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Putin and Kim Voice Cooperation and Friendship; North Korea Fires Two Ballistic Missiles; Ukraine Attacks Crimea Shipyard; Moroccan Villages Grapple with Quake Aftermath; Tropical Storm Warning For Bermuda; Djokovic Celebrates Win in Serbia. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired September 13, 2023 - 10:00   ET






BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): Hello and welcome, I'm Becky Anderson. Live from Abu Dhabi. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. Breaking away

from the U.S. as they cover the fugitive capture in the state of Pennsylvania. We will continue to follow that story.

But now to North Korea and Russia. Two leaders, largely shunned by the, West vowing cooperation and a new era of friendship. Russian president

Vladimir Putin met the North Korean leader at a space center in eastern Russia on Wednesday.

It was Kim's first visit to Russia in four years. Russian state media reported they talked more than five hours before sitting down for a state

dinner. Putin told reporters they discussed agriculture initiatives and Russia helping North Korea develop a space program.

He says they also brought up the prospect of military cooperation, an area of concern for Western intel agencies. Paula Hancocks connecting us today

from Seoul.

What do you make of what we have heard, Paula?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, what we haven't heard is exactly what they have agreed. This is obviously two leaders who are not

going to do a press conference, they're not going to give a statement as to what they've agreed.

There can just be assessments by the West, by the U.S. and its allies. There are concerns that there has been some kind of an arms deal agreed on.

We heard from the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, saying the talks were very productive.

There were over five hours in all between these two leaders of very isolated and heavily sanctioned countries. And the very location that this

meeting started and shows the military focus of their talks.


HANCOCKS (voice-over): Kim Jong-un is given the red carpet tour of Russia's successful space program.

According to one reporter present, he asked, quote, "a lot of very detailed questions."

KIM JONG-UN, NORTH KOREAN LEADER (through translator): Is it eight meters in total?


HANCOCKS (voice-over): Russian president Vladimir Putin said he's happy to share the knowledge that Kim craves, a sharing of information Washington

has been warning of.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): The leader of North Korea shows great interest in space, in rocketry and they're trying

to develop space. We'll show them our new objects.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): North Korea's last two attempts to put a spy satellite into space have failed. Putin showed Kim his presidential

limousine, manufactured by Russian luxury automaker Aurus, reminiscent of former U.S. President Donald Trump showing off The Beast to Kim during

friendlier times in Singapore.

Kim praised Putin for standing up against hegemonic forces, a thinly veiled swipe at the United States and the West, even appearing to toast Russia's

war in Ukraine.

KIM (through translator): I firmly believe the Russian military and people here inherit a shining tradition of victory and demonstrate their dignity

and honor on the front line of military operations.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): U.S. And South Korean intelligence predict an arms deal, including North Korea providing Russia with much needed ammunition to

use in Ukraine. The symmetry and their weaponry means certain ammo could be used immediately by Russia.

Another possibility, the very public meeting could be sending a message.

ANDREI LANKOV, KOOKMIN UNIVERSITY: The very (ph) signal to Seoul. Be careful, it says. If you, South Koreans, start shipping ammunition to

Ukraine, Russia will probably do a technology transfer to North Korea. The same message is also going to Washington.


HANCOCKS: And the visit is not over for Kim Jong-un. According to Putin, he will also be visiting a factory, seeing civilian and military production

and also some kind of a demonstration from the military itself, Becky.

ANDERSON: Paula, in the meantime, missiles launched from North Korea while Kim Jong-un has been in Russia.

What do we know at this point?

HANCOCKS: That's right, yes. This was just before the meeting started with the Russian president. Two short-range missiles were launched off the east

coast of Korea. As far as we know, it's the first time this has actually been done while Kim Jong-un has been out of the country.

Experts we have spoken to says it's really a demonstration that these kinds of launches and potential attacks could take place even when the leader is

not in the country. It's sort of delegation of command and control that North Korea appears to be pushing toward.

Once upon a time, Kim Jong-un was at every one of these launches a few years ago. But it just shows that he only goes to the big ones now. And

this is more routine, that North Korea is able to do these launches, even when the leader isn't there, Becky.


ANDERSON: Good to have you. Thank you very much indeed.

Stay with us because, next hour on CONNECT THE WORLD, I'll be speaking with the former Libyan health minister, Dr. Reda Al-Awakali (ph) as the country

tries to make sense of what has been the unthinkable scale of devastation since the flooding there just 48 hours ago.

Well, until then, for a deeper dive into this developing story and other important issues from the region, do stick with CNN, of course.

Well, Putin took a hit in his war overnight. We will get to Melissa Bell for more on that in Ukraine momentarily.

First off, it is now one of the deadliest floods on record in North Africa. The death toll from that catastrophic flooding in Libya has soared to more

than 5,000, with double that number missing.

These before and after satellite images of hard hit Derna give just a glimpse into the scale of the devastation. I have to warn you, some of the

images coming in from that city are graphic. Hospitals are no longer functioning. Bodies, sadly, line the streets as morgues there are full.

Meantime, there are major blockades, both physical and political, for aid trying to get to where it is needed most. We can now hear from CNN senior

international correspondent, Ben Wedeman, with this report.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A wall of water rushes toward the eastern Libyan city of Derna. Upstream, two dams have burst, tens of

thousands of people now in mortal danger after a freak storm dumped eight months of rain in a single day.

An army spokesman said entire neighborhoods in Derna were washed out to sea. Officials fear as many people may have been killed by the floods in

eastern Libya, with many more unaccounted for.

TAMER RAMADAN, HEAD OF IFRC DELEGATION, LIBYA: We confirm from our independent sources of information, that the number of missing people is

hitting 10,000 persons.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): Dozens of bodies covered with blankets are strewn about outside Derna's morgue, now full to capacity. Communications with the

city are spotty. Storm Daniel knocked out many of the cell phone towers and rendered many roads impassable.

Libya was convulsed by the 2011 uprising against the rule of Muammar Gaddafi and ripped apart by civil war. After years of human folly,

preparing for nature's wrath may not have been anyone's top priority. Turkey has dispatch search and rescue teams and emergency supplies. Italy

is also sending in teams to assess the damage.

But the level of death and destruction may be more than Libya can handle. Tuesday afternoon, a simple message appeared on the Facebook page of the

Derna municipality.

"The situation in the city is out of control," it said, "international intervention is needed."


ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman reporting there.

To Ukraine now. Ukrainian missiles pounded shipyards in Russian annexed Crimea overnight. You can see the smoke against the sunrise here. Russian

officials said two ships undergoing repairs were damaged and 2 dozen people were wounded. CNN's Melissa Bell is following developments for us from

Ukraine's capital of Kyiv.

Just how significant have these attacks there been, Melissa?

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think the significance is beyond just the symbolic one of Crimea being targeted again. As we've seen

so much over the course of the last few weeks, increasingly brazen attacks, one of those involving a few weeks ago a landing by Ukrainian forces

briefly on the peninsula.

They are significant, symbolically. They're important, of course, Becky, strategically. What you're talking about is Ukraine's ability to take this

war not just to Russian soil because of what it means about bringing it home to the civilians there but in terms of taking on Russia's logistical

ability to continue this war.

That's something we've heard with no direct claim of this from someone very senior in President Zelenskyy's office, speaking of the need to take this

war to logistical hubs. That's how is it was explained Russia will be prevented from pursuing this war.

These are 10 Western made, either French or United Kingdom, they both make these kind of cruise missiles, 10 cruise missiles launched overnight toward

Sevastopol, Becky. Three of them, as we understand it --


BELL: -- made it through Russian air defenses, hitting that shipyard, damaging -- and we heard this from the Russian side as well -- a couple of

Russian ships. This is about taking it to Russian soil.

But of course, from the point of view of Ukrainians, actually bringing this home. What you're talking about is the aim here of the latest

counteroffensive and ultimately of Ukraine's fight back against the Russian invasion, Becky.

ANDERSON: I wonder how much talk there is where you are about the Vladimir Putin- Kim Jong-un meeting in Russia. Much talk with intelligence --

amongst the intelligence community, of course, that they're cooking up some sort of arms deal at present.

And the symbolism of this cruise missile attack on Russia, effectively overnight, surely won't be lost at this point.

BELL: Not lost and very carefully watched. In fact, Becky, someone referred to it here as the G2 only a short while ago. What we are talking

about is talks that could lead to Russia getting its hands on some of that much needed ammunition, the artillery shells that it needs so much on the

front line.

Already, from the point of view of Ukrainians, this is a war in which they are so often outgunned and outmanned. And as we keep hearing, whenever we

head to the front lines of this war, it's ammunition that they desperately need from their Western allies.

The idea that Russia should be getting its hands on more of that, of extreme concern. It will make a big difference if it makes it to these

front lines. That is, of course, the plan that Russia should be able to get some of the very basics that it needs for a war.

Remember, from a country itself that has not been at war since 1953, Korea has a lot -- North Korea has a lot of these stockpiles left, in exchange,

of course, for that much more sophisticated weaponry. From the point of view of Ukraine, these are extremely worrying and significant talks, Becky.

ANDERSON: Melissa, always good to have you, thank you very much indeed.

Melissa is in Kyiv in Ukraine reporting today.

Morocco taking some new international aid in its earthquake relief efforts. South Korea sending $2 million and a team of aid workers.

In the meantime, the French president says France has offer to help still stands, dismissing what he called unfounded controversies over unaccepted

French aid.

Still with the death toll there nearing 3,000 and entire villages decimated, the humanitarian need, of course, is vast. CNN's Nada Bashir has

been speaking with some of the many overwhelmed survivors.


NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): High in the Atlas Mountains, the solitary village of Dinisct (ph), seemingly abandoned and almost entirely

flattened. It is hard to imagine how anyone could have survived the destruction here.

But amid the rubble, signs of life. At the gates of what once was their home, Fatimah and her 11-year-old daughter, Zinah (ph), tell me they can

only thank God that their family was uninjured in the quake. But ongoing aftershocks mean there is little peace for those who survived.

BASHIR: Zinah (ph) says that a lot of her friends died in this earthquake. She can still see her school, it's up at the top of the mountains. But she

is still afraid of the potential aftershocks that could happen. Of course, the memories of her friends who have passed away is something that she

thinks about constantly.

BASHIR (voice-over): Above the crumbling remnants of this now destroyed village, more than 40 victims lie buried. Each grave left unmarked. The

smell of death is still heavy in the air. The overwhelming loss of life in this village, too much for anyone to bear.

Zinah (ph) tells me her best friend is buried here too but she doesn't know which grave is hers. Getting aid to this village has taken days and

supplies are minimal. There are, of course, no homes to return to here. Instead, families take shelter amid the sprawling olive groves.

BASHIR: There aren't enough tents for all of the families impacted, so they're not able to have their own tents. There are about three to four

families now sharing a single tent. And as you can see, they're still trying to build new ones to deal with the sheer need here in the village.


BASHIR (voice-over): It's too early to tell what's next for these families. It could take years for their homes to be rebuilt, if at all. And

there are so many more villages just like this one, devastated and cut off with little hope in sight -- Nada Bashir, CNN, in Dinisct (ph), Morocco.


ANDERSON: Next hour, we'll speak with the president of an educational NGO in Morocco, who will give us a unique insight into these aid efforts there.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. Still to come this hour, Hurricane Lee is huge and it's churning away in the Atlantic. We're

going to check in with our Severe Weather Center up next.




ANDERSON (voice-over): Welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. The time here is half past 6 in the evening. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

Wherever you're watching, you're more than welcome, indeed.

Headlines this hour: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un appeared to endorse Russia's war in Ukraine when he met president Vladimir Putin in eastern

Russia earlier. The two leaders voiced solidarity and cooperation during what were five hours of talks.

Kim said Russia will defeat and punish, quote, "evil forces."

The death toll from catastrophic flooding in eastern Libya has soared to more than 5,000 with twice that number still missing. Hospitals in the

hardhit city of Derna are no longer functioning. The morgues are full and some neighborhoods have now resorted to mass burials.

South Korea says it's donating $2 million for earthquake relief in Morocco. That's as successful rescues there, sadly, slow. More than 2,900 people are

known to have died so far. On Tuesday, Morocco's king visited the more than 5,000 people injured and gave blood to help the victims.

ANDERSON: In the Atlantic, Hurricane Lee is now a massive category 3 hurricane.


ANDERSON: The storm is packing sustained winds of 185 kilometers per hour. That has prompted a tropical storm warning for the island of Bermuda.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Lee is expected to weaken over the next few days. But the system could remain dangerous as it churns

toward the East Coast of New England or Canada.


ANDERSON: The operator of a luxury cruise ship that ran aground in Greenland says all the ships passengers are, quote, "safe and well." The

Ocean Explorer has been stranded in a fjord since Monday with more than 200 people on board.

It got stuck while it was touring a national park. Norway's Joint Arctic Command is sending its closest vessel. But the area is so remote that

rescue ships are not expected to arrive until at least Friday.

For now, the situation does appear to be stable, no damage to the ship reported at this point.

A big win deserves a very big party. Still ahead, Djokovic gets that. He surprises fans at home. We are going to show you the celebration after






ANDERSON: Novak Djokovic back home and sharing his U.S. Open win with his home fans. Djokovic joined the Serbian basketball team to celebrate his

24th grand slam title with fans in Belgrade.

They were there to welcome the national team, which actually placed second at the basketball World Cup, a tremendous success in and of itself.

Djokovic was an extra surprise. Amanda Davies joining me now.

Well, the crowds went wild as far as I can tell.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they had been waiting for hours to congratulate the silver medal winning basketball team.

How about that for an added bonus?

The 24-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic turning up not only being celebrated by the crowd but also the basketball team as well. You could see

what it meant to him. He got really emotional. On the court, he'd done a big thank you in New York to all the people who helped him and supported

him to get to that 24.

And you can see what it meant to him to be able to share it with fans at home in Belgrade. But the celebrations haven't gone on too long.

A video has just been posted of him landing in Valencia to join up with his Davis Cup teammates. That's the next job in hand. So, yes, no rest for the

wicked, as they say. But plenty more coming up on "WORLD SPORT."

ANDERSON: Meantime -- good stuff, meantime, you know, Belgrade, which is always an electric city, a fantastic city, I'm sure will go on celebrating

for some days to come.

Amanda's back with "WORLD SPORT" after this short break. I'm back for you at the top of the hour. Stay with us.