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Moon-Kim Meeting Revives Hopes for June 12 Summit; Ireland Votes Overwhelmingly to Repeal Abortion Ban; American Released by Venezuela; UEFA Champions League Final. Aired 12m-12:30a ET

Aired May 27, 2018 - 00:00   ET

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


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CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Renewed momentum for the U.S.- North Korea Summit. South Korea's president says North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is set meeting U.S. president Donald Trump.

The reaction as results of the Irish referendum are announced. In the end, a landslide vote to remove the constitutional ban on abortion.

And what a goal. Whether or not you like football, this was stunning. And it just happened, by the way, to propel Real Madrid to a third Champions League title in as many years. We'll be breaking that down with the sports team.

Live from the CNN Center here in Atlanta, I'm Cyril Vanier. It's great to have you with us.

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VANIER: A little more than two weeks. That is all the time left to prepare for that potential summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong- un. We do not know at this stage whether or not it will happen for sure.

But it does appear a little more likely now after an emergency meeting Saturday between the leaders of North and South Korea. That face-to- face, in the Korean demilitarized zone, was done in secret, no fanfare.

Moon Jae-in of South Korea traveled to the north side of the DMZ, where he and the North Korean leader held urgent discussions to try and salvage the June 12th meeting in Singapore with the U.S. president.

All of this, just three days remember, after President Trump abruptly canceled it in a letter to Kim on Thursday. The South Korean leader later explained what would happen next.

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MOON JAE-IN, SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT (through translator): There will be difficult tasks between North Korea and U.S. very soon. How well the practical talks will go is what the (INAUDIBLE) going to decide if the summit between North Korea and U.S. will go successful or not.

But I believe the practical meetings and I expect there will be a summit on June 12th (INAUDIBLE) will go very smoothly.

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VANIER: And in Washington, the U.S. president seemed to take news of the inter-Korean meeting in his stride. Here is Donald Trump late Saturday at the White House.

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DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just want to mention we're doing very well in terms of the summit with North Korea. Looks like it is going along very well.

There, as you know, there are meetings going on as we speak in a certain location which I won't name but like the location. It's not so far away from here. And I think there is a lot of goodwill. I think people want to see if we can get the meeting and get something done.

If we got that done and if we can be successful in the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, it would be a great thing for North Korea. It would be a great thing for South Korea, be great for Japan and great for the world, great for the United States, great for China.

A lot of people are working on it and it's moving along very nicely. So we're looking at June 12th in Singapore. That hasn't changed. And it's moving along pretty well. So we'll see what happens.

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VANIER: South Korea's president said Kim had repeated a strong desire to meet with Mr. Trump and also again expressed a willingness to denuclearize. Paula Hancocks is in Seoul, South Korea.

Paula, does it seem to you right now like the meeting's back on track?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It does, Cyril. When we were listening to the South Korean president Moon Jae-in talking there, it was -- he was talking about when the U.S. and North Korea meet as opposed to if they have this summit.

He said I expect the summit on June 12th will go smoothly. So from what we've heard from the U.S. president and now from the South Korean president, it would seem as though all three sides are trying to push forward with this.

Mr. Moon saying that when he spoke to the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, on Saturday, he had once again pointed out that he does want this summit to go ahead. He said that Chairman Kim was reiterating the fact that he was willing to have the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Now of course that does not necessarily mean a unilateral denuclearization --

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HANCOCKS: -- which is what Washington is looking for but clearly that will be a hurdle for down the line if this summit does take place. He also said that Kim Jong-un was talking about guarantees, that he wanted more guarantees if he was going to denuclearize.

Mr. Moon said that he said it's not just an economic guarantee. He wants it a regime guarantee and he pointed out that it was important to sit down with the U.S. president so he could hear it for himself from Donald Trump -- Cyril.

VANIER: And that is really interesting because, until now, we knew what the U.S. wanted. They wanted a complete irreversible, verifiable denuclearization. We were not entirely sure of what the North Koreans wanted. And Moon Jae-in alluded to that, security guarantees in addition to economic guarantees.

So Paula, what happens now?

HANCOCKS: Well, Cyril, we've heard from the U.S. president before. He said just last week that he could guarantee Kim Jong-un's safety, which clearly raised some eyebrows, not only in Washington but around this region as well, guaranteeing the safety of a dictator.

But he also said that said if a deal is done, then Kim Jong-un would be happy, he would safe, his country would be rich. So it's interesting that we're hearing from the South Korean president as well, having just met the North Korean leader, that they were talking about the economics, about whether or not there would be economic benefits.

The fact they were talking about guarantees for the regime. Now we've heard the U.S. say they are not looking for regime change. We heard even more from Mr. Trump, saying he's guaranteeing the regime can stay in place.

And Mr. Moon said there needs to now be that trust between the U.S. and North Korea. They need to sit down and talk about this so they can believe each other. And this was that Kim Jong-un mentioned as well, that there is definitely a need now, they both agreed, to build trust between the two -- Cyril.

VANIER: Paula Hancocks, reporting live from Seoul, South Korea, on this rapidly developing story. Thank you very much.

Let's bring in now Stephen Haggard. He is the director of the Korea Pacific program at the University of California in San Diego.

Stephen, to me, I listened to the South Korean president speak a couple hours ago. And to me, it felt like a reset. It felt like perhaps what should have taken place a couple weeks or a couple months ago, where every player in this meeting now has a slightly clearer sense of what each -- of what the other wants. STEPHEN HAGGARD, UC SAN DIEGO: I think that's right. The backdrop to this new North-South meeting is actually the somewhat embarrassing time that Moon Jae-in had in Washington because, as you know, his main job on that mission was to try to keep the president from wavering.

And virtually the entire time he was there, President Trump was saying it's on, it's off and then it ended up being off. So part of the move to make a connection with Kim Jong-un was to try to get this, try to get the U.S. back on track.

VANIER: The last two or three days, in my view, have revealed just how much Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, wants this meeting to happen.

Is that fair?

HAGGARD: I very much (INAUDIBLE) surprised that this meeting North- South was actually initiated by him, that he said specifically that he was interested in denuclearization.

But the sticking point has really been this question of security assurances. And what triggered the on-again off-again was actually the interview that Mike Pence gave, the vice president on FOX News, where he again raised the Libya model. He talked about military options being on the table.

He talked about the North Koreans having to basically dismantle their nuclear program entirely before any concessions were offered and that put a pause on communications between the United States and North Korea.

VANIER: That whole Libya reference -- and I've said it several times before -- it seemed really reckless because, if you've covered that story -- I have -- you know that Gadhafi was pulled from a sewage pipe and then shot. And everybody knows that.

So you mentioned the Libya model, it is going to scare away regimes like North Korea, by definition.

What do you think has to happen in the next two weeks?

Because by my count, it is 17 or 18 days between now and June 12th. I mean, that is a very short amount of time to prepare any kind of summit, let alone a meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.

HAGGARD: Let me pick up first on the messaging theme and talk a little bit about Libya. I don't have particular sympathy with John Bolton's views of these questions but he was misunderstood. He was talking about the 2003 denuclearization agreement with Libya, not the 2011 NATO invasion.

But the vice president didn't make that distinction and --

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HAGGARD: -- in fact talked about North Korea suffering the same fate as Libya in that regard.

What has to happen between now and the summit is basically there have to be broad agreement on parameters for the subsequent negotiations. You're not going to go to Singapore and get a full-bore agreement on all of the details of denuclearization. But you do have to get a meeting of minds on some basic principles.

What are the trade-offs that the two parties are going to make going forward?

VANIER: And Stephen, just on that Libya point, absolutely agree with you that John Bolton was misunderstood. But my point is it's reckless to mention it because you have to know that Libya, seen from the North Korean perspective, they are not going to think it means handing over your nuclear arsenal. They're going to think regime collapse.

And you have to know that that is how they're going to see it.

Stephen, thank you very much for coming on the show. Pleasure talking to you.

HAGGARD: My pleasure. Talk to you soon.

VANIER: History is made in Ireland. Why many are cheering while others call it a tragedy.

Plus a rough day on the pitch for Mo Salah. Later this half hour, could Liverpool win the Champions League final without its superstar striker?

Stay with us.

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VANIER: Welcome back.

Let's get to that historic decision in Ireland. Voters overwhelmingly overturned a constitutional amendment that banned most abortions. Supporters cheered the outcome. Opponents called it a tragedy of historic proportions. Our Atika Shubert has details from Berlin.

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ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A sweeping victory for women's rights in Ireland. The final count, 66 percent voted yes to change the Irish constitution and paved the way to make abortion legal in Ireland. Only 34 percent voted against, 64 percent of registered voters cast their ballots.

For veteran women's rights campaigner Elba Smith (ph), this was a long time coming.

SHUBERT: I heard you say that this is history being rewritten with this vote.

ELBA SMITH (PH), WOMEN'S RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER: There is no doubt about it. What we are saying, maybe it's not about -- maybe it's about making a new Ireland, where women truly matter and where we have a right to make choices for ourselves about our lives and our bodies.

SHUBERT (voice-over): It's a seismic shift that's been building for decades in Ireland, a country whose deep Catholic roots had underpinned some of the harshest laws against abortion.

At the Dublin vote count, cheers as ballot box after ballot box went for yes. But no voters struggled to come to grips with their loss.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shocked that nobody was listening to the no side. The right to life stands for every human being from the moment of conception to the time --

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- that they die. Nobody can take that away, no law, no anything. So in fact we don't stop.

SHUBERT (voice-over): There was fierce debate leading up to the referendum but more and more women told their harrowing stories of seeking abortions they knew were illegal at home.

Scared and desperate with an unwanted pregnancy, that's how Lucy Watmouth (ph) described her experience to us before the vote. Now she sees this.

LUCY WATMOUTH (PH), ABORTION RIGHTS ACTIVIST: I'm just so overwhelmed. I just kept thinking we are safe now. My sister will never go through what I went through. (INAUDIBLE) one day she won't go through what I went through. I'm glad they listened to us. (INAUDIBLE).

SHUBERT (voice-over): It was also a political win for Ireland's prime minister, Leo Varadkar, and health minister Simon Harris. Both had pushed to hold the referendum. Now they must shepherd the legislation through parliament.

SIMON HARRIS, IRISH MINISTER OF HEALTH: For me personal as minister for health, when I started meeting women in Ireland who'd be putting this out, all I can say is I'm sorry we couldn't help you rather than be able to help them. I became very determined that we should try and do something on this and work with civil society so that we could campaign for that.

SHUBERT (voice-over): The politicians will get to work next week. But for yes voters, it's time to celebrate a historic moment for Ireland -- Atika Shubert, CNN, Dublin.

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VANIER: Dominic Thomas joins me now for more on this. He's our European affairs commentator. Dominic, for decades, the Catholic Church was such a dominant force in

Irish society, they had got pretty much abortion banned in that the referendum in the early '80s.

How did we go from this very conservative society to this landslide in favor of abortion?

DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: It is absolutely a really remarkable development. I think there are number of factors, I think that obviously the Roman Catholic Church internationally and in Ireland itself has been embroiled for the time period that you mentioned, with a whole set of scandals.

So that of course has made it very difficult for it to maintain the kind of social legitimacy (ph) that it had and its influence on society and politics.

And we're seeing that the Roman Catholic Church really is developing in Africa and Latin America and but the church attendance, recruitment of new priests and so on is a pan-European struggle.

And I think that this dramatic transformation that we see in Ireland today, legislation is one thing. But it is the change in values. We have a more open society, a more diverse society and greater reflection on the role of family and gender roles.

And this has all contributed to this really tremendous and social transformation.

VANIER: And it is not just abortion. I mean if you look at just a few years back, Ireland legalized gay marriage. Now this. It feels like the country keeps changing before our eyes.

THOMAS: It's not only changing, so as you mentioned, yes. 2015 gay marriage was legalized through a popular vote. But just last year the new Irish prime minister is not only the youngest prime minister in the history of the country. And I think that is extraordinarily important.

But also the openly gay prime minister and is of Indian descent. So you've got a conglomeration of factors that points to a tremendous move towards openness and tolerance in a country that technically, at least, is still overwhelmingly Roman Catholic.

So tremendous openness. The Prime Minister talked about this today, even in addressing the no campaign. And what was interesting too is that the no campaigners distanced themselves from the church in trying to make their antiabortion case, preferring to talk about questions of human rights and morality.

But even they felt that the church was not going to help us in this particular referendum here.

VANIER: You mentioned the prime minister. We cannot understate how big a success politically this is for him. He called this referendum. THOMAS: He did and as we've seen over the past couple of years, any kind of referendum, whether it's Brexit, the Catalonia question, the question of constitutional reform in Italy, is a huge political risk.

Now what is interesting about this prime minister is that really when he became a few years ago the cabinet member and the minister for health that his own positions on this kind of question started to evolve.

And I think there is a great lesson there in terms of consultation, speaking and testing the pulse of Irish society to where this was going. And it became increasingly obvious but for a whole range of reasons Irish society was ready for this transformation.

Now of course they're talking here about the Republic of Ireland, not Northern Ireland just across the border, with who there is, of course, all these kinds of tensions over the Brexit negotiations.

And in Northern Ireland there is still tremendous resistance towards changing the regulations there. And even though they are part of the United Kingdom --

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THOMAS: -- the 1967 Abortion Act in the U.K. does not apply to Northern Ireland. So it's going to be interesting to see how this vote in the Republic of Ireland is going to shape this greater debate between these two countries.

VANIER: Our European affairs commentator, Dominic Thomas, thank you. It's always a pleasure to talk to you. Thank you.

THOMAS: Thank you.

VANIER: After almost two years behind bars in Venezuela, an American missionary and his wife are now here in the U.S. Just last week, Josh Holt was fearing for his life when he was caught in a prison riot.

But a few hours ago, his mother got to see him and hug him for the first time in two years. Holt and his wife, Thamy, were arrested shortly after they got married in Venezuela. They were held without trial on espionage charges.

But Venezuela released them in order to, quote, "maintain respectful diplomatic relations with the U.S." President Trump welcomed them at White House on Saturday.

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JOSHUA HOLT, AMERICAN DETAINED IN VENEZUELA: I'm just overwhelmed with gratitude for you guys, for everything that you've done, for the support of my wife. Those two years, they were very, very difficult two years, not really the great vacation I was looking for.

But we are still together, starting off our marriage rough. But now we'll be together and I'm just so grateful for what you guys have done and for thinking about me and caring about me, just a normal person.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: Now the White House says their release does not change U.S. policy on Venezuela. And two U.S. officials say the Trump administration did not offer anything to the government of President Nicholas Maduro in exchange for releasing them.

The Champions League final is in the books and it featured one of the greatest goals in recent memory. We will be consumed by that after the break.

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VANIER: Saturday was a huge day in European football with Real Madrid, as you know, winning the Champions League for the third straight time. They had to defeat Liverpool and wonder boy Mo Salah to get it done.

Mo Salah got injured. We will talk about that in just a second.

You know who else is going to talk about this?

"WORLD SPORT's" Kate Riley. She is up in just a few minutes. We had to bring her on set, though, just before her show.

Kate, it is not just that Real Madrid won and that they won three times in a row, is that they really did it in style. That goal.

Can we start there?

That goal?

KATE RILEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think possibly, Cyril, this is the best goal we have ever seen in a Champions League final. It really was something, wasn't it. Bear in mind that Gareth Bale was a stubborn mismatch.

In this match, he really just had something to prove. He not only has not started every game in the league either this season, which has been a source of frustration for him as well as for his fans.

But on Saturday, all was forgiven and forgotten. He scored a stunning overhead kick, his first of two on the night as Real went to on win 3- 1. Whether or not it's actually the best-ever goal in the Champions League, I certainly think so.

I think you do as well. But the debate (INAUDIBLE) --

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VANIER: It was a crazy goal. And we saw Cristiano Ronaldo's bicycle kicks earlier on in the competition. But to do this in the final game, that's crazy.

Maybe just as big of a headline is the injury of Mo Salah. He has been amazing all season and he cannot play --

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VANIER: -- the whole game. Tell us the latest on that.

RILEY: Yes and we do have some latest news actually coming out of the Egyptian Football Association. You're not wrong; his game ended in tears, Mo Salah landing awkwardly after that tackle from Sergey Ramos (ph) in the first half.

It was so bad that the striker did actually have to leave the field. It wasn't just Liverpool fans who were gutted about their star striker. He left it 44 times this season, going off injured. But Egypt as well, we are, of course, just a few weeks away from the start of the World Cup in Russia.

Salah, of course, one of the ones to watch after his breakout season in the EPL. The hopes of the nation are certainly praying their man recovers from sprained ligaments in his left shoulder.

Meanwhile the Egyptian Football Association is optimistic that Mo will actually play in Russia. So we shall see.

VANIER: And if you are a Real Madrid fan, you've got to have mixed feelings. The fans were not so hot on their league performance. But they've got to be happy now.

RILEY: Yes haven't they. And the party continuing well into the wee small hours, Cyril. And of course La Liga season really left a lot to be desired, finishing third in the table and seeing Barcelona being crowned champion.

That's probably also gotten now with Madrid. Our parting, you can see, yes, plenty of fans out there enjoying every single moment of this triumph but Real have been crowned the best club side in European football for the third consecutive season, no mean feat.

This after that 3-1 win over Liverpool earlier in Kiev while Real increased their own record for European Cup victories to a staggering 13, also become the first team to win it three times in a row twice after winning the first five titles when the competition began back in the mid-'50s.

But they certainly are the first to win three in a row in this current Champions League format, which began back in 1992 and of course (INAUDIBLE) before therefore is the first coach to win three consecutive titles and he's only been at Real Madrid for 2.5 y ears.

VANIER: That's crazy. And that really sets them in a category of their own. And by the way, the reaction to that Gareth Bale goal, if you actually look at him on the sidelines, wow. Even -- I mean, he scored one of the most beautiful goals I think in his competition's history. But he was just -- he was stunned. And it was a pleasure having you on. You are at the helm in just a few moments. That does it for us. I've got the headlines in just a moment. Then "WORLD SPORT" with Kate Riley. You will be in good hands.