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Special Report Roundtable - July 7

FOX News Special Report With Brit Hume


BUSH: You know the problem with diplomacy it takes a while to get something done. If you're acting alone, you can move quickly. When you're rallying world opinion and trying to, you know, come up with the right language at the United Nations to send a clear signal, it takes a while.


ANGLE: There is President Bush talking about the diplomacy on North Korea, today. He went on at one point to say that it was "painful" and sort of squeezed that out. And obviously, Charles, the whole idea here is not to act -- how about introducing the gang.

Some analytical observations from Fred Barnes, executive editor of the "Weekly Standard"; Mort Kondracke, executive editor of "Roll Call"; and the syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer who I've already introduced, FOX News contributors all. So the, obviously the idea here is not to act alone and the president is conceding, yeah it's tougher. You want to do diplomacy, you want to try to get everybody to speak with one voice, you have to maybe modify what it is you're saying and that's this agonizing process that's taking place at the U.N. As the Japanese introduced a resolution today to the Security Council, but weakened the language just a tad.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Look, the president is saying that this process is agonizingly slow. With all due respect it's agonizingly useless and slow. In the end diplomacy is not going to stop the program. That's all that Pyongyang has is nukes and missiles. He doesn't have anything else, it trades on them, it gets respect, it gets attention, it gets them all kinds of offers. And unless the Chinese decide overnight that they're going to squeeze North Korea because it's a client state and very weak, nothing is going to happen.

And the Chinese have indicated, yes, they are somewhat upset by the fact that all this happened. But they've already spoken, as you said, about weakening the resolution that the Japanese had introduced. Now, Japan is genuinely upset because it's the target, essentially. The missile in '98 shot over Japan. A missile could hit Japan and Japan is going to think seriously ultimately about becoming a nuclear power itself. But, at the present, nothing is happening because China and Russia have an interest in maintaining North Korea as an irritant and a drain on American attention and resources and they're going to keep it that way.

MORT KONDRACKE, "ROLL CALL": Look, the United States is not in a position to go to war with North Korea for any number of reasons. The most important of which is that we are already tied down in Iraq. And, furthermore, a war with North Korea or bombing the installations or something, their nuclear installations we don't know that we would get them all or their missile pads. So we've got -- diplomacy is the only thing we've got here. And what we are ultimately trying to do, we've got to do diplomacy with the people who have influence in the region and those people are primarily the Chinese. Now, it hasn't worked. You know, the persuasion has not worked with the Chinese. I think the only thing that's going to work with the Chinese is for the Japanese to make real moves toward becoming a nuclear power. To say we are really scared. And we've got all this plutonium.

ANGLE: Causing the Chinese to break out in a cold sweat?

KONDRACKE: Causing the Chinese -- exactly, exactly. That might get the situation off the dime. And even then you don't know that the North Koreans wouldn't go ahead and do something crazy because that's who they are.

ANGLE: OK. Let's look at what the proposal from the Japanese actually said, Fred, before I let you talk here.


ANGLE: Because it's actually -- North Korea says, "North Korea shall immediately cease the development, testing, deployment and proliferation of ballistic missiles." And it also says that "Member States shall take those steps necessary to prevent missiles and missile related items, materials, goods and technology being transferred." to North Korea.

Now, basically it says everybody stop giving them any help whatsoever in their missile program or their nuclear program. One might have thought that we were already doing that. Nevertheless, as obviously someone has been helping them and they've been getting money from counterfeiting and drug smuggling and so forth, so if you were to really clamp down on that, would it make a difference.

BARNES: Probably not. I mean, is that thing the clear signal that the president was talking about from the U.N. Security Council that's really going to make a difference? Well, with the North Koreans? I mean, that's ridiculous. Was that the tough one or was that the draft or the modified.

ANGLE: No, that was the modified, the other one said "bar all efforts to" as opposed to "take all necessary steps to." I don't see the difference, frankly.

BARNES: Oh, well. Look, I think there was a lot of fiction in what the president was saying today and I think it's disappointing that he may believe it. In the first place he said it is the North Koreans choice. They've already chosen. They've chosen repeatedly. They were told they.

ANGLE: Well, what would you have him do then?

BARNES: What would I have the president do?

ANGLE: Yeah.

BARNES: Well, I'd certainly have him lean harder on the Chinese, thought I agree with Charles that the Chinese and the Russians, I mean the missiles aren't aimed at them and they're quite happy seeing the U.S. twitted and cause problems in the Pacific, they're happy with that.

I would certainly consider a military option. The Air Force officers I've talked to, Mort, you've talked to some of the same -- some of the same ones say they could take everything out pretty easily. Now, you don't want to jump to that step, but you don't want diplomacy based on the allusion, and the allusion that somehow Kim Jong il is back there, you know, trying to decide some choice. He has chosen repeatedly to violate whatever he's promised to do and whatever he's promised the West, the Clinton administration, the Bush administration, the gang of six. He breaks it every time. He doesn't comply and he is always rewarded for it.

ANGLE: All right, Charles, let me ask you. Now, last fall the North Koreans agreed to give up their ballistic missile program and their nuclear program. They agreed in principle we're going to do this in exchange for a number of incentives. They hadn't -- they barely walked out of the room when they started to up the ante, get more concessions from the West and many believe that this whole effort was an effort rein more concessions by scaring everyone to death.

Is it possible that this process could squeeze the North Koreans enough, reducing their ability to keep building their program, squeeze them enough on the financial end and that if the Chinese actually, you know, stood back and let some action move forward, that the north Koreans might actually go back to the table? Is there a possibility that could happen?

KRAUTHAMMER: If the Chinese squeeze them seriously, cutting off supplies of fuel and food, yes. If the South Koreans stopped all this humanitarian aid which is a way to keep the regime in the north alive -- South Koreans are worried about a flood of immigrants and refugees, yes, but these sanctions, they're worthless.

ANGLE: All right. When we come back another terror plot against New York City, intelligence and diligence break up a planned suicide attack on the transit system as the British marked anniversary attacks there one year ago. Are we safer? We'll take a look.


MARK MERSHON, FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: This is a plot that would have involved martyrdom, explosives and certain of the tubes that connect New Jersey with lower Manhattan.

RAY KELLY, NEW York POLICE COMMISSIONER: And I think it tells us two things, first that we're able to disrupt plots such as this as a result of good intelligence and very close coordination with law enforcement throughout the world. And secondly, that New York still remains in the crosshairs of the terrorists.

ANGLE: That was a news conference in New York today about the revelations that the FBI has been working for the past year on an investigation into a terrorist suicide plan to attack the transit system, especially the trains running from -- running underground from New Jersey to New York.

Now, this was a -- Charles, this was a pretty impressive investigation, a year long, six countries cooperating with it. Eight terrorists they had identified, three of whom are in custody, and the fact that it leak out may make it difficult to find the others, but perhaps they will. This, along with several other recent cases, including the one in Canada and others -- Miami, suggests that the intelligence agencies around the world have a pretty good operation going to crack down on these guys.

KRAUTHAMMER: And specifically in coordination with our intelligence agency. I mean, the big mystery here is in two months we're going to be at the fifth anniversary of 9/11. There's not a person I know who would have expected we go one year let alone half a decade without a second attack. And because of our patriotic press, we now have some idea of how it was done. Tracing the money, tracing -- listening on in their phone calls and also having the bad guys, the big, the leaders of the bad guys in secret prisons getting interrogated, under difficult conditions, shall we say. With all of that has been exposed in our press, it explains to a large extent why we have not had a second attack. It's not an armistice, and it's not an accident, it's good work on our part, however our sources and our methods are now in jeopardy as a result of that.

ANGLE: Mort.

KONDRACKE: I tend to agree with all of that. I've spent a week at Aspen, Colorado at the Aspen Institute's Ideas festival. I was working, though. I was working.

ANGLE: Sweating.

KONDRACKE: And one of the panels was -- involved Richard Deerlove, who was -- used to be the head of MI6 and Jim Woolsey who was the head of the CIA, and Daniel Benjamin who was a Clinton administration intelligence White House person. And they all agreed that we have made substantial tactical progress against al-Qaeda, dispersed its main activists and interfered with its networks, but now the work is being franchised instead of being directed from the top. And, you know, most of them think that al- Qaeda would like to top 9/11 if it possibly can, that it's very patient and that we should not, you know, take our five years as the end of the story. That they're still plotting and they're still scheming and if Osama bin Laden himself is not directing it, Zawahiri, his No. 2 guy, is still the strategist and would like to could it if he possibly can.

ANGLE: And Zawahiri said today that some of the London bombers actually trained at an al-Qaeda camp.

KONDRACKE: You know, I think we know from what they said at the Aspen Institute, Jim Woolsey and the MI6 guy, I mean they would know, and the arrests in Toronto and Miami and now in New York that we are under attack. The terrorists, even if they're one step removed from al-Qaeda headquarters they still want to blow up America.

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