That's changed. And it is -- there is a significant turning of the pressure. And there are going to be some very difficult decisions that that regime's going to have make.
There's a real debate going on right now, George, about succession in North Korea.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Reports that he's tapped his youngest son.
BIDEN: That is the report.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you believe it?
BIDEN: Well, if I had to bet, that would be my guess. But I don't think anyone knows for certain.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The clock is also ticking on Afghanistan. Key members of Congress made it pretty clear during the war supplemental debate that they're going to give until early next year to see progress in Afghanistan or they're going to cut off the funding, move to cut off the funding.
Is that the right approach?
BIDEN: Look, I think the right approach is one we have chosen, the Obama/Biden administration.
We did a thorough review of what our objectives and policies were and should be in Afghanistan.
BIDEN: We set in motion a policy which is now only beginning to unfold. All the troops we agreed to increase are not even all in place at this point. And we also believe, as General Jones accurately said, that, ultimately, the success or failure in Iraq will not rest not on a military outcome, but on a both economic and political outcome internally, getting better governance in place and economic development in that country.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But do Americans have a right to expect that if we don't see continued progress in the next six to nine months, six to 12 months, then we should think about cutting back and pulling out?
BIDEN: Look, I think the Americans have a right to expect success. And I think the success is measured by how we defined it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: At any cost?
BIDEN: No. Success. And if they conclude that, whatever the policy that's being undertaken by any administration as not succeeding, they have a right to say, look, cease and desist. But I don't think that's where we're going, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: There were some reports this week that the president has already made the judgment sending General Jones over to Afghanistan with a clear message -- no more troops. This is it, this is all you can get.
And Bob Woodward wrote about it. He talked about the general meeting with various military figures in Afghanistan, and this is what he said -- this is what he reports that General Jones said: "If there were new requests for force now, the president would quite likely have a Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moment. Everyone in the room caught phonetic reference to WTF -- which in the military now sort of means, what the (blank)."
Are you concerned that this is sending some kind of a chilling message?
BIDEN: No, not at all. Look, here's...
STEPHANOPOULOS: You don't want to hear the advice?
BIDEN: Look, no, no. We got the advice.
We spent five months with the entire national security team, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the secretary of state, the secretary of defense, the national security adviser down in that tank, down in that Situation Room, laboriously banging out the plans. The military came in with explicit requests. The president gave them what they asked for. It hasn't even been implemented yet.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You were on the other side, it was reported, that you didn't want an expansion of troops.