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North Korea: Trump's Biggest Headache?; Frustrations Felt in Europe Over Brexit; Being Catholic in Communist China. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired November 30, 2016 - 14:00   ET


[14:00:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Tonight, another round of U.N. Sanctions for North Korea, but what difference will that make to its

nuclear program. Why this headache should be top of Trump's entree?


WILLIAM PERRY, FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: I believe today, Christiane, I believe today that the danger of a nuclear catastrophe of

some kind is greater than it was during the Cold War.


AMANPOUR: Also ahead, the British prime minister says Brexit keeps her up at night. Not surprising, given the frustrations growing in Europe.


MANFRED WEBER, GERMAN MEP: This game is over now. The cherry-picking is over after Brexit. We offer a very special deal for Great Britain and

Great Britain refused and that is now the outcome.


AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.

As Donald Trump puts together his national security team, one report says that President Obama warned his successor that the most dangerous security

challenge ahead would be North Korea. Intelligence officials say it is time to start paying serious attention to Pyongyang's nuclear program.

And as the outgoing director of national intelligence, James Clapper, warns, getting them to give it up is probably now a lost cause. So what


Today, the U.N. Security Council voted 15-0 to impose more sanctions on North Korea.


BAN KI-MOON, U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL: Today's resolution includes the toughest and most comprehensive sanctions regime ever imposed by the

Security Council. It sends an unequivocal message that the DPRK must cease further provocative actions and comply fully with these international



AMANPOUR: Trouble is this hasn't stopped the current leader, Kim Jong-Un, forging ahead with nuclear tests so far. Now five tests in total as well

as an accelerating long-range missile capability. The former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry is an undisputed authority on nuclear proliferation

and particularly North Korea. He's been steeped in all of these issues all his professional life.

And under George W. Bush's administration, he urged a pre-emptive strike on Pyongyang's dangerous missiles. So I asked him whether he still believes

that is an option. He joined me from California.


Secretary William Perry, welcome to the program.

PERRY: Thank you, Christiane.

AMANPOUR: You have just made a speech in South Korea about the dangers of a nuclear catastrophe. What do you believe right now is a possibility


PERRY: First, let me say that I do not believe the North Korean regime is suicidal. Therefore, I don't believe they're going to launch an unprovoked

nuclear attack on anyone. But, nevertheless, their nuclear weapons are very, very dangerous. It may embolden them to take other actions, other

actions that could lead to a military conflict and they could blunder into a nuclear war.

So I think the Korean, North Korean nuclear weapons are very dangerous and we've gotten ourselves in an unfortunate situation. And we need to be

working hard to get out of it.

AMANPOUR: Back in 2006 you said, should the United States allow a country openly hostile to it and armed with nuclear weapons, to perfect an

intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering nuclear weapons to U.S. soil? We believe not.

You were then calling for a pre-emptive strike on that missile capability. Do you regret that that didn't happen then?

PERRY: Most important thing I say now, Christiane, that I would not favor -- today, I would not favor a pre-emptive strike. A pre-emptive strike

could bring about complete and total catastrophe, to South Korea and Japan so that is not an option that we have today. Whether or not that was a

good option then, that is not an option that we have today. I want to be very clear about that.

The option we must resort to today, if we're going to improve the terrible situation we're in now must be based primarily on diplomatic approaches.

AMANPOUR: What's changed in those ten years? Why do you not advocate that now?

[14:05:00] PERRY: North Korea has a nuclear arsenal today. And if they are attacked, I would expect they would use the nuclear arsenal. The

nuclear arsenal not capable of reaching the United States, but certainly is capable of reaching Japan and South Korea. Not only would that cause grave

damage to those countries, but we have troops based in South Korea and in Japan. And, therefore, this would be an action which would precipitate

catastrophic nuclear war. I would not recommend it at all.

AMANPOUR: If you were recommending the next course of action to the next U.S. president, what would you say? Because right now, under the Obama

administration, there'd be no bilateral talks. It's all so-called six- party. There had been very few of those. And right now, the U.S. administration continues to say that our policy doesn't change and it's

just more sanctions and more sanctions.

But that hasn't stopped North Korea's successful tests and it's forging ahead. What would you recommend?

PERRY: The negotiation in the last number of years, the six-party negotiations and other negotiations, have all failed, I believe because

they've been based on a faulty premise. They've been based on the premise that North Korea was willing to give up its nuclear weapons. We have to

understand what the goals of North Korea are if we're going to have successful negotiation.

In my judgment, they have three goals. One of them is in the first, most primary goal is to preserve the Kim dynasty, to preserve the regime, the

Kim dynasty. The second goal was to gain international recognition and the third goal is to improve their economy.

We have little or no prospects, I think, of achieving the goal of getting them to get of the nuclear weapons. Short of going to a war, which would

become a nuclear war, and we do not want that.

AMANPOUR: Secretary Perry, you're absolutely right. The outgoing director of national intelligence says trying to get them to denuclearize now is

probably a lost cause. But you also said there should be coercive diplomacy if necessary. What does that mean beyond sanctions that haven't

yet worked?

PERRY: Sanctions have not worked because for two reasons. First of all, the North Korean people are willing seemingly to endure great hardships.

The sanctions have affected North Korean people and they have not affected the regime.

Sanctions that might hurt, if the Chinese were to participate fully in them, would be sanctions where it's cut off the food and fuel that's

supplied by the Chinese, but we have not had truly effective sanctions.

The one time that sanctions have been effective, I believe, are the sanctions against Iran. They were effective only because the entire

international community participated in those sanctions. We do not have those kind of sanctions against North Korea. Never have had.

AMANPOUR: So how do you bring China to the table?

PERRY: China has to understand that our goals include being willing to sustain the regime in North Korea. That is something which they feel is

very important for their own objectives. So until we have -- until or unless, we adopted a negotiating strategy which has these three objectives.

First of all, allowing North Korea's regime to stay in place. Secondly give them international recognition and third, finally third, giving them

economic improvement, then we will not have much success.

China, I would expect, could agree to a set of negotiating goals which had those three objectives. We had to be realistic about what our real options

are. Not what we would like to have happen. We have to accept North Korea as it is, and not as we would wish it to be.

AMANPOUR: I want to talk all the way back to your younger days, because you have been nuclear analyst, you know,for a long, long time. During the

Cuban missile crisis, you were in the office every day you say thinking that it would be your last, and that it was only because of luck that we

survived without a nuclear war. Tell me a little bit about how that makes you feel today.

PERRY: During the Cuban missile crisis, I believe, I was right in the middle of it, and I believed every day when I was going into the office

that it was going to be my last day on earth. And everything I've learned since then leads me to believe that the danger was even greater than I

thought because there were issues and problems that we did not know about at the time which made it even more dangerous than it is.

Such as the fact that the Cubans actually had tactical nuclear weapons. With the nuclear weapons on them already in Cuba at the time we were

conducting these negotiations. And then our negotiations and President Kennedy's negotiations with him, he did not know that at the time.

AMANPOUR: It's amazing really --


PERRY: The situation is much more dangerous than we have realized.

AMANPOUR: Do you think it's getting more dangerous every day?

PERRY: Yes, I do. I believe today, Christiane, I believe today that the danger of a nuclear catastrophe of some kind is greater than it was during

the cold war. And yet our policies simply do not reflect that danger.

[14:10:16] AMANPOUR: Wow. Secretary Perry, thank you very much for your wise words.

PERRY: Thank you. It's good to talk to you again, Christiane.


AMANPOUR: So a major challenge ahead. But for a moment, back to the future. A tale out of the cold war, which is heating up in New York right


Yes, it is a battle of the chess prodigies, where Soviet and American dominance were once mapped out in lightning-fast decisions and checkmates

across a chess board. A similar struggle is unfolding between Russia's Sergey Karjakin and Norway's Magnus Carlsen, who is also celebrating his

26th birthday today.

They've been playing for three weeks and they are now in a tiebreaker to determine not just a winner, but the honor of their respective worlds.

After a break, it is not quite chess, but maybe backgammon. Just what is Britain's Brexit asks an increasing frustrated Europe.


AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

Britain is still in the dark about Brexit. Five months after the country voted to leave the EU. Still no sign of a road map to the off-ramp. And

Poland's foreign minister who's just been in the UK for talks with Prime Minister May says it may not even happen at all.

My next guest is a fierce critic of Britain's handling of the Brexit process. Manfred Weber is a leading German MEP, close ally of Chancellor

Angela Merkel.

After talks with many British officials, he says the government, quote, "Has no idea what Brexit means." And he joined me from the European

parliament in Brussels to talk about temperatures rising on the continent now.


AMANPOUR: Manfred Weber, welcome to the program.

WEBER: Hello, good to hear you.

AMANPOUR: There seems to be a huge confusion or at least no clarity on which way Brexit is going to go. And not only that, there's a huge clash

amongst, you know, experts and Brexiters and this and that.

WEBER: Well, first of all, Brexit was not an idea of the European Union, not an idea from Brussels, it was an idea from London. So they have to put

on the table what concretely Brexit means in daily life of people.

I met a lot of politician from London and I have different answers on this. Some want to be part of the single market, some not. Some want to have a

trade treaty with us. There is no idea behind it. That's why first of all we wait in Brussels. We simply wait for a clear answer from London. They

have to clarify it.

AMANPOUR: Taking one of the recent controversies. There's a report that there were special notes taken at a Downing Street meeting that said the

words -- have cake and eat it. You must have been seeing this report. And you know what the term means, we can get the best of all worlds.

Whether that's true or not, can Britain get the best of all worlds? I mean, the prime minister of Malta said, look, we are not bluffing. We are

not going to let you have ala carte.

What from your perspective is happening in German capitals, in, you know, all the big capitals of Europe?

WEBER: Frankly speaking, people all over Europe are a little bit fed up about what we hear sometimes from London and just from politicians in

London. Sometimes this arrogance telling that we know what we can do for us and we don't care about the rest.

[14:15:00] This game is over now. These cherry-picking is over after Brexit. We offer a very special deal to Great Britain and Great Britain

refused, and that is now the outcome. So I don't see any chance for this specific deal any more. It will be very tough because you have to know

that such a leave treaty must be accepted unanimously by the member states, by the 27 rest of the EU countries, and by the consent of the European

parliament. And that is a very tough job to organize these majorities. It will be very hard for Britain to get this deal.

AMANPOUR: And now, look, you said that, you know, hear all sorts of contradictory things and you're getting a bit fed up by what you're hearing

from British officials. You have been talking to the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, and you've expressed your frustration at some of the things

that he is telling you. For instance, that he would now support access to the EU by Turkey, having used exactly the reverse claim during his Brexit


Give me an idea of how personalities are rubbing Europe the right or the wrong way?

WEBER: Well, it's first of all about behavior of responsible politicians and you correctly described it.

So Johnson was using Turkey even Syria and Iraq as possible next members of the European Union, which was on Syria and Iraq, purely a lie. He was

using this to make people afraid in Great Britain about the European Union, about migration challenges for the future. And then he won, OK. That's

democracy and then he went to Ankara and told Ankara and Erdogan there, Great Britain, me as foreign minister I want to help you to become member

of the European Union.

And that is the behavior of what I will describe as an arrogant behavior. When somebody wants to leave the club, he has no right to decide about the

long-term future of this club. And that's why I would ask the British government, the British authorities, to keep silent when we are talking

about the future of the 27 member states. We want to have a common future. We want to go on this way. If Great Britain does not want to go on this

way, then it should keep silent.

AMANPOUR: Can I broaden this? Because you made yourself incredibly clear on this issue. I want to broaden it to Europe wide. You obviously face a

populist tide. We've seen it in Britain. We've seen it now in the United States. And there are, you know, referendums and presidential elections

coming up in the not too distant future.

You know, a recent study showed that 55 percent of Austrians and 54 percent of French view globalization as a threat.

Are you worried about the center holding? About institutions holding?

WEBER: I am worried, yes. I mean, we have shared the common value base. The gender equality, democracy, rule of law, that are where it is, and the

question will be whether we can defend them in a globalize world. That's why I think we have strong nations and I'm a friend of strong nations, but

strong nations can only survive in a globalize world if they combine, if they bring together as a power. And they defend their interest in a common

way. Like we did it for example in the trade questions.

When we talk with bigger powers like America, (INAUDIBLE), we can do this much more efficient together when we bring our common strengths together.

That is the idea of the European Union. Know nothing against nations. It's to make nations great again. That is the idea of Europe.

AMANPOUR: And what will happen, what will the consequence of Austria, if it elects a far right president for the first time since the Second World

War? And the election is on Sunday.

WEBER: Well, it is again a step in negative direction. You have to respect the outcome. That's not the question. We respect Brexit. We

respect that Kaczynski won in Poland. That's not our question. But the question is that there's a credible maturity in the European Union who

stands now and fights for a way together.

It's a question of to defend the historic success story behind the last decades since the European Union. And I can only warn, because the

nationalist movement, the echo in the European Union is very easy to start. It's very easy for politicians to emotionally start this nationalistic

debate, but that will lead to a very negative development for our continent.

AMANPOUR: Chancellor Merkel is practically the last politician standing who defends the views that you've been talking about. Do you think she'll

make it, seeking a fourth term?

WEBER: Yes, I think she will make it because after her announcement that she will run again for chancellor, the polls show already very clearly that

people support this idea. Germany is an important country in the European Union and people understand in Germany, the stability, it's in their


And even having Brexit in mind, people understand it's better to make Europe, to reform Europe than to destroy Europe. That is what people

understand now in Germany and we will go on together with Angela Merkel exactly this way.

AMANPOUR: Manfred Weber, thank you very much for joining us.

WEBER: I thank you so much.


[14:20:00] AMANPOUR: Now with all this on everybody's plate, it is easy to forget that Christmas season is already in full swing here in the west.

Easy also perhaps because there is no Christmas in places like Syria and other horrific war zones.

Now British charity, Doctors of the World, is putting out these unusual Christmas cards, showing classic nativity scenes, but set in war-like

backgrounds of the Middle East. Highlighting, of course, the work these humanitarians do, even in the toughest places and in every single season.

When we come back, the Christians struggling in China on a tight religious leash. We imagine citizens going to extreme lengths to practice their

faith and their freedoms, next.


AMANPOUR: And, finally tonight, we imagine a world of faith hidden from public view.

In communist China, much of the Catholic community has been driven underground. Fixing that has been high on the pope's agenda. And as this

Christmas season approaches, change could be in the air as our Matt Rivers reports from Beijing.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): In China, there's two kinds of Catholics, the first type lies behind this red curtain. Drawn back by an

old man, Paul Dong (ph), who calls himself a priest. His altar, four hours from Beijing is hidden from prying eyes.

"This is an underground Catholic church," he says. "The government does not recognize us."

But on a Sunday afternoon, hundreds of faithful show up anyway. An illegal mass in a dingy back yard. Back in Beijing, the second type is a more

familiar seen. A towering cathedral and a man of the cloth.


RIVERS (voice-over): Father Simon Zhu is a priest recognized by China's communist government under the direction of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic

Association. Any Catholicism practiced outside of the association isn't legal. Underground churches like Paul Dong (ph) say true Catholics take no

orders from politicians.

"We are not surrendering our beliefs to the communists."

Traditionally, the Vatican had agreed, the Catholic Church was banned in China in the 1950s and its followers jailed and tortured. The government

began to allow limited Catholic worship again in the late '70s, restricted to officially sanctioned churches whose allegiance is to the communist

party above all else. The atheist government even approves Chinese bishops, the biggest current sticking point between the Vatican and

Beijing. But Pope Francis, the transformative Catholic leader, has signalled that might be changing.

[14:25:00] POPE FRANCIS (through translator): China. To go there, I would love it.

RIVERS: Negotiations for restoring ties are heating up. Reports that both sides would now choose bishops together have surfaced.

ZHU: We pray for these normalization between Rome and Beijing.

RIVERS: The Catholic Church is eager for greater access to a country where hundreds of millions of adults are largely untapped by organized religion.

But for some who already practice, any religion controlled by the government is wrong.

"I would never join the patriotic church," she says. "They aren't real churches."

(on-camera): All of these parishioners are here under at least some personal risk. Most are less worried about themselves and more worried

about their leader, Father Dong (ph).

He said if the government ever took him away, someone would just take his place.

(voice-over): To Dong (ph), any deal means the Vatican would be caving to Beijing. "Jesus said that one person cannot serve two Gods. Now the

Vatican is willing to serve God and the communist party."

Dong's status as a priest isn't recognized by the Vatican. He was ex- communicated for ordaining himself a bishop without the Pope's consent. But his parishioners are just a few of several million underground

worshippers in China and many will follow the pope's. So whether those people will ever play with fellow believers out in the open is up to the

Catholic and the communist.

Matt Rivers, CNN, Beijing.


AMANPOUR: So we'll have to wait and see whether a miracle does happen. But that is it for our program tonight. Remember you can always listen to

our podcast any time, see us online at and follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for watching and good-bye from London.