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Moment of Silence Marks South Tower Collapse; Kim Jong-un Appears Headed to Russia to Meet With Putin; Morocco Death Toll Rises to 2,947 After Magnitude 6.8 Quake. Aired 10-10:30a ET

Aired September 11, 2023 - 10:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gilbert Franco Granados. Lauren --

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hearing that silence, you know, of New York City is so powerful.

22 years ago today, nearly 3,000 people lost their lives in the deadliest terror attack ever on U.S. soil. There are ceremonies taking place coast to coast to mark the day, the lives lost and also keeping the promise to never forget.

CNN's Brynn Gingras is at the 9/11 Memorial Plaza in Lower Manhattan for us. Brynn?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Kate, you just said it, powerful. I got to tell you, at the ground zero, at this hollow ground, you see people walking around, placing flowers in the names of the loved ones that they lost etched into this monuments. But then when that moment of silence happens and those bells ring, everyone just stops and everyone is still down here and the gravity of what this day means really, really settles in.

And now you can hear the people now reciting the names of all nearly 3,000 people who were killed on 9/11. And to give you some little thing to look out for as you watch the coverage of this, look at the people who are reciting names that are younger. They tell me that they made a purpose to have people of younger generations come out here and read those names to, like you said, Kate, never forget, a reminder to these generations that weren't alive during 9/11 to never forget about those lives lost, what happened here, the history that really changed, of course, New York, this country, and the entire world. So, that's something to certainly look out for.

We understand that Vice President Kamala Harris, she is no longer here, but she was here to be a part of this ceremony. There are also some New York City dignitaries. I can tell you to my right, there is an NYPD honor guard that has stood at attention since this ceremony began at 8:30 this morning.

And we've just been watching families come by and pay their respects. some with the pictures of their loved ones on T-shirts, people who are survivors of 9/11, paying respects to others that they lost the day that they responded here to this scene at Ground Zero.

So, it's a pretty emotional feeling here being on 9/11. We are coming up on yet another moment of silence at 10:03. And so I'm going to stop at that moment. But let's listen in soon as that moment of silence is coming right upon us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Denise Murray Gregory.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Florence Moran Gregory.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pedro Grayhan (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: John Michael Griffin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tawana Cheri Griffin (ph).

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: The reading of the names is something that has happened every year. Since 2002, I was down there for the first, almost ten years, almost every year. And it's remarkable how similar the ceremony is, and that is what makes it so poignant that we will always read these names. We will always remember these names.

Let's go live to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where there is a moment of silence to remember those lost when Flight 93 crashed there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Christian Adams. Ji Bae (ph). Todd M. Beamer. Alan Anthony Beavan.


Mark Bingham.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Deora Frances Bodley.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sandy Wa Bradshaw. Marion R. Britton. Thomas E. Burnett Jr. William Joseph Cashman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My sister, Georgine Rose Corrigan Marisay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Patricia Cushing.

BERMAN: Remembering those lost on United Flight 93, which crashed into the fields in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. That was the hijacked plane that was destined for the U.S. Capitol, but because of the heroism of those on board, was crashed into a field there.

Again, we are commemorating the 22nd anniversary of September 11th all throughout the morning. Sara?

SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Right now, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is believed to be on his way to Russia to meet with Vladimir Putin. Both the Kremlin and North Korea confirmed Kim was invited by Putin and is set to visit in the coming days. U.S. officials warned the meeting could be to craft a deal that would give Russia more weapons to fight against Ukraine.

CNN's Paula Hancocks is following us -- following the story for us. She joins us from Seoul, South Korea, this morning.

Paula, what do you know as far as how Kim Jong-un is getting to Russia?


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Sara, what we've heard so far from a government official is that there is a train which is believed to be carrying Kim Jong-un heading towards Russia, so heading northeast from Pyongyang on its way, we assume, to Vladivostok.

That is where we know that Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, is at this point. He's at an Eastern Economic Forum.

And we have heard from the Kremlin and also from state-run media in North Korea that the two will be there together in the coming days, KCNA saying that they will have a one-on-one meeting.

Now, it is a meeting that neither Washington nor Seoul welcomed because they both believe that this is to try and hammer out the final deals of an arms deal. The U.S. officials, intelligence and also South Korean intelligence, say they believe that they are close to some kind of an arms deal.

The belief is that Russia would gain ammunition or small arms out of this deal that they would then be able to use on the frontlines in Ukraine. And in return, U.S. officials believe that North Korea would be able to secure some kind of satellite technology or some nuclear submarine technology from Russia.

So, both sides really do stand to gain from this strategic alliance. It is mutually beneficial, not just militarily as well, politically. These are two countries that are very isolated by the west at this point. They're two countries that are sanctioned heavily by the west as well. And they are united with and by a common enemy, the United States.

So, certainly, these two countries getting together is not something that Washington welcomes. Sara?

SIDNER: Washington or South Korea or some of the other folks in the region will be watching this. Certainly, Ukraine will be watching it as well.

Paula Hancocks, thank you so much for all your reporting there. Kate?

BOLDUAN: And joining us now for more on this is CNN Global Affairs Analyst and Senior Managing Editor for the Military Times Kim Dozier. Kim, it's good to see you.

A meeting of Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un, it's been expected. As they were just discussing, it's believed Russia and North Korea are working towards an arms deal. What could this moment and meeting, if Kim Jong-un is on his way to Russia, what could it mean for Ukraine?

KIM DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, the face-to-face meeting means probably more weaponry headed from North Korea, the kind of weaponry that Russia needs to keep feeding its artillery war, its tank war against Ukraine, and also the kind of minds that have made the counteroffensive such slow going, because Russia so effectively mined the territory that it had taken.

So, the other problem, though, is that Russia has the kind of technology that North Korea wants to perfect its nuclear programs, as Paula was saying, the kind of weapon technology that will threaten the entire Asian region.

The other thing that's happening is, you know, a lot of countries have stuck their neck out for the U.S., for the West, sanctioning Russia. Sanctions hurt early on, but, eventually, the target of sanctions finds another way to do business.

Right now, we're seeing Russia together with North Korea and China becoming a new trade nexus that can replace some of those avenues that were meant to harm Moscow and try to change its behavior.

BOLDUAN: Yes, it's an interesting way of putting it.

Focusing on Ukraine a little bit more, Kim, the chairman of the Joint Chief, Mark Milley, he spoke -- he just spoke with the BBC, saying that, in his view, the way he sees it is that Ukraine has something like six weeks left before the weather really starts to turn and really starts to hamper the counteroffensive.

Let me play how the chairman said it.


GEN. MARK MILLEY, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: There's still a reasonable amount of time, probably about 30 to 45 days, worth of fighting weather left.

The rains will come in, it will become very muddy and it will be very difficult to maneuver at that point and then you'll get the deep winter. And then at that point, we'll see where things go.


BOLDUAN: Milley is glass half-full on this, though, saying they are making progress. I mean, I guess the question then becomes what can Ukraine pull off in six weeks and then what?

DOZIER: Well, you know, many military analysts have been talking about how once winter sets in, you can't move as fast, the cold weather, the rains that mire tanks and tank tracks, et cetera. But when it's the chairman of the Joint Chief saying it, Ukraine really doesn't appreciate this right now. It is not the -- it's sort of a kick to their morale that they didn't need.

Another way to look at it, though, is they're within a month, according to others I've spoken to, from taking enough territory to be able to regularly hit the sole ground transport point from Russia to Crimea, that Russia uses to bring in supplies.


So, if they take enough territory that they can regularly reach that, then throughout the winter, they can keep the screws on Russia and that would be something -- that would be a real win.

But the fact of the matter is this has turned into a long grinding war, war of attrition, and nobody wants to talk about that. Nobody wants to acknowledge the fact, at least it feels like in some of the upper halls of the Biden administration, that this was never going to be fast.

BOLDUAN: Yes. I want to ask you then on kind of this point, this joint communique, this joint declaration of leaders that comes out after -- traditionally, it comes out after every G-20 summit. This year's statement, one that is watered down, silent on any direct condemnation of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, does not call out Russia by name.

Ukraine's response was pretty clear in biting. Ukraine is grateful to its partners who tried to include strong wording in the text. At the same time, the G-20 has nothing to be proud of in the part about Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

I want to play for you what Secretary of State Tony Blinken, though, said yesterday on CNN defending that statement.


ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE: The fact that we have a statement coming out collectively, again, affirming the importance of Ukraine, its territorial integrity, its sovereignty, that speaks loudly.

But what really speaks loudly, again, are the leaders in the room itself. And I think if you are on the receiving end of what so many of them said, if you were in the Russian seat, it's pretty clear where the rest of the world stands.


BOLDUAN: That's not how Ukraine sees it, though. Regardless, why didn't they go further with this joint statement?

DOZIER: Well, going into the G-20, the U.S. and India, the host, were actually worried there wouldn't be a statement at all coming out of this that Russian and Chinese influence would be able to stop it all together. So, for them, within the bureaucratic world, the diplomatic world, this was a victory.

But, look, we are further on in the war. The shock has worn off that helped contribute to the stronger statement a year ago. And the other thing that's happening is President Biden is becoming a lame duck president with bad poll numbers. And the world leaders are looking at this and saying maybe we better hedge our bets because the next U.S. president might be a bit more pro-Russia.

BOLDUAN: Well, we'll see. His re-election campaign continues. Kim, thank you very much. Sara?

SIDNER: All right. Just ahead, nearly 2,500 people are confirmed dead in Morocco following that devastating earthquake over the weekend. Many, they're still missing. We're live there with the very latest on the search and recovery effort.

And after former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows' bid to move his Georgia case to federal court was denied, what that might mean for Donald Trump's attempt to do the same thing, we'll dig deeper.



BOLDUAN: This morning, rescuers are racing to try and find any survivors still trapped underneath mountains of rubble after Morocco's strongest earthquake in more than 120 years. Nearly 2,500 people have already been reported dead, but the final death toll is impossible to estimate right now, as some areas are still so hard to reach.

It was a magnitude 6.8 earthquake that struck hardest in the country's Atlas Mountains. This new footage we're going to show you is from inside one building, just to show kind of how it hit. The halls covered with debris, whole chunks of walls missing, as you can see there.

CNN's Sam Kiley has been on the ground seeing the devastation and hearing from people who are still in shock from the tragedy and folding all around them.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Another victim buried, returned to the earth that killed when it shook. More than 2,000 people have perished in the worst Moroccan earthquake in over 100 years. Most of the deaths were in villages in the Atlas Mountains, where homes cracked and crumbled late Friday night.

The pancaking of these buildings down a side street here in Moulay Brahim killed 25 people. Three or four are still missing, believed buried in the rubble. And this is a pattern that has been repeated throughout this province.

And it looks very often like there's been some kind of airstrike, the collapsing buildings here actually leaving holes as if they've been hit by Russian bombs in Ukraine. But this has been an all too natural disaster.

At least three elderly people have been entombed here in the remains of their hotel. And a fourth guest is missing. After the quake, Sami called his parents for a day-and-a-half. It rang out until the battery died, too. SAMI SENSIS, PARENTS DIED IN EARTHQUAKE: I'm here just because I have lost two of my best things that I have in this life, my parents, my father and my mother, I have lost them here.

KILEY: His grief turns to anger at the government, as it does for so many here.

SENSIS: They have no planification. Only they have words. It's a balloon of words. Only they have words. That's all.

KILEY: Aid is arriving, but slowly. In Asni, nearby, authorities tell me that 27 people were killed in the quake and 1,200 lost their homes.

(INAUDIBLE) has said when they were in the house, she was in the bath when this series of explosions broke out. They said there was no shaking of the ground. She's saying that it felt like blast from a Kalashnikov automatic rifle, that this was like a sense that the place had been hit by a war. They had no idea that they were suffering from an earthquake.

Luckily for them, they evacuated their family very rapidly. Nobody in their family was killed. But in the village, there was -- 27 people were killed.

The house is now abandoned.

But Fatima led a team of local women to find food and shelter for the homeless before any aid arrived. All the food here the result of private donations. Many villages here remain isolated, roads cut by landslides. Relief operations will focus on getting to them.

Firefighters consider searching for bodies beneath the hotel. Their conclusion is disappointing. Amidst shocks and shattered masonry, it's just too dangerous to rescue the dead. So, for now, Sami's parents will stay buried where they are.


KILEY (on camera): Now Kate, the response of the Moroccan government has now got underway in full. They've got this field hospital here that has been established with the capability of 30 beds. It also has surgical facilities, psychological facilities, even laboratories.

There's a steady stream of ambulances and military personnel trying to get up into those mountains, because it's up in those mountains where we still don't really know how dire the effect of this earthquake has been.

So far, 2,500 dead, 2,500 roughly seriously injured.


But the concern is that those figures may be much more because we don't know what's going on up there, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Sam, thank you so much for being there in the middle of it all. Thank you.

For more on how you can help the victims of the Morocco earthquake, you can go to Sara?

SIDNER: All right. Right now, you're looking at live pictures here of ground zero in New York. Children are reading out the names of those who perished. It's been 22 years since September 11th terrorist attacks. A moment of silence is set to begin in just a few minutes. We'll bring that to you live when it happens.


BERMAN: All morning long, we've been pausing to remember this 22nd anniversary of the attacks on September 11th. It was at 10:28 A.M. Eastern Time that the north tower collapsed here in Manhattan. It was 102 minutes after it was struck by a hijacked plane. It was actually the first tower hit the second tower to fall.

All morning long, we've been watching and listening as the names of those lost have been read aloud. It is an annual tradition. Let's listen in.




BERMAN: And the names he read aloud once again, truly a day to remember. Sara?

SIDNER: All right. Republican Presidential Candidate, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis meeting with families of 9/11 victims today at the Twin Towers Memorial in New York. Of the sprawling 2024 Republican field, DeSantis is one of the few candidates marking the day publicly.

Vivek Ramaswamy and former Vice President Mike Pence will also be taking part in events commemorating 9/11.


CNN's Jessica Dean is live near the 9/11 Memorial for us today, the plaza there. What else are you expecting today?