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Historic Day for North and South Korea; America's Dad Faces Prison Time. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired April 27, 2018 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
NATALIE ALLEN, HOST, CNN: History in the making. The leaders of North and South Korea meet and greet. We're live from outside the DMZ this hour.
GEORGE HOWELL, HOST, CNN: Also ahead, a man once was known as America's dad now convicted as felon. The jury finds Bill Cosby guilty of aggravated indecent assault.
ALLEN: Also, this hour President Trump unreleased. He called into his favorite show and gives them an earful, you know, it's near-full when the host are trying to wrap it up, the president want to keep on ongoing
ALLEN: It's an awkward moment. We'll show it to you.
Hello, thank you for joining us. I'm Natalie Allen.
HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta Newsroom starts right now. Around the world, good day to you.
North Korea's leader says a new age of peace begins now. The first inter-Korean summit since 2007 meeting in the demilitarized zone Kim Jong-un and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in are said to have had frank and honest discussions.
A spokesperson says they talked about the denuclearization also a permanent peace settlements on the peninsula.
ALLEN: After their initial handshake Mr. Kim took Mr. Moon's hand and invited him to step North of the demarcation line. South Korea's Blue House says the move was not planned, so far, everyone seems to be in good spirits. Mr. Kim proclaimed the summit a starting point in history.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIM JONG-UN, NORTH KOREAN LEADER (through translator): I want 200 meters, with mixed emotions I came here with the mindset that I'm standing at the standing line of the new history of North-South relationship and (Inaudible). I would like to finally discuss current issues and matters of interest and have a good result, rather than not being able to fulfill it and go back to square one. I would like this to be an opportunity to look at the future and move forward holding hands.
MOON JAE-IN, PRESIDENT OF SOUTH KOREA (through translator): The moment you cross that demarcation line to Panmunjom it became a symbol of peace not a symbol of separation. The entire world is watching us and I once more want to appreciate your (Inaudible).
I want to have a frank talk and make a good agreement and good the world a good result as we get.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: So there you have it. A preview from around the table. We have corresponds throughout the region. Paula Hancocks is not far from the demilitarized zone and Anna Stewart is in Tokyo, Japan for us.
Paul, first to you. Certainly, a historic start to this summit. What can you tell us about what more might what happened during the talks?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, one that we did have from the Blue House spokesman was an interesting point about when Kim Jong- un actually steps over the MDL into the South. And then President Moon actually said to him while you have stepped to the North I wonder when I will be going to the North. And at that point, Kim Jong-un took his hand and said, well, what about now. And that's why they both then decided to walk into the north part of DMZ, as well.
So, as a noticeable snippet of information there. But as for substance beyond the optics of what is happening in this summit we heard from Kim Jong-un at the end of the morning session, saying that he hopes what they had agreed would please people but saying what they have agreed is just the tip of the iceberg.
We heard from the Blue House spokesman as well saying that that they have been talking about denuclearization. They've been talking about how to get to a peace agreement as there's an armistice signed between North and South Korea since 1953 at this point. That is one of the key issues they want to get to, how to have a peace agreement and then also they talk about how to improve relations between the two Koreas.
So this is what was on the agenda. This is what we were expecting. We would like to have some details. Now we're hoping by the end of the day when there is this signed declaration from North and South Korea that we will have some indication as to how far the North Koreans are willing to go. Natalie?
ALLEN: So, with just after 4 p.m. there how much longer do we think they will go?
HANCOCKS: Well, we are expecting within half an hour that there will be a tree planting. This is going to be another one of those symbolic moments of which there have been many during this summit today. There will be a tree planted which originates from 1953, the year that
the Korean War ended. Both leaders will be involved in this planting. There will be soil from the mountain, Mount Paektu in North Korea, also Mount Halla in South Korea, and the water that they water this tree from has come from Taedong River in the North and the Han River in the South.
[03:04:59] So, this symbolism is really painstaking in this summit. They have really pulled out all the stops to show unity between the two Koreas. And then after that the two leaders will have a walk along a foot park. This will be done alone.
Hopefully we'll be able to see this live, but there will be no audio, there will be no bodyguard, they will be no entourage between the two leaders. They would just be working on their own at this point.
They will then go back inside and finish this summit before this evening's banquet, and hopefully before that banquet we will have some indication of any concrete decisions and assessment that the two leaders have come to. Natalie?
ALLEN: All right. Paula, thank you. Let's go now to Matt Rivers who is joining us live. Sorry. Anna, Anna in Tokyo. OK, Matt, it is. All right. Matt, thanks for joining us from Beijing. I want to talk to you about the reaction there. China very much wanting to be a player at some point as the summits begin.
MATT RIVERS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes, absolutely. I mean, just like all of these countries everybody wants a stake at this table with China. According to literally every single analyst that we speak to here in China, I mean, in the halls of power in Beijing there's going to be concern about just how much of an impact they can have on these negotiations.
I mean, think about the two rounds of negotiations that we know about so far, between the North and South and between the North Koreans and the Americans. China isn't in that picture at this point and that is something that is going to concern Chinese leadership.
China has major strategic interest in North Korea. They rely on North Korea to act as a buffer between South Korea and all the American troops that are there against the Chinese border. They don't want to see the Kim Jong-un regime go away. They have an interest in maintaining the status quo. Perhaps they weren't happy about the nuclear program, but they certainly don't want to see a unified Korean peninsula, for example. That is the agenda that China is going to pursue.
And you've seen them try and get the North Koreans back into the fold. The relationship have soured quite a bit over the last several years, but over the last several weeks you saw Kim Jong-un come here to Beijing making a visit, meeting Xi Jinping, the President of China for the first time. And you also saw high-level Chinese delegation go to Pyongyang and was warmly received by Kim Jong-un.
So that is China trying to flex its muscle a little bit and say hey, we want a role in these negotiations moving forward. It can't just be the Americans and the South Koreans and the North Koreans.
ALLEN: It will be interesting to see how they move their way in after this first summit as expect more to come. Matt Rivers, thank you. Let's go now to Anna Stewart. She's in Tokyo, Japan. And certainly, Anna, Tokyo has taken a hard line with North Korea, especially due to its missile program.
ANNA STEWART, PRODUCER, CNN: Absolutely. Tokyo is traditionally to go very hard line in North Korea. And although the government came out today and applauded South Korea's effort in these talks is still had a fairly wary tone. Listen to what the cabinet secretary had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YOSHIHIDE SUGA, CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY OF JAPAN: We hope to see forward looking discussions on abductions, nuclear and missile issues but we do not want to appraise any possible results as the summit is still about to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEWART: There is a general feeling of skepticism here. You know, Japan has been here before in the six party talks which one over the years with North Korea agreement for made assurances were given and nothing really stop. So Japan is very keen to see action not just words not just the wonderful symbolic moments that Paula mentioned earlier. It wants to see a real action. It also wants to make sure that each interests are included here.
Now Japan isn't just worried about ICBMs. It's also worried about shorter and medium-range missiles that still suppressing Japan. They also crucially wants the return of Japanese abductees who have held in North Korea for decades. And while it has assurances from President Trump and President Moon that these issues will be discussed with North Korea it's far short of having them home.
And actually I've spoken to many families of those abductees and they actually don't want any pressure to be lifted off North Korea at all until these abductees are home in hand. They are not going to trust it until it happened.
ALLEN: It's a big part of the overall story with North Korea, isn't it? Anna, thank you. Let's go back to Paula for one more. Paula, there will be other summit planned. What -- where will they be held, what do we know about the other meetings?
HANCOCKS: Well, we know that Kim Jong-un has invited Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang in one of their discussions that was caught by the pool reporter.
They had mentioned that Kim Jong-un have actually said the road coming down from Pyongyang to the border was bad, when you come to Pyongyang you should fly, which was a very interesting and honest assessment from the North Korean leader there, expressing the fact that his infrastructure is not that good within the country, but he did say that he will go to the airport to welcome Moon Jae-in. [03:09:59] And then we know that the South Koreans wanted this. We know that they wanted this not to be a one-off, they have said before the summit happened that they were going to break with some of the protocols. They were going to try and make it more practical to make sure that they can have what they wanted was one or two more within this year.
And bear in mind that Moon Jae-in wants to finish the whole denuclearization process within his term. That's a five-year term. He's already a year in. So he is saying he wants this to be completed within four years which is very ambitious. But it does shows that the South Koreans are determined that this is going to be a one-off.
And from what we heard Kim Jong-un also saying that he would be willing to come to Seoul as well to come to the Blue House. So certainly the chit chat we're hearing between the two leaders is positive, assuming that they are going to be meeting more than just this once. Natalie?
ALLEN: Right. The time to be ambitious is now, isn't it. Paula Hancocks for us there. Anna Stewart in Tokyo and Matt Rivers there in Beijing. Thank you all.
HOWELL: Let's chat more about this now with Chung Min Lee, senior fellow with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, also a former South Korean ambassador for national security affairs live this hour in Seoul, South Korea. Thank you for your time today.
So, what we saw on the peninsula truly historic in nature. But looking beyond the glowing optics, how optimistic are you that continued talks between these two leaders will actually lead to major change.
CHUNG MIN LEE, SENIOR FELLOW, CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE: You know, George, it's great to be on CNN again. And I'm reminded by Ronald Reagan's, I guess phrase, trust but verify as we go back to the Cold War.
The historic meeting between President Moon and Chairman Kim it is going to result in very good office has already resulting optics. There will be a joint statement perhaps on denuclearization improving to Korean ties.
But the real key issue is will Kim Jong-un agree to irreversible dismantlement of nuclear weapons and missile programs. And will really have - I would argue when he meet with President Donald Trump either in May or early June.
HOWELL: Look, we know they did talk about denuclearization. We know they talk about a peace settlement between the two Koreas. No decisions yet out of those talks, but the devil really in the details here. What's your take on what North Korea really wants out of this?
LEE: You know, for Kim Jong-un he's in power for six years. His economy is basically on status quo, he is suffering from multiple sanctions so he needs sanctions relief. He also wants to be recognized as a world leader, quote/unquote, "one with nuclear weapons." And that's basically the key thing that Moon -- that Kim wants off the South Korean summit.
He wants to show the world that he is a man of peace that he's able to deal with world leaders, that he's competent, that he is smart, and that he is able to sit down and talk about real issues.
So on that score I would give him a very high score, but the key issue is will he able -- will he be able to sit on and say under basically super inspections, special inspections, I will give up my nuclear weapons including dismantling all nuclear site. That's a very -- that's very far away off even though the optics today are very, very good.
HOWELL: How much of this do you surmise is driven by the maximum pressure campaign of sanctions against North Korea and one could imagine the U.S. president patting himself on the back with this. How much credit goes to the U.S. president for his approach in problems?
LEE: I think Donald Trump despite all of his domestic problems has focused on North Korea. International sanctions are working, harsher sanctions are on the way including secondary boycotts. The U.S. Congress just passed a nonbinding resolution again on North Korean human rights.
All of those steps are pressuring Pyongyang, at the same time, Kim Jong-un doesn't want to be totally dependent on China. Remember, North Korea gets 90 percent of its food and fuel from China so he wants to move away slightly from China, get sanctions relief and talk to Donald Trump and President Moon about a real potential denuclearization roadmap.
HOWELL: With Kim Jong-un engaging the South and potentially even engaging the U.S. President, Donald Trump, our correspondent Matt Rivers brought this issue up. The question really where does this leave China despite the fact that these two leaders met a short time ago.
LEE: That's right. President Xi Jinping is starting on his second term. He is the strongest Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. And what he doesn't, he doesn't want Kim Jong-un to be totally out of China's orbit. And so, he wants to reign in Kim Jong-un just enough so that he will listen to him on critical issues. Why? If a peace treaty is signed between the parties concerned, China of course has to be one of the signatories that she was back in 1953.
[03:14:57] Xi does not want Kim Jong-un to be closer to the Americans than to the Chinese. And he wants to make sure that inter-Korean baton proceeds but not as such a fast rate that there might be something that the Chinese don't want which is a unified Korea under their borders.
So, for Xi Jinping he wants to take this step-by-step, but he does not want to see North Korea go over to the U.S. as it were.
HOWELL: Chung Min Lee, just very briefly here these talks between North and South Korea, who do you believe really has the upper hand here. LEE: I think President Moon has the upper hand now because, you know, he's in the driver's seat, he's going to satisfy American security concerns, Chinese concerns and Japanese concerns as one of our closest partners. And he has given the South Korean voters at this particular juncture the view that he is a genuine peacemaker.
But as I said, the devil is in the details and in the ensuing weeks and months we'll exactly whether President Moon is able to pull this off.
HOWELL: Chung Min Lee, live for us in Seoul, South Korea. Thank you so much for your time and perspective. We'll stay in touch with you.
And still ahead here, so what is next at the summit between North and South Korea. Still ahead, we look at the issues at play. And the question, can these two leaders reach some kind of an agreement.
Also ahead this hour, a guilty verdict for entertainer Bill Cosby. Could he spend the rest of his life in prison for sexual assault? We'll examine that just ahead.
HOWELL: Welcome back. Recapping our top story, the leaders of North and South Korea are about to meet for a second session in their first face-to-face talks in more than a decade.
A few months ago such a meeting would have been unthinkable, but there you see it. North Korean missiles launch though, and nuclear tests. They had the world on edge until now.
ALLEN: Right. This is the first time the North Korean leader has left his country for a summit with South Korea. South Korea says the two men discussing denuclearization and a formal peace agreement during their morning session and their talks go on.
Here in the U.S. entertainer Bill Cosby has been found guilty of sexual assault.
HOWELL: He is now at his Pennsylvania home after a jury convicted the 80-year-old of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004.
Our Jean Casarez was in the courtroom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Guilty?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Guilty!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Bill Cosby found guilty of three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault after prosecutors argue during the trial that the legendary comedian assaulted Andrea Constand in 2004. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOLORES TROIANI, ANDREA CONSTAND'S ATTORNEY: I am so happy today that I can say that although justice was delayed it was not denied. It took a lot of courage for her to come back and to do this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[03:19:55] CASAREZ: Cosby was on trial for drugging and sexually assaulting Constand at his home in Pennsylvania in 2004.
Cosby, who became known as America's dad first face charges for the attack in 2015, after a deposition from Constand's 2005 civil case against Cosby was unsealed in which he admitted to giving Quaaludes to women he wanted to have sex with. But that trial ended in a hung jury in 2017.
The second trial started just three weeks ago, and with it some big changes. A new defense team led by Tom Mesereau who is best known for successfully defending Michael Jackson against child molestation charges in 2005, also five additional accusers were allowed to testify against Cosby including former supermodel Janice Dickinson instead of just one additional accuser during his previous trial.
District Attorney Kevin Steele brought to tears by his conviction of Cosby's.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN STEELE, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, MONTGOMERY COUNTY: As I was watching what they get.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CASAREZ: Before thinking that dozens of other accusers--
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEELE: For this whole process has been a lot of other courageous women who were willing to stand up and tell their stories about being drugged and sexually assaulted or raped.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CASAREZ: Cosby's attorneys say they are not giving.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS MESEREAU, BILL COSBY'S ATTORNEY: We are very disappointed by the verdict. We know that Mr. Cosby is guilty of anything and the fight is not over.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you plan to appeal, sir?
MESEREAU: Yes. Yes, very strongly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CASAREZ: That disappointment also expressed by Cosby in a shocking courtroom outburst after the D.A. pushed to put the 80-year-old immediately behind bars saying he was a flight risk because he owned a private plane. Cosby shouted he doesn't have the plane "you asshole."
Meanwhile, outside, his accuser say justice was finally served.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LILI BERNARD, BILL COSBY'S ACCUSER: It is also a victory for womanhood and it is a victory for all sexual assault survivors female and male.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are not shutting up or not going away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CASAREZ: Jean Casarez, CNN, Norristown, Pennsylvania.
HOWELL: Let's now bring in CNN legal analyst and defense attorney Mark Geragos joining from Los Angeles. Mark, thank you for being with us. Let's talk about this case. Looking back, given the history of Bill Cosby, what we've heard from his accusers and his steadfast defiance what was the first thing you thought when you heard this verdict?
MARK GERAGOS, LEGAL ANALYST, CNN: I expected it actually. I thought that the defense approach in, you know, I always hesitate to second- guess because hindsight is 20/20 but I was early money on the first trial predicting that it would be a hung jury and I was early money on this saying that it was to be a guilty.
I think that the defense was tone deaf and antiquated and it's unfortunate because in this particular milieu that approach that was taken by the defense I just don't think was going to get any detraction. I think it rang hollow the idea of attacking and attacking and attacking, while maybe it would have been a good ploy before certainly doesn't play well now. And I think it could have been handle a lot differently.
I think probably the biggest mistake at least from Cosby's standpoint is that he didn't have the lawyer Brian who tried the chase the first time around. So a different legal team different result.
HOWELL: All right. Looking ahead to sentencing and date has not yet been set, but Cosby can face up to 30 years behind bars. What do you expect of sentencing?
GERAGOS: Well, I'll tell you that the fact that he walked out of the courtroom has to give him a glimmer of hope. This was a state court case. And in state court case is in America 999 times out of a thousand if you get convicted of a serious felony you're going to be remanding which means put into custody, go to jail. You're not going to walk out the front door. And so he did and so that has got to give the defense team some kind of hope that maybe he's not going to get hammered by the judge's sentencing.
But given the charges and given what the law requires, I think it's highly likely, I would be shocked if he did not do a substantial period of custody time.
HOWELL: Let's talk about that moment that happened in court when the prosecutor asked that Cosby bail be revoked suggesting that he owned a plane and that he might be a flight risk, Cosby lashed out using a word that no need to repeat here, essentially saying that he didn't. Could that in any way impact the judge's decision during sentencing?
[03:24:55] GERAGOS: No, I don't think so. I mean, the, if it was going to impact in any point it would have impacted today when the judge would not have been second-guessed by putting him into jail today and could have used the lack of contrition today as a basis or a pivot to put him in prison.
So, no. I think by the time sentencing comes around that's not going to much matter. The problem that he's going to have in sentencing is there will be all kinds of reports that are done. There's all kinds of requirements because this is a registrable sex offense that has to -- things that go to the judge that probation does that they analyze on him.
And the fact that there are drugs and the lack of consent is what he was convicted of, he's going to, my guess is he's going to have a harsh probation report and it's going to be very difficult for a judge with a recommendation if there is a recommendation that he know there's prison time for a judge to ignore that recommendation.
HOWELL: As his attorney pointed out he does plan to appeal, saying that Cosby's spirits are high because he believes the jury got it wrong. But I want to draw on your legal expertise here. The attorney also saying certain aspects of the case will be challenged including prosecutorial misconduct, statute of limitations and a host of other things, that's the quote. What so you read of that?
GERAGOS: The one issue that I think really as some traction or could gain some traction is when the jury came back and asked for a definition of consent. Now apparently there's no jury instruction on consent or that defines consent, but I think somebody might say well, if you don't give them instructions, if you don't give them some guidance then they are speculating.
And one of the things the defense will probably do is investigate what transpired in that jury room. There's limitations on what you can do about that but if they find that some extraneous information was entered into that jury room and that that caused somebody to flip their votes, so to speak, then they might get some traction on that.
HOWELL: Mark Geragos, thank you so much for your time today.
GERAGOS: Thank you. Good to see you. ALLEN: We want to go right now live to the Korean militarized zone because there are developments in summit going. That is the security detail for Mr. Kim of North Korea and he and Moo Jae-in of South Korea are about to take part in a tree planting ceremony.
HOWELL: Again, we're watching as they arrived as they get closer to that. A little context on the tree. So, the pine tree it dates back to 1953, the year of the Korean armistice. The Korean leaders will be using soil and water from both sides of the Korean border.
Again, let's continue to watch these images as these two leaders are set to come back together. And I believe the next step after that is in to move into the later sessions of the summit.
ALLEN: All right. There is the leader of North Korea stepping from his limousine to take part in this show of support from one another and what they're trying to accomplish.
Let's go to Paula Hancocks who's right near the area and she can give us context about this part of the summit. Paula?
HANCOCKS: Well, Natalie, they both clearly finished their lunch now, they are having a rest at separate times after that morning session. And what they are doing now is, as you say, they will be wanting a tree both sides and especially the South Korea side to saying that this is very symbolic because the tree itself as you say dates back from 1953.
So that's the year that the Korean War ended. They are also going to have soil. One part of the soil is from Mount Paektu in North Korea, a very important mountain for the North Korean regime, and then in the south it's from Mount Halla on Jeju Island on the southern tip.
And then even the water that two leaders are going to be watering this tree with that the northern side is coming from the Taedong River, the southern side coming from Han River. So it's a real sense of unity, sense of the two Koreas coming together. And the fact that they are planting it here at the site of the Korean division we're being told is very symbolic as well.
So we are expecting both leaders to be part of this. This was planned, this was being broadcast live around the country and clearly around the world as well. So, just one of the many symbolic parts of this summit. It was very important to the South Koreans to have so much symbolism in this summit. Much of this we understand was suggested by the South Korean side that the North Koreans agreed to go along with it.
And we know that also much of this is actually being rehearsed already. We know that they wanted it to be picture perfect. They knew it was going to be a made-for-TV moment. Throughout the day the optics is very important to both sides of the Korea. So, this is what we're expecting at this point.
[03:29:55] HOWELL: Again, we're looking on here. And let's talk about the difference here between optics and substance. So again, we're seeing a lot of optics but not to discount the optics because I'd like to get your perspective on this for people in South Korea and for those in North Korea, who dealt with the continued conflict to see these things happening, to see this tree being planted in those two leaders standing side-by-side. How important are those optics for people who really did under the gun for quite some time.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Absolutely, I think both sides of the pre-state, just how importantly those are. These are the sort of optics that North Korea and Kim Jong-un are going to want to show their own people that the fact there is this unity and it is a real sign that the tensions of at this -- the other night several months ago, are very much dissipated.
It's really quite incredible when you think how tense things were back in October and November and that when you see where we are today and you can see both leaders there digging into the soil from their respective, but parts of the Korean peninsula. So, that is symbolic in itself, soil from North Korean part, soil from the South Korean part and of course the water as well. It is going to be on both sides.
The optics are important, the substance is more important and that is what we are still waiting to hear about. We did hear from Kim Jong-un at the end of the morning sessions saying they have agreed that there will be an announcement. He hopes that people will be happy with that agreement and it is the tip of the iceberg.
So we will have to wait to see what that substance is. There will be meeting once again in the Summit in the peace side after this particular ceremony. Those who will be having a walk along the foot park first, just the two of them will being told, no audio, no body guards, no entourage. It will be interesting to understand what their talking about there, but we understand there will be no microphones at that point. And then they will get back inside to continue that summit.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN NEWSROOM SHOW HOST: And now they are going to pour water on the soil, underneath its symbolic tree? Water from both countries and you know what is interesting Paula, Kim Jong-un has been such, you know, secret. Such an enigma to the world. Here we see him spending so much time with the President of South Korea they're talking, they are shaking hands, they are walking, they are going to be spending more time together. It finally did the door is open to maybe understanding really what's behind the motives of Kim Jong-un and what he's like to deal with.
HANCOCKS: Natalie, we haven't seen Kim Jong-un like this ever, even when he went to China and met with Xi Jinping there, that was a state visit. It was very highly choreographed in every image you see from North Korea, from state run television, even on the field guidance's or when he is meeting the people of Pyongyang that is heavily edited. It is heavily choreographed and certainly this as well. We have to point out has been rehearsed to the Emcee's degree and they even check both camera angles and lighting.
But this we are seeing Kim Jong-un at his natural habitat, if you like. Outside of North Korea or at least the North Korea that is -- that is so tightly controlled media-wise by the regime. Nothing goes out from that regime that is not approved by the elites, by Kim Jong- un himself. The message, the images of the North Korean leader very tightly controlled and here you have him acting with the president of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, it appears from what we can see from just the optics that they are getting on well.
That there is some kind of rapport between them. They are smiling they are shaking hands. They seem natural with each other and this is just talking about North and South Korea, with any Summit between two leaders, It is important that do get on it. It is important that they build the personal relationship. To show that they can get through tougher times ahead and certainly when it comes with North and South Korea. There are many tough negotiations ahead.
HOWELL: Let us talk about what we are seeing right now these two leaders are standing beside a message. Certainly the message overall from what we are seeing unity of these two leaders that again, this just a historic, it is something that one would not have thought could happen, when you think back to the tensions that played out just months ago. But now, shaking hands in this very historic Summit taking place.
Paula, I'd like to get your -- your perspective just from people that you have spoken to, because in South Korea, many people are used to the rhetoric, they become accustomed to the conflict. The ongoing conflict, are people getting that sense of hope from all the things that were seeing so far again before we get into the dirty details of possible policy?
HANCOCKS: Yes, that is definitely a sense of optimism. I mean, without a doubt, just bear in mind it has been more than a decade since there was a summit between North Korean and the South Korean leader, so in just that respect there is optimism and I don't think there are many people in this country, myself included.
[03:35:12] If I live here, that I am not going to appreciate talking about summit and peace, more than they are going to be talking about a potential second Korean war just months ago, we were seriously talking about the potential of U.S. strike on North Korea. What could that mean to the residence in South Korea? What could it mean to 25 million people in North Korea? There were serious concerns about what could happen.
So, I think the majority of people in South Korea. Even if they are incredibly skeptical and many of them are, with good reason. They had been here a couple of times before, they are certainly happier being in this position. Watching these optics wondering if Kim Jong-un has change, wondering if he is willing to give up his nuclear weapon, having cynicism that, he is indeed willing to negotiate and to denuclearized. It is still a better place than we were in a matter of months ago, where -- and certainly looking at the approval rating for President Moon, I think that is always a fairly good way of seeing people appreciate what he's doing.
Real Meter says, it is up about 69 percent at the moment. That is the level that most leaders would kill for. It is a good approval rating. Of course there are conservative groups. There are other groups. If you not agree with what President Moon is doing. They do not want to be seeing these kind of images. There is concern that Kim Jong-un has been completely legitimized that he has said, I have got as far as I need to with my nuclear and missile program. I am a nuclear power which has been written in the constitution. Now I will meet you and talk about peace.
There are serious concerns that this kind of meeting with Moon Jae-and then of course the U.S President Donald Trump do legitimized a leader that just months ago was threatening the world.
ALLEN: And Paula, Do you know how much of what we are seeing here is being broadcast any in North Korea?
HANCOCKS: It is not being broadcast in North Korea at this point. It was interesting that this morning when Kim Jong-un actually left Pyongyang there was a case CNA, a state run media wired that said Kim Jong-un has left Pyongyang at dawn. He is going to meet the South Korean leader now that is unusual in itself. In fact that they announced that he was going to this meeting before the meeting happened. It shows a confidence that they were going to have something positive to report. Usually they wait until something happened, a day or so and then right in a certain way that they can sell it to their people so just a fact that it is being broadcast to the North Korean people ahead of time suggest that Kim Jong-un is determined to make this successful summit and you can see there, they are having their private walk.
We were told there would be no one around them. It would be very interesting to hear what they are saying right now. Of course, the Summit itself has a lot of the entourage, has a lot of other people involved, but this year is just the two leaders. Kim Jong-un, Moon Jae-in, walking down a path talking, it would be fascinating to hear what they are saying.
HOWELL: 4:38 p.m. in Seoul South Korea in the Korean demilitarized zone again, Paula Hancocks, thank you for your reporting and of course, stay with us, stand by. We will be back in touch with you, before our viewers are watching these two leaders walking together, taking time to talk to get to know each other what we're seeing is certainly historic, something that has not been seen, since the first inter-Korean summit since 2007. These two leaders meeting the demilitarized zone. Stay with us here on CNN, as we continue to follow this braking and historic news, the two leaders meeting.
[03:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ALLEN: Back live you're seeing a historic moment as the president of South Korea Moon Jae-in and the head of North Korea, Kim Jong-un are taking their stroll along the beautiful blue bridge after their first meeting this morning, after lunch break and then just planting a pine tree to symbols peace. They are talking and certainly the world will be wanting to know what they were discussing as they strolled along this area of the DMZ, George. HOWELL: Would you want to see a fly on the bridge or something as
supposed to, just to understand what they're talking about the importance the significance of what's happening here. It comes with a great deal of possibility, correct? So, they're talking about many different things. Things possibly denuclearization, possibly a peace settlement. These are very important topics that they plan to discuss, getting into the policy, the details, but first of the two people getting to know each other.
ALLEN: Let us bring in Paula Hancocks. Paula, do we know what they have stopped in front of their -- during their stroll.
HANCOCKS: We don't really know that they were going to stop in front of a stone, a plaque that pointed out the MDL that the military demarcation line, potentially that is what they are looking at right now. I mean the significance of this parts of the -- the very highly choreographed day is that they are on their own. They are not being -- I mean they are being taped. They are being been that live, but we are not hearing what they're saying.
We were told ahead of time. There will be no audio on this. There are no, bodyguards for the sitting very close to them. There is no entourage. There were no other members of the North and South Korean delegation. This is two leaders sitting down and having a conversation which quite often what happen with other countries, but clearly the North and South Korean leader very rarely have a chance to do this. These two leaders certainly haven't even met before today.
So, this is a significant moment. I mean that we know that they been talking about is, as you say denuclearization, how to secure peace on the peninsula and declare the end of Korean War and how to make sure that relations between North and South Korea improve going forward. Those have always been the three main topics on the agenda that the South Koreans have pointed out. But this, I mean, it seems like a very serious conversation, both talking, both listening intently to each other in this kind of interaction between two leaders who had been spilt for so many years is incredibly important to have a successful Summit. You have to have two leaders who understand each or at least find some kind of rapport that they are able to take bold decisions and bold actions in order to push this process forward, because everybody agrees to actually secure peace on the Korean peninsula to figure out if all sides agree on what denuclearization will look like is going to be incredibly difficult.
If it was simple. It would have been done already. So, it is important for the leaders of North and South Korea to have that personal relationship. Especially now, they have a hotline between them. There is a hotline line President Moon Jae-in office, it is also patch through to his personal residence if he needs it and it patches through Kim Jong-un in North Korea, so they can now pick up the phone when they need to and talk to each other. But having this face-to-face interaction is really crucial when you're trying to deal with something as complex as this.
HOWELL: Paula. OK, so let us talk about observations, just a moment ago, we saw leader Kim speaking -- seem to be interrupted by a member of the press there. Keeping in mind these two leaders have very different relationships with the press. One, a democracy, a free press. The other, a press that is a controlled by the state, so just very interesting to see the North Korean leader interacting with the press there in the DMZ.
[03:45:10] One question that I want to ask you, so we are watching these two leaders sit face-to-face having this conversation, but I would like to get a sense from you of what the DMZ is like right now. Typically a very tense place where conflict could break out at any time. Is it just as intense, right now, given the fact that these two leaders are sitting together or is there a difference, a change in the air?
HANCOCKS: Well, we are just outside the DMZ, George and there is no way that anybody is getting inside the demilitarized zone today. The one difference today is that there is incredible security surrounding this area. The Truce Village of Panmunjom where these two leaders are being -- having this meeting that would have been sweeps around this area with dogs with the minesweepers to make sure there is nothing (inaudible) in that area for weeks now.
We understand, they had even emptied the fuel out of all the fuel tanks nearby, just in case they are not taking any chances and so obviously there is the incredibly tight security. This is not the sort of image you are quite the DMZ. You have two men there sitting down on a beautiful spring day and you can see the gorgeous scenery behind them that is not the DMZ. The people around the world expect. So, yes, it is a different DMZ today. You have the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un stepping over the MDL. The Military Demarcation Line into the side. A matter of months ago, a North Korean soldier did that, trying to defect and he was shot five times and almost killed. This is incredibly different.
So we really have to step back every so often and remind ourselves of just how significant this day is. They are optics, they are important, but they are optics, but you have to get these optics you have to have this relationship built between these two countries and these two leaders build up some kind of trust between them, because there is very little trust between North and South Korea and then you can start to try and tackle the far bigger issue that will be incredibly difficult to deal with and of course going on to that meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.
ALLEN: Exactly, well, since you had been talking Paula, it has been all noon day and talking and Kim Jong-un was sitting there listening intensely for what seem like -- three or four minutes and now, Kim Jong-un is responding. What is on the line for Moon Jae-in and what kind of personality does he have? What is he possibly you know, how much would you be chairing out this very, very important part of his presidency and certainly this moment that the world is watching?
HANCOCKS: Well, Moon Jae-in is a former human rights activists. He is former lawyer. He actually pass the bar as human right law while he was in prison for protesting against the dictatorship of (inaudible) in the 1970s. So, he is certainly a man with conscience and he has been willing to go to prison for what he believes in. So in that respect, that is the kind of man he is. I remember the -- he was Chief of Staff in 2007 for the late leader (inaudible) in South Korea.
He actually organized the Summit that went to North Korea when (inaudible) met the late Kim Jong-il. And there is a report or an anecdote that the former president said to him at one point you are too nice to be in politics, you will never make it in politics. So this is the kind of man that he has the reputation of being. I mean, I interviewed him back in September. And I asked him what he wanted his legacy to be and his legacy. He wanted was to be in charge of the first true democracy in South Korea. He wants it to be able to speak for the people, he wants to break down barriers between the blue eyes and the people.
So certainly this is a man with a conscience, but it is a man who knows exactly what he wants. He is liberal leaning, he once engage with North Korea, he has been very clear about this from the beginning and since he was elected in May of last year. He has been trying to bring the U.S. President Donald Trump along as well. He has persisted even when Donald Trump resisted pretty, pretty significantly even calling President Moon at one point an appeaser, he kept going and he kept trying to bring Mr. Trump along with him, because Blue House said that he appreciated. If the North and South Koreans talk that Washington is not behind it, then it is talk, nothing will happen.
This is what the problem was in the past, they believe that agreements would not adhere to because the U.S. was not behind it. So certainly this is a determined man. And this is exactly what he wants it.
[03:50:00] He wanted this engagement with North Korea. He had achieved the first step, just the first step, a close ally of his said to me, a couple of days ago, he feels he has the world's pressure on his shoulders, the Foreign Minister told Christiane Amanpour, that he has really states his reputation on this and he was well aware of that.
HOWELL: It is a great deal certainly on the lined up for President Moon, but also for North Korean leader as well in these talks. Stand by one second let us just reset our viewers some context to your 10 minutes before the top of the hour and what you're seeing their, the leader in North Korea the leader of South Korea sitting together -- talking about probably some really important issues that could lead to possible peace on the Korean peninsula. Again just moments ago, a short time ago, we saw them planting a tree together then walking along this bridge, a Blue Bridge to the point where they are now. Our Paula Hancocks has been on this story along day for her, but certainly historic and a lot to cover.
Paula, talk to us about what happens next, so we see the leader sitting together, what is next on the agenda as we look at the second part of today's Summit?
HANCOCKS: Well, George after this, the two are expected to go back inside the peace hives within Panmunjom and they will continue the summit. So, quite frankly it looks like this is part of the summit they are discussing what they need to discuss. So they will then go back inside and what we are hoping for or what we had been promised, is some kind of declaration, whether it is a signed agreement.
Whether it is a pronouncement whether you will hear from the leaders themselves, from Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in, we don't know for sure at this point, but we are expecting some kind of communicate and declaration from the two of them. Once that is done, we know that that will be a banquet at 6:30 this evening, that is a couple of hours or so now. And we know that the North Korean Ri Sol-ju, that the wife of Kim Jong-un will also be attending the wife of President Moon, also attending and it will be a more jovial affair.
There is going to be North Korean singers that come down from the North to entertain at the banquet, there will also be South Korean singers. So it is going to be a much more lighthearted occasion. Clearly the serious discussion is ongoing at the moment, but this evening were expecting it to be more lighthearted.
ALLEN: It is really remarkable, you know, what we continue to see, I don't know if I ever seen two leaders of countries having this long of a conversation live, during our broadcast and they are all alone, you know, leaders are always surrounded by their supporters and their -- the folks on their team and the translators and if it's amazing Paula that these country have been at war for decades, but you know, comes down to it, they speak the same language, so that's how those two get to sit there by themselves.
HOWELL: And you know, it was also interesting Paula and I'm sure you are watching this video as we our viewers around the world, you are looking at every expression, you know, as the two leaders speak, you see Kim Jong-un's reaction to President Moon questions or the things that he's bringing up, but very, very intimate detail that were getting to see between two very important leaders in that part of the world.
HANCOCKS: Well, let us remember, both of these leaders know that they are being filmed, that they know that this is going out on international television, so this is choreographed, this has been planned, this has been rehearsed, but it doesn't diminished the fact that yes, they are having a private moment as much as you can, whether it be broadcast around the world, but there is no audio. There is no one listening to what they are is saying. They are talking about what they feel they need to talk about, so, it is quite a rare moment in fact when you have these kind of summit. To have this moment when the leaders of two countries, no matter which countries they are to actually be completely on their own. You road usually always have a translator, to hand, and interpreter or you will always have at least the closest aide of that leader, just to make sure what is going on and so they can helped when need be.
This is very candid, this is very basic. It is very honest. It is the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un and the South Korean leader, Moon Jae-in sitting down and talking to each other. Something they have not had a chance to do before. Something that will have the chance to do in the future, as we know, there is a hotline set up between the two leaders. The first time that it has ever happen between North and South Korean leader and we know that Kim Jong-un has already invited Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang and we know that he's already said, I'd be happy to come to Seoul, to the Blue House, so there at least publicly planning the next stages.
The next discussion, the next meeting that they are going to have.
ALLEN: We are seeing an animated South Korean president and certainly by the North Korean leader listening intensely, not doing as much talking to South Korea, because South Korea, no doubt pitching very important plans to Kim Jong-un and have you been able to even bring us all day Paula, have you been able to hear what the feeling it's from the media there and South Korea as they been watching this transpire?
[03:55:24] HANCOCKS: Well, I mean there is wall to wall blanket coverage from the South Korean media that this is being broadcast live, not just around the country, but definitely around the worlds, so, yes, every single expression is being analyzed, every single hand movement will be analyzed in the coming days. There is a lot of material for pundits to look at right now and to figure out what kind of relationship this two men have or are going to have.
I mean one thing they could be talking about now, let us not forget, this is not just about North and South Korea and this Summit and what they need to agree to. This, we had heard consistently from the Blue House, is the guide post, this is the stepping stone, and this is the warmup factor almost for the next summit that is coming. That Summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. Now we heard from Donald Trump speaking on Fox, that we had three or four days. He was looking at, he has said before, May, potentially early June, there is five locations that we understand that they have married and done to, but that is going to be a crucial summit.
It's going to be a summit that has never happened before, a sitting U.S. president has never met with a North Korean leader and it is something that North Korean leaders all the way from Kim II-sung had wanted.
HOWELL: Again, what you're seeing right now something that many folks around the world months ago would never had imagine. You are seeing the leader of North Korea and South Korea sitting together talking. You had been watching our continuing coverage of the day in the Koreas, a summit between these two leaders and will of course continue on this story.
ALLEN: Max Foster picks up our coverage right after quick break. Thanks for watching.