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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

North Korea Continues Threatening Behavior; Missing Hiker Rescued; Family of Slain Corrections Officer Interviewed; Interview with California Rescue Team; KFC Going Boneless

Aired April 5, 2013 - 07:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm John Berman.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christine Romans. Breaking news this morning, North Korea asking Russia to consider removing its embassy personnel. Is it a sign it's preparing for attack? We are live in Seoul.

BERMAN: Then, a CNN exclusive. An emotional interview with the wife and daughter of Colorado's murdered prison chief.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For the rest of my days, I could be angry that someone made a mistake, but it won't bring Tom back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: How they are coping with unimaginable grief?

ROMANS: And missing for days. A teenage hiker found clinging to the side of a cliff, screaming for help. We'll talk with the heroic rescuers who lifted her to safety.

BERMAN: Plus, two-point takedown at the airport. A passenger jumps into action when a woman attacks a TSA agent. Look at that.

It is Friday, Friday, April 5th, STARTING POINT begins right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

BERMAN: And we do begin this morning with breaking news. Reuters reporting that North Korea has asked Russia to consider evacuating its embassy staff from Pyongyang. That, as CNN has confirmed that more missiles are on the move in that country. A U.S. official telling CNN that those missiles and their launch components were transferred in the last few days.

And with a range of about 2,500 miles, they could strike South Korea, Japan, and U.S. bases in Guam.

ROMANS: This comes along with escalating rhetoric from the north, which accuses the U.S. of pushing the region, quote, "to the brink." CNN's Jim Clancy is live for us in Seoul this morning. Jim, bring us up to speed. JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: All right. We're really witnessing here is North Korea's, you said it, they've been trying to tell the world that the U.S. and South Korea are pushing the peninsula to the brink of war. They continue that this morning, dutifully carried, we must say, by the Russians to announce that North Korea had asked them to evacuate their embassy.

The Russians, though, are telling us, that they are not going to make any immediate moves right now because they don't see any imminent threat. Interesting that the Russians helped North Korea to build this missile that they plan to test if it is, indeed, the intermediate range Musudan missile we've been talking about. Interesting also that Russia is one of the countries that has trade ties with North Korea right now. Back to you.

ROMANS: Jim, this is dangerous, isn't it? We come to expect bluster from the North Koreans and this kind of rhetoric. This time it is approaching the danger zone if a mistake is made in how this all plays out.

CLANCY: Absolutely. That's the risk. And the real risk is out there in the waters off the coast of the Korean peninsula, because, you know, these ships could move in very close proximity. Shots could be fired. The U.S. and the South Koreans take every step they can to try to remove that risk and remove that threat. But the North Koreans see this somewhat as an opportunity.

And that's why the U.S. is particularly concerned about some of the small incidents that might take place, not a major attack, not a major firefight, but something that could spark one. And you're absolutely right, therein lies the risk. And they're ramping it up. This announcement to the Russians, that's for propaganda purposes.

BERMAN: And they're also ratcheting it up with their capabilities, as well. Just to reiterate, the latest in to CNN, not one but two missiles now we believe moved to the coast on North Korea within range of japan, South Korea and also U.S. bases in Guam. What is the significance of this repositioning?

CLANCY: Well, whenever North Korea feels threatened. Whenever it feels ignored, whenever it feels isolated, it does something to spark a reaction in the international community. It might be a long-range missile test, as we saw late last year. It might be a nuclear test, as we saw in February. Or it could be a missile test like this one.

This upsets the entire region, the neighbors, China, Japan, South Korea, all of them become more tense as a result of this. North Korea desperately needs food aid to save the regime. And they need attention to get that. They need negotiation. And they're trying to push the world in that direction.

ROMANS: All right, Jim Clancy in Seoul for us. We know you'll keep monitoring this, and we will be all morning. We're going to be talking to former NATO ambassador Nick Burns in about 30 minutes.

The widow of Colorado prison chief Tom Clements, speaking exclusively to CNN this morning. She calls the night of his murder, "unmentionable darkness." Clements was gunned down in their home last night -- or last month rather, and now with a manhunt under way for his killer or killers. Jim Spellman has that for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM SPELLMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: With a courage and strength most of us could only hope for, Lisa Clements, widow of slain Colorado prisons chief Tom Clements, along with daughters Rachel and Sara, sat down with CNN's Anderson Cooper.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, "AC 360": What do you want people to know about your husband?

LISA CLEMENTS, WIDOW TO TOM CLEMENTS: That there's so much being said about who he was, and his career, and what he did in corrections. And certainly he had a significant impact, and he was a leader in his field. But for me, much more significant, is the integrity of the person that I know and love. And that he really, truly cared about other people.

SPELLMAN: Something she saw in Tom from an early age.

COOPER: You met when you were 19?

LISA CLEMENTS: Yes.

COOPER: At school.

LISA CLEMENTS: Yes.

COOPER: What was it about him that drew you to him?

LISA CLEMENTS: He is fun. He's kind and passionate about life. And so at a very early age, I was very -- it was very interesting to me.

SPELLMAN: Tom Clements loved the outdoors in Colorado and hiking with his daughters. As the public focuses on his career, Sara and Rachel see a different man.

SARA CLEMENTS, DAUGHTER OF TOM CLEMENTS: He was my hero. He intervened in my life so many times and just really changed my path. I just want people to know that, you know, he's my dad.

RACHEL CLEMENTS, DAUGHTER OF TOM CLEMENTS: I would like to see how he lived his life, and that that is so much more upon than how he died. That he loved his life with such passion and such compassion for other people.

SPELLMAN: In his professional life, that compassion extended to the inmates in his prison. And even though it appears that one of those very prisoners gunned him down, his wife is already searching for forgiveness.

LISA CLEMENTS: I've heard Tom in our years together so many times talk about victims with whom he's spoken who described their entire lives falling apart, their marriages falling apart, their health falling apart, because of the rage, and the lack of forgiveness toward the person who harmed their loved one or took the life of their loved one. And conversely, victims with whom we've spoken who simply said I have to let go so I can live my life. And that's what I choose.

SPELLMAN: Though it appears her husband's killer was released from prison early due to a clerical error, she vows to not let resentment or hatred dominate her life.

LISA CLEMENTS: For the rest of my days, I could be angry that someone made a mistake and didn't capture what a judge conveyed verbally. But it won't bring Tom back. And then my life is lost in that, and my ability to be a good mother to my children. So I choose not to make it a focus.

SPELLMAN: A choice to let the light chase away the darkness.

LISA CLEMENTS: In scripture they're talking about when darkness overtakes the godly, light comes bursting through. And I think that -- that scripture captures exactly what I would like people to know about Tom, that that horrific night, and, you know the sound of that doorbell, and all that happened, was just unmentionable darkness. But, I trust that people will see light coming through, that they'll see that a man lived a good life and people's lives were impacted by that.

SPELLMAN: A light that will be remembered long after his killer is forgotten.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SPELLMAN: The search for the investigation into his death continues. We have learned overnight that Colorado Springs police have arrested James Lower, one of the two men that they've been searching for. The other man Thomas Cooley is still at large. But I tell you, just inspiring to hear Tom Clements' family speaking so eloquently and so bravely so soon after his death. Christine, John?

ROMANS: He spent his career talking to victims, and seeing how not being able to forgive could destroy their lives. And he talked to his wife about that. And now that she is a victim and trying to take those lessons from his life. It's just heartbreaking, just heartbreaking to hear them. Jim Spellman, thanks.

BERMAN: Such composure. It's really unbelievable.

Eight minutes after the hour right now. New video shows the district attorney of Kaufman County, Texas, shopping for guns the day before he and his wife were found shot to death in their home. According to the store's owner Mike McLelland was not shopping for himself but for people who work for him at the D.A.'s office. They were nervous following the fatal shooting of assistant D.A. Mark Hasse back in January. Funeral services will be held today for mike and Cynthia McLelland. A public memorial took place yesterday. And gun store owner Neil Kidwell will appear tonight on "Erin Burnett Out Front" at 7:00 p.m. ROMANS: Gunfire and bloodshed inside a Jackson, Mississippi police headquarters. A homicide detective and the murder suspects he was questioning found dead following an apparent altercation. The slain detective has been identified as Eric Smith. He's a husband. He's the father of two teenage sons. It's not clear if the gun used to kill him was his own gun.

BERMAN: New this morning, a psychiatrist who treated James Holmes warned police a month before the Aurora movie theater massacre that the suspected shooter was a danger to the public. Documents released this week show that Dr. Lynn Fenton, a psychiatrist with the University of Colorado, contacted a campus officer about Holmes. An affidavit claims that Holmes had stopped seeing Dr. Fenton and was sending her threatening text messages.

A teenage hiker is recovering this morning after a dramatic rescue in Orange County, California. Missing for five days, a search team able to hear 18-year-old Kyndall Jack's frantic screams but not see her until she finally managed to get their attention by waving one of her functioning arms, the only one of her functioning arms. One of the rescuers risked his own life to save her, falling 60 feet in the process. Wow. Nick Valencia live in Los Angeles with the latest. Good morning, nick.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. It took a handful of days but authorities said given the age and how healthy the two teen hikers were, they never lost confidence that they would be found.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LT. JASON PARK, ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: Right now, everybody's celebrating for our success. And regardless of how hard they worked, how tired they are, how hungry they are, it's a tremendous victory for them.

VALENCIA: A victory for search and rescue teams and a reason to celebrate for the friends and family of the two teen hikers who had been missing since Easter. Nicholas Cendoya and Kyndall Jack called police some time Sunday to say they couldn't find their way out of the heavily wooded area in southern California's Cleveland National Forest. Their cell phone battery died before authorities could track them.

Early Wednesday Jack's father said the two orange county teens were unprepared for more than an afternoon hike.

RUSS JACK, FATHER OF MISSING HIKER: I want my daughter found and I want Nick to be found, as well. So, we're not going to give up until they're found one way or another.

VALENCIA: With more than 100 law enforcement officers and volunteers as part of the search, he was found first late Tuesday evening. He was plucked from the dense canyon brush, severely dehydrated and delirious. But his rescue gave authorities hope that Jack would also be found. Officers said she was spotted on Thursday morning, pretty close to where Cendoya was rescued. Both were expected to survive their injuries.

PARK: This is a complicated environment, and before you know it, you're lost and you don't have the resources available.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VALENCIA: Officials were thrilled about the rescue, but they also used the event as a reminder, an opportunity to remind the public what can happen to inexperienced and unprepared hikers. John?

BERMAN: Nick Valencia, thank you. You do have to be careful if you're going to go hiking in those woods.

ROMANS: They wore shorts and a t-shirt and no hiking boots. They weren't planning for a big, long hike, but it definitely turned disastrous.

BERMAN: In a few moments we'll speak with several of the people who helped rescue these hikers.

ROMANS: Chinese authorities closing down poultry markets in Shanghai, slaughtering thousands of birds because of growing concerns over H7N9, also known as bird flu. Scientists say this strain had not appeared in humans until now, and it has left six people dead in eastern China. Researchers in the U.S. working now on a vaccine.

BERMAN: So thumbs up, thumbs down, it was a pretty simple and straight forward way of doing things and just part of what made Roger Ebert famous. The legendary film critic died yesterday at 70 after a long battle with cancer. His former colleague Richard Roeper shared his memories on "AC 360."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD ROEPER, FILM CRITIC: With Roger what you saw on TV and what you read in his blog or saw his tweets, what you saw is what you got. That was Roger. He was a larger than life guy. He had a great passion for the movies. You mentioned how long he's been doing this. When I joined the show he had already been a film critic for 30 years. He had already reviewed literally 10,000 movies. And he would still get excited every time the lights went down and the curtains parted in the screening room. He was always rooting for a more very to be good. But if it wasn't good, you'd know about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Richard Roeper said working with Roger Ebert was like winning the lottery every day. Such a contribution.

ROMANS: A national treasurer.

BERMAN: An off duty California police officer being hailed as a hero after a TSA agent was attacked at the airport in Honolulu. Justin Rogers jumped a barrier and slammed the assailant. Rogers trying to downplay all the hero talk now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CPL. JUSTIN ROGERS, TOOK DOWN SUSPECT ASSAULTING TSA AGENT: Police officer or not, the woman was being assaulted. She was defenseless, had her arms up trying to defend herself, and somebody really need to help her, and luckily I was close enough to be able to help her out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: The TSA released this statement saying his actions coupled with the quick response by airport security ensured that the integrity much the airport's sterile area was maintained, minimizing disruptions to the traveling public. My statement would have been, nice tackle, but --

(LAUGHTER)

ROMANS: All right, the state of the economy, the state of your jobs. The focus of Wall Street today, March jobs report, probably the most important piece of economic news in the world is out in a little less than an hour and a half. We're expecting, I don't know, could we be disappointed? There was 190,000 jobs that analysts forecast, not as good as the 236,000 gain in February. So don't expect the unemployment rate to fall. And 7.7 percent is where economists think it is stuck. Looking for some better news? The unemployment rate has been improving since it hit 10 percent in 2009. We'll bring you it all live at 8:30 eastern.

BERMAN: Stay with us. It's like a Christine Romans Super Bowl.

So breaking news into CNN right now. One of the two white supremacists sought for questioning in the murder of Colorado prison chief Tom Clements has been caught. James Lohr was pulled over by Colorado Springs police and arrested early this morning after a short chase. He is now in custody of the El Paso county police. Both Lohr and Thomas Goulee had recent contact with Evan Ebel after he got out of jail. Goulee is still being sought.

ROMANS: Ahead on STARTING POINT, more on that amazing story of the two missing teen hikers. Eight of the rescuers who scoured a California canyon for days to bring them to safety they're going to join us with their story.

BERMAN: Then the Olympic winter games less than a year away. We're going to talk with not one, not two, not three, not four, but five Olympic hopefuls, bottom of the hour. Stay with us for that. You're watching STARTING POINT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone. We have more on the rescue of two hikers who went missing Easter Sunday just southeast of Los Angeles. 18-year-old Kyndall Jack was airlifted to safety yesterday and her hiking partner 19-year-old Nicholas Cendoya was found rescued on Wednesday.

ROMANS: We're joined by members of the remarkable team that located and rescued Kyndall. Starting bottom left, Mike Leum, reserve chief with the L.A. County sheriff's department. Deputy Jim Moss, the paramedic who pulled Kyndall to safety. We've got the helicopter pilot Mark Burnett (ph), and reserve search and rescue deputies Doug Kremlin (ph) and Fred Wentle (ph).

Guys, thank you so much. This was a pretty frantic search for these teens. They found the young man still were looking for the young woman. Mike Liam tell me what how did this go down, how do you find her?

MIKE LEUM, RESERVE CHIEF, L.A. COUNTY SHERRIFF DEPARTMENT: Well the command post gave us a mission in an area that was a high probability. And they lowered in Deputy Jim Moss next to me from Air Rescue Five, and he verified that there was a woman's voice being heard. So we were inserted where he was, and then we followed the sounds of her voice and climbed up a canyon, and eventually were able to have voice contact with her and then visual contact, and then we called in Air Five and they performed the rescue.

BERMAN: We're looking at footage of that just incredible rescue. Jim you were the paramedic on the scene when they found Kyndall. This is after four days. She had been out there since Easter. What kind of condition was she in?

JIM MOSS, PARAMEDIC, L.A. COUNTY SHERRIFF DEPARTMENT: She wasn't looking very well. She was obviously really dirty, had been out in the elements for four or five days. Was extremely dehydrated. Just was not -- she was in a lot of pain. Just really not -- not looking very well. As you can imagine.

ROMANS: You know, Fred, you actually on foot reached her while the paramedics were assessing and treating her. Did she -- was she conscious? Was she in and out -- she must have been elated she had been discovered after all that time.

FRED WENTLE, RESERVE SEARCH AND RESCUE DEPUTY: She was in and out of consciousness. She was very confused. She was up on a little ledge about 2x3 foot in the fetal position and just wanted to go home.

ROMANS: A 2x3 foot ledge. Mark Burnett you were the lead helicopter pilot. You're trying to bring a basket over there to get her. What was the terrain like? A 2x3 foot ledge? How does she get to such a perilous spot?

MARK BURNETT, LEAD HELICOPTER PILOT, CALIFORNIA RESCUE: Well, I don't know how she got there. But, that area was steep. And the footing was very poor. It's lucky she did find a flat spot to get to. From my standpoint as one of the pilots on the aircraft, it's a teamwork effort. We can't do what we do up front without the eyes and expertise going on, on the ground and in the aircraft as a whole. So, it's a matter of holding position by some references that were given to verbal cues, and we maintain that until the rescuer and the victim can be brought aboard the aircraft.

BERMAN: Good news is they are both safe right now. I think we'll be a little more careful next time they go hiking in the wilderness. Also joining us, Scott Osborn, Rick Hernandez and John Grisold. Thanks to all of you guys, and congratulations on a fantastic rescue.

Twenty minutes after the hour right now. Ahead on STARTING POINT, KFC considering a big change to its menu. How would Colonel Sanders feel? That's the question and that's next after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Welcome back this Friday morning. Minding your business: a big headline coming out of the business world. The March report, jobs report due out at 8:30 eastern. Wall Street is not expecting it to be as good as February. We're expecting 192,000 jobs created in March. That would be a slowdown in hiring from the 236,000 net new jobs we saw in February.

And we've got Dow futures down about 70 points this morning. Wall Street sort of bracing itself that maybe the hiring picture not as robust in March as it was in February. One reason could be the sequester. We'll be looking to see if that bites into these numbers. You had also very cold weather. Maybe cold weather held back construction hiring. So we'll be watching that for you. We'll have that in about an hour.

Facebook has unveiled its new product and it's not a phone like most people expected. Instead it's called Facebook Home. And it's a family of apps that pushes Facebook content front and center on your Android phone. So instead of having to download Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Facebook Camera it's all right there in a Facebook Home. It's going to be available next week.

And big changes to tell you about at KFC. "USA Today" says the fast food chain is announcing today that it's going boneless. This affects its original recipe chicken. This is KFC's core product. The restaurant has been losing market share to rivals like Panera and Chipotle. So, KFC is throwing its weight behind next week's rollout with a major marketing blitz. Commercials will feature a customer staring at his plate in a panic looking for bones. The new slogan, "I ate the bones." One analyst said the idea of a family getting a bucket of chicken from KFC is very 1950's.

BERMAN: They're hoping this will be a "where's the beef?" slogan.

ROMANS: I ate the bones.

BERMAN: I ate the bones.

ROMANS: The risk is from a marketing perspective having any customer looking at a plate of your food in a panic. You know. It's supposed to be a happy, satisfying experience.

BERMAN: I ate the bones is rarely a good thing.

ROMANS: I ate the bones. We'll see. It's trying to bring it up to date from the 50's.

BERMAN: Twenty five minutes after the hour. Ahead on STARTING POINT her husband gunned down in his car. Now a sheriff's widow is stepping into his shoes. We're going to have a live report from Williamson, West Virginia. Coming up next.

ROMANS: Then we'll be joined by five Olympic skiers and snowboarders getting ready for the winter games in Sochi.

BERMAN: And she's going to regret this in a few years. A little girl rebuffs a kiss from Prince William. Oh, my goodness that has never happened to him before I virtually guarantee him. STARTING POINT back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Welcome back to STARTING POINT, I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. Just days after her husband was shot and killed Rosie Crum takes over as Mingo county West Virginia's new sheriff. She choked up after she was sworn in just blocks from where her husband was murdered.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So help me God.

ROSIE CRUM, SHERIFF, MINGO COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA: So help me God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations, sheriff.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Her husband, Eugene Crum, was shot twice and killed Wednesday as he sat in his cruiser in a parking lot. The man suspected of killing him, 37-year-old Tennis Melvin Maynard was wounded in a shootout with a sheriff's deputy and is in the hospital.

Susan Candiotti is in Williamson, West Virginia for us with the latest.