A rush transcript of “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” airing on Sunday, June 10, 2018 on ABC News is below. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated. For previous show transcripts, visit the “This Week” transcript archive.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST: Good morning and welcome to a special edition of This Week.
The Singapore summit.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a one time shot. And I think it's going to work out very well.
STEPHANOPOULOS: A bid for history.
TRUMP: How long will it take to figure out whether or not they're serious? Maybe in the first minute.
STEPHANOPOULOS: High stakes. Stark choices.
TRUMP: All I can say is I'm totally prepared to walk away. I did it once before.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Kim Jong-un denuclearizes, there is a brighter path for North Korea.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Foreign enemies for almost 70 years, can the U.S. and North Korea chart a new course? Is Kim Jong-un prepared to sacrifice nuclear weapons for the sake of peace and growth? Will President Trump's unconventional diplomacy achieve what no president has done before or force a perilous conflict?
We're live from Singapore covering all the angles at this his historic summit.
MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: I'm on the border with North Korea. It is just across that body of water.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Chief global affairs anchor Martha Raddatz and former Trump aid Tom Bossert join our panel of experts.
Plus, the latest from Pyongyang and Seoul, and senators Lindsey Graham and Bob Menendez bring us the view from Washington. We'll break down the politics, smoke out the spin. The facts that matter this week.
ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, it's a special edition of This Week. Trump and Kim face-to-face. Reporting live from Singapore, chief anchor George Stephanopoulos.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning from Singapore where the world will soon see something that's never happened before. A sitting American president face to face with the leader of North Korea, two unpredictable men making an unprecedented choice.
The fallout from the summit will be felt across the region, around the world. The outcome is anyone's guess.
As you can see, it is Sunday evening here in Singapore. Exactly 36 hours from the moment Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un will shake hands and begin their talks. And the president arrived here just moments ago. You see him there stepping off Air Force One. He says he feels good about what is coming next.
This was just hours after Kim Jong-un, you're going to see him there, as well, welcomed by Singapore's minister of foreign affairs.
And this already secure country locked down even more, teeming with security.
The president has acknowledged this is unknown territory, but he's arriving here with high hopes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I really feel confident. I feel that Kim Jong-un wants to do something great for his people, and he has that opportunity, and he won't have that opportunity again.
This is a great opportunity for peace, and lasting peace, and prosperity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: But Trump is reaching out to one of America's longest standing enemies, after a dramatic break with our oldest allies. He left the G7 summit in Canada early after tough threats on tariffs and trade. That photo released by German Chancellor Angela Merkel captures the tension in the room. And Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised a fight ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: Canadians, we're polite, we're reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: What a turn of events: seeking peace with enemies, picking fights with friends. Donald Trump promised to do things in a brand-new way, and that's what we're seeing right now. Head-spinning diplomacy with earth-shaking consequences.
Our team is here the analyze it all. I'm joined by our chief global affairs anchor Martha Raddatz, Tom Bossert, our new ABC contributor who served as a national security adviser to President Trump and George W. Bush, David Sanger, national security correspondent for the New York Times, author of the new book "The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age," and Jennifer Jacobs, White House correspondent for Bloomberg News. Welcome to all of you.
You guys see our papers blowing around. We have got a little wind up here as well. But Martha, let me beginning with what we just saw there. You know, the president coming off the G7, allies still united on North Korea. But this is not the standard script heading into a summit like this, this kind of a break with our oldest allies.
RADDATZ: Absolutely not. And the name-calling. I have never heard anything like that with a U.S. president calling a U.S. ally names, calling him meek, calling him all the things he wanted to call him.
But I think you're seeing Donald Trump in the second half of his presidency, and people I have talked to who are close to the administration say this is what you're going to see in the future. The people who were whispering in Donald Trump's ears before, and H.R. McMaster, he's fired his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, those people are gone. He's doing exactly what he wants to do, when he wants to do it. He's doing it his way. And I think in the next two-and-a-half years, it won't just be a roller coaster, it will be a steam roller.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s bring in Tom Bossert because you just left that White House --
TOM BOSSERT, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISOR, DONALD TRUMP: I did.
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- as well. And that has been a thing we’ve seen in recent weeks, the president really becoming his own man inside that Oval Office.
BOSSERT: Yes, you know, partly we are. We’re seeing him come into his own and feel a bit more comfortable but we’re also seeing a return to the campaign trail, right? This president’s keeping promises that he ran on. In fact, this particular conflict and this opportunity isn’t an extension (ph).
We’ve seen him now create a little bit of a trade (ph) conflict, but he’s going to maintain that same trade conflict pressure on China for their behavior and he’s going to do it in a way that no other president’s done while not appeasing Beijing on their trade needs and moving into the security negotiation with North Korea.
No president’s done that, no president’s been able to maintain that through the talks. So far, this president has.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, the question is can that compartmentalization hold. And -- and -- and David, one of the things we’re seeing as the president comes here into Singapore for the summit is kind of a managing of the expectations. Very optimistic yesterday in Canada but earlier in the week and coming into it, he’s (ph) described the meeting much more as just a getting-to-know-you meeting, kind of lowering the expectations.
DAVID SANGER, CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: He’s made this a little bit hard for himself. From the beginning of his presidency, he has said he’s going to solve this problem and he’s said that every previous president has kicked it down the road. Well, he’s right. Every previous president did kick it down the road because the consequences of a conflict were so huge.
The question now is as he actually steps into the room with Kim, he’s recognizing that this infrastructure that North Korea has built up over nearly half a century is so vast that the early easy campaign talk, that (ph) we’re just going to pack it up and send it to a weapons lab in Tennessee is not realistic.
And then the question is do you end up in a slow process where you’re giving something, you’re getting something, you get eaten away by the North Koreans the way every past president did.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The question is can he still call that a victory. That’s what he’s going to want to do coming out on Monday -- Monday night in New York, Tuesday morning here. And Jennifer, you’ve looked a lot at what the president -- how the president’s prepared for this and what to expect as the meeting unfolds. He wants a one-on-one -- almost totally alone with Kim Jong-un.
JENNIFER JACOBS, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, BLOOMBERG NEWS: Right. And that’s the plan right now. So he will go in one-on-one according to the current plan. And when I say alone, there will be translators there. Kim has been speaking exclusively in Korean when he’s been talking to U.S. officials in -- in the preparations and of course that big envelope letter was in -- in Korean.
So we don’t expect Kim will want to be in there just the two of them. The translators will be in there and I’m told that the president likely is not going to speak -- attempt to speak Korean. So the translators will -- will be there. I think the reason for the one-on-one is Trump wants to get beyond the niceties. He wants to get beyond the diplomatic talk and he wants to get a feel for whether Kim Jong-un can be trusted, whether he’s telling the truth.
He thinks that he’s got this guy wired, that he and Pompeo and Andrew Kim really have figured out what motivates Kim. They know he wants security guarantees, that he wants a legacy very similar to the president. He wants a legacy for himself and for the Kim family. So he really wants to -- and he said to us in Canada, I’ll know in the first minute if this guy is serious about wanting to get rid of his nuclear arsenal.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s broaden out the conversation and bring in an expert on Kim. Dr. Jun Pak is joining us from Washington, head of Korean Studies at the Brookings Institution, also served for several years as an analyst with our intelligence community. And Dr. Jung, talk a little bit about that, the motivation for Kim Jong-un coming in to this meeting, what to expect from him.
DR. JUN PAK, HEAD OF KOREAN STUDIES, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: I find it hard to imagine Kim giving up his nuclear weapons. We talked about legacy. I think that for Kim -- if we believe Kim, he has completed something that his grandfather started and his father nurtured. And for him to give that up for economic development assistance from the United States I think would be a height of betrayal to his country and to his -- his grandfather’s legacy.
So I think we have to square that circle if we are to believe that Kim is really willing to give his nuclear weapons.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And what more do we know about his preparation, Dr. Pak, whether he’ll speak any English to Donald Trump, how off script he’s likely to go?
PAK: You know, if anything, the -- the two leaders were (ph) meeting tomorrow will be -- are master disruptors in many ways, where they go off-script. I’ll point to the inter-Korean summit when Kim and Moon met at that border and Kim, you know, pulled President Moon across to the other side, breaking a highly orchestrated event. And really for that split second, he gained control of that moment. And President Trump is -- is the same way, or very similar in that way.
So we have two master disruptors in the room and I think it’s going to be really interesting to see what the two can glean from each other in the first couple of seconds.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s right. And Tom Bossert, as Dr. Pak was talking, it made me think of that first meeting between President Trump and the French president and that handshake that went on forever.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You see -- you had this feeling that both men going into that Tuesday meeting will be looking for an advantage.
BOSSERT: Yes, and of course, that was a -- a partly scripted thing on the French part as well, and I was there for that handshake. But I think in this particular instance it’s wise and I think good reporting that there’s going to be a private meeting first.
A number of experts, those that praise the president for doing this, have said take the North Korean leader aside and try to develop a rapport, as if it’s possible. I understand that some believe it’s not, but I think it’s worth noting that past presidents, past foreign leaders, his own family and his own country have tried these things for different purposes and under different conditions.
The practices that brought us to this point of pressure have been coalitions, not American led. And I think it’s important to note that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And Martha, this is the breaking strip (ph) in another way, usually summits like this come after months or years of preparation, the sherpas (ph) laying all of this ground work, this one is really a top down process.
RADDATZ: Yes, and he’s just thrown out the book on all that. And in some respects, because the summit was cancelled at one point, then the diplomats could come in and do a lot of deal making at that point.
So it kind of was inverted at that point. But starting at the top, I think what you’ll see is whatever they have, whatever low bar they have, then you’ll have the work proceed after that (inaudible).
But they’ve learned so much about him, George. Think about it, before this, before these last couple of months with Mike Pompeo, I think the only American who really had talked to Kim Jong-un was Dennis Rodman.
Now history’s already been made tonight, we have got him here tonight in Singapore, Kim Jong-un, who no one had talked to before, right down the street.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And of course, David Sanger, Kim Jong-un is in this position because he accelerated that nuclear program.
SANGER: He’s in this position because he accelerated his nuclear program, he accelerated his missile program, he put the technology together and he convinced the United States that he would soon be able to strike any American city.
He’s not quite there yet, it might take a few years. If it wasn’t for that, he wouldn’t have the leverage that he’s got today. And that gets really to the question, George, of what do you actually think could come out of this tomorrow and -- or on Tuesday?
And -- and I think the answer to that is that the president has begun to turn towards his thoughts of a peace treaty before he gets to the thought of what would complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization look like.
And one of the concerns here is that the president might actually lose sight of some of the denuclearization points, because he’s a little bit entranced at this point with the thought that being the person who brought peace to the Korean peninsula is a big deal.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, Jennifer, one thing that’s very, very clear, the president, right, everything we’ve seen, he wants this summit to succeed, even though he’s said he’s prepared to walk out, he doesn’t want to.
JACOBS: Oh, absolutely, and I do think his stretch (ph) is that he will walk out of -- if he’s not getting a good vibe from Kim, his intention really is. But he studied hard and planned for this, he admitted that in his Rose Garden press conference the other day.
Pompeo personally walked him through strategy, walked him -- talked about Kim’s personality, talked about different talking points that he could use. So the president is prepared for this, is prepared (inaudible) I think, and he wants this.
I know from talking to his administration officials that Obama is very much an echo in his mind right now on inauguration day, the -- President Obama said the biggest threat that you’re going to face is North Korea, and that Trump wants to come out of this with a (inaudible).
STEPHANOPOULOS: I’ve actually -- I’ve talked to the president a couple of times about this, it is very, very clear that that meeting he had with President Obama just a couple of days after his election win had a deep impact on him, it really sobered him up.
I’m sure you felt that when you were at the White House.
BOSSERT: Yes, I can confirm it, in fact from the very beginning, some (ph) part of the analysis on his preparation is focused in the short term, but he’s been in a sense, I think Secretary Pompeo said this from the White House podium, preparing for this since his first week in office.
And I think that’s my experience, he -- he’s been taking a almost daily briefing, and even on the briefings where we didn’t raise this topic, before we left, he raised it with us to make sure (inaudible).
RADDATZ: And he had to, as much as we’ve talked about other presidents who didn’t do much and didn’t solve this problem, and in fact they didn’t have to. Donald Trump had to solve this problem because of the progress that Kim Jong-un has made, because of the fact that he either has one now or very soon could have a nuclear weapon that could reach the United States.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And clearly put more pressure on Kim Jong-un by all that blustery talk at the beginning of this (ph). I’m going to bring in Dr. Pak, again right now, I mean and Dr. Pak, we know that Kim Jong-un is running one of the most brutal police states in the world right now.
He uses assassination as a tool, he uses forced starvation, is there any prospect that coming out of this meeting, he is open to changing his ways, or is that just not on the table?
PAK: You know, I think one of the reasons that North Korea comes out so viciously against any talk about human rights, any criticism about North Korea human rights violations, is because repression is a requirement for reinforcing the regime. Why do people go to these gulags or prison camps? Because they speak ill of the Kim family or they're not sufficiently reverent enough or they speak out against the regime, or they engage in market activities that regime says is not acceptable.
So I think, repression is a part of North Korea's regime identity. And they need it for the -- to make sure that the Kim dynasty remains. And that's why the North Koreans are so viciously against any talk about human rights.
Now, if -- that said, if Kim is really sincere about giving up his nuclear weapons and really doing a strategic pivot, then that would be one of the sign posts that we would be looking at to make sure that Kim is actually sincere. But so far, we have yet on see any big changes in the way Kim conducts his own domestic governance policies.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And David Sanger, the big incentive for Kim here obviously economic growth, more economic aid, the idea of bringing North Korea into the modern world.
SANGER: So, the balancing act, George, that he has to do is on the one hand, he knows he needs more of this development if he's going to rule Korea for a long time. He's only 34 years old. He could imagine staying in power for 40 years as his grandfather did. He also can't imagine staying in power without those nuclear weapons, because in the back of his mind, he knows that it's the insistence of those weapons that is the only reason that people pay attention to North Korea, back off from North Korea, and keep North Korea from collapsing. And so he'd like to make this an arms control talk. I'll give you some, but not all.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And the question, Tom Bossert, is one, is that enough of a victory for President Trump and the United States, is it a victory for the world? Also what else do you expect the president and his team to put on the table here with North Korea?
BOSSERT: Yeah, I think that is important, because I believe the scope of this is bigger and the stakes are a lot higher. I think that whether either leader believes it to be the case, that going into this and coming out of this summit, we're looking at the potential realignment of American interests and American presence in this region and maybe in the world.
Remember, the Korean conflict and the Korean War and the subsequent long-standing armistice has been really the reflection -- or really emblematic of that which this president ran against, or at least ran to recalibrate.
I don't think this president ran to withdraw troops from around the world, as s sometimes reported, but I think that's his instinct to recalibrate in favor of local, regional investment.
What we're going to see come out of this is bigger than an arms race, it's probably bigger than a denuclearized conversation on the peninsula, it has to do with American troop presence in this region. The West Pacific might hang in the balance.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That's if there's a success right there.
Martha, one of the things we also have to address, if this fails, we have very few other options right now. The military option is front and center one more time.
RADDATZ: It always is. And you've heard President Trump talk about that a lot. They've clearly not backed off, but we're not hearing anything about the military anymore.
I think what you see here and what we'll have here is some success. But it's like planting a seed. We won't know for a long time whether there's actually success from this, even if they start talking about denuclearization. It takes a long time the make that happen, and it takes a long time to prove that it actually did.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The president's salesmanship will be tested as well. Can he redefine denuclearization, I guess, will be one of the questions.
JACOBS: Yeah, and he'll figure out some way to come out of this successfully. He and Kim both love theatrics and hyperbole and military parades and big, cheering crowds. They have a lot of things in common, so I think that they will probably strategize something.
I know the president intends to go in and really try to reassure Kim that the U.S. will protect, he'll say protect and that Japan and China will be there to cover their financials, help them financially, if need be. He's going to go in with some reassurances. They'll come out with something.
I have a feeling that we'll see something about the end -- the technical end of the Korean War, after these some 65 years. So, there will be something solid.
STEPHANOPOULOS: David, you described it as arms control, not getting rid of the weapons. If you're dealing with arms control, that's not all that different from the 1994 agreement that President Clinton got with the North Koreans, it's not all that different from the process that George W. Bush embarked on in 2005-2006.
The question is what will be different after this meeting?
SANGER: Well, in 1994, North Korea had not yet exploded a nuclear weapon. Today, what the president has to do is get the North Koreans first to turn over all those the nuclear weapons or dismantle those weapons. But then he has got to do something harder, he's got to take them to take apart all the production facilities. And having complained that the Iran deal was a terrible deal, he's got to do something harder, he's got to get them take apart all the production facilities. And having complained that the Iran deal was a terrible deal, he has to do better than what Barack Obama got in the Iran deal. And what did he get? He got 97 percent of the nuclear fuel out of the country and got less than a bomb's worth of material and equipment still spinning. If the president doesn't get at least that, he hasn't met his own test, and that's going to be a very hard...
STEPHANOPOULOS: It seems almost inconceivable to me that you -- that, Tom Bossert, you get anything close to the Iran deal at least anytime soon.
BOSSERT: Well, I don't know. There's a little bit of disagreement or disjunctive conversation here, because if I'm hearing you right, getting rid of the anywhere from 20 to 30 or more warheads in their possession would be a significant reduction.
SANGER: It would be a big reduction.
BOSSERT: And so at this point I think that would be in the category of big success. Then the second question would be whether we can maintain that long tail of production and manufacturing capability to include their knowledge base and the scientists that just could recreate this program over time.
I think that the part that takes a long thoughtful time and the true presence to guarantee their security. But if I could I think that there is really only one failure that comes out of this, the failure is a lack of cohesion in this coalition. I mean, in other words, even if there is a failure in the conversation and they walk out and have a disagreement over their objectives, at least we've learned something there. I don't suggest that even failure is success, but I do suggest that there's a learning opportunity here.
If the president sees that he's not serious, he's really saved us a lot of time and money and effort. So, the different between the Clinton era, which was also bilateral, direct engagement that should be lauded, and this attempt is that it's not just bilateral, he's looking for irreversible demonstrations of denuclearization.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And I want to bring the final question.
RADDATZ: George Bush was, too, as well.
BOSSERT: George Bush didn't get to that point. He started a multilateral effort, and they advanced under his watch, and so sanctions didn't work, multilateral approaches led by China didn't work.
I think this president has got a lot more in common with President Clinton in this regard. But I do think that coming out of this, and some experts have gotten it wrong -- I said to you last week on the show, suggesting they can't take immediate and irreversible steps is maybe a miscalculation.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's take a final question, then, Dr. Pak. What is success for Kim Jong-un? Is he ready to take those steps?
PAK: I think Kim can already rack up some successes. He has met twice with President Xi Jinping of china. He has met twice with President Moon of South Korea. He has President Assad from Syria looking to visit him in Pyongyang. And he has Putin, a potential meeting with Putin at some point in the future.
So, I think just by virtue of having made this engagement pivot and the U.S. president agreeing to meet with Kim, in effect what we have is that the spigot has been turned on for greater international engagement, economic, political, otherwise, that boosts Kim's legitimacy. So, in that way, you know, Kim can rack up that sort of win.
And I think, for our part, I think what's good is that we have a de facto moratorium on missile tests and nuclear tests. So, we should take that, but also see how much we can push Kim on further -- concessions.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You all have laid out the issues very well. Thank you very much.
We're back with top senators Lindsey Graham and Bob Menendez next.
STEPHANOPOULOS: There’s President Trump’s motorcade here in Singapore tonight. He’s heading to the Shangri-La hotel for a night of rest before that all important summit less than 36 hours from now. Want to bring in Senator Lindsey Graham now. He serves on the Armed Services Committee in the Senate, close ally of President Trump as well. Senator Graham, thank you for joining us this morning.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Thank you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I know you’ve spoken to the president several times about this summit. What’s your counsel? Is he ready? Does he know what he wants to get out of this meeting?
GRAHAM: Yes, I think he’s very much ready. I think what he’s going to convey to North Korea is he wants a peaceful resolution to the nuclear threat as well as to end the Korean war. But the goal is to eliminate their nuclear missile program, not contain it, do it in a win-win fashion. There’s three outcomes here. Peace, where we have a win-win solution, military force where they -- we devastate the North Korean regime and stop their program by force, or to capitulate like we’ve done in the past.
And Donald Trump is not going to capitulate, so there’s really only two options -- peace or war.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And -- and as you know, several of your Democratic colleagues in the Senate have sent the president a letter --
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- designed, I guess, to stiffen his spine. Very tough letter saying that the outcome has to be complete denuclearization. no more testing, weapons dismantled. Here’s what they write. Any deal that explicitly or implicitly gives North Korea sanctions relief for anything other than verifiable performance of it’s obligation to dismantle its nuclear and missile arsenal is a bad deal. Do you agree?
GRAHAM: 100 percent. And I think they will be getting a call from the president. I wish they had sent a deal -- letter to President Obama regarding the Iranian nuclear efforts. But I embrace this letter. It is a very tough thing to accomplish. But here’s what I would say to my Democratic colleagues. I appreciate you telling the president what a good deal would look like, but the country needs you to back the president up to get that deal.
So here’s the question for my Democratic colleagues. If diplomacy fails, will you support my efforts to authorize the use of military force as a last resort to convince North Korea and China things are going to be different this time. A bipartisan AUMF would really make that letter much more credible. And if diplomacy fails as a last resort, Democrats and Republicans need to put the military option on the table or we’ll never get a good deal.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So if you’re ready to move forward on that, what would you need to see on Tuesday to prevent you from moving forward with that use of force authorization?
GRAHAM: We’ll know diplomatic failure when we see it. I don’t expect a deal next Tuesday. I expect the process to be started next Tuesday. Here’s what I expect, North Korea will try to run out the clock, if not -- if they have to give up their nuclear program, it’s how and when.
The how is a win/win peace agreement where they get security in return for giving up their program, when, I think president wants this to come to an end in his first term. They understand electoral politics in North Korea of the United States, they always try to run out a president in terms of the time on his watch.
That’s not going to happen here. So we’ll find out in about a year if this is going to work, and I have a AUMF already drafted, I hope I never have to use it, but if you want to convince North Korea and China that things are different with Trump, then the Congress needs to have his back.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But Senator Graham, as you know, the top expert in the United States on the North Korean nuclear weapons program says it’s going to take 15 years to fully dismantle that North Korean program.
GRAHAM: Yes, I -- what I’m saying here is that you’ll have a deal one way or the other in his first term that can be implemented in a way that we all believe. I don’t know how long it took them to get to where they’re at, I don’t think 15 years is on the table, but I don’t expect it to be done in one year.
But what I do expect to be done in a year from now is an agreement that does dismantle their nuclear weapons programs, their missiles, removes all plutonium and uranium, any time, any where inspections, and we’re not going to let them run out the clock again.
They talk about giving up, but they wind up building up. It’s as old as time itself as to what North Korea does. They promise a bunch of things, then they back out. Trump is going to call the question on North Korea while he’s president of the United States.
He’s not going to pass this onto the next president of the United States. There’s no reason they can’t give up their nuclear weapons programs within 15 years.
STEPHANOPOULOS: He is also calling the question on trade coming off that G7 meeting yesterday in Canada, a real break with our allies right there. And I want to read you what -- what your best friend in the Senate, John McCain, said about what happened yesterday with President Trump.
He said to our allies, bipartisan majorities of Americans who remain are pro-free trade, pro-globalization, and supportive of alliances based on 70 years of shared values. Americans stand with you, even if our president does not. Your response?
GRAHAM: I’m not so sure John’s right about where America is on trade, the Bernie Sanders element of the democratic party doesn’t stand for free trade, Hillary Clinton said she would get out of the trans-pacific partnership if she had become president, there’s a movement in our party that -- that Trump sees that got him the nomination and eventually become president of the United States.
So I’m not sure a majority of Americans believe that globalization and free trade is in our interests. I believe that, John McCain believes it, but the reason we’re having these problems here at home, Brexit, Italy, there’s a movement all over the world to look inward, not outward.
And I think it’s a mistake, but I’m not sure most Americans agree with John McCain and Lindsey Graham.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We also saw the president at G7 suggest again that it should become the G8, that Russia should be invited back in. That drew a sharp response from Senator Bob Menendez, he’s coming up next on this program, top democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee.
He says it proves that Putin’s interference in our election is the best investment he ever made.
GRAHAM: Well I agree that expanding the G7 to the G8 now would be a mistake, you’ve got to deal with Russia, they’re -- they’re out there, they’re in Syria, but there is no way I would ever agree to give them that legitimacy.
The Soviet Union may have fallen, but the evil it represents is alive and well in Putin’s Russia. He is no friend of the United States, he’s dismembering democracies everywhere and trying to do so in our own backyard.
So there’s no way I would legitimize him, I would say tough on Putin, it would be a mistake to try to get him back into the G8. But to Bob and other democrats, you’ve laid out what a good deal would like, I agree with that deal, you need to help the president get there.
You need to make it real to North Korea and China that if diplomacy fails, the military option’s on the table, and the best way to do that, to convince these people, is to have a bipartisan effort to do so.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You gave me my segway there, Senator Graham. Thanks very much for your time this morning. Want to bring in Senator Bob Menendez right now. As I said, he’s the top democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
And Senator Menendez, let’s start out where Senator Graham just left off right there. He says -- he praised your letter, he says he agrees with the goals in that letter, but says it needs to be backed up by the threat of force and a new authorization.
SEN. BOB MENENDEZ (D), N.J.: Well I love my friend Lindsey Graham, but I think first we have to give the chance of peace, and that’s why we outlined very clearly what a successful agreement would be.
A complete, irreversible and effort of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, pretty much what the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when I asked him questions as well as the national security council adviser Ambassador Bolton.
So, our standard is trying to define clearly what success is, because getting a deal with North Korea is not the difficult part. In fact, three administrations -- President Clinton, President Bush, and President Obama -- have acquired some form of a deal only ultimately to have them fail.
So, I think it's important at this point in time when North Korea has advanced its program so dramatically in terms of its ability in its nuclear power and its ballistic missile program to define that deal as the complete, irreversible and verifiable denuclearization of the peninsula. And so let see what that brings us, first and foremost.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But do you have any belief that Kim Jong-un can accept something like that, can accept that kind of a deal that is verified by inspectors inside his territory?
MENENDEZ: Well, this is exactly the effort that was made with Iran. It -- and they did not have nuclear weapons. Our concern there was about their advancement of their nuclear enrichment and a pathway towards a nuclear weapon. In this case, when you already have nuclear weapons, the threat is clear. When you have nuclear weapons and you have developed intercontinental ballistic missile capabilities, the threat is real to the United States as well as to our allies.
And so without such verification of any potential agreement of its dismantling of it nuclear program, dismantling of its ballistic missile program, we won't know whether the threat is real or not. And so we need to know, but through verification inspections, that in fact that is taking place.
And so that's why defining success here is so important, especially when the administration has suggested that if they could reach a deal they might very well submit it as a treaty to the United States Senate in which the senate would vote, so I think it's important to define it before.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, you would need that kind of assurances before you would sign on to a peace treaty.
What about the alternative? If this doesn't go as well as we all hoped, and it leads to the prospect of military force, can you sign on to that use of force authorization that Senator Graham is talking about?
MENENDEZ: Well, first of all, this is our concern here. The president has gone into a high-wire act without a safety net, and the preparation for this type of summit -- while we applaud robust diplomacy, the preparation for this type of summit to test the proposition of what Kim Jong-un is really willing to do or not, has not taken place. And so this is a bit of a risk.
I want to see first what is produced here. I don't think you're going to have an agreement on Tuesday. But at the end of the day, the question is, is there a process where real agreement of irreversible denuclearization, verifiably so, on the Korean Peninsula is possible.
I'm not ready to give an authorization for use of military force to this president or any other one until I understand that the path for peace is not obtainable, and the threat continues to be a real challenge to the national security of the United States, and we have all of the intelligence and a robust debate in the Senate on such an AUMF.
I have prepared AUMFs as the former chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee in the past, and voted for some. I have voted against others. It depends upon the totality of the circumstances, so I can't just jump on to give the president the authority to have a switch in which he can engage in an attack, nuclear or otherwise, against North Korea.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Does President Trump deserve credit for getting us to this point?
MENENDEZ: Well, look, as I say, we Democrats believe in robust diplomacy. I get concerned that the president thinks that this is a mano-a-mano engagement in which he can achieve the success that we want, which is a completely denuclearized Korean Peninsula.
To the extent that Kim Jong-un has already gone from international pariah to being normalized internationally, you have to say that he's had some success here.
A meeting, as I have said, and a deal is not the hardest part, it's getting the right deal at the end of the day. We have had President Clinton, President Bush, and President Obama all got deals. And they did not meet with Kim Jong-un or his predecessor in order to get a deal.
And so this deal has given international recognition to North Korea's leader. And so I hope the president can succeed. We want him to succeed. But I think success has to be defined not as a grand moment in which you say we have peace in our time when, in fact, we don't have the verifiable elements of a denuclearization, dismantling of its nuclear program, its ballistic missile program as well as, I think that the chemical and biological weapons should be on the table.
Because if you avoid a nuclear challenge but you can deliver an intercontinental ballistic missile with chemical or biological weapons, that is equally a threat.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Menendez, thanks for your time this morning.
MENENDEZ: Thank you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We will be right back with reports from Bob Woodruff and Martha Raddatz from inside South Korea plus the Seoul Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, Jonathan Cheng.
STEPHANOPOULOS: When we come back, the view from the Korean Peninsula. Martha Raddatz rejoins us and our other Korean experts. And be sure to sign up for breaking news alerts on North Korea and the historic summit on the ABC NEWS app. Download it during the break.
STEPHANOPOULOS: There you see Kim Jong-un and South Korea's Moon Jae-in paving the the way for this week's summit. They are the two leaders with the most to gain and the most to lose this week. North Korean hopes for the kind of prosperity they see in the south. South Korea fears catastrophe if war breaks out.
Martha Raddatz traveled there this week for a closer look at what's at stake.
RADDATZ: It has been six months since we taken this one-hour drive from South Korea's capital beyond the guard towers, the barbed wire barriers that divide this once unified nation roughly half. And there it is, North Korea.
From this observation tower along the 160-mile long two-and-a-half-mile-wide demilitarized zone, the view of the north is breathtaking.
Last time I was at this observation point when you can look right over there, it was a time of great tension, great fear for South Koreans, that somehow they were on the verge of war. This time, it just feels very different.
Young children explore the grounds, families peer through binoculars to get a closer look at the neighboring country in which the south is still technically at war.
This father tells us that with the approaching summit and possible peace, he wanted his children to see North Korea with their own eyes after months of threats and fears of military conflict, a potential catastrophe for which the U.S. military had to constantly prepare.
From the land.
So a hardened bunker. This is serious stuff.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, ma'am.
RADDATZ: To the seas. To the skies.
So, how far are we from North Korea?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, 10 miles.
RADDATZ: And that's as close as you can get?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's as close as we can absolutely go.
RADDATZ: But the military threat seems like the distant past, the harsh words yesterday's story. Flash forward to today.
Did you ever imagine during the period when President Trump was calling Kim Jong-un "Little Rocket Man" or comparing the sizes of nuclear buttons that we would be where we are now?
KENNETH CHOI, EDITOR CHOSUN-ILBO: No, actually it's a totally -- it's a big surprise.
RADDATZ: Kenneth Choi is the chief editor of one of South Korea major newspapers.
CHOI: And now, the real question is will North Korea really go through this denuclearization process?
RADDATZ: It is an impossible question to answer yet. But Professor John Delury, who has taught in Seoul for eight years says these past few months watching Kim Jong-un on the world stage, a brutal dictator, have been eye-opening.
JOHN DELURY, PROFESSOR, YONSEI UNIVERSITY: We know so much more based on the last six months about Kim Jong-un, what makes him tick, what he really wants than we did in the previous six years. We would be fools if we weren’t reevaluating our understanding of him.
RADDATZ: And for the young people of South Korea who have never known a unified Korean Peninsula, they see an opportunity with this summit as well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have high hopes for the summit because Kim initiated it. As you know, Kim reached out to the South, Kim crossed the border, Kim asked for taking a picture together with President Moon. I think it’s because he seeks to gain legitimacy.
RADDATZ: Tell me what you learned growing up or in school, particularly, about reunification.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, when I was in the elementary school, there was a song called Unification is Our Hope. Or like Our Dream is Reunification in Korean Peninsula.
(END VIDEO SEGMENT)
STEPHANOPOULOS: And Martha’s back here on set along with Jonathan Cheng, the Seoul Bureau Chief for the Wall Street Journal. I also want to bring in Bob Woodruff who’s in Seoul today. And give us a sense, Bob, of what the mood is like there as we head into the summit.
BOB WOODRUFF, JOURNALIST, ABC NEWS: Good morning, George. Well, the mood is -- is pretty good right now. There are some doubters out here, that is true. But as you heard from those young people with Martha, most told me they are excited that this summit is taking place. No dangerous downside, they say. They have been living with this conflict for 65 years.
They all admit Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump are equally unpredictable but they do not believe that shaking hands and talking in Singapore could make it any worse, probably better. So last night we took to the streets here in Seoul where a few hundred people marched in the rain right in front of the U.S. embassy and this is what they want.
First, they want the Korean war to be declared over. It ended in 1953 but not officially, no peace agreement. What they want is a signed treaty. Second, they want North Korea to denuclearize, to dismantle all of its nukes, not just the long range missiles that could reach the U.S., all of it, including those that could hit South Korea, Japan and any other country in the region. And no one wants a resolution more than South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in, who’s worked hard to bring Trump and Kim together.
But we have to remember that Korean cultures have more patience than ours. People here in Seoul don’t expect a quick solution. This summit, they believe, is the beginning of something that they just never expected. George.
STEPHPANOPOULOS: OK, Bob. We’ll come back to you later this week. John, I want to pick up on a point that Bob made right at the end there. We’ve talked a lot about Kim Jong-un, we’ve talked a lot about Donald Trump. Moon Jae-in really drove this process.
JONATHAN CHENG, SEOUL BUREAUE CHIEF, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Yes, that’s right. I mean, he was elected, came into office last year in May and think about the context back then. We were having missile tests from the North Koreans, you had fire and fury just a couple of weeks later. That was really the -- the context in which he came to office in South Korea. And now, he’s been pushing for and advocating dialogue with North Korea for a long time.
But that was a tough sell back in that environment because it didn’t look like -- like talks were anywhere near (ph) --
STEPHANOPOULOS: And how much of it was fear and fear on two different fronts? Fear that President Trump would take military action if it came to it (ph) but also the fear that he had talked about at times, of pulling U.S. troops out?
CHENG: Right. Well I think certainly around August, September of last year, if you can bring yourself back then, I think there was genuine concern in Seoul, in South Korea that there might be some sort of military option. We saw that even early this year with the talk of a bloody nose. And throughout the campaign and even coming into his presidency, Donald Trump has talked a lot about why do we have all of these 28,500 U.S. troops in South Korea anyways, what do we need all this for.
And so he managed to, I think, concern people on the left who don’t want a war and people on the right who don’t want the U.S. presence to be gone either. And so I think what Donald Trump has done with a lot of his rhetoric is he’s really concerned people on both ends of the political spectrum. And really what you had to see with Moon last year was him moving to the center to talk.
Look, we need to be tough on North Korea. But when we saw Kim Jong-un earlier this year in his New Year’s address say I might be open to talks, then Moon Jae-in at that point was able to snap into action and really go back to, I think, what was his natural position. Which is let’s get talks going.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And Martha, it also focused the minds, as if they needed any more focusing, of the United States military leaders in -- on the Korean Peninsula.
RADDATZ: And boy, you saw those -- those images. And I remember so well going to those exercises, being up in that fighter jet, listening to the U.S. military and how serious this was, how deadly serious this was. They were holding secret meetings all the time, updating plans, what would happen if North Korea responded if we -- if we attacked first, if we had to attack first, if the -- if the U.S. felt threatened.
And you heard Donald Trump talk about that a lot, if they -- if they aimed missiles at Guam, remember that.
They were planning for this, and if something happened, they knew that the U.S., not just South Korea, the U.S. would take a lot of casualties right away.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And they wanted to do everything they could to avoid that. On the opposite side, Jonathan, you know, we’ve seen such prosperity across South Korea in Seoul.
How much of an impact does that have? I mean there’s so -- it’s so hard to know, do you think that any of that bleeds through to North Koreans? Do they know what’s going on in South Korea?
CHENG: Well we do know that increasingly, because of the power of technology with the USB thumb drives, with the Internet, with even cellular telephone communication over the boarder with -- with people in China, that they are increasingly aware of what life is like in South Korea.
And that really forces a stark choice, I mean King Jong-un -- part of what comes part and parcel with these talks is the possibility of opening up, and that’s a real question that you don’t see addressed so much, which is can the North Korean system as it currently exists, could it absorb the influx of information, even more (inaudible) --
STEPHANOPOULOS: Could the regime survive that kind of absorption?
CHENG: That’s right.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And -- and unification, is that -- is that something even worth talking about as if it -- or is it just such a far -- so far into the future that it’s not -- it’s not conceivable?
CHENG: Well in both Koreas you hear unification talked about as the ultimate goal, and you hear that under conservative and liberal presidencies in South Korea. But increasingly there’s a sense that it’s more lip service than anything.
You have a generation now that once Moon Jae-in’s generation, you know, passes out of power here, you’re going to have people who truly have no recollection whatsoever of what a unified Korea is like.
RADDATZ: I asked some of those kids who I talked to tell me about what your parents have told you about the war, tell me what your grandparents and they all said you know in that way that my grandmother said this and that, but he’s exactly right.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Ancient history.
RADDATZ: Just ancient history to them.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s all we have time for right now, we’ll be right back.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s all for us right now, thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us, our live coverage of the historic summit continues tonight with David Muir on World News, I’ll be back tomorrow on GMA and at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Monday night anchor on our live coverage of the summit open with updates all through the night.
History in the making, and we will be here for all of it.