Transcript: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on 'This Week'

And so part of what we're doing is, again, sharing with other countries our calculus of the risks and the dangers that would lie ahead if we don't take very strong action.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Several senators wrote the president a letter just the other day saying that North Korea should go back on the list of states who sponsor terrorism. Will you do that?

CLINTON: Well, we're going to look at it. There's a process for it. Obviously, we would want to see recent evidence of their support for international terrorism.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you have any?

CLINTON: Well, we're just beginning to look at it. I don't -- I don't have an answer for you right now.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Because the senators say they never stopped with these actions.

CLINTON: Well, we are -- you know, we take it very seriously. I mean, obviously, they were taken off of the list for a purpose, and that purpose is being thwarted by their actions.

STEPHANOPOULOS: One other issue on North Korea. The trial has begun for the American journalists.

CLINTON: Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And the families of the journalists have come out very clearly and said the only way this is going to be solved is if the United States government gets involved directly. Have you been involved directly in any way?

CLINTON: I have been. I have been involved directly in working with our team as they have made approaches and requests for information through the channels we use with North Korea. The Swedish ambassador in Pyongyang is taking care of our interests there. He has visited both young women, I think, now three times, if I'm not mistaken. I've met with the families.

We have made it clear through statements, both public and private, that we view this as a humanitarian issue...

STEPHANOPOULOS: We were told that you sent a letter saying that the girls didn't mean -- the women didn't mean to go into North Korea and asking for their release.

CLINTON: I -- I have taken every action that we thought would produce the result we're looking for. We think that the charges against these young women are absolutely without merit or foundation. We hope the trial ends quickly, it's resolved, and they're sent home.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Have you gotten any hopeful signs back?

CLINTON: We have gotten some responses, but we're not sure exactly who's going to be making this decision and what the reasons for the eventual decision are.

So we've been very careful in what we've said, because, clearly, we don't want this pulled into the political issues that we have with North Korea or the concerns that are being expressed in the United Nations Security Council. This is separate; it is a humanitarian issue. And the girls should be let go.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It's interesting you point -- you don't know who's going to make this decision. Do you believe these reports that Kim Jong-il has tapped his youngest son as his successor?

CLINTON: We obviously are following this very closely. We -- we don't yet know what the outcome of that decision...

STEPHANOPOULOS: What would that mean?

CLINTON: We don't know. I mean, we -- we -- we would have to wait and evaluate it, the timing of it, who might be, essentially, you know, put in place to supervise him, if he were the -- the choice. We have to evaluate all of that.

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