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North Korea`s Upcoming Nuclear Test

Aired April 10, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET



GROUP: Welcome. We are the seventh grade at St. Jude`s School in Mountain Top, Pennsylvania. And you`re watching CNN Student News, where the news sticks with you.


CARL AZUZ, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: I want to thank those St. Jude`s students for introducing today`s show. Thanks to all of you for sticking with us for the next 10 minutes. I`m Carl Azuz, welcome to CNN Student News.

First up, tension on the Korean peninsula, and part of it has to do with the possibility of an upcoming nuclear test. North Korea has held two of these controversial tests before. Now South Korean officials say the north is getting ready to run another one. U.S. officials agreed with that information, although North Korea hasn`t said anything about a nuclear test.


AZUZ (voice-over): What the north is talking about is a separate rocket launch, scheduled for later this week. CNN`s Stan Grant was invited to get an up-close look at the rocket. He explains why there`s some controversy surrounding this launch, too.


STAN GRANT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is what North Korea has been keeping hidden from the world, not any more. A long-range rocket, 30 meters long or nearly 100 feet, that much of the world suspects will launch the next phase of the reclusive country`s missile program.

North Korea insists there is nothing to fear. Not a missile test, but in fact, a satellite launch for scientific research. To prove it, they`ve taken an unprecedented step, opening up the launch site to the eyes of the international media.

For Pyongyang, this also represents a propaganda coup. In the year the country celebrates their 100th anniversary of the birth of its founder, Kim Il-sung.

"This is a spiritual moment as the North Korean people struggle to open the gate to a prosperous and powerful future," this man says. But the United States and its allies see it very differently, a country still technically at war, taking yet another step closer to perfecting a missile that, experts say, could reach American shores.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I am very disturbed.

GRANT: He can deny that? (Inaudible) deny that it`s -- that it`s --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Look for yourselves with your own eyes, then you can judge whether it`s a ballistic missile or whether it`s a launch vehicle to put a satellite into orbit to show that, that`s why we have invited you to this launch site.

GRANT (voice-over): So we certainly get the grand tour, today shown all around the site, the control center, even the actual satellite that will be launched into space on the rocket. One independent European analyst visiting the site says he sees nothing to be concerned about, but - -

CHRISTIAN LARDIER, SPACE ANALYST: I don`t know what they want to do in future, but today what we see is a space launcher.


AZUZ: An update for you now on a neighborhood watch shooting in Florida. In February, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch leader. Police say Martin was unarmed. Zimmerman says he shot Martin in self-defense after the teenager attacked him. We have a video in the "Spotlight" section of our home page with more details on the shooting.


AZUZ (voice-over): A special prosecutor has been investigating this case. She had three options of possible action: she could charge George Zimmerman with a crime; she could clear him of any wrongdoing or she could send the case to the grand jury. That`s a group that hears evidence and testimony from witnesses and decides whether a case should go to trial.


AZUZ: We found out yesterday that option three won`t happen. This special prosecutor says she won`t use a grand jury. She added that the decision doesn`t mean things are final. The investigation will go on.


AZUZ (voice-over): This story has been an emotional one. It`s led to protests across the country, like this one in Sanford, Florida, where the shooting happened. The story`s also left people with a lot of questions, including you.


AZUZ: We asked what was on your mind, what questions you had when you heard about this story.

Alyssa asks, "Why do the government, media, civil rights activists and citizens . jump to conclusions so quickly about what happened without actually knowing all the facts?"

Ritika asks, "Could a teenager really be dangerous to a man who has a weapon?"

From Mark, "What would have happened if their races were different -- would there still be protests or news coverage?"

And from Shaina, "Why is this type of incident just now being brought to people`s attention? Things like this happen all the time; does America care or know about those other incidents?"


AZUZ: A lot of things unanswered at this point. We`re going to bring you news updates as we get them.

Meantime, if you want to share your thoughts,


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this legit? You have to be at least 45 years old to be a U.S. president.

Nope, not true. The Constitution says U.S. citizens who are at least 35 are eligible to be president.


AZUZ: U.S. president, 35; U.S. House of Representatives, 25; Prince George`s County, Maryland, School Board, 18. Different levels of government have different age requirements that are set by the U.S. Constitution or state and local governments. Athena Jones caught up with a group of candidates for that Maryland school board who are hoping that their age will pay off at the polls.


ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Meet Edward Burroughs, Raaheela Ahmed and David Murray. These fresh-faced college students spent primary day at the polls, not just voting, but campaigning for seats of their own on the school board in Prince George`s County, Maryland.

In fact, 19-year-old Edward Burroughs is defending his seat. He`s fighting to protect his former classmates from steep budget cuts.

EDWARD BURROUGHS, SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE: At the polls last week we had early voting. There were several people who came up and said, you know, "I didn`t vote for you last time because you were too young. But I`ve seen you on the board. I`ve seen you in action, and you`re doing a great job. So you have my vote."

JONES (voice-over): Burroughs got 67 percent of the vote Tuesday. David Murray, who`s 20, wants schools to do a better job preparing students for life after high school.

DAVID MURRAY, SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE: Well, you know, our county is lagging behind our peers. We`re persistently at the bottom in terms of student achievement. And I want students to have the same opportunity to go to college and to be successful in the workforce.

JONES (voice-over): At just 18, Raaheela Ahmed is the youngest. She attended the county`s public schools for 13 years.

RAAHEELA AHMED, SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE: What do I bring? I bring a knowledge of the schools. I bring a knowledge of the system and what goes on in the schools, and I think that that is something that can be a very good asset to the board.

JONES (voice-over): All three won their primaries, and are gearing up for the November election. Because they graduated recently, they say they know what students and teachers need. Some of their opponents say their youth could be a problem.

ANDRE NOTTINGHAM, SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE: We have a $1.6 billion budget. So that`s a $1.6 billion business enterprise. We need folks with experience management.

ZABRINA EPPS, SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE: I think my opponent is a very bright young man. He`s in college himself. He`s come through the process. But I think that there`s something to be said for having experience.

JONES (voice-over): But these candidates have a message for people who think they`re too young.

BURROUGHS: With my age comes new ideas, new energy and they`re looking for hands-on, energetic members of the board, who are willing to move the system forward.

MURRAY: We`ve got to be willing to look at things differently.

JONES (voice-over): Athena Jones, CNN, Upper Marlborough, Maryland.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s Shoutout goes out to Ms. Gazda`s American government class at Harland High School in Hartland, Michigan.

What article of clothing is presented to the winner of the Masters golf tournament? Is it a gold jacket, checkered pants, green jacket or argyle socks? You`ve got three seconds, go.

A Masters victory earns you a green jacket that you have to return the next year. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.


AZUZ: Well, the man now wearing that green jacket is Bubba Watson. He won this year`s Masters tournament in a sudden death playoff on Sunday. It was just the fourth career victory for Watson --


AZUZ (voice-over): -- and he`s not what you might call a traditional golfer. He doesn`t have a coach. He came up with his own swing. He`s told reporters that he`s not a big fan of practice. So how did Watson end up taking home the green jacket? He says a big part of it was believing in his natural abilities.

BUBBA WATSON, 2012 MASTERS CHAMPION: Going back to my childhood, going back to my wife, what my wife said to me, what my mom said to me, just put my head down -- and I`ve done this before; my caddy`s told me all the time, he said, "You`re a good golfer. You`re here for a reason. You can do this. You`ve hit all these shots before. You just have to do it in this moment."


AZUZ: Well, before we go, we have the latest installment of an annual Easter tradition.


AZUZ (voice-over): It`s San Francisco`s Bring Your Own Big Wheel Race. Dozens of adults speeding downhill on toys with plastic wheels -- the phrase "organized chaos" definitely applies here. They even got a celebrity to show up for this year`s event. Really aren`t any rules here. And you don`t have to worry about practicing to cruise around on a toy trike, because after all --


AZUZ: -- the whole race is pretty much a crash course. The road, of course, plays a big part in determining the winner. But as you could see in the video, it grades on a curve. Never get tired of puns. But right now we`re spinning our wheels, so we`ll come up with more for you tomorrow, and we`ll see you then. `Bye.