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Satellite Images Show Dismantling of Test Site; Israel Shoots Down Syrian Jet; Separated Parents Potentially Deported; Iceberg Threatens Greenland. Aired 9:30-10a

Aired July 24, 2018 - 09:30   ET

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


[09:30:00] WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Developed. The kind of missiles that they roll out on mobile launchers that we've seen North Korea test repeatedly in recent years. So if you're talking about cars, the missiles at Sohae are like the old Chevy that North Korea is now taking apart but the Porsche is still primed and ready to go with the keys in the ignition. And there's no sign that North Korea is dismantling their solid fuel facilities, at least not yet, Poppy.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: That's such a good point because once they have to roll out those liquid fuel ones, they sit there for days. Intelligence around the world sees what's going on and can prepare. With solid fuel, they can't.

But, still, South Korea is touting, applauding, what they're seeing. Why?

RIPLEY: Well, South Korea has been the intermediary here. And their progressive administration is really counting on these talks with the United States to be successful. And so they're looking at every little incremental step as a positive development. They touted the Punggye- ri, you know, nuclear test site demolition as a major -- as a good sign, even though there was a lot of skepticism about whether North Korea's nuclear capabilities were really affected. And now they're saying that this is also a good sign, a positive step forward.

But I do think it's important to point out, Poppy, when I interviewed the scientists who were overseeing the Sohae satellite launch site a few years ago, they denied any involvement in North Korea's nuclear program. They said they were only launching satellites for peaceful purposes. So if that was really true, is this actually denuclearization that we're seeing right now --

HARLOW: Yes.

RIPLEY: Or the disarmament of a satellite launch site.

HARLOW: That's a great point.

Will Ripley, thank you. Appreciate the reporting.

These are new steps and they come amid ongoing negotiation between the White House and North Korea.

Let's go to the Pentagon. Barbara Starr is there.

I mean, Barbara, you just heard what Will reported and people will be asking this morning, is this proof? Is this proof that the president's plan -- that President Trump's plan is working? That it's getting North Korea to bend? What are you hearing?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's start with what, you know, the administration's policy is. They say they want completely verifiable, irreversible denuclearization. That North Korea gives up all of its nuclear program, its weapons missile program and opens everything up to inspections and verification. And that is not taking place so far. It did not happen with the tunnel explosions that Will talked about a minute ago and it has not happened at this satellite station. T

here are no independent international inspectors there. There's no verification of what North Korea has done, if they've done any of this at all, in a way that would fundamentally impact their nuclear program.

So that is what the administration is still looking for. That's what Mike Pompeo was talking about at the U.N., at the end of last week. That Kim Jong-un made a promise that an agreement that he would engage in this full denuclearization. That's what these ongoing talks that should be coming up, further talks with the North Koreans about how to make all of that happen. That's what it's supposed to focus on.

Politically, optically, a good first step that the South Koreans are touting, but very little indication that this really moves the ball on getting that agreement, full, verifiable, irreversible, open to international inspections kind of denuclearization that they want, Poppy.

HARLOW: And, remember, those are words that the administration chose. And so, of course, they're being held to account on every single one.

Barbara, thank you very much.

STARR: Sure.

HARLOW: We do have breaking news out of Israel. Israeli defense officials say that they shot down a Syrian fighter jet after they argue it entered Israeli air space earlier today.

Big picture? Oren Liebermann is here in Jerusalem with more.

What's the big picture on the significance of this?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it depends on how the Syrians respond in this case. Israelis say this Syrian fighter jet entered Israeli air space, about a mile into Israeli air space. And the process of what they call an increase of Syrian forces activity right across from Israeli air space, which is to say the Syrian forces are trying to take back one of the last areas of southern Syria that they do not control. And it's during these operations from the Syrians that Israel says

that Syrian fighter jet entered about a mile into Israeli air space. That's when Israeli's missile defense system fired off two patriot missiles. The airplane, the aircraft, that is, at that point, had flown back into Syria and it was shot down over territory held by an ISIS affiliate in southern Syria. Israel says it does not know what happened to the pilot or pilots of that aircraft. That remains one of the biggest questions of where did they go down or were they even able to eject.

So the situation, of course, here is still very fluid. Israel says it used de-confliction measures, which is to say Israel was in touch with the Russians, which are backing the Syrian forces at that point. Israel wanted to make sure the jet they were shooting down was not a Russian jet, and that it was, in fact, Syrian, and it was those de- confliction measures they used to confirm that the jet that had crossed into Israeli air space was, in fact, a Syrian jet.

To give you an idea of how rare this is, the last time a Syrian jet was flying -- was shot down was in 2014 under very similar circumstances. It entered a mile into Israeli air space and was then shot down after returning to Syrian air space.

Will there been an escalation? If there isn't, it will be the Russians who step in and make sure that both sides walk away from this before it gets worse.

[09:35:05] HARLOW: OK. Four years ago, though, the last time this happened.

Oren, thank you.

With two days to go, will the Trump administration be able to reunite the hundreds of remaining parents and children separated at the southern border? Coming up, the number of migrant parents who have already left the country, we're talking hundreds, without their children. Why and what's happening?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARLOW: Welcome back. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York.

And the deadline set for the Trump administration to reunite the thousands of children and their parents separated at the southern border is in just two days. The government says, though, more than 400 of those parents separated from their kids aren't even in the United States anymore.

With us is our CNN politics reporter Tal Kopan, who's been covering this issue around the clock, listening in on all of these court hearings.

What happened? I think it's 438 parents are gone. Why?

TAL KOPAN, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: That's right, Poppy. And, you know, the really interesting thing about this, these 460-some parents, the government isn't even saying that they're sure that they're outside of the U.S. It was almost cryptically buried in this court filing last night. It said their case files indicate they may no longer be in the U.S.

[09:40:15] Now, the presumption that's fairly safe here is that most, if not all, of these parents were likely deported already without their children. The government says that any parent who was deported without their kid was given an opportunity to make that decision and consent it. But attorneys and advocates who work with these immigrants have been very concerned how much these parents understood. Many who may have been illiterate --

HARLOW: Right.

KOPAN: Or spoke non-English or Spanish understood about the forms that they were signing and so we hope to find out more today.

HARLOW: Well, I mean what does that mean then, Tal, if they have been deported for their children? I mean does the U.S. government fly their kids back to the country where they currently are? Did the kids stay in the U.S.?

KOPAN: So it's going to require -- that's right, it's going to require some steps. The government is going to have to try to track down these individuals, potentially in very rural parts of Central America, once they were set home. You know, they're having trouble tracking down the 12 parents who were deported without their kids under the age of five in the previous wave of this. It's unclear if they're going to be able to track down potentially upwards of 460 of these parents --

HARLOW: Right. Right.

KOPAN: Wherever they ended up. They're not going to bring these parents back. They will fly the child out if the parent tells them they want their child to come with them.

HARLOW: OK.

KOPAN: But these children may actually remain in the U.S. in some of these cases.

HARLOW: Correct me if I'm wrong, but essentially where we are now, this two-day deadline happened, hopefully all of these, you know, kids and their parents get reunited. But then we're back to exactly where we were before the zero-tolerance policy practice was put in place, right? Is there anything different now about the practice of this administration as it deals with undocumented immigrants as the Obama administration's catch and release? Anything different?

KOPAN: For the most part, Poppy, you're exactly right. Since they reversed course on zero tolerance, they do not have a way to prosecute the parents while keeping the families together. So they've essentially been releasing these families with ankle monitoring for the parents, essentially, because they also can't detain the families at length based on some court settlements. So, you're right, the administration tried to find a way out of this,

but for the most part has now returned to the status quo where we started.

HARLOW: OK. Tal, thanks for the reporting. Appreciate it.

KOPAN: Thank you.

HARLOW: The woman who lost nine of her family members when that duck boat sank near Branson, Missouri, spoke to CNN about the tragedy. Tia Coleman's three children, her husband, and five other relatives died in that accident last week. She and her nephew survived and she spoke to our Anderson Cooper about her desperate struggle to save her children.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIA COLEMAN, DUCK BOAT SURVIVOR: And I swam and I swam and it seemed like the more I swam, the further in the water I got. And it was so cold. It was so cold. And I remember just praying, saying, Lord, let me get to my babies. Let me get to my babies. And I -- I couldn't get to them. And then I just let go. I said, if I can't get to them, just let me go. Just let me go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: Seventeen other people died. Seventeen people died when that tour boat capsized. Divers pulled it out of 80 feet deep of water yesterday. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

Still ahead, a beautiful nightmare. The striking iceberg could come crashing down at any moment, wiping out an entire village. We are in Greenland, live.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:48:19] HARLOW: Take a look at this. This beautiful sight in Greenland could possibly be deadly. This iceberg is on the verge of violently collapsing at any moment. Parts are already crumbling. And if it comes crashing down, it could form tsunami-like waves that would wipe out a nearby remote village.

Our international correspondent Phil Black is right near the iceberg in Innaarsuit, Greenland.

How imminent is this danger?

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Poppy, in theory, it could happen at any moment. But the truth is, we just don't know.

You can see the giant iceberg behind me towering over this remote fishing village off western Greenland. Now, the truth is, that monster icebergs like this aren't uncommon in these waters, especially at this time of year. But the danger here is the proximity. It is grounded on the sea floor so close to these people. And they know, because they live with these things, they know the power that is unleashed when they break up suddenly.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BLACK (voice over): Very few people get to see this. The beautiful, hazardous waters of Greenland's west coast. A place where icebergs are often vastly larger than any ship trying to avoid them.

LT. COMMANDER FRANK EDLEFSEN, ROYAL DANISH NAVY: A lot of big icebergs in this area, as you can see.

BLACK (on camera): And when we say big, they're enormous.

EDLEFSEN: Yes, they are enormous, yes. Yes.

BLACK (voice over): We've traveled with the Danish navy to see this one giant mountain of ice. You can see the iceberg's awesome mass above and below the water as it sits right next to the isolated village of Innaarsuit.

BLACK (on camera): Just moments ago, this is where a large part of the iceberg carved off into the sea. At first impression, it looks really big and intimidating, solid and unmoving, wedged tight on the sea floor. But all over the surface you can see cracks and crevasses, weak points that have the potential to split. And if they do, suddenly you can see the dramatic breakup of this iceberg would be a hugely violent event.

[09:50:24] BLACK (voice over): We go ashore in the twilight gloom that is a summer's night here. From almost every angle, the iceberg looms over this community.

PIA KRISTENSEN, TEACHER: It's beautiful.

BLACK (on camera): Beautiful?

KRISTENSEN: Yes.

BLACK: Why is it beautiful?

KRISTENSEN: We are used to it. We have many like this in summers. And but it seems -- it seems bigger than the -- than the others.

BLACK (voice over): Bigger and most dangerously it's closer. If the iceberg breaks or rolls, it would send tsunami-like waves toward these people. In a new day's arctic sunshine, the iceberg is a brilliant white. From the shoreline, you can hear and see the ice changing and approaching its end.

Hans Matis Christenson (ph) has lived in Innaarsuit for 52 years. Like almost every man here, he fishes, hunts seals and whales, even polar bears in winter. And he knows icebergs.

He tells me his father told him grounded icebergs are the most dangerous because they eventually break. He's seen them destroy boats and he knows there will be huge waves from this one. The people here felt some relief when the iceberg moved a little just

beyond their harbor. And they hope high enough sea levels with the next full moon will allow it to lift off the bottom and float away. But if it doesn't, it will eventually become unstable, like this, another massive iceberg we could see from Innaarsuit. We've sped up the video to show the incredible power and it rolls in the water.

Scientists say the glaciers in this specific region of Greenland have long been known for producing big icebergs. There's no known link to climate change.

The people of Innaarsuit know how to endure the challenges of living in the arctic. One key rule hard learned by generations, they must keep their distance from the unpredictable frozen giants they share these waters with.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLACK: Now, Poppy, all big icebergs like this eventually melt, weaken, break up and roll. The key question is where will this one be when that happens? If it doesn't drift away on the next full moon, the locals are hoping that perhaps it will slowly break down over time into smaller pieces and it won't be able to hurt anyone. But the truth is, the people here can't relax entirely until this new giant iceberg, this big neighbor of theirs, is gone.

Poppy.

HARLOW: Wow, it's stunning.

Phil Black, thank you for being there for the reporting.

This morning, the death toll is climbing in Greece as wildfires engulf entire villages. This is right near Athens, what you're looking at. You can see as the flames tear through the hills there, destroyed homes. Authorities confirm at least 50 people have died in these fires. And they are now considered the deadliest to have hit Greece in more than a decade.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:57:59] HARLOW: All right, this week on my "Boss Files" podcast, singer, songwriter Jewel. Do you remember her? You know her music. But did you know that this four-time Grammy nominee was homeless, hitchhiking across the country when she was discovered at a coffee shop. She became famous. She became rich. But she never found happiness until now. She tells me how.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: Why did you think you were going to be a statistic?

JEWEL, SINGER-SONGWRITER: My mom left when I was eight and my dad took over raising us. And I grew up bar singing. And I saw a lot of people in pain that were trying to outrun the pain. And I saw that nobody actually ever did it. They would use alcohol or relationships or rage, all kinds of techniques to avoid what pain they were in.

HARLOW: You were, quote/unquote, for lack of a better term, discovered, right, as an artist to become a wildly successful artist when you were still a teenager.

JEWEL: I was 18.

HARLOW: Homeless.

JEWEL: It sounds odd, but while I was homeless, I really discovered what being happy was. That first song I wrote, "Who Will Save Your Soul," was really about seeing American for the first time and this idea of, can we save ourselves?

HARLOW: Fast forward a few years. You are at 23 years old, Jewel, on the cover of "Time" magazine.

JEWEL: It was very surreal.

HARLOW: But that wasn't happiness.

JEWEL: Yes, I think the perfectionism is a fantasy. It doesn't exist. And it sets you up for failure. But perfectionism is quite an addiction. And so it's been a process. I was very happy with my career. Very proud that my fans allowed me to have the career that I did where I was allowed to be authentic. I never had to be perfect. I was allowed to lead with my flaws. And I was allowed to say to a community of people that I won't use my art as propaganda. But you can't look at me as an idol. You have to live a set of values. And we're all going to be on this journey together.

HARLOW: How have you and how did you then and how do you maybe now struggle with fame? If you didn't want to be famous, if you didn't particularly want to be rich --

JEWEL: At first it was really difficult to handle the level of fame that I achieved. I didn't plan on that. Fame never was a lure for me. It was always sort of a false profit. My currency has always been my ability to have an authentic, happy life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[10:00:08] HARLOW: You can hear my full interview with Jewel on our podcast, "Boss Files." Subscribe today on iTunes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)