Return to Transcripts main page


President Trump Will Meet With South Korean President Moon Jae- in At The White House On Thursday, As Moon Attempts To Get U.S. Talks With North Korea Back On Track. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired April 11, 2019 - 02:00   ET



JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Is Brexit delayed, a Brexit denied? The E.U. pushes the exit deadline to October 31, giving British lawmakers more time to kick the can down the road and hold endless, nonbinding votes in Parliament.

And Spygate is back, the U.S. Attorney General breathes new life in to a once debunked conspiracy theory that the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign. But William Barr admits he has absolutely no evidence to back up his claim.

Meantime in Israel Benjamin Netanyahu on track for a place in history, a record fifth term as Prime Minister and the country's longest serving leader.

Hello, welcome to our viewers all around the world, it is great to have you with us for another hour. I'm John Vause, you're watching CNN Newroom.

Well British lawmakers have another six months to do what they could not do in three years, agree on a withdraw deal for leaving the E.U. It's a hither or thither delay, not the long extension the E.U. Leader Donald Tusk had suggested, nor is it the short delay the British Prime Minister had wanted.

And staying in the European Union for another six months is likely to enrage hard-lined (ph) Brexiteers who fear a Brexit delay could ultimately become Brexit denied. But the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and many others, believe the time has come to finally and once and for all put an end to this Brexit obsession.


JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT: I do rather regret the fact that we only talk about Brexit. I read the British- European (ph) press this morning, Brexit -- Brexit -- Brexit.


VAUSE: "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!" CNN's Isa Soares is in London this hour, we also have Melissa Bell standing by live for us in Brussels. But Isa, since you're up (ph) for us, you're the fresh pair of legs.

The thought of a long delay here, anything more than a few weeks -- it typically keeps the hardwired (ph) Brexiteers up at night. This is the sort of stuff that wake up in a cold sweat over -- how are they going to deal with an extra six months?

ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well I think expect some fireworks today. John, good morning to you. Theresa May is expected to speak to the commons -- to give a speech to the commons in fact, today. And we know that we could expect actually some -- excuse me, fireworks within those hard Brexiteers within her own party.

We knew already that they don't want to be part of the European elections, it's something they have said time and time again. We also know that they didn't want a long extension of course, any sign of a long extension means a softer Brexit, and of course worth reminding our viewers those cross-party talks between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn still ongoing, day six expected to continue today.

And on top of that they're expecting to continue during the Easter break. So Theresa May, although she has a bit of breathing room -- six months. What you said, really hitting the nail on the head there -- what (ph) trying to do in six months -- what they haven't been able to do in almost three years, John.

So the pressure's off for a bit, but she will face an incredible amount of pressure here at home when she speaks to members of her Parliament, when she speaks amongst (ph) her own party who of course will be pushing -- no doubt, for her step down sooner rather than later, John.

VAUSE: And Melissa in Brussels, there just seems to be a feeling among the E.U. leaders that, enough (ph) that they should just leave (ph)? Don't let the door hit you on the way out, you know? But this extension, is it really the end of the line? Because there's nothing in writing that it will in fact be the last delay.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And if the Brexiteers are unhappy at the idea of an extension, so too are the European Federalists in particular people like Emmanuel Macron.

And the overwhelming message coming from the European institutions, and from the European leaders this morning is really look, there is now this extra time that's been reluctantly granted to Britain to try and sort itself out and come to some kind of agreement.

No one wanted to see a no deal Brexit, but this time do no waste any of the precious time that's been given to you -- this is the message being given to British politicians. And as they left these long meetings -- and the negotiations went on for six hours overnight, John. This was the message from the French President, this was his explanation as to how they had been convinced to grant this extension.


EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): What convinced us that we had to grant a new extension? The fact that for the first time in two and a half years, Theresa May explained to us that she had begun a discussion with the labor party.


A first in decades in the British political system, which could allow her to build a majority, holding on to the parts of her own party who support her and adding new lawmakers. I have no idea if that will succeed, and it's not my job to make predictions. What's certain is that the October 31 limit offers us protection --


BELL: So those cross-party talks that Isa just mentioned, John are clearly the heart of Europe's renewed hope that some kind of deal might emerge at some stage from Westminster, hence, the allowing of an extension in order for them to try and hammer out the deal.

And yet, a lot of care was given to the wording of the conclusions of the agreement hammered out overnight -- and in particular to the role that Britain would be able to play as a leaving (ph) member of the E.U. over the course of these few months.

In June there will be a meeting of E.U. leaders to work out whether Britain has been behaving itself, whether Britain has been sticking to the letter to the spirit of the agreement hammered out here overnight. That is, it is allowed to stay while it figures out the way that it wants to leave, the manner that it wants to leave the E.U. but it will not be allowed to get in the way of E.U. business. John.

VAUSE: Melissa -- it's interesting, because when they want -- after they've given -- after they gave Theresa may the news that she'd have this extension until October 31 and this is to Isa. They then went on their own and had this dinner of scallop salad, and you know, loin of cod with brown shrimp.

And they all decided exactly what the restrictions would be on the British MEPs, and what they can and cannot do -- what their obligations will be. You know, exactly how much they will be able to interfere in the ongoing business of the day-to-day of the European Union.

That must enrage people like Boris Johnson, within the British Parliament. So sit back and know that, you know, there's 27 E.U. leaders deciding over a loin of cod what the British will be able to do and not do, as elected members of the European Parliament.

SOARES: And this is exactly why I think some European -- some Brexiteers within her own party will no doubt be spitting feathers over their English breakfast tea this morning, because this is yet again -- they will argue the fact that Theresa May has given in to Europe, and proving (ph) yet again that her negotiating is not -- is not the best, let's say if I put it frankly.

And in fact that she's giving in to Europe once again -- that they have the upper hand. This has always been their argument, and this is what we'll expect to hear from them today. And I think in fact, we'll hear from -- well we may hear (ph) from some of the members (ph) of the 1922 Committee today is perhaps, put more enforcement -- more pushes for her to leave before the end of the year.

Of course there was a vote of confidence on Theresa May, that should secure her until December. But there is talk, and these are just rumors at the moment, John -- that perhaps they may her to leave -- to leave -- Theresa May to leave before that.

So lots -- many -- lots of pressure for Theresa May when she comes back. When she faces the House of Parliament, but -- and it's important to note here, Theresa May will no doubt say today that although she's got that extension, until October -- until that Halloween deadline, her trajectory remains the same. She still wants to leave before European elections. Take a listen to what she had to say.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I continue to believe we need to leave the E.U. with a deal as soon as possible. And vitally, the E.U. have agreed that the extension can be terminated when the withdraw agreement has been ratified, which is my key request of my fellow leaders.

For example, this means that if we're able to pass a deal in the first three weeks of May, we will not have to take part in European elections and will officially leave the E.U. on Saturday the 1st of June.


SOARES: So the trajectory remains the same, the deadline has been extended -- the can has been kicked down the road, but the problem still remains that the arithmetic in Parliament just -- she doesn't have it, the numbers don't stack up.

And she still has to deal with the leader of position (ph), and she still hasn't budged on many of her redlines. Whether she can make any -- they can reach any consensus of course and break that deadlock in six months, well we might be even going back to Melissa for another Brexit Summit.

VAUSE: Let me throw this one in, I think there'll be more tricks than treats come October 31 -- just wondering. Isa Soares in London, Melissa Bell in Brussels -- appreciate you both being with us, thank you so much.

For those who make it a point of avoiding conservative media, Spygate probably doesn't mean a whole lot. But for many on the right and beyond, it's a major conspiracy theory which has run wild since the 2016 U.S. election.

At the very center is President Donald Trump, victim of Clinton- friendly operatives within the Intelligence Community, who illegally spied on this campaign. And when that all failed, they fabricated the Russian collusion hoax as a cover-up to hide their attempted coup (ph). Here's Donald Trump on Fox News, just a few days ago.



DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: We can never let this happen again in our country or to another president. I'm not talking about me; I'm talking into the future. We can never allow this treasonous -- these treasonous acts to happen to another president.

This was an attempted takeover of our government, of our country. And illegal takeover. And if it were the other way around where I was doing it to President Obama or a democrat, it would be virtually the maximum sentence that you can find no matter where you look in whatever legal book.


VAUSE: Spygate has totally gone sensical (ph). A paranoid delusion, which has been investigated and debunked. But on FOX News, they often call it the lead story.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX HOST: This is Watergate on steroids. Remember the Nixon scandal, it was about a third rate burglary. This is a deep state political hit job now spying on an opposition party campaign, FBI spies, during an election and it gets worse.

The deep state isn't even trying to hide it and what they did, they're now bragging about it. The former Obama director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, is actually saying spying on the Trump campaign was a good thing. Has he ever heard of the Constitution.


VAUSE: And on Wednesday during a Senate Appropriations hearing, the man Donald Trump picked to be attorney general gave Spygate it's most credible and authorative (ph) endorsement yet.


SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D-NH): So you're not -- you're not suggesting though that spying occurred?

WILLIAM BARR, U.S ATTORNEY GENERAL: I don't -- well, I guess you could -- I think -- there's spying did occur. Yes, I think spying did occur.

SHAHEEN: Well, let me ...

BARR: But the question is whether it was predicated, adequately predicated. And I'm not suggesting it wasn't adequately predicated but I'd need to explore that. I am not saying that improper surveillance occurred. I'm saying that I am concerned about it and looking into it. That's all. (END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: For more joining us now from Los Angeles, CNN's senior political analyst, Ron Brownstein. You know, Ron, words matter and when you're the attorney general of the United States, words really matter.

BROWNSTEIN: Absolutely, look, I think very quickly, William Barr has established himself as the most partisan attorney general, and certainly the attorney general who most sees his client as president rather than the country and constitution since John Mitchell in Watergate. I think he has -- he has instantly kind of moved himself not only through this but through the initial handling of the -- of the Mueller report.

And -- and what you have is something essentially moving from Sean Hannity monologues to the mouth of the top law enforcement official in the United States and I think this just a very ominous moment that kind of gives you a sense of where we are headed over the -- between now and the November 2020 election.

VAUSE: You know what we saw there in that sound bite, we saw Barr throwing this out there about Spygate and then sort walking it back. He did this...


VAUSE: Throughout the hearing. I want you to just listen to this. Because here he is, talking about -- you know, do you have any evidence of this? Listen to this.


REP. JACK REED (D-RI): Have you any evidence that there was anything improper in those investigations?

BARR: I have no specific evidence that I would say right now. I do have questions about it.

REED: So this panel you're putting together is ...

BARR: I'm not putting together a panel.

REED: So you -- you -- you just have some interest in this, you don't have any evidence?

BARR: I have concerns about various aspects of it.


VAUSE: You know have any evidence. He's going to find the evidence. He's not investigating, but he is putting together a panel but he's not. You know, he later said that you know, that he has no evidence that it happened at all. So you know this is sort of exactly kind of enough out there to get the Spygate aspect into the headlines. But the part about having no evidence actually never makes it. [02:15:00] BROWNSTEIN: Right, well look, I mean and it really isn't

designed necessarily to, as we've talked about before, as many things in the Trump administration, it's not necessarily designed to convince voters who are not already in the Trump camp. I mean, this is really designed -- this is just gasoline on the fire that they're constantly trying to stoke among their -- among their core supporters.

You know, Donald Trump has followed the -- the kind of the twin terrors of conservative populism since World War II. It has always been a kind of the virtuous quote, "real Americans are under siege from forces above and below." And in his case, it's some combination of coastal elites who distain you, the deep state that is trying to mute your political impact by going after me.

And then these kind of threats that he portrays from immigrants and you know black NFL players who protest the national anthem and so forth. That -- that kind of twin threat on people in the middle is Donald Trump's argument every day and that he is the only one that can protect them. And you see William Barr today rather incredibly kind of enlisting in that crusade.

VAUSE: And --and here's an example of how his words are already being politicized. It comes in a tweet from the chair of the Republican Party. She refers to the FISA process, which is the legal proceedings used to get a warrant for domestic surveillance.

She tweeted Attorney General Barr said that he's investigating the abusive FISA process -- he said he's not investigating -- that helped launched these baseless investigations into Donald Trump. They weren't baseless.

This is a great step forward in figuring out how the Obama administration and Comey's FBI abused FISA warrants to spy on the Trump campaign. And from this point, it doesn't even matter if there is any follow up on the attorney general, it's out there now. And that, you know, tweet from the chair of the Republicans, it's just so wrong on every level.

BROWNSTEIN: Well look, we have been patting ourselves on the back in the United States around the idea that our institutions have withstood the challenge from Donald Trump and his instincts to shatter both the norms and in some cases, the legal restraints on the ability of the president to unilaterally exercise power. I think that is very premature.

And you know whether it's through the incredible number of acting officials to the -- the comments that are on Jake Tapper Report the other day about him telling border patrol agents to ignore the law to what we are seeing from the attorney general and -- and the fights that we are headed toward over congressional oversight, really with the administration resisting on essentially every front.

We -- you know this is going to get rockier, and I think you know, in part because so much, as I said, of the political strategy of the administration is convincing their voters that they are under siege. That they are under siege from forces coming to get them, whether it's

at the border or at the upper reaches of the FBI and that I alone can fix it. I am the human wall who can hold back all the forces that are out to get you. You need to create these kinds of confrontations; you need to create these kinds of conspiracies so that you can be fighting against them.

VAUSE: Very quickly, Ron, I want to pick up on that point you made, you know, about the institutions and the norms in this country. Because there's an interview in the Washington Post by chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff.

He talks about the bigger picture here. The post-Watergate reforms are being dismantled, one by one. The Trump precedent after only two years is that you can fire the FBI director who's running an investigation in which you may be implicated as president; you can hire an attorney general who has applied for the job by telling you why he thinks case against you is bogus.

That new attorney general can then selectively edit the work of an independent or a special prosecutor and allow the Congress and the public to see only parts of it. And that new attorney general can also initiate inquiries into the president's political opponents.

I mean, you know, do you see Schiff as sort of getting this correct the way he sees it? What are the options here if he is right for Democrats for the next two years, if there's anything before getting to impeachment?

BROWNSTEIN: I think he is right. And there is one more step that he didn't say, that -- that you can do all of those things and your political party will bite its lip or actively defend you in the case of Lindsey Graham and Nunes and others, as long as you meet their demands on the rest of the agenda; cutting taxes, cutting regulation, appointing conservative justices.

I mean, what we are seeing is that all of our constitution -- all -- all of the protections that we thought, you know, kind of limited the ability of any single individual, including a president to shred our constitutional norms are flimsier than we thought.

They all relied, they all depend upon a concerted congressional, I think, effort to uphold those norms. And you know, the courts in some ways are imposing restraints, but it's not clear how far they will go.

Ultimately many of these questions are going to come down to what John Roberts is willing to accept or not accept at the Supreme Court. And you know, all the things that Adam Schiff mentioned, let's say -- lets add the president's tax returns, full access to the unredacted Mueller report, information about the granting of the security clearances.

All of these questions are heading into the courts and we do not know how our institutions are going to come out of this test, but as I said, it is very premature to be patting ourselves on the back that we have withstood this unprecedented -- really unprecedented challenge before we get to the final bell. I think there are many, many uncertainties ahead.

VAUSE: Mitchell O'Connell and Paul Ryan, I guess will have a lot to answer for one day, I guess. Ron, thank you.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.

VAUSE: Still to come here, Benjamin Netanyahu making history in Israel. Now on track for a record fifth term as prime minister, proving it's good to have friends in right winged places.



VAUSE: Benjamin Netanyahu is on track to become Israel's longest serving prime minister after winning an unprecedented fifth term. It was a surprisingly tight race though, his main challenger, a political novice was Benny Gantz. And on Wednesday, the former military chief of staff conceded defeat. As of now, the prime minister's Likud (ph) and Benny Gantz's Blue and White party will both control 35 seats in Israel's parliament (inaudible).

But Netanyahu has the advantage in forming a coalition government, pulling in support from ultra orthodox and smaller right-wing minority parties. CNN's Michael Holmes is live again for us this hour in Jerusalem. Michael, we saw (ph) Benny Gantz so surprisingly well for a newcomer to Israeli politics. And he's now talking about 202, get ready for 2020. It seems to be a clear reference to Netanyahu's legal problems, the looming threat of indictment on corruption charges. So you have a situation where Netanyahu may in fact become the serving prime minister of Israel, only to be removed?

[02:25:00] MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, potentially John, yes I suppose so. It's interesting, you have Benny Gantz, he made the declaration of victory on the night of the election, and then of course yesterday he came out and he said no, we are conceding that road is too difficult. When it comes to that other comment, it was party leaders who said we're now going to turn our attention to the 2020 election, and yes, that seems to be a reference to Benjamin Netanyahu's legal problems. Hes facing a number of corruption allegations breach of trust and things like that.

Now, the attorney general has already indicated he's inclined to indict on that. There's going to be a hearing probably about mid year to discuss this and see whether that proceeds or not. It's an extraordinary situation for a sitting prime minister to be in, the potential that the attorney general is going to indict him on charges related to corruption. But feasibly, that could happen and were that to happen, then of course the party has got to decide whether it's going to stick with Netanyahu. There that potentially could be a new election. John.

VAUSE: Which means we just need to see what the U.S. president does if that's the case, because Donald Trump, in the lead up to this election, did everything to help Netanyahu, it seems, except head over there and hand out how to vote cards. Which means he's really tied to Netanyahu like no other U.S. president has been linked to an Israeli prime minister before. And this comes as the White House is about to unveil their grand Middle East peace plan. So what are the consequences of, if Netanyahu, if he decides to make good on some of his campaign promises like annexing the West Bank?

HOLMES: Yes, it is interesting. You know, you had Netanyahu came out pre-election and said, I'm going to bring all Israeli settlements and Israeli sovereignty, a massively consequential thing to be promising like that, seemingly off the cuff. Not coincidentally just before an election. That would appeal to right wing voters and that's exactly what he was trying to do. He said, I'm not going to uproot a single settler from an Israeli settlement.

That -- that promise though did probably pull in more right wing voters, but now he's going to get a lot of pressure from some of those coalition partners to follow through. Interestingly, he went on radio a day or two later and he said he would only implement that promise in consultation and with the mutual agreement of the U.S. Now, that's in some ways that's an out for him if that U.S. plan, the Donald Trump deal of the century, doesn't include something as extreme as annexing every single settlement. He could still face pressure from the right to follow-through but he's a bit of an out by saying only in consultation. John

VAUSE: Very good. We're almost out of time. He wants to only move ahead in consultation with the U.S. What about their consultation with the Palestinians?

HOLMES: Not in the discussion at the moment, John.

VAUSE: Not a bit, are they?

HOLMES: Not a bit. And they're -- they're furious about all of this. They're furious about the promise that Netanyahu made. They're furious about the election result. Neither party, Blue and White, or Likud, had any involvement of involving Palestinians in there -- you know in the past the, Palestinian situation, "peace processes," quote unquote, has been an election issue. Not in this election, it wasn't really even discussed in this election. And you saw a lot of Palestinians, Israeli, Arab's abstaining from voting in this election because they just didn't see the point.

VAUSE: Yeah. It's interesting how -- how the country lurched to the right and the Blue and White party has replaced labor as the main alternative to the right wing. And the Blue and White is a very centrist party, and then you've got the labor all the way on the left, sort of in no man's land, I guess at the moment in Israeli society. Michael, thank you for your coverage, it's been great. We appreciate it.

Still ahead on CNN Newsroom, how world markets are responding to that flextension of the Brexit. We'll have that report from Abu Dhabi in a moment.

(BREAK) [02:30:06] VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. The British Prime Minister Theresa May has another six months to push a Brexit deal through Parliament. E.U. leaders in Brussels approve another extension this time until October 31st. The block will get a chance to review the U.K.'s progress in June.

Let's go now to John Defterios. He's keeping a watch on the market reaction to this Brexit deadline extension. They call a Flextension. So what's the reaction been? Good, bad, positive or indifferent.

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Not indifferent, John. And think there is a relief in a financial markets around the world. I think this is like shock absorber against the internal shocks that have been coming from the U.K. now for almost three years as you know, and the drama that's been playing out in the -- in the British parliament. I'm sure that trick and treat of the Halloween deadline is going to play out for months as you are suggesting earlier in the program.

But let's get to the serious financial stuff if you will. And the best asset test or the barometer of this process has been the British Pound dollar rate. And actually we see a slight gain for the British Pound hovering just above 131. We've been in this band between 130 against the dollar at 1.31 for a long, long time. But again a slight relieve as a result of what we've see today. You cannot say the same about the Asian markets but this has nothing to do with Brexit whatsoever.

Tokyo is the only market that's been up by a sharp fall in Shanghai, you see the results in Australia and Hong Kong as well. The sharp decline in China's due to uncertainties about the global economy and the latest forecasted from the International Monetary Fund and whether the U.S. Federal Reserve will move forward or not. If you want a good news, bad news summary here. The good news is we're not crashing out if you will, the U.K. out of European Union.

The bad news medium, John, we don't have a solution. In fact the head of the confederation of British industry was suggesting. We now we've heard the crisis and this a quote from her. But more the same will just mean. More chaos this autumn that's from Carolyn Fairbairn, the director general, the Confederation of British Industry or the CBI.

VAUSE: You know, John, what we've seen, you know, over the last 3,000 years that this is been going on, you've -- there's going to be a lot of economic damage down to U.K. economy. According as well just of the very thought of Brexit. Have these continued delays, have they actually minimize that that damage or are they making things worse?

DEFTERIOS: Well, as you know, John, I was there for three weeks and the anxiety within the U.K. itself is palatable. The business community said it was like a rollercoaster ride that never comes to an end. So, that anxiety is feeding through to their foreign direct investment and something that the global consumers know about because they have always like the U.K. as a real estate market. We have seen falls of 10 to 15 percent for example in the prime areas

of the U.K. Foreign director investment has a fallen by about fifth since they've had the referendum. It was one of the favorite markets for international investors. And what I think is amazing, the debate that we see within Tory Party is that they'll be better off outside of the European Union. But that's not what global companies think.

Honda, Toyota, Siemens, a dozen others of the Fortune 100 companies have decided to pull out of the market, John. That's the reality today. So we did avert a crisis at least in the near term. But even the industry groups are suggesting, look let's not take the six month window and argue to the very end because it's hurting brand U.K. within the Brussels community but international business community at the same time.

VAUSE: Yes, it just never seems to end, I mean, it was meant to end, you know, last Month and it keeps going and going and going maybe this will be timely. Johnny knows, thank you. John Defterios there for the very latest on the market reaction. Thanks, John.

Well, Moon Jae-In, the moderator an internal optimist will be heading to Washington on Thursday to meet with U.S. President at the White House. And the South Korean President will be pushing Donald Trump not to abandon diplomacy urging him to keep talking to the North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un to try and convince him to abandon his elicit nuclear and missile program. Maybe even hold a third summit. CNN'S Paula Hancocks is live for us this hour in Seoul.

So, you know, Paula. We've got this internal optimist, you know, Moon Jae-In who keeps pushing on with his job, he's got suddenly with Kim Jong-un on one hand and he's got deal with Donald Trump on the other. Not exactly the easiest people in the world and yet, he seizes obviously as crucial to the region and in fact of the world.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, I mean, there is certainly a tremendous amount of conviction for the South Korean president in what he's doing. Moon Jae-In truly believes that this is the right way to go. So, what he will be doing as you say when he meets with U.S. President Donald Trump is to try and convince him that he needs to stay on the track of talking with North Korea.

Moon Jae-In has state a lot his credibility on these talks working on the U.S. and North Korea becoming closer on pushing towards denuclearization. He's, he's also being a pains to say that Washington and Seoul of the exactly on the same page. It's not strictly correct though. The fact is Washington has said repeatedly that they want the denuclearization to come first and then, they will lift sanctions.

[02:40:09] Although on Wednesday we did hear a slightly of a relief potentially from the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying, to the Senate Foreign Relations Community that they could be a little bit of space if there is substantial progress, potentially something could be lifted but not those United Nations security council resolutions. Whereas South Korea really believes that it should be more of good pro quo which of course is what North Korea believes it should be too, a little give and take. John?

VAUSE: Yes, that's what diplomacy is I guess. But, you know, what we have the situation with Kim Jong-un, you know, back there in North Korea, the summit in Hanoi a complete and total failure. But, now here again, you know, this talk coming out of North Korea of delivering a serious blow to hostile forces. Are we back kind of where we was, you know, more than a year ago?

HANCOCKS: We're not where we were then but certainly you're going to notice this kind of talk because it is reminiscent when talking about the hostile forces. Everybody knows that they're talking about the United States. It's interesting though, Kim Jong-un is not mentioning the U.S. President by name. He is a pain and as a North Korean leader not to criticize Donald Trump, because they know that they have an ally in the U.S. President given what he's been saying over the recent months.

But we are expecting to hear something potentially from Kim Jong-un this Thursday. He is speaking at the Supreme People's Assembly which is the Parliament in North Korea. And it will be interesting because we haven't heard him specifically talk about Hanoi yet. We've heard state-run media say, that the U.S. was to blame for coming away from that summit without an agreement.

But we haven't heard what the North Korean leader himself thinks, so they'll certainly be interesting to how much pressure he is going to put on the U.S. side, but it is interesting that at this point there's very little going on between North and South Korea. That relationship was going well up until Hanoi. But now we hear from the South Korean officials that they're trying to talk to North Koreans to coordinate and looking for remains for example from the Korean War in the DMZ. The North Koreans simply aren't picking the phone up at this point on. John?

VAUSE: And just -- let's switch gears very quickly to another big story which is coming out of South Korea, you're there at the constitutional court which has made a very significant ruling on abortion laws in that country?

HANCOCKS: That's right. Yes, this is a six-decade old that law that makes abortion illegal here. The constitutional court where I am has just ruled that ban is unconstitutional and they have told lawmakers that it has to be changed by the end of next year, so this is a very significant and as you say a landmark ruling for South Korean society. The cheers you can hear behind me are those pro-abortion protesters and supports who are absolutely delighted that this ban will be lifted. John?

VAUSE: OK, Paula. Multitasking today, we appreciate it. Thank you for that. Paula Hancocks live for us Seoul. We will take a short break. When we come back, take a look at springtime in the United States. Pummeled with blizzard like conditions a total wide out of places. We'll look at the forecast in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [02:40:43] VAUSE: There it is. A powerful springtime snow blizzard hitting parts of the United States. Heavy snow slamming the Rockies and the Plains. Forecasters in Minnesota say up to 60 centimeters could fall in the coming hours. This is a real temperature shot to the region which have had been -- had been enjoying the much warmer conditions until the snow came. Meteorologist Derek Van Dam joins us with more on this. So what's the forecast here?

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN WEATHER ANCHOR: John, there's so much energy associated with the system. Winds are gusting equivalent to a Category 2 Atlantic hurricane. 176 kilometers per hour. In Pueblo, Colorado let me take you there. Look at this video behind me, the wind was strong enough to pick up the dirt and the dust that has present on the ground lately and form what is called a gustnado or a dust devil.

This moved across a high school there caused some minor roof damage. But that really puts in the perspective., the strength of the storm which by the way could set April records for lowest barometric pressure indicator. The meteorologist just how impressive and how much strength is surrounding this particular system, here's the strongest wind gusts that we can find. Over 170 kilometers per hour.

I mean an incredible amount of energy associated with the system. Here's a storm system, it is drawn in cold air from the north. Warm air ahead of it, by the way we have a whole slew of thrush today including the potential for severe weather across Chicago further south and west. But on the cold side of the system, you saw the video just a few minutes as you teased into the weather head that it is falling in the form of snow.

And anytime you receive winds gusting in excess of 40 miles per hour or roughly 60 kilometers per hour. And then you add snow into the mix, it lowers the visibilities for a period of three hours or more and that is a categorical blizzard. That's what's taking place across the Central U.S. At one stage we had over 30 million Americans under a wind advisory, warned in our watch and here is a look at the blizzard warnings, Minneapolis all the way to Denver.

In fact, you can expect some serious travel delays not only on the roadways, but in the air as you take to some of those major international airports. Look at this. Nearly 50 centimeters of snow has fallen so far. There is still more to come with the storm as it continues to move across the central parts of the country. Again, most of it fallen in the form of heavy snowfall and the potential for this to see some impressive totals going forward. That is a major, major storm system here across central U.S.

VAUSE: Hey, Derek.


VAUSE: Look at the shot my friend. I mean to say that last hour.


VAN DAM: Appreciate that. Thank you.

VAUSE: See you tomorrow.

VAN DAM: All right.

VAUSE: Thank you. And thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Please stay with us for "WORLD SPORT." You're watching CNN.