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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Nikki Haley Says North Korea Begging For War; Cleanup Effort Underway In Houston Neighborhoods; Brexit Negotiators Trade Barbs After Brussels Talks; Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Expecting Third Child. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired September 4, 2017 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
GORANI: Hello, everyone. North Korea is quote, "begging for war" according to the American ambassador to the U.N.
Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani. Our top story, the U.S. and the world are up in arms the day after North Korea claims it tested a hydrogen bomb.
The Security Council has convened an emergency meeting today.
And the American Ambassador Nikki Haley voiced her clear irritation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: For more than 20 years, the Security Council has taken actions against North Korea's nuclear
program and for more than 20 years, North Korea has defied our collective voice, enough is enough.
We have taken an incremental approach and despite the best of intentions, it has not worked. His abusive use of missiles and his nuclear threats
show that he is begging for war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: But what will be different this time, fair question, after 10 Security Council meetings and waves of new sanctions this year, all of
those have failed to curb North Korea's military ambitions.
The U.S. president tweeted, "Talking is not the answer" and one of Donald Trump's first moves was to throw a thinly veiled threat at China. He
wrote, "The United States is considering an addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea."
Obviously, that includes China, the biggest trading partner for North Korea, and by the way, a big trading partner for the United States as well.
It won't just hurt North Korea.
Even though South Korea is beating the drum of diplomacy, the country is now free to up the payload of its own missiles. The U.S. and South Korean
presidents agree to lift restrictions on that in a phone conversation today.
That call happened well over 24 hours after the North's test. And as Paula Hancocks reports some wonder why it took Mr. Trump so long to pick up the
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It started so well. A state visit in June, a dinner agreement on North Korea. Then a
slight blip as U.S. President Donald Trump publicly chastised the South Korean leader for what he saw as an unfair trade deal.
But North Korean missile launches brought back the alliance we are used to seeing. Shows of force U.S. and South Korean military side by side,
shoulder to shoulder and now this on Sunday, a direct jab at the South Korean President Moon Jae-in's desire for more dialogue with the North.
A tweet from President Trump that read, "South Korea is finding as I have told them that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work.
They only understand one thing."
JOHN DELURY, YONSEI UNIVERSITY: You can't really get a more toxic term than appeasement and so to throw that at your ally, who apparently is
saying to President Trump, look, dialogue needs to be a part of the mix.
At this moment, when North Korea has just tested a nuke, it's a real head spinner as to, you know, what the president thinks he gets out of that.
HANCOCKS: Senior U.S. White House officials tell CNN, Mr. Trump is going frustrated with Mr. Moon's stance on North Korea, which he believes is too
soft. President Trump spoke to Japan's leader, Shinzo Abe, twice in 24 hours over North Korea's actions, but took far longer to pick up the phone
to South Korea's leader, leaving some in Seoul to ask what happened.
This man says, we are the ones dealing with this directly. It's fine to talk to Abe, but Trump should have talked to the Southern Korean president
first. If there's war, it will be on this peninsula.
This young woman says, if the U.S. response too strongly to North Korea, North Korea might choose an extreme response. I'd like to know what
responsibility Mr. Trump would take if that happens.
Walking the streets of Seoul, it doesn't look like a country technically at war. Tensions are not visible, but there is concern all the way up to the
president that military confrontation with the North be avoided at all costs.
After than President Trump's insistence of free trade deal that South Korea thought was signed, sealed, and delivered be renegotiated, confusion is
GORANI: And that was Paula Hancocks reporting from Seoul. So, there was a lot of tough talk. It also came from the American secretary of defense.
Listen to what James Mattis said after a national security meeting at the White House Sunday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES MATTIS, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam, or our allies, will be met with a
massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: James Mattis. CNN military analyst, Cedric Leighton, is a retired United States Air Force colonel and joins me now from Washington.
[15:05:04] What are really the options for the United States here? Because obviously the military option is catastrophic.
CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, that's the problem, Hala. There are military options that involve perhaps targeting certain elements
of the North Korean command and control structure.
Also, the artillery and placements that everybody talks about that are north of Seoul. Those kinds of things could be hit. The more extreme case
would be you go after the leadership.
But those are all very unattractive options, very difficult to execute. The North Koreans have a lot of hardened and deeply buried varied targets
as we call them. Very much using tunnels and mountain sides to put some of their more sensitive installations inside of those.
So, it is one of the more difficult military targeting problems that the United States has been confronted with in a long time and frankly, we've
watched it build up over the last 50 years or so.
GORANI: But these threats, though, I mean, if they appear or if they are interpreted by North Korea as being empty threats, what purpose do they
LEIGHTON: Well, the point of it I think is a guessing game. It's one of those things where the administration here in Washington is making it very
clear that they are interested in putting the threat of North Korea in a more neutralized state and making it very difficult for the North Koreans
to move forward.
But of course, the North Koreans have many ways around any type of rhetoric. So, the purpose is basically put the North Koreans on notice
that we mean business and that we don't want to have them fire more missiles or conduct more nuclear tests. The probable that --
GORANI: But that's not worked in the past. I mean, that strategy is a strategy that's not worked whether it's under Trump, Obama or any other
LEIGHTON: And that's absolutely right. And so that's one of the big fundamental problems with it because the North Koreans want to be
recognized as not only a nuclear power, but also as a co-equal power with the United States.
It fits in with their world view of themselves. They believe they are at least as important as every other country on earth and that is one of the
things that would be very difficult, first of all, to acknowledge from an American, let alone in Chinese perspective.
And it is also very difficult for us to really sit down with them as equals. But that is what they are demanding, and this is the real crocks
of the problem. We don't see them as equals. They demand to be treated as equals and there is really no getting passed either one of those areas.
But as explained, I mean, we are talking here about a hydrogen bomb, much more powerful than Hiroshima or Nagasaki in 1945. How is it different from
previous bombs that the North Koreans have tested and why is that significant?
LEIGHTON: Well, it's very significant because when you look at the picture that the North Koreans showed of Kim Jong-un with the purported warhead, it
looks very similar to an American design called the "W80 Warhead."
That design was for a hydrogen bomb. It was something that was going to be in placed on ICBMs from the United States that would then, of course, be
able to conduct nuclear operations should there ever be a need to do that.
So, what the North Koreans have done is it appears that you have at the very least mimic some of the designed features that the United States has
had since the 1960s. So, the threat is very real.
The United States believes in many cases that the types of things that they've done are actually not bluster anymore, but they are real weapons
that could, in fact, potentially be used against targets in the continental United States.
Let alone Japan or South Korea. And that is the real difference because the reality of the situation is now hitting home. The rhetoric is ramping
up and the types of actions that will happen next are really critical in ensuring the peace not only in East Asia but frankly around the world.
GORANI: All right. Yes, it's a tense time, a critical time, and important developments ahead. We'll keep covering them. Cedric Leighton as always,
thanks for joining us.
Mattis, the defense secretary, also says the American president has "many military options," quote/unquote. He could choose to use. CNN's Barbara
Starr is at the Pentagon.
Barbara, we were discussing with Cedric Leighton there. Any military option is utterly catastrophic for both sides. So, what are you hearing at
the Pentagon in terms of what the response could be here? Because it does seem as though very rapidly North Korea is progressing in its nuclear and
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think there's two sets of military options. There's attack options, if you will, whether they are
preemptive or attack in response to being threatened by North Korea. Those are catastrophic.
We also regularly see the so-called "show of force" options where South Korea, Japan, and the U.S. will move ships closer, will fly bomber
[15:10:08] We've just seen South Korea conduct another set of missile drills to simulate attacking the North Korean underground site. This is a
pretty standard default option, probably expect to see more of that in the coming days.
But, you know, the bottom line, all of these shows of force over the months, of course, still have not convinced Kim Jong-un to change his ways
GORANI: Great. And at the Pentagon, what is the -- how much do officials believe North Korea is a threat to the United States, the continental
United States, how much do they believe it is willing to use an intercontinental ballistic missile and one potentially fit in with a
nuclear warhead. Do they believe it's a war of words, it's all rhetoric, it's all bluster or that they are ready to actually militarily engage here?
STARR: Well, I think it's problem that the intelligence community wrestles with every day. What are Kim's motives and intentions, and that's
something nobody really knows. I mean, to say he's unpredictable is not just an international (inaudible) it's the actual truth. They don't know.
But I think Cedric Leighton referred to this, military commanders now basically plan against the scenario that he can do everything he says.
They have to plan for that possibility.
They have to take the regime at its word that it has all of this capability. I mean, the big change here perhaps is that U.S. military
commanders can no longer say to any president of the United States, well, he doesn't have that he told just bluster. They have to assume that he's
got and that he could be willing to use it -- Hala.
GORANI: All right. Barbara Starr at the Pentagon, as always, thanks very much. Let's get you to the region now. Paula Hancocks is in Seoul
tonight. Paula, do South Koreans and officials there believed the THAD missile defense system is enough to protect them from some of these
HANCOCKS: Well, Hala, it's a pretty controversial missile defense system when it comes to South Korea. I mean, recent polls had about 50 percent
wanting it, 50 percent not wanting it.
It's not overwhelmingly popular. But we do know that South Korea, the government at least, there were two out of six launches that had been
deployed that were in country. It was basically ready to go at a very basic level.
And now they have decided that they can allow the other four launches in as soon as possible, on a temporary basis. It's still in an environmental
study that the government wanted to do to check whether or not it should be here.
Whether it could be here and safe for all those around, but quite frankly once it's in country, it's very difficult to see how it will be leaving.
The issue for South Korea is that there's effectively a Chinese economic boycott against them because of this THAD missile defense system. So that
makes it very problematic for the South Koreans -- Hala.
GORANI: And what about the South Korea government's request for more military equipment and military help from the United States? Because
obviously they feel very insecure right now and threatened by the North.
HANCOCKS: Yes. We are hearing this is what they want from the U.S. military. Some more military strategic assets whether it's aircraft,
carriers. Whether it's bombers. We have seen this as Barbara said in the past, these shows of force, just last week in fact.
But we are also seeing these individual, the unilateral shows of force. Just this morning, we saw it from the South Korean military and the Air
Force, they had a live fire drill with fighter jets, with surface-to- surface ballistic missiles.
A very visual show of force, really sending a message to the North Koreans they say that they can take out North Korean military assets if they want
to and they can destroy the enemy's leadership.
This is something we've heard a couple of times over the past couple of weeks from South Koreans pushing themselves a little further than they
usually do, a very direct warning to the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, but there's no doubt about it.
They want to do this in conjunction with the United States and we know that they would like to see more military hardware, strategic military assets
being moved into the region -- Hala.
GORANI: All right. Paula Hancocks live in Seoul, thanks very much where it's very late at night.
Still to come, the head of the world's nuclear watchdog agency said he is gravely concerned. Why he says the threat posed by North Korea has entered
a new dimension.
Plus, uncertainty, major uncertainty for hundreds of thousands of young, U.S. immigrants. What will happen if President Trump nixes the program for
so-called "DREAMers." All that and more when we come back.
GORANI: Some 800,000 undocumented immigrants are waiting very anxiously to find out if the American president, Donald Trump, will end a program that
protects them from being forced out of the country.
Sources say Mr. Trump plans to phase out the so-called DACA Program. CNN's senior Washington correspondent, Joe Johns explains what that is.
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sources tell CNN that President Trump is expected to end an Obama-era program that
protects young, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children from being deported. The issue one the president's core campaign
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I want the children that are growing up in the United States to be dreamers also.
They are not dreaming right now.
JOHNS: President Trump's plan would affect some 800,000 so-called "DREAMers" studying and working in the U.S. Two sources with knowledge of
Trump's thinking tell CNN that the president is planning to delay his action for six months giving Congress time to come with a legislative
replacement to DACA. But a growing number of Republicans are speaking out against the move.
REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: These kids don't know any other home. I think there is a humane way to fix this. I think
President Trump agrees with fixing this and it's got to be up to the legislature.
SENATOR JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: There are 800,000 DACA kids, kids who are brought across the border. The median age I think is 6 years old for those
800,000 when they came across the border. They should not be punished for the sins of their parents.
JOHNS: Senator Bernie Sanders says, "Ending the program would be one of the ugliest and cruelest decisions ever made." While Republican
Congressman Steve Kind praised it as a chance to restore rule of law.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We are going to deal with DACA with heart. I have to deal with a lot of politicians once again and I have to convince them that
what I'm saying is right. The DACA situation is a very, very -- it's a very difficult thing for me because I love these kids.
JOHNS: Before leaving the White House, Mr. Trump's predecessor vowed not to remain silent if he went after "DREAMers."
FORMER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Efforts to round up kids who have grown up here and for all practical purposes are American kids and send them some
place else when they love this country.
GORANI: Barack Obama there talking about the so-called "DREAMers." Now for most of these "DREAMer" once children, now young adults, life in the
United States is obviously all they know.
I mean, imagine if you were brought at 3 or 4 years old, you've lived your whole life in the country. But if they are forced to return to their
country of origin, essentially, they are going to a foreign country. Many of them don't know anyone there. Some of them don't speak the language.
CNN's Christi Paul spoke one "Dreamer" now fearful as her future lies on the line.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[15:20:00] ALMA PIEDRA, PROTECTED BY DREAM ACT: I don't have any memory of, you know, where I'm from -- and it's kind of, you know, surreal to be
thinking about the fact that we might end up where we came from and it's foreign to me.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Where would you go if you are forced out? Where would you go?
PAUL: To Mexico. Do you have family there that you know?
PIEDRA: Barely. It's very -- I mean, small.
PAUL: So your family is all here and this is all you know?
PIEDRA: Yes. This is all I know. The conversations that we are basically having is like what we are going to do. We have nothing. We have a home
here. I want to be a nurse. I want to do things here and it's crazy how to even think that -- that to be taken away. Like he said I'm very
thankful we have this opportunity but it's a scary thought.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, let's get some more perspective on this. Joining me now is Karnig Dukmajian, a U.S. immigration lawyer. He's in the studio with us.
First of all, what happens to "DREAMers" if DACA ends for them?
KARNIG DUKMAJIAN, U.S. IMMIGRATION LAWYER: Well, they -- because -- it was sort of unknown. They will be subject to deportation is what would happen.
So, maybe immediate, it may not be. Their protection from deportation would no longer be there.
GORANI: So there is no other way to legally apply for residency in the U.S. if you're a "DREAMer"?
DUKMAJIAN: If you're a "DREAMer" that means you are in the U.S. illegally, which means that the only way to -- they've got a very narrow path to legal
status in the U.S. It's either marrying a U.S. citizen and even that won't solve the problem.
In many cases the illegal immigrant must not have -- must have been admitted into the U.S. in that case in order to be able to benefit from
getting a green card for marriage to a U.S. citizen and many of these DREAMers would have entered illegally or the only other option is to leave
the U.S. and apply a visa from abroad in which case their unlawful presence in the U.S. will subject them to bars from entry.
GORANI: Now the expectation is that the president and this is according to reports, we don't know he'll make the announcement tomorrow officially.
That Donald Trump would end DACA with a six-month delay. What does that mean? What does that achieve?
DUKMAJIAN: I think that's probably a political maneuver to kick the issue to Congress so that essentially forcing Congress to make a decision or to
take action and to resolve this issue legislatively rather than have the president --
GORANI: Resolve it one way or the other. They could choose to sort of continue because there are high-level Republicans who are against ending
GORANI: It's not necessarily partisan down the line.
DUKMAJIAN: Correct. It's popular on both sides of the aisle and now that being said, I think many people agree that it will be an uphill battle to
get a law passed that would protect DACA in its current from. The reason that DACA was passed initially or was put into place was because the
legislative efforts had failed in the past.
GORANI: Yes. They've now been able to get their act together at all on immigration for many years on Capitol Hill. But here's the thing, under
Obama, DREAMers thought, I'm going to give all my information, I'm going to make this official, I'm going to play by the rules.
And now if this rug is basically pulled from under them, all this information that they gave the government can be used against them to
locate them. They have all their information. So, I mean, I don't know what could happen. We are talking about 800,000 young people here.
DUKMAJIAN: And that's part of the reason why this has become such a -- where you have even high-level Republicans saying, hold on, a second,
there's an inherent unfairness in getting rid of DACA.
GORANI: And you know, and they didn't come -- they did not make the decision to come to the United States.
DUKMAJIAN: Precisely, it wasn't their decision. They were children. These are kids who had to -- who came here under the age of 16 and many far
younger than that. So, this is their parent's decision to bring them over.
GORANI: So -- but I'm just trying to think even logistically. I mean, we are talking about hundreds of thousands of people, those who are
passionately anti-DACA would like to see a scenario in which hundreds of thousands of kids mainly from Mexico and other Latin American countries,
but also some Asians, are rounded up and deported out of the country? We are talking almost 800,000.
GORANI: How do you even accomplish that?
DUKMAJIAN: Well -- part of --
GORANI: These kids are American as some of our guests have said and everything but citizenship here.
DUKMAJIAN: Exactly. And I think that's part of the problem is logistically how would this -- you know, how it would be accomplished to
round up, you know, this many people.
[15:25:00] But whether that would actually happen immediately is a question and to the extent that DACA is withdrawn and there is no legislative
solution, you know, this could sort of just happen gradually --
GORANI: Still not reassuring if you're a young DREAMer.
GORANI: You're an immigration lawyer.
DUKMAJIAN: I am.
GORANI: And if someone came to you and I said, I was, you know, brought to the U.S. with my parent illegally, what do I do now? What do I do today?
What would you say?
DUKMAJIAN: Well, it's a really difficult question. I think the best advice would be to sit and wait. Unfortunately, that's probably the best
advice that would be available.
GORANI: I mean, that's not reassuring.
DUKMAJIAN: No, it's not or of course, there's -- you know, the other options is, you know --
GORANI: Even re-apply.
DUKMAJIAN: Even re-apply, of course, then you're dealt with, you know, three or ten-year bars for re-entry or worse.
GORANI: The other -- last one, if they came, let's say -- this scenario is they came from Mexico with their parents. Are they then automatically
Mexican citizens or could Mexico say, we don't have your paperwork --
DUKMAJIAN: So that would -- that would depend because they are not American citizens. They have to be citizens of some other country
generally and so it would be their -- these people are citizens of some other country and most absolutely would be the country where they came
GORANI: Well, Karnig Dukmajian, thanks very much for joining us. Appreciate your expertise on this topic. We'll be following the
president's announcement. He promised it for Tuesday. We'll see what he says.
A lot more to come this evening. North Korea is no longer just a regional threat. Why the head of the U.N.'s nuclear watch dog says the entire world
now facing a very dangerous problem.
Plus, the Texas gulf coast begins the slow process of recovering from Hurricane Harvey. We'll have the latest. Some families have gone home.
They were shocked at what they found. We'll be right back.
GORANI: More now on our top story. World reaction to North Korea's sixth nuclear test, the largest so far. The U.N. Security Council met in
emergency session today. The American ambassador says Kim Jong-un is begging for war.
Let's get a unique insight now into what North Korea's motives might be. Will Ripley is in Tokyo. He just returned from his 14th trip to North
Korea. So, you obviously know North Korea better than most people.
What do you think the North Korean government is trying to achieve here with this big test that they knew the world would take notice of?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think they are trying to send a very strong defiant message, an angry message and they are trying to
prove through a series of different actions, Hala, that they have the capability that they say they do, which is to launch an ICBM toward the
mainland United States with a nuclear-tipped warhead.
That's why you saw the images released on Sunday of Kim Jong-un standing in front of the hydrogen bomb that they said they could put on a missile. And
then, you have the nuclear test, their largest ever, just hours later, and now reports out of South Korea that North Korea may be preparing to launch
an ICBM or a submarine-launched ballistic missile or an intermediate range missile at some point in the coming days, possibly before their big holiday
on Saturday, their Foundation Day, possibly toward the Pacific or even the US territory of Guam.
HALA GORANI, CNN HOST, WORLD RIGHT NOW: Now, when you speak with officials, what would it take for North Korea to suspend or freeze this
program. What would they want in return?
RIPLEY: They give zero indication of a willingness at this point to suspend or freeze the program. But, look, things are always open to
Part of the reason why perhaps they're active at doing all of this at once is because the sanctions haven't really taken noticeably taken effect
yet, at least from what I was able to observe in Pyongyang. Cars are still driving on the street. The lights are on almost 24 hours a day actually
ironically because they can't sell the coal to China, so they're burning it and generating electricity, at least in the capital. And people still have
plenty to eat. They still have their cellphones.
But if things were to get noticeably worse, perhaps North Korea by doing all of this now, is trying to gain leverage for the eventual discussions
that I think North Korea does hope will happen with the United States because their ultimate goal and their goal for years has been recognition,
legitimacy, normalized relations and opportunity to compete in the global marketplace.
Counterintuitive to think that they would achieve this by building and testing weapons of mass destruction, but this is the strategy that Kim
Jong-un has gone all in since he wrote into that country's constitution back in 2013 that North Korea is going to be a nuclear power and, at the
same time, try to grow their economy as well.
GORANI: So, that's what North Korea wants recognition, being at the table with the bigger countries, being treated with respect. OK, we get
that. But are they serious about using some of this military technology? Is it just all talk or is there behind all of that perhaps a real military
threat directed at the US?
RIPLEY: They say that they're not afraid to use these weapons, but that they do not want to use the weapons. They say they want peace, but they
won't beg for peace. This is the government line that we hear over again.
Realistically, North Korea knows that the United States vastly outmatches them in terms of an actual military confrontation, but they also know that
they now have in their arsenal weapons that could be tremendously destructive and deadly.
However, they've had the capability to do a lot of harm for many years with their conventional weapons and they haven't done it even at times of
heightened tension. This is a nuclear deterrent for the North Koreans.
But if they're backed into a corner, Hala, that's the real danger here. What could happen if they felt that they were in a situation in which there
was no way out? Would they push the button and launch a nuclear missile at a major city, whether it be Seoul or Tokyo or somewhere in the United
But they know that that fear exists and that's what gives them the power and leverage against a much more powerful, much more wealthy, much more
influential adversary, which would be the United States.
GORANI: Well, they're getting the world's attention, no doubt, and the US' attention as well. Thanks very much, Will Ripley, where it's 4:33 am in
Tokyo. Thanks for staying up late. Appreciate it.
North Korea is making "rapid progress." That's the concern of the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He says the danger that North
Korea poses has now vaulted far beyond the borders of East Asia.
Our international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is in Vienna, where the IAEA is headquartered with that story. You spoke with the head of the
IAEA. What did he tell you?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes. Hala, Yukiya Amano really doesn't mince his words on this particular issue. He wants to
make it very, very clear, in his opinion and this is a guy that knows the region around the Korean Peninsula very well and he knows the issues there
very well, has been head of the IAEA for a long time.
But he says, look, anyone that still thinks that this is a regional issue, think again. This is a global issue. What North Korea has now managed to
do puts the threat at a global scale.
So, by his language, you get the sense that he really wants to galvanize international opinion, policy makers to really focus down on this right now
because the IAEA certainly doesn't have any monitoring inside North Korea right now.
Their inspectors have been thrown out on at least two occasions in the past. And I asked him, I said, look, North Korea saying this is a hydrogen
bomb that they tested, can you know that. He said, look, we can't know that for sure.
I said, North Korea says that they can now miniaturize a nuclear weapon and that they can put that on an ICBM, can you know that from the information
that you have? Again, he said, look, we just can't know that.
[15:35:08] But he said what is very, very clear in the past when North Korea has said something, they generally go ahead and do it.
So, his message here again and it's very, very starkly clear in his answers now, is that they need to be taken seriously because they are
making significant progress. This is what he said.
(BEIGN VIDEO CLIP)
YUKIYA AMANO, DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY: The interval of tests, of the latest one and the previous one is very
short. The yield is much bigger this time compared to that of last one.
So, it is safe to suppose that North Korea is making rapid progress.
ROBERTSON: Is it possible to say or is it right now to say that, in fact, North Korea is now a nuclear armed nation capable of threatening the world?
AMANO: North Korea is not a nuclear weapon state under the treaty. But, no, it is clear that North Korea has some nuclear weapons, nuclear
explosive devices and missiles.
So, in the past, the threat of North Korea was related to nuclear weapons. Now, North Korean threat is related to nuclear weapons combined with
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: So, it's not that the IAEA is without any information. Although they don't have inspectors there, they do monitor very closely the
re-processing, enrichment, the mining of raw materials, the nuclear facilities themselves, they watch those very closely.
And there's no doubt, in all of those assessments that IAEA has that North Korea is going in one direction, committed to going in that direction and
it's very clear what it is, Hala.
GORANI: All right. Thanks very much, our diplomatic editor Nic Robertson in Vienna.
My next guest has tracked North Korea's nuclear program for years. He is a renowned expert in this area Joe Cirincione. Joe is now live from
Washington. Thanks for being with us, Joe.
First of all, how much of a threat is North Korea today after this hydrogen bomb test?
JOE CIRINCIONE, PRESIDENT, PLOUGHSHARES FUND: Oh, they have made a quantum leap in the last couple of years, Hala, just as you were just reporting.
They have gone from a regional military threat and a regional nuclear threat to a global nuclear threat. It's very clear that North Korea has or
soon could have enough fissile material, enough technology to make dozens of nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles that could hit most
cities in the world.
They have a limited ability to do that right now. If this program continues over the next three or four years, you are likely to see a North
Korea with 100 or more nuclear weapons and dozens of long-range missiles.
GORANI: How are they financing this as they've have been under sanctions for so many years?
CIRINCIONE: They still continue to trade with countries all over the world. You heard president Trump say he wants to cut off trade. Well,
that's not just China. That's even Japan, that's Egypt, that's Pakistan. They still continue to make money by the export of commodities and through
the export of laborers around the world.
But this is clearly taking the toll. There is a serious question about how much longer they can continue to divert the tens, maybe even hundreds of
billions of dollars required to finance a program like this.
GORANI: So, would real sanctions in the sense, really painful sanctions put a stop to this or at least make it much harder for North Korea to
develop the program further?
CIRINCIONE: No and no. We've been doing sanctions for years. And their program has not just continued, it's accelerated and grown. So, you have
to pay attention to history. Sanctions have never, never ever anywhere forced a country into collapse or compliance.
GORANI: But so what do you do? If it's not sanctions, then what, military options? Those are practically mutually assured destruction on one side,
terrible damage on the other. What do you do?
CIRINCIONE: Right. You have military options. You could, and we practice drills, and you just saw the South Koreans doing drills, practice hitting
North Korean sites.
The question isn't can we hit them, the question is what happens next. North Korea is not Syria. They hit back and that unleashes a catastrophic
CIRINCIONE: as Secretary Mattis says right. So, you don't you have military options, but you don't have a military solution. So, what does
that leave you with? Negotiations. The only thing that has worked to stop North Korea's program in the past.
Remember, we froze their plutonium program for eight years. We froze their missile program for eight years. We were very close in '99 and '00 to put
a permanent end until the Bush administration came in and basically broke off the talks, and we missed that opportunity.
[15:40:00] So, when Ambassador Haley says that negotiations have failed today, look at her statement. She airbrushes out 1993 to 2006 when, in
fact, negotiations stopped. So, that's what you use sanctions for. That's the stick, negotiations are the incentive.
GORANI: That was before the miniaturization of the nuclear warhead, the hydrogen bomb test, the Kim Jong-un leadership. It's a very different
GORANI: Do negotiations still look appealing now?
CIRINCIONE: It's the only option we have.
GORANI: Or feasible. Obviously, they're always appealing. Sorry, it's feasible at all at this point.
CIRINCIONE: Yes, there's still a deal to be made there. The price has just risen, however. If you had made this deal 20 years ago, you could
have stopped North Korea from having any of this.
If you had made it a few years ago, you could have kept them before they tested a hydrogen bomb and an intercontinental ballistic missile.
So, now, the price the longer you wait, the more expensive the deal gets. But you heard it from your correspondents. I thought Will was just
terrific on this. What is it they want? He wants security, he wants prestige, he wants recognition. We want to give him some of those things,
but not as much as we want. And in exchange, we want to be able to freeze the program before it becomes completely unstoppable.
GORANI: So, how do you do it then because presumably there are still back channel lower level talks. Those always go on behind the scenes here and
there. Maybe not continuously, but they happen.
Are you suggesting, for instance, the higher-level discussions with the secretary of state traveling or, I don't know, even the president of the
CIRINCIONE: Yes, yes.
GORANI: What do you think could work in this case?
CIRINCIONE: There are very low-level discussions. There's basically one guy, Joseph Yun, at the State Department, a career civil servant. He's the
one who negotiated with the North Koreans and who arranged the release, tragically late, of the American student, Warmbier, who of course died.
So, you see there's some in some of those talks, North Korea has indicated that they would be willing to discuss a freeze, if we'd be
willing to freeze our exercises.
Here's your core problem at this point. The Trump administration's policy is completely incoherent. They have bluster. They have tough talk. They
have tweets that threaten all kinds of things that they're not backing up.
And in that incoherence, we start to drift towards war. Each side is taking steps that they believe are tough steps to indicate to deter the
other side from attacking them. But the other side sees each of those steps as a threat that needs a response.
Just today, for example, the South Korean defense minister called for the return of nuclear weapons to South Korea. Just today, the US President
Trump agreed to lift the limits on the payload of South Korean ballistic missiles, so that they could, in fact, carry a nuclear weapon in the
These are the kinds of things that drift towards war. That's my biggest fear. We stumble into a war that neither side really wants.
GORANI: Well, let's really, really hope that doesn't happen. Always a pleasure having you on, Joe Cirincione, and really appreciate your
expertise, just as we're learning from the White House, provided a read-out of the call between President Trump and President Moon of South Korea.
The White House is pledging to strengthen joint military capabilities. We'll have a lot more on this story a bit later in the program. Check out
our Facebook page in the meantime, Facebook.com/HalaGoraniCNN.
Coming up, after one of the worst natural disasters to strike the US in years, the Texas Gulf Coast begins a long, slow road to recovery. We have
And it's a big week for Brexit. And we're hearing more back and forth from the two lead negotiators and there is, as usual, a bit of war of words
going on there. We'll be right back.
[15:45:53] GORANI: Areas along the Texas Gulf Coast are taking stock of the damage from Harvey's floodwaters. Clean-up efforts are underway and
aid is getting into the region
But with rivers still full, officials say, it will be a long time before the extent of the damage is really known.
One bit of good news in Houston. The mayor says right now the city is more than 95 percent dry. As the region begins to recover, many people owe
their lives to rescuers, who braved the floodwaters to pull those who were trapped to safety.
CNN'S Rosa Flores spoke to a woman who was rescued by a man she didn't know. And during her interview, well, he showed for an emotional reunion.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Authorities say that they connected more than 36,000 rescues. Now, that doesn't include good Samaritans helping
others. We caught up with one woman who was rescued by her neighbor and our cameras were rolling when she reunited with her rescuer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The house right across the street.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Those are the people who came and got me out the water. My son couldn't come and get me.
And they don't even know how to speak English, but they came and got me, and I want to thank them because I called for help and they couldn't get to
me. But that young man, he said, don't worry, mommy, I got you. He don't even know me. He didn't even know my name. I didn't even know his name.
He pushed me on the walker from here all the way to lay road five blocks in the water way up to his neck and my neck at the same time.
This is my hero right here. I appreciate you so much. Thank you so much. Because you didn't have to do it, but you did. And I appreciate you so
And when I fell in the water, his baby say, I'm so sorry, she is 4 years old, mommy, we didn't want to hurt you.
So, I want to thank them for looking out for me, and they took me and brought me to my pastor's house. That's the only way I was able to get out
of this water.
FLORES: He says that everyone is family. It doesn't matter what race you are. He says that everyone is family.
FLORES: Take a look at these pictures. This is what that neighborhood looked like during the storm. Now, we should also add that Javier Ramirez
was also trying to take his pregnant wife and three daughters to safety.
Rosa Flores, CNN, Houston.
GORANI: That was a real tear jerker. And you hear so many of these stories of strangers helping strangers. But the long, long road to
recovery, of course, still lies ahead. Tens of thousands of homes in Houston suffered damages from Harvey.
CNN's Stephanie Elam joins me now from a Houston neighborhood where cleanup efforts are underway. So, what's going obviously, on the street behind
you, lots of debris. Things like that. What's been going on today?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. Well, when you take a look at this, Hala, this is what people have been doing since they've been able to
get back into the neighborhood. They've been pulling everything out.
Some of these homes had water that went up some five feet in their house, coming in quickly in the middle of the night. They had to leave in a
hurry. So, they had to leave behind their cars, all of which are ruined now.
And now, since it's dried out here some, they've been pulling everything out the drywall, the furniture, and dropping it here on the street just in
an effort to try to stop the mildew and mold from taking over their homes.
And if you take a look, it's all around here, like you can see over here on this side of the street that you'll see the same thing. And it is
unfathomable what these folks are dealing with.
And just to really paint the picture for you, Hala, of what they're dealing with. Their houses are pretty much destroyed. They can't stay in them for
most of these folks here because we're right at the intersection of two bayous. So, this water just rose up and went through their homes.
[15:50:00] And so, now, their cars are destroyed. And then, they also have to figure out how to get to work, but they also need to work on clean-up
and reaching out to the federal government and FEMA to figure out what their next steps are.
And for some of the people here, they can't even go to family members to stay with them because all of their family owns homes within this
neighborhood, so they're all dealing with flooding at some level in some degree in their homes.
So, when you think about how hard that is for these folks, and these are working class people who do not have the funds to just go find another
place to live, it really paints a picture of how difficult it is for the folks here, Hala.
GORANI: And how widespread is this because these pictures are jaw-dropping honestly? It just looks like every single home has been it looks like
it's been leveled, but it's really all that they've pulled out from inside the structure. How much do you see this type of damage in Houston overall?
ELAM: Well, in this neighborhood, in particular, it is really bad. If you come back here into Miller Street (ph), you see these streets are narrow.
But you can see, it goes all the way down. And it is like that for all the streets in this neighborhood. Everywhere you go, every house is pulling
their destroyed mementos and memories and clothes and everything out.
And that's because the water rose all the way through here through several streets. So, what you're seeing here is indicative of an entire
GORANI: Unbelievable. Thanks very much for that report. Appreciate it. Coming up, one of the best-known families in the world is about to get a
little bit bigger. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Well, it's another pivotal week for Britain. There will be many pivotal weeks for Britain going forward as the entire country hurtles
towards the European Union exit door.
Later this week, parliament here in London will debate the legislation that will take the country out of the block. And that is going to be no easy
passage for Prime Minister Theresa May.
After that, another war of words between the two men leading the negotiation teams from both sides. The EU's Michel Barnier was reported as
saying that the UK needs to be educated about the price of Brexit. Britain's David Davis had this response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID DAVIS, BRITISH BREXIT SECRETARY: Bluntly, I think it looked a bit silly because there plainly were things that we've achieved, plainly things
Unidentified Male: Barnier is looking a bit silly.
DAVIS: The commission, not so much him. I like him. I've known him for 20 years. But the commissions puts itself in a silly position if it says
nothing has been done when these really important things we put people before process. What they're in danger of doing is putting process before
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Barnier had an update to his comments earlier on Twitter, saying "I said Brexit it as an occasion to explain single market benefits in all
countries, including my own. We do not want to educate or teach lessons."
It was reported some papers even had the headline, the UK must be taught a lesson according to Michel Barnier. So, he wanted to set the record
clear that that's not what he meant, so he tweeted this out.
Now, speaking of Britain, there are few things people in the country find more iconic than the white cliffs of Dover. You see the picture behind me.
And now the National Trust in this country is aiming to buy around 700,000 square meters behind the cliffs when they go on sale. It's prompted fears
of potential redevelopment on the site in the future. The trust is hoping to raise a million pounds in the next three weeks. People are concerned.
What are you going to build on there? Has to remain, the white cliffs of Dover. Leave them alone.
[15:55:10] Staying here in Britain, the Royal Family is getting ready for the pitter patter of tiny feet again. The Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant
with her third child. The Kensington Palace made the announcement, adding that the queen and both families are delighted. The new baby will become
the fifth in line to the throne.
Max Foster has more from Buckingham Palace. Max.
MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: Hala, the Duchess was due at an engagement first thing on Monday morning. And when rumors started swirling
that she wasn't going to turn up, we were then told that there would be an announcement coming up in Kensington Palace.
And then, we got the announcement that she is due with baby number three. She is not yet 12 weeks pregnant, but the couple said they wanted to bring
the announcement forward because she is suffering from this acute morning sickness.
She is not going to be able to do engagements whilst that's the case, so they wanted to explain why she wasn't out there in public view.
So, they brought the announcements ahead. We are expecting a baby now in the spring. Baby number three for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The
family we're told are delighted. And this was how Prince Harry responded when he did make one of his engagements.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are you feeling about the news you're going to be an uncle again?
PRINCE HARRY, BROTHER OF PRINCE WILLIAM: Fantastic. Great. Very, very happy for them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And how is your sister-in-law doing?
HARRY: I haven't seen her for a while, but I think she is OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Prince Harry soon to become sixth in line to the throne. He is currently number five. But when this baby is born, he'll be knocked down
the pecking order. He doesn't seem to be too worried about that, though.
People are now their thoughts with the Duchess of Cambridge. She is recuperating at Kensington Palace and we're told as soon as she does feel
better, she will be back out doing engagements again. Hala.
GORANI: Max Foster, thanks very much. This has been the WORLD RIGHT NOW. I am Hala Gorani. Thanks for watching, everyone. I will see you same
time, same place tomorrow.
"Quest Means Business" is up next on CNN.