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White House Press Secretary Injured As Trump, Kim Talk; U.N.: Abundant Evidence Of Crimes Against Humanity In North Korea; U.S. Sends Fighter Jets To Persian Gulf; Trump Met Kim Jong Un At DMZ And Steps Into North Korea; G20 Split Over Climate Change. Aired 11-12p ET

Aired June 30, 2019 - 11:00   ET




[11:00:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Rocketman is on a suicide mission for himself.

After our first summit, all of the danger went away.

He wrote me beautiful letter and they're great letters.

We fell in love.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump has just walked across the demarcation line that made him the first U.S. president to visit our country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to thank President Trump for making such a bold decision.

TRUMP: Stepping across that line is a great honor. A lot of progress has been made, a lot of friendships has been made. And this has been in

particular a great friendship.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, it's midnight in Pyongyang, same time in Seoul, 7:00 at night here in Abu Dhabi in the UAE

and 11 a.m. over in D.C. We are connecting your world through them all tonight. I'm Becky Anderson. Welcome to the show.

Today we witnessed history. Donald Trump literally making an unprecedented step, for the first time ever a sitting U.S. president walked into North


Well, here's that moment. We just want you to take this all in. Here you see the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un greeting the US president in the

Korean Demilitarized Zone. President Trump wanted to visit the DMZ after the G20 in Osaka. And following talks with the South Korean leader in

Seoul but one can argue if you ever saw this coming.

I'm going to walk you through today's events in just a moment, CNN across the story like no other of course. Let's get out to South Korea Abby

Phillip has been traveling with President Trump and our Will Ripley has reported from inside North Korea some 19 times more than any other U.S.

T.V. correspondent, they join us live from Seoul.

Stand by there, guys, because viewers let me get you the importance of what happened in the DMZ earlier. It cannot be overstated. I want to walk you

through today's historic events as they unfolded.

President Trump went to the southern observation platform like other presidents who had come before him to look out upon what is the heavily

guarded stretch of land that is divided the Korean Peninsula for three- quarters of a century. There he made this comment.

TRUMP: It used to be very dangerous, very, very dangerous. After our first summit, all of the danger went away.


ANDERSON: Well, he received a warm welcome from South Korean troops in the barracks there. Mr. Trump paid a visit and thanked them for their

continued service. He then added his familiar signature to a wall in a building that has housed those who have helped keep watch over the zone for


Well, up until then everything seemed to be going according to the script as far as U.S. presidential visits to the DMZ go at least. And then the

president made this surprise announcement.


TRUMP: So this was scheduled for a long time ago. And then yesterday I had the idea, maybe I'll call Chairman Kim and see if he wants to say hello

so we didn't give him much notice but we've become -- we respect each other. We respect each other. Maybe we like each other and he's agreed to

meet and I'm going to meet him in about four minutes so I'm going to cut my speech a little bit short.


ANDERSON: And then came that historic moments when Donald Trump literally walked into North Korea. Let's clip play that out for you.


KIM JONG-UN, LEADER, NORTH KOREA (through translator): Good to see you again. I never expected to meet you at this place.

TRUMP: Big moment, big moment.

[11:05:00] KIM: If you'll take a step forward, you're the first U.S. President to cross the border.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of the way.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of you. Hey, hey, come on.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Move. Wait till they move.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Mr. President.

TRUMP: Big moment, big moment. Big project, very big project.


ANDERSON: Well, the two then returned to the South Korean side of the border and spoke with reporters. Here's what they had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump has just walked across the demarcation line. That made him the first U.S. president to visit our country. I

believe just looking at this record, this is an expression of his willingness to eliminate all the unfortunate past and open a new future.

TRUMP: I just want to say that this is my honor. I didn't really expect it. We were in Japan for the G20. We came over and I said hey I'm over

here, I want to call Chairman Tim. And we got to meet and stepping across that line was a great honor.

A lot of progress has been made, a lot of friendships have been made and this has been in particular a great friendship. So I just want to thank

you. That was very quick notice and I want to thank you.

So we're going to go inside and we're going to talk to a little while about different things and a lot of really positive things are happening I'm glad

you're here to see it, but tremendous positivity, really great things are happening -- and in a lot of places but we met and we liked each other from

day one and that was very important.


ANDERSON: And then they shook hands. You heard there President Trump went to sit down with King Jong-un as they talked privately. This chaotic scene

broke out just outside their meeting room.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back off. Let's go.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I need help here.



ANDERSON: What you're looking at here is the new White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham who got into a scuffle with North Korean

officials. The source says he was at the scene, says Miss Grisham was bruised in the melee.

Well, despite that drama, inside the meeting room talks seemed to have gone very well. That is according to both leaders. They spoke for nearly an

hour. Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim having glowing remarks once they wrapped up.

TRUMP: Well, I want to thank you, Chairman. You hear the power of his voice. Nobody has heard that voice before. He doesn't do news

conferences, in case you haven't heard. And this was a special moment. This is, I think, really -- as President Moon said, this is a historic

moment, the fact that we're meeting.

And I want to thank Chairman Kim for something else. When I put out the social media notification, if he didn't show up, the press was going to

make me look very bad. So you made us both look good, and I appreciate it.

But we've developed a great relationship. I really think that, if you go back two and half years, and you look at what was going on prior to my

becoming President, it was a very, very bad situation -- a very dangerous situation for South Korea, for North Korea, for the world.

And I think the relationship that we've developed has meant so much to so many people. And it's just an honor to be with you, and it was an honor

that you asked me to step over that line. And I was proud to step over the line. I thought you might do that; I wasn't sure. But I was ready to do

it. And I want to thank you. It's been great. It's been great.

[11:10:38] KIM (through translator): If it were not for the great relations between the two countries, such a gathering within one day would

not have been possible. And this good relation will act as a mysterious force in overcoming the difficulties and obstacles in our future.


ANDERSON: What's the choreography then of what happened earlier today remarkable stuff. White House Correspond Abby Phillip out in Seoul from

Washington for you and CNN's Will Ripley joining us now from Seoul as well. He's been to North Korea more than a dozen times. Let me start with you,

Will. What do you make of what we've witnessed today?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was optics on full display and not much substance which is what we've seen in Hanoi before the

Hanoi talks broke down and it's what we saw in Singapore at the first summit between Trump and Kim. Made-for-T.V. moments and yet at the end of

the day still no progress on denuclearization.

But, Becky, nobody was really expecting progress today. They were expecting a handshake and a photo-op and they got nearly an hour of private

talks with Trump and Kim which may have been spontaneous. And the -- I guess biggest takeaway is that they've agreed to restart negotiations which

is significant because the North Koreans received a directive after Hanoi not to engage with the U.S.

The North Koreans were furious about how things went down in Hanoi and perhaps this moment today was a reboot, a reset.

ANDERSON: Abby, your view.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Will is exactly right that this is the reality T.V. president really using his skill to create

images that he wants to present to the world about what is going on with this relationship with Kim.

But underneath the surface of all of that, there are some real questions about whether North Korea is actually more willing to get to come to the

table in a real way on the central issue which is denuclearization.

But you heard both sides repeating basically the same thing. And I think what struck me in hearing Kim Jong-un talk was how much his view of this

mirrors President Trump which is that their personal relationship they believe can help them overcome some of these really substantive and

foundational issues that have made these kinds of talks so difficult for so many years.

I think both parties firmly believe that just the fact that they under -- that they believe they understand each other, that they can talk to each

other, that they perhaps share a similar idea about how the future relationship can look, that can really overcome a lot of the problems that

they've had in the past.

That may be the case, but frankly, so far, after two summits, that has not been the case. And so I think a lot of people are coming away from this

saying, what is different about this handshake summit from the other two and I think the answer is probably not a whole lot more. And in fact, this

summit is the least substantive of all the ones that we've had in the past.

ANDERSON: So if I were to suggest that this is likely a win so far as Donald Trump is concerned, you're not as convinced Abby that this is a win

so far as the U.S.'s file on North Korea is concerned.

PHILLIP: It just depends on what you consider a win. I think certainly President Trump views it as a win that he was able to make a last-minute

invitation to Kim and Kim showed up and the result was this really historic.

I mean, truly historic moment a U.S. president stepping on to North Korean soil but when it comes to the central issue, reading the Korean Peninsula

of nuclear weapons, neutralizing the threat of the North Korean regime and frankly dealing with a regime that is responsible for basically atrocities.

I'm not sure that we've gotten there. I'm not sure that we've moved forward.

But as Will point it out, the restarting of talks is a significant thing. They had been stalled for several months, nothing had been happening on

that front. The fact that the deputies, the staff level talks are resuming is an important development and we will just have to see what comes of


[11:15:05] ANDERSON: No sign is John Bolton by the way today. Two other U.S. presidents, of course, Will, have visited North Korea before once they

were out of office of course. Jimmy Carter visiting in 1994 to persuade Kim Il-sung, the current leader's grandfather to negotiate over its nuclear

program, and Bill Clinton, of course, in 2009 to free two American journalists being held hostage by Kim Jong-un's father Kim Jong-il. How is

this all being reported by North Korea if at all?

RIPLEY: It was fascinating, Becky, because as every channel around the world was showing these images live from the Demilitarized Zone, in North

Korea they were showing documentaries about gardening and about science and history and about the leaders.

Now the North Koreans will get maybe tomorrow a very carefully edited version of this from the multitude of North Korean cameras that were

visible at the DMZ probably capturing a lot better angles than what we were able to capture.

You saw Kim Jong-un's photographers on the North Korean side getting the shots that the Western photographers were yelling at them wishing that they

could get. So we might actually see some extraordinary images on North Korean T.V. tomorrow but they're going to get a very carefully tailored


And look, North Korean T.V. can focus on the significance of the moment, at the historic moment. We don't want to downplay that whatsoever. But when

the buzz wears off, North Korea still has all the sanctions in place that they want lifted and North Korea also has all the nuclear weapons in place

that the U.S. wants gone. So both sides still don't have what they want despite what happened at the DMZ today.

ANDERSON: Listen, both of you, don't go anywhere. I'm going to come back to you in just a moment. Also ahead this hour, folks, Donald Trump holds

quite a lineup of meetings with leaders at the G20.


TRUMP: President Xi, he's a brilliant leader, he's a brilliant man. The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia a friend of mine.


ANDERSON: We take a look at whether the friendly words match up with the reality of what the president can actually achieve. Plus --


TRUMP: We have the cleanest air we've ever had but I'm not willing to sacrifice the tremendous power of what we've built up over a long period of



ANDERSON: Well, it's most of the world presses for urgent climate action. Mr. Trump says things, well, they're going just fine. Coming up I'll speak

to the U.N. envoy in charge of getting countries in line on climate change. All that coming up. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson

out of the UAE for you. Stay with us.



[11:20:00] TRUMP: Rocketman is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.

And we can't have madmen out there shooting rockets all over the place. Rocketman should have been handled a long time ago.

North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury. We had a great meeting, great chemistry. We

got along really well which is very important. They didn't want us to but then you know it's like nice to do that.

He wrote me beautiful letters and their great letters. We fell in love.

They wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn't do that. We had to walk away from that.

This wasn't a walk away like you get up and walk out. No, this was very friendly. We shook hands, we -- you know, there's a -- there's a warmth

that we have. Now, I hope that stays. I think it will.


ANDERSON: Well, from fire and fury to falling in love. The U.S. President there with the highs and lows of his relationship with North Korea's Kim

Jong-un. But it seems things are now what on the optic for to world leaders after a historic meeting just hours ago at the Korean Demilitarized

Zone, DMZ as it's known.

Once again, let's bring in CNN's Will Ripley and White House Correspondent Abby Phillip both live in Seoul for you. And Abby, while speaking with

reporters, Mr. Trump touted his progress with North Korea and claimed that the U.S. and Pyongyang were headed to wall until he took office. Let's

have a listen.


TRUMP: If you look again at where we were two and a half years ago, and I think I can say the hatred that everybody had for everybody, and where it

was going and I said that if President Obama's term was for some reason extended through any method including having a successor that thought the

way that that administration thought, you would be right now at war with North Korea.


ANDERSON: Is that strictly true? Is that a good characterization of where the U.S. was, Abby, with their relations with North Korea?

PHILLIP: You know, it's really hard to know whether you could say that the U.S. was closer to war under Obama or closer to war under President Trump

when President Trump was talking about fire in fury.

But it's clear that President Obama viewed North Korea as the paramount threat to the United States so much so that he warned President Trump in

the transition period this is going to be your biggest headache. And that was something that Trump advisors told us in the early days. He was --

that's the stuff that was keeping him up at night.

And so the president inherited that and I think has kind of settled on this strategy after quite a long while really of raising the stakes with North

Korea. But I think the Obama administration would really strongly dispute that characterization but they were not interested in war but they

recognized the threat that North Korea posed.

And the Obama administration also denied what Trump claimed which is that Obama wanted so desperately to sit down with Kim. Well, Obama aides say

that wasn't true either that the Obama administration never believed that that was going to be the way out of this problem that they felt that

multilateral talks was a better solution to reach -- to reaching a denuclearization deal with North Korea.

So we will find out who is right about this but I think President Trump started out talking more about war than Barack Obama probably ever did in

his four -- in his eight years in office.

ANDERSON: Two administrations with very different styles. Let's leave it at that, shall we? Despite today's pleasantries, Will, we've got to

remember that North Korea is still a harsh regime having been accused of multiple human rights violations by the United Nations.

These disturbing images drawn by a former North Korean prisoner detail the torture methods he witnessed during his time in captivity. He says that

prisoners were forced to eat rats and snakes or starve.

Well, there will be many who criticize the U.S. President decrying the U.S. in doing any sort of business with the regime like this, correct?

RIPLEY: You know, Becky one word that you did not hear President Trump mentioned today which was noted repeatedly was denuclearization. Although

that is what he probed were on the table. But two other words that you will never mention in the presence of Kim Jong-un is human rights.

Those words are the most sensitive words for the North Koreans. In some ways, they're a non-starter. When you bring up the issue of human rights,

the North Koreans shut down the conversation altogether.

So you can look at this one of two ways. Either President Trump is turning a blind eye to what are accusations of rampant human rights violations

throughout North Korea, whether it be prison camps for political prisoners or public executions, or the wide range of reports, some perhaps accurate,

some perhaps not, a lot of it impossible to confirm.

But others might argue that President Trump is being strategic and focusing on the nuclear issue first, focusing on opening up North Korea first, and

then taking the stance that the human rights issue will evolve and come into the focus later once North Korea is more into the fold internationally

and more accountable to the international community in all areas, denuclearization, yes, but also in human rights.

ANDERSON: Yes, he's nothing if not prepared to rip up the rule book as we have learned over the last 2 1/2 years. To both of you, thank you so much.

Your reporting has been excellent, as ever. U.S. basketball star and unconventional diplomat Dennis Rodman is a big supporter of this Trump-Kim


He tweeted, much love to you both and keep up the wonderful progress. Rodman has cultivated a warm relationship with both leaders. He was a

contestant on Donald Trump's reality T.V. show Celebrity Apprentice. And here's Rodman serenading happy birthday to the North Korean leader on a

visit to Pyongyang back in 2014.

The two connected because Chairman Kim is reportedly a passionate basketball fan. Rodman sat down with CNN's Chris Cuomo last year and said

North Korea's leader is moving on from the past, and he said the U.S. should also do the same.


DENNIS RODMAN, FORMER PLAYER, NBA: I think that if Trump goes in there with a great heart, with his heart on the table and let Kim see him really

emotional as far as speaking to him, it isn't got to be about war. It isn't got to be about hatred or what happened in the future or in the past

-- I'm sorry, the past. We're moving on to the future.

Now, I've told people about Kim Jong-un. He's all about the 21st century. He's trying to progress his country. And Donald Trump is going to do a

great job trying to reach out and make sure that our hands, America's, our hands are always open. So let's make this happen. If Trump can pull that

off, more power to him.


ANDERSON: Dennis Rodman, live from Abu Dhabi, you're watching the one and only CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Trump talks with leaders

of Saudi, of China, Russia, and Turkey, amongst others, at the G20 summit, but diplomacy with Iran, well, that remains elusive. We take a look at why

coming up.


[11:31:34] ANDERSON: All right. We have spent the first half of this show this hour looking at Mr. Trump's apparel impromptu meeting with the leader

of North Korea. That's not all he's been up to over the last few days. Though President Trump also had cordial talks with other world leaders over

the G20 summit weekend. Among them, the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The U.S. president said he had raised the issue of the murdered Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. But when it came to specifics, well, Mr.

Trump wouldn't give them.


TRUMP: The meetings have been really terrific. As you know, Saudi Arabia is a big purchaser of American products and especially of America military

equipment. We make the best in the world by far. And we appreciate that they do -- they create, at least, a million jobs are created by the

purchases made by Saudi Arabia.

So, we're very happy to be with you. Great honor. Thank you all very much for being here. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, have you addressed the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, sir? With crown prince?

TRUMP: Thank you very much --


ANDERSON: And the U.S.-China relations, meantime, back on track according to Mr. Trump. Trade talks moving forward and get this: U.S. companies can

work with Huawei again.

That's even though the Chinese telecoms firm was on the U.S. blacklist for the last six weeks because of security concerns.


TRUMP: We're very close to having a deal with China. And then, unfortunately, things happened and the deal didn't happen. But we're now

back on track. So, we'll see what happens. Now, we're going to -- we started it.

We had a very good meeting. We really had a very good meeting, yes. And I like President Xi a lot. I consider him a friend and -- but I like him a

lot. I've gotten to know him very well.


ANDERSON: All right. Well, Trump also made light of Russian meddling in U.S. elections. He appeared to joke about it in a news conference with

President Putin. And later called the Russian leader "terrific".


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will you tell Russia not to meddle in the 2020 election?

TRUMP: Yes, of course, I will. Don't meddle in the election, please. Don't meddle in the election.


TRUMP: He is a great guy. I think we had a really good meeting. I think he is a good person. We started discussing trade. I think we should have

trade between Russia and USA, two great countries. We had a great meeting yesterday. He is a terrific person. Thank you very much.


ANDERSON: But the U.S.-Iran stalemate continues. The U.S. Air Force sent some of its top of the line F-22 stealth fighters to Qatar across the

Persian Gulf from Iran. The U.S. beefing up its forces in the region as tensions escalate with Tehran.

OK, Trump's friendly DMZ meeting with the North Korean dictator contrast them with his failing diplomacy, it seems, with Tehran. CNN global affairs

analyst Aaron David Miller who was with the U.S. State Departments of two decades. Probably forgotten more about foreign files and we will ever

know, joining us via Skype from Ohio.

And before we -- before we move on and take a look at this sort of U.S.- Iran relationship as we must, what do you make of what we have witnessed today at the DMZ?

[11:34:56] AARON DAVID MILLER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST (via skype): You know, I think, it reflects a bit in a certain measure of contradiction I

think in Mr. Trump's approach not only to the diplomacy but to North Korea. On one hand, he deserves credit for changing the conversation with Kim


I mean, for too long, we've been talking about North Korea, instead of to North Korea. And given the nature of the regime and what's at stake on the

table, a leader to leader contact is critically important. At the same time, the diplomacy over the last year and a half has been characterized I

think by a lack of preparation, an unrealistic sense of where we can actually push Mr. Kim.

And I think the preacher federal commitment on the time of the -- on the part of the president, we -- by force of personality, and somehow establish

a relationship with Kim that will fundamentally alter Korea -- South -- North Korean national interest. That's the real problem and he can't.

ANDERSON: Yes. That there will be those who argue with you and say, you know, he's ripped up the playbook, he always said he would, and there is no

reason why this strategy will work.

MILLER: You know, I'm an expert of failed summits. And having produced their help for more than a few failed ones in the Middle East. And when

they fail, they primarily fail because presidents believe -- or Arabs and Israeli leaders believe that somehow they can accomplish more than they

actually can, and they're not ready to go to this summit.

And frankly right now, if you sat down with Kim and Trump, or even with Mike Pompeo, the North Koreans are going to designate the gaps on the core

issues that need to be resolved there Grand Canyon, like. So, you need a lot of prep and you need realistic expectations about what exactly is going

to be achieved.

ANDERSON: All right, Donald Trump says he is expecting more talks with Kim Jong-un. And yet, no sign -- no sign that he is even close to getting Iran

to the negotiating table. Why isn't the U.S. maximum pressure campaign working there, do you think?

MILLER: Because, you know, given my experience in negotiation, there isn't a negotiation in a new industry that is to endure. Unless it's based on a

balance of interest. No different than a good marriage or good business proposition, and a good friendship. Both sides need to get something out

of this relationship in order for it to endure.

So, you cannot simply offer maximum pressure without offering incentives. Not to mention, unilateral withdrawal from a highly flawed but still highly

functional 2015 nuclear agreement. So, know there a lot of bumps in the road, yes, Becky, before the U.S.-Iranian problem, at least, gets back on


ANDERSON: Meantime, we watch from what is a pretty nervous region here in the Gulf, We'll going to leave that for one moment and I do want to take a

look at U.S. Turkey relations while I've got you. At the G20, Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan praising a strategic partnership with the

U.S. Have a listen to this.


RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRESIDENT OF TURKEY (through translator): We are currently going towards fulfilling the goal of $75 billion in trade volume.

And there are many steps that we need to take within the defense industry area. But more importantly, we have a strategic partnership. And the

strategic partnership also encourages us to create solidarity across many areas.


ANDERSON: Mr. Erdogan also planning to go ahead with the missile system purchase from Russia, risking U.S. sanctions. This is a complicated one.

Aaron, how is Mr. Trump playing this one out?

MILLER: You know, here again, I think, it's being driven largely by Mr. Erdogan. It would be nice to look at Turkey as a strategic partner, member

of the NATO. Probably, along with Israel and Iran, the three on Arabs. The most consequential powers in the Middle East as the Arab world begins

to meltdown.

But if you look at U.S.-Turkish relations whether it's human rights, Mr. Erdogan's crackdown in journalists, civil affairs activist, judges, Mr.

Erdogan's policies for Turkey, which are not coincident with ours, we're trying to make them more so, and issue of his acquisition of Russian

defense -- of missiles. You begin to understand that they're bad leaders more divide -- that divides us than brings us together.

So, I think Mr. Trump on that one, frankly, is simply trying to protect the interests that we have. I'm not sure you're looking else these days at a

fundamental that conciliation from U.S. and Turkey. There's simply too much that divides us right now.

[11:40:03] ANDERSON: Fascinating times from the perspective of the UAE in our Middle East broadcasting hub you have all of this incredibly important

stuff. Aaron, thank you.

Just ahead this hour. As a heat wave fires its way through Europe, we speak to the U.N. envoy tasked with getting the world to act before this

becomes the new normal. That interview is just ahead. Stay with us.




say they want to listen to (INAUDIBLE), the rest of us out in the streets yelling. They need to start talking about 2050 and start talking about

2030. We really have no more than 10 years.

JOSHUA AMPONSEM, ENVIRONMENTAL, AND CLIMATE ACTIVIST: We need radical change. It can't be just talking and planning and never doing anything.

So, one big acts change institutions.


ANDERSON: Well, act before it's too late. A plea from youngsters to their leaders. This hour, hundreds of decision-makers and experts from across

the globe are connecting here in Abu Dhabi for a big U.N. meeting on the climate crisis. But it comes on the heels of a G20 summit which exposed a

deep and growing division between world leaders on climate change.

The G20's final declaration at the very end of the communique has to be said, recognizes an urgent need for addressing complex and pressing global

issues including climate change. But that's quickly followed by a paragraph laying out the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate


To discuss all of this, the UN's point man tasked with getting the world to take action against the climate change, special envoy Luis Alfonso de Alba,

joining us now. Sir, welcome to Abu Dhabi.


ANDERSON: I know you've had a good and successful first day at the meeting here. It has been widely reported that President Donald Trump was trying

to get that G20 to communicate language on climate change watered down. Trying to get governments like Saudi Arabia, for example, and Brazil to

side with him. How much of a backward step is this at this point?

DE ALBA: Well, I think what is important is that the majority of countries committed to a high level of ambition, the same way that it has happened

with the last meeting of at the European level on which 24 out of 28 countries committed to carbon neutrality by 2050.

I think it is important to take into account that the majority is moving. And even if you look into the -- this statement of the United States, the

United States is recognizing the need to act on a number of fields which are relevant in the fight against climate change.

[11:45:06] ANDERSON: With the greatest of respect, I think, you're being quite (INAUDIBLE). I think you're putting quite a kind of positive gloss

on what is clearly an extremely important issue.

DE ALBA: Yes. It is --


ANDERSON: Look, let's talk about the numbers of facts, the statistics here. This number that I'm going to put up now is extremely important.

1.5 degrees Celsius. That's what the top climate minds say is the safe limit of global warming.

This weekend at a U.N. conference in Germany, the key report which lays out that science was stopped from being formally discussed after pressure from

oil-rich countries, including it's got to be said by Riyadh. How can the UN say it's taking action when countries effectively giving to this kind of

pressure, sir?

DE ALBA: But, once again, look at the majority of the member states, and look at the message of the secretary-general. The large majority of member

states agree that 1.5 is the target. And we need to achieve that reduction of 45 percent of emission by 2030. If we have the majority of countries,

we can move, we don't have any other option. It would be wonderful to have all of them and that's why we keep working with all of them.

ANDERSON: So, you're saying, you know, don't worry about those naysayers because they don't matter?

DE ALBA: They -- no of them. No, no, because there is no option. They matter and I think and I hope that they will join, and that's why we are

working with all of them and it was very encouraging to see at the G20 that the 19 countries did not follow.

ANDERSON: This happened in France on Friday, sir. Police spraying tear gas directly in the faces of young climate protesters. Let's remind

ourselves, France has experienced its hottest weather ever on record this weekend. What's the message to youngsters here at deep (INAUDIBLE).

DE ALBA: Well, I think what they deserve is an answer. And they are asking governments, leaders, to act. And to act very, very strongly, and

very fast. And that's exactly what we are trying to do through this summit.

This summit is a response to them to a large extent and that's why we open the space for them to participate. Including here in Abu Dhabi this

morning, with a very important dialogue that took place between a global dude and the secretary general. And we will open the space at the summit

in September. I think they need a response.

ANDERSON: Let's talk about that because, in September, you will host a climate action summit in New York. And what do you realistically hope to

achieve? As an organization, we've moved from calling this climate change, for example, to climate crisis. This is sort of -- it feels like -- and

somebody say a small step.


ANDERSON: But, you know, the point is this is a crisis. What can you realistically expect to achieve? Well, you need to recognize first that

the Paris Agreement was a great achievement. But, we are still very far from reaching the level of ambition that is necessary to keep the

temperature below 1.5. So, this summit has the main purpose of identifying specific actions that could help member states that would help leaders not

only governments but also private sector, all the rest able to achieve that goal.

We need to increase ambition because we are today in a trajectory that will lead us to three degrees increase at the end of the century if we do not

increase ambition. But we need to know how. Which are --


ANDERSON: Hand or not, do you tell youngsters in your family that you are determined and you are convinced that you will be leaving a better world

for their generation and generations to come?

DE ALBA: We have to. We have -- we have to. We have to -- we -- as I told you, we don't have a -- we don't have an option, and it is possible.

If you look at the how, for instance, that the evolution on sustainable energy is taking place including in this country. It is very encouraging.

If you look into the number of solutions that even the teetering on the street, they have already identified. It is very encouraging.

[11:49:23] ANDERSON: Thank you, sir. Thanks for coming in, and welcome to Abu Dhabi. Well, as this climate meeting gets underway here in the in Abu

Dhabi and the UAE, as you rightly point out, the UAE has made a major announcement officially opening what it says is the world's largest single

solar plant.

The country's environment minister calls it a major milestone for the future of sustainable energy. A plan will reduce Abu Dhabi's carbon

emissions, we're told by 1 million metric tons. Equal to taking 200,000 cars off the road.

Time for a quick break. Back after this.


[11:55:28] ANDERSON: Well, at your "PARTING SHOTS" finally this evening, and we leave you with these history-making images from the Korean

Demilitarized Zone the moment Donald Trump became the first-ever sitting U.S. president to step foot in North Korea.

Shaking the hand of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, they have agreed to restart negotiations. The world though will have to wait to see what

progress if any comes from this milestone. Remarkable stuff.

I'm Becky Anderson. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Those -- from those working with me here and in programming hubs around the world, it is a very

good evening. Thank you for watching. CNN, of course, continues after this short break. So, don't go away.