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South Korea Will Not Endure North Korean Threats; Stuck Seafarers Unable to Leave Ships After Contracts End; Trump Administration Sues Bolton Over Book; Sports Play Pivotal Role in Racial and Social Justice; U.S. Attorney Says Suspect in Officers' Killings Tied to Boogaloo Movement; Inside Seattle's So-Called Autonomous Zone; Millions of Americans Unable to Afford Food Amid Outbreak. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired June 17, 2020 - 04:30   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and of course all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church live from CNN center in Atlanta.

Well, South Korea is pushing back against North Korea's military threats after the North blew up a joint liaison office used for talks. These are pictures from the dramatic scene on Tuesday. Pyongyang now says it plans to redeploy troops near the border. And just in the past few hours South Korea's unification minister has offered to resign. Saying he bears responsibility of worsening relations.

Kristie Lu Stout is covering the story for us from Hong Kong. She joins us now live. Good to see you, Kristie. So what do you make of this new development from South Korea's unification minister to resign and essentially take the blame for all of this. What might it signal?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a gesture but we'll see if Moon Jae-in accepts that resignation. Look, tension has spiked between North and South Korea this after the demolition of the Inter-Korean Liaison Office by North Korea -- inside North Korea in Kaesong. And we've been following just a flurry of announcements from KCNA, the North Korean state-run news agency. We have learned that the North Korean military plans to re-enter Kaesong. It plans to reenter Mt. Kumgang as well as other North Korean areas in the DMZ.

We've also learned that North Korea has flatly rejected that offer by South Korea to send in envoys to diffuse tensions. And there is also this interesting long lengthy statement by Kim Yo Jong, the sister of Kim Jong-un. In which he slammed the South Korean President, Moon Jae- in, saying that she was, quote, disgusted by him. And called him a two-faced liar.

Now we haven't heard directly from South Korean President but the presidential spokesperson did have a press conference earlier today. This is what he said. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

YOON DO-HAN, SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESMAN (through translator): Not only are the north's recent words and actions of no help to the North themselves but they will result in the North taking sole responsibility for all consequences derived from such actions. We especially hope that the North keeps basic manners in the future.


STOUT: Now that's South Korea attempting to match the harsh rhetoric that we've been hearing the last week from North Korea. Look, all this tension is a slap in the face for the administration of the South Korean government of Moon Jae-in, a government that has really advocated engagement with North Korea. It was just two years ago in 2018 where the world saw the incredible lineage of Kim Jong-un with Moon Jae-in standing side-by-side holding hands as they cross the border together. Back to you.

CHURCH: And, Kristie, I want to take another look at that new footage from North Korea of the destruction of the liaison office. I mean it is extraordinary, isn't it? What more can you tell us about this.

STOUT: You know, it is an extraordinary image. It is video that is very dramatic. But again, this incident, the demolition of an Inter- Korean Liaison Office in Kaesong, this happened yesterday at 2:49 p.m. local time. We need to reiterate this was an empty office building. In the video we may see a four-story concrete and glass structure topple to the ground with cloud of debris flying but no one was inside. No lives were taken. Nevertheless this incident is highly symbolic. It symbolizes the deteriorating relationship between North and South -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes, it certainly does. Kristie Lu Stout joining us from Hong Kong. Many thanks to you for bringing us up to date on that situation.

Well hundreds of thousands of workers have been stuck at sea because of the coronavirus. Seafarers who completed their contracts are unable to return home until they are replaced with another crew. CNN's Ivan Watson has more from off the waters of Hong Kong.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the port of Hong Kong. It's one of the busiest shipping terminals in the world.


We're looking at enormous container ships that move in and out of here every day carrying thousands of containers full of cargo. You can compare this to the arteries of the global economy. But they've been under strain as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. And now that strain is likely to get even worse because one of the world's largest transport workers federations has now called on the people who work on these ships to stop working. At any given time there are hundreds of thousands of professional

mariners known as seafarers out on the world's ocean operating cargo vessels like this. But when the coronavirus pandemic struck it virtually stopped the seafarer's abilities to go home at the end of their months long work contract because of travel restrictions and cancelled flights and new visa regulations.

Now the International Transport Workers Federation is calling on its members to stop extending their contracts. And it's calling on its members to engaging in work stoppage, to now demand to be sent home. Executives in the shipping industry that I've spoken with say, they've never heard a work stoppage order like this in their entire careers. And it remains to be seen what kind of an impact this new motion could have on the world's global supply chains.

Ivan Watson, CNN, in the Lamma Chanel, off the coast of Hong Kong.


CHURCH: Professional sports leagues in the U.S. are starting to find their voices on racial injustice but some of the top athletes say it's too little too late. We will take a look at sports pivotal role in society. That's next.



CHURCH: The Trump administration is suing to stop the publication of a new book by former national security adviser John Bolton. "The Room Where It Happened" due out next week details Bolton's tenure in the White House and its billed as an insider's rebuke of President Trump's foreign policy. The lawsuit claims Bolton breached nondisclosure agreements and that the book is rife with classified information. Bolton Bolton's attorney said the White House want to block the release purely for political reasons.

Professional sports in the U.S. have been on hold due to the coronavirus for months now and they are planning their return. But with racial and social justice the at the forefront in America, many players say there are far bigger and more important issues to discuss before games resume. CNN's Brian Todd takes a look at sports pivotal role in our society.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a stunning reversal NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is now telling ESPN he supports the idea of an NFL team signing quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick has essentially been black balled from the league since becoming the face of the movement to take a knee more than three years ago.

ROGER GOODELL, NFL COMMISSIONER: I welcome that, support a club making that decision and encourage them to do that. If his efforts are not on the field but continuing to work in this space we welcome to that table. TODD: It comes on the heels of Goodell admitting the league has been

on the wrong side of some racial issues for years.

GOODELL: We at the National Football League believe black lives matter.

TODD: NFL player and activist Michael Bennet called that statement almost like a slap in the face. Saying the commissioner's shifts on racial injustice and Kaepernick are simply attempts at being politically correct.

MICHAEL BENNET, NFL PLAYER AND ACTIVIST: What if we'd have made this stance three years ago, could we have stopped more police violence? Where there had been less death on American streets right now? At this point we're trying to play catch up and do what's right.

TODD: A prominent sports agent who does not represent Colin Kaepernick tells CNN Kaepernick still good enough to play in the NFL. That several teams need a player like him. But that Roger Goodell's word alone won't bring Kaepernick back into the league.

DREW ROSENHAUS, SPORTS AGENT: The NFL has got to lead the way and the commissioner is doing the right thing. But the teams and the owners have to follow his lead.

TODD: But that's by no means a certainty. The NBA now planning to resume its season in late July due to the COVID pandemic is also split over how to handle the issues of racial injustice. LA Lakers center, Dwight Howard, is with a faction of players who aren't ready to play yet.

DWIGHT HOWARD, LOS ANGELES LAKERS CENTER: I just feel like our people, we need attention. I really feel our world is hurting right now. So much stuff going on in our world man and I just feel like, you know, we don't need to get distracted by anything.

TODD: But other players like Rockets Austin Rivers feels the league needs to resume. Rivers saying on Instagram that the form which playing would provide and money they earn would allow players to give their time and energy to the BLM movement. Realistically can these athletes bring about genuine change at this critical moment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe Jackie Robinson can be the hero.

DAVE ZIRIN, POLITICAL SPORTSWRITER: Dr. Martin Luther King called Jackie Robinson a sit inner before sit ins and a freedom rider before freedom rides. Muhammad Ali was somebody who was against the Vietnam war before the majority of the country join him. We've seen historically that athletes have played a tremendous role in pushing public consciousness forward. That's just of history.

TODD (on camera): But Dave Zirin says the top sports leagues like the NFL have to get their own houses in order as well. He says we'll know they really mean business when we see things like Colin Kaepernick signed by a NFL team which still hasn't happened. And when see more black head coaches in the NFL. At the moment there are only three out of 32 teams in a league where 70 percent of the players are African- American.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


CHURCH: A U.S. Air Force staff sergeant who is suspected in the killings of two officers in California, has links to an anti- government extremist group called the Boogaloo movement. That's according to U.S. prosecutors. Steven Carrillo is facing a murder charge in the May 29th drive by shooting of a federal protective services officer in Oakland. He's also a suspect in the June 6th death of a Santa Cruz sheriff's deputy. Investigators uncovered evidence tying Carrillo to the extremist group.


DAVID ANDERSON, U.S. ATTORNEY, NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA: On the ballistic vest was a patch. The patch could be described as follows.


It had an American style flag with stripes like an American flag. But with some notable differences. One difference was that in the area where stars appear on an American flag there was instead the picture of an igloo. In addition, Carrillo appears to have used his own blood to write phrases on one of the cars that he carjacked. The complaint alleges that the patch and the phrases written by Carrillo are associated with this so-called Boogaloo movement.


CHURCH: Investigators believe Carrillo used ghost gun which is a homemade AR-15 type rifle.

Well now to Seattle, Washington where the police chief is denying claims that officers have been instructed to avoid 911 calls in the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood also known as CHAZ or CHOP. The area has been occupied since last week and all police were pulled out after tensions with protesters reached a boiling point. CNN's Elle Reeve spent a day in the neighborhood for an up-close view of what's really going on.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beat his (INAUDIBLE). Time to get right with God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has a right to speak and say what he wants.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our job is to deescalate and share the space.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) with the charge. They kill your space.

ELLE REEVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So the idea is this is what society could be without police? MARSHALL, CHAZ ORGANIZER AND LOCAL MUSICIAN: Well, I mean, to be honest, we're three days deep, so forgive us if it's not as organized as we hope it to be. What we want to do is show that people can police themselves. People can take care of themselves.

REEVE (voice-over): This is the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, also known as the CHOP or the CHAZ. It's a six-block area being controlled by protesters after Seattle police abandoned their East Precinct. Now police don't dare enter and are under orders not to answer any calls in that zone unless there's a mass casualty event.

MARSHALL: Once they left, it just kind of took in the mind of its own, like, wow, we're finally safe. We finally don't have to worry about police brutality.

REEVE: But it wasn't always like this. The CHAZ was born after violent clashes with police.

AUBREANNA INDA, PROTESTER HIT WITH FLASHBANG: The medics gave me this because I got shot in the chest with it.

REEVE (on-camera): Can you tell me what happened that night?

INDA: I was about to get on my knees. We all had our hands up and then they shot me and the medics like couldn't get a pulse four times and we are unarmed. We are unarmed. Why do they feel so threatened against us?

REEVE (voice-over): The SPD says this incident is under investigation. And if policy or law violations have occurred, they will take proper steps to address it.

INDA: All the people are here for each other. Like --


INDA: -- we don't want any violence at all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No violence, and everybody's peaceful, man.

REEVE (on-camera): How do you create the rules for the CHAZ?

MARSHALL: There is leadership out here. We communicate the best we possibly can, right? And, you know, it's just human decency.

How are you doing? What's up, family? Put your joint out and handed to somebody, come here and talk to me real quick.


MARSHALL: Yes, try not to curse either. Is it going to always work? Absolutely not, absolutely not. I think, statistically, if you look at the amount of people that are here, and the amount of violence that is occurring, it's so minimal that it reflects very positively on this experiment. OFFICER MIKE SOLAN, PRESIDENT, SEATTLE POLICE OFFICERS GUILD: The CHAZ is a poor reflection on Seattle. This is a result of elected officials that are failing to enforce the rule of law. But if I were to go 50 yards to my west, I wouldn't be allowed in there. In fact, I would be concerned about my safety.

REEVE (on-camera): They say it's quite peaceful. It's kind of like a party in there.

SOLAN: OK, with the reports that we have is that there are armed people inside. But I would love for you to stick around until 2:00 or 3:00 a.m., I'd love to see all your footage, and maybe you can document the unreasonable activism that's going on in here.

REEVE: OK, it's 2:30, what's the scene?

ARC REX, CHAZ SECURITY AND PROTESTER: For the most part, people are picking where they're going to camp out for the night and people are winding down. They're just be peaceful and call it a day.

REEVE (voice-over): There's still a few bursts of confusion and anger when a suspicious person comes through. They're still figuring out how to make their own law and order in a cop-free world.


REX: The long-term strategy is to stay here and protest and be a demonstration. If the P.D. want their precinct back, if they're keen to return, and not suppress our right to protest, and not engaging war tactics to do it, we're more than happy to have them back here.


REEVE: Elle Reeve, CNN the CHAZ.



CHURCH: The U.S. economy is starting to pick up as coronavirus restrictions are lifted, but millions of Americans are still out of work and unable to afford food. Sunlen Serfaty has our report.


SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a striking contrast.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have had the greatest economy we've ever had.

SERFATY: As the White House declares that the economy is starting to pick back up --

TRUMP: The greatest comeback in American history.

SERFATY: -- millions of Americans are still struggling to afford the most basic of human needs, food.

LARRY THREATT, FOOD PANTRY RECIPIENT: By the time I get the assistance that is needed, I may be found somewhere dead.

SERFATY: This woman in Maryland lost her retail job in April due to COVID and is trying to feed a family of six. CNN agreed not to use her name because of privacy concerns.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every time you look at your refrigerator, you don't have that much food or you are missing milk. And it's, you know, it's hard.


What they It's not like when I was working. If I don't have anything, I just go to the supermarket. And right now, no, if I don't have, then I come here to get the help that I need.

SERFATY: Food banks are overwhelmed, feeding 60 percent more people than they did this time last year, including four in 10 people who have never been to a food bank before the pandemic hit. The Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, D.C., has seen a 400 percent increase, according to CEO Radha Muthiah.

RADHA MUTHIAH, CEO, CAPITAL AREA FOOD BANK: It's a whole new group of individuals who've been affected by this. People have lost their jobs within a matter of a week or two after the pandemic hitting.

SERFATY: And this food bank could be facing a potential crisis moment of its own due to the enormity of the demand.

(on camera): The need is so immediate that it's just not sitting on the shelf.

MUTHIAH: Oh, it's not. I mean, you can see the empty shelves and the racks here that we have.


MUTHIAH: You know, it's food coming in, and then it will go out almost, you know, almost immediately. So, our inventory is at the lowest levels that it has been in, gosh, decades.

SERFATY (voice-over): Seventy-five percent of the food donations from retailers have stopped. That amounts to about 60 percent of its food now gone. So Muthiah says they have had to purchase hundreds of truckloads of food themselves.

MUTHIAH: In April alone, we purchased about three times what we purchased the entire last year to be able to provide to individuals in our region.

SERFATY: The coronavirus relief bills passed by Congress in March set aside $850 million specifically to help food banks, but, so far, the USDA says only $377 million of that has been given out. A USDA spokesperson admits to CNN that the rollout of funds has been slower than expected, in part because vendors had been low on supplies. But additional food is expected to start arriving at food banks this month.

Sunlen Serfaty, CNN, Washington.


CHURCH: And thank you so much for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. "EARLY START" is next.