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Wendy Sherman: We Need To Give Diplomacy A Chance; Wendy Sherman: Kim Jong Un In The Driver's Seat; Challenges Surrounding Potential Trump- Kim Meeting; Why The Mayor Of London Is Taking On Tech Companies; London Mayor: "Reluctant Participant" In Trump Feuds. Aired 3-3:30p ET
Aired March 12, 2018 - 15:00 ET
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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Tonight, silence from North Korea as the world waits to find out if Kim Jong-un will meet with
President Trump. But is each side prepared for the other's unconventional diplomacy? I'm joined by the former U.S. nuclear negotiator on North Korea
and Iran, Wendy Sherman.
Plus, my conversation with the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, on his rocky relationship with President Trump, the problem with populism and why he's
come to America with a word of warning for big tech.
Good evening, everyone. Welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in New York. Still no word from North Korea about the potentially historic
meeting between Kim Jong-un and President Trump. Three days after Trump accepted Kim's invitation which came through South Korean officials.
Seoul says Pyongyang's radio silence probably means it's approaching this matter with caution. But if the summit actually does happen by the end of
May, North Korea is bound to be looking closely at whether Mr. Trump abandons the Iran nuclear deal, which he calls a disaster as a way to test
the waters before it jumps into any kind of nuclear talks.
I've been speaking to someone who's negotiated on both issues. Wendy Sherman, the lead U.S. negotiator on the Iran deal for President Obama and
the special North Korea advisor under the Clinton administration, and she joined me from London.
AMANPOUR: Wendy Sherman, welcome to the program.
WENDY SHERMAN, FORMER SPECIAL ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT CLINTON ON NORTH KOREA: Great to be here. Thank you, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: So, from a purely negotiating and negotiators point of view, with your experience in both North Korea and Iran on these issues, what are
the pros and cons, the possible pitfalls or the opportunities of a presidential meeting even before negotiations are underway?
SHERMAN: Well, it's actually quite extraordinary, as you know, in the annals of diplomacy. Nonetheless, I'm glad that we're getting into talks.
Even if we start off with the meeting and not formal negotiations because talk is certainly better than war and we need to give diplomacy a chance
where it should be the last resort, not the first.
I think the president has to be extraordinarily well prepared. I know he likes to shoot from the hip and has tremendous confidence in his ability
does Kim Jong-un, and if there was ever a symmetry between leaders it is here. Not that the President Trump is an autocratic dictator in the way
that Kim Jong-un is, he is president of a democracy.
But these are two men who believe that their choices, their decisions are the only things that matter, but all of that said, this is a very, very
complicated, very difficult negotiation, much more difficult than the Iran negotiation because North Korea has nuclear weapons and the means to
deliver them. So, this is a very uphill climb.
AMANPOUR: We wish Iran didn't and I will come to the whole Iran, North Korea, symmetry, and President Trump's disdain of the Iran nuclear deal in
a moment, but first, I want to pick up on what you just said that the president has to be very well prepared.
So, a couple questions on that, there is no US ambassador to South Korea. The main State Department North Korea advisor has retired, resigned. There
doesn't seem to be the officialdom the infrastructure of the key advisors around the president.
They have obviously gone through the national security review and North Korea featured at the top of that. Do you think that he will be well
enough prepared by the time he goes into a meeting if it should happen?
SHERMAN: Well, it worried me to hear that he wanted to do it as soon as possible and that the South Koreans and those around him pushed him to at
least after the South Korean-North Korean Summit, which pushes this to May because you've got to put a team together.
Whatever comes out of this meeting for good or for ill, someone's going to need to follow up. The president will not be able to do it all. This is a
highly technical negotiation usually before you start these things to figure out where you want to go.
You might even draft a kind of agreement you would hope you get to at the end just to give you a sense of all of the elements that have to be on the
table. All of the things you have to think about.
It also involves a lot of pre-consultation because it's not just our interests that are at stake. Of course, that's what the president is most
and should be most concerned about, but we have allies with South Korea, with Japan.
We certainly want China to be in the mix. There Russia had interest they want to build a gas pipeline through North Korean to the South. So, we
have to not only have a range of consultations but understand everybody's interest because this negotiation is about denuclearization of the Korean
[15:05:07] But it is also about the future of Asia and Northeast Asia and who is going to decide what that's going to be.
AMANPOUR: Should we at this moment be taking any warning signals or be cautious that North Korea itself has as yet not confirmed that it has
offered this presidential meeting or at least it's not confirmed it publicly.
SHERMAN: Yes, I think that is of concern. I think we certainly need to be wary. I don't know whether the message that the South Koreans conveyed was
in writing. I believe that it was, which certainly helps, but we would want to hear from North Korea and I would hope that there would be a direct
channel between North Korea and the United States as the logistics and the substance and the agenda of this meeting is put together.
I appreciate our South Korean colleagues work in this regard. It's critical that we be shoulder to shoulder with South Korea, but we need a
direct line of communication as well.
AMANPOUR: Now, you said, the endgame must be denuclearization, but I put it to you that first and foremost, the North Koreans, as you mentioned, are
way ahead of Iran which doesn't have nuclear weapons. North Korea has anyway, according to the community of 20 to 60 warheads.
As we've scene is perfecting the delivery mechanism, the ballistic missile technology. Is North Korea really going to denuclearize and I'd like to
play for you these two portions of interviews that I've done with experts on this precise question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFFREY LEWIS, MIDDLEBURY INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL STUDIES AT MONTERY: What's going to have to happen is were going to have to learn to live with
this. Just as we learn to live with China having your weapons that could target the United States and the Soviet Union before that. That's a very
unusual thing. You know, we haven't gone through this in decades and so it's a very jolting and bracing thing, particularly in Washington, D.C. for
people to come to grips with it.
MICHAEL HAYDEN, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: Let me give you what I think is a truth very, a very, very sad truth. The truth nonetheless, it is my
judgment that it would be more dangerous to prevent North Korea from getting to that state that it would be for us to try to cope with the North
Korea in that state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, Wendy Sherman, you've heard what these experts are saying. What is the best that the United States can expect total denuclearization
SHERMAN: Well. I certainly think denuclearization should stay as the objective because we don't want to encourage other countries to take the
nuclear weapons path. That said, certainly, stabilizing the situation, making sure it doesn't go further, containment of this situation having an
open channel to manage what's going on, hopefully getting the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency back into North Korea.
All of these things are steps along the way and I agree with your experts to the extent that full denuclearization is certainly a long ways off, but
we need to get going, because ultimately we all hope there is a world without nuclear weapons including ours and Russia's.
AMANPOUR: I want to ask you about what you might think lies behind the North Korean objective or its movies, reach out right now. You've been
there. You've been a special advisor on North Korea.
You've been with Madeleine Albright as secretary of state in that last time just before the Clinton administration ended to try to push forward on
these deals that would make the whole peninsula, the United States, and everyone safer.
What is it like negotiating with them? What do they really want? What is their mindset? We asked because we don't really know what goes on inside
the hermit kingdom.
SHERMAN: It's hard to fathom from time to time, but I do believe that Kim Jong un is a rational actor within his paradigm. I do believe that he is
not in any rush to denuclearize even though he may say OK, we can talk about that, but let's see how we go from here to there.
I think his objectives are several. One, he is in the driver seat at the moment. He has been able to get the present. The United States most
powerful leader in the world to sit in the same room with him as if he is in equal.
So, we've already achieved a major objective from his perspective. He ultimately wants reunified the careers, but under North Korean leadership,
which is certainly not something the United States is going to agree to, I certainly hope not, and he wants to hold on to his nuclear weapons because
he does not trust the United States.
He doesn't believe there's any guarantee for his security and his regime security and he's well aware that there are many people in the United
States that are pushing for regime change and there are even hints that the president may bring out in and outside envoy, and one who believes in
AMANPOUR: Who might that be? I assumed that you know who that might be?
SHERMAN: Well, I think the word that has been reported in the press is there some consideration of having John Bolton come in in that envoy. I
think that would be quite an unusual and quite a difficult circumstance.
[15:10:09] AMANPOUR: Well, many people of your -- people who have actually sat down and had these negotiations may be equally worried. I wonder if
you can speak then to the worry about in your community, around Europe and elsewhere.
The President Trump's disdain and also John Bolton's disdain for the Iran nuclear deal. I have been talking to many world leaders, whether it's
Emmanuel Michael, France, European needed others, not to mention Americans, who believe that if the president pulls out and discards the Iran nuclear
There is absolutely no way North Korea would have any incentive to enter negotiations or to believe a deal that was ever offered and done by the
SHERMAN: Well, I agree with that assessment. However, having a bit of appreciation for how President Trump operates, having watched him over the
election in this last year, I think he may believe that if he says to North Korea, I pulled out of this deal because I'm going to negotiate the kinds
of deal that we really need that he may indeed do that.
I think that would be disastrous and it would make sense for him because then he would have to nuclear crises at the same time. It's difficult
enough to manage one. It would be nearly impossible to manage two.
AMANPOUR: You know, many people, including yourself, many of the pundits on television have questioned President Trump's bluster towards North
Korea. All the words that have been hurled around by Twitter in speeches at the U.N. podium and elsewhere.
Likewise, Kim Jong-un's responses, very blustery, very difficult, and all very scary frankly, but do you think that this tone has actually led to
where we are right now, this potential diplomatic opening?
And do you think President Trump backing the South Koreans sort of, you know, Winter Olympic diplomacy, their desire to pursue diplomacy has
SHERMAN: I think there's no doubt that the pressure campaign which was begun under President Obama and has continued and accelerated under the
Trump administration, particularly if the United Nations has helped. I think our military posturing to a point has helped.
I'm not sure about the rhetoric on all sides as being helpful, but all of this should be in service of diplomacy. You always need a credible threat
of force in service of diplomacy. A pressure campaign is important, but none of that matters.
If you end up as the only option being war because you haven't really given diplomacy a chance. I hope that the president can put together the team
that's necessary. I hope he puts in the persistent effort that will be needed here.
He's going to have to have patience which isn't his strong suit, because this is going to take a lot of time, as I said it's highly technical. The
Iran agreement was 154 pages long. The most extensive verification and monitoring system ever put in place in such a situation.
And that's where we know where the enrichment was going, the plutonium production was going on. We don't know where everything is in North Korea.
The IAEA has not been inside of North Korea for some time. So, this is a very daunting undertaking.
AMANPOUR: And there is another crucial aspect of this and that is that in certain courses in the United States, including with the president, they
appear to believe that negotiation and compromise is a sign of weakness.
That it has to be all. It has to be a zero-sum game. That the United States has to come out with all the chips. What is the reality and are
people in the U.S., important people, who have to sign off and agreed to these negotiations, going to be acclimatized to the fact that it's a give-
SHERMAN: Well, this is I think the greatest risk here, Christiane, which is that the president and his team, give this an effort, but because they
don't get every single thing that they want that they say it's hopeless and really create the prerequisite for war, the pretense of war.
And that I think is the most dangerous road that we are on. It is not that we should not achieve the objectives that will protect our national
security and the national security of our allies and partners, we absolutely should, and that should be the common ground on which we all
But between that and an agreement, there are lots of choices that there have to be made, and if the president feels that they all have to go the
way the United States wants them to go, we probably won't get to an agreement and we probably will find ourselves at war.
AMANPOUR: It's terrifying.
SHERMAN: It is terrifying.
AMANPOUR: Wendy Sherman, let us hope that this leads in the right direction. Thank you so much for joining us.
SHERMAN: Thank you, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: So, invaluable insights on the way to this summit between the two presidents, should it happen now.
[15:15:12] Now, one of President Trump's most frequent target isn't here in America but thousands of miles away in London where he's the mayor. Sadiq
Khan became the first Muslim mayor of a Western capital in 2016. It was a rare break from the politics of fear in that year when Britain voted to
leave the European Union and America elected Trump as president.
Khan is now in America pushing his progressive vision while at the same time, Donald Trump's erstwhile (inaudible) Steven Bannon is actually
touring Europe to champion right-wing nativism. I caught up with Sadiq Khan in Austin, Texas, where he told the techy South by South West
Conference that Silicon values fueling division and the politicians have failed to stop it.
AMANPOUR: Mayor Khan, welcome to the program from Austin.
SADIQ KHAN, LONDON MAYOR: Good to be with you, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: So, you are there at this very innovative tech conference and your speech is taking on the tech giants in no uncertain terms. Tell me
what you mean precisely on what you're calling for.
KHAN: The point I'm making to people here in Austin is actually, you know what, social media, the tech revolution has been a source of massive
benefits. We can keep in touch with our loved ones. We can access the information. We can make new friends and it's wonderful.
But actually, I think politicians and policymakers have taken the ire of the bull when it comes to making sure our regulation evolves with the tech
revolution. The point I make today is, you know, if they don't act responsibly and take action, then don't be surprised if this pressure on
politicians to regulate like Germany has done.
AMANPOUR: So, let me ask you then because you have obviously supported the transport for London campaign against Uber in your city and you are a mayor
who believes in pragmatic action rather than ideological warfare. How do you spread the needle between trying to restrict and ban certain aspects of
a tech giant like Uber and actually being, as you declare yourself, the home for tech innovation and all the rest of it for London?
KHAN: Well, you raise a very important point and I want to challenge the premise in your question. The question of wanting to ban Uber for the sake
of banning Uber is actually there are rules in relation to operation in London. In fact, you've got an app to provide services and change in fact
the regulations apply to you.
It doesn't matter how many lawyers you employ, PR experts that you employ, the rules ae there for everyone to abide by and the good news is the
(inaudible) global CEO of Uber recognizes this, unlike his predecessor, who wants to play by the rules of the game and is engaging with crossbow for
So, that shows an example of, you know, regulation when it's enforced properly leading to a race the bottom in relation to security and safety
concerns, but actually (inaudible) has been improved.
I think cities and mayors are uniquely placed to take advantage of the tech revolution making sure that we design systems that can complement with the
tech revolution with consumers and the citizens.
In London, we have a program called skills for Londoners twinned with a digital tech program to skill up Londoners to have these jobs that are
being created by the tech sector. That's why I want London to be a byword for small cities.
AMANPOUR: I'm talking to from the United States where cities, mayors, and even states and governors are trying to enact policies and perhaps doesn't
get looked at or doesn't get enacted on a federal level.
But I want to ask you because your profile has now been raised to a global level, in part due to the constant Twitter warfare between yourself and the
president of the United States, Donald Trump. How do you deal with that and at the same time, how do you deal with the lift that's given you to put
forth your politics and policies on a global stage?
KHAN: I'm a reluctant participant and this Twitter fisticuffs (inaudible) speaking with the president of the great (inaudible) of the United States
of America, and look, I'm not going to apologize for standing up to the values that Londoners have. We are the most diverse city in the world.
More than (inaudible) language is spoken in my city. I think diversity is a strength, but I say this the context is that we London, we my country
love America. We love Americans. We, you know, enjoy your films, your music, your culture, your fashion, there's CNN.
But, you know, one of the advantages of having a best friend is not simply to stand shoulder to shoulder at times diversity and to be an ally, but
when your best friend who is very different from an acquaintance, or a friend you've hardly ever see, those things you disagree with, you got to
call them out and I won't apologize for calling out things that our best friend says or tweets.
[15:20:12] AMANPOUR: Well, your best friend, the president of the United States, his now departed chief advisor, Steve Bannon is in Europe right now
taking this very nativist nationalist populist message around to France, to Italy and elsewhere, and this is what he said, I'm going to play you a
little bit of what he said this weekend, talking at a La Pen rally in France.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: Let them call you racist. Let them call you xenophobes. Let them call you nativists. Wear
it as a badge of honor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Wear it as a badge of honor, Mr. Mayor, what do you say to that?
KHAN: The idea of dividing communities, protectionism, seeking to try to wedge between nation states in Europe is the long-term solution is
ridiculous. I think what we are going to be careful of is people like this man seeking to drive communities in Europe like he's clearly done in parts
of America as well.
And those of us who are progressives, proud social Democrats, have got to think carefully about addressing the fears people have. One of the roles I
think that politicians have failed to do in the recent past and I say it's a non-patronizing way is to be teachers, to be educators, to explain the
complex challenges we face, and to realize we've got to be cool, calm, and collected in addressing the concerns of people.
There are no short cuts, gimmicks to some of role challenges that people face in France. We saw the elections a couple weeks ago in my country and
the U.S.A., dare I say it.
AMANPOUR: I just wonder how you explained, for instance, your own victory amid a very ugly campaign in Britain when you were running for mayor where
your conservative opponent sort of insinuated that you backed extremists and was trying to sort of, you know, divide and conquer there.
And we also saw in France, Le Pen, tried to say the same thing about Emmanuel Macron and yet he also won with a centrist globalist agenda. So
how -- what is your advice to fighting political battles from the center?
KHAN: The campaign that I saw in 2016 is one where we've been optimistic, positive, but also has been honest with the electorate. I'd rather under
promise and over deliver. But also, I was unapologetic and proud of who I am as a Muslim. I'm of Asian origin. I'm a Londoner. I'm an Englishman.
I'm British. I'm European. I'm a husband. I'm a father. That's who I am.
(Inaudible) campaign, but also explaining to fix the housing crisis is a marathon not a sprint as taken as a result of successive governments
playing down Londoners. (Inaudible) of immigrants through affordable homes in London to make sure that we got a decent public transport system.
We got to invest in a public transport. It's not (inaudible) of foreigners coming to London. The public transport is overfull in the London. But,
you know, I say this in a respectful way to people who vote in countries all around the world, analyze, examine, look at carefully on what you are
being sold by the salesman or saleswoman from that critical policy. Be careful on short term fixes. It's too good to be true and this is not
AMANPOUR: I wonder whether you can comment on some of the promises that were made by the Brexiteers. You obviously voted to remain part of the
E.U., but they told British people that they would be heading for the (inaudible) plans and meantime, we see the United States potentially
slapping steel tariffs on E.U. and on Britain.
We see already a word that that air roots for airlines, Britain will be put to the back of the queue for favorable airline routes. What do you have to
say that and also a major bank, UBS, talking about moving several hundred employees out?
KHAN: Our ability as country of 65 million to do a good deal with these big nation states is made very, very hard because why would they bend over
backwards to have low tariff deals with us. If we are member of a club, the European Union, our abilities to a deal is strengthened and my worry is
the British voters who voted to leave the European Union have been the phrase we use is soda pop.
They'd been given as promised that simply can't be met. The promise that was made by the Brexiteers campaign was once we -- the vote was taken, we
would benefit from 350 million pounds each week invested in the NHS.
If you're made the offer, you'd a fool to turn it down. Lo and behold, we voted to leave the European Union. You're not seeing this investment in
the NHS. This is what turns people to be cynical and saying all politicians are the same.
[15:25:02] You know what? I'm going to give up on politics, not to vote in elections, and that's why you showed a clip off Mr. Berman in France. It's
interesting the election results in Italy in the last two weeks. What is the case that the amount of milk and honey doesn't arise in Italy in the
next few weeks.
And those very people who voted the way they did will say, hold on a second, refer to the way we did what's left us, why we have
responsibilities, Democrats will be, to explain to people, to educate people about some of the challenges we have, the opportunities around the
corner and how we can, you know, serve that way.
And that's why in Austin today, I'm saying, look, (inaudible) all doom and gloom with this tech revolution or social media. There are other
opportunities here is what we if we embrace them.
AMANPOUR: Indeed, challenges and opportunities ahead. Mayor Sadiq Khan of London, thanks for joining us from Austin.
And so, two important issues for America and the world and our focus today and that is it for our program tonight. And remember you can always listen
to our podcast and you can see un online in amanpour.com. And of course, you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
Thank you for watching and goodbye from New York.