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Trump Headed To Canada For Contentious G7 Summit; Japan's Abe Briefs Trump Ahead Of Singapore Summit; Trump-Kim Meeting Set For Tuesday In Singapore; U.N. Imposes Sanctions On Libyan "Human Traffickers"; Migrants Cross War-Torn Yemen In Search Of A Better Life. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired June 8, 2018 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Ahead this hour, a long time western ally trade insults just hours before they get together at the G7 summit.
Plus, who needs prep time when you have attitude? Donald Trump boasts he is ready for next week's summit with Kim Jong-un.
And was there ever a life on Mars? We will keep that a mystery until the end of the show. Live from the CNN center here in Atlanta, I'm Cyril Vanier. It is great to have you with us.
So, it looks like the gloves are coming off as world leaders arrive in Canada for the G7 Summit. French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justine Trudeau are locked in battle with U.S. President Donald Trump over trade and tariffs.
A source tells CNN Mr. Trump even considered cancelling his trip and if you wonder why just listen to Emmanuel Macron, the French president saying if Donald Trump is so insistent on being isolated, well, the U.S. could be left out of any agreement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): You say today that President Trump doesn't care at all, maybe, but nobody amongst us is forever and so our countries, the commitments we've taken are bigger than us because also let's face it none of us can, once elected, say the commitments, which were in place now disappear, it's not true.
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): I also know that our citizens expect us to find a solution to those differences. To manage to demonstrate to the U.S. president that his unacceptable actions are hurting his own citizens. It is American jobs, which will be lost cause of the actions of the United States and its administration.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VANIER: President Trump responded on Twitter saying, "Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging t U.S. massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers. The E.U. trade surplus with the U.S. is $151 billion and Canada keeps our farmers and others out. Look forward to seeing them soon."
With me now political analyst, Bill Schneider. Bill, it's just going to be one long nasty squabble in Canada.
BILL SCHNEIDER, POLITICAL ANALSYT: Well, it won't be long because the president is leaving early. He doesn't care about the Canadian pit stop, he regards it, on his way to the real serious business which is the summit in Singapore with North Korea. He doesn't even want to go.
The European countries that are meeting there, they're very -- they're indignant about the United States. They feel the United States has violated their values put up by imposing tariffs and he's indicated that this doesn't mean anything to him. It's just not important.
VANIER: It's tough talk ahead of summit is really about positioning yourself to get what you want once you're at the negotiating table. In other words, it's a tactic. This doesn't feel like that this time. This doesn't feel like strategy. It feels like just frustration on both sides boiling over.
SCHNEIDER: That's right. There is frustration. The Europeans are frustrated by more than trade. There's also the fact that the United States pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, which the European support.
They disagree with the United States on climate change. They may even come out with the communique excluding the United States, which talks about climate change because there's a big question whether the United will agree to sign anything that mentions climate change.
This could be a very dramatic break at this summit between the United States and our oldest allies because apparently President Trump just doesn't take them very seriously.
VANIER: Is there any room for compromise given everything we've heard or are we doomed essentially to have these separate communiques, you know, six of the seven countries on one side and Trump on the other.
SCHNEIDER: I think we're doomed to a definition. I'd be very surprised if they came out with a communique that everyone could agree with that actually said something more than just formalizing the fact that we are old time historic allies then maybe we'll get over this. I don't think there is likely to be a major statement or a breakthrough at this summit.
VANIER: I wonder if Mr. Trump minds at all, Emmanuel Macron tweeted this, the American president may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a six countries agreement if need be because these six countries represent values.
They represent an economic market. We have the weight of history behind us, et cetera. I wonder there's no indication that Mr. Trump minds being isolated and being the wrecking ball on the international stage. You look at Iran, the environment deal.
SCHNEIDER: Yes, he walks away from the Iran deal, the Paris climate change agreement, the Transpacific Partnership. He doesn't like internationalism. He doesn't like being bound by any kind of international treaties.
The only treaties he respects are the treaties he negotiates himself and he wants to do those on one-on-one basis with each country individually where he exercises the most pressure and get exactly what he wants.
[00:05:07] So, he is not really seriously interested in this summit or anything it's likely to come up with.
VANIER: So, I supposed what matters is the outcome. Not necessarily at the summit, but longer term on trade. Can Trump actually get whether it's Canada, the European Union, can he get these key trading partners to give him a win on trade?
SCHNEIDER: I doubt it. He might be able to reach some kind of compromise to moderate the tariffs a bit and he's not averse to dealing with countries one-on-on and even lifting trade tariffs on them when they lift tariffs on American imports to their countries.
He's willing to deal with them on a one-to-one basis. He does not like international globalist negotiations. Trump is an American nationalist. His theme is America first and he's always going to abide by that.
One more thing on this because this also matter later on in the show, Mr. Trump -- right now, we are focusing on this a lot and I have done so as well on the personal relationships.
Mr. Trump with Mr. Trudeau, Trump versus Macron, do you think those actually matter in the outcome? Aren't we seeing that national interest matter far more than whether two people get on or not?
SCHNEIDER: They are supposed to, but Mr. Trump often takes everything personally. It's about him, it's not just about our relations with our allies. It's about him and these deals that he walked away from are not deals that he made.
So, therefore, he feels no commitment to the climate change deal, to the Iran deal, to the Transpacific Partnership. He never signed on to any of those things. If it's not about him, he's really not interested.
VANIER: All right. Bill, we will get back to the specific point in just a second. Standby please.
In sharp contrast to the president's reluctance to attend the G7 Summit, he seems eager and we are just telling to get to Singapore for a historic meeting on Tuesday with North Korea's Kim Jong-un. Japan's prime minister was at the White House Thursday to help brief Mr. Trump and to make sure that Japan's security interests were not overlooked. The president said he's all set.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I think I'm very well prepared. I don't think I have to prepare very much. It's about attitude. It's about willingness to get things done, but I think I've been preparing for the summit for a long time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: OK, our Nic Robertson is standing by in Seoul with the latest. Nic, I'd like to address what you just heard from the U.S. president. It would be easy frankly to dismiss Mr. Trump's reliance on instinct.
But you are our senior diplomatic correspondent, you've covered things like this. You've seen every previous negotiation with North Korea breakdown. Could instinct actually work here?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: President Trump believes it will because this is what he thinks is kind of the root of his business acumen. His several bankruptcies or failures -- you know, business failures in the past perhaps fell a different story.
But it's what he believes right now and his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said look I think the president is prepared, he gets near daily briefings on the economy, on trade, on military issues, and on history.
But I think, you know, like -- if the guts in the system of fringing here like guts in the human body requires food, it require details, it requires understanding those details so that your gut can be finely attuned to what your other senses are picking up around you.
So, that does mean I think in this case that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo better hope that he is correct that President Trump is well prepared on that nuance because otherwise, is going to find it very difficult to have the right gut instinct here.
The question as we sort of walk into these talks here or get close to them is, you know, what is it that both leaders want out of this?
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Soon barring missteps, this could be a reality, President Trump and Kim Jong-un side by side, at stake it would seem nuclear Armageddon.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury.
ROBERTSON: The threat may have gotten the two to the table, for now at least Trump dialing down on the bad stuff. PRESIDENT TRUMP: Getting to know you meeting.
ROBERTSON: So, what do these leaders want from this? Kim face time with Trump. Recognition North Korea craves makes Kim big back home. And Trump keeps a campaign promise, kind of rocks his base back home. Even though none of these, Kim's nukes are being handed over, despite this demand.
MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The complete verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
[00:10:08] ROBERTSON: To get that, Kim wanted these gone, U.S. troops in South Korea. For now, it seems off the table and more of this, trade, sanctions eased. He also wants to keep these, his conventional weapons and this, his army. So, he can keep lots of this (inaudible) obedience. And this is how he wants to feel when it's all done, but he gets it wrong, he might get this.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: If the meeting when I'm there is not fruitful, I will respectfully leave the meeting.
ROBERTSON: And then even this begin.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: They will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.
ROBERTSON: Trouble for Trump, Kim is perceived to have given up very little and gained a good bit along the way. Lots of this, valuable face time with other leaders, meaning he is unlikely to face maximum pressure sanctions again.
Still, after this, Trump gets to do this, walk away, leave the details to his deputies. That absent Trump cracking Kim's will could take years leaving Kim doing a lot more on this -- and this -- and none of these get handed over anytime soon if ever.
ROBERTSON: So, for President Trump the stakes have sort of getting a good handshake and getting some -- you know, a situation that could look very good on camera as opposed to what he appears to be lined up taking the G7, Singapore does look very attractive. But again, it all comes down to the nuts and bolts of what he can actually deliver rather than it all looks -- Cyril.
VANIER: All right. Nic Robertson currently in Seoul, South Korea, getting ready for this summit. We'll less than a week to go. We'll be seeing a lot of you on that as well, Nic. Thank you very much.
Let's bring back in political analyst, Bill Schneider on this. Bill, this is where we get to find out how much of a deal maker Mr. Trump really is -- relying mostly on instinct.
SCHNEIDER: Well, he doesn't need no stinking preparation. He said it's about attitude. This is his bid for a Nobel Peace Prize. He's not going to get a Nobel Peace Prize for his relationship with Europe. He's going to get it if he denuclearizes North Korea.
A lot of Americans including a lot American conservatives who might support President Trump, they are very worried because he has actually talked about living with North Korea peacefully.
The possibility of lifting sanctions, giving them perhaps security assurances, which is what they want. They are the most repressive totalitarian regime in the world with no respect for human rights, with no respect for life itself.
I mean, they've killed a number of Americans. This is an outrageous regime and the idea that he might agree to live somehow -- have an amicable relationship with the most brutal dictator in the world that's something that disturbs an awful lot of Americans.
VANIER: I asked you this about the G7. I asked you again about this Trump-Kim upcoming summit. Do personal relations really matter here?
SCHNEIDER: It matter somewhat. In Mr. Trump's case, they matter a great deal because he takes everything personally. Everything is personal with him. So, if Mr. Kim insults him or insults the United States, OR says something he doesn't like, it's perfectly possible he is going to walk away and could kill the entire summit.
And there will be no deal at all. He would look like a hero to a lot of Americans if he did that. But with Mr. Trump more than any president, all diplomacy is personal.
VANIER: Bill, Trump says that he's got leverage thanks to this. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: All I can say is I am totally prepared to walk away, I did it once before. You have to be able to walk away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: What do you think? Mr. Trump has explained from the beginning that this is his ultimate bargaining chip. This is why he is not giving up anything, any leverage by actually accepting this meeting because he can just walk away. What do you think?
SCHNEIDER: Well, I don't know how afraid the North Koreans are of that. It wouldn't change anything particularly from what it is right now. He can just walk away. I mean, they would still be an isolated regime.
They have their nuclear weapons. What they want is a lifting of economic sanctions. I don't how long they can live with these terrible economic sanctions, which are impoverishing their nation.
But then Mr. Kim is not democratically elected so if the people are unhappy with the economy, I don't know what kind of political consequences that could possibly have. It's not clear that if he walks away and leaves the status quo more or less as it was before the summit idea came up that that would be a terrible price for North Korea to pay.
[00:15:10] VANIER: All right. So, you don't necessarily see it as a master straw giving all that much leverage?
VANIER: Now, listen to something else. Mr. Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani dropped a verbal bomb while speaking in Israel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: Kim Jong-un got back on his hands and knees and begged for it which is exactly the position you want to put him in.
POMPEO: Rudy doesn't speak for the administration when it comes to this negotiation and this set of issues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: OK, so we heard Rudy Giuliani and then we've heard the damage control by the secretary of state no less. I mean, wasn't Rudy Giuliani being totally reckless, less than a week ahead of the summit by using those words, saying that we got Kim on his hands and knees begging?
SCHNEIDER: Yes, it was very insulting to the leader of North Korea and that's not something you do before you want a successful summit. The leader of North Korea -- look, you are dealing with two very erratic individuals, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.
They are both erratic and they take things very personally. So making a remark like that, which is really an insult to North Korea and the leader of North Korea, that's not likely to be a step that is easily overlooked by the North Koreans.
VANIER: Bill Schneider, a pleasure to have you on today. Thank you very much for your time.
Now the U.N. has slapped international sanctions on six people for their role in trafficking migrants through Libya and through Europe. We'll have details on these unprecedented moves sparked by CNN's reporting.
Plus, a CNN exclusive, another one inside the journey migrants take through war-torn Yemen in search of a better life in Saudi Arabia. That's all ahead.
VANIER: The United Nations is taking unprecedented action against human traffickers after CNN Freedom Project investigation exposed the slave trade in Libya. The U.N. is sanctioning six men it says led criminal networks trafficking vast numbers of migrants through Libya to Europe. Our Nima Elbagir has the details.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's been more than a year in the making. In an unprecedented move, the United Nations Security Council acting on a Dutch-led initiative is sanctioning six individuals, four Libyans and two Eritreans for what they say includes profiting from human trafficking, sex slavery, slavery, murder, all to do with the trade in people, the movement of people through Libya up from Africa into Europe.
[00:20:07] Some of these names are unfamiliar to even those of us who follow Libya closely, but what they do isn't. And specifically, one man is a commander in the European Union funded and European Union trade Coast Guard, commander in the Libyan Coast Guard in (inaudible).
A body that has been really part of the bigger picture in terms of stopping the migrant flow to the shores of Europe. For now, the message that has been sent is that even that is not enough to guarantee impunity.
The Dutch foreign minister was gracious enough to credit CNN and saying our reporting created the momentum that allowed these sanctions to pass.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEF BLOK, DUTCH FOREIGN MINISTER: I'm very glad the United Nations was able to have this important initiative to effectively punish human traffickers active in Libya. It was CNN that draw the attention to this terrible -- you may call it slave trade that has been going on in Libya for far too long. And as Netherlands is currently a member of the U.N. Security Council, we propose to them to impose sanctions on six of the worst perpetrators, and that will mean that this crime won't be left unpunished.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ELBAGIR: So, what now? The sanctions, of course, go immediately into effect. And while there are many critics who would say that because this has taken some time with regards to diplomatic wrangling over these sanctions,
And the U.N. Security Council perhaps it has been enough time to allow those on those lists to hide away some of those assets. But those who we're speaking to say it's not possible to hide yet trading in people buys you bricks and mortars, some of it we understand in the European Union.
But this isn't just about sanctioning those individuals. This is about sending a bigger message to those behind these individuals. These are the kingpins but most investigators working on this tell us that they know that this is a crime not just of opportunity but also a crime so attractive that there are so many waiting and willing to fill the shoes of those running these networks.
This sends a message to them, the time to make money off the misery of those desperate to come to Europe and fulfill their dreams is running out. Nima Elbagir, CNN, London.
VANIER: And despite the dangerous journey, migrants from the horn of Africa are fleeing war and poverty in search of a better life in oil- rich Saudi Arabia. To get there, they must pass through war-torn Yemen, a land of dust and desolation.
CNN has obtained exclusive footage of this perilous journey. Ben Wedeman reports.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At dusks, they are still on the move. Small groups of young men from Somalia and Ethiopia.
(on camera): Where are you going now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to Saudi.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm doing work.
WEDEMAN: Which kind of work?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any work.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): This exclusive video shot by freelance cameraman, Gabriel Hiem for CNN documents the plight of desperation of people fleeing war, unrest, and poverty in their native lands to a country already wrecked by violence.
According to the International Organization for Migration, every month as many as 7,000 people from the Horn of Africa make the perilous crossing over the Red Sea to Yemen. Nearly 50 died this week when their boat capsized. More than a dozen are still missing.
Despite the dangers of the crossing, their initial destination, a country at war since early 2015, and now threatened by famine and $, disease, they continue to come. For more money he says. We don't have any money. We'll take any job. We don't have money for food and water. Our country has nothing.
Says 14-year-old Adam, I came to Yemen looking for work. There's war in Somalia. The final destination of many, or so they hope, is oil- rich Saudi Arabia to the north, the land of milk a honey.
For those who can make it that far stranded in Yemen, the land of dust, desolation. The camp where I live has no electricity, nothing, no water, no food, no (inaudible) says (inaudible). We suffer, I come here to beg and then I go back to sleep in a cardboard box.
[00:25:02] To get here they've paid hundreds of dollars for them an astronomical sum. They're brought to Yemen by men like these, fishermen in times of peace, now with a new calling. Trafficking he says, casually, yes, humans, human trafficking.
He asked that we not show his face. They show how they load people onto their boat. It's designed to hold perhaps 30, but sometimes vessels like these are crammed with as many as 50.
The logic of this business is simple. Midday you can make a month's wages, he says. Once ashore the migrants walk for days and days, as night falls, some stop to pray. The road ahead is long. Ben Wedeman, CNN, Beirut.
VANIER: They are not one but two summits coming up in one week for Donald Trump and the U.S. president has a unique strategy for his meeting with Kim Jong-un. We'll tell you about that.
VANIER: I am Cyril Vanier. Let's look at your headlines this hour. The leaders of the world's wealthiest nations are arriving in Canada for what could be a contentious G7 Summit. French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justine Trudeau battling with U.S. President Donald Trump over trade in Paris.
A 109 people have now been declared dead from Guatemala's Fuego Volcano and the Disaster Management Agency is under fire for failing to respond to eruption warnings in a timely manner. Search operations are on hold because of dangerous conditions even as some 200 people remain missing.
Six men who allegedly made fortunes trafficking migrants from Libya to Europe have been slapped with U.N. sanctions. The Dutch foreign minister says the unprecedented move was sparked by CNN's Freedom Project investigation that exposed slave trade in Libya.
And we are just days away now from the meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Singapore. President Trump says he doesn't think he has to prepare that much. At a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Mr. Trump said it's about attitude and the willingness to get things done.
Joining me now from Augusta, Georgia, Han Park, the author of "North Korea Demystified." Donald Trump says he's relying on instinct for this and his gut. Do you think that can work?
HAN PARK, AUTHOR, "NORTH KOREA DEMYSTIFIED": No, never. It will not work. They need to have the sanctity of trust with which we don't seem to have.
VANIER: Do you think that Kim Jong-un will rely on instinct?
PARK: I don't think so. Kim Jong-un doesn't make decision very well (ph). Trump is making it here. Kim Jong-un decisions are made Incoria (ph) Labor party who are the experts and the experience with. He's not making them by himself. A nice place of bad rule at Easter party, so.
VANIER: So in that case what is his latitude to have this conversation with Donald Trump? They are going to be alone in a room well possibly with aids and translators of course but there going to be essential alone in a room for a number of hours. What can happen in that room?
PARK: They will discuss in principals. In principals both forya (ph) certainly agree that there going to be 35 E reports in rosation (ph) but it cannot be produced. It cannot be received because you have a complete - we have that with trust. North Koreans resenting number of weapons and whereabouts which we don't seem to have a - or not of prints. Secondly we could bury cacation (ph) things. How can we verify without putting our soldiers on foot in the country?
Then it's a very, very dangerous situation because North Koreans and Indians are all very well trained at shooters. And I think it will not work. How many American soldiers will go in? And America may ask the South Koreans to join but South Korea will never ascend its troops to North Korea for verification (inaudible). Irreversible, they have the science, they have scientists still. They've been - they have material. They have experience. They have laboratories all over the country.
How can you make it irreversible? Your tear will turn around and hoping so again. We lost to the cat. North Korea should be regarded as due cat claw nuclear state. I think that's what they I think want. Do you see nuclear weapon is not just a mechanism - military please. It is a tool for regime justification and ticamostcation (ph) of that particular regime. We said that we were guaranteed this survival and the chicken must see of the safety of the leaders.
The leaders should be spying but the regime does. Always should be stuff that the really diatictation (ph), its attached. That kind of leadership we cannot guarantee. We don't - may not want to guarantee. So the point here is they will meet and shake hands and hug beyond that they will agree to meet again. But other than that I don't think specific, very tough issues will be resolved at that meeting.
VANIER: Alright Han Park not high on the idea of relying on instinct. Han Park thank you for joining us on CNN Newsroom, we appreciate your time. Also Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un are used to living in luxury, we know that. So the setting for their summit will be nothing less as Hannah Vaughan Jones shows us.
HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES: It's known as Asia's favorite playground, Santosa Island a world traveler's paradise whose name means peace and tranquility in Mala. The 500 hector island resort is located just off Singapore's southern coast. Featuring white sand beaches, several golf courses, casinos, and theme parks the holiday destination posts some 20 million visitors each year.
There are more than a dozen hotels on the island. One of which is the Capella hotel which has been the chosen location for talks between North Korea leader Kim Jong-un and U.S president Donald Trump. The hotel property spreads over 30 acres of rainforest, large but secluded making it ideal for security reasons. The building phased is 19 century colonial surrounded by lush greenery. The leaders may run into a few peacocks which roam freely in the hotel grounds.
A basic room at the five star hotel starts at roughly $600 a night. It features 112 rooms, some with views of the South China Sea. All though we don't know exactly where within the resort this historic meeting will take place there are two presidential suites. Both are actually historic stand alone houses. These colonial manors are secure and private, the perfect spot for a historic meeting between two world leaders. Hannah Vaughan Jones, CNN.
CYRIL VANIER: Queue up David Bowie's famous song and ask your self this, is there life on mars? Thanks to NASA's curiosity rover we may be closer to an answer then ever before.
VANIER: And here we go again. More problems for Face Book and 14 million of it's users in this particular incidence. New posts that people thought were private, well they were actually public. Turns out there was a bug in the privacy settings for a four day period back in May while Face Book tested a new feature. After this issue was discovered Face Book says it fixed things by going back and correcting the settings. Face Book started informing the affected users on Thursday urging them to review their posts.
In a major blow for killer robots(ph) Google says it will use artificial intelligence to make tech not war. It announced its AI principals on Thursday and says it won't pursue weapons or other technology aimed at causing harm. The move comes after back lash over Google's ties to a U.S. military project. Critics were upset that Google technology may have been used to help drones identify objects. Some warned that it was actually a step toward fully autonomous weapons. Well here is a robot that's not a killer robot.
NASA's mars rover. It just made some break through discoveries about possible signs of life on the red planet. Scientist are very excited, as are we about what they can learn from the curiosity rover's findings.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEN EIGENBRODE: We've found organic molecules and rocks from an ancient lake bed. Those organic molecules could have come from life. We don't know that there was ever life on Mars. The organic molecules that we found are not specifically evidence of life.
PAUL MAHAFFY: We greatly expanded our search for organic compounds which ultimately are fundamental to our search for life.
EIGENBRODE: Perhaps there are organisms there that we don't know about yet. They might be helpful for farming. There might be organic materials that could be used as fuel. It's an open book on what technologies we might use in the future on Mars.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VANIER: OK guess who joins us now? Leroy Chiao, a retired NASA astronaut. He is live the channel(ph) - he is live in Singapore right now. So what are we looking at? We just heard that these molecules, these organic compounds are clues. We don't really know what we've found.
LEROY CHIAO, RETIRED NASA ASTRONAUT: Right. So it's very exciting that we found these organic compounds. And one possible source is life maybe perhaps billions of years ago on Mars.
So that's very exciting especially because of where they were found, which is in an area where there used to be a big ocean probably about four billion years ago. And so it's very possible, we don't know for sure of course that there could have been some kind of microbial life down on the bottom of those oceans.
That left the remnants of those organic compounds that we've now observed.
VANIER: Just to be clear. We're not talking about, that's the size of organism we're talking about?
CHIAO: Well you know we don't really know right. I mean with out finding any kind of fossil records or anything like that. We won't know. So I guess the most conservative - if you're talking about life. The most conservative, you know, hypothesis you can come up with is that it would be some kind of microbial life that left that, those organic byproducts that we're now seeing.
So it's possible it could have come from more complex organisms. But without some kind of a fossil record we wouldn't know for sure.
VANIER: What about the methane that we found?
CHIAO: I'm sorry the what thing?
VANIER: The methane, the gas.
CHAIO: Oh, the methane. Yes, the methane, yes that's very interesting too. I the - nobody had expected to find the concentrations and the spikes and the fluctuations of the methane in the atmosphere. So that's a bit of a mystery as well. And that's exciting too. And whether that's connected or not to the methane that was found in the sedimentary wood box (ph) at the - that the Curiosity drilled down into remains to be seen.
VANIER: I wonder we've been exploring the surface of Mars. I found out just before this interview since the 70's. I didn't realize this. So that's been half a century. Do you feel that what we found, that what was found has now vindicated all that research, half a century of Mars science and exploration?
CHAIO: Right. Of course the - yes the probes that we sent in the 70's was inconclusive in their tests looking for these kinds of things. And so in a way it has kind of vindicated some of that because there were scientists on both sides saying "hey you know we found the presence of organics there." And scientists on the other side saying "well what we found is so inconclusive. We can't really say that".
And so this is an exciting find. There seems to be no scientist that are doubting that we've actually found these organics now that Curiosity has detected them. And that their real, their from Mars. And so that's pretty significant.
VANIER: All right. Leroy Chaio, thank you so much for your time. Appreciate it. And thank you all for watching CNN News Room. I'm Cyril Vanier world sports starts right after the break, stay with CNN.