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North Korea Threatens Strike On U.S. Territory Guam; Trump: U.S. Will "handle" North Korea; Vote Counting Underway In Kenya Presidential Election; U.K. To Release Key Brexit Policy Paper Soon; Country Music & TV Legend Glen Campbell Dies At 81. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired August 9, 2017 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[02:00:09] ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles, ahead this hour.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Red line in our president warning, President Donald Trump threatened North Korea with fire and fury.
SESAY: Kim Jong-un delivering a threat of his own, telling the U.S. carriage at Guam into the missile target.
VAUSE: Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm John Vause.
SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay. EWSROOM L.A. starts right now.
Well, the U.S. and North Korea are creating some scorching threats over Pyongyang's weapons program. North Korea said it's looking at plans of 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 Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.
VAUSE: The North Koreans has also warned in retaliation if the U.S. tries in their words of the heading operation against their leadership. And say they will return the U.S. mainland into a theater of nuclear war if it takes any signs of an attack. Early on Tuesday U.S. President Donald Trump has used his own ultimatum to Pyongyang.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: North Korea does 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Some but no -- but not all analysts with the U.S. Intelligence Community believe North Korea has developed a militarized nuclear warhead which could be carried by a long range missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.
SESAY: Well joining us now from Seoul, South Korea is CNN's Alexandra Field. Alex, our President Trump's comments being taken at face value where you are, I mean certainly here in the United States they're raising some alarm. What's the reaction in Seoul?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, frankly, these are stunning words to hear from an American president. This is not the kind of rhetoric that you usually hear coming from the leader of the United States. The words he has chosen to use are much more resonant of the kind of tone, the kind of language that you hear from Pyongyang. You're hearing more of that language this morning.
Here in the region, it's the threats from Pyongyang that are sort of drowning out that ultimatum made by President Trump more on why in just a moment. But we really saw a fast moving barrage of threats from Pyongyang carried by state news this morning.
Some of those threats quite specific, including a plan to look at an attack on Guam using long and medium range missiles. Why Guam? Because it is the home of thousands of U.S. service men and women also the home of those bombers that had been deployed over the Korean Peninsula as recently as Monday in training exercises, the kind of exercises that Pyongyang has strictly objected to.
They've see these kinds of training exercises as a preparation for invasion. They see this is really an offensive gesture from the Unites States. They're slamming back. And well it I typical. Well it's frankly normal for Pyongyang to issue these very burlesques threats. There is a reason that these threats are perhaps resounding more than some have in the past.
And that's because of the capability frankly that North Korea has recently shown. It's backed up by those two recent ICBM tests that they did back in July and also this latest intelligence assessment suggesting that Pyongyang does in fact have a miniaturized nuclear warhead that could be nudge into missile. That doesn't say whether or not Pyongyang is capable of the technology that's required for the reentry of that kind of weapon.
Now, let's get back t those comments from President Trump. Fiery as they were, threatening fire and fury if Pyongyang continued with these threats, again, bold words for U.S. president, likely taking a lot of people by surprise. But we haven't heard official comment on that language from the officials here in the region. And frankly, there might be a reason for that.
They are close alliances here South Korea, Japan both depend on the United States for defense for their security. They're trying to work very closely to defuse these threats. So right now, they are not fanning the flames, about ultimatum issued by President Trump, Isha?
SESAY: Situations to continue to watch closely. Alex Field now in Seoul South Korea, always appreciates it. Thank you.
VAUSE: Well Guam is home to the American air and naval base with more than 5,000 military personnel, around 170,000 people live on the Island all within range of a North Korean missile strike.
SESAY: Well, some call this tip of the spear, Guam is the western most hub of the U.S. military mite and the bases take much of the Island landmass.
VAUSE: And joining us now on the light form Guam Colonel George Charfauros. He is the Homeland Security Advisor. Colonel, thank you for being with us. How serious are you taking this threat which is being issued by the North Koreans?
[02:05:11] COL. GEORGE CHARFAUROS JR., HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISOR OF GUAM: Well any -- we consider any threat to the island a very serious job. And this is right up our, you know, and the all the 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 now could have this ability to fire an ICBM if not now fairly soon in the future. Does this threat by the North Koreans feel different to previous threats which they have issued against Guam?
CHARFAUROS: Yes. Yes, it is. You know, they've totally developed their capabilities and but we stand 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 a very high confidence in them. That there are several layers of ballistic missile defense and they're available online. You know, just Google National Military Defense and you'll see everything that's unclassified --
CHARFAUROS: -- that's out there.
VAUSE: Your department did issue a public statement a short time ago. It reads, "For now, we advice 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 here, what are those defenses which are in place for Guam?
CHARFAUROS: OK. That's the -- I -- and only tough time classified ones. So there are several of these. One of them is the THAAD, T-H- A-A-D. Few 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. continue -- uses. They're called Aegis warships. So those -- all of those are all of the layers of the defense that I'm talking about.
VAUSE: OK. And what's being the reaction? I think that the population of Guam is about 160,000 people. How are they reacting at the moment?
CHARFAUROS: Well, there are to around a160, 170 000 Americans or U.S. citizens here on Guam that counts with military, the stationer. There is also another 50 to 60 000 U.S. citizens north of us in the Northern Mariana's. Some of them are, you know, are in concern about it. But, you know, my job is to calm them. And, you know, we've been doing that.
We've been doing a host of outreach, doing things to, you know, key leaders, our mayors, our legislature, our school officials, everybody on the Chamber of Commerce too, you know, educate them on exactly what is, the tragedies and what we have in terms of defending against it.
VAUSE: Well, clearly the U.S. Andersen Air Force Base is the reason why Guam is being threatened by the North Koreans. It's a strategic base of 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 threat to Korea. So, if you really wanted to poke the U.S. in the eye you would, you know, threaten Guam because it's -- if you threaten Guam and you're threatening United States of America.
CHARFAUROS: So it's not just because we have 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.
[02:09:41] SESAY: Time for quick break now. So what options does the U.S. have for dealing with North Korea? And what were the military conflict actually look like. We'll ask the panel of experts, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Welcome back everybody with more on breaking news, as Donald Trump leaves us an extraordinary warning to North Korea. It's not clear if the threat is just blaster 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 to 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 Lt. Col. Rick Francona. Also with us, Senior Advisor to the Nuclear Disarmament Group NSquare Paul Carroll and Director of the U.S.-China Institute at USC Clayton Dube. Thank you all for being with us.
VAUSE: Rick, I like to start with you. I think we need to be very clear. Nuclear war is known about to break out at any moment. There's no mobilization in the 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 (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: I think that's a fair assessment. I mean the North Koreans acquired this capability to deter the United States not to destroy the United States. So there's no reason for them to initiate any kind of military action that will 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, you know, 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. 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 enemy is that nuclear capability. I think we're going to have to figure out some way that we can live with the North Korean nuclear problem.
SESAY: All right, Clayton, to you now. I want you to take a listen to CNN's Fareed Zakaria. And he spoke a short time ago and gave his take on President Trump's comments. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST, FAREED ZAKARIA GPS: We will not let be 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 but we dropped two atomic bombs in Japan. We went through a kind of bombing campaign in North China the likes of which nobody has seen even during World War II. None of that is going to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Clayton, do you share Fareed's confidence there?
CLAYTON DUBE, DIRECTOR U.S.-CHINA INSTITUTE USC: I do believe that he is 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 delivering capability for the purpose or deterring an attack by the United States on North Korea.
[02:15:03] And they're not going to launch an attack that would result in their absolute assured destruction. And so they have developed these weapons for a deterrent capability. The United States is unlikely to try to attack North Korea in some preemptive way 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 and potentially lives of others. And so I don't anticipate war to break out today.
VAUSE: And yes, and you're going to notice that the threat coming from Donald Trump is very similar to North Korea like. In fact there was editorial in the party run newspaper just two days ago of Pyongyang. This is what it read, "The day the U.S. dares tease our nation with a nuclear rod and sanction, the mainland U.S. will be catapulted into an unimaginable sea of fire."
So Paul call to you by matching the North Korean threats here raising the overall tensions, there is this possibility, there's a concern that the North Koreans could misread that, that this administration maybe about to do something different compared to past administrations.
PAUL CARROLL, SENIOR ADVISER, NSQUARE: Yes. Thank you, John. 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 and 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 B1s, 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 oppose any military action. This how is often described, you know, was 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 issues must be resolved in a peaceful, diplomatic manner through close coordination between South Korea and the United States."
First that you to mention any military action would have to go through the South Koreans and right now what's the level of anxiety in Seoul? FRANCONA: 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 is the casualty of that will be the capital city of Seoul.
You know, the North Koreans have a mass about 10 000 artillery tubes within the range of Seoul. They have 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 got the Japanese were very concerned about this. Not to mention of course the damaged caused to the American citizens in Korea and of course North Korea itself. 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 could live with.
And of course our policy has been, well, we won't accept a nuclear on North Korea with an ICBM degree to the United States. I think that day has come and that say may be passed. And we have to address this. And I don't think that war is the right answer for that.
SESAY: Clayton Dube, to go to you. There is a school of thought that believes that the comments made by President Trump were in some way not just in North Korea but also into China in someway to scare them, pressure them and to maybe enforcing this recently passed U.N. sanctions. Or certainly do more to rain 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 all 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 the Chinese don't expect the United States to launch that war here.
[02:20:16] SESAY: All right, 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 from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. And when you do that you get mixed messaging. Take a listen to the secretary of state.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REX TILLERSON, U.S. 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 extend our military north of the 38th Parallel. And we're trying to convey to the North Koreans, we are not your enemy. We are not your threat. But you're representing an acceptable threat to us and we have to respond.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: All right, Paul, clearly mix messaging, Secretary Tillerson in recent days opening the doors to the possibility of talks. I mean what does those mixed messaging mean for the administrations leverage or attempt to deal with North Korea effectively?
CARROLL: There's a couple of problems here. The first is -- was already mentioned is, it's very confusing to our allies. What does Tokyo think of this? Or how do they know what the United States is actually planning and the same with Seoul. So it's very unsettling to our regional allies.
The second problem is there's no play book that the United States Administration actually has other than tip for tap rhetorical exchanges and in some cases, you know, kinetic activity as military analyst call it over flights B1s. The sending of ballistic missile submarine a few months ago as sort of savor rattling.
So, two things need to happen in my view not only does there need to be a unified play book that the United States administration develops and has clear not only six but karats (ph) as well for the North Koreans. But then that play book 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 questions. But we're also rising as many as we're answering because we simply don't have engagement with North Korea.
VAUSE: I just want to go back --
CARROLL: Someone said a long ago know thy enemy. And we 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 is on the campaign trail. Some pretty though words back then. Listen to then candidate Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: And we got this mad man playing around with the nukes. And it has to end. Well, I think it's a serious problem because he's probably on the wacky side. He's certainly -- he could be a total nut job, frankly.
This guy, this man I mean he is like a maniac.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: So, Clayton, would countries like China and Japan all the countries in the region, you know, they hear Donald Trump through the campaign. They know that this is a man who speaks exaggerations. He is selling blunt. He is this New York, you know, real estate agent. So when they hear him say what he said today that fire and fury. They're 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 invoice around the region are so important.
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 in containing North Korea. North Korea will have to understand that other destruction will be reigning 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 the 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 its fraud, frankly. I think South Korea statement earlier today and yesterday making very clear they were not pleased with the rhetorical ramping up coming out of Washington. They are on the front lines and frankly so are nearly 30,000 U.S. troops on the front lines in South Korea.
So statements from some of our legislative leaders talking about military action and the casualties being quote on quote, over there I think is extremely reckless in, in terms of how we view or how somebody in Washington might view what a conflict on the peninsula would be.
[02:25:10] 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 armature hour coming out of Washington. And our president says the same things and the same style that King Jong-un says I'm worried.
VAUSE: You mentioned war in the peninsula. Defense Secretary General James Mattis, he appeared before Congress in June. He's pretty blunt about what a war with North Korea would like. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. JAMES MATTIS, U.S. 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: But Rick Francona the focus of the Pentagon go to shelf (ph) war plans on Korea. Isn't that about defending against an invasion from the North reinforcing U.S. and South Korean troops any kind of preemptive military action, I mean to those point is being sort of unthinkable when it hasn't really been planned for any major way? FRANCONA: Exactly, I mean that -- everything we've done in that past is been to defend South Korea against this the North Korean invasion. Of course, and 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 looking at is North Korean nuclear problem and not a threat to South Korea but a not on -- but a threat to Japan as well and also to the 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 have 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 out what we need to do.
But I think we need to go back to what we're talking about initially it's like war is about to break out, you know. And I think that both sides realized 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 get troops close to each other these demonstrations of these, you know, demonstrations of military power, things can go wrong, mistakes can happen and that could lead to war. So I think everybody needs to ratchet this down.
SESAY: Well, we all agree with that. Rick Francona, Clayton Dube, Paul Carroll. Thanks to you all.
VAUSE: We'll take a short break with more on the North Korean threat and the political implications where the White House already dealing with some serious challenges at home.
SESAY: Plus, more challenges for the British government as it answers its Brexit prediction, we're live in London with an expert on the U.K.'s divorce of the European Union.
[02:30:18] ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm John Vause. We take the headlines now. North Korea says it's considering military plan for striking a U.S. air base on the Island of Guam. U.S. bomber is based on the island flew where the Korean peninsula on Monday and a show a force. President Donald Trump says Pyongyang threats will be met with fire and fury.
SESAY: Venezuela new so-called truth commission says it will begin investigating violence in the country and wants that justice will come to some members of the opposition.
Meanwhile, leaders from 12 American Nations meet in Peru Tuesday to discuss the Venezuela crisis. They call for new elections with international observer. VAUSE: At least 13 people are dead, 175 injured after strong earthquake to the popular tourist area in Southwest China. CCTV reports people are buried under and gravel and rescuers are working to clear the area.
We'll return to now increasing the grim threats, the U.S. and North Korea have been exchanging. North Korea says it's considering a missile strike on the U.S. territory of Guam.
SESAY: Well; the threat came after the U.S. flew two B-1B bombers over the Korean Peninsula on Monday. Guam's governor reassured the island residents about Pyongyang threat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDDIE BAZA CALVO, GUAM GOVERNOR: HSA George Charfauros reminds us that there are several levels of defense all strategically place 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 the United States. They have said that America will be defended.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Joining us now Dylan Byers, CNN Senior Reporter 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 was this tweet from then President Donald Trump. North Korea just stated that it is in their 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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: As far as North Korea is concern, 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 it doesn't mean we're going to do deal them. I don't draw a red lines.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: I don't draw a red lines. OK, two weeks ago at a cabinet meeting he said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We'll handle North Korea. We're going to be able to handle them. It well be -- it will be handled. And we handled everything. Thank you very much.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: OK. We have got fire and fury. The former Secretary of Defense, William Cohen put on -- tweeted out at this point. Nuclear deterrence is only effective if threats are deemed incredible blast to hurt down the national security posture. So, Dylan, it seems right now that the President backs himself at the corner.
DYLAN BYERS, CNN SENIOR REPORTER FOR MEDIA AND POLITICS: He has back himself in the corner. And look, you notice you go back to this issue of does his base care about the thing's that he said in the past, his inability to draw a red lines, making promises that he's going to take care of North Korea and now clearly North Korea is he make sure he show on the table.
No, they historically not cared about those inconsistencies. But this is 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 the American citizens.
The stakes are so much higher and yes, he has -- and the other thing that he's done is that this sort of saver rattling to match what the North Korean leader is doing, it might satisfy his sort of sense of his own bravado but it's externally troubling and it's embarrassing, I think of a national stage.
And I think what we currently hope as a citizen of this country is that the real diplomacy is taking place right now, not with the leaders of the these two countries who I think are behaving extraordinarily irresponsibly but rather with the national security team. And at least in that regard, there are some people there who I think that traditional Republicans and Democrats too contrast.
SESAY: David, you've heard what Dylan said that, you know, the reaction about the President's comments is being troubling has been echoed by many including Senator John McCain. Let's us take a listen to what he have to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I take exception to 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 VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: David, John McCain making point, you've got to be sure you can do what you're threatening to do. Amazing, respected that the President hasn't thought this all the way through.
DAVID SIDERS, SENIOR REPORTER POLITICO: I think that -- my colleagues reporting in Washington today is that this was not a statement vetted through the State Department. And this seems to be an off to cuff kind of remark from the President.
[02:35:11] So, yes, I think it's fair to say not fought entirely through. 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 than that. He's pure political instinct is pretty phenomenal. And we saw polling that on North Korea while many people are concern 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 for this President.
VAUSE: Yes, it's one thing president not to know all the details, of the health care policy and sort of to let it go and communicates with the keeper and, you know, depend it doesn't have. It's another thing when you're dealing with the potential of nuclear war because Dylan, at the end of the day Donald Trump he's got no responsibility if Congress doesn't pass the health care bill. He is the first and last person with the nuclear codes.
VAUSE: And it seems this is a man who is yet to understand that the presidential words matter and carry all the way.
BYERS: Yes, but at no point has the immense and awesome responsibility and the power of the Office of the President of the United States. At no point has that ever weigh on Donald Trump, at no point has they change his character.
I think what happens was look, when he was elected there was an enormous freak out among liberals and I would say probably quite a few independence saying OK, what's going to happen and what's next. I think we sort of became numb to it over time. It is just American generally outside of that 35 percent, 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 seems to be utterly ineffective on advancing his agenda, his policy. Now all of a sudden you're dealing with the National Security issue. Now, it becomes serious again. Now, all of a sudden --
VAUSE: This is -- on self-made crisis, this White House has faced.
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 it has very really ramifications when you're not dealing with Congress or with the media, when you're dealing with a leader of a foreign country who has sort of irrationalness and resamples you are that has real consequences of course (ph).
SESAY: And David, the consequence is beyond Pyongyang beyond the legion itself. But why in the world that he's watching the U.S. and this president.
SIDERS: You know, I think the security, you know, the risk what analyst you heard talking about today, it's not necessarily but the president will make some informed thoughtful decision to launch a preemptive strike, but rather he'll somehow bumble into a conflict with disastrous ramifications whether it's because these two personalities are having this conflict. You might have a test in North Korea that goes array and this causes an international incident because he's inflaming the tension I think so much.
VAUSE: And David, this is also having a time where there's no U.S. ambassador in Seoul, there's no system secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs of the State Department, there's no assistant security of East Asian and Pacific Security Affairs at the Defense Department.
The State Department is a shadow itself. And so there's hope that they'll be -- all this people around Donald Trump to support this novice (ph) president in this moments of crisis, that's still happening.
RIDERS: It does seem and he's certainly taking flock for that especially from the Democrats on the Hill. I think it's interesting that we're even talking about that because a week ago, we would have not care if we 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. I might not have been the only person fielding calls from relatives in the Midwest saying do you want to send the kids back. There's a level of concern now what 2/3 of American is very concern about North Korea that you wouldn't have seen before.
BYERS: You know, I would just add I don't think it should be lost on us that part of this sort of this blaster and saver rattling. And it might be the same case for Kim Jong-un. He's coming from a place of political expediency.
It is always been beneficial for presidents to sort of turn to foreign threats and to turn to sort of talk of war at a time when their approval ratings. There are a lot of 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 Midwest to call their families in California and on the West Coast. Again, just utterly irresponsible.
SESAY: And they do that when the advisory someone like Kim Jong-un.
SIDERS: Right, who is unequally dangerous but, yes.
SESAY: It is a different proposition altogether.
VAUSE: We're out of time. Thank you Dylan and David for being with us.
SESAY: Thank you.
VAUSE: We're going to Guam now and Journalist Robert Santos joins us by Skype. So, Robert just tell us now, this threat has been issued by the North Korea and Guam, if you like it's sort of been the crosshairs of this conflict between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump. What's been the reaction there among the residents of the island?
[02:40:07] ROBERT SANTOS, JOURNALIST: Well, you know, it depends on who you're talking to. You know, we woke up to the news and my family alone, our Facebook messages or what's that messages. We're just asked, you know. We're ringing left and rights and we were hearing about this for the first time.
Some people were concern and some felt we're totally fine. It just depends on who you're talking to. I had a change to speak to a couple of dozen people at a nearby mall at a food court and it's the same thing, it almost seems split down in the middle. There ware some people who are confident that we are safe with the U.S. bases here and there are other people who are not so sure just based in all that's going on around the world that we hear about in the news.
You know, yes we have two military installations here and most people forget that, you know, attack on Guam won't just be against the U.S. military, it will be against the people. We have more than 165,000 locals here. We have 10,000 to 15, 000 foreign visitors any given time here. So, Guam is bustling.
It's got a thriving tourist in the industry and if something was to happen, of course, it will turns to cripple that. But everyone is confident that this is just North Korea once again, just, you know, just one of its scare tactics.
VAUSE: There had been threats that made by North Koreans against Guam in the past. You know it has happen before. It'll probably happen again. But given the current climate in what the U.S. intelligence revealed on Tuesday about more advance ICBM to the North Koreans have, is it different at this time? Does it feel different? Is there an elevation tension?
SANTOS: I think it probably feels different in that at least especially for me here who desire, you know, the journalist back in San Diego, California I'm actually visiting here. So, this the first time that I have personally heard a direct threat against Guam and from my relatives and from friends it is also something new to them.
So, I think, in that sense, it is shocking and a bit concerning but at the same time, you know, Guam has the sort of been in the middle of countries fighting for the longest time since 1898, you know, when Spain basically sold Guam to the U.S. And in World Ward II, Guam was right in the middle between U.S. and Japanese in their fights.
So, Guam is always caught in the middle of all of this. And so, on one hand, you know, we've seen this before but on the other hand, it's still always concerning when you know that North Korea is nearby.
VAUSE: Just very quickly Robert. What was the reaction to these comments made by Donald Trump that, you know, he would respond with fire and fury to any future threats from the North Koreans? SANTOS: You know, again, it just depends on who you talk to. There are some people who believe that, you know, the President like Kim Jong-un are, you know, they are flashing personalities and they speak recklessly and so some might think that is the president also, you know, doing his threat as well.
But there are some people who believe that it is reassuring that what he is saying well -- that what he's saying is reassuring to us and that with the U.S. hearing they'd been here for years and with their great relationship between our local governments our military that we are completely safe regardless of what happens.
VAUSE: OK, Robert we'll leave it there. Thank you for being with us I understand your own vacation. We have a tense time to be enjoying your vacation but do the best you can. Thanks. Robert Santos there, a journalist joining us from Guam with the very latest, appreciated it.
SESAY: Great to sense of --
VAUSE: It's interesting. I mean, it must like the rest of the country it split.
SESAY: Yes absolutely.
Still to come on CNN NEWSROOM, South Africa's so-called Teflon president gets through another political challenge just ahead. While Jacob Zuma's party is under pressure despite his win.
VAUSE: And ballot counting underway in Kenya's highly contested presidential election as either voters wait to hear who will lead their country for the next five years.
[02:46:26] SESAY: Hello everyone. Well, the British government is fighting back over the claim its early performance in the Brexit talks isn't promising. A former senior diplomat has accused Downing Street for being a bit absent from negotiations because it hadn't put many suggestions on the table. The British Spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May strongly disagrees.
VAUSE: Well, the secrecy is trying UK's Brexit proposal is expected in later this month with number 10 goes public with key details and a position paper on the custom union and other Brexit issues.
SESAY: Well, Annabelle Dickson is a political correspondent for POLITICO Europe and she joins me now from London. Annabelle, good to speak to you.
ANNABELLE DICKSON, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello.
SESAY: Hi. Being this report to all the U.K. as we just said being a bit absent or in other words failing to perform in these early stages of the Brexit negotiations. What's going on?
DICKSON: Well, it really depends who you talk to. So, you got the E.U. side who are claiming that this organization in the U.K. side that lack of unity. Politico Europe even had the story that the trade it's actually (INAUDIBLE) that maybe without coming plan by the Brexit that they were trying to kind of lull ruffled into false census security. Suddenly the optics haven't being good for the British government.
We have this picture, the last trade talks last month with David Davis, the Brexit Secretary. He had no papers in front of him. I think he's probably somewhere in-between. I mean, why board of official says that there's a lot of work going on. And, you know, these things are exaggerated.
So, as I say, it's sort of it depends who you speak to but I think the next couples of months are going to be crucial.
SESAY: Yes, I mean, how much is the UKs showing, if you will? How much is that being effected or shaped by the division in Theresa May's cabinet?
DICKSON: Well, as you say, the division is sort of come to force in the general election in June, Theresa May has being in holiday and Italy and Switzerland. And kind of embolden Chancellor Philip Hammond has been all sort of interventions. And he's certainly kind of advocating it a softer Brexit.
He, you know, got a lot of businesses talking to him. Who were talking about their concern but going to be what they're calling (INAUDIBLE). And will some crash out to the European Union without the deal. So, he's definitely striking a more a valiant tone. And then Liam Fox, the Trade Secretary, his priority is he's trying to strike trade deals with the U.S. and he's kind of, you know, in a harder Brexit.
And I think this is the problem to the British government because and, you know, they need to show unity. They need to put opposition to the European Union that they can counter. So, I don't think it helps to keep them countering this view of sort of chaos.
SESAY: Yes, and last question. I mean, given all that's being reporter, I mean, again, you made the point depending who you speak to about this poor start to UKs negotiation, can you see a paths towards them gaining the upper hand in this eventual tools? Do you see a path to Theresa May actually getting the deal that she's so desperately wants?
DICKSON: I think it's going to be tough. And, you know, there's a lot of stake on both side. You know, Michel Barnier the chief E.U. negotiator. He has 27 other countries with their interest and the British have their interest too.
[02:50:13] I think that his position papers that POLITICO reported at the weekend we broke the story that is position paper they're coming. This is going to be a crucial moment of the U.K. government. I think really the content what in these position papers.
We're being told by officials that they're going to be details in custom union Northern Ireland. And I think that is going to be crucial. Ultimately both sides have a lot to lose, what about a good deal and it's both side interests to get the deal.
You know that the E.U. 27 don't want test fresh out without the deal. But they're tired political states on both sides. They're not going to give easily. And the British government has been a lot of rhetoric. They made a lot of promises. You know got a lot of the kind of promises that the campaigns last year are going to come back.
So, it's got to be tough. But ultimately both sides want to get a deal.
SESAY: Let see what deal looks like. Annabelle Dickson joining us there from London appreciated it. Thank you so much.
VAUSE: Well, celebrating an ending nation in South Africa after President Jacob Zuma survived yet another vote of no-confidence.
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SESAY: These were his supporters singing out their support for their leader. The vote was held by secret ballot although the opposition wasn't able to persuade enough members. All the ruling of African National Congress party to side with them.
But Zuma has this message for his supporters.
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JACOB ZUMA, SOUTH AFRICA PRESIDENT: Now, they believe they could use technicalities in parliament to take over the majority from the ANC. It is impossible, they can't do it. We represent the majority in the public.
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SESAY: Well, opposition party had hope in vain and anonymous ballot would mean some lawmakers from the governing ANC might joint them against the president, as we said in vain.
VAUSE: Absolutely, very much in vain at it is.
SESAY: Kenyans are eagerly awaiting their outcome of a very tight presidential election almost 20 million people were registered to vote, result and unexpected until late Wednesday at the earliest.
VAUSE: Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta, you know, the left is facing his long time rival former Prime Minister Raila Odinga report said that Odinga has rejected partial results posted online by election officials that show Kenyatta in the lead.
Well, beloved country singer known by the name of one of his most famous song since died after a battle with Alzheimer's.
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GLEN CAMPBELL, SINGER: Like a Rhinestone cowboy. Riding out on a horse in a star-spangled rodeo --
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SESAY: When we return a look back at the legacy and long career or country music legend Glen Campbell.
SESAY: Hello everyone. Fans are saying their farewell to country music star who was truly gentle on their mind. Glen Campbell died on Tuesday after long battle with Alzheimer's.
VAUSE: The singer guitarist and TV star best remember for his string of crossover hit including Wichita lineman and Southern Nights.
[02:55:04] Our Ryan Nobles looks back at the life and legacy of the Rhinestone Cowboy.
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RYAN NOBLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): 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 move to Los Angeles becoming a session musician playing for the likes of Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Merle Haggard.
But it 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 Grammy's.
Campell was on hot streak and on 1968 came Wichita Lineman, sitting on billboard hot 100 charts for 15 weeks. Campell capitalized on this popularity in turn to television from 1969 through 1972 he hosted a variety show, the Glen Campbell Good Time Hour.
He also tried his hand as anchor co-staring in the iconic film True Grit and performing the theme song. Which when on to be nominated from an Academy Award, but in the midst of his success Campbell became and snared in controversy, he's on again, off again relationship with singer Tanya Tucker became tabloid fodder. He also battles an alcohol and drug addiction that he would later kick.
CAMPBELL: Everybody welcome said, I can quit this, I know I can and like I said I prayed and I prayed. NOBLE: By Campbell continued to enjoy musical success. The song Rhinestone Cowboy shot in number one on the billboard chart in 1975. And he peak again in '77 with the song Southern Nights. In 2005 the start was inducted into the country music hall of fame. But in 2011 he shocked the music world with a stunning announcement.
CAMPBELL: When they diagnose me is?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Alzheimer's.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mm-hmm.
CAMPBELL: What's all Alzheimer?
NOBLE: The 75 year old entertainer decided to bow out of the business and embark on a final tour with a 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 a star-studded tribute.
CAMPBELL: All I want to do giving us as I can remember was play my guitar and sing.
NOBLE: I'm Ryan Noble's reporting.
VAUSE: Alzheimer is such a cruelty.
SESAY: Is it, is it.
VAUSE: But he was a legend.
SESAY: Yes. His songs will remain forever. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.
VAUSE: I'm John Vause, the news continues with Rosemary Church, after a short break. You're watching CNN (INAUDIBLE).