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CONNECT THE WORLD

South Africa's Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Dead at 81; Trump Threatens to Exit NAFTA, Slams Mexico; British Believe Kremlin Likely Approved Attack on Skripal; Israel to Send African Migrants to Western Countries; North Korea's Leader Kim Jong-un Watches South Korean Performers. Aired 11a-12n ET

Aired April 2, 2018 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[11:00:00] HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN HOST: Hello, and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones in London. And we do start tonight

with some breaking news just into his here at CNN.

South Africa's Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has died at the age of 81. She played a usually important role in the struggle against apartheid. Along

of course with her former husband, Nelson Mandela, who was South Africa's first black president.

Her family says she died peacefully after a long illness. CNN's Robyn Curnow looks back now at Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBYN CURNOW, HOST OF INTERNATIONAL DESK (voice-over): Winnie Madikizela- Mandela considered herself a warrior. She was a powerful yet controversial figure in the anti-apartheid movement.

WINNIE MADIKIZELA-MANDELA: We not only fought on political platforms. I was one of those who was with the people fighting physically against the

apartheid regime.

CURNOW: while her husband, Nelson Mandela, was incarcerated she became the face of Mandela's fight against oppression. When he was released from

prison after 27 years she was right by his side. She told CNN what was going through her mind at the time.

MANDELA: I was thinking about the liberation of my country. And that was the culmination of bitter years of struggle.

CURNOW: While their marriage stood the battle against apartheid it couldn't withstand the pressure of freedom. They divorced in 1996, two

years after Mandela was elected the first black president of South Africa.

MANDELA: It is very difficult to revisit that period even to me.

CURNOW: In the years after the fall of apartheid the woman who was once revered as the mother of the nation fell sharply in the public's esteem.

She was convicted of theft and fraud and a truth commissioner accused her gross human rights violations, allegations she denied.

When Nelson Mandela died in 2013, Winnie was at his funeral grieving alongside his widow Graca Machel.

The scars of apartheid wounded Madikizela-Mandela deeply right until the end. She remained disappointed with the South Africa she had fought so

hard to liberate. Nevertheless, she says it was well worth the sacrifice.

MANDELA: We won in the end. We were free.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JONES: Remembering Winnie Madikizela-Mandela who died at the age of 81. Let's get straight over to our David McKenzie who's on the ground for us in

Johannesburg. Now, David, as we were just hearing from Robyn's report there Madikizela-Mandela was the mother of the nation to some, but a

criminal to others.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it might be time has passed and really, the prevailing sentiment I think in South Africa is that

of the mother of the nation. Just coming over to the studio now I was listening to ANC words, ordinary citizens, calling in to profess their

great sadness of the passing of Winnie Mandela. She was the mother of the nation. And a highly controversial figure as Robyn puts in that report.

But it must be remembered that she is so much more important than just her name and her association of course with Nelson Mandela. They were married

just a few years before he was incarcerated for more than 20 years, of course.

And she became really the face and the voice of the anti-apartheid struggle that kept the image and the sentiment of her husband alive, and really

became a figure in her own light, Hannah. She was hounded by the apartheid police, put in a remote town under house arrest, convicted of anti-

apartheid actions. And really it was Winnie Mandela, not Nelson Mandela, who was the voice amongst many others, of course, of the anti-apartheid

movement.

After the end of apartheid there were controversies. She was convicted of kidnapping in a very strange and murky case revolving around a football

team.

[11:05:00] but it really seems like in the last few years -- and she remained a member of Parliament until the day she died -- she really was a

universally loved figure amongst ANC members, particularly the youth and perhaps the more left-wing elements of the party. So, I think today at

least they'll be a great deal of sadness in the country and mainly showing -- as also Robyn reported there -- the great sacrifices she made, her and

her family as Nelson Mandela spent all those years in jail -- Hannah.

JONES: You mentioned there, David, that she was a member of the ANC most of her life and that she held various positions within the government -- in

the post-apartheid South Africa as well. What news have we heard so far from the government? And perhaps plans for some sort of state funeral for

this woman.

MCKENZIE: Well, there certainly will be a very large gathering at the memorial service there. Family said they are announcing that service at

some point and will hear from the government and the ANC. The chief whip of the ANC and parliament of which, of course, Winnie Mandela was very

active until she had this sort of this struggles with her illness. I was just saying how even up to the last few weeks though, she wasn't as active

in parliament. She was always a voice of advice and never afraid really to speak her mind. And that's made her both a loved and a controversy over

figure in the post-apartheid era.

Winnie Mandela was certainly not someone who from the very beginning when Nelson Mandela was put in jail, she was never a wallflower. In fact, she

was the very opposite. She became the radical struggle cry of the nation and many, many people will be morning the loss of Winnie Mandela. Just

another great struggle icon that has passed away in recent years in South Africa. And I'm sure the government will announce those plans in the

coming hours -- Hannah.

JONES: She died at the age of 81. We understand that she died in hospital after what's just been called a long illness. Do we have any more details

on what exactly she'd been battling over the last recent months?

MCKENZIE: Although they haven't given any details and the family says they will be releasing more details. She has been struggling with that illness

on-and-off for quite some time. She did rally for her 80th birthday, which was quite extraordinary to see her with some of the greats of South African

politics there surrounding her. As she was always at big events and often controversially seen with opposition leaders of the more radical left in

South Africa. So, this was someone who always spoke her mind. Was at times mired in controversy, but universally will be lauded as an iconic

figure in South Africa.

JONES: David McKenzie we appreciate it. Thank you, David, very much indeed reporting there from Johannesburg on the death of Winnie Madikizela-

Mandela at the age of 81.

Let's turn our attention now to Syria where after seven years of war and estimated 400,000 deaths and a global refugee crisis. I can't give a sense

of optimism, I kind of often feel like a brutal challenge. But that is what the people of the besieged area of Eastern Ghouta have to hold onto

right now. They've heard reports that the major rebel group, Jaysh al- Islam, has struck a deal for fighters to leave the area. However, this is being denied by the local opposition council. Eastern Ghouta, of course,

has been the target of a government offensive that has lasted for weeks now and has completely devastated the area.

So, will there be any respite in this ongoing crisis? For someone with a first-hand view, is our Frederick Pleitgen. Fred has the rare opportunity

to report to his live from Syria's capital, Damascus. Very close, of course, to Eastern Ghouta and that enclave. Fred, what we're hearing at

the moment are mixed reports. So, on the one hand the rebels have apparently made a deal to leave the area, on the other hand, they're

willing to stay and fight to the very end.

FREDERICK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it really is still unclear what those last rebels in that last area of Eastern Ghouta

called Duoma, which is also the largest place that they held in Eastern Ghouta. Which is really a suburb of Damascus that has been in rebel hands

for almost since the beginning of this crisis. It was really a thorn in the side of the Syrian government. It's unclear whether or not they've

struck a deal. The latest that we have from Syrian state media is that they said that to date, 12 buses of members of this rebel cell called Jaysh

al-Islam and their family members have left that area. That's yet to be confirmed by these rebels. And it's the sort of thing that we've been

hearing over the past couple of days.

But it certainly seems to us, Hannah, that right now with the way the momentum is going, right now with the way that the evacuation from this

area in Eastern Ghouta over past couple of days, even the past couple of weeks or so.

[11:10:03] That is only a matter of time until this area gets back into the hands of the government. And that certainly is a very significant

development here in the Syrian Civil War. This area, Eastern Ghouta, is gigantic and was always a huge place that was in the hands of the rebels

right -- not in the heart of the Syrian capital, but right on the outskirts of the Syrian capital. It made it very difficult for the Syrian government

to operate. It made it very difficult for them to reach other places in this country. Especially the north of the country, places like Homs.

So, this certainly is a very big development. And really right now if you talk to folks who are in the Syrian government, talk to folks who are close

to the Syrian government side of things, they really believe that it really is only a matter of time until a final deal is struck. If one hasn't been

struck already. And that last enclave that's being held by the rebels there in Duoma will then be history and they too will have to be relocated

to other parts of Syria that are still under rebel control -- Hannah.

JONES: And when we're talking about negotiating any kind of deal, Fred, there are so many players on the ground and outside forces trying to

determine what happens in all of these areas in Syria at the moment. You've got the Russians, Hezbollah, as well. Who's actually coming up with

any kind of agreement? Who's actually sitting down and talking?

PLEITGEN: Right. In terms of the negotiations, at this point in time it seems to us, obviously, the Syrian government would be involved. But

really the strongest player here on the ground, the strongest foreign player here on the ground by far is the Russians. And if you look at the

negotiations that have been taking place in that Eastern Ghouta area, if you look at the negotiations that took place for instance in 2016, and in

Aleppo as well. And the government forces moved in there heavily backed by Russian forces also. It was always the Russians that played the key

central role. The negotiations right now between Jaysh al-Islam seem to be going on with the Russians as well. At least that's what we've been

hearing. And it was interesting over the past few days there was already an announcement made that apparently a deal had been struck. That was made

by the Russians and not by the Syrian government.

So, the Russians clearly have a very strong position. And then if we look at the diplomatic things that have been going on around Syria as well, you

have the Geneva process for instance. But really there is very little, or there are very few people who give any sort of credence to that. Or who

believe that any sort of progress is being made there. Right now, the real talks are that people are focusing on are the ones in Astana, which are led

by the Russians. Also have the Turks and the Iranians involved. Those are by far the three strongest powers here in Syria at the moment. And

certainly, seems to be the ones that are going to be negotiating and putting forward what this country is going to look like, what the politics

here are going to be like in the future -- Hannah.

JONES: Fred, so good to get your perspective there from the Syrian capital, Damascus. Fred Pleitgen, thank you very much indeed.

OK. U.S. president Donald Trump has presided over an annual White House tradition this morning. He and the first lady hosted hundreds of families

for an Easter egg roll accompanied, of course, by the Easter Bunny there. It is all fun and games now, but Mr. Trump started the day with a dark

warning on Twitter saying the United States is being quote, stolen. As CNN's Kaitlin Collins now reports, President Trump is continuing his

Twitter tirade against illegal immigration, Democrats, Mexico and more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump spending the Easter holiday weekend venting about immigration. In a

series of combative tweets, the President saying he wouldn't make a deal for DREAMERs, claiming that undocumented immigrants are pouring into the

U.S. because they want in on the act.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A lot of people are coming in because they want to take advantage of DACA. And were going to have to

really see.

COLLINS: The president seemingly confused about the parameters of the DREAMER program. It protects undocumented immigrants from deportation if

they were brought to the U.S. as children. But it only applies to those who have lived in the U.S. since 2007. Meaning that no one crossing the

border now would be eligible.

TRUMP: They had a great chance. The Democrats blew it.

COLLINS: President Trump also blaming Democrats for failing to broker a deal to protect DREAMERs, despite the fact that it was Mr. Trump's decision

to end the Obama era program in the first place. Mr. Trump's tough talk a stark contract to these earlier promises.

TRUMP: Very, very tough subject. We're going to deal with DACA with heart.

This should be a bipartisan bill. This should be a bill of love. Truly, it should be a bill of love and we can do that.

COLLINS: The President's outburst prompting criticism from members of both parties. Including Ohio governor, John Kasich, who tweeted, a true leader

preserves and offers hope, doesn't take hope from innocent children who call America home.

The President also lashing out at Mexico threatening to pull out of NAFTA if Mexico doesn't curtail the flow of undocumented immigrants.

TRUMP: Mexico has got to help us at the border. They flow right through Mexico. They send them to the United States. It can happen that way

anymore.

[11:15:00] COLLINS: Mr. Trump using that argument to again stress the need for his border wall. Sources tell CNN that the presidents tweet storm came

after he had conversations with a number of allies associated with Fox News over the weekend. Who told him that his base believes he's softening on

immigration. Multiple people pointing to hardliner Ann Coulter's recent media tour calling Trump a disappointment. All of this as the Trump

administration continues to insist that ousted Veterans Affairs Secretary, David Shulkin, resigned rather than being fired. Shulkin denying this

claim saying he never submitted a resignation letter.

DAVID SHULKIN, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS: I would not resign, because I'm committed to making sure this job was seen through to

the very end.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: So, you were fired?

SHULKIN: I did not resign.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JONES: What we heard a bit there about Mr. Trump's weekend conversations with prominent Fox News personalities who take a hardline on immigration.

But it appears the president's tweets were also influenced by segments on Fox News about a caravan of Central American migrants headed for the U.S.

border. Listen to the way the host described the situation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FOX MALE HOST: An army of migrants is literally marching or riding or making their way from -- is it Honduras?

FOX FEMALE HOST: Most all of them from Central America. The big question is what happens when they do arrive in the U.S.? I know they want to seek

protection.

FOX MALE HOST: Some are saying a silent.

FOX FEMALE HOST: But they won't necessarily get that.

FOX MALE HOST: Well no, they're going to be arrested. I mean, you can't illegally come to the United States.

FOX FEMALE HOST: Will they though, I don't know?

FOX MALE HOST: What do you think? If there is a small migrant army marching toward the United States peacefully but wants across our borders.

How should it be handled?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: All right, let's get back out the Kaitlin Collins again. She's live now at the White House for us. Kaitlin, we heard there an army of

migrants on their way to the U.S. border. And it seems like presidential policy is once again being determined largely by what he's witnessing, what

he's hearing on cable television. But nonetheless, it means the pressure is now on Congress to do something about it. Right?

COLLINS: Well, that's what the President says according to his Twitter account this morning. But this also comes down to the President himself.

He spent the weekend with those allies, his advisers, some of them on the Fox News payroll, while he was at his club in Palm Beach, Florida over the

weekend. And clearly, they made it very obvious to him -- according to what are sources have told the CNN White House team -- that they don't

think that the presidents base doesn't think he's doing enough to follow through on those immigration promises that he made on the campaign trail.

And now the president himself is blaming Democrats, he's blaming Mexico. He's vacillating between several different things here. Especially if you

parse his tweets. He's saying that essentially Mexico has more effective border laws than the United States does. But then just yesterday he was

saying that they did not have effective border laws and that's why so many people were coming into Mexico and then coming into the United States from

there.

And then as far as DACA the President is saying, DACA is dead. He's declaring that no deal will be made to grant legal status to those

undocumented immigrants who were brought to America as children. But then he is saying that people who are crossing over the border now are jumping

onto the DACA bandwagon. Which we should note is not possible because people who would enter the United States now or any time recently are not

actually eligible to join the DACA program.

So, several things going on there. But clearly the President is under some pressure. He also as you recall in recent weeks was very frustrated with

that spending bill he signed that he didn't think felt -- that he didn't feel had enough money for his border wall, but he signed it anyway. So

clearly, just a lot of frustration coming on behalf of the President. But it's not clear he's going to pressure Congress to do anything here.

Because Senate Republicans can't even agree on an immigration deal in the first place.

JONES: Yes, a lot of frustration still for the President on DACA. And of course, those who are directly affected by it. Our Kaitlin Collins we

appreciate it, thank you.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from London.

Still ahead, no evidence. No problem. Moscow offers an unfounded theory about who and why a former Russian spy was poisoned in Britain. Perhaps

unusually it's link to Brexit. We'll tell you more after the break.

[11:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JONES: You're watching CNN, and this IS CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones live in London for you. Welcome back.

Between right here, London, and Moscow there are two very different realities at play. When it comes to the nerve agent attack in Britain on

the people you're looking at right now. That's a former Russian spy, Sergei and his daughter Yulia Skripal. Just hours ago -- without offering

a single shred of evidence -- Moscow's top diplomat suggested that Britain had a motive to carry out that attack.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): It could have been beneficial for the British government who ended up in a very

difficult situation because it had failed to deliver on the terms promised by the British electorate for Brexit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: Now been to competing reality. A source tells CNN that the chemical was placed on Sergei Skripal's front door in Salisbury. Now,

apparently that's hard to do. So, British authorities now think the attack probably got the nod right from the very top. Yes, from the Kremlin

itself. Much of the world agreeing with Britain, on the same page about its intelligence and forensic clues. While Russia offers what seems to be

distracting theories. So, let's get you on the ground in Moscow now. CNN's Matthew Chance is there for us. Sergey Lavrov, the Foreign Minister

in Russia, seeming to be deliberately muddying the waters somewhat, Matthew.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well he did make that suggestion that it may have been beneficial to American

intelligence and also to the British authorities for this poisoning to have taken place. The implication of course, that they carried out this not the

Russians. It's just part of the -- or just one of the sort of alternative narratives that the Russian government, whether it Sergey Lavrov or others

in the government have been floating in the last couple of weeks since this crisis has been unfolding.

And I spoke to diplomats about this here in Moscow about a week ago. And they counted 17 conflicting narratives being put out by the Russian

authorities and Russian state media at that point. And I think it's increased by a significant proportion since then.

What the British government says that look, this is what the Russians do every time there confronted with a serious allegation. They cloud the

waters. They sow confusion is much as possible to try and distract from what the British government says, is the reality which is that Russia bears

ultimate responsibility for the poisoning of Sergei and Julia Skripal. With that Novichok nerve agent on the streets of Salisbury. The Russians

for their part, again, categorically denied any role in that poisoning.

JONES: And Matthew, what happens next? I mean, we've seen the expulsion of diplomats on both sides. We've seen this increased tension in the

relations between the two countries. But where does this go? How does this and?

CHANCE: Well, that's a good question. And we're waiting to see how this ends. In fact, it was of course, not just the British and the Russians

that expelled each other's diplomats.

[11:25:00] There were 29 countries that joined with Britain to expel Russian diplomats to condemn this poisoning of Yulia and Sergei Skripal.

That which the British have said was the responsibility of the Russians and which money countries around the world agree with. The Russians came back

last weekend expel diplomats from those countries as well. So, in a response and a tit-for-tat response. They also said that they were

reducing the number of staff who work in the British mission in Russia. So, all of the diplomatic entities in Russia from Britain down by 50 to

bring it in line with the number of Russians that work in the Russian diplomatic mission in the United Kingdom.

And so, more British diplomats and staff members who work at these British diplomatic facilities will have to go as well. And so, we're in yet

another round of potential tit-for-tat expulsions. And so, the concern is that this won't end anytime soon and that were sort of locked into this

downward spiral of deteriorating diplomatic relationships.

JONES: And Matthew, as far as I'm aware the Russians all along have wanted evidence of their so say guilt on this, that the British source so sure of.

Have they been given access to any of the material that has been part of the forensic investigation here in the U.K.?

CHANCE: No, they haven't as far as I'm aware. But you're right, they've demanded not just access to the investigation and the materials that were

taken from the scene, but they've also demanded counselor access to Yulia Skripal, the daughter of Sergei Skripal who was of course, up until very

recently in a critical condition in a British intensive care unit. And is apparently now getting much better and is talking. The Russians keep going

on about this idea that under international law the 1968 counselor convention act they say, they are required by Britain to be given access to

this person.

The British have rejected that so far. They're saying they are looking at their obligations under international law. They're also going to be

talking to Yulia Skripal about what she wants. Does she want to meet officials from the country that is alleged to have poisoned her and her

father with nerve agents or not. And when they've reach that decision they'll let the Russians know. But you know, the Brits are saying that we

don't have any particular international necessity to do this at the moment.

JONES: All right, Matthew Chance, we appreciate it. Matthew's live there in Moscow for us, thank you.

Just ahead on the program, a new lease on life in an ancient land. Egypt's president holds onto power with a stunning majority.

[11:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JONES: Hello again. You're watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones in for Becky Anderson. Welcome back.

Israel is scrapping a controversial deportation plan for thousands of African migrants after reaching what it calls an unprecedented

understanding with the UN refugee agency. More than 16,000 migrants will now be sent to Western nations, including Canada and Germany. Others

African migrants will be allowed to remain in Israel for now. Ian Lee is following developments for us from Jerusalem. Ian, 16,000 people sent

where exactly?

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we just heard from the Prime Minister a little while ago, Hannah. And he said the countries like Canada, Germany

and Italy, like you said, he didn't specify any other countries. Up till then we were just told that these would be Western countries. This would

take place over the course of five years with the first batch of 6,000 people would be leaving shortly. This is an issue that is very contentious

in Israel the fate of these migrants and asylum-seekers. At one point there was up to 60,000 of them in the country. And this deal with UNHCR

has essentially a one for one deal. One of these migrants and asylum- seekers would receive temporary residency in Israel and one would go to a third Western country. We're also told that once this happens those who

actually end up staying here they will be allowed to work. But the government will also move them around the country. Disperse them they say

to areas where they could go, where they could be needed, where they could be incorporated into the society.

JONES: And the other story that's gripping the region that you're in at the moment is the violence that took place over the last couple of days at

the Israel Gaza border. Now we've got world leaders trading insults over what actually happened and the morality of what happened compared to the

reality I guess.

LEE: Yes, and the death toll rose today to 18 people who now have been killed in Friday's violence. A 29-year-old Palestinian man who was part of

the military wing of Islamic Jihad died this morning. But there is this condemnation from some countries. The Arab League is holding an emergency

session tomorrow to discuss the situation. Jordan and Egypt have already condemned it. You have the European Union that wants an independent

inquiry, a probe into the violence. The United States though stopped a statement from the UN Security Council.

And when you talk to Israeli officials, the defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said flat out that there would not be an investigation. And

then there is this war of words between the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. There was a

back-and-forth between the two leaders with the Turkish President calling Netanyahu a terrorist. And Netanyahu responding by accusing Erdogan of

being guilty of a slaughter of innocents in the Syrian region of Afrin. So, this is not unusual. These two leaders have sparred before on social

media and in speeches. But it just shows the tensions around last Friday's demonstration, last Friday's protests and clashes that took place.

[11:35:00] You know, Israel says that Hamas and other militants try to hijack it to advance their goals, their objectives. Israel's army said

also that they launched attacks during this time. Palestinian, their organizers say that these are peaceful protests. But whatever happens

going forward really, Hannah, that's what will be watching. This is supposed to take place over the course of the next six weeks. So, Friday

we'll likely see more violence.

JONES: Ian Lee live for us in Jerusalem, thank you.

In Egypt tens of millions of votes and zero surprises. It's now official that that Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has secured a second term as Egypt's

president and by a landslide. He won a stunning 97 percent of the vote against just one other candidate. Well that in itself was hugely

controversial. Because the opposition said the government made other contenders pull out. Well, the president, we should say, has denied those

claims.

Ben Wedeman is following the story for us from Beirut and joins me now. Man, if the aim was to silence or the effect was to silence opponents has

had the desired impact, I guess, this landslide victory, el-Sisi.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, no surprises whatsoever. It's interesting that he did get a 97 percent of the vote

compared to 97 percent the last time he ran for president in 2014. There are several other significant points however. One is that for instance in

2014 the turnout was 47.5 percent. This time around it's 41.05. Also interesting was the fact that seven percent of the ballots were marked

wrong. Apparently intentionally because many people were so unhappy with the nature of this election in which the real main competitors to Abdel

Fattah el-Sisi, were either arrested or were intimidated or pressured into pulling out of the race.

So, that the only person who was his competitor who was an individual largely unknown, Mousa Mostafa Mousa, who about 15 minutes before he could

register to be a candidate in this election decided that he was going to run. Until then he was a supporter. A very vocal supporter of Abdel

Fattah el-Sisi. So, Egypt which has a long history of political satire seems to be continuing that tradition -- Hannah.

JONES: And Ben, if the opposition is now growing in the aftermath of this election, or of el-Sisi, it might have no impact at all given the fact that

there are reports that he may now remove presidential term limits.

WEDEMAN: Well, this is what many of his supporters are calling for. But four years is a long time in the Middle East, a long time in Egypt and a

long time in politics. Now, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to his credit has managed to, for instance, pull off several important structural reforms removing

subsidies that have long been something that the World Bank, the IMF and others have called for.

But it's come at a very high price to ordinary Egyptians who have seen their ability to buy basic goods really dry out. So, yes, he has as is

expected in a country like Egypt where much of the media is dominated by supporters of whatever regime happens to be in place. Yes, there urging

him to be president for life, so to speak. But running Egypt, a country of 90 million people, largely impoverished, many of them illiterate, is no

easy task. So, come back to me in four years and will discuss this -- Hannah.

JONES: I'll keep you to that. Ben, thanks very much indeed. Ben Wedeman live in Beirut, thanks.

Live from London this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Still to come on the program, a historic round of applause. We'll tell you what the leader of North

Korea is clapping around and why it is being seen as so significant.

[11:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JONES: You're watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Hannah Vaughan Jones, welcome back.

The U.S. and South Korea kicked off their annual joint military drills on Sunday. Those so-called wargames usually upset China and provoke fury from

North Korea. But this year they're taking place against a backdrop of some diplomacy as the leaders of the North and the South prepare to meet for the

first time in more than 10 years. It's a groundbreaking summit planned for the end of this month, the end of April.

As those military drills kicked off, diplomacy was making its mark on the Korean Peninsula. Not through talks though, not even through delegations,

but this time through music.

Singers performed in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, on Sunday representing not only South Korea, but a seismic change on the Peninsula.

Just two years ago South Korea was blasting K-pop over its border with the North in response to Pyongyang setting off a nuclear blast. And North

Koreans have been punished in the past for simply listening to South Korean music. But Sunday's concert marked the first time in more than a decade

that South Korean musicians have traveled to North Korea.

Let's get straight over now to Jean Lee. Jean's the director of the Korea program at the Wilson Center think tank in DC. She's a former Associated

Press bureau chief. Who also opened Pyongyang's Associated Press bureau back in 2012. Jean thanks so much for joining us on the program. We saw

images from this concert of Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, apparently being moved, certainly clapping and looking quite happy at this,

so say, peace concert. This sort of personality transplants -- if we can call it that -- of Kim Jong-un, seem to be continuing to unravel before our

very eyes. Why now and why through the medium of music?

JEAN H. LEE, DIRECTOR OF THE KOREA PROGRAM, WILSON CENTER: And the surprises never end do they when it comes to North Korea. This is another

extraordinary example of Kim Jong-un stepping out and showing himself as a statesman. You know, a couple of interesting things here. We've seen him

reach out to foreign leaders on a number of fronts. But now he's actually interacting and mingling, and I think that was one of the most surprising

things. Of course, it was interesting that he attended the concert. But the fact that he was comfortable any wanted to show himself mingling with

the performers afterwards was significant. That not only shows him as somewhat normal leader and somewhat congenial leader. But it shows him as

being very different from his father, Kim Jong-il, who was much more reclusive.

And this is all part of I think a very specific strategy carried out by the North Koreans to show him as somebody who is now ready to step out on this

world stage and interact with foreigners.

JONES: He's described music in the past though as being part of propaganda, South Korean propaganda. He now seems to be using it to his

advantage. Using this sort of soft power approach as opposed to hard power that we've seen over the last goodness knows how many years. Can he use

that to his advantage do you think with the North Korean people?

LEE: He is using it his advantage and make no mistake, this is still propaganda by the South Koreans and the North Koreans. They understand the

power of these performances.

[11:45:00] I think we need to be cautious here because although this is such a significant and positive development we don't want to let this

distract from the reality of the situation on the Korean Peninsula. It's all very great to have these performers there and I applaud these inter-

Korean efforts at reconciliation.

But let's not forget that they still have a potentially destructive nuclear weapons program and that their alleged human rights abuses that have

certainly injected a lot of concern around the world. So, that is something to keep in mind. We certainly don't want to be distracted from

some of the realities when it comes to Korea.

JONES: You described it there as inter-Korean efforts. A lot of what we seen over the last couple of months with the Winter Olympics in South Korea

and a unified team being put forward. Now with these peace concerts, if you like, in Pyongyang. It seems to show very much, a unified career. Is

that the aim though? Is that what they want on either side of the peninsula?

LEE: I think that's a strategy that both the North Korean leader and the South Korean president want. Now, when it comes to South Korea I think

it's important to remember as well, that young South Koreans feel very differently toward North Korea than their parents and their grandparents.

And one of the things President Moon Jae-in in South Korea has to do is to win young South Koreans over to the idea that relations, warming relations

with North Korea is a good thing.

You know, these performers, the younger performers in this delegation from South Korea, have only known North Korea as a foe. And that's important to

remember for the entire adult lives there's only been tension. So, to get them to interact with North Koreans, to perform and North Korea will give

them a different sensibility. And then they will carry that message to their generation. So, this is not only North Korea doing propaganda, but

South Korea as well.

JONES: I'm just wondering though, Jean, are think so bad now in North Korea in terms of the sanctions that have been imposed over the last decade

or so. Are things so bad and have hit the regime so hard that now Kim Jong-un has no choice but to try to reach out and rejoin the international

community?

LEE: Things are always difficult in North Korea. But they have lived with sanctions for more than 30 years. When I was there in Pyongyang last year

certainly I didn't see a huge amount of difference in the quality of life in Pyongyang, I mean the capital, that is the showcase capital. Sanctions

take some time before they have an effect. But he, the leader, will know that in the long term these types of sanctions are untenable and that they

will affect the lives of the elite. But I think this is part of a much bigger strategy that North Koreans have. Had in mind for quite some time.

2018 is a significant year. It's the 60th anniversary of the armistice, the cease-fire from the Korean War. It's also the 70th anniversary of the

founding of North Korea. These are two events that he, the leader of North Korea, is very aware. That he wants to take advantage of. And so, this is

something to keep in mind as well. That this timing is something the North Koreans are always aware of. They want to have something big to celebrate

this year.

JONES: Jean Lee it's so great to get your perspective. We appreciate it. Thanks for joining us.

LEE: Thanks for having me.

JONES: Live from London I think we're just going to take a look at the markets at the moment because hearing that the Dow is down nearly 500 --

468 there you can see. This is the latest that were hearing from Wall Street. Apparently, a tech stops are dragging down the broader market.

So, it's been a bumpy ride over the last couple of weeks. Dow Jones index at the moment down 450 points or so.

You're watching CNN and you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. You stay tuned our way. Coming up next, warrior and fraudster. She helped pull down the

scourge of apartheid. But then she herself falling from grace. We look back at incredible highs and lows of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's life.

[11:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JONES: Welcome back, we want to remind you of our breaking news this hour. South Africa's Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has passed away. She was 81 years

old. She'll be most remembered for this. Standing side-by-side, hand-in- hand with her husband at the time, Nelson Mandela. South Africa's first black president, of course.

Well, they this couple, along with the country they loved, shared in the long struggle to dismantle apartheid. This the moment he walked free from

prison after 27 years. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's life was colorful. It's known though, one of controversy and also one of triumph. To really

get a sense of it all let's bring in Tim Modise. He's a journalist in South Africa on television and radio, on both for 25 years. And Tim is

also close to the Mandela's hosting the late Nelson's 80th birthday. Tim Modise with this now on the phone from Johannesburg. Thank you so much for

joining us. And our commiseration's of course for your loss today. Your inflections to start off with on the death of this woman.

TIM MODISE, JOURNALIST, JOHANNESBURG (via phone): Thanks again for inviting me on your show. Winnie Mandela definitely a towering figure in

the struggle for liberation here in South Africa and the dismantling of apartheid. And the majority of South Africans feeling very sad today.

Because the news about her illness not widely reported here. But she was seen at different events not so long ago. So, people did not expect that

she would die so soon. But many have been posting messages of well wishes, sympathy, condolences to the family as well as recognizing and celebrating

the contributions that she made to the struggle in South Africa.

JONES: And some won't realize, Tim, I guess just how much of an activist life she led, all through her life as well. That she was still being so

active within the ANC, within government, within political activism in general throughout the country right up until the very end. How big of an

impact has she had on modern South African politics do you think?

MODISE: She had a substantial impact. It is even better to appreciate it now after the fact then when she had impact. For instance, when the ANC

was banned and punished to exile and some of the leaders arrested and taken to Robben Island. Things sort of died down in the 60s. And only in the

70s when we had the 1976 uprising, she emerged again. And then coordinated or at least coordinated the communication between the leaders on Robben

Island and the ANC in exile and restarted people in the organization. So, she resuscitated the ANC come alive in the 70s and the 80s.

And of course, had a defiant nature. She was detained several times. She was banished to a small town and the promise that she stayed away from

Johannesburg and away from the media. But now and again she broke the banishment orders to come back to Soweto and to take the lead of the

democratic movement in Johannesburg.

JONES: And Tim, you've been talking about some of the reaction that's been coming into the news of Winnie Mandela's death. Retired South African

Archbishop, Nobel laureate as well, Desmond Tutu, has held her as a defining symbol of the struggle against apartheid.

He said, and I'm quoting here, she refused to be bowed by the imprisonment of her husband, the perpetual harassment of her family by security forces,

detentions, bannings and banishment. Her courageous defiance was deeply inspirational to me, and two generations of activists.

Really, Tim, a life that was both fraught with scandal and also huge struggle.

[11:55:00] MODISE: Definitely. I mean, if somebody commented and said, you know, the struggle could not be met and was never intended to be met,

that some of the things would happen. But the memory that people have of her is that she was an isolated sea gull for the most part. Because, for

instance, her organization, the ANC, was in exile for the most part, the leadership thereof. Her husband -- and she lost her husband who was

imprisoned for a long, long time when she was still relatively young. Raised her children by herself. So, there were a lot of sympathies for the

role that she played in resuscitating and sustaining the struggle against apartheid here in South Africa. Notwithstanding some of the controversial

incidents and scandals that she may have been embroiled in.

JONES: Well, we very much appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us today on the death of a woman you knew very well indeed. Tim Modise, thank

you very much reflecting there on the death of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

And thanks to you our viewers as well. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks for watching.

END