Return to Transcripts main page
HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Hong Kong Protestors Cleared from Legislative Council Building; Interview with Student Protestor; Interview with Legislative Council Member Claudia Mo. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired July 1, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:33] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN Breaking News.
HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR, HALA GORANI TONIGHT: Hello, and welcome. I'm Hala Gorani. Let's get right to our breaking news. Thanks for joining us.
A lot going on in Hong Kong, as you know if you've been watching CNN.
The streets of Hong Kong, a bit quieter now. It's 2:00 a.m. there. And riot police were out in force just a few minutes ago. The tense calm,
though, is nothing compared to what we saw a couple of hours ago: absolute chaos, you would call it, as police used tear gas to clear protestors from
the Legislative Council.
Now, lightning-fast operation. Hundreds of demonstrators had stormed the building earlier, using makeshift battering rams to smash the windows and
rush inside. These dramatic scenes capped a day of mostly peaceful protests, calling for Hong Kong's pro-Beijing leader to step aside.
Let's go now to our reporters on the scene. Matt Rivers was inside the Legislative chamber when all this was happening. Nic Robertson, watching
events unfold outside.
Matt, I want to start with you. Talk to us about -- we showed our viewers these dramatic images of the protestors inside the chamber. Talk to us
about that operation to clear them from the building.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. You know, it was surreal, Hala, to be in the room where the Hong Kong government makes its laws. And we were
sitting there for the better part of 90 minutes, wondering, "Why are we being allowed to sit here?"
Why were protestors allowed to break into the Legislative Council building, and not only make it into the initial stages of the building, but then go
all the way up into the most important room in that entire building. And yet there we were.
And there was a palpable sense of, "Well, this isn't going to last forever, right?" And at one point, right around midnight, maybe a little bit
thereafter local time, is when word came that the police were coming. And fear rippled through that room, amongst the protestors that were in there.
And they got out of there in a hurry, as did we, because we didn't want to be stuck in there if police were to be coming in and firing tear gas
Ultimately, we were able to make it down, out from that second-floor area, by using an escalator that was out of service. And as soon as we were
halfway down that final escalator, we got hit with tear gas that had wafted in from outside, where Nic Robertson was, you know, in that same area.
And we made it out onto the street. And when we got out onto the street, we were met with a wall of heavily armed riot police, in terms of armed
with, you know, batons with shields, a full riot gear kit, and they were firing tear gas.
And the swiftness of the operation, from what had lasted forever, it felt like, them not coming after us, not coming into the Legislative Council
building, not coming after the group of us, including the protestors and the journalists, to how swiftly we were moved out of there and ultimately
to where we are now, and now, how quiet the streets are, Hala, it was stunning, frankly. And such a reversal from what we had seen, really, just
a non-response from police for most of the day.
GORANI: Right. And Nic Robertson, you were outside when the police moved toward the building. So talk to us about this operation, but also what
preceded it. And these remarkable images, of a small group of protestors - - and I mean small compared to the millions, hundreds of thousands, potentially millions, who demonstrated today against the Hong Kong
What happened there? Why did it become -- why did -- were these protestors allowed inside the building itself?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: The protestors began at about 2:00 in the afternoon, which would be 12 hours ago now, trying to
smash their way through the windows of the buildings here.
They are thick windows, and there's a thick lining of plastic on the back of them. And they were using battering rams, they were using barricades as
battering rams, they were using iron bars that they could find, they were using crates full of rocks to smash, smash, smash their way slowly, slowly,
slowly into the building, ripping and tearing this heavy glass away.
The police were on the inside, and the police stood back, watched the protestors. And there were a moment, it looked like they were getting
through that glass. They would spray a little bit of pepper spray, pull back and wait. So the police were sort of taking a very hands-off, non-
The protestors eventually, over many, many many hours, managed to smash away enough of the glass, smash through some doors, peel away a second
metal door, and that gave them access to the building. And the police didn't confront them in the building. There wasn't a violent
[14:05:05] And that's why the protestors were allowed to stream into the Legislative chambers. This is something that may ultimately backfire on
the protestors. But as the protestors were in the chamber, there were thousands of protestors in this area here, waiting outside. And everyone
understood, at midnight, that's when the police were going to move. It was swift, it was coordinated.
The police didn't try to corral all the protestors in this area to try to arrest them. They moved in in such a way that the protestors streamed out
of the area. They had a way to get out. They moved away with their hands in the air quite calmly, quite peacefully. So there was no direct
A lot of tear gas fired at the beginning of that, and that was really what swept the crowd up and drove them away. And the police moved in. And very
quickly, within minutes, this area was clear. The police came in and secured this area, and they moved out to secure the area around.
So it was a -- it was an operation without confrontation, without injury, as far as we know, to move a massive number of protestors by a well-
coordinated group of police --
GORANI: And --
ROBERTSON: -- but the questions, what damage have the protestors done to their cause? And why did the police wait so long?
GORANI: Exactly. What damage have they done to the cause. And by the way, I understand -- my producer is telling me that we have images from
inside the Legislative Council building, so this would be what happened earlier and some of the aftermath images as well, after the protestors left
What does this do, Matt Rivers, to the wider movement? Of (ph) the vast majority of protestors, very peaceful, as they have on previous occasions,
marching through the city, saying they want to maintain the level of freedom they have now, they don't want mainland encroachment. What does it
do to that movement, these images?
RIVERS: Yes, Hala, it's an interesting question. I actually started my day, before moving to where Nic was at the Legislative Council building, I
was actually at that march, watching thousands and thousands and thousands of people stream underneath the overpass that I was on, and it was
Yes, they were passionate. They were energetic. But it was completely peaceful. And that's what we've seen over the last month, really, a series
of peaceful protests, for the large part.
And those protests, I think, really made the people who were engaging in them sympathetic, not only to the people of Hong Kong, but also to the
international community. And what might change, now, is the lasting images from today are not going to be the peaceful protestors that we saw come out
in the tens -- hundreds of thousands, you know, in total.
It's going to be the images of young people with masks on, metal poles in their hands, smashing through glass, smashing through metal, spraying
graffiti over the Legislative Council chamber here, with profanity everywhere that we saw. That is going to be the lasting image, followed up
by the tear gas that was generated as a result.
Now, what that does to the --
GORANI: It -- yes.
RIVERS: -- international community's sympathy for these people? I'm not sure yet. It's too early to tell. But you can imagine it's going to have
some sort of negative impact.
GORANI: Sure. And I keep hearing that these demonstrations are "leaderless," Nic Robertson. But you need some degree of organization and
planning to storm parliament in Hong Kong. So who's behind -- who are the protestors who were violent today?
ROBERTSON: They were mostly very young. And the ones who were sort of doing the most of the smashing were men. But they were working together as
a group. They were -- girls and other men, young women were holding up umbrellas so that the police and we couldn't see who the faces of the
protestors actually doing the violent smashing were.
But it was -- you know, there was a -- there was a coordination that didn't seem to have somebody in control. Everyone knew their purpose. I watched
one man pick up a metal bar and try to smash through the windows, smash, smash, smash, smash, smash.
And eventually, his hands were hurting and he put the bar down and immediately, somebody behind him stepped up, picked the bar and continued
to smash it. So it was relays of effort. It was uncommunicated coordination, that there was a joint effort to get inside the building.
Perhaps the way that it fell apart was not knowing what to do once they got inside the building. The target was the building.
And as they were getting ready to leave here, I was staggered that some of the protestors were actually sweeping up. Others were collecting up all
their unused and still working umbrellas. Others were collecting up their sort of makeshift shields that they'd got. And they were carting them off.
They brought them in, but they weren't done. They were picking them up, organizing --
ROBERTSON: -- picking them up and moving them away. Human chains were formed of people passing along helmets, passing along water, passing along
umbrellas to the front.
[14:10:00] So, no, you didn't see an organizer or hear an organizing voice. But everyone worked together for that common objective. But once they
achieved it, that's where, as I say, perhaps, their objectives --
GORANI: Then where do you --
ROBERTSON: -- began to differentiate, if you will.
GORANI: Where do you go from here? Is the big question, if you're a protestor. Thanks very much. Nic Robertson, Matt Rivers, to both of you,
putting in long hours there, covering dramatic events in Hong Kong.
Where do you go from here is the question. And I'm going to ask one of the protestors this very question, Yat-Ming Vincent is the student union
external vice president at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Vincent, thanks for being with us. So what happens now with the protests?
YAT-MING VINCENT, STUDENT UNION EXTERNAL VICE PRESIDENT, HONG KONG UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Hi.
VINCENT: Well, now is the 2:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, 2nd of July. And then it's already the end of today's movement -- I mean yesterday, on the 1st of
July. And then yesterday, we just, like, as students, we are not just taking part in some decision-making on (ph) some -- any movements into the
(INAUDIBLE), but we are being supportive rows (ph) to support the protestors.
And also, so -- and maybe let me give a brief for yesterday. Like, at night, we -- some of our marchers (ph) just went into the Legislative
Council. And I've heard that they have damaged something. And --
GORANI: Oh, they damaged -- they damaged the Council --
VINCENT: -- but it (ph) was (ph) out of our control, because we can't (ph) control --
GORANI: -- I can confirm that. Vincent, I want to ask you about this damage, and about those who rioted inside --
GORANI: -- the parliament building. What did you make of this? What is your reaction to seeing the images of protestors going inside with helmets
and masks and graffitiing, you know, walls and pulling off the Hong Kong seal from its -- from its place there. What do you make of that?
VINCENT: Well, thanks for your question. We have been fighting for our democracy. We have been fighting for our request to the Hong Kong
government for already, I think, a month. And we haven't got any response. So yesterday, we made a decision, just to maybe occupy the Legislative
Council, and to see if there is -- we can have come bargainship (ph) to the government and we can have a full discussion on the issues.
So we didn't (ph) --
GORANI: So you made that decision yesterday?
VINCENT: -- expect (ph) to be -- turned out to be some, like, damage. No, no, no. The public made the decision. We are just supporting the whole --
the whole movement. Yes.
And also, like --
GORANI: So why was there -- why did it become --
VINCENT: -- maybe I think it's a trap (ph) that --
GORANI: -- Vincent, so chaotic? Because the issue you might have now, is that people will look at these images and say, "You see? These
demonstrators are violent," you know? "They don't just want, you know, the scrapping of an extradition law, they want to cause damage. This will hurt
your cause, potentially. Do you agree?
VINCENT: Well, I think that -- look, like, we can't just control their actions. But if they go into Legislative Council, that's what we agreed on
as a whole. And as protestors, we shall stand together. Like, if somebody makes some decision, maybe they carry out some civil disobedience, we as
Hong Kong people, we as Hong Kong protestors, we support them all.
GORANI: So you're -- I'm not hearing you condemn any of this behavior. You think this is justified?
VINCENT: Well, I can't hear clearly from -- I mean, the audio right now.
GORANI: So you will continue --
VINCENT: -- can you (ph) repeat the question?
GORANI: I'm just saying, you do not condemn this behavior. You think it - -
GORANI: -- is justified? You think this behavior that we saw today is justified?
VINCENT: Like, look, before they go in, they have already made -- maybe, like, they are already prepared to be caught, arrested by the police.
Because they are trying to revoke (ph) the emotion of Hong Kong people by, maybe, civil disobedience. Yes.
GORANI: OK. So what -- last question, Vincent --
VINCENT: And also, like --
GORANI: -- to you -- sorry, there's a bit of a delay. But what happens in the next few days? Will you continue to protest? And what would satisfy
you? What do you need to see happen in order to be satisfied at this stage in Hong Kong?
[14:15:06] VINCENT: Well, we have a lot of groups here. And we are still discussing whether we will have any actions tomorrow. Because the movement
just now ended and everybody is tired. And -- but we --
VINCENT: -- sincerely hope that the government shall (ph) -- can have a thorough (ph) talk with them -- with us, and negotiate or just satisfy our
full request. Yes. That's all I will say.
GORANI: All right. Thank you so much. Yat-Ming Vincent --
VINCENT: I just hope (ph) that they'll (ph) be responsive --
GORANI: -- really appreciate you coming on -- sure. There's a bit of a delay there between us, a few seconds, so we're talking a little bit over
each other. But thanks for joining us. Yat-Ming Vincent, live in Hong Kong, a little past 2:00 in the morning after a very dramatic day. We
really appreciate you taking the time.
And in fact, I want to speak to a legislator who works in that building that was trashed by some of the protestors. Claudia Mo is on the phone.
She was caught up in the protests earlier and was even tear-gassed.
Claudia, talk to us about your impressions today. It's very late in Hong Kong. We're very appreciative that you're on the line with us. What goes
through your mind at the end of a day like today?
CLAUDIA MO, PRO-DEMOCRACY LEGISLATOR, HONG KONG: Seriously, the footage (ph), all the pictures you're seeing are shocking. And they are
But then I hope the world wouldn't just blame the young -- you have to understand that their pent-up anger and frustration and resentment,
hostility in particular against this legislature, which is just a rubber- stamping body. It's a rubber-stamping body because it's been dominated by Beijing minions, and they outnumber the democrats, like myself included.
And so whatever policy or bill, law they meet to pass, they will just pass.
MO: There's -- we just don't have the votes. So, now, vandalism, who would endorse vandalism? But then, you have to understand. Hong Kong,
under this -- all (ph) this glamorous skyline facade, it's dropping away. It's killing our young.
You must have heard of these three suicide cases that -- which happened in apparent (ph) protest (ph) against the Carrie Lam government, Carrie Lam
being our city leader. And that's the tipping point for the young. And they thought they've had enough. This is 2019 now, in the year of. And if
they don't fight on, if they don't fight hard, it would be 2047 (ph) --
GORANI: But so what are the options left now? What happens next? And I mean, I know it's very difficult to predict the future when things are so
uncertain and so fast-moving. But at the same time, it doesn't sound like the government is ready to pull that extradition bill, or Carrie Lam
prepared to step down.
MO: Exactly. The -- up to two million people took to the street last time, and nothing much has happened. That's why --
GORANI: So what are your options now? Because you need to look to the future now, and come up with a plan that will work --
MO: I (ph) know (ph).
GORANI: -- what is that plan?
MO: Well, it wasn't our plan. You have to understand. The young have their own plan. They may look leaderless, but they are organized.
Now, Beijing seems to have distanced itself from Carrie Lam, saying that this China extradition bill was started by Carrie Lam herself. Let's
assume that's all true. All the more, Carrie Lam should come out.
Now, she's not going to quit any time soon. We all realize that. She can't quit without Beijing's endorsement. And when it comes to the
students, I don't judge. I refuse to judge. But they're not inside at the Legislature, doing all that vandalizing for fun. They were angry. And
Now, Carrie Lam, as the leader of this city, she has to come out as soon as possible, calm down the population. And the problem is that, again,
sincerely, for God's sake -- sincerely. Because she did try to calm down people, but in her usual very arrogant and smug tone. And the false (ph)
sort of bureaucratic speak, it just doesn't connect --
[14:20:06] GORANI: Yes.
MO: -- to the people.
GORANI: Yes. Claudia --
MO: And so she should come out sincerely and genuinely --
GORANI: And we're going to keep our eye on what happens. Claudia Mo, thanks again as well. I know it's very late there for you in Hong Kong,
explaining that these protestors are angry. Not condoning, obviously, some of what happened inside that chamber, but explaining that what motivated a
lot of these young people is anger at what's happening in Hong Kong.
Claudia Mo, a member of the Legislative Council who works, in fact, in that building.
Now, police have been going through Hong Kong's Legislative building to make sure it's empty now. Protestors who stormed it, occupied it for
several hours before police finally moved in. Here's how the dramatic day unfolded.
GORANI (voice-over): The moment of confrontation. Hong Kong police lobbed tear gas into the umbrella-wielding crowd: the last stand from protestors,
who spent the day storming the Legislative Council.
Riot police, herding crowds through the streets, finally moving in to quash the demonstration after hours where the protestors seemed in control.
Earlier, these astonishing scenes inside the Hong Kong legislative chamber, protestors seizing the very room where lawmakers usually sit. Their
message? "Release the righteous, hold police responsible, take back universal suffrage." They left a path of destruction, sprayed slogans on
the walls and defaced the city's coat of arms.
This was the moment when they smashed through the glass of the Council building, after hours of using trolleys, barricades and metal poles,
shielded by umbrellas, the symbol of resistance to Chinese domination. CNN was on the scene.
ROBERTSON: Just over my shoulder here, you can probably hear what sounds like a battering ram. It is a battering ram of sorts. It is one of those
barricades you just saw, being used to try to batter into this government building.
GORANI (voice-over): Once through the first layer of the building, protestors tore down metal fencing. With the building's security fully
breached, the floodgates were opened.
The protestors looked well-prepared with gloves, masks and helmets. But one told CNN, "We don't have a plan. We just want to say something."
July 1st is often a day for protest in Hong Kong, marking the anniversary of its handover to China in 1997. While official celebrations were held
complete with the Chinese national anthem, protestors raised their own black flag of rebellion outside the government building.
The embattled Hong Kong chief executive responded during the ceremony, promising to change her style of governance.
CARRIE LAM, HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE (through translator): I will learn the lesson and ensure that the government's future work will be closer and
more responsive to the aspirations, sentiments and opinions of the community.
GORANI (voice-over): But so far, that has not quelled calls for her resignation.
While the breakaway group was violently smashing into the government headquarters, another much larger and more peaceful march unfolded through
the city. These latest demonstrations come after weeks of unrest triggered by a proposed new bill that would allow extradition to China.
Although the government has suspended the bill for now, many in Hong Kong say they will continue to protest until the creep of Chinese influence into
their lives is halted.
GORANI: There you have it. A roundup of what happened today. We'll have more on Hong Kong later in the program.
Still to come tonight, a major violation of the Iran nuclear deal. Or is it a bargaining chip? Inspectors say Iran is exceeding the limit of
enriched uranium. We'll tell you how Iran's foreign minister responds. We'll be right back.
[14:25:10] GORANI: Iran's foreign minister says Iran is not, in fact, violating the international nuclear deal with its stockpile of enriched
uranium. Earlier Monday, international inspectors on the ground confirmed that Iran's stockpile of low enriched uranium now exceeds the limit set by
that nuclear deal that America walked away from.
CNN U.S. security reporter Kylie Atwood joins me now, live from Washington. And now, the big test is for Europe here, whether or not European countries
start imposing sanctions or putting pressure on Iran to enrich Uranium at levels permitted under the deal that Donald Trump's administration said it
would not be a party to. What is the expectation there?
KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY REPORTER: Well, that's right. And the question is just how forceful will the Trump administration be in trying to
pressure those European countries to put those sanctions on Iran, and to come down on them for violating the Iran nuclear deal.
We know that the U.S. has been pushing them behind the scenes to take some action, but just today, we've heard nothing from State Department
officials, as this news has come out about Iran going over the limit when it comes to highly enriched uranium.
I've asked the State Department if they have any message to Iran or European countries involved in the deal. They haven't said anything. And
the U.K. foreign minister, just earlier today, saying that they are deeply worried about Iran violating this deal. But they're asking Iran to come
back into compliance, so they're not taking any proactive measures here to really come down harshly on Iran. They're sort of waiting to see what
GORANI: Yes. And it's interesting because European countries are trying to sell this idea to Iran, that it should comply with the deal that the
U.S. walked away from, therefore violating it in the first place, in the sense that it was a signatory to it when it was agreed to between the
I guess the question is, what can Europe do? What's in its arsenal here, to try to convince Iran? Because Iran wants economic relief because these
sanctions are hurting its economy.
ATWOOD: Well, European countries don't think that it is to their advantage to try and treat Iran any more harshly than the U.S. is already doing here.
I mean, we have to recognize that the Trump administration has been thrusting sanctions on Iran over the last year. And really, over the last
few months, even as the military tensions between the two countries have ratcheted up.
Now, on the flip side to that, the Trump administration has repeatedly said -- even Trump himself -- that he would be willing to sit down with Iran, no
preconditions to those talks.
So the question is, is Iran willing to play ball or are they potentially waiting for the possibility that President Trump will be out of office in
about a year and a half, if he doesn't win re-election? And then potentially, we have some Democratic candidates here in the U.S., saying
that they would rejoin this deal.
GORANI: Right. Yes, maybe it's a waiting game in the end, but we'll see what the reaction from Europe is. Kylie Atwood -- thanks very much -- in
Still to come tonight, more on our top story. Those angry demonstrations in Hong Kong that led to protestors breaking into the parliament building.
We're live at the scene when we return.
[14:29:24] Plus, U.S. President Donald Trump is reported to be considering a huge shift in U.S. policy toward North Korea after his historic meeting
with Kim Jong Un and stepping into the North. It has to do with the country's nuclear status. Perhaps there may be some room for tolerance
there. That's coming up.
[14:30:05] HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Back to the big story dominating the news today, those dramatic protests in Hong Kong where it's
been an extraordinary set of events.
Now, it all began with hundreds of thousands of people marching to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of Britain handing Hong Kong back to
China. But those marchers turned angry in some cases when protesters began trying to break into the legislative council building, the seat of
government in Hong Kong.
The protesters are among other things angry about a new law that allows extraditions to mainland China. They broke their way into the council
chamber where they spray painted slogans on the wall.
Police eventually acted. They let them do all this for many hours, which some found surprising. They moved in force to drive protesters out of the
building and they use tear gas to disperse the crowd. They moved in on the building -- into the building.
And what was surprising was how quickly this all happened. It was really an operation that took only a few minutes and especially to those hours
where the city unfolded inside the chamber.
CNN's Matt Rivers was with the protest every step of the way including when they stormed the building. Here's what he saw.
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, things obviously are much calmer, Hala, right now in Hong Kong than they were just a few hours
ago when I was inside the legislative council building. When word came that police were moving in, that we had to immediately get out of the
building very quickly. We were met immediately with tear gas. The police moved in swiftly and with great execution. Frankly, if their ultimate
objective was to move protesters out, they did it very, very swiftly.
But the last thing image, I think, is going to be how the inside of that building was trashed.
I mean, we were in there and there was graffiti everywhere, there was lots of damage, some desks, some probe Beijing lawmakers inside the main chamber
of the legislative council room where they had spray paint all over them, computer terminals were torn out. And those were the kind of things that I
was talking to protesters about inside, saying what justifies this? Why do this? Why jeopardize the generally sympathetic image that your movement
has garnered over the past month with the international community and just ordinary folks here in Hong Kong. Why jeopardize that?
And the constant response, and we asked this question to two dozen people. The constant response was that they believed it was justified because they
did not think that peaceful protest works so far. And they said, look, two weeks ago, two million people according to organizers out on the streets,
protesting this extradition bill, protesting police brutality, and what change they said?
The bill, yes, it's suspended but it hasn't been repealed. There hasn't been an investigation into police brutality and the chief executive in Hong
Kong, Carrie Lam, who's pro-Beijing, well, she's still in power, she hasn't resigned. Those were all some of the demands that these protesters want.
So they said, you know what? We need to upgrade our protests, as what one young man told me. And so that's what they did.
[14:35:03] Now, it will be judged in the court of international opinion, Hala, whether, you know, the international community turns against this
movement, what kind of an effect it has, momentum that it has been built over the past month here in Hong Kong.
And that's the big question, where do we go from here? Will there be more peaceful protests? Will there be more violence in the days and weeks to
come? That's what we're going to be looking out for after a truly unique day in here in Hong Kong.
An incredibly peaceful march followed up with scenes of violence and chaos in a central park of this city, Hala?
GORANI: All right. Matt, thanks very much. And we'll be catching up with Matt, of course, over the next few hours with more from Hong Kong. It has
quieted down, considerably after the police moved in.
Staying in Asia, the American president, Donald Trump, is touting renewed talks with North Korea on the hills of his visit to the DMZ, the
Demilitarized Zone. The stated goal of such talks has always been total denuclearization.
But the New York Times is reporting that the White House is, in fact, considering settling for a nuclear freeze instead, in other words,
accepting a nuclear arm North Korea, potentially.
Will Ripley is in South Korea with the very latest. Will?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hala, the mood in South Korea right now, cautious optimism, after those historic photo-op at the
Demilitarized Zone, when President Trump made history as the first sitting U.S. president to make 20 steps inside North Korean territory.
But there's also questions. Questions about this New York Times reporting that the U.S. administration maybe about to undertake a dramatic policy
shift allowing North Korea to essentially have a nuclear freeze, keeping the arsenal and dozens of warheads its believed to have right now and the
ballistic missiles that could deliver them to targets including the mainland U.S. in exchange for a promise by the North Koreans not to produce
the material to make new weapons.
Some here in South Korea criticized that. Others say it's perhaps the only realistic option in dealing with Kim Jong-un who has insisted that he will
not unilaterally disarmed.
RIPLEY (voice-over): Stepping into history, President Trump becoming the first sitting U.S. president to walk on to North Korean soil.
TRUMP: 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.
RIPLEY: That historic one-minute crossing from the Demilitarized Zone dividing the North and South sparked by a tweet invitation the day before.
The president writing, "If Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say hello."
Kim Jong-un saying the proposition was a surprise, telling President Trump through an interpreter, "I never expected to meet you in this place."
TRUMP: We met, and we liked each other from day one. And that was very important.
RIPLEY: And even extending this invitation to the North Korean leader.
TRUMP: I would invite him right now to come to the White House. Absolutely.
RIPLEY: Despite the warm greeting between both men, a moment of chaos erupted at their third meeting.
STEPHANIE GRISHAM, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Stop. No. Let go. I need help here.
RIPLEY: New White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham caught in a scuffle, described as an all-out brawl, with U.S. and North Korean
officials scrambling as American media tried to capture the leaders entering the Freedom House. Behind closed doors, the president spoke with
Kim for nearly an hour.
TRUMP: I think the relationship that we developed has meant so much to so many people. But it was an honor that you asked me to step over that line,
and I was proud to step over the line.
RIPLEY: Announcing a goal of resuming denuclearization talks by mid-July.
But moving forward will likely be difficult. Despite two previous summits between the two sides, North Korea's nuclear program remains intact, and
short-range missile testing restarted in May.
President's 2020 rivals condemning his embrace of Kim.
JULIAN CASTRO (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not quite sure why this president is so bent on elevating the profile of a dictator like Kim Jong-
un when Kim Jong-un has not lived up to his promise from the first summit.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't have a problem with him sitting down and negotiating with our adversaries. I just don't
want it to be a photo opportunity.
RIPLEY: Photo-op or not, one tangible outcome of the meeting at the DMZ on Sunday is the agreement between Trump and Kim that working level talks are
expected to resume in the coming weeks. Both sides are expected to form teams who will sit down and try to discuss the details of a deal, whether
it involves denuclearization or not.
Remember, President Trump never once said the word denuclearization when he was on the DMZ over the weekend. But those talks, the big question is who
will represent on the North Korean side given that Kim has reportedly punished many of the members of his negotiating team behind the failed
summit in Vietnam.
Hala my sources are telling me that North Korea's minister, Ri Yong-ho, and the vice minister, Choe Son Hui, could be prominent faces in this new round
of negotiations. But where they leave and where it goes from here, nobody knows. Hala?
[14:40:08] GORANI: All right. Thanks very much, Will Ripley.
And staying in Asia, five whaling ships that sailed off the coast of Japan today for the first time in more than 30 years. Whale hunting has believed
today back to the 12th century in Japan. Activists though argue, it has outdated and it is inhumane.
Ivan Watson was there.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the hunters, this has been a success, just hours into Japan's first commercial
whaling expedition in more than 30 years. The team harpooned, not one but two minke whales.
WATSON (on-camera): For some in Japan, this is a moment of national pride.
WATSON (voice-over): Japan's relationship with whales is controversial. To better understand, we head out to sea with Captain Mitsuhiko Maeda. He
and his brother lead whale watches for Japanese tourists.
WATSON (on camera): Oh, it's cold, it's windy, and it's wet, but people are paying money because they want to see these whales out in the wild.
WATSON (voice over): They're delighted when we spot a minke whale.
WATSON (on camera): Here's the thing about the Maeda brothers, more than 30 years ago, they weren't whale watchers, they were whale hunters.
WATSON (voice over): This is Captain Maeda back in the 1960s when he worked with a team harpooning whales. That hunt came to an end in 1986
when the International Whaling Commission, of which Japan was a member, imposed a worldwide ban on commercial whaling.
"That decision was unacceptable," he tells me, "because suddenly we lost our jobs."
But, in fact, some Japanese whalers continued killing hundreds of whales every year, mostly in the Antarctic, under a special permit classifying the
hunt as scientific research.
Animal rights grouped and some western governments condemned the practice.
Last year, Japan announced its abrupt withdrawal from the International Whaling Commission declaring it would resume commercial whaling again
within its own coastal waters.
KIYOSHI EJIMA, JAPANESE UPPER HOUSE MEMBER: I was waiting for the day for the commercial whaling to restart again.
WATSON: Kiyoshi Ejima, a lawmaker and passionate supporter of the whaling industry, applauds the decision.
EJIMA: I shouldn't say victory. It's a start-off kickoff point.
WATSON (on camera): Do you eat whale meat?
EJIMA: Sure. Of course.
WATSON (voice over): They're also celebrating the new whale hunt here at Taruichi, a Tokyo restaurant that specializes in dishes like whale sashimi,
whale steak, and fried whale. The owner inherited this whale meat restaurant from his father.
SHINTARO SATO, OWNER, TARUICHI RESTAURANT (through translator): I hope the young generation that do not eat whale meat, will inherit this culture, and
learn to eat it again.
WATSON: After World War II, whale meat was a vital source of protein in Japan, but government statistics show these days, very few Japanese eat any
whale meat at all.
PATRICK RAMAGE, DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL FUND FOR ANIMAL WELFARE: There are fragile whale populations around Japan that cannot sustain commercial
hunting, that cannot feed a meaningful Japanese market, even if there were one, for whale meat.
WATSON: Japanese supporters of whaling include Captain Maeda, the whale hunter turned whale watcher.
MITSUHIKO MAEDA, ABASHIRI NATURE CRUISE (through translator): I will continue whale-watching tourists, but the whale hunters should catch the
whales. I want both to coexist.
WATSON: One wonders how long these two completely contradictory impulses can coexist in the waters around Japan.
Ivana Watson, CNN, in the sea of Okhotsk the coast of Japan.
GORANI: Still to come tonight, who gave the foreign policy read outs from the G20? Who pose in the front row of the G20 family photo? Not the
secretary of state of the United States, but the president's daughter, Ivanka. We'll be discussing that turn of events, coming up.
[14:45:23] GORANI: So if you've been watching G20 coverage over the weekend, you've noticed that in the past few days, the American president
Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump, is taking on a new role, apparently, in her father's administration, as daughter and advisor, initially.
But now, apparently, as a diplomat. Her influence was on full display from the G20 Summit in Japan to the Korean Demilitarized Zone, as she appeared
along with top U.S. officials, but also world leaders, especially in those all-important and symbolic photos on the G20 stage with other world
Here with me to discuss this is the director for the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, Larry Sabato. What did you make of this?
Because we saw her in the 2017 during the G20 Summit there where she was sitting in on important meetings.
Here, she's actually giving out read-outs of her father's meeting with foreign leaders on the official White House Twitter page.
LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR FOR THE CENTER FOR POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Yes, it's unprecedented. Take your daughter to workday has become every
day in the Trump administration. She is involved in just about anything she wants to. She no longer has to check in the White House. The original
chief of staff, or one of the original chief of staff, John Kelly, was a check on her and did not want her to participate in all this.
But, Hala, it is extraordinary in American history. Yes, we have had presidents who appointed their sons, mainly, and also other relatives to
high office. We think of John F. Kennedy appointing his brother, Robert Kennedy attorney general. But this is really out of the ordinary. No
question about it.
GORANI: Yes. And then there was this what some people described as very awkward, cringed worthy even, as I've read, a video of Ivanka trying to
kind of chime in to a conversations with Macron, I believe Emmanuel Macron, the French president, Christine Lagarde, Theresa May, the outgoing British
prime minister. And this was hosted by the Elysee Palace. Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC: -- social difference.
IVANKA TRUMP, ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's us, yes.
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: As soon as you talk about the economic aspect though, a lot of people start listening who wouldn't
TRUMP: And it's the same with the defense side, in terms of whole (INAUDIBLE) and very male dominated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Now, I don't suppose to know what's going on Christine Lagarde's head at that moment, but it sure looked like she was kind of asking herself
what is she doing here?
SABATO: Yes, and what can they do about it? Nothing. Because they know that she has instant and total access to the president of the United
Again, this is not what she's there for. And it's extraordinary -- and you're going to see these pictures again, maybe aired by Ivanka, because I
think after this administration is over, whether it's four or eight years, she has her own agenda, both private, with corporate interests but also
political. We've had other relatives of president's run for president.
GORANI: Right. So then there was that remarkable moment where during a photo call there of world leaders, Ivanka Trump was kind of in the front
row and the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, kind of looked like he didn't know where he was supposed to go. Almost as if she had taken the place
literally physically of America's top diplomat.
SABATO: Yes. Well, in a sense, he knew his place. The president would have preferred Ivanka to him probably and later when he introduced Pompeo
and Ivanka to the troops in Japan. He introduced them as beauty and the beast. I think we can get which is which.
[14:50:14] GORANI: Yes. So where does this go from here? Does this alter the presidency going forward to America? Is this becoming -- is this the
new normal for presidents can now just take their -- name their kids top advisers, take them to big international summits, you know, maybe impose
them on other world leaders when they haven't been necessarily playing a top diplomatic role before? Where do you think we go from here?
SABATO: Well, there is a law that was passed in the wake of Robert Kennedy's appointment later in the 1960s, after the Kennedy sadly had been
killed which prohibited presidents from appointing close relatives, at least the paid positions.
Apparently, they're not being paid. Of course, they're doing quite well on the private side as a number of studies and investigations have shown.
So, yes, if presidents want to do it, Hala, they can do it under the law. I don't know that the public is that thrilled with it, though they have no
idea what said in private. Even if they weren't in public positions. They could be there as members of the first family and could have substantial,
maybe over winning influence on a president.
GORANI: But I don't I've ever seen a president's relative posed for photos like that with world leaders as if they are on par with prime ministers and
SABATO: I mean, it's highly unusual. What can you say? But this is an extraordinary administration. Some would say abnormal. You mentioned the
word normal. I would say that almost everything about the Trump administration has been abnormal and this is just another aspect of the
Now, abnormal normally means you don't have an extension of it. But who the heck knows? But several at Trumps were interested in running to
succeed Donald Trump, if he actually serves eight years
GORANI: This isn't harming his popularity though, as usual, right, Larry? With his base, I mean.
SABATO: Well, yes, with his base. He's never been particularly. The first president said polls had been taken who is not been over 50 percent
for even a single day of his administration, not one day has he been over 50 percent. So with the base, of course, they don't care. They could care
less about any of this.
But I think others are weary of what's going on.
GORANI: Larry Sabato, as always, pleasure talking to you. Thanks.
And we will be right back.
GORANI: We may hate to admit it or accept it, but we're all getting older. In fact, the number of people on the planet over 60 is set to more than
double by 2050.
Japan happens to be aging faster than anywhere else. And it's turned to robots to help the elderly staying mobile. Here's Will Ripley.
RIPLEY: I've just arrived at one of the Japan's leading robotics firms. And it feels like I'm walking into a science fiction movie.
Japanese inventor, Dr. Yoshiyuki Sankai is a pioneer creating robots that work together with humans. The name of his company is Cyberdyne.
I hear you're a science fiction buff. What was your inspiration at the beginning?
[14:55:09] YOSHIYUKI SANKAI, PRESIDENT, CYBERDYNE: So when I was 9 years old, I read a U.S. literature's book, I, Robot written by the Isaac Asimov,
and that's the time I decided to be a scientist.
RIPLEY: His team is creating breakthrough technology to improve people's lives. He's especially proud of this cyborg suit, Hal, a medical device
that helps patients and senior citizens with mobility trouble by strengthening signal pathways between the brain and muscles.
To understand how it works, I decided to give Hal a try. Getting suited up is complicated.
RIPLEY (on-camera): The part we could not show you on camera, there are 18 sensors stuck all over my lower body. So obviously if I move my leg, it
matches my movements. But if I just plant my leg down and I think I'm going to bend my knee back, it does it, or I want to keep my leg forward,
it does it, and my knee back.
That is -- so for somebody who has no movement, they're still sending those signals.
RIPLEY (voice-over): Normally, I'd need to be accompanied by a physiotherapist. Today, Cyberdyne's Yudai Katami (ph) is helping me step
into my cyborg exoskeleton robot suit.
RIPLEY (on-camera): This is kind of how I walk, anyway, very awkwardly. Turning around is interesting.
Hal has been approved for use worldwide. Dr. Sankai hopes to give people everywhere more freedom of mobility.
SANKAI: So, of course, you know now Japan faces on a very severe aging society problems. By using this technology, even the (INAUDIBLE) persons
or the patient's physical functions gradually increases in order to establish the independence. Then that one is very important for the aging
RIPLEY (voice-over): He imagines a world full of robots and humans in lockstep, cyborgs helping to carry the burden of life, especially as we
In Japan, science fiction is already becoming science fact.
GORANI: It's now the early morning hours of Tuesday in Hong Kong. It's calm. What happened Monday night though is still very fresh. Another day
of protest against the plan to allow extraditions to mainland China.
Demonstrations managed to -- demonstrators, I should say, were calm throughout, but at one point managed to smash their way into Hong Kong's
legislative building. They occupied it for several hours before police broke through their barricades, driving them out using shields, batons, and
And right now, it is almost 3:00 in the morning in Hong Kong and things have returned to a certain level of calm there. But still, I'm sure, very
tense in the coming days. We'll keep on following that story. Thanks for watching. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.