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Washington Issues a Warning to Pyongyang; Unorthodox Approach to Drug Addiction; First Major of Men's Golf Season Under Way

Aired April 11, 2013 - 08:00:00   ET

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


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong and welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet.

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STOUT (voice-over): Walking a dangerous line, Washington issues a warning to Pyongyang as a U.S. official says North Korea has raised a Musudan missile into firing position.

Also ahead, shooting up in safety. A look at the unorthodox approach that one Canadian city is taking to drug addiction.

And the opening major of the men's golf season gets underway. We'll be live in Augusta as the Masters tees off.

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STOUT: Now a U.S. official tells CNN that North Korea has raised at least one missile into firing position, but it is still very much a game of waiting and watching to see if and when the North will act. Now a U.S. official says it is not known why the North Korean regime did not fire the missile it raised yesterday.

Let's bring in our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr.

And Barbara, just tell us more about this latest intel on North Korea's planned missile test.

BARBARA STARR, CNN REPORTER: Well, you know, Kristie, through most of the last 24-36 hours, U.S. officials increasingly had said privately that they believed a test firing by North Korea was imminent. And now we know why they were saying that. It's because of this intelligence that they had raised one of those mobile Musudan missiles into a firing position.

They're not talking about how they know that. Most likely imagery, but they're not saying that. But it's when it's raised into that final firing position they believed the launch was imminent. But it didn't happen overnight U.S. time. It hasn't happened yet. Still a waiting and watching game and no one is really sure what the North Koreans plan next.

Will they still launch? The U.S. believes they will. But when they - - that might happen, still, that's the old cliche -- remains to be seen.

STOUT: And, Barbara, what's the thinking about why North Korea would raise the missile into firing position and not fire it?

STARR: Well, you know, there's a couple of possibilities. Maybe they were just basically testing out the equipment, seeing if it all worked. They could lower it at any time. We don't know if they've already done that. They could fire it at any time. So maybe it was to test out the equipment.

But maybe also, as one official said, and quoting him, "Maybe they're just messing with our heads." They know U.S. satellites are watching. And maybe they're just -- maybe they're just doing that and they're going to do it -- do the launch when they feel they want to do it, Kristie.

STOUT: And if and when North Korea goes ahead and test launches a missile, how will the U.S. military respond?

STARR: Well, this is very serious. The U.S. military has made clear that if the missile appears to be on a trajectory, a path that could threaten land, especially Japan or Guam, they will attempt, by all accounts, to shoot it down.

If it's on a path that looks like it's just going to splash down into the ocean, they'll probably let it go. They're not going to risk it.

They won't be happy; it'll be a provocation but they'll just let it go. If it looks like it's threatening Japan or Guam, which is within the range of this Musudan missile, then they will try to do that. And right now there are two U.S. Navy warships strategically positioned to do that just that. One is east of Japan, one further out near Guam, Kristie.

STOUT: Our contingencies are certainly in place. But North Korea is just so unpredictable.

What does the Pentagon believe Kim Jong-un is trying to accomplish? Is he looking for conflict or just a better seat at the bargaining table? What's the thinking there?

STARR: You know, a lot of people are really just -- continue to scratch their heads over this, because you can't really be sure, can you?

The perhaps most benign explanation is, indeed, what you just said: he's trying to rattle everyone's cages, get them so concerned that everybody agrees to, you know, concessions, monetary or otherwise, to get - - or aid -- to get North Korea back to the bargaining table for further negotiations.

But there is also very great concern that this has simply escalated to a very dangerous point. He may be responding to his own hard-line generals in the regime. But he may be backing himself also at the same time into a corner. He's been so full of rhetoric; now he has to do something or, in the words of one person, "he appears to be a paper tiger."

STOUT: That's right. As Chuck Hagel said overnight, it appears that North Korea is very close to a, quote, "dangerous line." Barbara Starr, joining us live from the Pentagon, thank you.

So what if North Korea's leadership were to fail? I mean, what would the U.S. do? Now as CNN's Jake Tapper tells us, the U.S. military conducted a simulated exercise and the results raise a lot of questions about whether the U.S. is prepared for such a scenario.

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JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST (voice-over): Imagine this: the North Korean regime is toppled either because the U.S. or South Korea take it out or because of a coup. And the U.S. now has to surge troops to secure the country's nuclear stockpiles to make sure they don't fall into the wrong hands. It's a frightening scenario played out recently at the U.S. Army War College, one that did not end all that well.

The military set the scene for their war game in the fictitious land of North Brownland, essentially an alias for North Korea.

PAUL MCCLEARY, DEFENSE NEWS: It was a family regime, had nuclear weapons, lost control of nuclear weapons. The population was considered to be essentially brainwashed.

TAPPER (voice-over): Paul McCleary, a writer for "Defense News," was present as the military officials debated the plans. U.S. troops, he says, had immediate problems surging into the North Korea-like country.

B-22 Ospreys zoomed U.S. soldiers deep beyond the border, but with reinforcements so far behind, they are quickly surrounded by the enemy and need to be pulled out.

American troops eventually make it over the border, but with nuclear sites located in populated areas, their mission grows more difficult. U.S. forces make humanitarian aid drops to draw people out of the cities.

MCCLEARY: They made the game as difficult as possible to really test their capabilities. They haven't really spent a lot of time or money modernizing their nuclear and chemical troops. So that's a big concern.

TAPPER (voice-over): It takes the U.S. a staggering 56 days and a huge force of 90,000 troops to secure the country's nuclear weapons, seen by many as way too long and way too many troops.

BRUCE BENNETT, SENIOR DEFENSE ANALYST, RAND CORPORATION: We're not very well prepared to deal with a collapsed North Korea.

TAPPER (voice-over): North Korea expert Bruce Bennett says his numbers for containing the regime's nuclear arsenal run much higher: 200,000 troops. That's larger than the forces in Iraq and Afghanistan at its peak.

BENNETT: We would have to send perhaps a third of our Army to South Korea in order to deal with the weapons of mass destruction.

TAPPER (voice-over): It's thought that North Korea has 100 sites linked to their nuclear and missile program, but with a black tarp shrouding intelligence on the locations, U.S. troops would likely have to fight their way through the country to find and secure them.

BENNETT: North Korea has about 1.2 million people in the military. That's a very large military for us to deal with. But they also have, according to the South Korean defense ministry, about 200,000 special forces. And those special forces would be prepared to fight you like Taliban or the Iraqi insurgents.

TAPPER: Of course the Army today was quick to remind us that the fictional North Brownland in might not be North Korea expressly but any one of any 28 countries that have weapons of mass destruction capabilities -- Jake Tapper, CNN, Washington.

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STOUT: Now despite the heightened tensions, it's pretty much business as usual on both sides of the border.

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STOUT (voice-over): The streets in Pyongyang appeared calm on Wednesday, despite a string of recent warnings from its leadership about a possible war. And as you can see in this photo, threats from the North did not deter 12,000 South Korean fans from attending a concert by the Spanish singer Julio Iglesias in Seoul on Tuesday night.

Still, though, Pyongyang continues its rhetoric with another warning today that may close the joint industrial complex at Kaesong for good.

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STOUT: And we'll have more on the tensions in the Korean Peninsula a little bit later right here on NEWS STREAM. We'll be going live to Seoul for the latest and also to the U.S. State Department. And look ahead to the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to the region on Friday.

Now you're watching NEWS STREAM. And coming up next, campaign obstacles: Pakistan's former president wants to lead his party into next month's elections. Pervez Musharraf has run into trouble.

Plus a safe place to shoot up: we go inside the only facility in North America where addicts can legally inject illegal drugs.

And fan financing: lovers of the long-canceled TV series "Veronica Mars" donate to resurrect their favorite teen detective on the big screen.

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STOUT (voice-over): Coming to live from Hong Kong, you're back watching NEWS STREAM.

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STOUT: Now the first major tournament of the golf season is swinging into action. All eyes will be on world number one Tiger Woods when he tees off less than 21/2 hours from now. He's trying to win his first green jacket since 2005.

So let's take you now to Augusta, Georgia, where Patrick Snell is taking in all the Masters action for us. He joins us now live.

And Patrick, before we get to Tiger, we have to talk about China's own 14-year-old sensation, Tianiang Guan. He is there. And I hear that he is the talk of Augusta.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, what a story, Kristie Lu, yes. He really has basically 14 years of age, the youngest Masters competitor in the history of the tournament, fantastic achievements. And I got to shake him by the hand after he'd been holding court with the world's media earlier in the week. He's very comfortable.

He's out there; he was talking to speculators, posing for photographs and then during the day he would go off and play a practice round with Tiger Woods and then back home to do his homework and work on his English, quite incredible, 14 years young; someone, though, who is almost 10 years his senior is well qualified to talk about him.

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RORY MCILROY, TWO-TIME MAJOR CHAMPION: You're playing in the Masters at 14. I mean, he can potentially play --

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MCILROY: -- I mean, I don't know, 60 Masters? I don't know.

ADAM SCOTT, WORLD 7TH: Obviously he can play very, very good golf at 14, better than most. But I just don't know how you handle the pressure and the nerves at that age.

PHIL MICKELSON, THREE-TIME CHAMPION: I grew up loving the Masters so I could never imagine at 14 playing. And, I mean, I couldn't even imagine playing in a PGA tournament, let alone the best event in the game. And to have that opportunity as a 14-year old is pretty cool.

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SNELL: Quite incredible story, Phil talking about Guan. They'll tee it off a little later with a two-time Masters champion, Ben Crenshaw. And the young Italian, Mateo Manisero, who was previously the youngest competitor in Masters history, Kristie Lu.

STOUT: I still can't believe, Tianiang Guan, only 14 years old and when I was 14, I was playing miniature golf very badly. What he's doing is incredible.

Now let's talk to Tiger Woods next, because he is the favorite. He's been in good form. But, Patrick, can he do it?

SNELL: Well, he can. I mean, he's done it four times before. But, look, he's a man under pressure, despite what he says. He's desperate for a 15th major. He hasn't won a major in almost five years. He hasn't won a coveted green jacket in almost eight year. That is a lifetime in golf if your name is Tiger Woods.

Yes, for many, you're quite right; he is the favorite going into this tournament. But you have to look at the fact that favorites in previous years here simply have not won. And traditionally during his first round of competition, Tiger simply does not do very well. He does not set the scoring books alight.

Only once since he's been playing this tournament, since 1995, has he shot sub-70. And that was in 2010, when he shot 68. So basically a lot of pressure on Woods. He's got to come out. If he can come out well, if he can start well, I believe he has a good chance of winning this tournament.

I do not subscribe to the view that Woods will be an automatic winner here. He has won three times already on the U.S. PGA tour this season. He is, for many people, rightly so, the favorite. But for me, he hasn't won it in eight years and I think that's got to be playing with his mind just a little bit, Kristie Lu.

Certainly, he hasn't won a major since 2008. Patrick Snell, joining us live from Augusta, thank you.

Now the team behind the TV series "Veronica Mars" has something to celebrate: a movie featuring the student detective is on its way, all thanks to the fans for financing the project through the crowd sourcing website Kickstarter. Maggie Lake has more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "PIRATES OF THE CARIBBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES")

JOHNNY DEPP, ACTOR, "CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW": The ship is ours!

MAGGIE LAKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It takes a pirate's haul to fund a blockbuster Hollywood feature. Some of the most expensive, the last "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Titanic," "Spider-Man 3" all had budgets exceeding a quarter of a billion dollars.

But a lesser-known film project is breaking a new kind of record.

Yes, she's back. "Veronica Mars" starring Kristen Bell was a popular TV series about a California student moonlighting as a detective.

KRISTEN BELL, ACTRESS, "VERONICA MARS": Seniors rule!

LAKE (voice-over): The show, which debuted in 2004 in the U.S., lasted three seasons, long enough to build a loyal teen fan base.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've been waiting for this for six years. And it's happening! I'm dead and this is not real life.

LAKE (voice-over): Creator Rob Thomas hoped to bring this teen noir to the big screen, but Hollywood studios turned him down.

ROB THOMAS, EXEC PRODUCER: Well, I had gone the traditional routes and just hadn't had any success doing it.

LAKE (voice-over): He then took matters into his own hands.

BELL: Any suggestions, Rob?

THOMAS: Actually, I do have a few ideas. I say we have the fans fund the movie.

BELL: If we reach our fundraising goal, we'll shoot the movie this summer.

LAKE (voice-over): Tapping Kickstarter, a popular crowd sourcing website, Thomas rallied the show's fan base and within days exceed its original goal of $2 million, one step closer to "Veronica" returning in a blaze of glory.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You guys, the "Veronica Mars" movie is actually happening.

LAKE (voice-over): It's happening, all right. And Thomas has since raised his sights.

LAKE: What are you going to do if you end up with much more than you anticipated?

THOMAS: We'll make a better movie. That's the first thing, like right now, if the Kickstarter drive ended right now, we would not have enough money to shoot it in Southern California.

LAKE (voice-over): Or, to put it another way...

THOMAS: (Inaudible) will be our car chase and nudity fund.

LAKE (voice-over): Kickstarter is also breaking new ground with this film. "Veronica Mars" has become the top funded video project to date and a sign the site is morphing for funding small indie art projects to a financing powerhouse. Investors who use Kickstarter don't get money, only something tangible -- memorabilia, an early edition of the product or invitation to opening night.

And in the case of "Veronica Mars," a chance to see their favorite character graduate to the silver screen.

"MARS": (Inaudible).

LAKE (voice-over): Maggie Lake, CNN, New York.

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STOUT: Now $5 million, all caps, holy cow. This tweet, it's from the project's executive producer; really encapsulates the level of excitement around this project. And with just one more day of donations to go, it has received the backing of 79,000 fans and pledges are being accepted from some 21 countries around the world.

As Maggie mentioned, each backer gets something in return for their donation -- $10 or more gets you a copy of the shooting script on the day of the movie's release. $1,000 got some lucky people two tickets to the red carpet movie premiere and a $10,000 donation gave one backer a speaking role in the movie.

You're watching NEWS STREAM. And coming up next, we have the latest on the tensions on the Korean Peninsula as U.S. officials say that the North now has a missile in firing position. Get live reports on how South Korea and the U.S. are likely to respond.

And a new reports shows personal computer sales have hit new lows. We'll ask what this could mean for their future.

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STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching NEWS STREAM, and these are your world headlines.

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STOUT (voice-over): A U.S. official tells CNN that North Korea placed at least one ballistic missile into firing position on Wednesday. The region is still waiting to see if and when Pyongyang will launch it. South Korea, Japan and the U.S. have all taken measures to prepare for a possible firing. Officials say it is likely to be a test.

Japanese carmakers have just issued a massive worldwide recall. Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda are recalling a total of 3.4 million vehicles for airbag defects. Honda and Toyota both reported instances of airbag malfunction with no reports of injuries. The airbags were made by a Japanese company called Takata Corp (ph). Most the vehicle models are affected from 2001 to 2003.

A lot of happy people in the gallery of Uruguay's parliament on Wednesday. Lawmakers approved a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. Now the president is expected to sign it into law. That will make Uruguay the second Latin American country to allow same-sex marriage. Argentina was the first in 2010.

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STOUT: Let's get more on our top story now. U.S. official says North Korea has raised a Musudan missile into firing position. Jim Clancy joins us live from Seoul with the very latest.

And, Jim, we are still in wait-and-see mode with this missile test launch. But what's the latest you're hearing on that?

JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, as you were describing there, Barbara Starr at the Pentagon for CNN reports one U.S. official saying that that missile was raised into an upright position as if to fire -- but it did not -- gives us an indication of two things: number one, how closely the U.S. and others are watching and, number two, how careful the North Koreans are being as they try to set up for these launches.

Remember, they sell this missile technology around the world. They don't want a mistake. These kinds of multiple launches really, in effect, advertising for one of North Korea's biggest exports. But they were firing off plenty of rhetorical missiles this day.

A group called the Committee for Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland put out a blistering statement, attacking South Korea, saying that, "It would be foolish for the U.S. and the puppet group of war fanatics to miscalculate and hope for luck. The war is a matter of time. And what remains is merciless punishment."

It went onto warn that they have their finger on the button and everyone in South Korea would be left "in a sea of fire," as they say, Kristie.

STOUT: As we're hearing this more dramatic, bellicose rhetoric from North Korea, and this Musudan missile raised into firing position, we have the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry set to arrive tomorrow there in Seoul. There is a big diplomatic push, it seems, to lower the temperature. But what is there to discuss?

CLANCY: Well, you know, it's part of a regional trip that he's making. So it's really important. He's coming first to Seoul on Friday and he's going to talking to the foreign minister and probably the president. And he -- as he does so, he'll be trying to find out from them what it is -- how they're reading this situation, how they're reading what the regime is saying.

Now we've been hearing a lot. You know, what's behind all of this? Is this because this young leader, Kim Jong-un, is under so much internal pressure? Well, one person with a lot of experience doesn't seem to be buying that internal pressure angle on all of this. I'm talking about former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Bill Richardson. Listen.

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BILL RICHARDSON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: I think he's getting the support that he needs internally. So then the question is: why are they continuing this escalation? There's no sign that at the end of the tunnel they're ready to negotiate with the United States or South Korea or Japan or China on more food or fuel.

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CLANCY: So from what he learns here, he goes on to Beijing. And, Kristie, that's really important; the Chinese have a lot of influence there. They've shown signs of frustration with Pyongyang over the way that it's been carrying on for weeks now. In fact, Kim Jong-un and North Korea has succeeded most likely in bringing the U.S. and China closer together than they've been in years, Kristie.

STOUT: Yes, very interesting dynamic there and very interesting to get that insight from Bill Richardson to Kim Jong-un, that this young, untested 30-year-old leader does indeed, according to Bill Richardson, have the support, the military and the political support, behind him.

Incidentally, one year ago today, he assumed power at the top of the Communist Party there in North Korea.

Now finally, Jim, as you are in the South Korean capital, the mood there in Seoul, what is the level of concern there about an all-out conflict taking place?

CLANCY: It remains very calm. And you know, there's a lot of ways to judge it; people out on the streets, they're being calm. Interestingly enough, the Chinese television crew was up in Pyongyang yesterday and they showed North Koreans they, too, were calm.

One example of all of this calmness might be, you know, a little bit earlier this week, Julio Iglesias came to Seoul and here in the shadow of all of these threats, you know, more than 12,000 people showed up at a concert given by Iglesias literally in the shadow of all of this rhetoric of war.

So, I mean, there you have it, people going on with their lives, refusing really to cave in to fear, Kristie.

STOUT: That's right, calm and carrying on there in Seoul, South Korea. Jim Clancy joining us live, thank you.

Now the U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says that the United States and its allies want to see North Korean rhetoric ratcheted down. He says if that doesn't happen, the U.S. is, quote, "prepared to deal with any contingency." Hagel thinks these scathing words from Pyongyang are just making matters worse.

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CHUCK HAGEL, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: With its bellicose rhetoric, with its actions - have been skating very close to a dangerous line. Their actions and their words have not helped defuse a combustible situation.

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STOUT: Now North Korea has a history of using threats and provocative acts to grab the world's attention and get what it wants. Nearly two decades ago in 1994, it threatened to turn the South Korean capital of Seoul into a sea of fire and kicked international and nuclear inspectors.

And later that year, following the death of founding leader Kim Il- sung, the North agreed to freeze its existing nuclear program in exchange for light water reactors.

And then in 2003, then-leader Kim Jung-il sparked a crisis when North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The country later went on to conduct two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009. And between those two tests in 2007, Kim agreed to shut down the country's main nuclear facility in exchange for foreign aid.

But now the third generation leader, Kim Jong-un, is in charge. And it's not clear what he wants. Now under him, North Korea conducted its third nuclear test in February and is threatening all-out war, a diversified precision nuclear strike and even to, quote, "wipe out a South Korean island." It's also resurrected the phrase "sea of fire."

Now as we mentioned earlier, the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is due in South Korea on Friday. Let's go to Elise Labott now in Washington.

And Elise, what will Secretary Kerry put forward as a way out of this crisis?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, I think he wants to talk, as Jim said, to the South Koreans, to the Chinese and Japan and see how they view the situation. But I think he's looking to try and put something in place, a diplomatic off ramp for North Korea.

They assume that North Korea, as we've been talking about for the last few days, is going to launch some kind of missile test. People have even suspected a nuclear test. But what they're hoping is North Korea doesn't launch any cross-border attacks against South Korea. You don't have a large loss of life on the South Korean side, which would cause some kind of escalation.

Then if things kind of calm down after this latest round of provocations, he's looking -- Secretary Kerry is looking for a diplomatic way forward. I've been told that sources are saying look, this is old wine in a new bottle. The U.S. has put forth maybe 30 offers over the last several years.

What does North Korea always say it wants? It wants security guarantees that the U.S. won't try and take out the regime, regime survival very important. It wants some kind of peace treaty to end finally the North Korean war that armistice has been in place all these years and also a lifting of sanctions.

Now doesn't mean all these things are available. But these are the kind of things that they would try and use to entice North Korea to stop this round of provocations and get back to the table.

STOUT: Yes. But how does U.S. plan to prevent a so-called, you know, diplomatic Groundhog Day with North Korea? Because there is this pattern of brinksmanship and saber-rattling, and then talks. And yet North Korea always remains defiant.

LABOTT: That's right. And I think one of the reasons is there's very little engagement and diplomatic initiative from the United States. This latest round, when you've seen what North Korea -- the U.S. is responding to all North Korea's moves.

So I think what U.S. official are talking about -- and if you talk to analysts, they say this practice that the U.S. has had these last several years during the Obama administration called strategic patience, waiting for North Korea to kind of say what it wants and then you can move forward is not working. The policy is stagnant.

There needs to be some creative thinking about some kind of diplomatic initiative to get North Korea back to the table. Everyone thinks that what North Korea is trying to do is be accepted as a nuclear state. Now we know that that's not going to happen. The U.S. was not going to accept North Korea as a nuclear state.

But is there something in between that the U.S. can entice the North Koreans to move forward? If you remember, when President Carter went to Pyongyang in 1994 to negotiate that agreement framework, I was told he sat around and he asked the people briefing him, "What does Kim Il-sung want? He wants my respect. And I'm going to give it to him."

So if there's some way to engage this young leader and perhaps treat him maybe with a little bit more -- kind of get him to act as a statesman, maybe they can get something going. But everyone says right now, during this latest round of provocations, talking is not possible.

What they're trying to do is set up some kind of diplomatic road map over the next couple of months, once things die down, to see what they can get going.

STOUT: So some creative thinking is definitely in order here. And in answer to the question, what is it that Kim Jong-un really wants? Elise Labott, joining us live from Washington, thank you.

Now a mistake on social media have worried some residents of a Japanese city on Wednesday. Officials in the city of Yokohama, they sent a tweet out on this account, saying that North Korea had launched a missile. Now Turner Handel (ph) at Yokohama underscore Saigai (ph) is followed by more than 40,000 people.

And the tweet, it was deleted about 20 minutes after it was sent out, after followers called in a correction and an apology were also posted. And that has subsequently been retweeted more than 3,000 times.

Now to Syria and a report by Human Rights Watch says the Syrian air force has carried out indiscriminate and sometimes deliberate strikes on civilians. The rights group says that bakeries and hospitals have been targeted in what it describes as war crimes. But a member of Syria's parliament has questioned the report's accuracy, saying forces only strike terrorist groups.

Now let's step away from the day's top stories and give you the very latest from the world weather update, severe weather in the U.S., snow, ice, even some tornadoes. Mari Ramos joins us now with that from the World Weather Center.

Mari?

MARI RAMOS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hey, Kristie, yes, lot going on in the U.S. as far as the weather's concerned. So I want to make sure we stay -- spend some time talking about this.

This is a -- kind of a -- it's kind of a one-two punch, so to speak. We, of course, have that terrible long, long winter here across the U.S. Finally temperatures warm up and here we are again back talking about snow and ice and even like you said, a tornado.

Let's talk about the snowfall in Rapid City, South Dakota. Storm total of 72 centimeters. Tuesday was its snowiest day on record. They had over 50 centimeters of snowfall in just that period of 24 hours.

That just gives you an example of how heavy the snow was across some of these areas. The very windy conditions as well, there were even blizzard warnings posted. In Madison, Wisconsin, they had winds up to 100 kph. That's pretty significant.

And then of course this tornado just outside of St. Louis in the kind of Hazelwood, very scary situation for people there. Look at the video.

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RAMOS (voice-over): Now they're saying this tornado damaged several homes. There's businesses that have damage, even a church, some larger structures that were completely destroyed by the power of the wind with this tornado.

You can see downed trees, downed power lines. At least three people injured. At last report they're still assessing the situation. This happened late last night. The sun still barely coming up right now across the Central Plains and as that happens, they'll be able to assess what happened there even better.

But this is a very large weather system. And even farther to the south, in the U.S. state of Arkansas, this one man was caught in the thick of it. Take a listen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was starting -- I just started spinning out of control for a long time. All I could do was pray and ask the Lord to, you know, not let me die.

RAMOS (voice-over): What a scary situation. Look at those vehicles. They look so mangled up. They were flipped and turned over in this, a suspected tornado as well. And look at all of the damage that has happened across those areas. And those flashes, I think there was still some thunder going on even when they took those pictures.

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RAMOS: Come back over to the weather map. So all of this happening in this battle line between this very cold air that's coming down here across the west; remember we talked about the change in weather that they had in Denver, for example, earlier this week.

And the very warm conditions still across the southeast and that battle line is going to be along this middle section right in here. That's precisely what we saw yesterday. That weather system will continue making its way toward the east. So the possibility for severe weather will also spread toward the east throughout the rest of the day today.

As you can see, the line of rain right now, no severe weather but there is still that winter storm watches and warnings across the Northern Plains. There's also a lot of travel delays. If you're traveling the U.S., you may experience some of that already through -- today there's been, what, almost 400 so far.

You can see the most impacted cities stretching all the way from Canada all the way to the Northern Plains. And I still have -- I still have a little bit of time?

Oh, I got to go. OK, well, watch out for the severe weather and all the rain stretching toward the East Coast of the U.S.

I couldn't hear the director. I don't know why, but OK. Back to you, Kristie.

STOUT: All good, Mari, always all good. Thank you very much indeed. Mari Ramos there.

Now you're watching NEWS STREAM. And still ahead, PC sales, they see a deep decline. But come on, is this really the death of the personal computer? We'll examine the state of the sector.

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STOUT: Welcome back.

Now things are looking down for the PC market -- way down. Research firm IDC says global shipments of PCs fell some 14 percent last quarter. That is nearly twice as bad as expected. And it is the biggest yearly decline IDC has seen since tracking began back in 1994.

The report says that people are spending money on tablets and smartphones instead. It also has some pretty harsh words for Microsoft in particular. The report says this: "It seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but also appears to have slowed the market."

Now it blames what it calls radical changes made to the user interface. But Microsoft isn't the only one that may be in trouble. IDC says that the industry is at a critical crossroads.

Let's bring in our regular contributor, Nick Thompson, now. He is the editor of newyorker.com. And, Nick, we see these reports all the time, that the PC is dead. But really, I'm mean, many of us still use them at work. Is the PC really going to go away?

NICHOLAS THOMPSON, NEWYORKER.COM: The PC is not really going to go away. I mean, you read some of the tech reports and it sounds like we're all going to be coming to work tomorrow and the PCs will have been swept away from our desks and melted down for scrap.

I mean, it's clearly the case that PC sales are declining and they're declining for lots of reasons, including the rise of the tablet. But PC sales will still outnumber tablet sales this year. They'll still outnumber tablet sales next year. It's the year after that, according to the IDC reports, that they'll get crushed.

But the PCs are with us. Also remember that all this data, the 14 percent decline, that's new sales and shipments. It's not the number of PCs we already have.

STOUT: OK. So just to clarify, as we see these reports, that PC sales are slumping, and we hear reports about the tablet market is booming, it doesn't necessarily means that a PC is being replaced by a tablet, does it?

THOMPSON: No, it doesn't mean that. I think in the developed world what's happening is that a lot of people are adding tablets as an extra device. So somebody who already has a PC, instead of replacing or upgrading their PC or their, you know, their desktop or their laptop, they're buying a tablet and they're having multiple devices. So they're not getting rid of their old computer.

In the developing world, there probably is more of a -- of a relationship in that people -- when you first get money, you get a phone. The second thing you probably get is a tablet. And people may be getting a phone and a tablet or getting a tablet instead of getting a PC. So that is, you know, that's another problem for the industry.

STOUT: Yes, that's an interesting point. As we saw with the rollout of mobile phones in developing countries like China, just superseding fixed-line phones altogether, it could be the same thing with tablets and PCs in some markets.

THOMPSON: (Inaudible) parallel.

STOUT: Now the latest data -- yes, the latest data on PC sales -- back to the IDC report -- it is bad news for Dell and for HP, you know, the manufacturers. But (inaudible) the value chain is being affected here?

THOMPSON: Well, it's clearly bad news for Microsoft. I mean, Microsoft has a much greater share of software sales on PCs than it does on tablets, from (inaudible) devices, you know, drastically. So that -- it's a very big deal for them. But it's also a big deal for, for example, chip makers, who do better on PCs and laptops, so Intel and Nvidia, than on tablets and on mobile devices.

Everybody who makes a component for a PC or for desktops has to be thinking, oh, my gosh; I've got to start making those components for tablets and for mobile. And they all have been shifting. But you're seeing a little bit of churn in the order of who's winning in each of the different industries that makes the things that go into these electronic devices.

STOUT: And one more thing: kind of in defense of the personal computer, I mean, could PC sales also be suffering because they're more built to last compared to smartphones, as (inaudible) to -- as opposed to being built to be obsolete in just a few months or a few years?

I mean, is the PC now becoming something more like the fridge or the microwaves, things that you will buy and continue to buy but you will keep it for a longer period of time?

THOMPSON: I -- sticking up for the PC, I like it and I think you're right. I mean, one of the reasons why sales are declining is that these things last a lot longer. First of all, they sit under your desk. They're boxes, right?

So they don't get broken as much. We don't drop them. We don't, you know, put them in the oven by mistake. We don't, you know, ruin them. So a lot of -- you know, I've had my same laptop for four years, right?

I still use my laptop all the time during the time I've bought two iPads. So it's actually, you know, you look at me as one individual consumer, you see a major rise in tablets, no rise in PC sales. But the amount of time spent on the two devices is about equal.

So I think you're absolutely right. Because PCs do last, because we don't need to replace them as much and also because there hasn't been nearly as much innovation in the PC market, which means we also don't feel the sort of the social or technological need to replace them, they do just stay there for a long time.

So, yes, I think in five years, when we have, you know, fully entered the tablet and mobile era, there will still be many of us with laptops, with desktops; we'll be sitting there, happily, underneath our desks, just like our refrigerators are at home humming along.

STOUT: You'll be one of them; I'll be one of them as well. (Inaudible). Nick Thompson, newyorker.com, thank you so much. Take care.

THOMPSON: Thank you, Kristie.

STOUT: Now the television industry also faces challenges to its traditional model. On Wednesday, told you about how people are tuning in on mobile devices these days. And in the United States, a small Internet startup has broadcasters gearing up for battle. The company is called Aereo. It lets you watch over-the-air channels on your smartphone or tablet.

And it works by using these tiny antennae -- they're about the size, as you can see, of a dime, to capture these broadcast signals.

Now in a statement to CNN, the National Association of Broadcasters called Aereo's operations "illegal" and some of the major networks in the U.S., including CBS, FOX and Univision, have all threatened to pull their signals and go to cable. Now analysts say that they're upset about potentially losing billions of dollars in retransmission fees.

Cable and satellite operators pay them; Aereo does not. So this is seen as a fight that could really shape the future of TV as we know it.

Now you're watching NEWS STREAM. And coming up next, history in the waiting -- the incredible discovery of an ancient world beneath a very modern city.

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STOUT: Welcome back. Now London is a city already known for its incredible history with sites like Birmingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. But long before the Tudors or even the Normans, London was an important location for the Romans. The discovery of new artifacts is now revealing the full scale of that ancient heritage. Erin McLaughlin has more.

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ERIC MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are the very beginnings of Roman Londinium.

SADIE WATSON, DIRECTOR: A hugely important town for the Romans, even when the Romans were based in Rome across the empire. So we are learning much more about the development of a major city in the Roman Empire.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Pottery, jewelry and tools, clues as to how an ancient people once lived, buried in what is now a very modern city.

MCLAUGHLIN: This is the heart of the city of London. You have the Gherkin over there as well as the Bank of England, and over here, you have a construction site inside that building site, a team of archeologists is in the process of uncovering thousands of artifacts, dating all the way back to the Roman period.

MCLAUGHLIN: Artifacts preserved in the lining of what was once an old riverbed.

WATSON: The deposits we're excavating are waterlogged and they have anaerobic conditions (inaudible) oxygen gets into them. So (inaudible) comes up looking shiny as the day it was dumped or dropped in. We also have some (inaudible) things like organic materials such as leather and timber, which we've never normally seen.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): The find includes rare objects, like a tiny amber amulet in the shape of a gladiator's helmet. Archeologists believed it once belonged to a child.

MCLAUGHLIN: What was life like back in the Roman times?

WATSON: Well, we've learned that life in the early Roman period was pretty hard for lots of people, very small, rectangular timber dwellings burnt up quite quickly, got some small-scale industrial activity going on, very busy, very smelly.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Thousands of years of history. Archeologists say there's likely more out there, lying right under our feet -- Erin McLaughlin, CNN, London.

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STOUT: So even today, uncovering new artifacts in the heart of London, absolutely incredible.

That is NEWS STREAM. But the news continues at CNN. "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" is next.

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