Former Secretary of State on Whether North Korea Should Be Kicked Out of the United Nations
This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," May 22, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: Now, one option being considered is to kick North Korea out of the United Nations. But does the world body have the backbone to do it?
With us now by phone, Former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger.
Mr. Secretary, even if it booted out of the North Korea, why would the North Korean care? What impact would it have on them?
LAWRENCE EAGLEBURGER, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, you are quite right. I don't think it would have any impact on them at all.
The fact of the matter is that this is a crisis, if you want to call it that, that has been going on for over a decade. And now, all of a sudden, everybody is waking up to the fact that we have a very serious problem ahead of us. We should have awakened to that 10 years ago.
VARNEY: Mr. Secretary, North Korea is China's client state. China could end this tomorrow, if it really wanted to. Why doesn't it?
EAGLEBURGER: Well, I think there are two reasons — well, at least two reasons for it, not least of which is, because it's a client state, they are reluctant, I think, to push too hard.
But, secondly — and by the way, I think they're benighted on all of this. They have taken the wrong attitude all along on this thing. But the fact of the matter is that the other terrorists, I think, is that they are scared to death about masses of — of refugees crossing the border into China, if, in fact, things come apart in North Korea. And, therefore, they have been reluctant also to push them on it.
VARNEY: The talks which have been held with the North Koreans have gone nowhere. They're not a success.
VARNEY: Would you — do you believe that the U.S. and/or China should now seriously consider and plan for a military attack?
EAGLEBURGER: I have believed that for some time. So, you're — you're call — you are asking the wrong person, I guess, because I have felt, as I say, for the better part of 10 years, that we could see this coming, and we just sat back and tried to talk them out of it.
Now, and I think, yes, that military action is one very, very definite option. But I don't think we should do it alone.
VARNEY: Well, America's fear is that North Korea will export its bombs and/or its rocketry.
EAGLEBURGER: That's right.
VARNEY: Could we not contain North Korea with some kind of embargo, some kind of — you know, cut off anything that — any way of getting stuff out?
EAGLEBURGER: Well, but there is no way to keep them from getting stuff out, as you say.
The fact of the matter is, if they want to give these materials to some terrorist group, they will do it, and they will get away with it. Now, I don't think they are ready to do that yet, and I'm — I hope they will never be, but the fact of the matter is, it's always a concern.
I think they want — myself, I think they want — they have this weapon available just to make them much more important in the world scene than they would be without it. And I think they are already demonstrating that that is what happens. We are paying a lot more attention to them now than we ever used to.
VARNEY: Former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, thanks for joining us, sir. We appreciate it.
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