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CONNECT THE WORLD
Intelligence Failures on North Korea; Interview with Christopher Hill; Cyclone Slams Philippines; Liverpool Player Banned; tside World a Mystery to North Koreans; Inside North Korea; President of Democratic Republic of Congo Takes Oath of Office; Actress Visits Congolese Women; Freedom Project: Haitian Boy Victim of Child Trafficking; Trafficking in Haiti
Aired December 20, 2011 - 16:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Missed signals -- it's been three days since Kim Jung-il died, but only a day-and-a-half since the world learned the news. Tonight, the intelligence failures that kept the outside world in the dark.
Live from London, I'm Becky Anderson.
Also tonight, political stand-off in the Democratic Republic of Congo -- why almost every single one of us around the world could be affected by what happens there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, currently, I'm standing in Haiti, on the Haiti side.
Boom. I'm in the Dominican Republic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, the porous border that's allowing human traffickers to slip across with vulnerable children in tow.
That's all coming up in the next hour here on CNN.
First up tonight, North Korea's heir apparent makes his first public appearance since the death of the Dear Leader. State TV cameras captured Kim Jung Un's every move as the youngest son of Kim Jung-il paid respects at his father's coffin, on display in Pyongyang. North Korea is going to great lengths to showcase mass grief over Kim's death, as well as strong support for his successor, as the world looks for clues on what the leadership change could mean, tonight we'll go behind the carefully crafted veneer and talk to people who have been to North Korea to tell us what life is really like in one of the most tightly controlled societies in the world.
Well, first, though, let's get an update on developments today in Pyongyang, as well as some regional reaction.
North Korea won't allow foreign journalists inside, but we've got reporters tonight from an observatory just across the border in South Korea and from a Chinese border town that provides an economic lifeline to Pyongyang.
Let's start with Paula Hancocks near Seoul.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is one of the tensest borders in the world and since the death of Kim Jung-il, it has become even more closely monitored by both the U.S. and the South Korean military.
Now, North Korea is about three kilometers, or two miles, behind me. And the monitoring is to see if there's any kind of movement or troop movement in North Korea. This is really one of the very few ways that the military can get any kind of accurate information out from North Korea.
Meanwhile, in Pyongyang, we saw the first photos and footage of Kim Jong-il since his death on Saturday. North Korean television releasing pictures showing Kim Jung-il lying in state. He is covered by a red blanket and surrounded by red flowers. We also saw a photo of Kim Jung Un, his son and the so-called Great Successor, paying his respects on Tuesday.
Now, he was accompanied by senior government and military officials. According to KC&A, the state media, he observed a moment of silence in the bitterest grief.
Now, Kim Jong-il will be lying in state until the 27th of December, so that other mourners can come and pay their respects. And we have seen a lot of footage of very public mourning in North Korea. We've seen a lot of grief on the streets. Now, it's very difficult to know how much of this grief is actually genuine, because, of course, in such a state as North Korea, many people would feel they have to show this public mourning. Many could be caught up in the mass hysteria of the moment. And, of course, there could be some who are genuinely upset that their Dear Leader, as he was called, had died. a surprising statement this Tuesday from the South Korean government, saying that they did pass on their condolences to the North Korean people for the passing of Kim Jung-il.
Paula Hancocks reporting from the North-South Korean border.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ANDERSON: So to China, an important ally of North Korea, that's mourning the passing of the leader it calls a close friend.
CNN's Stan Grant visits a key border town for you now and shows us, well, let's describe it as the raw emotions.
STAN GRANT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The grief in this China- North Korea border town is still palpable. These women, North Korean workers, weeping on a bus, too distraught to speak. Elsewhere in Dandong, some have placed wreaths commemorating the passing of the so-called Dear Leader. Local Chinese and ethnic Koreans living on the border united in their memories of Kim Jung-il as a great man.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I learned of the news on a Chinese news channel on the morning of the 19th. I felt so sad and I was shocked. The North Korean people have just lost a great leader, who was also a great neighbor and a close friend of the Chinese people.
GRANT: Still others were reluctant to say anything publicly. "I can't talk. I can't talk. Go away," says this woman.
"I can't say anything, not while I'm in this uniform."
(on camera): Behind me is the bridge linking China and North Korea. As you can see, if you look closely along there, there's been a fairly constant stream of trucks ferrying back and forward across that bridge. This really is the gateway between the two countries. A lot of trade is plied across there. And this is the Yellow River. To cross this river is to enter North Korea itself.
(voice-over): To cross the river is not just to enter a different country, but a different world. This land, ruled for the last 17 years, by Kim Jung-il, now passing to his son, Kim Jung Un, a country largely sealed off from the rest of the world, where human rights groups say hundreds of thousands of people languish in gulags. Perhaps millions have died of starvation.
LI LONG, DANDONG RESIDENT: I think North Korea will speed up its reform and its economy will take off very quickly. I feel so because there have been some obvious changes in North Korea in the past two years.
GRANT: Each evening, China and North Korea light up the so-called Friendship Bridge, a ritual celebration in a bleak landscape. Across the river, the dull rhythms drag on. As the cold night falls, factory workers can be seen in the distance, heading home, still processing the reality of life without Kim Jung-il.
Stan Grant, CNN, Dandong, on the China-North Korea border.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ANDERSON: Well, North Korean media say that Kim Jung-il died on Saturday, yet the government was able to keep it a secret right, waiting until Monday to announce the news so that it had time to tailor its message.
How did the story escape U.S. and South Korean intelligence services, though?
Well, we're joined now by Christopher Hill, a former U.S. ambassador to South Korea. I mean you've probably forgotten more about the region than we will ever know.
Chris, always a pleasure to have you on.
Were you surprised by what has been a huge failure, gaffe in intelligence?
CHRISTOPHER HILL, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO SOUTH KOREA: Well, Becky, it sure would have been nice if we knew that the -- the moment he expired, so we could, you know, see what we need to do in terms of any possible provocations, etc.
But I -- I wouldn't put this in the category of a huge gaffe. I mean it is not easy to get information in that country. It is, as they say in the trade, a very hard target.
So I think overall -- overall, we have had a really tough time figuring out what the North Koreans are thinking, partly because it's a hard target, partly because there have been some really tough, conflicting, you know, demands on our time, namely Iraq and Afghanistan.
HILL: So I hope, in the future, we can put some more assets on that country, understand it better and predict it a little better.
ANDERSON: Yes, Chris, I want you to just explain to our viewers, because I find it absolutely fascinating, why it is that so little is known by both the South Korean and U.S. intelligence agencies, you know, the best in the world?
How does the West physically monitor what is going on there?
HILL: Well, there are things called national technical means. And this is, you know, satellite imagery. There may be other, you know, monitoring of various electronic signals, a lot of -- a lot of things like that.
But the -- the North Koreans are -- are, first of all, very good at avoiding conveying information that they don't want to avoid -- that they don't want to convey. Their borders are pretty well sealed. They control the Internet like you wouldn't believe.
So I think it's a -- it's a pretty tough target. And we ran into this all the time in -- during the negotiations. It was very kind of difficult to figure out what they really had in mind.
ANDERSON: Those being the six party talks, of course.
One former Bush adviser was quoted today in "The New York Times" as saying: "We have clear plans about what to do if North Korea attacks," that being South Korea, "but not if the North Korean regime unravels." and surely that is the point at this stage, isn't it, not knowing what's going to happen next?
HILL: Yes. First of all, trying to identify what the scenario is of a North Korean collapse is rather difficult to do. I mean there is a lot of combustible material out there. There are a lot of unhappy North Koreans. They are not one big happy family.
And I would even take issue with the notion that they are absolutely all in mourning. I mean when I saw some of those people there, I saw some very good acting jobs and some not so very good acting jobs.
So I -- I think it is, you know, it is a -- a tough place the kind of figure out in that regard.
ANDERSON: I want you, finally, then, if you can, I know you say it's tough, but paint me -- like I say, you've known this region for so long, Chris -- paint me...
ANDERSON: -- what you believe to be the best case scenario and worst case scenario going forward for those from the outside world looking in at this point.
HILL: Well, first of all, I'd like to say that it's true that the war planning to defend South Korea is very well advanced. That's been something we've done since the '50s.
There has been some planning on what to do about a North Korean implosion, how we would manage the humanitarian crisis. There has been some planning on that.
I think it would be very helpful if we were able to share some of that planning with China, who, presumably, have some of their own planning.
I think this is a moment where we really need to work with the Chinese...
HILL: -- on what plans there could be for implosion, because I think the chance of implosion, even though we can't quite see what the -- what the actual spark would be, I still think the chances for implosion are probably greater than the chances of a North Korean invasion.
So we should somehow be ready for that. And I think this would be an appropriate time to try to sit down with the Chinese very quietly...
HILL: -- I mean this is not something the Chinese want to talk about publicly.
ANDERSON: Sure. Chris, let me just ask you this.
What do you mean by implosion, planning for a North Korean implosion?
HILL: Well, for example, let's say there were some kind of -- some kind of dispute within the North Korean military, let's say there are some regional commanders -- I mean, frankly, all of this is kind of far-fetched, because we don't quite see the evidence for it.
But let's say you had some kind of divisions within North Korea and then you had refugees streaming out.
Now, would you have some means to allow them to get away from what could be some sort of intra-Korean people's army fighting?
Would you have some means to bring them over the South Korean border?
How would the Chinese react to this type of flow of refugees of this kind?
I don't believe we've had enough discussions with the Chinese at all about this. And right now, there's a lot of suspicion in the U.S.-China relationship. And I don't think it's in our interests and I don't think it's in China's interests. And what better place to start than to try to talk to the Chinese about what would we all be doing if, for example, we -- we learned that there was fighting between various factions in Pyongyang, if we were concerned about the safety of some of these nuclear facilities, that is, the safety of the material that has been generated, the nuclear material that's been generated.
What type of plans do we have if -- if we were to do something, in those circumstances, would the Chinese know precisely what we're doing?
So it's a...
ANDERSON: All right.
HILL: -- it's -- as I said earlier, it's a very hard target. But we also need to be better synced on the whole thing.
ANDERSON: You always make a lot of sense.
Former Ambassador Chris Hill talking to us today.
I hope, Chris, other people are listening.
Christopher Hill for you, your expert on the subject tonight.
We're going to have much more on North Korea ahead in the show, including an interview with a filmmaker who had some rather bizarre experiences when he visited the reclusive state.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHANE SMITH, FOUNDER, VICE MEDIA: We're in the big banquet room. As you can see, it's huge. There's about 20 women how are getting ready for our dinner.
First of all, they give you about three or four courses of absolutely inedible food. It's just matter. It's like fried matter. And you're kind of going yes, yes. But you're waiting for everyone to fill in.
When is this banquet happening?
When is the banquet?
There is no banquet.
Where is everyone?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Filmmaker Shane Smith tells us about his trip to Pyongyang coming up in about 20 minutes time.
You're with CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN with me, Becky Anderson.
Just about quarter past nine in London.
Still to come, a growing humanitarian crisis in the Philippines after the country's leader declares a national calamity.
Then, a divided country, a disputed election -- the Democratic Republic of Congo's president is sworn in. We're going to show you why the atmosphere there is so volatile.
That's all coming up after this.
ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN, the world's news leader.
I'm Becky Anderson.
There's more heartbreak for the Philippines, I'm afraid. The president there has declared a national calamity amid a rising death toll. Aid agencies say they are struggling to cope with what is a growing humanitarian crisis.
CNN's Maria Ressa shows us why.
MARIA RAMOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Maria Ressa
Helicopters fly over the devastation left by one of the five deadliest tropical cyclones in the Philippines. As the death toll climbs toward 1,000, Philippine President Benigno Aquino declared a state of national calamity Tuesday after visiting areas in the south of the country which are rarely hit by tropical cyclones.
MARIA RESSA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Cagayan de Oro, this is the city with the highest number of casualties, the stench of death fills the city dump, where unidentified bodies are being kept, because there's just not enough room in overflowing mortuaries.
RAMOS: On Friday, Tropical Storm Washi dumped three times as much rain in one day as normally received in the entire month of December, leading to rapidly rising rivers that overflowed their banks and swept through villages in the middle of the night.
Days later, bodies are still being uncovered from heaps of debris and mud. Even bodies spout out to sea are now floating back ashore.
RESSA: The problem right now is -- and it's actually a problem for both the living and the dead. The biggest problem remains the lack of drinking water. Officials say 88,000 people are over -- in overcrowded, makeshift evacuation centers. Aid agencies are bringing in food and water and asking for more.
RAMOS: More than 300,000 people have been affected and as survivors in the hardest hit areas search for loved ones, the Red Cross says hundreds of people remain unaccounted for and that the government has actually lost count of the number of people missing.
Maria Ramos, CNN, Atlanta.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ANDERSON: All right, a look at some of the other stories connecting our world this hour.
And thousands of women joined protests in Cairo today demanding that Egypt's military rulers step down. They are furious over the treatment of female demonstrators, some beaten and partially stripped by soldiers earlier this week.
Now, images of the abuse have circulated widely on the Internet, triggering international condemnation. At least 14 people have been killed in five straight days of clashes in Tahrir Square.
Well, dramatic claims and counter-claims threatening to unravel Iraq's fragile unity government just days after the last U.S. troops pulled out of the country. Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi is accusing the Shia- led government of slander and political assassination. He's denying charges that he ran a hit squad targeting government and military officials. Well, the government issued an arrest warrant for al-Hashemi today. He's now in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region.
Piers Morgan has told an inquiry in the U.K. that he doesn't believe that phone hacking took place while he was the editor of a British tabloid. Morgan now heads a CNN talk show and appeared via video link from the United States.
The former "Daily Mirror" editor was repeatedly questioned over a voice-mail left by Paul McCartney for his then wife, Heather Mills.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At one stage, I was played a tape of a message Paul had left for Heather on her mobile phone.
Can you remember the circumstances, Mr. Morgan?
PIERS MORGAN, HOST, "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT": Well, I can't discuss where I was played that tape or who played it, because to do so would be to compromise a source and I can't do that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I'm sure about that Mr. Morgan. You can -- you can discuss in general terms where it was, can't you?
MORGAN: Actually, no, I can't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a tape of a voice-mail message, wasn't it?
MORGAN: Well, I'm going to discuss where I heard it or who played it to me for the reasons I've discussed. I don't think it's right. And, in fact, the inquiry has already stated to me you don't expect me to identify sources.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, but I -- I -- I think we do expect you to identify what -- what is obvious to anyone reading it, is that you listened to a tape of a voice-mail message, is that correct?
MORGAN: I listened to a tape of a message, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But it was a voice-mail message, wasn't it?
MORGAN: I believed it was, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Piers Morgan speaking to the Everson inquiry in London via video link earlier today.
Coming up on CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN, the Football Association acts after a top Premier League star was accused of racial abuse. We're going to bring you the results of what has been a hotly anticipated ruling after this short break.
Then filmmaker Shane Smith is a bit of an outsider, but he managed to get an inside look at the world's most closed country -- a view of North Korea like you've never seen it before, up next.
ANDERSON: Pictures of the morning.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here live from London.
I'm Becky Anderson, talking to my colleague, Alex Thomas, whom you're going to hear from shortly.
Liverpool player Luis Suarez has been given an eight match ban after an independent commission found him guilty of racially abusing another player. Well, the striker was charged by England's football association after a complaint from Manchester United's Patrice Evra in October.
"WORLD SPORT'S" Alex Thomas is, indeed, here with me in the studio -- what more do we know about this?
ALEX THOMAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's taken a long time to come to a decision. This was relating to a match between Liverpool and Manchester United back in October. And now it's finally been established by this independent commission set up by England's FA, the governing body for football in this country that Suarez not only used an insulting word toward the United defender, Evra, but also that that word was a reference to the color of Evra's skin. So it's racial abuse. He's been handed an eight match ban, which is sizeable, and a 40,000 pound fine, which is something like $62 million US. And it comes together...
ANDERSON: Thousand. Thousand, not million.
THOMAS: Sorry, $62,000...
ANDERSON: Sixty-two thousand.
THOMAS: -- $60 million would be an extraordinary fine.
THOMAS: But it comes at a time when the Crown Prosecution Service -- those are the legal authorities here in the U.K. -- are also considering the evidence about alleged racist abuse that Chelsea and England defender, John Terry, may or may not have aimed at Queens Park Rangers defender, Anton Ferdinand. That incident also happened back in October.
CNN is planning a special program about the problem of racism in football.
And on of those people we've been speaking to is former England striker, Les Ferdinand.
And he says in the wake of all these incidents -- and here we are a few months on, with only now announcements being made, why is it taking authorities so long?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LES FERDINAND, FORMER PREMIER LEAGUE PLAYER: You know, we're -- we're having this discussion because of the incident that happened with John terry and Luis Suarez. And what I'm saying is the people in the 40 that can -- have the -- the means to deal with these situations are not dealing with them quick enough.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: It's quite remarkable, isn't it?
I mean it's just -- it's just crazy, you know, all of this.
THOMAS: Yes. We've had some reaction from...
THOMAS: -- from Liverpool Football Club.
THOMAS: They've backed Suarez all along, saying he's not a racist. And this is part of a statement they've released this evening, Becky. They say: "We find it extraordinary that Luis can be found guilty on the word of Patrice Evra alone, when no one else on the field of play, including Evra's own Manchester United teammates and all the match officials heard the alleged conversation between the two players. It is our strong held belief, having gone over the facts of the case, that Luis Suarez did not commit any racist act."
The eight match ban and the 40,000 fine have been suspended pending a possible appeal by Suarez. Liverpool say they're going to study the written detail of the -- of the verdict before deciding on that deal.
ANDERSON: All right. Remarkable stuff. All right.
THOMAS: More on "WORLD SPORT" in an hour.
ANDERSON: Absolutely. And that is an hour from now, half an hour of our show and "BACK STORY" for half an hour, then, of course, Alex is back.
Thank you very much, indeed.
Alex Thomas for you tonight.
Still to come here on CONNECT THE WORLD, a banquet fit for a king with, well, it seems, only one guest. What one journalist experienced inside North Korea. That is straight ahead.
Then a pledge of unity from the newly sworn in leader of the Democratic Republic of Congo. We're going to show you why Joseph Kabila still faces plenty of opposition.
Plus, a happy young boy, but that wasn't always the case. CNN's Freedom Project brings you the story of Miguel. He was so traumatized by what happened to him in Haiti that he couldn't speak.
That's all coming up here on CNN. stay with us.
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN. Let's get you a check of the headlines this hour.
North Korea's heir apparent paid respects to his father today, visiting his glass coffin on display in Pyongyang. It was Kim Jong-un's first public appearance since state media declared him the Great Successor.
Philippines president has declared a national calamity in the wake of a destructive tropical storm. Residents on the southern island of Mindanao are struggling to bury scores of decomposing bodies and dig out flash flooding.
New protests and bloodshed in Syria. Activist groups say at least 78 people have been killed in four provinces today alone. It follows Monday's reported killings of more than 100 people, including dozens of army defectors who were trying to flee their posts.
Iraq's Sunni vice president, Tariq al-Hashimi is defiantly denying government accusations that he was behind a string of terror attacks. The government has issued a warrant for his arrest.
Those are your headlines this hour.
Now, every image that we get out of North Korea is a rare glimpse inside a country that few of us will ever get to experience, at least until now, that is. But for those who live there, the outside world, well, it's just as mysterious, as Anna Coren now reports.
ANNA CORREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 150,000 North Koreans crowd into the world's largest stadium for the spectacular Mass Games. Is it propaganda, or a genuine display of devotion? Either way, this annual event honors the Dear Leader, Kim Jong-il, and his father, founder Kim Il-sung.
This level of dedication was illustrated again on the streets of the capital, Pyongyang, this time as they mourned their leader's death.
BRIAN MYERS, EXPERT ON NORTH KOREAN IDEOLOGY AND PROPAGANDA: Everything in the North Korean media is really staged. Even the most innocuous photographs are staged. So, I have no doubt that the people we see crying in these videos have been carefully selected and prepped on how to behave.
But having said that, I really don't think that we should assume that the average North Korean is not really sad about Kim Jong-il's passing.
COREN: Kim Jong-il demanded unwavering loyalty from his nation of 24 million people. Propaganda, isolation, and force were his tools to achieve it.
His presence is felt everywhere in North Korea. On television, viewers are bombarded with images of the Kim family, and in every home, office, and on each lapel, there's a portrait of their Dear Leader.
LISA LING, CO-AUTHOR, "SOMEWHERE INSIDE": When I was staying there, every sing book on my bookshelf in the guest house was written by the Dear Leader or the Great Leader. And when you're born indoctrinated into believing that this is the only way of life, it's hard to even -- even be curious about what the rest of the world is like.
COREN: In school, they are continually fed a diet of nationalism and told they will be looked after by the state. The reality, however, is far bleaker.
This 23-year-old defected from North Korea five years ago. She said conditions were dire and food was scarce. And for many, starvation became a part of life.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): You can see dead people everywhere in the street. There were also people laying on the street due to hunger. But nobody cared.
COREN: For those who dare to criticize the system, punishment is harsh. Human rights groups say the regime runs a network of prisons and forced labor camps. Public executions are common.
But complete control of the state is starting to crack. Access to smuggled DVDs and a limited cell phone network have exposed North Koreans to more of the outside world.
And while there is a growing awareness of what lies beyond their borders, it's highly unlikely North Koreans will rise up against the regime. Analysts believe the Arab Spring that spread across the world won't be taking hold of this reclusive, controlled state anytime soon.
Anna Coren, CNN, Seoul.
ANDERSON: To give you a sense of just how controlled life is in North Korea, I want to introduce you to a filmmaker by the name of Shane Smith. Back in 2008, after months of negotiations, he was finally allowed to go where few foreign journalists have been before. What he witnessed inside North Korea has to be seen to be believed. Have a look at this.
SHANE SMITH, FOUNDER, VICE MEDIA: We wanted to get into North Korea because it's the Holy Grail of -- journalistic documentary filmmaking. It's like going back in a time machine. It's like going back to 30s Stalinist Russia or 50s Maoist China.
It's literally a time machine, and you go back, and every advertisement, every TV show, every magazine is just Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung. The picture of them is in every room that you go into, and you're like, wow, this is literally like going back to a sort of Orwellian time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: First sight of Pyongyang. Pretty dismal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: So, the first time we arrived in Pyongyang, we are taken to a hotel, and there's a lot of interesting things about the hotel. We -- first of all, it's on an island, so you can't get off of it. When we first arrive, it's about a 40-story-high hotel, but only one line of lights in the hotel. So, they're only using one floor because they don't let anyone into North Korea.
So, we get there, we arrive, and we had heard that all of these rooms are bugged, and so we got into our room and we checked out if they were bugged or not. It was just like sort of feedback coming from all the different things. There was a radio from the 50s that had continual feedback. So, if they were bugged, they were very inexpertly bugged.
And then, we went -- the first time we went down to go eat, obviously, North Korea's been getting a lot of bad press about having no food, and they realize that, so we went down to the banquet hall and I came in and they put out all this food, and there was food for 50 or 100 people.
And all of these ladies were putting out the food very meticulously, and I was waiting for the banquet to happen, and they brought me out this food, which was food in name only. It was just kind of like fried matter.
And so, I was sort of eating my food or not eating it, and I was waiting for the banquet to happen, and then, the banquet never happened. And then, they slowly and meticulously put all the food away again and then took it back into the back room.
So, the whole thing was just a show. It was just a show to show that, oh, there's plenty of food. You want food? We've got tons of food. And meanwhile, it does the opposite of that, because you're sitting there going, oh, I've come to crazy town.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: Where is everyone? It's not very busy here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: Well, they don't let you speak to a lot of people. When you first arrive, they give you a secret police person to shadow you, they give you a guide, a guard, and a translator. So, those are the only people you're really allowed to talk to. I did get to talk to some people. There was a tea girl that I met on the road.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: How are you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ginseng tea?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like a coffee?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Coffee?
SMITH: Coffee? No. This is tea?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: They only let people in around the Arirang Games, which are the mass gymnastics that are quite famous. So, it's -- that's once every eight months.
So, she hadn't seen anyone for eight months, so when I arrived, and I'm the only person, she kind of went crazy because she hadn't seen anyone in a long time. So, we played pool, we played ping pong, and had some fun.
Everyone you meet or see has been vetted by the government. No one's allowed to talk to you who's just a regular person. So she'd -- even she'd been vetted by the government.
But what was interesting to see about her is that she was so -- just excited to see somebody, to see anybody, because she'd been in this sort of empty tea room for eight months. And that's why it was so exciting to see that, because it was a real reaction.
But most of the time, it's just people who are not allowed to talk to you, or if they do talk to you, it's a script.
ANDERSON: Shane Smith with a slice of life that we very rarely get a chance to see, with me, Becky Anderson, here on CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. When we return, she's known for her glamor and her screen presence. Well now, Thandie Newton wants to be a force for change offscreen. She tells me why, up next.
ANDERSON: One of Africa's largest countries wracked by the aftermath of a disputed election. Today, the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo took the oath of office, promising stability and unity going forward.
Well, the US State Department called the election process that brought Joseph Kabila back to power seriously flawed. CNN's David McKenzie takes a closer look at what is a volatile situation.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The incumbent, Joseph Kabila, has been sworn in for a second term as president of the Democratic Republic of Congo after a highly controversial process.
The inauguration happened in Kinshasa, and it seems the only head of state to attend was President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, hinting, perhaps, at the unease that many countries feel about this electoral process.
The Carter Center and other groups have slammed last month's election as highly irregular, pointing to evidence of ballot-stuffing and missing ballots. And though Kabila has been sworn in as president, the main opposition leader, Etienne Tshisekedi, refuses to give up. He says that he is the president-elect of the country and will hold his own inauguration in a couple of days.
With reports of tanks on the streets of Kinshasa, this dangerous political standoff is worrying many who've watched the DRC, a country which has been wracked by years of conflict and never quite met its vast economic potential.
David McKenzie, CNN, Nairobi, Kenya.
ANDERSON: Well, she is a Hollywood star, a West End actress, and, well, Oprah is her mentor, she tells us. Now, though, Thandie Newton is also an activist crusading on behalf of Congolese women.
First, you're going to know her from a BAFTA award-winning performance in the much-applauded film "Crash." Remember this?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THANDIE NEWTON AS CHRISTINE THAYER, "CRASH": I heard it wasn't. You weren't afraid that all your good friends at the studio were going to read about you in the morning and realize that, you know what, he's actually black!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, Thandie Newton the activist is supporting V-Day's City of Joy, a transformational community for survivors of sexual violence. When she sat down with me in London earlier today, Newton talked about the power of grassroots organizing when she visited Congolese women earlier this year.
(WOMEN SINGING CONGOLESE SONG)
NEWTON: The reason I went was a very sort of optimistic, positive reason, because V-Day, the organization who started a refuge for women there -- and it's not really a refuge, it's more of a sort of university campus for women who have been violated, sexually violated, sometimes to the point of near-death experiences, having been raped and tortured.
And they come to V-Day after they've been physically healed and learn their legal rights, their human rights, how to use computers. They're given psychotherapy, they can practice a trade.
It is an incredibly sophisticated center for women who have gone from having nothing, who have been alienated by their communities because of the shame of rape. And that's the thing. These are people like you and I. If I had been born in Bukavu, this is what I would be going through.
And the first set of women are going to graduate in January, and that's something like 50 women who will have gone through the schooling, and they will go back into their communities no longer needing their husbands, et cetera, because they have their own skills, they have -- they know their legal rights, their human rights. And it will change the face of communities in Congo.
ANDERSON: Rape as weapon of war and its prevalence in Congo has been cited as one of the worst examples in the world.
ANDERSON: Why do you think that is?
NEWTON: Because it's systematic. Because the people who perpetrate the crimes do so with impunity. There is very little involvement from the government and from any kind of police. The corruption is rife.
And also, just in practical terms, there are no roads in Congo. You can't get from A to B easily. So, you've got people who are living in -- in bush, and who are incredibly vulnerable because they're isolated.
And Congo's in the center, really, of -- in Central Africa. So, often civil wars from other countries spill over into Congo, where different militia and armies reboot, get their weapons back, get their finances back from Congo, and go back out.
So, it's -- the people that are living in Congo are covering these resources, so they need to be swept aside and silenced. And that's happening on a sort of epic scale.
ANDERSON: I wonder when you talk to the women that you met there, what did they say? Who do they blame?
NEWTON: Interestingly enough, it's not about blame. They just want it to end. What's happened has happened. There's nothing that can be done about that, but they want it to stop. They want to be given a voice, and they want to practice their skills.
They want to just do simple -- the simple things that we do with the security of their children not being enslaved and their husbands being killed and themselves being raped.
ANDERSON: You were there in February of 2011, an election year, of course. Today, Kabila will be sworn in in what is a disputed election by the opposition. Your sense of what happens next?
NEWTON: I think it will continue to go along as it is. The thing is, the international community have a lot to gain from Congo. The resources there are staggering. Every mobile phone, anything that buzzes or vibrates, very often, the minerals come from Congo.
There's billions and billions to be earned from the country, and when we realize that all of these gadgets, these PlayStations and iPads and iPods, there is blood dripping off these things. There are children, women, that have been raped and tortured as a result.
So, I think it's going to be very slow, what will happen in the broader picture. And that's why I've come to realize that by affecting grassroots organization, that's where we're really going to see the change.
ANDERSON: Thandie Newton, a really good cause.
You're watching CONNEC THE WORLD here on CNN, and I'm Becky Anderson. When we come back, the horrors of child trafficking. When police found this boy, he was so badly abused he couldn't speak. What happened to him and how he's doing now, coming up next. I promise you, there's an uplifting side to this story. Do stay with us.
ANDERSON: I want to take you to Haiti, now, where porous borders provide many opportunities for traffickers to buy, sell, and abduct kids. One young boy is so traumatized by what happened to him that he can barely speak. This is his story.
VLADIMIR DUTHIERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): No one knows this child's real name. They simply call him Miguel. Haitian police say they found him five months ago, badly beaten, naked, and left in a hole.
DUTHIERS (on camera): Tell me a little how Miguel was when you found him.
CARTER FOURRIEN, BRIGADE FOR THE PROTECTION OF MINORS: (Speaking French)
DUTHIERS: He says that when Miguel was found, he was in a really bad state. He had markings all over his face, and he hadn't eaten in over three days.
DUTHIERS (voice-over): These photos were taken when Miguel was found. No one knows who cut him on his eyes and left these scars on his back, but it's believed he was a victim of child traffickers, meant to be smuggled from Haiti across the border into the Dominican Republic.
Miguel himself can't say. He rarely speaks, and has trouble focusing and making eye contact.
(DUTHIERS AND MIGUEL SPEAKING FRENCH)
DUTHIERS: All he can do is repeat my words back to me. But from the scars on his face, it's clear that this child endured more than any child ever should.
YVES PROPHETE, PASTOR, ALL OF GOD'S CHILDREN ORPHANAGE: It is possible that Miguel was put in the hole, just waiting for the right time to be picked up again and to be trafficked through the border.
DUTHIERS: Pastore Yves Prophete is caring for Miguel and dozens of kids at this orphanage called All of God's Children.
PROPHETE: They say there are three reasons why kids are trafficked to the Dominican Republic. Either to be sold as slaves. In this case, a lot of these kids, they go to work in the sugar cane plantations there. Or for slave -- sex slave. Or to be sold, being transited through the Dominican Republic and sold to some other countries for their organs.
DUTHIERS: According to UNICEF, as many as 2,000 children a year are trafficked to the Dominican Republic. To see how easy it would be to traffic kids across Haiti's border, we drove four hours through the mountains from Port-au-Prince.
DUTHIERS (on camera): This is the closest border crossing to where little Miguel was found. And also, take a look at the actual border crossing to see what kind of patrol that's going on there at this time.
DUTHIERS (voice-over): There's a handful of official border-crossing points between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. At this one, there was hardly anyone around.
DUTHIERS (on camera): So, this is the actual border crossing between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Right now, currently, I'm standing in Haiti, on the Haiti side.
Boom. I'm in the Dominican Republic. From here, wide open space.
DUTHIERS (voice-over): Back in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's new president, Michel Martelly, is well aware of the problem.
MICHEL MARTELLY, PRESIDENT OF HAITI: We are unable to control our borders. We have a few stations on the border, but again, even on those stations, we are unable to control what's coming in, what's going out.
DUTHIERS (on camera): Are there steps that you're undertaking with the government of the Dominican Republic to -- on their side?
MARTELLY: We're talking with them, and we intend to work with them very closely.
DUTHIERS (voice-over): When we asked the Dominican Republic about the problem, they sent us a statement saying, quote, "The two countries are keenly aware that their shared frontier implies a joint responsibility beyond their own national security and are committed to working together.
But promises of progress have been made before, and the trafficking continues. Without control of Haiti's porous borders, we'll never really know how many other children like Miguel there have been or will be.
For now, he's safe, far from the horrors that possibly awaited him beyond the hole where he was found.
Vladimir Duthiers, CNN, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
ANDERSON: And Vladimir joins me, now, from New York. I'm just thinking back to just one shot in that report that you filed, Vladimir, when Miguel was just looking into the camera, like any other little kid, just fascinated by the camera and the cameraman. But as you say, in such a tough place in his mind. What was it like to meet him and the other kids at the orphanage?
DUTHIERS: Well, thanks for having me, Becky. It was incredible to meet a child like Miguel, because when we got to the orphanage, we actually didn't know that he was going to be there. That orphanage is basically set up to handle children who've lost their parents in the earthquake.
Miguel is a very, very unique situation, a child who was found in this hole, nobody knows how -- why he got -- why he was there, why he was put there. But they believe it was to be trafficked across the border into the Dominican Republic.
He had these lashings on his back, and you saw in the images, the scars on his face. But his eyes, I mean, when I looked into his eyes, he wasn't talking, but I could definitely sort of look into some of the horrors that he had experienced. It was very, very troubling.
ANDERSON: Just remarkable. As you said in your piece, Vladimir, the porous borders make trafficking so easy in Haiti. What else did President Martelly say to you about how he plans to tackle that?
DUTHIERS: It's a huge problem in Haiti. As you saw in the piece, the UN estimates that there are about 2,000 children that are trafficked across the border every year, but many Haitians think that there are a lot more.
And the president has what he believes is a bold plan, but what some are calling very controversial. He wants to rebuild the Haitian military, and here's what he told me about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTELLY: That's why I'm saying we need the force, we need the defense for the defense -- that is complementary to the police. The police, we have a new police. Although they are moving in the right direction, they remain a young police and they cannot do everything on their own.
We had an army here. It's been dismantled. I think it's time that we start thinking about having our guards who can control the borders, control the coast.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DUTHIERS: So, Becky, what's interesting is that the president sees this as a way to combat the problem of child trafficking, of violence against women, of the crime, the infrastructure problems that exist in Haiti.
But a lot of people are very, very nervous, very scared. The "Washington Post" said that the military in Haiti before Jean-Bertrand Aristide disbanded it in 1995 was a tool of repression and blood-curdling human rights abuses.
This is a country that, since its independence in 1804, has suffered 33 different coups, most of them hatched in military barracks. So, when people think of the military, they picture the Tonton Macoute, the dreaded secret police of --
DUTHIERS: -- the Duvalier regime. And it's very, very troubling to some people. On the other hand, people see that there is a need to have a military because the UN, which has been in Haiti, the United States stabilization force, which has been in Haiti since 2004, people are now starting to feel that they're an occupying force.
The Nepalese soldiers, if you recall, have been accused of cholera outbreak. Some Uruguayan soldiers have been accuses of raping Haitians.
So, there are some Haitians that see that there might be a need for this, but they're not really sure that President Martelly's plan is the way to go, especially when there remains so many infrastructure problems leftover from the earthquake to deal with.
ANDERSON: Lest we forget, a story that isn't necessarily hitting the headlines every day, but remains a terrifically important story to cover, Vladimir, thank you for that. And more --
DUTHIERS: Thank you for that.
ANDERSON: -- of course, as we get it from him on that story. You can learn more about the CNN Freedom Project in its entirety on our website, of course, cnn.com/freedom.
There, you can get facts about modern-day slavery, what people around the world are doing to fight it, what you can do to help. That's all at cnn.com/freedom.
I'm Becky Anderson, that's CONNECT THE WORLD this Tuesday evening out of London. Thank you for watching. The world news headlines and "BackStory" are up after this short break. Your news headlines follow this break. Stay with us.