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Russia Launches Rare Daytime Attacks Across Ukraine; Ukraine: 77 of 89 Russian Drones, Missiles Intercepted; Zelenskyy: Decision On Timing Of Counteroffensive; U.S. Sees recent Spike In Little-Known Respiratory Virus HMPV; Impeachment Articles Against Texas AG Now at State Senate; The Road Ahead for Erdogan as He Wins Historic Third Term; North Korea to Launch Spy Satellite Despite Opposition; China Launches Shenzhou-16. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired May 30, 2023 - 01:00   ET




ANNA COREN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, and welcome to viewers joining us in the United States and all around the world. I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong ahead here on CNN Newsroom.

More debt ceiling drama in the U.S. Getting a deal on the table was only the first hurdle. Now the race is on to sell the plan to skeptical lawmakers before the government runs out of money to pay its bills.

Kyiv under fire. Air raid alarms ringing out in Ukrainian capital for a third day in a row as Russia unleashes another massive wave of drone attacks on the city. Plus, the showdown in Texas, the State's Attorney General in pitched by his fellow Republicans. Will break down the accusations was facing where things go from here.

The debt limit deal between the U.S. President and the Republican House Speaker is about to be put to the test. Both leaders have been racing to bolster support for the bipartisan agreement before the U.S. runs out of money next week. But they face harsh criticism from hardline members of their own parties. And they must get Congress to approve the deal before the President can sign it. In the coming day the House Rules Committee will review the bill, but several members of that committee are hardliners and it's not clear what will happen.

If all goes well, there could be a House vote on Wednesday. And if the bill passes the House, it will move on to the Senate. The hope and the dream is that it will sail through Congress well before June 5, so the U.S. can avoid a catastrophic first ever national default on its debt.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know I never say I'm confident in what the Congress is going to do, but I feel very good about it. There's no reason why it shouldn't get done by the fifth, I'm confident that we're get a vote in both houses, and we'll see. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COREN: CNN's Lauren Fox has a closer look at what comes next.

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: While the furious effort from both Republican and Democratic leaders to lock up the votes they need for this legislation. It's fully underway with the White House making a series of calls directly to members trying to explain to them exactly what's in this bill, holding multiple briefings to detail the contents of the legislation. Meanwhile, Republicans feeling very optimistic that they are going to be able to get at least a majority of their Republican majority on the floor, if it makes it there. The first critical test happening in the House Rules Committee on Tuesday, that's because Chip Roy, a conservative from Texas has threatened to use every tool at his disposal along with conservative Ralph Norman to block this legislation from moving forward. All eyes are on Thomas Massie, another conservative on that committee and what he is going to do.

But once it passes out of the House, if it indeed gets out of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, this fight will then move to the U.S. Senate. You're already hearing backlash from some conservatives like Lindsey Graham, who are arguing that the defense number agreed to in this legislation is just not high enough. The Senate can move this bill very quickly, but that requires them to have agreement among all their members. If one member objects, that could really drag this whole process out, potentially putting you right up against that June 5 deadline coming just about a week from now.

On Capitol Hill for CNN, Lauren Fox.

COREN: Officials in the U.S. state of Florida say at least nine people including a one year old child were wounded in a shooting on Monday evening. It happened near a busy pedestrian area by the beach in South Florida. Here, you can see people starting to run after gunfire broke out. Police believe the shots were fired during an altercation between two groups of people. They have detained one person of interest and are searching for another suspect. Officials held a press conference a little earlier.


JOSH LEVY, HOLLYWOOD BEACH MAYOR: People come to a holiday, enjoy holiday weekend on the beach with their families and to have people and complete reckless disregard of the safety of the public and to have an altercation with guns in a public setting with 1000s of people around them is beyond reckless.

CHRIS O'BRIEN, HOLLYWOOD BEACH POLICE CHIEF: It's unfortunate when we have law abiding citizens come to our beach to enjoy the day that gets disrupted by a group of criminals who engaged in this type of violent activity. As the mayor stated, we will leave no stone unturned. We have numerous agencies out here assisting us today to include state and federal agencies. These that were involved in the incident today will be held accountable for their actions.



COREN: This latest episode of gun violence in America took place on Memorial Day, a holiday honoring U.S. military members who have died in service.

Russia appears to be stepping up its drone and missile attacks on Ukraine day and night. Kyiv's mayor reports a new round of strikes early Tuesday. Images from the Capitol show a high rise building on fire as well as other damage from what the mayor calls falling debris. At least one person has been killed.

Well that follows around of rare day time attacks by Russia that sent people in Kyiv running for cover. Residents gathered in underground metro stations until the air raid sirens stopped. Ukraine claims it intercepted 77 out of 89 missiles and drones across the country, and the head of Ukraine's Defense Intelligence promised a swift response. Here's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Will Patriots in the hands of Ukrainians and ensure 100 percent downing of any Russian missiles? Terror is losing. Of course, there is no greater humiliation for a terrorist state than the success of our warriors. In fact, with our success, our pressure, our Patriots, we must and will continue to respond to all manifestations of Russia's evil.


COREN: Meanwhile, Ukraine claims a Russian airstrike on a gas station killed two civilians and wounded eight others in the town of Toretsk near the eastern city of Bakhmut. President Zelenskyy says he has decided on the dates for Ukraine's counter offensive against Russian forces but he's not announcing any specifics. Ukrainian troops are preparing despite the latest wave of Russian attacks. CNN Senior International Correspondent Fred Pleitgen has this report.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Terrified children running for their lives as Russia unleashed another massive aerial attack on Ukrainian cities. But Ukraine says its air defense managed to shoot down all the ballistic missiles fired at the capital Kyiv and now Ukraine's forces see nearly ready for their own much anticipated counter offensive.

This weekend, Ukraine's top general, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, releasing this video showing troops gearing up for battle and showcasing modern Western weapons with a clear message it's time to take back what's ours.

And that's what these guys are training for. This is a unit of the offensive guard for Ukraine's interior ministry. We have a clear motivation, the commander says, we defend our lands. This is our nation our homeland.

Defensive guard is mustering 10s of 1000s of troops they say training to storm trenches and evacuate casualties, which they know they're bound to have in the tough battles ahead.

(on camera): But these guys are practicing here no doubt will become a reality for the Ukrainian Armed Forces very soon as Kyiv says it will start a massive counter offensive to take back all of their territory including Crimea.

(voice-over): The Ukrainians already seem to be stepping up strikes on possible Russian supply lines and occupied areas. Russian installed officials claiming Ukrainian missile attacks against targets around Berdiansk and Mariupol in south eastern Ukraine in the past days. It's just the beginning, a top adviser to Ukraine's presidency tells me. Everything that is happening now is a precursor for a counter attack, a necessary precursor where the intensity of fire increases. And he lays out bold aims for the counter offensive.

It will end undoubtedly on the borders of Ukraine as they were in 1991 with the deoccupation of Crimea, and with the beginning of a massive process of transformation of Russia's political system. But for now, resilience remains key for the people in Ukraine cities, these newlyweds had just tied the knot and were on their way to their celebration when the air raid sirens went off. So, they just continued to celebrate in the bomb shelter, vowing not to let Russian rockets ruin the best day of their lives.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Kyiv.


COREN: For more, we're joined by CNN Military Analyst and Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Cedric Leighton.


Great to have you with us, Colonel. Let's start with these daytime attacks on the capital, certainly a change of tactics by the Russians obviously designed to terrorize a population. It's trying to get life back to normal. What impact will these attacks have?

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: So, Anna, it really remains to be seen, it depends on how frequent these attacks are, and really how much the Russians throw into these attacks. So right now, we've had 16 attacks, one of which was during the daytime. And what it seems to be is that they're in essence, emulating some of the tactics and techniques that were used as far back as World War II to do both daytime and nighttime bombing of civilian targets. But it seems as if the Ukrainian will to fight will to resist, it has not been broken by the so far. So it may have very little impact in the final analysis.

COREN: Some of the missiles that have been fired in recent days can travel, I believe, in excess of 250 miles, that's 400 kilometers. I mean, that in itself is terrifying. How accurate are these missiles? LEIGHTON: Well, again, it depends. The missile in particular, that was used over the last few days, that was the Iskander missile. That can be relatively accurate as far as these kinds of munitions go, but it is not a really an accurate measure compared to modern GPS guided munitions. So, these missiles are often very inaccurate.

However, the Russians have been known to target some things very specifically. And during these attacks, they did attack some military installations in addition to the civilian targets.

COREN: President Zelenskyy has just announced that he has decided on a date for this counter offensive that has been, you know, talked about now for many weeks, obviously, he hasn't named the date. But why would he make this announcement? What happened to the element of surprise?

LEIGHTON: Well in some ways, they think the element of surprise may be couched in this message from President Zelenskyy. And in essence, what President Zelenskyy is doing is he's saying I'm prepared, I'm ready to go, but I'm not telling you when I'm going to go, and did that to keeps the other side guessing quite a bit. So there is an element of tactical surprise, although obviously the element of strategic surprise, the very fact of a counter offensive that has been lost a long, long time ago.

COREN: And what do you believe that this counter offensive will look like?

LEIGHTON: So, there are several possible scenarios for a counter offensive of this type. But the most likely one, in my view, is that the Ukrainians are going to try to sever the land bridge that exists between Crimea and the Donbass region in the East. And what that will do is that will cut potentially, at least, cut the forces that are in Crimea, off from the forces that are in the Donbass and the forces that are in Russia that could potentially reinforce them. So, this is in essence is the idea of regaining territory that was lost since February of last year. And that will then allow the Ukrainians to prosecute the war with the end in mind of regaining territory that they lost not only during this period, but also as far back as 2014.

COREN: Colonel Cedric Leighton, always great to get your analysis. Thank you so much for your time.

LEIGHTON: Thank you, Anna.

COREN: U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham says he considers it a badge of honor that Russia has issued an arrest warrant for him. The South Carolina Republican was in Kyiv last week to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Ukraine posted an edited video of Graham saying the Russians are dying, and the U.S. has never spent money so successfully. But the full video shows the remarks were not directly linked.

Graham tweeted, "Good news and bad news about Russian efforts to arrest and try me for speaking the truth. Good news: While I don't expect to be tried by Russia anytime soon, I found the services of a great lawyer who works cheap. Senator Blumenthal, my good friend from Connecticut, who has been a staunch supporter of Ukraine has offered to be my lawyer."

Italy's defense ministry says nearly three dozen NATO peacekeepers were injured Monday in clashes with Serb protesters in northern Kosovo.

The defense ministry alleges that protesters threw Molotov cocktails and other objects at the peacekeeping force known as KFOR. Tensions have risen in the past week after ethnic Albanian mayors took office in northern Kosovo, which is a majority Kosovo Serb area. This follows April elections that Kosovo Serbs had boycotted. The Serbian president has called on protesters to remain calm.



ALEKSANDAR VUCIC, SERBIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I am urging the Serbs in Kosovo not to get into a conflict with NATO. Not because I'm afraid or because any of us are afraid, none of us personally have anything to lose, but because that's what Kosovo's Prime Minister wants most.


COREN: Serbia's defense minister says many protesters were also injured on Monday, but ambassadors from the U.S. and E.U. denounced the demonstrators, accusing them of violent actions. NATO says it, quote, "strongly condemns the unprovoked attacks against KFOR troops in northern Kosovo. Such attacks are totally unacceptable. Violence must stop immediately."

Still to come, a virus with similar symptoms to COVID-19 sees a recent spike in the U.S. I'll speak with the doctor about how dangerous it is and why it's flown under the radar. And Uganda is facing intense condemnation and maybe international sanctions after mandating the death penalty for certain homosexual acts. We'll have details on the harsh new law and Western reaction.


COREN: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says many Americans may have been sick with a respiratory virus in recent months without knowing about it. According to the CDC, cases the human metapneumovirus spiked during the spring leaving people with symptoms similar to the flu and COVID-19. The problem is many Americans aren't tested for the virus, so they weren't aware that they had it. And so far there's no vaccine or medication to treat HMPV.


For more, I'm joined by Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, a Board Certified Internal Medicine Specialist and Viral Researcher. Doctor, great to have you with us. Please tell us --

DR. JORGE RODRIGUEZ, BOARD-CERTIFIED INTERNAL MEDICINE SPECIALIST: Thank you. COREN: -- about HMPV, because as we say the symptoms are very similar to RSV, influenza, or COVID, but how does it differ?

RODRIGUEZ: Well, it differs actually only when you look at it genetically, but as far as we are concerned or you are concerned, right, as the lay public, the symptoms are identical almost to influenza and respiratory syncytial virus and causes coughing, sore throat, fever, congestion. And, you know, the -- unfortunately, there is really no good or readily available test to see, you know, what is causing the symptoms, in case it is the human metapneumovirus. And what is most concerning is the fact that it has increased approximately 36 percent in the last year. Now, listen, this virus has been around for what we know from 2001, but it is definitely making a resurgence.

COREN: Yes, cases have been filling up intensive care units across the United States, and I'm sure in other places around the world. Why has there been a spike in cases?

RODRIGUEZ: Well, you know, that's the big question, isn't it? We're seeing a spike in cases over the last two to three years because predominantly, everybody was wearing masks, staying in a distance from each other, and probably the reservoir of certain viruses, like the respiratory syncytial virus and influenza were there, but just didn't have the opportunity to infect people. Now that we've let down our defenses, now that we are not as cautious, all these viruses, think of it this way, where they're just waiting to pounce, and indeed, they are pouncing. So I think take home messages right now for people, please don't let your defenses down because there is this virus, and probably others that may come at anytime.

COREN: So we have to build up our immune systems. Doctor, as we reported, there is no vaccine or even antivirals that can treat this. And I guess it's the young children, the seniors, the immunocompromised who are most vulnerable. What can be done?

RODRIGUEZ: Correct. Well, what needs to be done is to realize that there is nothing to treat it. So therefore, the best treatment is precaution and prevention. But if you do get sick, especially if you have or you're living with a child, or someone that's over 60 years old, monitor them. If they get sicker, for example, if they become short of breath, and their fever spikes up above 100, 103 or 104, they need to go see a physician. At that time, it would be up to the physician to probably admit these people into the hospital so that they can get care that would involve probably oxygenation, things to lower down their fever.

So, the main thing that we can do is be aware, be cautious and see your physician if you don't feel better or start getting markedly worse.

COREN: Now, we believe that it originated in birds and then jumped across to humans. Yes, I mean, you've just rolled out that the advice that you think that you should give to people --

RODRIGUEZ: Yes. COREN: -- who perhaps should have it. For those who are feeling sick, I mean, what is your recommendation regarding masks? Should people still be wearing it or as we say, should you be building up your immune system now after, you know, years of --

RODRIGUEZ: Hears about this thing about this virus, building up your immune system doesn't really prevent it from coming back again. It is one of those viruses that you will be coming back and coming back. So the best thing to do is to prevent getting it.

As opposed to COVID which is aerosolized, this one goes only a few feet in droplets. So, coughing on somebody, obviously, is something that spreads, drinking from glasses of someone that is ill, kissing someone, those are the things that spread it. So, it is droplet to droplet contact. And I am a big proponent of masks. I still wear masks in crowded areas, call me crazy, but call me not sick.

COREN: Good not to be sick. Most definitely. Good advice, Dr. Jorge Rodriguez. Great to see you and thank you as always.

RODRIGUEZ: Likewise.

COREN: Well, the East African nation of Uganda is facing intense condemnation from Western countries and human rights groups following its approval Monday of an extreme anti-LGBTQ law. Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni, signed the measure with a golden pen after parliament approved it. It mandates the death penalty for so called aggravated homosexuality and simply engaging in gay sex could lead to life in prison.


The law also criminalizes sex education for the gay community and encourages Ugandans to report LGBTQ individuals. The E.U.s foreign affairs chief calls the law deplorable and U.S. President Joe Biden is threatening sanctions. He said, quote, "I joined with people around the world, including many in Uganda, in calling for its immediate repeal. No one should have to live in constant fear for their life or being subjected to violence and discrimination. It is wrong."

LGBTQ activists inside Uganda tell CNN they are now living in fear. CNN's David McKenzie has more from Johannesburg.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly this law that was signed by President Museveni is what are the most draconian anti-LGBTQ laws in the world that includes, amongst other things, a life sentence for those who are caught in the act of homosexuality. And crucially, it makes illegal the promotion of homosexuality and I'm using the words within that bill, which means that education could be curbed for sexual education. It also asked for people to out those who they believe are LGBTQ to the authorities.

Now, I've spoken to several activists today in Uganda who fear for their lives at this moment. They worry that people will take the law into their own hands, and there is already been an atmosphere of fear in the lead up to the signing of the bill. Now, the proponents of the bill say that this is an important moment for Uganda, this is a deeply conservative, mostly Christian country. And the man who put his name to the bill had this to say.


ASUMAN BASALIRWA, UGANDAN MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: So if we don't stand our ground, as a country, as a people, as a community, then we will completely have seceded our sovereignty and independence as a country.


MCKENZIE: Now Museveni has already faced a great deal of pressure not to sign the bill. And I'm sure he'll be roundly criticized by Western governments and potentially pay sanctions for this. Uganda is very dependent on support from the European Union and the U.S. for both humanitarian aid, and in the US case, military support, but he has stood firm and says this law should be put forward and these punishments should be meted out.

Now, despite the talk of sovereignty, there's a growing body of evidence that U.S. groups were certainly involved in helping Ugandan lawmakers push through this law, a conservative groups, and the same is the case in Ghana, where a similar law is being proposed.

David McKenzie, CNN, Johannesburg.

COREN: Still to come, the Texas State Senate is now holding articles of impeachment against Attorney General Ken Paxton, a look at what comes next. Plus, Japan readies its missile defense system as North Korea plans to go ahead with the launch of its controversial spy satellite. We'll have the latest on the tensions.




A dramatic moment at the Texas capitol where a group of House lawmakers walked to the Senate to deliver articles of impeachment against now suspended attorney general, Ken Paxton.

It comes just two days after the Republican-controlled House voted to impeach Paxton in an unprecedented move. A legislative investigation accused the third-term Republican of several offenses including abusing his powers, retaliating against whistleblowers and obstructing justice.

CNN's Ed Lavandera is following developments and has the latest from Dallas.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm directed by the House of Representatives to present to the Senate the articles of impeachment referred against Warren Kenneth Paxton Jr., attorney general of the state of Texas.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A historic moment in Texas politics, the 12 Texas House representatives who will present the impeachment case against attorney general, Ken Paxton helped formally deliver the articles of the impeachment to the Texas Senate late this afternoon.

The day after Texas lawmakers impeached Ken Paxton, he shared these photos on social media saying there is nothing better than a weekend spent with loved ones.

There was no love from an overwhelmingly bipartisan collection of Texas House lawmakers who voted 121 to 23 to file 20 articles of impeachment against the Republican attorney general.

ANN JOHNSON, TEXAS HOUSE DEMOCRAT: Either this is going to be the beginning of the end of his criminal rein, or God help us, with the harms that will come to all Texans if he's allowed to stay the top cop on the take.

LAVANDERA: Paxton called the impeachment vote a politically-motivated sham and an ugly spectacle.

Former President Donald Trump's support didn't help either. Trump called the impeachment vote unfair led by the radical left Democrats, and RINOs, Republicans in Name Only.

Paxton is accused of a litany of criminal acts including bribery and obstruction of justice and that he's unfit for public office.

ANDREW MURR, TEXAS HOUSE REPUBLICAN: The evidence is substantial. It Is alarming and unnerving.

LAVANDERA: Paxton's impeachment moved to the state Senate. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick will preside over the trial.

In an interview with CNN affiliate WFAA, Patrick would not say when the trial will take place.

DAN PATRICK, TEXAS LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: We will all be responsible as any juror would be if that turns out to be.

LAVANDERA: One of those jurors and senators ix Angela Paxton, the attorney general's own wife. There are calls for her to recuse herself but she has not said what she will do.


KEN PAXTON, TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL: Every politician who supports this deceitful impeachment attempt will inflict lasting damage on the credibility of the Texas House.

LAVANDERA: As House representatives prepare to cast their impeachment votes, some lawmakers say Paxton was vowing retribution for anyone voting against him. CHARLIE GEREN, TEXAS HOUSE REPUBLICAN: Several members of this House,

while on the floor of this House, doing the state business, received telephone calls from General Paxton personally, threatening them with political consequences in their next election.

LAVANDERA: Paxton has been under indictment on felony securities fraud charges and remains under FBI investigation for a scandal involving a campaign donor. Paxton has denied all wrongdoing.

PAXTON: This shameful process was curated from the start as an act of political retribution.

LAVANDERA: We now have an update on when Ken Paxton's impeachment trial will take place. State senators approved a plan that says the trial have to happen before August 28th. And then on June 20th a committee of senators will present the rules for the impeachment process. So look for this impeachment trial to take place some time between June 28th and the end of August.

Ed Lavandera, CNN -- Dallas.


COREN: U.S. President Joe Biden spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday to congratulate him on winning a third term after Sunday's runoff election. Mr. Biden says they also discussed the potential sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey and that he asked Mr. Erdogan for a deal on Sweden's NATO membership.

Ankara has been blocking Stockholm's bid to join the alliance accusing it of harboring Kurdish terror groups.

Meantime, Russian President Vladimir Putin also congratulated Erdogan on Monday and stressed the need to enhance a bilateral cooperation.

And as President Erdogan extends his rule into a third decade, he faces the difficult task of reining in inflation and uniting a deeply divided country.

CNN's Nada Bashir has more.


NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, world leaders have been congratulating President Erdogan on his election victory. We saw President Erdogan on Sunday evening delivering his victory speech in Ankara to thousands of supporters, doubling down on his election pledges from pulling the country out of economic turmoil to providing a lightning fast reconstruction effort for those impacted by February's devastating earthquake.

But while this was a significant win for the president guaranteeing him another term in office after more than two decades in power, it was a close race and we did a real divide in the country with the opposition alliance led by Kemal Kilicdaroglu really gaining quite a bit of support. And in fact Kemal Kilicdaroglu delivered an address on Sunday evening telling the country that it was a clear sign that the country is facing a real divide.

KEMAL KILICDAROGLU, TURKISH OPPOSITION (through translator): We've been going through one of the most unfair political times of our country. And all the facilities and all the resources have been systematically abused by the government.

In this election the will of the people to change an authoritarian government became clear despite all the pressures.

BASHIR: Now for supporters of the opposition and critics of Erdogan alike, there is a real sense of concern over the state of democracy in the country. We've seen a centralization of power under Erdogan's grip. We've seen the media coming under increased control.

Of course, there are real fears that with another term in office, democracy could be further eroded in Turkey.

Now, President Erdogan is coming up against some major challenges the country has seen -- soaring inflation, plummeting lira, President Erdogan himself coming under fierce criticism over his (INAUDIBLE) about humanitarian policies, and then there is of course the response to the earthquake. President Erdogan has made some pretty lofty (INAUDIBLE) of rebuilding the affected areas in the southeast providing permanent homes for hundreds of thousands of people within the next year.

He will now have to deliver on those promise. And of course President Erdogan ahs cemented Turkey's place in the world stage. And over the coming months and years we will continue to see President Erdogan playing a key role as a NATO ally, but also of course an influential regional power broker.

Nada Bashir, CNN -- Istanbul.


COREN: Despite protests from its neighbors, North Korea says it will launch its first military spy satellite next month. It comes as Japan is warning Pyongyang it will use these extreme force if a North Korean missile lands in its territory.

CNN's Brian Todd has more.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A warning from North Korea's aggressive 39-year-old dictator. Kim Jong-un's regime has notified Japan that it plans to launch a satellite between this Wednesday May 31st and June 11th.


TODD: That's according to a spokesman for the Japanese Coast Guard. Japan has issued its own warning right back to Pyongyang.

HIROKAZU MATSUNO, JAPANESE CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY, (through translator): The defense ministry and self-defense forces have already issued an order to prepare for destructive measures against ballistic missiles in response to the series of North Korean movements.

TODD: South Korea also warning Kim's regime not to go ahead with the launch.

Kim Jong-un recently inspected what North Korea claims is its first military reconnaissance satellite and approved it for deployment. Analyst David Schmerler believes Kim's new satellite won't be able to feed him images that are as hi-res or sophisticated as the ones from America's satellite scan.

Still what might Kim Jong-un be able to spy on that is sensitive to the U.S. and the South.

DAVID SCHMERLER, SATELLITE IMAGERY ANALYST: (INAUDIBLE) They're going to be primarily interested in military bases belonging to the South Koreans, to the Americans in South Korea, and then likely installations for the U.S. in Japan and naval movements near the coast of North Korea.

TODD: The launch of a spy satellite would be the latest in a pattern of aggressive moves by the North Korean strongman.

Kim has test fired more than 100 missiles since the beginning of last year. Last month, he claimed to have fired off a long range intercontinental ballistic missile powered by saw fuel.

Analyst say a solid fuel to ICBM would give North Korea more flexibility because those missiles could be launched more quickly than others.

North Korea recently tested an underwater drone that it said was capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. And the regime test-fired cruise missiles launched from a submarine.

Analysts say this new satellite is right up there in importance with all of those the missile capabilities because it can provide the intelligence Kim's generals need to use those weapons in war.

SCHMERLER: If the North Koreans want to hit a location in South Korea, they have to know where the missile defense locations are.

TODD: When he recently inspected the satellite he's now threatening to launch, Kim wore matching lab coats with his young daughter believed to be about nine years old and named Kim Ju-ae. She's recently become a media sensation in North Korea. More and more often seen at her father's appearances.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're trying literally to teach her how to be a leader in the Kim family dynasty.

TODD: But analysts caution its' possible that Kim Ju-ae is not being groomed to be the supreme leader. They point out that South Korean intelligence recently said Kim Jong-un on also has an older son who's not yet been seen in public. And experts say it's possible that Kim could be waiting to unveil him

until he's more of age.

Brian Todd, CNN -- Washington.


COREN: Still ahead, China launches its first civilian astronaut into space with an eye on expanding its space program. We'll head to Beijing for an update on the mission.



COREN: And they're off. China sends its first civilian astronaut into space as it launches the Shenzhou-16 mission. Officials say the lift off was a complete success and it marks another step forward for the country's ambitious space program.

The three crew members on board the craft set man China's space station taking over from the previous Shenzhou-15 astronauts.

For more let's go to CNN's Steven Jiang joining us live from in Beijing.

And Steven, as you know, China has big ambitions in space. Tell us more about this mission.

STEVEN JIANG, CNN CHINA BUREAU CHIEF: Anna, as you say, this latest mission leaving marks an incremental and major step forward in this country space program and really ushering in this phase of routine operations for the country's self-built space station, the Tiangong, which means "heavenly palace" in Chinese.

Now, it's worth knowing that when the space draft docks with the Tiangong in less than three hours from now, we will be seeing six Chinese astronauts, three from the latest mission and three already in space in orbit at the same time. So that is really quite a feat considering this country's first manned mission was only launched 20 years ago in 2003.

Now, the latest crew, the three astronauts, they will be conducting a series of experiments and research during their five month stay in space. But also of course, installing, testing, maintaining equipment and conducting spacewalks -- all of that has become increasingly common.

And the Tiangong itself, the first module was entered into space only in 2021. By the end of last year, they're already completed the reconstruction of this tea-shaped, three-module structure. And now there's already talk about extending it into a (INAUDIBLE) structure to extend research capabilities.

Now, of course, one of the most noteworthy aspects of this latest mission, as you mentioned is they're sending a civilian into space for the first time. And previously, they had all been military personnel with some astronauts holding the rank of a general.

So this fact of course, very much pointing to the military driven -- military-run nature of the space program, which is the foundation of a lot of its success, not only on manned missions but also unmanned missions like lunar and Mars probes.

But also it's been a source of controversy which is why the U.S. Congress has largely banned space cooperation between the two countries. But the fact that the program here has almost unlimited resources is likely to give it a leg up according to experts in this race to catch up with the Americans.

And that's really why this space race is increasingly heated, Anna. And with that well publicized goal of sending a Chinese astronaut to land on the moon by 2030, Anna.

COREN: Yes. This certainly has escalated the space race between China and the United States.

Steven Jiang, always good to see you. Appreciate the update. Thank you.

The Carnival Sunshine cruise ship is safe now. But over the weekend, a violent storm threatened everyone's good time. This was the view from the ship on Friday night.


COREN: One passenger recorded the intense wind and waves from the day he called the storm "terrifying" and says his family worried if they would be able to survive if they were knocked into the water.

This video posted online shows objects floating down flooded interior hallways. The storm delayed the Sunshine's return to port in Charleston, South Carolina. Cruise officials say the ship is now sailing on its next voyage.

Well, still to come, an improbable game seven in the NBA's eastern conference finals with the Boston Celtics trying to accomplish something no team has done before.


COREN: The Miami Heat are headed to the NBA finals after beating the Boston Celtics 103 to 84 in a must-win game seven at the Eastern Conference Finals.

Miami's victory thwarted Boston's effort to become the first team in NBA history to win a seven-game series after being down three games to none.


COREN:L Miami's Jimmy Butler finished the game with 28 points and was named the series' MVP. The Heat are now the first eight-seeded team to reach the NBA finals since 1999. They'll be facing the Denver Nuggets for the title with game one set for Thursday.

Monday was a national holiday in Latvia after the tiny Baltic nation took bronze in the ice hockey world championship. Look at those crowds.

Well, after Sunday's historic win over the United States, massive crowds celebrated in the Latvian capital on Monday, a huge turnout for a country of less than 2 million people.

Canada took gold in the tournament and Germany won silver, but Latvia still beat hockey powerhouse Sweden before topping the U.S. 4 to 3 in overtime to take third.

Latvia co-hosted the championship with Finland and its president was in the locker room Sunday as the party began. Clearly Latvia loves its hockey and many of its players compete in the NHL. Congratulations to all of them.

Well, thanks for spending part of your day with me.

I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong.

Stay with us. My colleague Laila Harrak will be back with more news in just a moment.