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Parts Of Anti-Missile System Moved To South Korean Site; North Korea Carried Out Major Artillery Drill Tuesday; Trump Calls For More Sanctions On North Korea; China And Russia Object To U.S. Missile Defense System; White House Facing Questions After Flynn Revelations; President Trump Signs New Executive Orders; May Takes Last Leader's Questions Before Vote; Critics Accuse Turkey Of Trying To Silence Dissent. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired April 26, 2017 - 15:00:00   ET





HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani live from CNN London. Thanks for being with us this Wednesday. This is


Happening right now at the White House, President Donald Trump's cabinet secretaries are briefing the entire U.S. Senate on North Korea, all 100 of


Meantime, more than 11,000 kilometers away, parts of a controversial U.S. missile defense system are being rolled into place in South Korea.

Alexandra Field reports from Seoul.


ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The parts are moving at a moment when every move matters. Overnight, pieces of THAAD, a U.S.

designed missile defense system delivered to their deployment site, a golf course in a small village in the southern part of South Korea.

Their arrival comes hours after North Korea flexed its military muscle, firing off long range artillery in a massive training drill. But its

ballistic missile threat in arsenal that endangers the region today and could reach beyond one day that has the U.S. quickly pushing ahead with a

controversial system.

China and Russia have objected to THAAD, raising concerns about whether its radar could also be used to spy on neighboring countries. But defense

officials in South Korea say the deployment is essential part of preparation for North Korea's advanced nuclear missile threat.

The goal is to make THAAD operational as quickly as possible. Russia's protesters in South Korea pushing back. We can't understand the need to

deploy this right now, he says.

In the village of Sonju (ph), thousands of police hold back hundreds of demonstrators, angry that THAAD is being stalled in their backyard without

their consent.

The country's former disgraced president signed off on it and since then Park Geun-hye has been impeached, ousted from office, and jailed on

corruption charges, charges she denies.

Candidates in the race to replace her took the debate stage Tuesday night. The frontrunner, Democratic Party candidate, (inaudible) again said the

decision to deploy THAAD is better left to the next president. Hours later, the parts were moving.


GORANI: Well, Alexandra Field joins me now live from Seoul and Josh Rogin joins me from Washington. He is a CNN analyst and columnist for "The

Washington Post."

So Josh, I'm going to start with you before I get to Alexandra in Seoul. A big meeting today at the White House. What is likely to come out of it?

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's not clear that something new or revelatory will come out of it. What we know is that the administration

feels it's necessary to get all the senators in the room and then later today all the Congressmen in the room and just brief them on what they are

doing to counteract the rising North Korea threat.

There is a lot of confusion especially on Capitol Hill about around watch (inaudible) capitals around the world about what the U.S. policy is. There

seems to be a lot of emphasis on getting China to put more pressure on North Korea.

There is a vague description of pressure in terms of sanctions, even sanctions on China, and then the prospect of potential military action

should North Korea get too close having the capability to strike the United States with a nuclear weapon.

So what senators want is they want to hear some reassurance that the administration has a plan to, first, put pressure and then possibly engage

with the North Koreans.

And they also want to know exactly under what circumstances the Trump administration might use military force against North Korea and if they

find that out, that will be a big step in the right direction towards understanding how President Trump is thinking about this growing problem.

GORANI: And obviously because a lot is at stake. Alexandra, we realize the situation is more tense. There is a massive war of words going on and

we're seeing sort of military rollouts of defensive systems and increasing number of drills as well. But keep us honest. How close are we or how

much closer are we do actual conflict here?

FIELD: OK, look, some of what you're seeing right now is something that we see year after year at this time of year. You have these annual military

exercises that raise the level of heat here, that give rise to higher tension on the peninsula, this flexing of muscle, these demonstrations of


[15:05:09]You get them on both sides of the DMZ. It always contributes to this tense environment at this time of year. What is different right now

though is the fact that you have had this excessive testing of ballistic missiles from North Korea, their stated goal to try and mount a nuclear

warhead to a ballistic missile that would be capable of reaching the U.S.

And the threat it seems that they could be preparing for a sixth nuclear test. That is the backdrop, that's the context that the U.S. is reacting

to when you see them moving these military assets into place.

These assets however are meant to be interpreted as deterrent measures, those warships that are being sent to the waters of the peninsula and also

a powerful submarine that has docked at a southern port in South Korea.

They are meant to again to send a signal to North Korea not to conduct any provocations that could illicit or warrant a response, but South Koreans

are very clear they do not want to see conflict.

Remember you have the city of Seoul with its 24 million people in the broader metro area just 30 miles away from the conventional weaponry that

is on the other side of the DMZ that heavily fortified border that divides the peninsula -- Hala.

GORANI: Right. Well, it's perfectly understandable why they wouldn't want a conflict being where they are, but Josh, one of the things you wrote

about today is that Donald Trump hasn't really installed officials in the State Department or in government who are Asia specialists, who could

become advisers or certainly contribute to the discussion on the North Korea threat.

ROGIN: Right. This is a problem throughout the Trump administration, but it's especially acute when with it comes to those officials who are

supposed to be managing this problem not just inside the U.S. government but with our allies especially Japan and South Korea.

I was in the region last week traveling with Vice President Pence and what I heard from officials there was very clear. They don't know who is in

charge. They don't know which of the conflicting messages to believe and they don't know who to call in case the crisis gets a lot worse and that's

a big problem.

I mean, on the one hand, you have the vice president of the United States saying that we're never going to negotiate with North Korea. He told me

that very clearly in an interview in Tokyo.

And then you have the secretary of state saying something different that we're eventually going to have to negotiate with North Korea. Both of them

can't be right and the problem inside the administration is that because you don't have people in place who do this kind of messaging, there is a

risk that signals get crossed, that people miscalculate and that raises the risk that somebody could make a mistake that could lead to a conflict.

We saw that most glaringly when the Pentagon and the White House press secretary seemed to not know that the U.S. aircraft carrier "Carl Vinson"

was not headed to North Korea but actually headed in the opposite direction.

On the one hand seems like kind of a silly mistake. On the other hand, it's just that kind of mistake that can have the North Koreans making

decisions that we don't want them to make based on wrong information.

GORANI: And lastly, Alexandra, in terms of China obviously, China, the go- between, wanting to calm things. This is their neighborhood. They don't want things to get out of hand. What is their take on this now? How are

they planning on responding to what is going on, this increased tension between the U.S. and North Korea?

FIELD: Well, look, the position from China today is actually a direct response to the U.S. and to South Korea and that's in light of the fact

that we have now seen these pieces of THAAD, that controversial missile defense system being sent to the field where they will then be deployed.

China is again directly calling on the U.S. and South Korea to stop the deployment of the THAAD system, once again site citing its own security

concerns. The Chinese believe that this missile defense system could be part of an effort to contain them essentially in their own region.

But they are also saying that it is this kind of maneuvering from the U.S. and South Korea that is only stirring up the tension during these already

tense times on the peninsula. That's why they say that this deployment should stop and should stop immediately.

This is also in line with another proposal that we heard from Chinese officials again reiterated just a few weeks ago when they suggested that

the U.S. and South Korea should stop conducting the annual joint military exercises that tend to enrage Pyongyang every year.

And that in exchange they suggested Pyongyang might agree to abandon its missile program and its nuclear ambitions. That was the kind of compromise

that was rejected out of hand by U.S. officials who say that you simply cannot equate these two things, the flouting of sanctions by North Korea

and perfectly legal training drills being carried out by the U.S. and South Korean armies.

At the same time, China does of course play a big role in the strategy that is tentatively being laid out by the Trump administration. You've heard

President Donald Trump say over and over again that he is working closely with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

And that it is on the Chinese to use the leverage that they have over North Korea here in the region based primarily on the deep economic relationship

there -- Hala.

[15:10:02]GORANI: Right. And we'll see hopefully more about the White House's plan as this meeting unfolds. We'll hear from senators and

representatives as well a little bit later. Josh Rogin in Washington and Alexandra Field in Seoul, thanks very much to both of you.

Speaking of the White House, what did officials there know, when did they know it? That is what some American lawmakers are asking today after major

revelations about former National Security adviser, Michael Flynn.

A House panel investigating the Trump campaign's ties to Russia says Flynn may have broken the law by receiving clandestine payments. Manu Raju has

that story from Capitol Hill.


MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER (voice-over): New problems for the White House over Russia. A top Republican suggesting the

president's former national security adviser may have broken the law.

(on camera): From what you've seen so far, do you believe that Michael Flynn broke the law from either not disclosing these payments on the

security clearance or not getting permission for getting these foreign payments?

REPRESENTATIVE JASON CHAFFETZ, CHAIRMAN, HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: Personally, I see no information or no data to support the notion that

General Flynn complied with the law. I see no evidence that he actually did that.

RAJU (voice-over): As a former military officer, Flynn was supposed to get permission from top defense officials for payments that he received from

foreign governments.

And the law required him to list those payments including more than half a million dollars in Turkish lobbying fees and $45,000 in fees for a 2015

speech in Moscow paid by the kremlin-backed television network, RT.

During that same trip, Flynn was pictured next to Putin at a fancy dinner. Now House lawmakers say Flynn may have knowinly falsified or concealed

information on his forms, a felony.

RAJU: And you think, Congressman, that this could be punishable up to five years in prison you said.

REPRESENTATIVE ELIJAH CUMMINGS, RANKING MEMBER, HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: Yes, I think it, definitely. That's why I cited the code, but that's going

to be left up to others to decide. We just want to know what his exposure is.

RAJU: In a statement, Flynn's attorney says his client briefed the intelligence agency extensively both before and after the trip. But

sources tell CNN that Flynn did not disclose that he was paid a fee for the trip as required.

And today a new question, whether Flynn told the White House about these payments as he was vetted to become Trump's national security adviser. The

White House Director of Legislative Affairs, Mark Short, said in a letter that it would not provide some documents about Flynn because they were

outside the scope of the committee's inquiry. But the White House won't say if Flynn broke the law.

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I don't know what he filled out and what he did or did not do.

RAJU: The top Democrat in the Senate declined to rule out pushing for a subpoena to force Flynn to testify.

SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: These are extremely, extremely troubling allegations today.

RAJU: (Inaudible) issue a subpoena.

SCHUMER: Well, we'll see.

RAJU: The GOP chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee rejecting Flynn's offer to testify in exchange for immunity.

(on camera): Is there any way you give Flynn immunity to testify?


RAJU: There's no way.


RAJU: Manu Raju, CNN, Capitol Hill.


GORANI: Well, the Senate Democratic leader says the revelations on Flynn could be, quote, "just the tip of the iceberg." How damaging could this be

to the Trump White House? Let's get more from CNN political reporter, Tal Kopan.

So that is my question, and by the way, there was a "Washington Post" article published recently saying that four out of ten basically Americans

believe Russia did try to influence the campaign and that maybe Trump officials had something do with it. But this is a headache, this Mike

Flynn thing, that just are won't go away for the White House.

TAL KOPAN, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Absolutely, Hala. That's the perfect way to put it. It won't go away for the White House. I mean, keep in

mind, there is sort of eerie echoes of sort of the Hillary Clinton Benghazi saga and that it's a drip, drip, drip, just a steady flow of information

that is potentially damaging to the Trump administration.

And every new piece of the puzzle adds fuel to the fire and when you have a Republican member of Congress like Jason Chaffetz coming out, who holds a

leadership seat on one of the committees in Congress and he is joining his Democratic counterpart in questioning a former member of the administration

and whether he possibly broke the law, that is very damaging to the White House to have someone from his own party adding fuel to the fire.

And so again, a lot of smoke, we don't exactly know yet what happened. But it's certainly something the White House hopes wraps up soon and it also

raises questions about what Flynn may actually say when he talks to these committees and if he's questioned by investigators who are looking into

Russian interference in the election.

GORANI: Right, indeed. And although we did see recently that voters who supported Trump during the election a vast, vast majority of them are still

very happy with their choice. And so one wonders if eventually this type of news that comes every day in a drip, drip fashion will potentially have

an impact on that. That remains to be seen.

Donald Trump, though, really wants a win, we'll talk about his tax legislation in a moment before the 100-day mark with or without the help of

Congress though, he is signing more and more executive orders today.

[15:15:10]He's now considering another one that could uproot U.S. commitments on NAFTA. These orders don't need congressional approval, but

they are subject to judicial review, and he's been blocked by the judges with his travel ban and executive order in the last 24 hours. So he's not

getting those through easily as well either.

KOPAN: That's right. Yesterday in fact a federal judge ruled that a piece of one of his signature executive orders on immigration actually couldn't

be enforced as it was written. And that is just sort of the latest example of a federal judge blocking a piece before it goes into effect.

Now those cases are still going. The question of whether those orders were legal has not yet been decided, but judges are saying hold on, you can't

act on this until we settle those issues.

And yes, I believe we are now on the upper 20s of the number of executive orders that Trump have signed. Keep in mind, some of them are a little bit

more show than substance, sort of ordering reviews of things. Others are very substantive and potentially impactful, and those are some of the ones

we are seeing judicial review on.

And you mentioned ordering a review of NAFTA, the trade agreement, already we're getting serious push back from Republican members of Congress saying

hold on, don't move so fast. So that one we may see push back to from his own party before it even goes into effect.

GORANI: We heard push back from John McCain among others. This tax plan, though, is this the easy win that he's looking for do you think?

KOPAN: Well, we're hearing from Republican sources in Congress, they are questioning whether it's even fair to call it a plan or especially a reform

plan. It's a broad strokes kind of architecture of what they would like a plan to look like.

But it's being criticized already again from his own party as just a cut without actual meaningful plans behind it that could offset the effects of

those cuts on the deficit, which is a huge talking point for Republicans.

So, you know, I hate to be Debbie Downer over here, but once again we are starting to see how the White House is trying to be proactive, trying to

lay out what kind of legislation it wants, but Congress is saying not so fast, we write this stuff, we know this stuff.

We know how difficult it has been in the past to get some of this done and we know how contradictory this is with some of our other principles. So

sort of thanks but no thank from the lawmakers who actually have to write and pass the legislation that the White House wants.

GORANI: Right. Well, I guess governing is definitely more complicated than running businesses. Certainly Donald Trump is learning that very

quickly in his first 100 days. Thanks very much, Tal Kopan in Washington. We appreciate it.

Still to come tonight, the pope of all media, Francis doesn't just tweet, now he's given a Ted Talk. That's next.



GORANI: Here in the United Kingdom, political parties are ramping up their campaigns ahead of June's snap election. And earlier, the two main leaders

faced off across the House of Commons dispatch box for a final time before that vote. Perhaps for a final time ever. As you can imagine, the

exchanges were pretty fiery.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: In some something over six weeks, we will be back at these dispatch boxes again. And the only question is where

will we be standing, who will be prime minister of this great country? And he says the choice is clear and the choice is clear. Every vote for him is

a vote for chaotic Brexit. Every vote for me is a vote to strengthen our hand in negotiating the best deal.

JEREMY CORBYN, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY LEADER: Strong leadership is about standing up for the many, not the few. But when it comes to prime minister

of the conservatives, they only look after the riches, not the rest. They are strong against the weak and weak against the strong.


GORANI: Phil Black is here in the studio. Well, Jeremy Corbyn obviously is defending himself in parliament, but in the polls his party is set to be

pretty much trounced.

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he was there today and saying that he would lead the government of the many, not the privileged few, but the

opinion polls show he won't be leading a government anytime soon if they are accurate, if they are to be believed and we've learned to be a little

bit cautious about these things.

It shows that the Conservative Party, the Prime Minister Theresa May, consistently has a lead of at least 20 points or more. That is not new, it

was undoubtedly a significant factor in the calculations she made in deciding to call this snap election.

But what it shows is that they haven't really changed despite the fact she flip-flopped on the election. Remember she said for a long time that she

wouldn't do that. So it shows that her party is well ahead and she's well ahead by a long way as preferred prime minister, too.

GORANI: But as far as our international viewers are concerned in countries outside the U.K., it's not going to change anything in terms of Brexit.

That is still going ahead. And this is the government, if polls are correct, that the rest of Europe will be dealing with.

BLACK: It will be, but it will be a much stronger government in a sense. The expectation is that Prime Minister Theresa May will win many more

seats. The question is really how many. How well will she do. Will she just do well in the marginal battleground constituencies or could she do

better and take away seats that have been traditionally belonged to the Labour Party?

Could she redraw the political landscape here? But you're right, from an international point of view, nothing really changes. It's very likely the

world will be dealing with the same government after the election.

GORANI: But what about Brexit itself? I mean, then what does that mean in terms of the negotiations with Europe?

BLACK: Theresa May's big thing and whole justification for this election is strengthen my hand for the coming negotiations.

GORANI: But to do what? I mean, there are still many questions.

BLACK: There are many, but she's still clearly dealing with it because even tonight as we speak there is a working dinner at 10 Downing Street

that the prime minister is holding with her Brexit advisors and the president of the European Commission, they are arriving tonight, the lead

negotiator for the E.U. That is taking place right now as we are talking. They haven't given us any idea about what they are talking about but it is

likely --

GORANI: A kiss for each cheek, that's very European.

BLACK: Very European. Likely they are talking talks about talks, probably the rules and formats of the negotiations to come. What this shows is that

she's getting very involved in these very early stages of the Brexit process, but also she is clearly planning ahead. She is looking and

thinking and planning ahead beyond an election that she knows she is very well placed to win.

GORANI: Well, I guess it's a good sign that they are talking about future talks even at this stage. Thanks very much, Phil Black, as always.

Now, he won a sweeping new powers in a referendum this month and it's pretty clear he intends to use them. The government of Turkish President

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is carrying out a new crackdown arresting some 1,000 people accused of belonging to a secret network that infiltrated police.

But as Ian Lee reports, critics say it is just the latest example of the government trying to silence dissent.


IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The beginning or last gasp of a political movement? Protesters take to the streets daily, rejecting this

month's referendum which increases the powers of Turkey's presidency. But defying authorities comes at a cost.

We met Abdul Rakman (ph) (inaudible) last week and he vowed to fight the results. We later found out the police detained him. He has since been

released, but his lawyer says he was arrested for inciting protests.

CAN ATALY, LAWYER: For walking people against the results of the referendum is not a crime. This is about freedom of speech.

[15:25:12]LEE: Turkish authorities continue a crackdown on oppositions rounding up tens of thousands of people since last July's coup attempt.

ATALY: The coup d'etat a reason to eliminate all the opposition.

LEE: The government insists it's to protect Turkey's democracy, but rights groups call it silencing political dissent. Protestors feel the referendum

which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won by a razor thin margin was stolen. The European monitors say it wasn't neither free nor fair.

(on camera): There is a cloud of controversy surrounding this referendum with allegations including 2.5 million suspicious votes, nearly a thousand

ballot boxes only had yes votes, and more than 2,000 ballot boxes had more votes than registered voters.

(voice-over): Independent election monitors say these could be indicators of election fraud.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All of these issues create doubts within people's minds. We made a survey with our volunteers, they were very doubtful about

how the process worked out in accordance with the legal framework on.

LEE: Erdogan dismisses the accusations saying the election is the will of the people. So much at stake in a referendum that is poised to reshape

Turkey. Ian Lee, CNN, Istanbul.


GORANI: Coming up next --


GORANI: There may be military threats and tension all round, but dancing in the streets in North Korea's capital all part of the heavily staged

event. What is happening behind the fancy choreography? We speak to an expert.

Plus flying under the radar for Russia to see, the U.S. sends its most advanced jets to the Baltics. Our exclusive report ahead on the program.


GORANI: President Donald Trump's cabinet secretaries are briefing the entire U.S. Senate on the North Korea at the White House right now. While

in South Korea, parts of a controversial U.S. missile defense systems are being rolled in to place obviously angering North Korea and China.

Also among the headlines, you may remember this man, a Brazilian footballer who was convicted of murdering his girlfriend, the mother of his child.

He's been ordered to return to jail. Bruno Fernandez De Suza (ph) was released on a technicality in February.

He was even signed by a professional football club, but the Supreme Court panel ordered the reinstatement of his detention. He was convicted of

murder, kidnapping and of hiding the body of his ex-girlfriend, and sentenced to 22 years.

French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron is vowing to, quote, "neutralize the Syrian government's chemical weapons." It comes after the

country's Foreign Minister said French intelligence had evidence that the Syrian regime was responsible for last month's chemical weapons attack in


Also among the top stories, Pope Francis commands an audience anytime he wants. He even has 10 million followers on Twitter. But now, the leader

of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics has given a TED Talk. The Pontiff encouraged people to live wisely, to think deeply, and to love generously.

He urged the leaders of the world to keep a sober perspective on their power.


POPE FRANCIS, POPE OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH (through translator): Please allow me to say it loud and clear. The more powerful you are, the

more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsibility you have to act with humility. If you don't, your power will ruin you, and

you will ruin the other.


GORANI: Well, back now to our top story. CNN's Will Ripley has been reporting from North Korea's capital all week. He's the only Western

journalist there at the moment. Will spoke to a North Korean veteran who was quick to dismiss any kind of threat from America.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The approaching U.S. warships conjure memories for this North Korean veteran. Senior Lieutenant

Colonel Un Yong Il speaks to me in front of the USS Pueblo, a U.S. Navy spy ship North Korea captured in 1968.

SR. LT. COL. UN YOUNG IL, NORTH KOREAN VETERAN: The Pueblo reminds me of another boat traveling very near the Korean waters, the Carl Vinson

aircraft carrier. We are not afraid. Just like we captured the Pueblo, we can sink that aircraft carrier.


GORANI: All right, tough talk from North Korea. Let's get some perspective, though, from a former high-level diplomat who advised

President Bill Clinton on North Korea. Philip Yun is now the executive director of the Ploughshares Fund.

Thanks for joining us, Mr. Yun. First of all, let's put things in perspective here. Are we or are we not close to some sort of open


PHILIP YUN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PLOUGHSHARES FUND: I would say not, but I am worried. Let me tell you what I'm not worried about. I'm not worried

about a preemptive strike by North Korea on South Korea or the United States. That's because the threats works on Korean Peninsula. North Korea

knows that if it does something like that, it would cease to exist.

I'm not as worried again about a U.S. preemptive strike on North Korea because that would put Seoul in danger, a city of 3 million people, cause

tens of thousands of casualties. And the South Koreans don't want anything like that.

What I am worried about is miscalculation. I'm worried you've got about 1.5 million soldiers running around in the middle of these military

exercises that are happening. A million North Koreans, 500,000 South Koreans, et cetera.

And what happens is there have been occasions where there have been exchange of fire across the DMZ. There's been naval clashes in the East

Sea, and there's been a missile that has gone off course. So what happens if it hits the wrong thing?


YUN: And we also have the Carl Vinson. It wasn't there when it was supposed to be. So mistakes happen. And this could escalate into an

accident of some kind before particularly making it worse.

GORANI: I was going to say it's mistakes. It's miscommunications. It's misunderstandings potentially, as well. How is a Donald Trump presidency

changing things with North Korea, do you think?

YUN: Well, I think it's made it much more volatile. We said from very early on, after the second test in 2016, that these military exercises

between South Korea and the United States are going to be much more robust.

Now, we have Donald Trump. So you have Kim Jong-un, relatively experienced, unpredictable, aggressive. And you have Donald Trump who,

many argue, is very much the same way. And when you put those two together in a heightened state of rhetoric and countries threatening each other in a

way that hasn't happened in quite some time, that's a really bad mix.

And as I said, it's not going to happen for sure. But if something is going to happen, it's going to happen during this period of time. We got

to guard against that.

GORANI: And what are all these drills and tests in North Korea telling you about their real capability?

YUN: Well, right now, I think what they're doing are a couple of things.

One, internally, they're try doing these tests because it helps the regime solidify their hold over leadership. I also think, externally, it's

messaging to United States and others that they are not going to be intimidated.

[15:35:07] And the third is that there is a military capability. They are trying, eventually, to try to have a small nuclear arsenal that is capable

of hitting the United States. They have the capability in terms of missiles to hit South Korea and Japan.

But let me be clear, they have not been able to make, at this point, a nuclear tipped missile that could hit the United States at this point in


GORANI: So, Philip, you've advised presidents on North Korea. What in your opinion would de-escalate all this? Because it's getting more and

more tense.

YUN: Well, I would say, cut the rhetoric. And I would say that the tweets that Donald Trump has been tweeting out have not been very helpful. I

would also say that you start to think about how you get an off-ramp, and the off-ramp would be to slowly quietly start to have some kind of

discussions or dialogue -- I'm not talking about necessarily negotiations - - and then go from there.

But the key right now is I would not send more carriers. I would cut the tweets. And then let these military exercises complete themselves, and

then have the possibility of having a discussion at some point later on.

GORANI: A discussion with North Korea directly?

YUN: I think a discussion with the North Koreans directly and a dialogue. And it's not necessarily negotiations without pre-conditions.

GORANI: All right, Philip Yun. Thanks very much. Look forward to talking to you again very soon on this story.

Now, the Baltic States are growing increasingly nervous about Russia's moves in the region. Now, the U.S. is sending its most advanced fighter

jets to train with NATO allies in Eastern Europe. Frederik Pleitgen has this exclusive report.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): America's newest weapon, the F-35, in the skies over Eastern Europe right

where confrontations with Russia frequently happen. CNN was given exclusive access to the U.S. stealth combat jet's first ever forward

deployment, training with allied air forces, essential experience for the crews, a pilot tells me.

MAJ. BRYAN BLACKBURN, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE: We're continuing to forward deploy and bolster our NATO allies. And so it's just all about inter-

cooperation and just bolstering the NATO alliance.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): We rode along on a tanker plane refueling the F-35 as they transited to Estonia, a country right on the border with Russia and

worried about Moscow's aggressive posture in recent years.

PLEITGEN (on camera): With the deployment of the F-35, the U.S. is sending a very clear message both to Russia but also to its partner nations that

it's willing to put its newest and most advance asset into this area to make sure that its allies are safe.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): Russia's Air Force is increasingly flying planes like the nuclear capable TU-95 bomber around this area. NATO jets often

scrambling to intercept them. President Trump has only recently stopped calling the NATO alliance obsolete. Now, the F-35 deployment, another

welcome sign of American commitment, Estonia's Defense Minister tells me.

MARGUS TSAHKNA, MINISTER OF DEFENCE, ESTONIA: This is very important, to send this message that this is the border of NATO. This is the eastern

border of our allies. We are ready to protect them.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): As part of this deployment, the F-35 crews get to know this contested air space and practice cooperation with other NATO air

forces. As tensions with Moscow show no sign of easing, this plane could become a staple of NATO's eastern fringe.


GORANI: Fred Pleitgen joins me now. So I wonder why is this training important? Is it more than symbolic?

PLEITGEN: It's definitely more than symbolic for these nations involved there. I mean, for them it's very important for the U.S. to sort of assure

that they're still out there, to also show that it's committed to its allies as well.

And then for the jet itself actually, believe it or not, it's quite important as well. Obviously not for the plane itself, it can fly

anywhere, but for the pilot, for instance, to get to know the air traffic controllers there, the systems, the way they work there. Because,

obviously, in the end for them, it's not just about getting up and getting airborne. They need to be able to operate effectively in an area where

they might need to react to Russian planes, for instance, flying in there quickly are.

GORANI: But what about Russians? Obviously, they're not happy about this. They don't like this type of thing on their doorstep because --

PLEITGEN: No, they certainly don't. And you know, the Russians have been reacting not specifically to these events, but to other maneuvers that have

been going on.

They are accusing NATO of poisoning the atmosphere there at the border, of militarizing the border region. Of course, NATO says the same thing about

the Russians putting troops in that region. So, right now, it really seems as though sides are accusing each other of provoking or sort of upping the

ante with these new moves. Very difficult to see how you can de-escalate that very quickly.

GORANI: But after Crimea, the Baltic States are petrified, aren't they?

PLEITGEN: Oh, yes. Absolutely yes.


PLEITGEN: The Baltic States are absolutely petrified and they certainly really enjoy moves like this. When I was talking to not just the he

Estonian Defense Minister, but also some other troops there with some other officials, and they want to see a commitment not just from the U.S. but, of

course, from other nations as well.

[15:40:05] And it's interesting. The base that we were at is actually the one where NATO flies air policing missions out of. So you had German jet

fighters there, some other jet fighters as well. And that's something in this that's very, very important to them, to show that solidarity.

GORANI: I'm sure they appreciate that presence. Thanks very much, Fred Pleitgen, for that exclusive report.

To the French campaign. One factory in the north of France became the scene of a political election campaign earlier. Emmanuel Macron was across

town meeting union representatives, I should say, when Marine Le Pen appeared at the factory, which is at risk of closure. Awkward.

Here's what she said to people protesting outside.


MARINE LE PEN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, FRANCE (through translator): Emmanuel Macron is coming here, and he didn't plan on meeting the employees

or come into the picket line but was going under protection to some room in the Chamber of Commerce to meet two or three handpicked people.

I thought it was evidence of such disdain for what the Whirlpool employees are going through that I decided to leave my campaign meeting and come and

see you.


GORANI: Well, Macron then made an appearance at the factory, but he got a very different reception.

You can hear it there. He was booed and jeered as protesters burned tires behind him. He said if Le Pen was elected, the factory, that factory, he

said, would close.


EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, FRANCE (through translator): if Ms. Le Pen were elected, and I would like everyone who lives and works in

this region to know it, if Ms. Le Pen were elected, this business would close, and I could cite skins dozens of others. That's what makes me

different, the approach and the substance.


GORANI: Well, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, this campaign certainly heating up. The second round on May 7th.

Now, there are new details suggesting hackers possibly linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin are actually targeting Emmanuel Macron. Cyber

experts say the tactics are similar to those that Russia allegedly used in the American presidential election. CNN's Brian Todd has that story.


BRIAN TODD, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): New details of how Vladimir Putin's elite hackers may have gone after the campaign of the man who could be a

close American ally, French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.

Researches with the cybersecurity firm, Trend Micro, tell CNN the hackers they exposed likely had to be working at least to pursue the goals of the

Russian president.

RIK FERGUSON, CYBERSECURITY EXPERT: The interests and aims of the group align very closely with the interests and aims of the Russian state, and

taken as a whole, really don't align that closely with anybody else.

TODD (voice-over): Trend Micro says it can't definitively linked the cyberattacks against Macron's campaign to Putin. But the firms says the

hackers who targeted Macron's campaign, a group they call "Pawn Storm," had the same fingerprints as hackers nicknamed "Fancy Bear." That's the group

which U.S. intelligence officials say targeted the Democratic Party and is believed to be commanded by the GRU, Russia's military intelligence agency.

FERGUSON: Whether they're called "Fancy Bear," whether they're called "Pawn Storm," we're talking about the same, organized group and the attacks

bear all the same hallmarks.

TODD (voice-over): Officials from Macron's campaign tell CNN the hackers tried to trick staffers with fake e-mails and other familiar attacks. It

wasn't just phishing and attacking the website, right?

BENJAMIN HADDAD, SPOKESPERSON FOR EMMANUEL MACRON: No, absolutely. Russia clearly wanted to go after Emmanuel Macron to support the other candidates

who are in favor of a stronger relation with Russia, who are pro-Putin, fascinated with Putin. So, you know, we see fake news being disseminated

on social media by Artsy and Sputnik, which are Russian-owned outlets.

TODD (voice-over): But Macron campaign officials tell us no sensitive data was stolen from them. Analysts say Putin wants to work against Macron to

tilt the election towards his favorite candidate, the far-right populist Marine Le Pen, who wants to bring France out of NATO and the E.U.

Now key questions about Putin's real involvement with his hacking teams. Is he directing the hackers' moves? Experts say likely not, but the

President is not out of the loop either.

BEN JUDAH, AUTHOR, "FRAGILE EMPIRE": No major foreign policy intervention, either a cyberattack into a foreign election or a military expedition into

a neighboring country would happen without Putin's knowledge, permission, and say-so.


TODD: Vladimir Putin denies trying to disrupt the French election and his aides say it's nonsense that Kremlin-backed hackers targeted the Macron

campaign. But analysts at Trend Micro tell us, there are indications they've gotten that those same hackers went after other entities that work

against the Kremlin's interests, entities like NATO and a think tank associated with Chancellor Angela Merkel's campaign in Germany.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

[15:44:49] GORANI: Still ahead, is any of the food on your table a product of slave labor? CNN goes to the Brazil's farming frontier to discover how

slavery has become entrenched in the industry.


GORANI: Well, we all buy food at the supermarket, produce, meat, milk, et cetera, but few of us consider whether that food might be the product of

slave labor. In some countries, it might be. CNN's Shasta Darlington went to Brazil's farming frontier.


SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here in northern Brazil, cows feast on rolling pastures carved out of the steamy Amazon jungle. The famous

grass-fed beef a staple at home and shipped off to foreign markets from Hong Kong to the U.K.

Few consumers even think about the human cost. Xavier Plassat, however, has made it his life's mission. A French Dominican friar on the front line

in the battle against extreme labor exploitation, what Brazil defines as modern day slavery.

FRIAR XAVIER PLASSAT, ANTI-SLAVERY CAMPAIGN, PASTORAL LAND COMMISSION: The main point about slavery is that somebody wants to make profit with zero

cost. And here, more than everywhere, it's easy. You are on frontier of farming or ranching.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): Araguaina, a typical frontier town where the mechanic's shop looks like a triage center for tractors and the only

markets are farmers' markets.

It's here that Plassat works with the Catholic Pastoral Land Commission or CPT, coordinating the national campaign against exploitation. He says

roughly 25,000 Brazilians are lured in to slave-like conditions every year.

PLASSAT: The roots is mainly the extreme vulnerability of entire communities who have no access to their rights.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): But he's fighting back with a network of agents and informants in those same communities who send tips to federal

authorities. This has gotten some of the church activists killed.

PLASSAT: I don't say we want to be martyrs. We try to be present to share the suffering and to help them.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): With the help of the Pastoral Commission, more than 50,000 workers have been rescued since 1995 when the government

created its anti-exploitation mobile unit.

[15:50:00] Joao Luiz da Costa is one of them. He was rescued in a raid the day before. He tells me he hadn't been paid for seven months, but never

wanted to ask for help.

JOAO LUIZ DA COSTA, RANCH WORKER (through translator): If my family had found me in that situation, I would have been so ashamed. I prayed to God

for help. I've never been a burden on anyone.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): Now, Costa is staying at a safe house provided by the pastoral commission.

DARLINGTON (on camera): So from what you all are saying, the commission really has a reputation among real workers this is where they go when they

need help?

PLASSAT: Yes, it seems to be the case.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): But Plassat warns that Brazil is in danger of sliding backwards as it cuts spending on the mobile units.

PLASSAT: Today they work with, I think, four national teams. Eight years ago, they had 10 national teams.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): Government inspectors themselves say diminishing resources lead to huge delays in following up on those tips. One of the

main tools used to shame employers into compliance has also been undermined.

Every year, the Labor Ministry publishes a dirty list of companies caught exploiting workers. But recently, its publication has been repeatedly

blocked. Then there is the increasingly powerful rural lobby in the national congress which has pushed to relax Brazil's very broad definition

of slave labor.

Most important, Plassat says, Brazil has failed to tackle the roots of exploitation.

PLASSAT: Impunity, greed, vulnerability, misery. If you don't address, at the same, time all of it, you will have probably the same persons coming

back to the same cycle of enslavement.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): The question for now remains, at what cost is our beef being produced?

Shasta Darlington, CNN, Araguaina, Brazil.


GORANI: Well, tomorrow on CNN "Freedom Project," the story of terrible suffering. CNN's Rafael Romo meets a woman who worked as a domestic slave

for three decades.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: Lupita says she was forced do housework and care for the other children. She was not paid.

And she remembers the lady of the house gave her only leftover scraps to eat and not giving her a bed.

GUADALUPE PEREZ CASTILLO, DOMESTIC SLAVERY VICTIM (through translator): She would say that we indigenous people were used to sleeping on the floor

like animals. She had a sofa, but wouldn't let me use it because she said I was going to ruin it.


GORANI: Right. Well, domestic slavery is a problem in so many countries around the world. This one comes to us tomorrow from Mexico.

All right. Now to the state of Arkansas, which is trying to execute a series of death row inmates in just a few days. Why? Because there's a

critical lethal injection drug that they use to do so that is due to expire very soon. The move has triggered an outcry from anti-death penalty


This man, Kenneth Williams, is scheduled to die Thursday evening. He was convicted of two murders. And, by the way, on Monday, the state did carry

out the first back-to-back executions since the year 2000. Jack Jones and Marcel Williams were both convicted murderers. Those executions followed

Ledell Lee's on April 21st.

Four other death row inmates were set to be executed this month, but their cases are now under appeal. So Arkansas is still able to get through quite

a few of those executions.

Much more news ahead here on THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. This is CNN. Don't go away.


[15:55:23] GORANI: All right. Just when it you thought there couldn't be more bad news for United Airlines, there is. The airlines says that it is

saddened after a giant rabbit died on one of its planes. The rabbit named Simon traveled from London to Chicago before being found deceased.

CNN's Isa Soares is here. Now, we're laughing. Obviously, this rabbit had a claim to fame.

ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It is. He had a claim to fame. He potentially could beat his father and become the largest rabbit according

to records. But really, let me tell you about Simon because it's a bad, bad moment -- bad hare day, I should say, for United because, obviously,

all the P.R. crisis they faced.

So Simon was traveling from London Heathrow. He was going to Chicago's O'Hare Airport. He had been sold by the breeder. And when he did a

stopover -- that wasn't his final destination -- when he got to Chicago O'Hare, they noticed that he had died. They don't know --

GORANI: Do we know why?

SOARES: No. They investigated --

GORANI: Quite a coincidence he was traveling to O'Hare as well.

SOARES: It is, O'Hare, exactly.


SOARES: That wasn't his final destination, however. The breeder, the owner, who had sold him said that he had a full checkup 24 hours or so

before, and he was "fit as a fiddle," were her words.

But United were very quick to respond because the minute this came out -- and it wasn't from the owner, it was someone within United who leaked the


GORANI: right.

SOARES: The minute it came out, United was very quick to respond. So let's bring up the statement so they can see --


SOARES: Our viewers can see what they said, if we can bring it here. "We were saddened to hear this news. The safety and well-being of all the

animals that travel with us is of the utmost importance to United Airlines and our PetSafe team. We have been" -- if we can bring it up -- "in

contact with our customer and have offered assistance. We are reviewing this matter."

Now, Simon is the son of Darius. I think we have an image of Darius. And this is why, you know, it's getting so much talk on Twitter because Darius

-- look at the size of him.


SOARES: Darrius was the world's biggest rabbit according to Guinness Book of Records. And really, Simon was potentially going along the same lines

of what record breaking. But all of this, of course, as you well know, Hala, you covered it on the show, three weeks since, you know, the whole --

GORANI: Front page news here in the U.K. on "The Sun."

SOARES: "The Sun" who've run it.


GORANI: Got to go. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.