Return to Transcripts main page


Trump: North Korea Threat Will Be Met With Fire and Fury; Country Music and T.V. Legend Glen Campbell Died at 81; Jordan Spieth Looks to Make History in Quail Hollow. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired August 9, 2017 - 00:00   ET



[00:00:29] ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.

Ahead this hour --

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Drawing a red line -- an unprecedented warning from the U.S. President threatening North Korea with fire and fury.

SESAY: Kim Jong-Un delivering a threat of his own turning the U.S. territory of Guam into a missile target.

VAUSE: Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm John Vause.

SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay. NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.

The U.S. and North Korea are trading menacing threats due to Pyongyang's weapons program. Just a few hours ago North Korea said it was examining plans for a military strike on the U.S. territory of Guam.

That appears to be a direct response to Monday's flight of U.S. bombers over the Korean Peninsula. Those bombers flew from Anderson Air Force Base in Guam.

VAUSE: The North Koreans have also warned of retaliation if the U.S. tries, in their words, "a beheading (ph) operation" against their leadership and say they would turn the U.S. mainland into a theater of nuclear war if it takes any sign of attack.

Earlier on Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump issued his own ultimatum to Pyongyang.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury, like the world has never seen.

He has been very threatening beyond a normal state. And as I said, they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly, power the likes of which this world has never seen before.


VAUSE: Some but not all analysts with the U.S. intelligence community believe North Korea has developed a miniaturized nuclear warhead which could be attached to a long-range missile capable of reaching the American mainland.

SESAY: Well, we are covering this breaking news story as only CNN can with correspondents and analysts all around the world. First up -- CNN's Alexandra Field who joins us from Seoul, South Korea.

Alexandra -- a war of words between Washington and Pyongyang which in turn brings escalating tensions. Give us a regional reaction so far.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A war of words indeed. And I think the question for a lot of people will be what constitutes a threat to President Donald Trump because he warns that he'll unleash fire and fury in response to another threat from Pyongyang. So does that mean action or simply words?

Well, if you ask people here in South Korea, they are very used to hearing words, angry rhetoric from North Korea. And even since President Trump made that statement there have been a barrage of threats that have come from Pyongyang carried by state news -- quoting members of the KPA, the Korean People's Army there talking about plans to target Guam, the home of U.S. forces, also the home of those B-1 bombers that were flying over the Korean Peninsula.

Those threats, according to state news, based on those training flights and other military exercises that have been conducted in the region -- a response is Pyongyang would see it to the continued provocation from the U.S.

There was some official response this morning. One of the government ministries held a regularly schedules press conference. Somebody was asked about these statements targeting Guam, coming from North Korea. The official here responded that those kinds of remarks are quote, unquote "not helpful."

I think that that helps our viewers to understand the fact that people in South Korea and officials within the South Korean government are quite used to hearing threats issued by Pyongyang. And many of those threats ring hollow.

Of course the context in front of which these threats are being issued has changed when you've got that intelligence assessment coming from the U.S. about the potential that North Korea has in fact miniaturized a nuclear weapon that they could mount to a warhead, when you consider the fact that North Korea launched two ICBMs just last month. It certainly puts some more muscle behind their threat as most of the world would come to realize.

But the big wild card here for a lot of people in South Korea is what exactly President Trump means and how much he's willing to stand by the kinds of threat that he issues. This is the kind of rhetoric that really no one in the world is used to hearing from an American president -- Isha.

SESAY: Yes, that's right -- Alex. I mean the point has been made that the President's rhetoric -- those comments playing to North Korea's long-running narrative that the U.S. is looking for any pretext to attack the regime.

[00:04:56] So with that being said, what is the expectation where you are in the region there in Seoul of what North Korea's next move will be?

FIELD: Most simply put -- that there will be a next move because that's always what you see from North Korea. You see them respond to whatever they interpret to be a provocation.

Those U.N. sanctions were slapped on North Korea just a few days ago. They were billed as the toughest sanctions ever. And it was widely believed that Pyongyang would respond perhaps with another missile test. That is the one of the ways that they have responded in the past to sanctions and actions and provocations that they like.

But the other big question in the region is also about sort of untangling what the administration's policy is right now because you've got these incredibly bellicose words coming from President Trump and that comes on the heels of this trip to the region from the U.S. Secretary of State who was talking a lot about his optimism that these sanctions would be effective and about the possibility down the road for dialogue with North Korea. That possibility now seems as far away as ever -- Isha.

SESAY: Yes. It certainly does. Alexandra Field joining us there from Seoul. Alex -- always appreciate it -- thank you.

VAUSE: Well, Guam is home to an American air base, also a naval base with more than 5,000 military personnel. In all up to around 170,000 people live on the island and they're all within range of a North Korea missile strike.

SESAY: Often called "The Tip of the Spear", Guam is the westernmost hub of U.S. military might.

VAUSE: And joining us now on the line from Guam, Colonel George Charfauros. He is the Homeland Security adviser. Colonel -- thank you for being with us.

How serious are you taking this threat which has been issued by the North Koreans?

COL. GEORGE CHARFAUROS, GUAM HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISER (via telephone): Well, any -- we consider any threat to the island very serious. And this is right up our -- you know, any other threats, natural or manmade, you know. Whether they're earthquakes, typhoon, tsunami, cyber attacks -- they're all serious to us.

VAUSE: Given the current situation with the escalating tension between North Korea and the United States and the news that they could have this ability to fire an ICBM if not now, fairly soon in the future -- does this threat by the North Koreans feel to different to previous threats which they had issued against Guam?

CHARFAUROS: Yes. Yes, it is. You know, they've slowly developed their capabilities and -- but we've been really in high confidence with the U.S. Department of Defense's ability to not only defend Guam and the surrounding areas but also the continental U.S. I have very high confidence in them.

They have, you know, several layers of ballistic missile defense and they're available online and, you know, just Google "national military defense" and you'll see everything that's unclassified that --

VAUSE: Right.

CHARFAUROS: -- that's out there.

VAUSE: Your department did issue a public statement a short time ago. It read, "For now, we advise the community to remain calm. Remember that there are defenses in place to threats such as North Korea and to continue to remain prepared for all hazards."

So can you tell us exactly, you know, what are those defenses which are in place for Guam?

CHARFAUROS: Ok. I can only talk about the unclassified ones --

VAUSE: Sure.

CHARFAUROS: -- so there are several of these. One of them is the THAAD -- T-H-A-A-D. Two years ago, a permanent deployment of that missile system was placed on Guam. That's one of them. There are several warships out there that the U.S. routinely uses -- they're called Aegis warships.

So those are all the layers of defense that I'm talking about.

VAUSE: Ok. And what's been the reaction? I think what -- the population of Guam is about 160,000 people -- how are they reacting at the moment?

CHARFAUROS: Well, there are around 160,000 -- 170,000 Americans, U.S. citizens here on Guam. That counts the military that's stationary. There's also another 50,000 -- 60,000 U.S. citizens north of us in the Northern Marianas.

Some of them are, you know, are concerned about it. But, you know, my job is to calm them. And we've been doing that. We've been doing a host of outreach, doing things, you know, key leaders, our mayors, our legislature, our school officials -- everybody, our Chamber of Commerce to, you know, educate them on exactly what it is the threat is and what we have in terms of defending against it.

[00:09:58] VAUSE: Well, clearly the U.S. Anderson Air Force Base is the reason why Guam is being threatened by the North Koreans. It's a strategic base for the United States. They sometimes refer to it as "The Tip of the Spear" for the U.S. military in Asia. CHARFAUROS: Well, I don't think that's the reason why. You know, Guam is U.S. soil. It is an American territory. So, you know, we're the nearest to Korea. So if you really wanted to poke the U.S. in the eye, you would, you know -- you know, threaten Guam because if you threaten Guam and you're threatening the United States of America.

VAUSE: Right.

CHARFAUROS: So it's now just because we have a an Air Force base or a Navy base here -- sure those two bases are strategic to the interest of the U.S. But you know, we are U.S. soil.

VAUSE: Ok. Colonel -- we'll leave it there. But thank you so much for updating us with the situation there on Guam.


VAUSE: Thank you -- sir.

SESAY: Ok. We'll take a quick break now.

So what options does the U.S. have for dealing with North Korea? And what would a military (inaudible) actually look like. We'll ask a panel of experts next.



TRUMP: They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.


VAUSE: Welcome back -- everybody. We're following breaking news as Donald Trump delivers an extraordinary warning to North Korea. It's not clear if the threat is just bluster or if the U.S. President is seriously considering military action.

SESAY: Meanwhile North Korea is making threats of its own. It says it's considering plans to strike a U.S. air base on the island of Guam and it warned it would turn the U.S. Mainland into quote, "a theater of nuclear war" if it detects any sign of attack.

VAUSE: To our panel now: CNN military analyst Lieutenant Colonel Rich Francona; also with us senior adviser to the nuclear disarmament group N Square Paul Carroll; and director of the U.S.-China Institute at USC Clayton Dube. Thank you all for being with us.

SESAY: Welcome all.

VAUSE: Rick -- I'd like to start with you. I think we need to be very clear. Nuclear war is not about to break out at any moment. There's no mobilization of U.S. forces. There's no diplomatic offensive underway by the State Department. There's only the U.S. ambassador in Seoul. And the North Koreans have made it pretty clear consistently they will

only respond to a U.S. military attack -- right.

LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: I think that's a fair assessment. I mean the North Korean acquired this capability to deter the United States, not to destroy the United Sates.

So there's no reason for them to initiate any kind of military action that would precipitate their own demise. So I think we should take that into consideration. Neither side is looking for a war. Both are ready for a war.

But, you know, that war will end any sense of North Korea. So I think that the North Koreans will soon realize that they need to adopt a different posture.

Now, that said, I don't think that any diplomatic or economic pressure is going to force the North Koreans to rid themselves of this nuclear option that they have. They believe that is their only deterrence against the United States.

[00:15:09] If you look at the world from Pyongyang's eyes, you know, they see a lot of enemies out there. And to them the only deterrence against those enemies is that nuclear capability. I think we're going to have to figure out some way that we can live with the North Korea nuclear problem.

SESAY: All right. Clayton -- to you now, I want you to take a listen to CNN's Freed Zakaria. He spoke a short time ago and gave his take on President Trump's comments. Take a listen.


FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN ANCHOR: We will not, let me confidently say, respond to North Korea with fire and fury the kind of which the world has never seen before. I don't know if Donald Trump remembers when we dropped two atomic bombs in Japan, we went through a kind of bombing campaign in Indo-China the likes of which nobody has seen even during World War II. None of that is going to happen.


SESAY: Clayton -- do you share Fareed's confidence there?

CLAYTON DUBE, DIRECTOR, U.S.-CHINA INSTITUTE AT USC: I do believe that he's correct. I think that all of the assessments that you've gotten thus far point to one thing. That North Korea has acquired these weapons and developed that delivery capability for the purpose of deterring an attack by the United States on North Korea.

And they're not going to launch an attack that would result in their absolutely, assured destruction. And so they have developed these weapons for a deterrent capability. The United Sates is unlikely to try to attack North Korea in some pre-emptive way.

So to respond to North Korean bluster with fire and fury -- that would be a horrible mistake on the part of the United States. It would cause many, many lives -- American lives, South Korean lives, potentially lives of others. And so I don't anticipate war to break out today.

VAUSE: Yes. And it's not gone unnoticed that the threat coming from Donald Trump is very sort of North Korea-like. In fact there was an editorial in the Party-run newspaper just two days ago in Pyongyang.

This is what it read. "The day the U.S. dares to tease our nation with a nuclear rod and sanctions, the mainland U.S. will be catapulted into an unimaginable sea of fire.

So Paul Carroll -- to you, by matching the North Korean threats here, raising the overall tensions, there is this possibility, this concern that the North Koreans could misread that. This administration may be about to do something different compared to past administrations.


First I want to say I completely agree with what both gentlemen have said. Neither side wants a war. Neither side is looking for a war. And yes, each side is trying to exhibit behavior that says hey, we're ready for a war.

The problem I see in this case is our United States President Donald Trump's unprecedented, not only words, but the style in which he said them, the ambiguity of the words that he chose.

He didn't say that we would attack or bring down fire and fury if North Korea did something. He said we would do that if they said something.

And so it's very unclear what exactly he means. We hear different things from the State Department. We hear different things from our ambassador to the U.N.

What I fear is not an intentional attack by either North Korea or the United States. I fear that this rhetorical war, over flights of B-1s, you get this fog and this confusion and just like in the Cuban missile crisis, confusion and misunderstanding can lead to war that you don't want.

VAUSE: I wonder Rick Francona -- you know, just on Monday, the president of South Korea made it clear the Trump administration was -- to the Trump administration I should say, that he was strongly opposed to any military action. This is how his office described an almost hour-long phone call with Donald Trump.

"Above all President Moon emphasized that South Korea can never accept a war erupting again on the Korean Peninsula. He stressed that the North Korean nuclear issue must be resolved in a peaceful diplomatic manner through close coordination between South Korea and the United States."

For a start, you'd imagine any military action would have to go to the South Koreans and right now what's the level of anxiety in Seoul? FRANCONA: Well, you know, the South Koreans are very concerned about what we're going to do because if we initiate any kind of military action against North Korea, of course, it would precipitate this war and the first casualty of that war will be the capital city of Seoul.

You know, the North Koreans have amassed about 10,000 artillery tubes within range of Seoul. They've developed a whole class of artillery specifically for that purpose.

So, you know, South Koreans are very concerned that they're going to get caught in a power play between North Korea and the United States. And of course, they'll pay the price.

But it's not just the South Koreans. Of course you've got the Japanese who are very concerned about this. Not to mention, of course, the damaged caused to the -- to American citizens in Korea and, of course, North Korea itself.

[00:20:03] So you know, there's a lot of anxiety there but I think in the end cooler heads are going to prevail here because at some point, you know, the U.S. has to determine what they can live with.

And of course, our policy has been we won't accept a nuclear armed North Korea with an ICBM to come in to the United States.

I think that day has come and that day may be passed. And we have to address this. And I don't think war is the right answer for that.

SESAY: Clayton Dube -- to go to you, there was a school of thought that believes the comments made by President Trump were in some way not just in North Korea but also in China and some way to scare them, pressure them into maybe enforcing these recently passed U.N. sanctions. Or certainly do more to rein in Pyongyang.

First of all, how do you see it in terms of the strategic messaging here in terms of China and what are they likely to do?

DUBE: Well, I wouldn't anticipate that the Chinese will do anything more than they have already done which is to advocate for some sort of peaceful resolution through consultation with all of these different parties.

So the Chinese are not going to be moved by President Trump's claim of raining fire and fury upon North Korea. The United States has not launched that kind of war and Chinese don't expect the United States to launch that war here.

SESAY: All right. Paul, Paul Carroll -- to get your perspective now. I mean we've got to put the President's comments side by side with what we're hearing form Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. And when you do that, you'll get mixed messaging.

Take a listen to the Secretary of State.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REX TILLERSON, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: We do not seek a regime change. We do not seek the collapse of the regime. We do not seek an accelerated reunification of the Peninsula. We do not seek an excuse to send our military north of the 38th parallel.

We're trying to convey to the North Koreans, we are not your enemy. We're not your threat. But you're presenting an unacceptable threat to us. And we have to respond.


SESAY: All right. Paul -- clearly mixed messaging. Secretary Tillerson in recent days opening the door to the possibility of talks. I mean what does this mixed messaging mean for the administration's leverage or attempt to deal with North Korea, effectively?

CARROLL: There's a couple of problems here. The first as was already mentioned is it's very confusing to our allies. What does Tokyo think of this? How do they know what the United States is actually planning? The same with Seoul. So it's very unsettling to our regional allies.

The second problem is there's no playbook that the United States administration actually has other than tit for tat rhetorical exchanges and in some cases, you know, kinetic activity as he military analysts call it, over flights of B-1s, the sending of a ballistic missile submarine a few months ago as sort of saber-rattling.

So two things need to happen in my view. Not only does there need to be a unified playbook that the United States administration develops and has clear not only sticks but carrots as well for the North Koreans.

But then that playbook needs to be exhibited, shown, read to Pyongyang. We don't have any engagement with North Korea. And that's why all day, on the media, on the news, people like myself and my colleagues here speaking with you were answering but we're also raising as many as we're answering because we simply don't have engagement with North Korea.


CARROLL: I'm going to go back on what I said long ago -- know thy enemy and simply don't know North Korea well enough.

VAUSE: I just want to go back to last year during the presidential campaign because Donald Trump talked about North Korea a lot when he was on the campaign trail. He used some pretty tough words back then. Listen to then-candidate Donald Trump.


TRUMP: We've got this madman playing around with the nukes. And it has to end. I think it's a serious problem because he's probably on the wacky side. He certainly -- he could be a total nut job, frankly.

This guy, this -- I mean he's like a maniac.


VAUSE: So Clayton -- would countries like China, Japan, other countries in the region, you know they hear Donald Trump during the campaign. They know that this is a man who speaks in exaggerations. He's really blunt. And he's this New York, you know, real estate agent.

So when they hear him say what he said to day about fire and fury, they are able to put this in context, aren't they?

DUBE: We hope that they are. But again, Donald Trump, the President is a new entity. And so they have to try to make sense of this. And this is why Secretary of State Tillerson's comments are so important. That's why all of the envoys around the region are so important.

[00:25:00] And just to emphasize, we need to convey clearly that we don't like having this nuclear development but that we are prepared to deal with it. And we're prepared to deal with it by mobilizing our allies, and containing North Korea. North Korea will have to understand that utter destruction will be rained down upon it if it were to use these new weapons.

And so by containing the threat, something that we've done for decades with regard to first the Soviet Union, now Russia, China, other nuclear states, we have to now do that with North Korea.

SESAY: And Paul -- I mean what's your assessment of the U.S. effort to reassure its allies in the region at this point in time.

CARROLL: I think it's fraught -- frankly. I think South Korea's statements earlier today and yesterday making very clear they were not pleased with the rhetorical ramping up coming out of Washington. They're on the frontlines. And frankly so are nearly 30,000 U.S. troops on the frontlines in South Korea.

So statements from some of our legislative leaders talking about military action and the casualties being quote-unquote "over there", I think is extremely reckless in terms of how we view or how some in Washington might view the conflict on the Peninsula would be.

There would be no such thing as a limited war on the Korean Peninsula. So I'm very concerned about this. I think it's -- I mean I hate to say it, it's like amateur hour coming out of Washington. When our President says the same things and the same style that Kim Jong-Un says, I'm worried.

VAUSE: You mentioned war on the Peninsula, Defense Secretary General James Mattis, he appeared before Congress in June. He was pretty blunt about what a war with North Korea would look like. Listen to this.


GEN. JAMES MATTIS, UNITED STATES DEFENSE SECRETARY: It will involve the massive shelling of an ally's capital which is one of the most densely packed cities on earth. It would be a war that fundamentally we don't want.


VAUSE: But Rick Francona -- the focus of the Pentagon's off-the-shelf war plans for North Korea, isn't that about defending against an invasion for the North, reinforcing U.S. and South Korean troops. Any kind of preemptive military action until this point has been sort of unthinkable when it hasn't really been planned for in any major way.

FRANCONA: Exactly. I mean everything we've done in the past has been to defend South Korea against the North Korean invasion. Of course, that invasion would start with the shelling of Seoul. And that's always been how it starts.

Now we're facing a different threat. Now we're at this North Korean nuclear problem and not a threat to South Korea but a threat to Japan as well and also to Mainland United States.

So the situation has changed and I'm not sure that we have changed our thought processes enough yet. And that's why I think we had this confusion inside the government and also in the signals that we're sending to our allies.

And it does look like we don't know what we're doing. I have to hope that the Pentagon planners have figured what we need to do. But I think we need to go back to what we were talking about initially is like war is not about to break out, you know.

And I think that both sides realize that we don't need a war. We don't want a war. But when you get into these battles of rhetoric, rhetoric has a way of translating into action. And when you've got troops close to each other, these demonstrations of military power -- things can go wrong, mistakes can happen. And that can lead to war. So I think everybody needs to ratchet this down.

SESAY: All right. We all agree with that. Rick Francona, Clayton Dube, Paul Carroll -- thanks to you all. Great conversation. We appreciate it.

VAUSE: And thank you.

We will take a short break. More on the North Korean threat in a moment. And the political implications for a White House already dealing with some serious challenges at home.



[00:01:33] VAUSE: Welcome back everybody, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles, I'm John Vause.

SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay. The headlines this hour. North Korea says it's examining plans of military strike on a U.S. air base on the island of Guam. Respond from that base, the Korean Peninsula on Monday in a show of force. U.S. President Donald Trump says Pyongyang's threat will be meet with fire and fury.

VAUSE: South African president Jacob Zuma has survived his 9th vote of no-confidence done by secret ballot. The opposition and the national assembly failed to persuade enough members of Mr. Zuma's party to join the vote. The African National Congress accuses excessive (ph), Mr. Zuma's term ends in 2019.

SESAY: At least 13 people are dead, 175 injured after a strong earthquake struck a popular tourist area in Southwest China. ECCB (ph) reports people are buried under the rubble and rescuers are working to clear the area.

VAUSE: Back now to the increasingly dire threat being exchanged by the U.S. and North Korea. The North says it's considering a missile strike on the U.S. territory of Guam.

SESAY: The threat came after the U.S. flew two B1B bombers over the Korean peninsula Monday. Guam's governor reassured the island's residence about Pyongyang's threat.


EDDIE BAZA CALVO, GUAM GOVERNOR: HSA George Charfauros reminds us that there are several levels of defense all strategically placed to protect our island and our nation. And additionally, I've reached out to the White House this morning, an attack or threat on Guam is a threat or attack on United States. They have said that America will be defended.


VAUSE: Joining us now Dylan Byers, CNN senior reported for media and politics and POLITICO senior reporter David Siders.

SESAY: Hello guys.

VAUSE: Thanks guys, thanks for being here. Let's start back in January, there's this tweet from then President Donald Trump. North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S., it won't happen.

Then we move to July, the President was in Warsaw and he said this.


TRUMP: As far as North Korea is concerned, I don't know, let's see what happens. I don't like to talk about what I have planned. But I have some pretty severe things that we're thinking about, that doesn't mean we're going to do -- I don't draw red lines.


VAUSE: I don't draw red lines. OK, two weeks ago at a cabinet meeting he said this.


TRUMP: We'll handle North Korea, we're going to be able to handle them, OK? They'll be -- it will be handled. We handle everything. Thank you very much.


VAUSE: With fire and fury. The former secretary of defense William Perry, put on -- tweeted out this one, nuclear deterrence is only effective if threats are deemed credible, bluster hurts our national security posture. So Dylan, it seems right now the President has backed himself into a corner.

DYLAN BYERS, CNN SENIOR REPORTED: He has backed himself into a corner. And look I -- you know this, you go back to this issue of, does his base care about the things that he said in the past, his inability to draw red lines, making promises that he's going to take care of North Korea and now clearly North Korea is a major issue on the table.

No, they historically not cared about those inconsistencies. But this is a much bigger significant deal, we're not talking about, you know, the integrity of the American brand, we're not talking about the credibility of the White House, we're really talking about the safety of American citizens. The stakes are much higher, and yes he has -- and the other thing that he's done is that this sort of savor raveling to match what the North Korean leader is doing.

[00:35:08] It might satisfy his sort of sense of bravado, but it's -- it's extraordinarily troubling and it's embarrassing. I think on the national stage. And I think what we currently hope as a citizen of this country is that, that the real diplomacy is taking place right now, not with the leaders of these two countries who I think are behaving extraordinarily irresponsive but rather with the national security team.

And at least in that regard there's -- people there I think that traditional Republicans, and Democrats too can trust.

SESAY: David, you heard what Dylan said, you know, the reaction about the President's comments being troubling has been echoed by many, including Senator John McCain. Take a listed to what he had to say.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I take exception to the President's comments because, you got to be sure that you can do what you say you're going to do. In other words, the old walk softly but carry a big stick.

(END AUDIO CLIP) SESAY: David, John McCain making point, you got to be sure you can do what you're threatening to do. Raising -- suspect that the President hasn't thought this all the way through.

DAVID SIDERS, SENIOR REPORTER, POLITICO: Thank you. I think there are -- my colleagues reporting in Washington today, is that this was not a statement that it -- through the state department. And this seem to be an off the cuff kind of remarks from the President.

So yes, I think it's fair to say, not thought entirely true. I'd also say, you know, to Dylan's point about Trump kind of understanding the electorate and Dylan saying it's a bigger issue that that. His pure political instinct is pretty phenomenal. I mean we saw polling in North Korea, while many people are concerned about North Korea and the threat, you know, Republican still have some confidence in this President and his ability to deal with North Korea.

And I'm not sure that they'll see a bombastic strong comment even if it's risky to national security is necessarily a negative.

VAUSE: Yes, it's one thing for a president not to know the details of the health care policy and sort of to let it go and, you know, go through -- you know, it doesn't matter. It's another thing when you're dealing with potential nuclear war, because at the end of the day, Donald Trump has got no responsibility of Congress doesn't pass a health care bill. He is the first and last person with the nuclear codes.

BYERS: Right.

VAUSE: And it seems this is a man who -- is yet to understand that the presidential words matter and carry a lot.

BYERS: No, but no point has the immense and awesome responsibility and power of the office of the President of the United States. And no point has that waived on Donald Trump, and no point has that changed his character. I think what happened was -- look, when he was elected there was an enormous freak out among liberals and I would say probably, the independence (ph) saying, OK. What's going to happen, what's next.

I think we sort of became numb to it over time, just as Americans generally outside of that 35, 38 percent core support. Because it was -- over issues that he actually didn't seem to have that much influence over, yes he could get a Supreme Court judge nominated which is a big deal, but he couldn't repeal and replace Obamacare.

He seem to utterly ineffective on advancing his agenda, his policy. Now all of a sudden you're dealing with a national security issue, now it become serious again, now this is --

VAUSE: Unself A (ph) crisis.

BYERS: Yes, and all of that irresponsible, I'm going to fly off the cuff, I'm going to tweet whatever I want, the problem is, that has very real ramifications when you're not dealing with Congress or with the media. When you're dealing with a leader of a foreign country who is, has sort of irrational as you are that has real consequences.

SESAY: And David, consequences beyond Pyongyang, beyond the region itself, the wide world that is watching the U.S. and this president.

SIDERS: And I think the security, you know, the risks, the analyst you hear talking about today, it's not necessarily the president will make some informed thoughtful decision to launch a preemptive strike but rather he'll somehow bumble into a, you know, a conflict which is asterisks ramifications, whether it's because these two personalities are having this conflict, he might have a test in North Korea that goes array and it causes an international incident because he's inflaming the tensions I think so much.

VAUSE: And David, this is also having a time when there's no U.S. ambassador Seoul, there's no assistant secretary for East Asia and Pacific Affairs State Department, there's no assistance secretary for East Asia and Pacific Security Affairs at the defense department. The state department is a shadow in itself, and so this hope that all these people around, Donald Trump to support this novice president in these moments of crisis. That's still happening.

SIDERS: It does seem and he's certainly taking flack from Democrats on the Hill. I think it's interesting that we're even talking about that because a week ago we wouldn't have cared if he had somebody in those positions. But it does speak to this broader concern that people genuinely have. I mean we're in California on the coast.

[00:40:02] I might not have been the only person fielding calls from relatives in the mid-west saying, do you want to send the kids back? There's a level of concern now, what two-thirds of Americans very concerned about North Korea, that you wouldn't have seen before.

BYERS: And, you know, I would just add. I don't think -- has been part of this sort of, this blistering (ph), savor raveling (ph), and it might be the same case for Kim Jong-un. He's coming from a place of political experience (ph). It has always been beneficial for presidents to sort of turn to foreign threats and to turn to sort talk of war at a time when their approval ratings are low, at a time when the domestic front is not going that well for them.

But the problem is that to do that at a time where you're forcing relatives in the mid-west to call their families in California and on the west coast, again, just utterly irresponsible.

SESAY: And to do that with the adversary, someone like Kim Jong-un.

BYERS: Right.

SIDERS: Who is an equally dangerous -- yes.

SESAY: It's a different proposition once again.

VAUSE: We're out of time but thank you. Dylan and David being with us.

SESAY: Thank you. VAUSE: And we will take a short break. A lot more to come. Stay with us. You're watching CNN.


SESAY: Hello everyone, fans are mourning the loss of country music star Glen Campbell who died Tuesday at 81 years old after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.

VAUSE: The award-winning artist is best remembered for his string of hits including, "Wichita Lineman" and "Gentle On My Mind".

Ryan Nobles looks back at the life and legacy of the Rhinestone Cowboys.



RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Glen Campbell was a country boy who made it big with success in music, television and film. He was born in a small town in Arkansas. Around 1960 the young musician moved to Los Angeles becoming a session musician playing for the likes of Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Merle Haggard.

But wasn't until 1967 that he hit it big, with the release of two blockbuster albums. "Gentle on my Mind" which won two Grammy Awards. And "By the time I get to Phoenix" also garnering two Grammys.

Campbell was on hot streak, and in 1968 came "Wichita Lineman".

Sitting on billboards top 100 charts for 15 weeks. Campbell capitalized on this popularity and turn to television, from 1969 through 1972 he hosted a variety show, "The Glenn Campbell Good Time Hour".

He also tried his hand as an actor, co-staring on the iconic film "True Grit" and performing the theme song.


Which went on to be nominated for an Academy Award. But in the midst of his success Campbell became insnared in controversy, his on again, off again relationship with singer Tanya Tucker became tabloid fodder. He also battled an alcohol and drug addiction that he would later kick.

GLENN CAMPBELL, AMERICAN ACTOR: I can quit this, I know I can. And like said I prayed and I prayed.


[00:45:04] NOBLES: But Campbell continued to enjoy musical success. The sone "Rhinestone Cowboy" shot to number one on the billboard charts in 1975. And he peaked again in '77 with the song "Southern Nights". In 2005 the star was inducted into the country music hall of fame. But in 2011 he shocked the music with a stunning announcement.

CAMPBELL: What they diagnosed me as --


CAMPBELL: Alzheimer's. What's Alzheimer?

NOBLES: The 75-year-old entertainer decided to bow out of the business and embark on a final tour with the band featuring three of his children. The music world rallied around the icon.

In 2012 he received a lifetime achievement award at the Grammy's taking the stage to perform amidst the star-studded tribute.

CAMPBELL: All I wanted to do ever since I could remember was play my guitar and sing.


NOBLES: I'm Ryan Nobles reporting.


SESAY: A sad end to his career.


SESAY: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM live from L.A. I'm Isha Sesay.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause. World Sports is next. You're watching CNN.


KATE RILEY, CNN WORLD SPORTS: Hello and welcome to WORLD SPORTS, I'm Kate Riley at CNN Center.

South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk, he's being tipped as the future of world athletics. If you saw him scorch the track in Rio last summer then you'll know exactly why he won the 400 meters in world record time. And this summer he's trying to do the 400 and 200 meter double at the world championships in London.

With only seven men in the race van Niekerk in total control from the gun.


-- the track in less than 43 seconds earlier but he slowed towards the end likely conserving energy for his 200 meter attempt. It might have seen like an added climax but it was an easy win. Look at the rest of the field afterwards, they are all crumbled on the ground but him though, it looks as thought its just been an afternoon stroll.

Now it's often said that the worst place to finish in any big race is in 4th place, that's just outside the medals but we'd argue that Isaac Makwala is feeling even worse about this luck earlier, the Botswana sprinter is one of 30 athletes in London to contract the norovirus bug at London's Tower Hotel, the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis. Nonetheless Makwala insisted that he was fit enough to run, but he was withdrawn by IAAF due to "medical condition."

That didn't stop him trying to turn up for the race though, this extraordinary video catch the moment that he was turned away at the games. On Facebook Isaac described the situation at the gate as a trap. He said he was not sick, adding that he's never been tested by a doctor.

The IAAF contradicted his version of events though. In a statement Tuesday they said, the decision to withdraw him from the 200 meter last night and the 400 meter final earlier was made on the basis of a medical examination conducted in the warmup medical center by a qualified doctor on Monday. As per U.K. health regulations, it was requested that he be quarantined in his room for 48 hours, a period which end at 2:00 in the afternoon, London time tomorrow.

Justin Gatlin's surprise victory in Usain Bolt's last 100 meter race was a stark reminder that drug cheats are still allowed to prosper in the sport. The American has twice doping banned and he's just one of many former cheats in action at the London stadium. It's hard to have much confidence in the Anti-doping authority and so many high-profile cheats have slipped through fingers in recent years.

And earlier CNN's Don Riddell spoke with the president of World Athletics Seb Coe and asked how he felt about the recent turn of events.


SEBASTIAN COE, PRESIDENT, IAAF: Yes, we take this really seriously. But the history of this is not one that we are going to walk away from nor should we. My responsibility is -- I'm not in a position to recast the past but I can shake the future and I think we're making a pretty good job with that.

[00:50:07] DON RIDDELL, CNN ACHOR: What is the most extreme thing that you would like to do, that perhaps you can't do to try and get on top of this situation once and for all?

COE: Well, I'm on reconstructed on this. I've always, always viewed a life ban as the ultimate sanction. We made an error a few years ago in allowing ourselves to go from a four year to a two-year ban to maintain, you know, in the spirit on standardization -- that was an error and we should never have done that. We got it back to four years, we have tried life bans consistently, we failed in various courts, whether it's the court of arbitration or occasionally in civil action.

Maybe there are fresh and new approaches, maybe we can start looking at athletes signing pledges on a regular basis so this is seen as fraudulent behavior. I'm open to all that, but at the moment we are where we are and Justin Gatlin is eligible to compete in these championships. RIDDELL: Most of our viewers wouldn't understand the nuance of what you're describing and nor really do they care. I mean in layman's terms, how optimistic are you, Sebastian, on the scale of 1 to 10 that you are going to get on top of this and that you can guarantee that everybody competing in your events is clean?

COE: Look, am I going to stand here, Don, and tell you that in the future we're going to have, you know, an entirely drug-free sport? No, I can't say that and you'd be pretty surprised if I did give you that answer. What I can tell you is that we are engaged all the time in trying to make sure our systems are more secure, that the athletes have better education programs that we catch the athletes younger and explain to them why it's important to do what they're doing, why it's important for coaches to be able to take athletes from the age of 11 with integrity into the stadium that you see behind us to perform in the way they're doing.

Can I tell you that there -- on occasions these people that choose to cheat, Don, you tell me any activity in the world where anybody in their right mind would bear to stand up and say that. What we are doing is we're doing as much as we possibly can to eradicate it, but whether it's the media, whether it's business, whether it's politics, whether it's the church, there will always be some people that will step the boundaries.


RILEY: Thanks Don for asking the questions there. Now coming up on the show, Rory McIlroy has a new caddie for the PGA championship this week. How happy is he about that? Well, it looks as though he's over the moon. He'll explain why he's playing in a space suit. All these on the way.


RILEY: Welcome back to the show, the final golf major of the year gets underway this week. And it could also be the week where Jordan Spieth truly lays claim to the mantle of golf successor to Tiger Woods if he can win the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow in North Carolina.

[00:55:11] He will be the youngest man ever to win all four major tournaments and career grand slam. CNN's Patrick Snell is at Quail Hollow for us ahead of the tournament and brings to you what the text (ph) and Spieth has to do make history.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Jordan Spieth is looking to become not just the youngest man in golf history to win all four majors but also replacing Tiger Woods in the process. He's going to have plenty of company though, those really trying hard to push him all the way including Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy, two men who let's just say arrived at Quail Hollow in show (ph) this week, in truly eye-catching fashion, taking a certain space age approach to it all early this week.

I spoke with Northern Island's four-time major winner.


RORY MCILROY, GOLFER: It's good fun, it's cool to be able to do stuff like this. Obviously Omega are very proud of what they've been able to achieve, to have the first watch ever worn in the moon and it's nice to be able to be part of something like this.

SNELL: Harry Diamond, have you unearthed a gem there. How is he doing and what does he bring to the table for you personally?

MCILROY: Yes, Harry has been great. Like Harry is one of my closest friend. He was the best man at my wedding. He just keeps me relaxed more than anything else. It's nice to be relaxed and sort of, you know, you hit a bad shot or make a bad decision you're able to let it go, you've got, you know, one of your closest friend beside you and it worked great last week, I'm sure it will work again this week and, you know, we're just having a great time out there.

SNELL: We got three majors now including this one where we could get three different players including yourself closing out the career grand slam, how exciting, how special is this for golf?

MCILROY: Yes, it is. It's very exciting, it's special to have three guys have a chance obviously with Jordan this week and myself at the masters and then with Philip U.S. open. And only five people have won that career grand slam and we've all got a chance to do it and it's very lucrative (ph) to be a part of and it's good for the game, it creates interest in the game and, you know, it gets people talking, it gets people excited. So, you know, we're in for an exciting week with Jordan going for this week.

SNELL: What is it about this place that just brings out the best in you?

MCILROY: I don't know. Obviously I've had a lot of success here in the past, a couple of wins and being in the playoff and obviously coming back to PGA championship which I won a couple of times as well. So, I love the golf course even though they've made a few changes. You know, the golf course is pretty much the same, the first few rolls are a little more -- a little more difficult, it's a bit of tougher start.

But, I don't know, there's something about this place. I just -- I like it, I play well here, I feel comfortable here and, you know, hope that I can have another good week.

SNELL: You'll be honest enough to say but you will see it -- to get another grand slam title, another major under your belt. How do you approach that, how frustrating has it been?

MCLAUGHLIN: It's been a little frustrating, obviously it's been three years since I've won a major and of course I want to win another one. But I feel like my game is definitely going in the right direction. You know 4th finish at the open, played last week in Akron. So, it's definitely heading in the right direction. So hopefully I can get myself a good change this week and hopefully after that major talent (ph). (END VIDEO CLIP)

SNELL: Something about Quail Hollow that Rory McIlroy just loves. Well some big news around the golf, a big international shakeup for the sport with this very championship, the PGA championship will be moving from 2019, will moving from August to the month of May, they're not going to affect the player's championship moving the March.

Well across the pond in Europe, their PGA championship will be going to September to accommodate golf return on a regular basis to the Olympic fold.

Patrick Snell, CNN, Charlotte, North Carolina.

RILEY: Yes. Pat, many thanks. That is it from the World Sports team, I'm Kate Riley. Thanks for watching. Stay with CNN.