the talking points of most of the participants in these debates now. And I suspect I could've written those talking points 10 years ago when I was doing this (inaudible) time.

But, we do hope to be able to move forward constructively and provide real outcome-based improvements to the regime, irrespective of whether it looks like we're actually checking on particular institution or formal box or not.

KIMBALL: OK. We have a couple of questions about the future of the six power deal with Iran that was struck in 2016, the JCPOA, the Joint Conference of Plan of Action.

So, in light of yesterday's announcement about the president's decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, it has raised the question will he pursue a similar approach with the JCPOA? You mentioned that the administration's conducting an Iran Policy Review, which I understand is a broader review...

FORD: Correct.

KIMBALL: ... not just the JCPOA.

Is that review considering withdrawal and renegotiation of any element of the JCPOA? And if so, how is that possible, given the mechanics of this agreement? So, that's the question.

FORD: Oh, I...

KIMBALL: Or will it comply with the JCPOA for the foreseeable future?

FORD: Not to be cute, but mechanically of course it would be very straightforward. The -- you know, the question is, is it wise? Is it appropriate? Under what circumstances would you do it? And what would you do in its absence?

Those are all questions, of course, which we're chewing on right now. We are in the middle of an ongoing Iran review, as you indicated. It is a broader review than just of the JCPOA.

One of our complaints, as we see it, about the previous administration was the degree to which, having gotten a nuclear deal it was a tempting conclusion to make other aspects of Iran policy sort of hostage to that deal.

Oh, no, no, no, we can't push back quite so hard on these other things, all the many things that Iran does to cause trouble in its region, the missile development threats that are growing to friends and allies, the support for international terrorism, regional destabilization, you know, many things of that sort.

We felt that there is a -- an unwelcome reluctance to press back and hold Iran accountable on those fronts for fear that oh, my goodness, if you make them too mad they'll walk away from the deal. We are determined not to make everything hostage to the nuclear question.

But we're also determined to handle the nuclear question responsibly and wisely. And one of the things we're trying to do right now is to figure out how these moving pieces fit together. I am myself only involved in the nuclear piece of this.

Obviously, our review of JCPOA options -- and I should stress this is a full range of options. We think that it's important to have the full range, as I indicated, with North Korea, in front of us in order to be able to walk through all of them and neck down, as appropriate, to things that make more rather than less sense. We're doing that. But it's only a piece of the puzzle.

Our JCPOA work feeds into a broader question of Iran policy and strategy and regional policy and strategy. And I would dare say that the right answer on the JCPOA is it's not possible. I mean you can give me all the options in the world, but I can't tell you what the right answer is unless I know what you want to do in this broader context.

And so, what we're endeavoring to do is to make sure that domestic interagency reviews fit together in a way that provide a coherent and responsible answer. And we're not done yet. Hopefully soon.

We are working very hard to make sure that this gets resolved as quickly as possible. Don't have a timeline for you, but it is being worked very hard, I can assure you, every day.

KIMBALL: All right. And another question on the JCPOA.

Would you agree that the agreement is working as designed with respect to the nuclear program? Just this morning the IAEA -- it was reported that the IAEA has issued another report confirming that Iran is complying with its commitments.

FORD: As you probably saw Sec. Tillerson certify under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, we have certified, at least we did as of -- not long ago that Iran is -- does appear to be meeting its commitments.

You know, the bigger question is not just whether they're meeting their commitments. Although any sign of cheating would be highly problematic, to say the least.

But to make sure that we have a good feel for how to make sure that meeting those commitments, or meeting whatever commitments Iran has is in fact an adequate answer to the long-term challenges that we face in containing the threats presented by the possibility of Iran positioning itself into the indefinite future as sort of a latant or virtual nuclear weapons state.

We're very concerned with making sure that we can constrain those threats and provide answers to these challenges and thatís the purpose of the review.

KIMBALL: All right. We have a couple questions about missile defense policy.

As you know, Chris, missile defense has been a key factor in discussions about nuclear arms control reductions with Russia, and to an extent with China for many years. Last year, then Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs James Winnefeld said in a speech that we will not rely on missile defense for strategic deterrence of Russia because it would simply be too hard and too expensive and too strategically destabilizing to even try.

So, as the United States looks forward to dealing with the North Korean ballistic missile threat, and evaluates its missile defense options, how do you foresee the administration seeking to assure Russia and China that U.S. missile defenses are not designed to counter their nuclear deterrent capabilities?

And there are proposals on the Hill, as you know, for significant expansion of U.S. missile defense capabilities. And there was a decision last year in Congress to re-designate the program, the missile defense program from limited to robust, I think the word was.

FORD: OK. Well, the easy answer is that there is a Ballistic Missile Defense Review under way. And it would be professionally unwise for me to try to anticipate out in front of where that's going.

You know, again, this is part of what we view to be really the only responsible course. I mean, any new administration -- every new administration comes in and does a policy review of various sorts, pretty much every issue area.

We like to think that we are doing a deeper and more comprehensive review than is usually the case. It's -- I don't have any direct contact with those things. But my impression is that it is unusual for an administration to really -- to put the range of options on the table that we are internally.

So, you can be sure that we're thinking across this entire space. But that's not the same thing as having any preordained conclusions. It has been U.S. policy for quite some time that -- indeed, it's just been an obvious fact of reality and the laws of physics, and the laws of basic mathematics and counting that nothing that we have done in missile defense so far has posed any meaningful threat to the strategic arsenals of either Russia or China, for that matter.

And they don't act like that's the case, but you know, I can count. They can count. We all know what's really going on here. This is not about them. This is about -- we will certainly do what we think we need to do in the face of worsening threat sets from places like North Korea and Iranian missile development as well.

I have argued publicly, and I think I said this at the Carnegie event in March, that if the Russians and the Chinese are worried about this issue of ratios, about x amount of BMD versus y arsenal. I mean, granted, there's -- there are ratio issues here, right.

As they start to get close, I can see how that may be an interesting question. But you know, we'll do what we need to do in order to protect ourselves from threats that they fully appreciate the existence of in North Korea and Iran.

And from their perspective, I would urge anybody who's listening in Moscow and Beijing to rethink fairly obvious conclusion that if they are concerned about the issue of ratios between BMD and their forces, that we need to be working together to have a discussion about how to reign in the threats from North Korea and Iran.

The worst threat to their strategic arsenals, if they see BMD as a threat at all, which they say they do, the problem presented by those missile programs. And if we can work together to bring those problems under control, we will be having a qualitatively different BMD discussion.

KIMBALL: All right. We have time for just maybe one more question. And this relates to the anticipated meeting between Presidents Trump and Putin sometime in July.

And the question is that back in the 1980s, I think it was 1985, President Reagan and Gorbachev jointly declared that a nuclear war could never be won and must never be fought. Will the two presidents consider any joint language that tries to address the joint concern and commitment to avoiding nuclear conflict between the two largest countries, countries with the two largest arsenals?

FORD: I'm afraid I'm not going to put words in their mouth at this point. Sorry.

KIMBALL: Well, I'm not asking you to put words in their mouth. Is that something that might be considered as the trip is prepared?

FORD: I think the president's been very clear that what we are interested in doing with Russia is looking for areas of shared concern on which it's possible to make progress together.

There are many issues that are very challenging in the relationship. There are many problems that we -- security issues that we need to deal with that are in many cases caused by, or certainly aggravated by Russian behavior and postures in various respects.

We need to figure out how to deal with those in a constructive way, how to get through and around that in a way that doesn't compromise important security interests. And if we can find areas of shared concern and progress in moving forward together that are consistent with doing all these things, we will absolutely be doing that.

And that's true across the board of policy issues, certainly including in the nuclear realm. If it were possible and we felt that there is a way forward.

And one of the things that we're hoping to do, as I mentioned before, is reinitiate, or actually in fact make good on a process of strategic stability dialogue that will help, we hope, bring better understanding of where the two sides are coming from across a quite broad range of issues. And will help, I hope, identify areas in which it's possible to do that kind of constructive forward progress together.

So, to be continued and I hope to be able to report good progress.

KIMBALL: Well, thank you very much, Chris, for your time, for your willingness to come here and try to answer our questions, and to deliver some more information about the administration's work on these issues.

I think one thing we certainly can agree on is that we need and want effective and good arms control, and nonproliferation and disarmament. That's what the Arms Control Association has always been about.

And the question is, what is that? And how do we get there? And how do we work together, Democrats, Republicans, U.S. and world to get there. And so, we look forward to talking with you and your team more about how to deal with these challenges.

And everyone, please join me in thanking Chris Ford for being here with us.

(APPLAUSE)

FORD: Thank you. Thank you very much.

(APPLAUSE)

PANEL 3:

KIMBALL: Thank you very much. I wanted to introduce our director for disarmament and threat reduction policy, Kingston Reif, who is going to be moderating this next session on reducing nuclear and security risks with Russia.

Kingston, the floor is yours.

REIF: Thank you very much, Daryl.

And good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to our final panel of the meeting, which will examine reducing security and nuclear risks with Russia.

As everyone in the room knows, we are in a period of significant tension and some would say crisis in the bilateral U.S./Russia relationship. The causes and symptoms are multifaceted. They include the crisis in Ukraine, the buildup and exercising of NATO and Russian military forces in the common border area between the alliance's Eastern-most members and Russia, Russia's alleged violation of the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, concern that Russia is developing new nuclear weapons and lowering the threshold for when it might consider using them, and, of course, Russian meddling in the U.S. election and those of some of our European allies.

As for arms control, it may not be dead, but it is certainly wounded. While some meaningful cooperation continues, such as adherence to the 2010 New START Treaty and implementation of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, there is no ongoing dialogue on further nuclear risk reduction steps, although it was encouraging to hear from Chris Ford that perhaps some dialogue may be in the offing.

But in the absence of dialogue, this raises the odds of stepped-up competition in the areas of both strategic offense and defensive forces. Meanwhile, technological change and advances in conventional weapons and associated doctrines for their use have increased escalation dangers.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on May 14th on "Meet the Press" that the United States needs to, quote, "improve the relationship between the two greatest nuclear powers in the world," end quote. He continued, "I think it's largely viewed that if it is not healthy for the world, it's certainly not healthy for us for this relationship to remain at this low level. But I think the president is committed, rightly so, and I am committed with him as well to see if we cannot do something to put us on a better footing in our relationship with Russia."

Despite these comments, the Trump administration has yet to articulate a clear policy toward Russia or strategy to reduce nuclear risk. While President Trump has said he would like to improve relations with Moscow and that global nuclear weapons inventory should be significantly reduced, he's also pledged to strengthen and expand U.S. nuclear capabilities, denounced New START and reportedly responded negatively to Putin's suggestion to extend the New START Treaty.

To further complicate matters, much of Washington, and Democrats in particular, are likely to view any engagement with Russia with suspicion given the ongoing investigations into the Trump campaign's ties and possible collusion with Russia.

But given the stakes, namely preventing U.S./Russian confrontation and potentially nuclear conflict, cooperation on arms control should be judged on its own merits and on its own terms, namely whether it enhances U.S. security.

Here at the Arms Control Association, we have been grappling with these difficult problems and questions and working to identify potential solutions primarily through our engagement with the trilateral U.S./Russia/German Deep Cuts Commission.

Today we're happy to continue this engagement and fortunate to be joined by two outstanding experts. To my right is Ulrich K¸hn, a fellow and Stanton nuclear security fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a fellow with the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from Hamburg University and his current research focuses on escalation dynamics in the NATO/Russia context and possible arms control measures.

Seated to my left is Anya Loukianova, a Stanton nuclear security fellow at the RAND Corporation. And her research interests include U.S./NATO/Russian security strategies and Euro-Atlantic security institutions. Prior to her current position, she was a program officer at the Stanley Foundation where she focused on multilateral action to strengthen nuclear security. And she received her Ph.D. in policy studies, in international security and economic policy, from the University of Maryland.

Ulrich and Anya will each provide about 10 to 15 minutes of opening remarks, which should leave plenty of time for questions from all of you. And I've asked Ulrich to begin and provide a summary from a European perspective of the current U.S./Russia security and arms control relationship, the Trump administration's approach to date, options to reduce security risks with Russia and some suggestions on how the INF Treaty might be saved.

And following Ulrich, I've asked Anya to help us make sense of Russian military, including nuclear doctrine, how it might fuel escalation and what can be done to reduce nuclear escalation dangers and address possible ways forward for bilateral nuclear arms control and nuclear security cooperation.

With that, Ulrich.

K‹HN: Thanks, Kingston.

Well, I think saving the INF Treaty, that's already a huge call, but OK. We'll see what I can do.

What I want to do during the next 10 minutes or so is that I walk you through three different areas of arms control between the United States and Russia, particularly, as Kingston said, with a view from Europe, and also thereby answering a couple of questions, such as, why do we need U.S./Russian arms control, what speaks for further U.S./Russian arms control, what speaks against it, what could be done and what has the Trump administration done so far.

As you will see, quite a lot actually speaks for novel arms control approaches in these difficult times. However, without anticipating my own conclusions and remarks, I'm unfortunately very skeptical with regards to further U.S./Russian arms control, at least in the short and maybe to mid term. And this is largely due to reasons that have not so much to do with arms control as such, but more with the general bilateral U.S./Russian relationship and the return of geopolitical competition. And maybe we can talk about that later as well a bit because I think it's important, you know, to frame arms control a bit in a larger political environment.

So let me start with the first area, that's the area of confidence and security-building measures. And in particular, I'm talking about CSBMs for the Baltic region.

So why do we need it? Obviously, the risk of military escalation is particularly high in the wider Baltic region and that is for two main reasons. One can find more reasons, but I'm just concentrating on those two. First, Russia continues to engage in high-risk tactics, such as dangerous military brinkmanship, and second, the regional military balance is very much in favor of Russia. And that creates insecurity in the Baltic states.

I just came back from a recent research trip to the Baltic states and Poland and I can tell you, yes, these guys are really afraid of what Russia is amassing close to their borders. But at the same time, that might also create misperceptions in those countries and misperceptions on behalf of NATO.

So if both sides, NATO and Russia, recognize that this situation is actually quite destabilizing and treat it as a matter of high priority, they could focus on conflict management with the aim of preventing unintended escalation.

However, what speaks against that is the pure fact that Russia reaps benefits from its unpredictable behavior. I would go as far as to say that unpredictability is a major element of the Russian strategy vis-a-vis NATO. So in essence, that would make it necessary to change the Russian calculus. Moscow must come to view the gains from cooperation and outweighing those from confrontation and unpredictability.

But that would basically mean that Washington would have to be willing to offer something significant, and with that I mean something that goes beyond the immediate arms control goals of predictability and stability and transparency. And I think we should discuss that later as well what that could be.

So against that background, what could be done? NATO and Russia already hold very tentative talks about airspace security. I think they have met three or four times on that. One of the goals here is, for instance, to have transponders switched on at all times, but that hasn't gotten very far.

Another approach could be for Washington to seek direct talk with the Russians. Here the aim could be to reinvigorate, modernize and perhaps multi-lateralize older arms control agreements. There are a couple of those that focus on risk reduction, most prominently the Incidents at Sea Agreement or the Agreement on Dangerous Military Activities.

So back in the Cold War, those were designed to prevent accidents and exactly the kind of dangerous military close encounters in exactly the kind of atmosphere that we have right now and exactly trying to address that behavior that we're seeing from Russia at the moment.

Well, have we seen any concrete policies of the Trump administration or any novel approach in that regard? That answer is pretty straightforward, not at all. So let's turn to conventional arms control in Europe. Kind of like a side theme in Washington, you barely hear it mentioned these days, conventional arms control in Europe is deadlocked at least since 2002. Efforts by the Obama administration to revive it have failed, largely because at that time the Russians had completely lost interest in it. However, today, conventional arms control is perhaps even more needed than ever. Just look at the conventional force balances in the Baltic region and also between NATO and Russia in more general terms.

So what I would like to do is let's imagine we look at the force balance at three levels. So the first level I would term the strategic balance. One of the true concerns of the Russian military today is still the conventional superiority of the combined forces of NATO and that, of course, includes the forces of the United States.

If we go down one level, we come to the regional balance. There, the regional Russian superiority in Eastern Europe, particularly in the Baltic region, is a very strong concern for NATO and the countries concerned in the region.

And if we go even one level below that to the sub-regional level, here Russia is concerned about the security of Kaliningrad. As much as we talk every day about Kaliningrad as the A2/AD bubble and the Russians amassing all that stuff there. The Russian military is concerned about their ability to hold Kaliningrad in an open conflict with NATO.

So think of this whole approach or this whole situation as a Russian matryoshka doll. You have the strategic conventional level, you have the regional ones and then you have the sub-regional ones. So at least theoretical, at least in theory, it should be possible to arrive at some kind of quid pro quo arrangement for the wider Baltic region because everyone could gain something there and everyone has concerns in the region.

What could that mean? It could mean mutual geographic limitations on manpower, equipment and reinforcement capabilities coupled with intrusive and verifiable transparency measures. Now, we're running not short of ideas in that regard. There have been a lot of recommendations. Kingston just mentioned the Deep Cuts Commission. In the last two reports, the second and third report of the commission, particularly German experts came forward with a lot of practical ideas how that could look like.

But then again, arms control policies are basically built on certain recognition that preserving the status quo is beneficial. However, the United States and Russia both view each other as challenging the status quo. That is a fact from both sides. It is also highly questionable that U.S. allies in the region, such as Poland, would agree to a regional conventional arms control regime, particularly in light of Russia's nuclear superiority in the region.

So just quickly for rhetorical reasons, has there been any novel approach of the Trump administration in that regard? Unfortunately not. And that leads me to my last point, to nuclear arms control.

As we all have learned earlier this year from media reports, Russia has not only produced more INF missiles than are needed to sustain a flight test program, but basically started to deploy some of those weapons. That is at least what we hear from intelligence assessments and some leaks that have come to the press. So these missiles are known as the so-called SSC-8. Well, while that fact alone speaks quite strongly against further nuclear arms control, an even grimmer scenario sees both sides abrogating the INF Treaty. The latest efforts at the Hill seem to point in that direction. And the consequences for Europe would be tremendously negative.

So let me make this point as clear as possible. If not carefully handled, the INF crisis has the potential of reinvigorating the Euro missiles to date of the 1980s with all the turmoil encountered at that time and also with all the potential to further undermine and split the alliance.

So I think in times of a politically weakened NATO, in times of almost no leadership from the United States, we should make sure that that is not happening. We should not allow it to split the alliance along certain lines in our response to Russia's INF violation.

So are there potential arms control solutions? Well, one option would be for the U.S. to consider reassuring Russia about the vertical launches of the European Phased Adaptive Approach missile defense installations in Romania and Poland. For a long time, Russia has complained, perhaps correctly, that defense could actually be turned into offense with our systems.

So one of the options would be for the U.S. to make it technically impossible for those launches to fire Tomahawk cruise missiles. And I'm not only talking about software fixes in that regard. This could be augmented with site visits by Russian military personnel coupled with reciprocal visits of Russian sites, making sure that Russia has deployed all non-compliant systems.

But here comes again the big caveat to that. If Russia has tested and deployed the SSC-8 on rogue mobile Iskander launchers, then according to the INF Treaty, all those launchers must be destroyed. And that just doesn't look like an option to me for Moscow because Russia has replaced almost 80 percent of its older Tochka short-range systems with new Iskander launchers. It would basically mean the Russians would have to destroy their newest generation of short-range launchers.

Having said that, the INF fallout could go even further. Without Russia returning to compliance with INF, the Senate will most likely not give its advice and consent to any follow-on agreement to New START. Again, on INF, so far, no input from the Trump administration. And before I continue along those lines, and I don't want to steal from Anya's part regarding the strategic stability and NEW Start, let me finish with that.

I agree that was a rather bleak outlook, so please excuse me for being so negative, or one could also say for being rather realistic, but I hope that Anya will provide at least some positive notes in that regard.

REIF: Thanks. Thanks, Ulrich, for ending on that cheery note.

Anya.

LOUKIANOVA: Well, thank you, Ulrich.

Thank you, Kingston.

And thank you to the Arms Control Association for bringing us together for this important discussion.

It's an honor to be here today, and not least because I very fondly recall my time as a student subscriber to the Arms Control Association when I was first getting into this field over a decade ago. So as they say sometimes, I guess, a long time listener, first time caller.

And I think as aóit takes a while, it takes a while.

(LAUGHTER)

My husband said that would work.

So as a student of policy studies, one of the first concepts you learn is the garbage can model. And we all know this, right, the garbage can model? So it's this idea that policymaking is essentially this organized anarchy because of various streams, problems, solutions, participants, who mostly look for jobs, and choice opportunities, so windows of opportunity.

And so a choice opportunity is essentially a garbage can into which various kinds of problems and solutions are dumped by the participants as they're generated. So if you look at policymaking this way, it's very important that the garbage is processed and removed from the scene. A very cynical analogy for policymaking, but I bring it up because it's very descriptive of the current smelly state of U.S./Russian and NATO/Russian security relations.

We have very many old garbage cans, we have very many new garbage cans. So we have conventional, nuclear, strategic non-nuclear, missile defense, hypersonic, cyber, nuclear materials security, counterterrorism, gray-zone issues, frozen conflicts, Syria, Ukraine, and if you're a Russian military wonk and read Russian military literature, it's something else they call weapons based on physical principles. Lots and lots of garbage cans. The problem is that none of them are being processed or even removed from the scene.

So I was kind of heartened to hear Ambassador Ford's remark about the important work currently underway at the National Security Council make good progress on some of these issues.

Getting into the summer...

AUDIENCE MEMBER: We can't hear you.

LOUKIANOVA: You can't? Is that better? OK.

All right. So I hope thatówe have a lot of garbage cans. So wait, no one heard my list? I had this great list.

OK, so let me speak up. So I was heartened to hear Ambassador Ford's remarks and I just hope that we start making headway into a lot of these difficult problems we have, especially because we're getting into the summer. And what happens in the summer? Garbage gets stinky.

So we worked really hard with Ulrich to de-conflict, if you will, our remarks. So I wanted to briefly share my personal opinion about three things to stimulate discussion and Q&A.

So first, I wanted to talk about Russia's doctrinal concepts and its improving conventional capabilities at the theater level. Second, I wanted to talk about how Russia's nuclear saber-rattling around Ukraine is viewed in Russia these days. And third, I wanted to talk about the importance of arms control for strategic stability in the U.S./Russian relationship. And I know that's an issue that's really near and dear to a lot of you here.

So first, Russian military thinkers have been working for over a decade on the concept of strategic deterrence. And I think, you know, we've seen a lot of writing calling this thing cross domain coercion and kind of a lot of other things. But I believe personally that, you know, using Russian terminology for this is very interesting because it's also not what we think of as strategic deterrence.

So this Russian idea of strategic deterrence is essentially a blend of deterrence, coercion and escalation control. And it's supposed to operate in wartime and in peacetime, so there's a spectrum of conflict that they view.

And strategic deterrence relies on three types of capability. The first one is non-military means, and we've all seen and heard Russian threats, a lot of their coercive activities. We know that they're sort of highly provocative. But it also relies on strong nuclear capabilities and strong conventional capabilities.

And I think there's a debate in Washington about how low Russia's nuclear threshold actually is. But what you see in practice if you look at Russian system development with strategic deterrence is that Russia is improving conventional capabilities, including long-range precision strike with an explicit goal of reducing nuclear reliance at early stages of conflict.

So what this means is that they're thinking and planning to use non-nuclear precision strike systems as a means of escalation control. And they want to do so by inflicting deterrent damage on various military and economic targets. And so the Russians call this forceful non-nuclear deterrence.

One of the many, many challenges with this logic is that Russia's precision strike systems are dual capable, so they're use for escalation control might instead contribute to escalation. And we can talk much more during the question-and-answer session about potential nuclear use later in conflict and how the Russians look at that or their concerns about an aerospace threat from the West, which could result in limited nuclear use.

But I think personally that Russia's development of conventional systems and their maturation and how the Russians continue to think about them is really the thing to watch if you want to understand the NATO/Russian dynamic maybe fully.

So to get back to the garbage can, there is ample room, I think, in the mean time to think of ways to reduce the coercive potential of Russia's indirect uses of its conventional military forces. And to echo things that Ulrich had brought up, so some of the potential proposals by the Deep Cuts Commission, by the European leadership network on reducing the dangers of accidents and inadvertents, so kind of curbing those pathways to escalation with the Russians, are a very good place to start. Since it's clear to me personally that we're in for a period of very serious changes in conventional postures in the European theater, I view any sort of discussions about conventional arms control as pretty bleak for that reason because I think we're in for a lot of transition.

Second, across the analytical community in Russia, you see a variety of opinion on sort of, you know, the effects of Moscow's nuclear saber-rattling around the Ukraine conflict. So some Russians say that threats were a useful reminder to the West that Russia's interests need to be taken seriously, especially in places like Syria. Other Russians maintain that the Western narrative that Russia is a nuclear danger is nothing more than Western propaganda.

But still other Russians actually say that Moscow has lost legitimacy and that loose nuclear talk in the media as well as by low-level officials should have occurred much sooner. And last October, Putin spoke at Valdai where he said that, quote, "Nuclear weapons are a deterrent and a factor of ensuring peace and security worldwide. It's impossible to consider them as a factor in any potential aggression because it would probably mean the end of our civilization." He also added that, quote, "It is abundantly clear that nuclear weapons are a deterrent and many experts believe that the possession of nuclear arms by leading countries was one of the reasons why the world has not experienced a major arms conflict in the more than 70 years since the end of World War II."

Now, we can debate whether or not Russia used a nuclear shield in Crimea. I think that's a very interesting discussion. We can also wonder if Putin's statement of this sort was too little, too late. It was clearly made to an international audience, to journalists, to Western experts.

Personally, I view this as an attempt to reassure that Russia does not view nuclear weapons as tools of coercion. I think it's obvious that the proof here will be in the pudding. But I also think that there's a lot of concern in Russian circles that nuclear weapons could be used in a limited way, for instance in the North Korean context by North Korea, and that this will shatter what they view as the fundamental role of nuclear weapons in preventing great-power warfare.

So my third comment is about the importance of the nuclear arms control architecture for strategic stability in the U.S./Russian relationship. Now, I think we can disagree on whether deep nuclear cuts are practical or desirable. I personally think the Russians aren't quite interested in that. I think we all need to agree on the importance of extending New START and preserving our intrusive transparency, predictability and verification regime with Russia. And I think that's something that needs to be clear and the administration needs to make a clear statement with regard to that.

Now, Alexei Arbatov had a great piece in Survival a few months ago, I hope you've read that, where he talked about this idea, you know, Joe Nye's old idea of learning through process. So he talked about the importance of the cooperative arms control process and clarifying Soviet and America's position about arms control and actually contributing to Russian understanding about deterrence and what Americans understand as deterrence, so this kind of acceptance eventually of the American deterrence logic.

He also called for a restatement of the principle that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. And I strongly endorse that. I think if we think about substance for these strategic stability talks, this would be a very, very nice place to start.

But broadly, I'm sorry to say that I'm not cheery even. I think we're in for a very lengthy phase where both the United States and Russia as well as many other countries now are racing to develop offensive and defensive systems, nuclear, conventional, other ones, and I think these will have implications for strategic stability. But I think we also need to make sure that we preserve existing transparency and predictability, areas where we have it right now, as we try to understand the impact of these emerging destabilizing technologies.

REIF: Well, thank you so much, Anya.

And thank you to you both for some incredibly rich presentations with a lot to chew on.

Why don't we open it up to the floor to all of you for questions. Please raise your hand and I will try and pick you out. And please, again, try to ask a question.

Yes, right here. Yes, please wait for the microphone.

Q: My question is for you. What do you think the Russians are trying to accomplish with their provocative actions in the Baltic Sea where their planes come close to NATO ships or they come into NATO airspace or their submarines come into NATO waters? This seems to be going on all the time and I worry that this is going to be a spark that someday could led to inadvertent escalation. What do you see is the purpose of this? What is the strategic intent?

REIF: Go right ahead, yeah.

K‹HN: All right, thank you very much for your questions. Actually, a very excellent question because it points to the larger question of, what is behind all that? What is the Russian's strategic interest? Why the heck are they doing that, even though they know that it's pretty dangerous?

I mean, we have seen the buzzing of the Arleigh Burke-class USS Donald Cook, so you're right, this is actually pretty serious. I think the Russians have several objectives. One of the objectives is to make clear to NATO we are here, we are ready, we are pretty good armed and just don't come too close. So in a sense, it is intimidating the opponent not to move too close, not to engage in too many military maneuvers, not to send too much hardware and so on and son on.

The other objective, I think, is what I tried to point out in my remarks, is to create a sense of unpredictability, a sense where the opponent in that regard, NATO, does not know how far are the Russians going, what do they want to achieve with that. And that kind of, like, creates the image of an adversary who is very dangerous, perhaps an adversary where you cannot calculate what would be his next moves.

And I think the larger picture behind all that is that Russia is trying to, well, kind of, like, get back to a quote from Lord Ismay. The Russians are trying, when it comes to the post-Soviet space, they are trying to keep the Americans out, the Russians in and the post-Soviet states down. And they're achieving this with a strategy where they intimidate their neighbors, where they fuel conflicts in countries where there are Russian minorities. We have seen that in Georgia. We now saw it in Ukraine. And where they're at the same time projecting that, to a certain degree, upon NATO and NATO is in a difficult position to find out how far is that going, where do they really want to go? Do they want to overrun the Baltics? I don't know. Do they want to come back to the Elbe River in Germany? Or is that simply just, you know, to show, look, guys, NATO enlargement has moved far enough, no more, this is the end stop? So I think that's the larger picture.

And just quickly what you said, how to address that, well, I think a lot of communication. We need, again, communication, not just the NATO-Russia Council meeting every now and then, but we need it actually at the operational level, officer-to-officer contacts regularly, open channels. And then hopefully at some point, some mutual risk reduction agreements, which I tried to outline in my remarks.

REIF: Anya, got anything to add?

LOUKIANOVA: Yeah, just very briefly. I think when I talk about sort of non-military and sort of indirect military uses of force as part of strategic deterrence, this is exactly what that is. And I think what's not clear to me, though, is the trends over time encasing those incidents, if the Russians have actually reduced the amount of those activities over time. Because I think we're still excited about sort of what happened a couple of years ago and so we still carry the perception that kind of progresses. So it sort of lingers, the effect of their actions.

But I think sort of the other part of this is that these are the forces they have to coerce. You know, what do you use military for? You use it for coercion. That's part of deterrence, so that's what they're doing.

REIF: Right here.

Q: Working? Yes. Richard Fieldhouse.

So I wanted to get back to a comment you've made, Anya, about use of nuclear, small-scale nuclear forces for escalation control. You said we could talk about that in the Q&A so we're going to talk about that.

LOUKIANOVA: Conventional.

Q: Not conventional, nuclear.

LOUKIANOVA: Non-nuclear.

Q: The useóthe use...

LOUKIANOVA: Oh, oh, you wantóyeah, OK. OK, sure.

Q: Sort of this theory that Russia sees some limited use of nuclear weapons as a form of escalation control in a crisis during conflict. So I wanted to ask you to address that and also the question of whether you see a problem in the differing understandings of deterrence or crisis stability between the United States and Russia, including the United States with NATO.

LOUKIANOVA: Very good questions, think about it more substantively. So on theólet's not call it escalate to deescalate. So, yes, so I think as part of this idea of strategic deterrence and use of precision conventional capabilities, the Russians talk about use of conventional capabilities to send a warning, to inflict deterrent damage on specific targets to get the adversary to back down. And this is this idea, you know, proposed by Kokoshin and others for the last decade in the aim to sort of develop that conventional capability that would substitute what they use nuclear capabilities for, you know, for instance, since the 1990s, since their conventional forces were so incredibly weak.

However, I think they're still developing their precision conventional capabilities. And I think it's still not entirely clear what's going to happen to that sort of regional nuclear deterrence piece of it. It's clear that they sort of, as escalation progresses, they look at that as a possibility. But there are very few sort ofósince those articles came out in military thought in 1999, there's been few explicit discussions of it in that way. That's what I'll say.

But I think as, you know, folks understand the conflict spectrum, they think of how manyóyou know, if there's a conflict between NATO and Russia, how many conventional forces does Russia have to lose for it to get to the point where it gets desperate enough to signal with some sort of nuclear use, whatever that looks like limited, that it sort of it needs to stop now basically. I think that's still sort of a thing folks are exploring.

However, if you read Arbatov's piece in Survival, there's a specific debate going on that seems to be sort of leaking into Russian media and sort of these expert discussions about the potential of limited use in case of an airspace attack. And we've known this for a very long time. The Russians are sort of very concerned about their air and missile defense capabilities. That's the reason they've been developing them, even though, arguably, you know, it kind of undermines their strategic, you know, their nuclear deterrence.

So I think some in sort of the Russian military circles actually do think that because the United States was the country that invented the concept of limited nuclear use, you engage in that against the United States. But I think it's a highly questionable debate and I think we haven't really seen what that means sort of at the level of policy.

But the other thing I'll say is that you do have people like Patrushev who are still in sort of leadership positions on the Russian national security council. But his statements of using nuclear weapons in local and regional conflicts don't reallyóyou don't see that, as much proof of that in the military journals or in terms of leadership statements everywhere else.

REIF: Ulrich, you want to add something?

K‹HN: Yeah, just quickly, because that seems to be a debate which is going back and forth since years here in Washington. Look, we don't really know whether the Russians have this doctrine or not. And I think actually that the more interesting question is, if they have it, for what purposes do they have it? Do they have it for purely defensive deterrence purposes? Or do they have it for offensive deterrence purposes and an offensive coercion scenario, for instance?

And I would not single out the Russians so much in that regard and say, oh, my God, what are they doing? It's not new. Look, every time that a conventionally weaker power was facing a conventionally stronger power that was also nuclear armed, you have this kind of doctrine. NATO had it during the Cold War. Look at West Berlin. Pakistan has it vis-a-vis India. Even the French had something called "ultime avertissement" which is something like the final warning shot in a conventional scenario.

So, yes, I think the bigger question for us, which puzzles NATO and Western policymakers and the militaries, is, like, what are the scenarios where the Russians would employ that? And there is actually a lot of guesswork here going around.

REIF: A couple at a time this time. I saw a hand way in the back.

Q: Thank you, Debra Decker, the Stimson Center.

I've talked to lots of different people on the Russian and the American side on different areas. And we're speaking so much here like these are monolithic actors. However, if you go to the fact that the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism is jointly headed by the U.S. and the Russians or you talk to scientists who are cooperating on some research levels or if you talk to some, you know, folks in the diplomatic area who know that the Russians and the Americans did joint demarches to get the CPPNM amendment passed, and each person I talk to says, oh, that's just one little sliver of light. I say, well, what about this other one, what about this other one? So I'm wondering, you know, please give us a fuller sense of where you see levels of cooperation.

And, Ulrich, I guess you mentioned some potential areas. But I was wondering, in addition to these separate areas that I've seen cooperation on, if you could identify others and maybe we could build off of that.

REIF: And then there was question, I saw a hand up there. Yes, sir.

Q: Connor Gibbons, poli-sci major from Muhlenberg College.

I was wondering if either of you could comment on the Gerasimov Doctrine and how it applies to the current global context and nuclear policy.

REIF: Think you can describe that doctrine, too?

LOUKIANOVA: Want to do a split with me?

K‹HN: Yeah, I'm going to...

LOUKIANOVA: Yeah. Let me talk very briefly about nuclear materials security cooperation. It would have been really interesting to ask Chris Ford when he was here to sort of hear his opinion on the importance of that type of cooperation with the Russians as well as the broader international community. I think my perception has been that if you look at the budget it's not entirely clear that we have a commitment to nuclear material security the way we had it before.

But also, if you look at sort of the substance and the meat of Russian-American nuclear material security cooperation, there is really not much left. And I think that's very sad, personally, because I think we took for granted and I think the Russians took for granted the amount of transparency and reassurance actually generated by a lot of these efforts because we knew much more about Russian practices in terms of security, and they knew more about our practices, and now a lot of that stuff is gone.

So I think it's important to talk about positive examples of cooperation where it does exist, but I also think that we shouldn't overstate them.

I think the other issue here is that if you look at, in terms of bureaucracies on the Russian side and just generally this rhetoric of the new generation of people who are now becoming sort of bureaucrats, it's a rhetoric of sort of people who were not sort of part of the cooperative activities in the '80s or the 90s and I think that's a different tonal change when it comes to nuclear issues and just generally sort of much more nationalist. And so there's other aspects to this that I think are much more troubling than they are positive.

K‹HN: All right, so Gerasimov Doctrine. First of all, there is nothing like a Gerasimov Doctrine. There is a large body of thought, of intellectual, military and political thought that's going around in Russia since 10 years and some of those thoughts have the same theme and sometimes they plot into each other, sometimes they don't.

For those of you here in the audience who have dealt with Russia for many years, you know that for a full-fledged doctrine that more or less encompasses the whole society and the whole state apparatus, you need to be actually pretty organized. And the Russians are not that organized in that regard. There is a lot of stuff going on and different actors pursuing their different interests and, well, interagency competition put on top of that corruption and so on.

But nevertheless, let's talk about what can we understand under this thought of bodies. Some people have described it, as Anya pointed out, as new generation warfare, others term it strategic deterrence, others term it cross-domain coercion. What all those approaches have kind of in common is that you rely on asymmetric responses.

So it's basically a very cheap insight to say that everyone has vulnerabilities. So the United States as the military most powerful nation in the world of course also has vulnerabilities. And so this kind of doctrine is trying to exploit that along certain lines.

And I think we should not fallówe, and I mean we the West, NATO, the U.S.ówe should not fall into the trap of describing Russia as this strategic super man who can act on all fronts and who can, you know, who can tip our elections and who can intermingle there and who can destabilize whole societies and at the same time they have all these military capabilities.

Look, the Russians are trying to exploit weaknesses wherever that is possible. And if it's not working, for instance, like, in the French elections, well, then they just go on and test it somewhere else. So I would just say, yes, we should be aware.

One of the responses to this doctrine is certainly in the realm of resilience, not so much in the realm of deterrence. Because, again, when it comes to asymmetric threats, how do you want to apply deterrence in a conventional or even nuclear context to someone who is spreading disinformation in your country? It's just not possible. So make your societies more resilient.

And I think that applies not only to those countries that are being targeted by Russian disinformation propaganda on a 24/7 level, like the Baltic states, but it also applies to our societies. Why was America so vulnerable to the Russians interfering in the elections? Was it because the Russians were so good, because they were such a super man? No, I think it has domestic roots in the United States. So let's talk about that.

REIF: Anya, I know you wanted to jump in.

LOUKIANOVA: Very quickly. I mean, I think it's very important to not see into Russian behavior what we want it to be. So I would encourage you to actually go back and look at Gerasimov's own writings as they appear and sort of maybe trace them back into the military journals. Because what you see is that there's a lot of now complexity about sort of them thinking that the West thinks that Russian doctrine is hybrid, so there's a lot of sort of mirror imaging going on in terms of threat perception.

REIF: Yes, Kathy.

Q: I'm Kathy Crandall Robinson with Women in International Security.

I'm curious to know, what is the civil society, grassroots feeling, concern about nuclear weapons in Russia? And does it matter? And are there things that we should be doing to work with and reach out to civil society about nuclear weapons issues and disarmament efforts?

REIF: Sounds like that's for you, Anya.

LOUKIANOVA: Let me just say this really briefly. I mean, Russia is going through a nuclear modernization. They are going through a period where, you know, there's the perception that the West is hostile in some ways despite the fact that they still very much appreciate Western culture. And I'm pretty sure most of Russia has already seen "House of Cards," even though I have not.

So I think, you know, when a country goes through nuclear modernization, and I think we see that in nuclear newcomer countries, they're all very excited about sort of nuclear technology and tests and demonstrations, but I think there are also sort of various limits on engaging with civil society simply because I doubt that you'll find a lot of receptive aspects to that.

But the one caveat to that is that where you do find some activity is with regard to sort of the downsides of the nuclear energy program and the environmental implications that that has on sort of certain bodies of water and other parts of Russia. So there you have kind of a much more environmentalist movement and sort of that aspect of it, but I would say that that's really the only thing.

K‹HN: Well, honestly, I don't want to pretend that I'm an expert on the Russian civil society.

LOUKIANOVA: Talk about German civil society.

K‹HN: German civil society, yeah, I mean, well, the figures from the polls are very clear. I think 92 percent of Germans think that a nuclear weapons ban treaty would be a good idea. Eighty-five percentóthere was a poll from late 2016, 85 percent of them think that it would be a good thing to withdraw the U.S. B61 from German soil, which basically means denouncing extended nuclear deterrence.

At the same time, we have seen a very surprising debate within Germany a couple of months back about Germany perhaps acquiring its own nuclear deterrent or at least going together with the French for a so-called Euro deterrent. But this is, I mean, first of all, that would run into a lot of domestic German problems. I think every politician that would seriously pursue that would risk the end of his career.

But at the same time, we see a lot of pressure from other countries, including the United States, and not just on Germany, but on Europe. And I don't want to exclude that a future stronger German-French security bond, which has to develop, not only for the sake of those two countries, but for the sake of Europe, would at some point, again, seriously pursue that way.

LOUKIANOVA: I would add to that, it would be very interesting to see what that would mean for Russian debate.

REIF: Daryl, you had a question.

Actually, let me go first to Rachel over here in the corner and then Daryl.

Q: Hi, Ulrich. Could I ask you to expand a little bit about what you think could be the domino effect of failures to resolve the INF violations and how that couldóyou said that would probably spread over to the Senate deciding to not renew New START. Should President Trump seek that? And just what that would mean in terms of doing away with predictability and transparency and you've said returning to the Cuban Missile Crisis-level tensions.

REIF: Daryl.

Q: Thank you both, Ulrich and Anya.

I have a question about the upcoming meeting between the U.S. and the Russian presidents, which I was trying to get some clarity from Chris Ford about.

From Germany's perspective, Ulrich, and, Anya, maybe if you can put yourself in the shoes of the Kremlin for a moment, OK, what three things would the German government want to see either happen or not happen in that meeting between President Putin and President Trump?

And, Anya, if you can, I know it's kind of an impossible question in some ways, but I want you to try anyway, I mean, what do you think the Russians will be looking for, especially with respect to the strategic relationship? And I'm sure I'm not asking you about cyber hacking or collusion with Russia in the election, but the traditional security relationship between the two countries.

K‹HN: Daryl, a quick question, is that limited to the realm of arms control or, like, in a broader sense?

Q: Take it as you will. I mean, because, I mean, broader arms control may not be the concern of the Europeans at this point, especially since they didn't hear a reaffirmation of the United States' commitment to Article V of the NATO Charter. What three things would they like to see come up?

REIF: Yes, I think, Jeff, did you have your hand up and then that will be...

Q: (OFF MIKE)

REIF: OK, all right. So those are the final two questions, and then your responses and any concluding comments you want to make as well.

Ulrich, do you want to start in response to Rachel's question about...

K‹HN: OK. Rachel, INF domino effect, basically, what could happen are two domino effects. So the one would very much pertain to the European theater, the other one would pertain to the bilateral U.S./Russian strategic stability.

So the first domino effect, well, let's start with the worst-case scenario. Well, the Russians, they just continue to be intransigent and say, well, you know, we're not doing anything wrong here, everything is fine, whatever, and U.S. at some certain point decides to say, look, we're just going to get out of INF and we have to counter that tit for tat, we also need at least dual-capable INF missiles in Europe or maybe just go full in and say, you know, nuclear-tipped INF missiles in Europe.

I think there are actually a lot of people in Washington aware of the fact that that would be highly destabilizing, not just in a general sense vis-a-vis Russia, but what I wanted to point out also with a view to maintaining alliance unity within NATO.

So a lot of sensible people, like Steve Pifer, or my colleague John Wolfstahl have put forward some proposals, for instance saying, you know, we could station U.S. long-range bombers in Great Britain, equipped with air-launched cruise missiles, conventional. We could, you know, play the Naval card, put more U.S. ships to the European theater, which (INAUDIBLE). Others have said, look, we should concentrate on point defense for certain military installations, that is clearly linked to the concern that NATO has with regards to the Baltics and deliberate escalations on the Russians. So I think there are some opportunities.

But as you can hear already from my response, those are all military options. And as much as I like, for instance, I mean, I can just recommend the article my friend Greg Thielmann just brought forward in the latest Arms Control Today issue, we would like to see those arms control solutions. But I have a feeling that the train has already left the station in that regard, so let's look for damage limitation and let's not go too far.

And the domino effect with regards to the bilateral, well, clearly, I mean, it could be that Trump decides, well, New START is a great deal and it's not a bad deal, so let's just extend it for the next five years. He could do that, even against the background of the INF violations. But nevertheless, we would just face the same problems then five years later. Or he decides against that and then, you know, the strategic arms control mechanisms that we have in place will just wither away. And that will throw us back to a state that we have last seen in the very early 1970s and before the 1960s.

And you just mentioned the Cuban Missile Crisis. No one wants to go back to those days. So I think we have to really work hard on preserving INF.

REIF: And I'm going to, on Daryl's question, in the interest of time, whittle down from three things to one thing.

K‹HN: All right. But just, sorry, that was about the Putin-Trump meeting at the sidelines of the G20.

REIF: That's right, yeah.

K‹HN: OK.

REIF: One thing Germany would like to see.

K‹HN: Germany would like to see Trump reaffirming Article V.

REIF: Quick and easy.

LOUKIANOVA: Oh, so you let himóI know, very briefly in the interest of time, let me answer the second question first and then I'll want to make a very brief point on the first question that Rachel asked.

So in terms of the Russian list of things, sort of sanctions probably are number one, how feasible that is, yeah, I guess, but I think in terms of the broader strategic stability package, I think we all know the list. It's missile defense, probable strike and we also know that the United States is going to engage in nuclear modernization. So it would be good to have some sort of transparency and insights into how that process is going to proceed. So I think those are sort of the three things that keep the Russians interested in sort of having a strategic stability dialogue.

But very briefly on the crisis question, I think you talked about the Euro missiles crisis, Rachel brought in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Don't get your crises confused because it's actually very important in the Russian debate. The Russians actually think they're back in the Euro missile crisis, some of them at least do. They argue that, you know, EPEA launchers are, in fact, a GLCM capability and so they think they're sort of back into that discussion.

But also, if you read sort of some things that Arbatov has written for domestic consumption, not for Western consumption, there's a lot of concern that there will be an arms control collapse, but it will be different. So it would start with INF, go to START, then also include CTBT and it would then to go the NPT.

I think the Russians view the collapse as much more dramatic and much more sort of potentially consequential.

REIF: Well, on that cheery note...

(LAUGHTER)

...I want to thank both of our panelists for an excellent set of remarks and very thoughtful responses to your questions.

We are going to transition very quickly to our final keynote speaker. And I'm going to turn it over to Daryl.

CLOSING KEYNOTE:

KIMBALL: Thank you very much, Kingston, Anya and Ulrich, for a great discussion.

And as they depart, let me begin the introduction of our next and final keynote speaker for the day who is going to provide another perspective on the challenges posed by nuclear and other mass casualty weapons.

We're honored to have with us the new United Nations undersecretary-general and high representative of the UN secretary-general for disarmament affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu. She comes to this position with many years of experience at UN headquarters and in the field, at headquarters on refugee issues, UN reform, development, peacekeeping. She was also before that a professor of international relations at Hitotsubashi, I think I'm saying that right, University in Tokyo

Ms. Nakamitsu, like Chris Ford, has a tough job. In her case, helping to guide the secretary-general and UN member states on the often-divisive question of how to work together to reduce and eliminate nuclear dangers and how to enforce global treaties that prohibit other weapons of mass destruction and, in particular right now, the Chemical Weapons Convention.

In her first few weeks, she has been very active monitoring the recent preparatory meeting for the 2020 Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference. She has been tracking the negotiations on the new Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty. And she's been working to build support for the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons investigation into the recent and terrible Sarin gas attack in Syria.

So, Madam High Representative, thank you for joining us here from New York to be here with us and to have joined us for our previous sessions today. We're very honored to have you and look forward to your perspectives. Thanks.

(APPLAUSE)

NAKAMITSU: Thank you very much, Daryl.

And I wanted to start out by saying how nice it is really for me to be back in Washington, D.C. If I could share a secret, I am very much a product of Washington, D.C. This is where I learned international relations, international politics at Georgetown and I feel very comfortable, at home here in this town.

This is also where I learned the importance and the value of high-quality, open and honest policy discussions, like the one that we are having today. Without such discussions, I would say the world community is not going to be able to tackle challenges that we are confronted with today.

So you and your colleagues at the Arms Control Association have already been very generous, very kind in terms of helping me come to grips with some of the, if you will, more arcane elements of my new portfolio. I've been on the post exactly for one month now, and those include introducing me to many of you here in this room. I am obviously feeling very humbled to speak to such a prominent and eminent group of people. And I'd like to emphasize how much I'm looking forward to working very closely with all of you in the months and years to come, especially in this very challenging environment.

But we have heard much already today and I've already learned a lot about the serious arms control-related challenges facing the international community. These are not only some of the most important issues affecting disarmament and nonproliferation, but I should say they are in fact international peace and security more broadly.

So this is where I wanted to start off. The fragile and increasingly volatile international security environments, and these are obviously as the result of regional tensions, emergence of non-state actors with global reach now, and resurgence, if you will, of some of the historical animosity, so the environment is further undermined by challenges, such as the dangerous and provocative activities of the DPRK in terms of the repeated use of missile and nuclear tests, use of chemical weapons in the Middle East and apparent drift perhaps backwards towards, into Cold War positions, including some of the worrying rhetorics we hear about the utilities of nuclear weapons.

It is often argued in this kind of environment that disarmament and arms control must be shelved until the climate improves, as if they are actually part of humanitarian diplomacy to try to soften the hard power of real politics.

Now, of course, the norms are important, including those in international humanitarian law. But I think this view fails to take into account the historic role disarmament, arms control and nonproliferation have played in the maintenance of international peace and security.

As the Arms Control Association has endeavored to demonstrate, disarmament has always been a critical component in preventing and resolving conflicts, including during the tensions of the Cold War. Disarmament is integral to any political solution to conflicts.

Disarmament, arms control and nonproliferation provide mechanisms for transparency and to build trust and confidence. They present avenues for dialogue and seek to find common ground, very important. In this way, disarmament and arms control and nonproliferation instruments enhance security for all of us. In today's complex environment, that is something I think we would do well to remember.

And if I may add, the international community benefited from an important leadership role the United States of America demonstrated in this area at critical moments in the past, which all hope it will continue to play.

The UN has obviously a long history in disarmament, arms control and nonproliferation. It is one of the pillars upon which the organization rests. From the first Genera Assembly resolution that called for the elimination of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction, to the biological and Chemical Weapons Conventions, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the UN has been a venue for dialogue, a source of technical knowledge and, if you will, an honest broker.

Multinational disarmament and nonproliferation is a web of interlocking agreements and instruments. The well functioning of each matters greatly to the maintenance of the overall credibility of the international disarmament and nonproliferation regime. Each of these instruments is a brick in the wall of our collective security. Allow one to crumble and it will damage the entire edifice.

In this relation, we are witnessing some worrying trends. Take, for example, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons fact-finding mission in the Syrian Arab Republic and the UN OPCW joint investigative mechanism. Both have been the epitome of objective, independent and technical professionalism. Of the many allegations regarding the use of chemical weapons, the technical experts at OPCW and its FFM have been able to independently confirm 30 such instances. The JIM has been able to identify three instances of use of chemicals as weapons by the government of Syria and one instance of the use of chemical weapons by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

This work is crucial in reinforcing the taboo against the use of chemical weapons and bringing to justice the perpetrators of the horrific crime against humanity. It is work that must be safeguarded and vocally supported. It should not be held hostage to any political motivation.

In this complex environment, we must be able to rely on the advice of scientific and technical professionals. And this is in fact a critical part of the overall credibility of the disarmament regime that we have built over many years in fact.

Other important examples of worrying trends in different parts of the multinational regime include the near-two-decades stalemate in the Conference on Disarmament, the financial precariousness of important disarmament instruments and perhaps most worryingly erosion of consensus over the path to a world without nuclear weapons, all of which are damaging the multinational disarmament and nonproliferation regime.

So against this broader context, let me touch on negotiations on the Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, or more simply the ban treaty. I appreciate that there are definite positions on this matter, but the negotiations do reflect the overwhelming interest of the international community, more than 130 countries, in facilitating progress toward nuclear disarmament. It is a historic development as it represents the most significant multinational nuclear disarmament negotiations in over 20 years.

The ban treaty is also a product of a frustration many states feel at the slow pace of nuclear disarmament. It is the frustration that has been simmering for years as positions have widened over how best to achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons. And because rhetoric, accusations of arms control treaty noncompliance and expensive modernization campaigns combined with an absence of progress on long-overdue measures, such as Fissile Material Cutoff treaty and a perceived lack of urgency in implementing successive NPT outcome documents, have all fueled this frustration.

A world free of nuclear weapons is a vision that has been subscribed to by the United States for seven decades. It has been also advocated by some of the most prominent American statesmen and women in order to enhance international and U.S. security. It is, of course, everyone's responsibility. However, if we are to find our way back to common ground, the nuclear weapon states must show the way. Their sustained commitment to this universally shared goal has undergirded much of the success over the last seven decades.

Russia and the United States as holders of the two largest nuclear arsenals have a special responsibility. Strategic dialogue, we heard quite a lot about that today, on further bilateral reductions involving all types of nuclear weapons could be a stabilizing factor between the two countries. It would also have positive impact on the overall international peace and security. This is particularly important for the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

The NPT is the cornerstone of the international nuclear nonproliferation regime and an essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament. It must remain so. It represents near-universal common ground and continues to reinforce our collective security.

I am pleased to see the draft ban treaty explicitly recognizes these facts and I really hope that this will be maintained through the forthcoming negotiations. But if a ban treaty is to become a reality, the future health of the NPT and of the overall nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament regime will require urgent steps towards the implementation of Article VI commitments.

It is also critical to keep constructive dialogues between those who decided not to be part of the negotiations and those who decided to be part of the negotiation of the ban treaty.

As the 50th anniversary of the NPT entry into force in 2020 approaches, states' parties have the opportunity to find common grounds on ways forward and make this a milestone anniversary to celebrate.

Ladies and gentlemen, earlier I had mentioned the UN's role as the avenue for dialogue, a source of technical knowledge and an honest broker in the fields of disarmament, arms control and nonproliferation. Let me just briefly explain how the UN is critical in these ways.

First of all, the UN is a forum for united action. The role of the UN Security Council in unanimously condemning and sanctioning in fact the illegal missile and nuclear programs of the DPRK is a prime example. Differences persist, of course, over specific measures to pursue, but unequivocal condemnation of these brazen acts is a clear signal of the unanimity in the belief that weapons of mass destruction pose a threat to regional and global security.

Second, the UN is a forum for inclusive negotiations engaging all stakeholders. This is not to say that other forum do not play a role. Regional negotiations produce the valuable nuclear weapon-free zones and bilateral negotiations reduce nuclear arsenals by around 85 percent in some cases, but only universal forums create universally binding rules and norms.

With this in mind, the UN should be the venue for efforts to bring about other measures to achieve and maintain a nuclear weapon-free world. This includes negotiations on the FMCT and bringing the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty into force.

Third, the UN is a useful forum for dialogue on new issues of critical importance to us all. The enduring concerns related to WMD and conventional weapons have been exacerbated by rapid advances in technology. A suit of new issues has emerged that threatens to undermine international stability. Artificial intelligence and cyber-security will be vital to humanity's future prosperity, but they could also, if used for malicious purposes, produce global problems that require global solutions. Likewise, conversations among all stakeholders are required if we are to grapple with game-changing, dual-use technology, such as 3D printing, in ways that minimize risk while not impeding development.

My final point relates to the UN as an honest broker and custodian to protect, safeguard and implement the most fundamental values on which the UN was founded. In the field of disarmament, arms control and nonproliferation, this in fact goes beyond simply reminding ourselves of the norms. We have played the critical role of impartial referee on the implementation of treaties, such as the NPT or Chemical Weapons Convention. This role that we play I believe is a critical one in actually making the world a safer place and a role that has always enjoyed a full support of the United States.

Ladies and gentlemen, to conclude, let me go back to where I started. Government breeds security. It is not a vague hope or aspiration, but must be a concrete contribution to a safer and more secure world. We must remember the core component of the mechanisms established at the creation of the United Nations for the maintenance of collective security. It is a cause to which we must rededicate all of our efforts.

The United Nations looks forward to the continued U.S. leadership and to working very closely with all of you towards our shared goal. Thank you very much.

(APPLAUSE)

KIMBALL: Thank you very much for those remarks.

And I think we have ample time for questions from the audience. Again, raise your hand, identify yourself, and ask your question.

Q: I would like to raise a peripheral issue. And I appreciate what the UN has done because I've spent many years in New York and particularly on the nonproliferation treaty where it was helpful. But there is now a conference that goes to Geneva, a UN conference, which I think is an eyesore. I'm referring to the conference that cannot succeed because it has a voting arrangement that prevents dealing with the one subject they're sent there to deal with.

And I know that I should have asked this to the new American representative that was here earlier, but he would just tell me, well, we haven't decided what to do about that. But you're coming onboard now. I would hope that you will use your exercise, and this is sort of a snide way to put this, but would you use your influence to have some change made in the system that we have there? Because it is a travesty that there is no possibility because of the rules of moving forward on the cutoff. And I know that there's nice scenery and the wine is pretty good in Geneva, but that's about all they do and it's a waste of everybody's taxes to send people there.

Now, I'd like your comment on that.

NAKAMITSU: Yes. Well, actually, I would like to ask for your advice on what to do with the CD. I haven't been to Geneva. I am going there next week and I'll be talking to many of the Conference on Disarmament ambassadors. I have been actually already asking for advice.

I don't think it would be very easy to change. I mean, some people suggested, yes, we need to, you know, come out of the box and think, you know, interesting ways forward. Some even suggest that we open it up to everyone. There seem to be no quick fixes. We need to really put our heads together and think very creatively what we can in fact do.

But the forum, in fact, I mean, it is true that it's been stuck for more than two decades. They cannot even agree on the agenda. But in the sidelines, they are still continuing with dialogues and informal discussions.

Now, do we find that useful? Probably. In my message actually to the NATO conference, I put a tiny bit of a very positive, in our view, development that just happened a couple of weeks ago, a few months ago, which is breaking the deadlock in the disarmament commission, I think it was in March. We don't think it is an insignificant achievement. It demonstrated that perhaps because there are problems in other parts of disarmament instruments, perhaps, I hope, the member states felt that there will have to be extra efforts to demonstrate that they are willing to compromise on substantive issues.

But maybe there is hope, I don't know. But again, I would very much like to hear from you, what are the things that we could potentially think about doing? Because I'm a newcomer, complete newcomer into this community, I could potentially think very creatively without the fear that some of the more sort of experts might have. So please help us think through what we might be able to do.

KIMBALL: All right. Is that better? Thank you. So yes, being the new kid on the block can be liberating. And I just wanted to note to Larry's question that there have been creative initiatives that have been taken by like-minded governments on important issues over the last couple of decades especially because the Conference on Disarmament has been unable to agree on an agenda.

One such example was President Obama's initiative to host a nuclear security summit in 2010, there were three more. You know, that kind of initiative takes a great deal of courage, diplomatic energy. There has to be enough countries who are interested in that. But that might be another option.

I mean, the negotiation on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Treaty is yet another example of states taking the initiative using the UN General Assembly to launch a negotiation on something of common interest.

So there are some creative approaches that might be applied to some of the issues that have been, you know, behind the beautiful bars of the CD, locked away in that body for the last 20 years.

So other questions from the floor? We have Jonathan Granoff.

Thank you, Jonathan.

Q: Thank you so much for your comments. One of the things that commends you to this is your background in actually dealing with real human catastrophe. And one of the key agendas for the next several decades of the UN will be the sustainable development goals, the 17 goals of addressing what appears to me to be real human security, addressing poverty, protecting the climate, protecting the oceans, the very lungs of the planet.

And to a large extent, the disarmament, nonproliferation, arms control agenda is siloed from the dynamic of sustainable development. But it appears to me that the standoff of nuclear weapons is an impediment to achieving those SDGs. Could you comment on the relationship between sustainable development and disarmament? Because if we can bring the two together, if we can bring the two together, there will be a lot more momentum in the field of arms control and disarmament.

NAKAMITSU: I'm not sure if I would like directly with the nuclear weapons issues. But in fact, we have been already working on linkage between disarmament in general and SDGs. In fact, there is SDG 16.4, I think, when I left UNDP just exactly one month ago, there was a farewell reception. And I sort of joked, you know, I thought I would never have to deal with SDGs anymore, but no, no, there was 16.4 which the ODA was responsible for. So we have a work plan. We have a strategy how to, in fact, you know, make progress in that.

In fact, you know, since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, not a single person has died from nuclear weapons. But in fact, there have been lots of casualties as a result of small arms and light weapons. So this conventional weapons disarmament aspect is something that we would definitely like to highlight much more.

It's also an area where we have been also making progress. And we need to actually advertise that. If we put our heads together and work, you know, together, we are able to make progress and achieve wonderful things. And I think that sort of positive message also in disarmament will be very important and that can be very much linked to the Agenda 2020 and SDGs. In fact, it is, in my view, a critical component of a concept also referred to as human security.

KIMBALL: There are other questions here?

Yes, Jeff.

Q: Hi. Jeff Abramson, I'm also at the Arms Control Association, but I handle the small arms and light weapons.

So I was going to ask a question that I think Jonathan and Larry framed well. Your experience and background in other areas actually I think could be quite beneficial. So I wanted to ask the question of how you think you might bring some of the work you've done to push the disarmament agenda.

I very much agree, having worked at the UN on negotiating the Arms Trade Treaty, that the UN is seen as a very siloed place and in some ways it really is. I would say you started with reminding us that some people say take a break from disarmament because the times are tough. But I would say, can we think of it the other way around? Can we use the other issues to make progress on disarmament? I would say that the humanitarian consequences is what drove the Nuclear Ban Treaty, there was a very different sort of outside-the-box human side that move that on. So if you have experiences you sort of think can bring to that.

And I want to ask more specifically about Syria. You brought this up when you talked about the chemical weapons use. I see that country as the sticking point for people who criticize the UN Security Council for not being able to do anything, people who criticize the UN and also for making it somewhat impossible for the United States and Russia to potentially cooperate, if you have some thinking on that.

Again, the idea of the refugees that came out of Syria I think at times could have driven some countries to think about we really need to get to a solution. Again, that's outside of the arms control, disarmament. So other outside-the-box thoughts you might have?

NAKAMITSU: Let me start with Syria. And that is clearly one of the, if you will, more immediate, acute priority agenda my office has at the moment. And here, what I have been emphasizing already is that this is actuallyóI mean, of course, it's about Syria, but it's not just about Syria. If this fight continues to be politicized and seen from different positions that different members of the Security Council have on the Syrian conflict, then we might in fact start to lose part of a very important disarmament regime called OPCW.

There is a reason why the international community created a technical agency, such as OPCW or IAEA, and if those entities are in fact politicized, then we will really start to lose the capacities that the nonproliferation regime, that has worked so well over the years, will start to crumble. And we want to prevent that.

So I have been already, you know, messaging this with all the relevant parties. And I won't, you know, share the details in a public session, but I think this is a line that we must really continue together with the head of JIM as well.

Now, JIM is an independent creation by the Security Council. We fully respect their independence. But the head of JIM and I fully coordinate. We see the situation very much in the same way. So we play a different role, but we try to maintain the nonproliferation regime as it was created and designed intentionally. So this is something that, you know, for us it would be very important and it actually goes beyond Syria.

And I hope there are a sufficient number of countriesóI think there are sufficient number of countries who understand this point, which is a medium to longer-term strategic point, not just about the Syrian conflict.

On your first question, I want to emphasize the point that I made in my remarks, which is that disarmament really is an integral part of any solution to political conflict. If you look at, if you study all peace agreements, and I've worked in many different parts of the world in peacekeeping in particular, there is always some elements of disarmament involved in the sort of peace treaty package. So perhaps it has not been seen so linked, so clearly linked in the UN But this issue or the important priority of coming out of a silo within the UN system is in fact a priority of the secretary-general.

He sees the UN as the organization which will be able to in fact tackle those problems much more holistically with necessary linkages made. And so I would like to make sure that disarmament will much more action part of those peaceful resolution of conflict type of thinking.

KIMBALL: Very good.

Ambassador Kennedy.

Q: If I might, I wanted to ask about the Biological Weapons Convention. I mean, you talked about the strains on the OPCW, but here you have a very important convention, the least subscribed of the three WMD treaties, an implementation support unit of three people, a disastrous review conference that, despite the efforts of many to find common ground, was stymied to the degree, I think it was largely Iran, although I was not there, so that they could not even agree the schedule of activities for the year ahead, which are vitally valued by many scientists, government officials, folks around the world.

So any thoughts about moving this important convention forward? Thank you.

NAKAMITSU: You know, when I was going through the sort of initial briefing, this is the area that really scared me a lot. I'm a born optimist, but ever since I took this position my optimism is gradually going down. No, no, no, I will keep it up. Yes, I will keep it up.

You know, perhaps the biologicalóI mean, I understand that the UN has always been trying to argue that there will have to be some sort of an implementation capacity that has to be created. But we just don't have the support, including the financial support, but also the political support to create such an independent capacity.

I mean, the convention itself is a very old one. But perhaps this is something because it's so scary to think about the actual scenario, you know, the international community is sort of trying to choose or trying to ignore the serious sort of possibilities.

We are doing what we can, I mean, through the three people, the implementation support unit which is housed within ODA in Geneva. What we are doing is to create a network of professionals. In the event something happens, then those network of professionals could be called on to investigate with a very short time frame, et cetera. So we are in fact trying to create a capacity which is not standing capacity, but standby capacity.

So, you know, we would like to be supported much more in some of those endeavors. And I will see what we can do in terms of really mobilizing political and financial support from member states or the state parties.

KIMBALL: Well, thank you very much. We have run out of time. I just wanted to express our appreciation for your work and the work of your team and all the people at the United Nations who provide a vehicle for states and civil society to work on these issues.

And, I mean, what you've described to us is a reminder that, you know, the UN helps provide tools and fora for discussion, but we've got to use them. There needs to be leadership to take advantage of those opportunities. We've got to resource the UN so that it can do its job, particularly the technical organizations like the BWC support unit, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization and others.

And I think, you know, we're going to count on you to help provide some fresh ideas. And we look forward to working with you to help forward some of those that come from civil society here in Washington and elsewhere. And we appreciate all that you are doing for us. So thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

NAKAMITSU: Thank you.

KIMBALL: All right. And I'm going to remain seated here because of the microphone issues. And I just want to say a few words in closing of today's Arms Control Association annual meeting.

It's been a great discussion. I want to thank the panelists and our moderators. I hope everybody has found the conference informative and thought-provoking and not depressing. Because as Larry Weiler said earlier, one of the true veterans of these issues, these are tough issues and they require persistence. And you can count on those of us at the Arms Control Association to continue to persistently provide information and ideas to help guide us forward.

So we also appreciate the support of everybody here and beyond who make our work possible. I want to thank all those who have been tuning in on C-SPAN and on social media. We're going to have a transcript of today's discussions and the talks available next week on our website, armscontrol.org.

If you are not a member of the Arms Control Association, and I can't believe anybody wouldn't be, please consider joining or making a donation. Donations and membership remains at the $25 level. And if you're not sure about your status, you want to renew, you are eligible for a fantastic coffee travel mug if you do it today.

I also want to welcome once again, we mentioned this earlier, I want to announce and welcome the new members to our board of directors. We've got a fantastic group that's now being augmented with Tom Countryman, Laura Kennedy, Susan Burk, Deborah Fikes, Leland Cogliani.

And I want to also just thank my fantastic staff team. They work hard, they're very professional, they're very dedicated. And I want to especially thank our program and policy associate, Shervin Taheran, for all that she did for this event, a very complex arrangement, but she tells me it wasn't as difficult as planning her wedding earlier this year.

So congratulations on that and thank you, Shervin.

(APPLAUSE)

Yes, and I'm sorry for my list, Bonnie Jenkins is another new board member who is here with us today.

(APPLAUSE)

And also, thanks to the good folks at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace for hosting us today.

And last note, we hope to see many of you this evening at 5:00 p.m. for our informal post-meeting reception in conjunction with the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy at the 18th Street Lounge not far away. If you don't know where that is, check with the staff before you leave.

So thanks again. Thanks to our panelists. And thank you for your support to the Arms Control Association. We are adjourned.

(APPLAUSE)

END

Posted: June 2, 2017