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Nomination of Christopher R. Hill to be Ambassador to Iraq--Continued

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


NOMINATION OF CHRISTOPHER R. HILL TO BE AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ--Continued -- (Senate - April 21, 2009)

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. President, I rise to speak on the Chris Hill nomination to be Ambassador to Iraq. I am opposed to that nomination. A number of issues have been raised on this nomination I want to talk about to try to put some factual setting associated with that.

First, though, I wish to have printed in the Record at the end of my statement a Jerusalem Post online edition article dated yesterday that I read extensively from in my first presentation regarding the 65th anniversary of the escape from Auschwitz. I ask unanimous consent to have that article printed in the Record at the end of my statement.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

(See exhibit 1.)

Mr. BROWNBACK. I want to note for my colleagues, I read extensively from this article and did not cite that during my initial presentation. I want to make sure they know this came from that reporter and that we were putting that in.

Second, there has been a lot of discussion here about: OK, we have to get this person confirmed. We have to get him out, and it is a terrible shame it has not taken place to date.

I agree we need an ambassador to Iraq. There is no question about that. I appreciate my colleagues' concern about getting an ambassador to Iraq. I would note, there is one who does not have the controversy this one has who was offered the post initially, who accepted it, and then somehow this was mysteriously withdrawn. So there was a person we could have gone forward with, who had accepted it, and for some reason it was pulled back.

Yesterday, CNN was talking to General Zinni, retired General Zinni, and I wish to quote from this report from yesterday.

Zinni told CNN Monday he hasn't been given any explanation about why the offer he got in January for the post--this is U.S. Ambassador to Iraq-- which he accepted was abruptly taken back. Zinni confirmed in an e-mail that he was asked to take the job by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and even congratulated by Vice President Joe Biden, but then the offer was revoked and extended to Hill, a development Zinni says he heard on the news. Zinni is a retired four-star Marine general and former head of Central Command. Like President Barack Obama, he was an early critic of the Iraqi war.

He would seem like a likely--logical, actually--pick for our Ambassador to Iraq, putting forward somebody whom I could have seen supporting. He is knowledgeable of the region and not with a history of deception toward this body or of problems dealing with human rights issues.

To my colleagues who put forward: We have to get this done, it is a terrible tragedy you are holding this up, well, why didn't you nominate somebody such as Retired General Zinni, or why did you pick him and then pull him back? That might be a more interesting note to find out. It would be interesting to me, anyway and, I would hope, to a number of other people.

The reason I have trouble with this nominee is because of this nominee's past performance, lack of concern on human rights, and then we are giving him this great, huge assignment for the United States, and I don't agree with that.

Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that this be printed in the Record at the end of my statement as well.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

(See exhibit 2.)

Mr. BROWNBACK. Thank you very much, Mr. President.

There has also been a charge that Ambassador Hill simply didn't raise the human rights issues because the Bush administration wouldn't let him do this and that you needed to look up the ladder, not at Ambassador Hill on this. I can tell my colleagues from my personal conversations with President Bush, he was deeply concerned about human rights. He loathed Kim Jong-Il because of the human rights issues more than any other. Those were his statements. I personally had two direct conversations at length with the President about this.

The idea that somehow Chris Hill couldn't do this because the President and his apparatus wouldn't agree to it raises some major questions about that charge because it certainly wasn't the President who was saying anything such as that. I think that one is patently false on its face.

There is also this unfortunate history that Chris Hill has of diminishing and playing down human rights issues. There are human rights issues in Iraq as well, and there are going to be as we go forward in that region. To have somebody who consistently has played these down, ignored them, papered them over, that raises real questions to me.

To support that, I wish to put forward as well some thoughts from others of my colleagues who are concerned about human rights. I have cited my own discussion with him. I have cited previously, but I think this bears putting forward to my colleagues again, Jay Lefkowitz was our North Korean Human Rights Special Envoy, who was appointed pursuant to the North Korean Human Rights Act that this body passed and the President signed, and Jay Lefkowitz wrote to me:

At no point during my tenure as special envoy for human rights in North Korea, either before or after July 31, 2008, did Chris Hill or anyone acting on his behalf invite me to participate in any six party talks; any, none, not at all. Jay.

This is after Chris Hill had stated in open testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, when I was asking him:

Will you state that the special envoy will be invited to all future negotiating sessions with North Korea?

Ambassador Hill responds:

I would be happy to invite him to all future negotiating sessions with North Korea.

This is on the Record. This is Jay Lefkowitz' statement afterward.

I ask unanimous consent that both of those be printed in the Record after my statement.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

(See exhibits 3 and 4.)

Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. President, a number of my colleagues will know Congressman Frank Wolf from the House side as a wonderful human rights advocate and has been for a number of years. He is deeply concerned about human rights issues overall. He has worked these issues for a long period of time. He is a fabulous man on these topics. He wrote Ambassador Hill on February 5, 2009, this to Ambassador Hill on his nomination to go into Iraq:

While I do not question your qualifications as a diplomat, I must be frank in telling you that I was often disappointed in your approach to diplomacy with North Korea; specifically, your marginalization and oftentimes seeming utter neglect of human rights.

In a Washington Post piece Michael Gerson described your shaping of America's North Korea policy in this way--

Now, Michael Gerson was on the inside of the Bush White House and cites to Ambassador Hill as shaping United States-North Korea policy, and Michael Gerson writes this:

Hill has been a tireless advocate of preemptive diplomatic concessions--
preemptive diplomatic concessions--and the exclusion of human rights issues from reports and negotiations.

That is the end of the quote from Gerson.

It is difficult to know how much the policy you were pursuing simply reflected the President and the Secretary's aims or whether you were in fact the chief architect and advocate of this approach. Regardless, while Iraq and North Korea are obviously two very different countries, it gives me pause as I consider the human rights challenges confronting Iraq's ethno-religious minorities who are increasingly under siege.

This is taking place in Iraq today. We have all these human rights abuses that are boiling in Iraq today, and now we want to send a guy who has a highly questionable record on human rights in his last assignment.

Frank Wolf goes on:

More than 500,000 Christians, or roughly 50 percent, have fled Iraq since 2003. Even though Christians make up only 3 percent of the country's population, according to the U.N. High Commission for Refugees, they comprise nearly half of all refugees leaving Iraq. As Iraq has continued to stabilize, these minority populations, including the aging Christian community--some of whom still speak Aramaic--is dwindling and increasingly vulnerable to marginalization and increasing attacks, of the sort we witnessed in Mosul this past fall.

This is from Congressman Frank Wolf.

We have a history of bad human rights in dealing with North Korea and we have a bubbling problem, a current problem in Iraq, and we send Chris Hill who has had big difficulty in dealing with it.

I ask unanimous consent to have this printed in the Record at the end of my statement.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

(See exhibit 5.)

Mr. BROWNBACK. Finally, in this tranche, there was a letter sent--this is on January 28 of 2005 and it was to the Permanent Representative of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to the U.N., our contact point with North Korea diplomatically. It was addressed to Ambassador Pak. It states:

This letter is to inform you and your government of the distress with which the undersigned Members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation received the finding from the Seoul Central District Prosecutor's Office on December 14, 2004 that South Korean citizen and U.S. permanent resident Reverend Kim Dong-Shik had been abducted by agents of your government in northeast China in January of 2000 and taken forcibly into North Korea. Your government regrettably has, by its own admission, been involved in the abduction of a number of Japanese citizens as well as an even greater number of South Korean citizens.

Reverend Kim Dong-Shik, as you may be aware, is the spouse of Mrs. Young Hwa Kim of Chicago, Illinois, and is the parent of U.S. citizens, one of whom is currently residing in Skokie, Illinois. Citizens from a Korean-American church in the Chicago area have also raised this matter as an issue of grave concern and requested congressional assistance in ascertaining the facts behind the disappearance and current whereabouts of Reverend Kim. In pursuant of these issues, Mrs. Kim and a delegation from Illinois will be visiting Capitol Hill in the near future.

The successful resolution of this case, therefore, is of critical importance to us--this is the Illinois delegation--both because of the constituent interest involved as well as because it is a case involving the most fundamental of human rights. Reverend Kim, in his selfless efforts to assist refugees escaping in an underground network to third countries, brings to mind two great heroes held in high esteem in the United States. The first is Ms. Harriet Tubman, who established an underground railroad allowing for the escape from slavery of those held in bondage before President Lincoln issued the emancipation proclamation, the second is the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg who, during the dark days of the world conflict against fascism in the Second World War, rescued Jewish refugees trapped in Hungary. We view Reverend Kim Dong-Shik as also being a hero who assisted with the escape of the powerless and forgotten.

We, therefore, wish to inform the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea that we will not support the removal of your government from the State Department's list of State sponsors of terrorism until such time, among other reasons, as a full accounting is provided to the Kim family regarding the fate of Reverend Kim Dong-Shik following his abduction into North Korea five years ago.

This is signed by U.S. Senators Richard J. Durbin and Barack Obama. They signed this letter to our permanent representative, the permanent representative of North Korea to the U.N. on January 28 of 2005.

Well, those sanctions are now lifted. The guy who pushed for the lifting of them is now being pushed to be the Ambassador to Iraq, and Rev. Kim Dong-Shik--it is still not known where he is. He is still somewhere abducted, hopefully alive--we don't know--in North Korea.

I ask unanimous consent that this letter be printed in the Record at the end of my statement.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

(See exhibit 6.)

Mr. BROWNBACK. When people say this is being held up and it is irresponsible and you shouldn't do this, I am just quoting a number of Members of Congress. I am just quoting the President. I am just pointing to a human rights situation that our Ambassador to Iraq will go into, and saying, isn't this reason enough to go with somebody such as General Zinni instead of Ambassador Hill in this situation?

Also, we haven't been able to get information from the State Department. I had asked for the instructions they had given to Ambassador Hill. He had stated in committee testimony here that at one point in time he called it ``inaudible'' in the negotiations, and in that ``inaudible'' he made a change. We wanted to find out what State Department instructions were to him, or what they were to him on human rights issues, and that hasn't been received by my office. We haven't been able to get those back.

A number of my colleagues don't remember, or they don't cite to the period of time that Ambassador Hill was working on the Korean desk, but they do cite to what he did in Bosnia and say, OK, he was a successful diplomat, he did this; North Korea is tough, we are going to ignore that; and now let's put him in Iraq. Well, there are some real questionable records of what he did in the situation in the Balkans and in Bosnia. Here I have an article, dated March 22, of this year. I think it is very interesting and quite troubling. This is about one of the people who is charged with war crimes and his dealings with Ambassador Hill. I am going to quote from this article and enter it into the Record.

Every time Radovan Karadzic, the onetime Bosnian Serb leader, appears in court on war crimes charges, he has hammered on one recurring claim: a senior American official pledged that he would never be standing there being charged with war crimes.

The official, Richard C. Holbrooke, now a special envoy on Afghanistan and Pakistan for the Obama administration, has repeatedly denied promising Mr. Karadzic immunity from prosecution in exchange for abandoning power after the Bosnian war.

But the rumor persists, and different versions that recently emerged that line up with Mr. Karadzic's assertion, including a new historical study published by Purdue University in Indiana.

Charles W. Ingrao, the study's co-editor, said that three senior State Department officials, one of them retired, and several other people with knowledge of Mr. Holbrooke's activities, told him that Mr. Holbrooke assured Mr. Karadzic in July 1996 that he would not be pursued by the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague if he left politics.

Mr. Karadzic had already been charged by the tribunal with genocide and other crimes against civilians.

Now, you say, OK, that is charging Mr. Holbrooke, but let's see what the report writers go on to say about this.

The Purdue University study, ``Confronting the Yugoslav Controversies: A Scholars' Initiative'', instructed his principal assistant, Christopher Hill, to draft the memorandum to be signed by Karadzic, committing him to give up power--in exchange for not being charged with war crimes.

The author of the study said Mr. Holbrooke used Slobodan Milosevic, the then Serbian leader, and other Serbian officials as intermediaries to convey the promise of immunity and to reach the deal with Mr. Karadzic. ``The agreement almost came to grief when Holbrooke vigorously refused Karadzic's demand, and Hill's appeal, that he affix his signature to it,'' the study says, citing unidentified State Department sources.

Chris Hill's name again.

The study, the product of 8 years of research by historians, jurists, and social scientists from all sides of the conflict, was an effort to reconcile disparate views of the wars that tore the former Yugoslavia apart in the 1990s, Mr. Ingrao said.

The former official said Mr. Karadzic wanted written assurance that he would not be pursued for war crimes and refused to sign without them.

``Holbrooke told the Serbs, `You can give him my word he won't be pursued,' but Holbrooke refused to sign anything,'' the official said. Mr. Holbrooke could make that promise because he knew that American and other western militaries in Bosnia were not then making arrests, the official said.

Neither Mr. Hill nor Mr. Goldberg responded to requests for interviews for this article.

Here is another insertion of Mr. Hill on a huge problem with human rights. This one in the Yugoslav, the Balkans theater. There it is again--North Korea, the Balkans, and we have a brewing situation taking place in Iraq, and we are going to send him there.

I ask unanimous consent that this article be printed in the Record at the end of my statement.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

(See exhibit 7.)

Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. President, I am doing that so my colleagues and others who study this can look at the factual studies we have in examining what is taking place here.

A number of my colleagues say the North Korean situation is not relevant to the debate we are in today. I don't know why it is not. When we run for office, people go look at our backgrounds and say what did they do in their past job to see if we ought to elect them for this one. People don't kind of walk into the Senate. There is an examination process that the public goes through. I don't know why we would not want to examine somebody to see their track record.

Some have suggested that the human rights issue kind of popped up in North Korea, and that we learned at the last minute, so that Chris Hill had to deal with this at a quick point so he should have had set it aside to get the full deal.

This is a February 4, 2004 article on washingtonpost.com. This is written by Anne Apolebaum. The title is ``Auschwitz Under Our Noses.''

As I stated, it is Holocaust Remembrance Day today. This article talks about North Korea and what is taking place there in 2004. So this didn't just pop up. There had been a documentary put forward by the BBC describing the atrocities in North Korea. I will read one section that is incredible. It says this:

Look, for example, at the international reaction to a documentary, aired last Sunday night on the BBC. It described atrocities committed in the concentration camps of contemporary North Korea, where, it was alleged, chemical weapons are tested on prisoners. Central to the film was the testimony of Kwon Hyuk, a former administrator at a North Korean camp.

This is what the administrator said:

I witnessed a whole family being tested on suffocating gas and dying in the gas chamber.

He witnessed that.

He said:

The parents, son, and a daughter. The parents were vomiting and dying, but till the very last moment they tried to save the kids by doing mouth-to-mouth breathing.

The article goes on:

The documentary also included testimony from a former prisoner, who says she saw 50 women die after being deliberately fed poison. And it included documents smuggled out of the country that seemed to sentence a prisoner to a camp ``for the purpose of human experimentation.''

The author writes this at the end, and this is the whole point of this:

Later--in 10 years, or in 60--it will surely turn out that quite a lot was known in 2004 about the camps of North Korea. It will turn out that information collected by various human rights groups, South Korean churches, oddball journalists, and spies added up to a damning and largely accurate picture of an evil regime. It will also turn out that there were things that could have been done, approaches the South Korean government might have made, diplomatic channels the U.S. Government might have opened, pressure the Chinese might have applied.

Historians in Asia, Europe, and here will finger various institutions, just as we do now, and demand they justify their past actions. And no one will be able to understand how it was possible that we knew of the existence of the gas chambers but failed to act.

That is what I am asking. My goodness. This has been going on, and I tried to push Chris Hill about it for years and nothing happened, and I got an agreement in open testimony in a hearing, and nothing happened after that. But now let's move him to Iraq and give him that account.

I ask unanimous consent this article be printed in the Record after my statement.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

(See exhibit 8.)

Mr. KERRY. Will the Senator yield for a procedural question?

Mr. BROWNBACK. Yes.

Mr. KERRY. I ask my colleague, if he has a moment, to see whether we can set a time for the vote with respect to this issue.

Mr. BROWNBACK. If I may respond through the Chair, I have contacted colleagues. We are still confirming at what time they can speak. Several colleagues want to speak. We are working on that right now.

Mr. KERRY. Does the Senator have a sense of when we could try to come to some arrangement? A lot of Senators on both sides of the aisle are trying to arrange schedules, and the majority leader is trying to deal with the question of the legislative schedule. If we can get a sense of that--I know the Senator is trying to get at it. I think if we could pin this down, that would be helpful. If he could give me a sense of how many Senators, when, and if we will lock in their times and then lock in a vote.

Mr. BROWNBACK. I am contacting colleagues now. We don't have that officially tied down yet so that I can respond at this time. I appreciate my colleague from Massachusetts saying that, as I understand, there will be a hearing on North Korean--not necessarily on the atrocities, although I hope it will be covered, but also on possible sanctions on North Korea. I appreciate that is being worked on to address some of these concerns. I will be raising, as well--while my colleague is here--that we not put in a supplemental bill support for the North Korean regime that is beyond humanitarian aid, particularly as these things are surfacing now. I realize that is not the Senator's committee, but I want to make my colleagues, who know the situation well, aware of these points that I will be raising.

Mr. KERRY. Let me say that every one of us shares the outrage at the type of government and the way in which the people of North Korea are oppressed. I commend the Senator from Kansas for calling the country's attention and the world's attention and the Senate's at this moment to it. We will have a hearing on May 6. It will be a comprehensive hearing on North Korea. It will involve all of the issues with respect to North Korea. We welcome that. That is an appropriate role for us.

But it is also appropriate for us to try to get this nominee a time certain. He would like to leave for Iraq tomorrow. So we wish, if we can, to have a sense of the timing on the vote. If we can get an agreement here, maybe I could--how many Senators are planning to speak on the Senator's side of the aisle?

Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. President, we have three who are lined up to speak. There are Senators McCain and Kyl, who have scheduling issues later in the day. That is what I am trying to get firmed up. I am not trying to delay my colleagues.

Mr. KERRY. I understood that Senator McCain was going to try to speak at 3:30, which is about 35 minutes from now. We are prepared not to have any further speakers on our side.

I will propound a request. I ask unanimous consent that we allow the Senator from Kansas to control the time, but for, say, 10 minutes between now and the hour of 5 o'clock, and that the vote be at 5 o'clock. I ask for an order to that effect.

Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. President, I have to object at this time. I simply don't know when Senator Kyl can speak, and he desires to speak. Until I can determine that, I cannot agree for others of my colleagues.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.

Mr. KERRY. I respect that, but I also know how the Senate works; I have 26 years here. I will come back. I have a meeting going on now, but I will be back in about 20 minutes. I hope we can find Senator Kyl between now and then, pin down the time for him, and get an agreement. I think it is important for the Senate to get its business done. Is that agreeable to the Senator from Kansas?

Mr. BROWNBACK. If we can locate him and if there are not others.

Mr. KERRY. If we cannot contact a member of the Senate who is in the leadership--surely we can find one of the leaders of the Senate in 20 minutes.

Mr. BROWNBACK. I have said what I know.

Mr. KERRY. I will be back at a quarter after, and I hope we can propound an agreement at that time. I thank the Senator for the interruption.

Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. President, I want to speak about another issue, because this caught a lot of what is involved here. This is a 2004 article called ``An Auschwitz in Korea.'' I had hoped my colleague could stay and hear this, but he has to leave.

This is to the point raised by a number of people that this was kind of quick and the problem with human rights was not known as an issue in North Korea, and that we don't know about it. Chris Hill steps in and he has to make the call that we are not going to pursue human rights, but we are going to go completely after the nuclear issue.

This article is by Jeff Jacoby from the Boston Globe. He puts it so well, because it is to the point we have here. He writes this:

Does ``never again'' simply mean ``never again will Germans kill Jews in Europe between 1939 and 1945?''

Is that what ``never again'' means? Obviously, that is not the case. We are not going to let this sort of thing happen again on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

That brings us to North Korea. In 2004, this author writes this. This was in the press:

It is not exactly news that the Communist regime of Kim Jong Il has sent millions of North Koreans to early graves. Estimates back to 1998 were that as many as 800,000 people were dying in North Korea each year from starvation and malnutrition caused by Kim's ruthless and irrational policies. World Vision, a Christian relief organization, calculated that 1 million to 2 million North Koreans had been killed by ``a full-scale famine'' largely of Pyongyang's creation.

They created the famine and people die off who don't support the regime. We have heard about that system before, and some of the purges that took place in the Soviet Union.

The article also says:

Nor is it breaking news that North Korea operates a vicious prison gulag--``not unlike the worst labor camps built by Mao and Stalin in the last century,'' as NBC News reported more than a year ago. Some 200,000 men, women, and children are held in these slave-labor camps; hundreds of thousands of others have perished in them over the years. Some of the camps are so hellish that 20 percent or more of their prisoners die from torture and abuse each year. The dead can be of any age: North Korea's longstanding policy is to imprison not only those accused of such ``crimes'' as practicing Christianity [one of the major crimes] or complaining about North Korean life, but their entire families, including grandparents and grandchildren. The policy there is if one member of the family complains, 3 generations are taken. This is the way they then operate these prison camps.

I want to show a picture of one of the prison camps that looks organized along the lines that Auschwitz was organized. This is taken by Google Earth. They are organized like the Auschwitz ones. The difference here is that they group you by families, so they have taken three generations when one is opposed. They organize this and it is a death camp. Kwon Hyuk was quoted, saying:

I witnessed a whole family being tested on suffocating gas and dying in the gas chamber.

The article says:

The speaker is Kwon Hyuk, a former North Korean intelligence agent and a one-time administrator at Camp 22, the country's largest concentration camp.

We have a picture of camp 22. I will show you what he is talking about here. It is the largest camp. The testimony was heard on a television documentary that aired on BBC, which I mentioned.

Here we have a situation--this writer is writing--of ``Gas chambers. Poisoned food. Torture. The murder of whole families. Massive death tolls. How much more do we need to know about North Korea's crimes before we act to stop them? How many more victims will be fed into the gas chambers before we cry out, `never again!' ''--and we mean it?''

Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record this article titled ``An Auschwitz in Korea.''

There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. President, I agreed to this unanimous consent request to try to move this somewhat forward. I do believe this has been a healthy debate. It has been a good thing for us to discuss what took place in North Korea. It has been a good thing for us to discuss human rights. Anytime we can do that I think it is a good thing for us to discuss that setting, moving into Iraq and the human rights concerns there.

I do want to address a few things the Senator from Massachusetts raised. One is on the North Korean Human Rights Act. I was the author of that bill. I know that bill. I worked to get that bill through. I pushed hard to get it through. One of the provisions in that bill was $20 million authorized under the North Korean Human Rights Act for use of the North Korean Human Rights Act and to resettle refugees from North Korea in the United States and for a number of other issues. The administration has not requested a single dime under that authorization. It didn't ask for a single appropriation. So the idea that we have implemented the North Korean Human Rights Act when no money was requested underneath that, I guess I am impressed that could take place. I hope the Government can do that well in many other areas, where they do not ask for any money and then they fully comply with an act.

I do not think the act was fully complied with. I stated that specifically here on the RECORD, the places I do not believe it was complied with.

We are digging up right now how many people have been resettled in the United States under this North Korea Human Rights Act. It is a very small number--in the dozens at most. There is a lot of hesitation, hiccups taking place. The State Department is not pushing or working with this. A number of these refugees could have been resettled here by communities in the United States. This is actually one piece that could have been done very cheaply because the Korean-American community here would have resettled them, in many cases, without cost to the Federal Government. Very few were received or brought to the United States.

The chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee is a very distinguished Senator from Massachusetts with a lot of foreign policy experience. I admire all of that. I don't think he has worked quite as much on the Korean issue, certainly not as much as some other Members of this body and myself have worked on it. To say that this was a successful negotiation I think does not stand the overall, just view of this from the public's view, let alone from a diplomatic viewpoint.

When you look at this--you say it was a successful negotiation Ambassador Hill conducted with North Korea and the six-party talks. When you look at what North Korea has done since then and try to call it that, I don't think the Japanese would call this a successful negotiation that a missile was fired over their country, one that could reach the western United States. I don't think the Japanese would call it a successful negotiation that the abductees that were taken from Japan by the North Korean leadership and never accounted for were not accounted for during the negotiation.
This was the top issue. I had the Japanese Embassy contacting my office, complaining about the six-party talks and not being included on their top issues.

Why are they having to go through me? Because they can't go through Chris Hill. What kind of diplomat is that, when he has trouble with one of your main allies on a very specific item and issue that you can at least keep them tuned in and coming along with the overall issue?

China is one of the members of the six-party talks and China has been one of the lead problems with us dealing with North Korea. Yet we do not even push the Chinese on North Korea or North Korean human rights. We don't demand that the U.N. Human Rights Commission, or Commission on Human Rights, be allowed into China to determine are these North Korean refugees who are coming into China, are they economic migrants, are they refugees? We don't even push the Chinese to allow the U.N. in to look and see what the status is here. We do not push them at the six-party talks or the U.N. There is a complete failure of this.

I have had some refugees, a few who made it out of North Korea into the United States, a few more who made it into China--it is hard to get out of China and into the country--I have had a couple into my office, interviewing them, and they talked about the horrible conditions in China for North Korean refugees. Several hundred thousand, probably, are there, stateless, not protected. The women are generally captured and sold as concubines in China--captured like wild animals. This is their fate. We do not push the U.N. Human Rights Commission, don't push the Chinese to allow these individuals in, even though the Chinese have signed the declaration on this. We don't get that done. That is not a success taking place.

North Koreans recently abducted two Americans on the North Korea-China border. That has taken place. We don't object to that. They are developing part of the Syrian nuclear reactor. We don't get any information on that. We get incomplete information. We waive the terrorism list. We get nothing out of this deal.

That is called a successful negotiation. I wonder what we will call successful negotiations in Iraq, then, if that is what we are calling a successful negotiation with the North Koreans in the six-party talks. I wonder what we will call successful human rights being determined in Iraq when we see the human rights record of what is taking place in North Korea. I wonder how that is going to be viewed.

For all of those reasons, I think this has been a healthy debate for us to have had. I hope when the supplemental comes up, we as a body do not waive again the Glenn sanctions on North Korea. That will come up in front of this body. It is an annual waiver that will have to take place. I hope we as a body do not fund North Korea beyond humanitarian assistance. That will come up in the supplemental. I want to lay those markers down for my colleagues. I hope people are watching for this, that we do not reward the North Koreans, that we do not become their supporter like the Soviets were, and we do not continue this practice, much of which Chris Hill negotiated.

I yield the floor.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. President, we are soon to vote on the issue of whether Chris Hill should be the next ambassador to Iraq, and I want to make a few comments about that in closing.

I think there has been a good, full discussion, and I think it has been a good discussion. I misspoke at one point in time, in talking about Auschwitz and Poland. It wasn't a Polish concentration camp. It was in Poland, but it was run by the Nazis. I wanted to make sure I am clear on that to individuals.

Also, I wish to add Senator Hutchison to the North Korean Sanctions Act for the Record.

Today marks the Holocaust Remembrance Day, as cited earlier on the floor. The Holocaust Museum's theme this year is: ``Never again: What You Do Matters.'' I think what Chris Hill did matters in this case.

I want to read one section of the statement from the Holocaust Museum and what they put forward about what you do matters. They stated:

Remembrance obligates us not only to memorialize those who were killed but also to reflect on what could have been done to save them. Those who survived tell us that as many faced their horrific deaths, their last words were ``Remember us. Tell our story.'' Survivors promised that they would, and that never again would the world stand silent or look the other way.

Well, I can't stand silent and look the other way in North Korea. And I think ``never again'' ought to mean that. The deeds of Ambassador Hill in North Korea--no progress on human rights, a terrible deal, failed diplomacy--and I can go through what has happened in the last 2 weeks. To reiterate, North Korea has launched a multistage ballistic missile over Japan, kidnapped two of our citizens, pulled out of the six-party talks, kicked out international nuclear inspectors and American monitors, restarted its nuclear facilities, and according to at least one news source is now under investigation for shipping enriched uranium to Iran.

It was a terrible deal. In all this debate we have had about Chris Hill, not one colleague has defended the deal Chris Hill got with the North Koreans on its merits. Nobody has defended the deal he has gotten on the merits. They just said: Well, it is tough to negotiate. Yes, it is tough to negotiate, but on the merits, this was a terrible deal. And the irony is that the only thing dismantled in the six-party talks was our strategic deterrence and our moral authority. That was the only thing that was dismantled. Convening a six-party dialogue is not success in and of itself, especially when the result is so abhorrent.

We will have a chance to talk about this again shortly. It is going to be coming up in a supplemental. As a reminder here in the Chamber, then-Senator Obama said:

Sanctions are a critical part of our leverage to pressure North Korea to act. They should only be lifted based on North Korean performance. If the North Koreans do not meet their obligations, we should move quickly to reimpose sanctions that have been waived and consider new restrictions going forward.

In the supplemental fight, there will be a discussion to give North Koreans more heavy fuel oil. I ask my colleagues not to put that in the bill. There will be a sanctions waiver discussion in the supplemental. I ask my colleagues not to waive sanctions on North Korea in the supplemental fight, and I ask instead that we reimpose the sanctions that then-Senator and Presidential candidate, now President Barack Obama called for in June of 2008. That seems to me to be an appropriate route for us to take as we look at this full set of problems we have and the discussion that we have had to date.

I ask my colleagues again to consider the qualifications of Ambassador Hill, the problems that have come under his watch, and the North Korean talks, and not confirm him to be our ambassador for Iraq in a situation where he has produced such terrible results and on a Holocaust Remembrance Day when we say: Never again.

I further ask my colleagues that if you do confirm him, if he is confirmed today, that we actually do remember that what we do matters and what we say matters and that we not go forward here at this point in time and say: Fine, we are going to go ahead and waive the sanctions. This was part of the Hill strategy toward North Korea; we are going to go ahead and waive these and we are going to let it happen anyway.

Mr. President, I realize I have used my time, and I do appreciate that my colleagues have let us have a full debate on this.

I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.

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