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CONNECT THE WORLD
North Korea Tests Nuclear Device; Christopher Dorner Sighted In Big Bear Region
Aired February 12, 2013 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FIONNUALA SWEENEY, HOST: And tonight on Connect the World, global condemnation and a warning from Washington.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They represent a serious threat to the United States of America.
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SWEENEY: North Korea's leader flexes his military might, carrying out a nuclear test deep underground. So, just what is his country capable of doing?
MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And I'm Max Foster in Rome. Just a day after the pope shocked the world with his resignation we hear from his brother. He tells CNN where he believes the successor will come from.
And Britain's royal family hits out as an Italian magazine prepares to reveal Kate's baby bump to the world.
SWEENEY: A serious threat, a reckless act, a grave violation: strong words of condemnation are flooding in after North Korea announced it has carried out its third nuclear test. It is impossible to independently verify North Korea's claim that the underground test did, indeed, take place. However, a seismologist detectors a significant disturbance in the area you see on this map.
Pyongyang clearly stated why it had carried out the test.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We successfully conducted the third underground nuclear test at a northern underground nuclear test site on February 12, 2013. This nuclear test as a realistic response to protecting the safety and sovereignty of our country against the intrusion against the United States atrocious, hostile activity, opposing our country's right to launch a legitimate peaceful satellite.
Unlike last time, this...
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SWEENEY: Well, the United States has condemned the test as, quote, "provocative." And says it was timed on purpose to coincide with President Obama's State of the Union speech happening in around five hours.
The U.S. president is now expected to refer to the test. Take a listen to what outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had to say.
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LEON PANETTA, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: We're going to have to continue to deal with rogue states like Iran and North Korea. We just saw what North Korea has done in these last few weeks: a missile test and now a nuclear test. They represent a serious threat to the United States of America. We've got to be prepared to deal with that.
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SWEENEY: Earlier on Tuesday, South Korea said the test presented an unforgivable threat to the peninsula's peace and safety. Japan also joined in the chorus of condemnation.
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CHUN YOUNG WOO, ADVISER TO SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT (through translator): This is not only an unforgivable threat to Korean peninsula's peace and safety, but also a direct challenge to international society. North Korea should be responsible for all the serious consequences bought by such action.
SHINZO ABE, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER (through translator): It is extremely regrettable that it is the repeated resolutions of the UN security council. We strongly protest it.
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SWEENEY: Well, North Korea hasn't only ignored all the warnings from its enemies, it has defied its main ally China. Senior international correspondent Matthew Chance is covering that angle from Beijing. Matthew, it's often said that the road to Pyongyang as far as the international community is concerned is through Beijing.
What is China saying?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, obviously that's been shown to be not entirely the case. Obviously, China had put some pressure on Pyongyang not to go ahead with the nuclear tests and it went ahead and did it anyway.
China, as you can expect, absolutely furious about that. The country's foreign ministry has summoned the North Korean ambassador here in Beijing for what they call solemn discussions about the issue during which China expressed its strong dissatisfaction with the nuclear tests. Earlier, the Chinese in a statement said that they were calling on North Korea to not go ahead and do any further measures, any further actions that would make the situation even worse.
They've used this kind of strong language in the past that particularly regarding North Korea when it exploded its other two nuclear tests back in 2006 and 2009, but this time you really do get the sense, Fionnuala, that China is really losing its patience.
CHANCE: North Korea has few allies like Beijing. And in China, timing is important. Imagine the offense, then, to hear that Pyongyang conducted its nuclear test amid celebrations of the lunar new year on an important Chinese public holiday -- the added insult to injury.
On Chinese state television, a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was read out. China resolutely opposes North Korea's nuclear test, it said, the third since 2006.
"We strongly urge Pyongyang to abide by their promise to denuclearize and to take no further action to worsen the situation."
China has used language like this in the past to little effect, but could it be different this time?
This latest North Korean nuclear test is a real slap in the face for China, the north's biggest source of aid and diplomatic backing. Apart from the timing, Beijing had been lobbying hard for its Pyongyang allies to hold back from the nuclear brink. Chinese state media had spoken of Pyongyang paying a heavy price if a test was carried out.
One columnist called restraining North Korea a grave test of Chinese diplomacy, a test it now appears to have failed.
North Korea's nuclear test and its rocket launch last year sent shockwaves around the world, raising concerns of an unpredictable nuclear state, even a regional arms race as countries like South Korea and Japan rush to bolster their forces.
There's talk of more sanctions at the UN, tightening the noose around the regime in Pyongyang and it's already impoverished people. But economic measures have so far failed to alter North Korea's course. If that's to change, analysts say China will need to be on board. North Korea's giant neighbor may have limited influence on the regime in Pyongyang, but there may be no solution without it.
CHANCE: The question now is will China support the kind of tight sanctions that are being called for by the United States and others in the international community concerned about this increasingly controversial North Korean nuclear program. Back to you.
SWEENEY: All right. Thanks very much indeed. Matthew Chance reporting live from Beijing.
Now what is really important is to distinguish what exactly North Korea is capable of. First, we know they can carry out a nuclear test. Today's wasn't the first. Nuclear tests were carried out in 2006 and 2009, both condemned by the UN. Rocket launches are also possible. After inviting the world to witness a humiliating failure in April last year, Pyongyang saved face with a successful launch in December.
But here is the catch, the two capabilities have yet to come together. Analysts say North Korea doesn't have the technology needed to mount a nuclear warhead on a missile or to target a missile effectively. So the key question now, how close is North Korea to bringing those technologies today and what is the danger?
I'm joined by international security analyst Jim Walsh. He's one of a handful of Americans who has traveled to both Iran and North Korea for talks on nuclear issues. And Jim joins me live from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he is a research associate.
Thank you very much indeed for joining us.
My first question is, how close are these two technologies come together as a result of transpired?
JIM WALSH, MIT: Well, I think not surprisingly the discussion in the United States is how long is it before a missile could reach the United States. That is probably some years away. The last head of the U.S. defense department would be at least five years away. And so today's event is not a gamechanger, but it's another step in a road where they are slowly getting better at both -- presumably at both learning about how to build a nuclear weapon, and a miniaturized nuclear weapon, and how to launch rockets.
But that rocket better be 100 percent reliable. You better have a lot of faith in it before you put a nuclear warhead on top of it, because what comes up does come down. You don't want it to hit on your own territory.
So we're going down a path that is not a good path, but they're not there yet as far as the U.S. is concerned.
SWEENEY: All right. So this has certain similarities with what we hear about Iran. But let me ask you, do you really think North Korea, even if it brings these technologies together, is actually going to dare a strike at the United States?
WALSH: No, no. I don't think so. They're -- you look at history, there are very few suicidal countries in the world that purposefully pull a trigger knowing that they're going to be wiped out. I think it's quite the opposite. The Kim family wants to stay in power. That's their number one priority is staying in power. But they think they'll get leverage by being able to make threats or to build up their nuclear program.
There are also domestic issues here. It's not just a foreign policy issue. I mean, here's a young leader who is trying to consolidate his position. The nuclear test has some status. He can claim a successful rocket test, a nuclear test. Look how advanced we are. Look -- South Korea may have a pretty good economy, but they can't launch -- you know they can't test nuclear weapons. So I think it's part of a domestic process where he pleases the military and also consolidates his own position.
SWEENEY: OK. So what does ultimately the Kim family wants in terms of what we're seeing transpire with this latest nuclear test?
WALSH: You know, that's the magic question. If you knew the answer to that for sure then you'd be able to come up with a policy, hopefully, that could help steer this towards a positive ending.
But North Korea is the most opaque country in the world. You know, the Chinese and the South Koreans don't even understand North Korea that well. Their analysts get it wrong. So I think we really don't know.
You know, people can make guesses about what happens in Washington or London or in Tokyo, but this is a different country where there is very little information.
What I do know is this, is that the current policy isn't working. We're caught in a cycle of provocation -- sanction, provocation, sanction. And if that continues to go on there are dangers, not just nuclear dangers, but dangers of accidental war in that region which would be, you know, horrible.
SWEENEY: A final quick question, you mentioned China. There are obviously very disappointed from what we've heard from our correspondent Matthew Chance. What do you think they might wish to do now or is that asking too much of you to look into your crystal ball?
WALSH: You know, I just think they're caught between a rock and a hard place. They get a lot of criticism in the U.S. But listen, China has North Korea on its border. It's on its border. So if they crush, you know crippling sanctions to North Korea, then they've got a mess right on their border.
On the other hand, North Korea is causing all sorts of headaches. You know, these tests cause problems in Japan, in South Korea. It makes everyone angry at China. It makes China look weak. So they're dealing with two very different types of bad things. And frankly there aren't easy answers here.
Even if they were to punish them, at the end of the day you need a China to sort of help guide them out of this mess, right, they have to trust the Chinese that someone has their back. So this is a difficult, complicated problem. And it's not going to get any better any time soon. I think the test will lead to sanctions, which will lead to a lot of posturing and not much dialogue.
SWEENEY: All right, sounds quite familiar. We'll leave it there. Jim Walsh, thank you very much indeed for joining us from MIT in Boston -- in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Still to come tonight, a dream cruise turns into a nightmare with more than 4,000 people stranded at sea. We'll bring you a live report from Mexico.
But up next, Max Foster is live from Rome and he's looking at what's next after the pope's resignation, Max.
FOSTER: ...past few years, the man that probably knows the pope the very best. Benedict XVI's brother speaks to CNN about the announcement that stunned the world.
FOSTER: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Max Foster live from Rome.
Now still so many unanswered questions about the future direction and leadership of the Roman Catholic church, but we are learning a bit more today about the pope's condition and also the circumstances around his resignation. The Vatican did confirm today that Benedict XVI did have a recent heart operation and wears a pacemaker, but it says that had no bearing on the decision.
The pope announced on Monday that advanced age is actually preventing him from carrying out his duties. And the Vatican says he will have no role in choosing a successor.
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FEDERICO LOMBARDI, VATICAN SPOKESMAN: The pope is a very discrete person. Benedict XVI will surely say absolutely nothing about the process of the election. He will be retired, tough to say, and not intervene in any way in the process. In the sense, you can be totally sure that the cardinals will be autonomous in their decision.
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FOSTER: Well, the announcement certainly was a shock, but the Vatican revealed today that the pope had been considering it for nearly a year. One of the few people that would have been kept in the loop is the pope's brother. And our own Isa Suarez sat down with Georg Ratzinger today.
ISA SUAREZ, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Regencburg was for many years the home of Pope Benedict XVI. Today, it's the home of his elder brother Georg Ratzinger. Monsignor Ratzinger says he would have liked to have seen his brother stay on longer as pope had he the energy to do so. Nevertheless, he says he is content and understands his decision to step down as leader of the Roman Catholic Church.
GEORGE RATZINGER, POPE'S BROTHER (through translator): No, I'm realistic. I can see the advancement and why it brings changes. And it goes along these lines. I would say that I would have been happy had he been able to continue, but I take this realistically and soberly, that is for the best.
SUAREZ: When you spoke to your brother yesterday, how did he sound to you? Did he sound relieved?
RATZINGER (through translator): His sounded the same as by every other call. He planned the whole event and it worked out well. The news is now out in the world and now his life must continue its normal path.
SUAREZ: Speaking to a room packed with journalists, Monsignor Ratzinger told me being 89 years of age he fully understands his brother's concerns.
RATZINGER (through translator): The aging process causes difficulties only in the last few years. First, as he was 80 and then when you go past 85. When you cross these hurdles, you feel like everything becomes more difficult.
SUAREZ: Less and less Roman Catholics (inaudible) moreso in Latin America, South America and Africa. Do you think now is the time to have a pope from one of those different continents?
RATZINGER (through translator): I'm certain a pope will come from the new continents, but whether it will be now I have my doubts. In Europe, we have many very able people. And the Africans are still not so well known and maybe do not have the experience yet. I believe in later years, popes will come from different countries, different parts of the world. At the moment, I believe the post will remain with a European.
These were very moving times with great challenges for him. Important for him was the travel to different countries where he could work a lot and make friends and spread the word of the gospel. In the administration and the situation of the church, many things have changed.
SUAREZ: Isa Suarez, CNN, Regensburg, Germany.
(END VIDEOTAPE) FOSTER: Well, not everyone agrees with the pope's brother that the next pope should come from Europe. In fact, some people are saying we should now be looking at other continents.
Let's show you a few faces that could be contenders. First up, Cardinal Marc Ouellet who is from Canada. Pope Benedict chose him to head the Vatican's office for bishops, a major role within the church.
Another contender is Nigerians cardinal Francis Arinze. He's the 80 year old. He was a favorite for the role back in 2005, in fact, and is seen as a conservative on issues like birth control.
Then there is Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana. The 64 year old currently heads the pope's council for justice and peace and has experience working with young people of different faiths. And in the last hour he actually sat down and spoke to CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Do you think that it is possible that maybe it could be you?
CARDINAL PETER TURKSON OF GHANA: I mean, you know, it's possible for any bishop or any ordained minister in the Catholic Church, you know, to become a cardinal, to become a pope for that matter. And the group of cardinals who would gather in conclave, you know, would all go in there recognizing that any of them can be chosen as a pope.
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FOSTER: Well, do tune in for that full interview at the top of the hour on Amanpour.
Well, the Vatican hasn't set a date yet for cardinals to meet and choose a new pope. It may happen, though, within two to three weeks. We're trying to work it out. The expert here, though, senior Vatican analyst John Allen.
You've been doing the math on this. What do you reckon?
JOHN ALLEN, CNN VATICAN ANALYST: Well, Max, what we were told today is that the pope's master of ceremonies who was the guy who was in the charge of the official sort of ceremonial events at the Vatican has said that the rules for the conclave, that is the event in which the pope will be elected, which of course comes from two Latin words, "cum ciave" (ph) which means with the key, because they do this behind locked doors has said that the rules specify that that must begin between 15 and 20 days from the moment when the throne of Peter becomes vacant. Of course that's...
FOSTER: 28th of this month.
ALLEN: February 28 at the witching hour of 8:00 pm local Rome time, which means if you do the math that the next papal election has to begin somewhere between the 15th and the 20th of March.
FOSTER: But it's going to be before Easter, we're told.
ALLEN: Well, the Vatican has said they want to try to have this wrapped up before, not only before Easter, but before Holy Week begins which is the week leading up to Easter, which begins on March 24th. So the logic here would be, they'll want to try to begin as close to March 15th as they possibly can.
So my prediction would be the election of the next pope will begin on the Ides of March.
FOSTER: What are your thoughts on the contenders, if we can call them that, doing TV interviews?
ALLEN: Well, my first thought, Max, is that there is an old Roman saying which is that he who goes into a conclave as a pope exists as a cardinal. So the more you sort of lift yourself up and invite attention in some ways the more disastrous it is for your prospects.
But on the other hand, look, I think most cardinals are responsible guys. I mean, even though they're the only ones casting votes, they understand they're not the only ones affected by this election. There are 1.2 billion Catholics out there who feel a deep stake in the question of who the next pope is going to be. And the Catholic church, as the largest and most centrally most centrally organized religious organization on Earth affects the entire world.
And so I think they understand that the world wants to listen in to some extent on their reflections about where the church ought to go and who ought to take it there.
FOSTER: John, it's fascinating stuff. We'll be back with you later in the show as well.
Also ahead, it could well have been a scoop of the century, certainly here in Italy. We'll talk with the journalist who actually broke the news on the pope. Suffice to say, all those years of studying ancient language did pay off. But for now it's over to Fionnuala at CNN Center.
SWEENEY: Thank you very much, Max.
Now we have some developing stories coming out of the United States, namely the huge manhunt that's underway in the west coast in California for the former Los Angeles Police Officer Christopher Dorner who was fired in 2007 after a disciplinary review and seems to be taking out his revenge now several years later on members of the LAPD and their families. He's already accused in the last week of killing three people, including the daughter and her boyfriend of one of the officers involved in the review, which ultimately saw him dismissed back in 2007.
Now on Sunday, a $1 million reward was offered by the mayor of L.A. and police authorities for information. That led to something like perhaps not surprisingly more than 1,000 tipoffs. And what we're hearing now from law enforcement sources is that they believe that there are credible reports that Christopher Dorner has been sighted and may have been involved in a robbery in the Big Bear area, which is a huge mountainous area covered in snow at the moment.
And at the moment, the sheriffs are currently responding and the robbery possibly involved the stealing of a vehicle.
So quite a development here in the United States on one of the biggest police hunts for a former police officer.
Well, we'll take a short break. We'll obviously bring you the latest on that when we come back.
But also it is the return of the Champion's League from the winter break. We'll have the latest sports next.
SWEENEY: You're watching Connect the World live from CNN Center. Welcome back. I'm Fionnuala Sweeney. A quick recap of the breaking news we were telling you about just before the break which is that the former LAPD police officer Christopher Dorner has apparently been sighted.
Let's join our sister network USA to see what's happening there.
CHRIS WELCH, CNN PRODUCER: ...law enforcement vehicles going very quickly, with their sirens on, we immediately turned around, and we lost them.
So, to be quite frank with you, we don't know exactly where they are at this moment. But for the last couple of days, the last several days, we know that there has been a heavy law enforcement presence here. They have been going on searches. They have been doing air searches, ground searches.
Today, we're told that the air searches have stopped and it's been pretty much ground searches. But it has been a 24 hour operation for the last several days, Wolf. But other than that right now, what you've been reporting, that always got right now, we're working on more details. And as we get them, we'll bring them to you.
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