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North Korea Launches Test Missile; Trump Prepares for G20 Summit, Venus Fights Back Tears at Wimbledon. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired July 4, 2017 - 05:00   ET


[05:00:12] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: North Korea claims it successfully launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, one that can reach U.S. territory. A sharp turn in a critical foreign policy week for President Trump. His response is sure to affect this week's G20.

EARLY START's live coverage begins right now.

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Dave Briggs. Happy Independence Day, everybody. It is 5:00 a.m. in the East.

The fact that it's Fourth of July not lost on Kim Jong-un, because breaking overnight, North Korea announcing its successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile ordered by leader Kim Jong-un. Pyongyang claims the missile could target anywhere in the world. Experts say judging from data gathered by the U.S., Japan, and South Korea, the missile would be capable of hitting Alaska. The missile launched into the waters off of North Korea's eastern coast flew nearly 600 miles.

ROMANS: President Trump heading straight to Twitter after a briefing at the White House. The president mocking Kim Jong-un.

North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? Hard that South Korea and Japan will put up with this much longer. And adding this: Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea, an end to this nonsense once and for all.

For the very latest, let's bring in CNN's Paula Hancocks live this morning in Seoul.

Good morning.


Well, that tweet from Mr. Trump was before North Korea had this claim that it was a successful ICBM. It will be interesting to see what the reaction is next. Now, we know that North Korea had its own ideas of a celebration for July 4th, the timing clearly not lost on anybody.

But they say that they can now hit anywhere in the world. Now, that's not what the experts think. They're crunching the numbers now to figure out exactly how far it could have reached if it was targeting the U.S., potentially Alaska, but experts still working on that. U.S. and South Korean officials though are trying to figure out how far it could go.

It was an altitude of 1,700 miles, a distance of more than 570 miles. And it flew for about 39 minutes, according to North Korea. U.S. Pacific Command had some different figures initially saying they thought it was not an ICBM but one step lower. They haven't mentioned anything since North Korea has said this.

Though, we had reaction from President Moon here in South Korea. He's said that he has called for North Korea not to cross the bridge of no return. Also saying that if North Korea crosses a red line, South Korea and the United States do not know what our response would be. He hasn't specified what that red line would be. But certainly, there is a concern as to what kind of reaction there will be.

North Korea making sure that at this G20 meeting, everybody is going to be talking about North Korea. China also condemning it.

ROMANS: What does North Korea want? Does North Korea wants a place on the world stage? Does it want talks with the United States? What is the end game here?

HANCOCKS: What we've heard from the North Korean leader himself is that he wants to be able to hit the United States, the mainland United States with a nuclear-tipped warhead. He says it is for self-defense. It is for survival of the regime, of his country. He believes that the U.S. is hostile toward it.

When it comes to what exactly they want, experts are torn. They say maybe he wants to be accepted as a nuclear state, although North Korea has already accepted itself as a nuclear state. And whether it needs Washington's approval is up for grabs.

Whether it wants negotiations with the United States, certainly, South Korean President Moon Jae-in has already said that he wants the negotiating table to be the place where he talks to North Korea. He said that while standing next to Mr. Trump just last week at that summit in Washington.

Clearly, North Korea didn't think much of that because it's now carried out this potential ICBM -- Christine.

ROMANS: All right. Paula Hancocks, watching all of this for us from Seoul. Thank you, Paula.

BRIGGS: So, the latest provocation from North Korea coming just ahead of President Trump's second overseas trip. He departs for Europe tomorrow for the G20 Summit where the president's meeting with Vladimir Putin might no longer be the main attraction.

CNN's Nic Robertson live from Abu Dhabi.

Nic, good morning to you. Meetings between the president and several Asian leaders now very much

under the microscope. How has the dynamic changed for the G20?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: I think President Trump's tweet last night says it all. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea to end this nonsense once and for all. His expectation is now that China is going to have to play a lead role, the G20 is going to be a place where he can hope to achieve that.

But let's not forget that he has existing tensions that have just ratcheted up in the past few days with China selling $1.4 billion worth of weapons systems to Taiwan. He has put sanctions, the United States has put sanctions on a Chinese bank for not -- for them not sanctioning North Korea strongly enough, not implementing sanctions strongly enough.

[05:05:09] There are issues of trade between the United States and China. And then bring that into the bigger context of the G20, as you said. President Putin will meet with President Trump for the first time. The issue there that everyone wants to get something, hear something about is the issue of Russia hacking the U.S. elections.

Now that we're told is not on the agenda. Ukraine and Syria are, their contentious issues with Russia. And the Russians, the spokesman at the Kremlin just yesterday said patience is running out with the United States over the seizure of diplomatic compounds, a reference to the end of President Obama's administration where 35 Russian diplomats were expelled toward the end of last year. An indication wherever Russia believes the relationship should go with the United States. This is one of escalating tensions.

Then on top of that, you have President Trump taking a different position from so many leaders on climate changes, at odds with the host, Angela Merkel over trade. So, all of this does not add up to a picture where you have a lot of people sitting around a table who are in a mood for compromise. It's difficult to see even with his trilateral with South Korea and Japan on the margins of this what can be achieved right now on North Korea.

BRIGGS: Fascinating dynamics ahead of the G20.

Nic Robertson, thank you.

ROMANS: So, let's discuss these developments with Jason Russell, contributors editor for "The Washington Examiner", live via Skype for us this morning.

Nice to see you. Thanks for joining us bright and early on this holiday.

BRIGGS: Good morning.

ROMANS: The response from the president sort of mocking Kim Jong-un and saying it's now up to China maybe to put a heavy move on North Korea. What do you make of the president's response, and how critical is his appearance on the world stage this week at the G20? JASON RUSSELL, CONTRIBUTORS EDITOR, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Yes,

definitely all a big psychological game to everyone involved here. Not just Kim Jong-un but also Trump and the Chinese. You know, all the major players, all the major foreign policy experts on the right and left are saying that, you know, China is the key to getting North Korea to back down without any kind of further military escalation.

So, you know, I have to guess that Trump tweeting and saying we can do this without China is a way to get China to get more involved, because China doesn't want more military from the U.S. in that area. They want, you know, the U.S. to be out of there. So, you know, if they can get, you know, the U.S. out of there by ratcheting up pressure on North Korea, then Trump's hope is that China will do that.

Now, will that be the focus at the G20?


RUSSELL: We'll see. You know, it's going to be interesting to see if Trump can stay focused on foreign policy. You know, he did that in the past in his first trip abroad in May. But it's a whole new ball game when you're meeting with Vladimir Putin himself, especially given all the, you know, Russia collusion investigations going on here in the United States.

BRIGGS: Yes, back to that tweet, it's hard to know the irony of a president who just tweeted out a video of a wrestling image against the cable news network, calling in question how another world leader uses his time. But we don't have time to get too deep into that.

Let's talk about the G20 and meeting with Putin. What will it tell us if in fact reports are true that the president might not bring up Russian interference in our election?

RUSSELL: Well, it would be surprising. I mean, I assume that Trump has a one-track mind on that Russia investigation. It's hard for him to let go of that. You know, I have to imagine that he'll privately say to Putin, you know, if there's anything you can do to help me out, any evidence you can release that you weren't involved or, you know, had no connection to my campaign, do that.

If some did go on, then I imagine he'll have to say, you know, do a better job of hiding your role in this or whatever. So, it will be interesting to see, but I doubt that it's not going to come up.

ROMANS: I mean, just the optics of that meeting will be remarkable and will be examined and parsed.


ROMANS: You have Vladimir Putin who is renowned for his discipline, right, and Donald Trump, who is trying to make his way on the world stage with his America first or is it America alone, or what is exactly his doctrine on how he'll lay that out? I think the optics will be just fascinating, don't you? RUSSELL: Yes, exactly. I mean, obviously, Trump and Putin have been,

you know, talked about together for a long time. To see them together in the same place for the first time will be interesting. You know, is Trump going to be tough on Putin, is he going to be friendly?

You know, for a long time he's been saying that he wants to be friendly with Putin. He wants the U.S. and Russia to be friendly with each other. So, will this be the first meeting in a series of meetings that lead it a sea change in Russia/U.S. relations, I doubt that. But it will still be interesting to see what does come out of the meeting, if there are any substantive changes to U.S. foreign policy.

[05:10:02] ROMANS: Who breaks the handshake first --

BRIGGS: Oh, that handshake is going to be amazing television.

Ahead of this trip, though, a major domestic setback in that 42 states have now turned down the Trump administration's request for detailed voter information, dates of birth, voting history, last four numbers of his Social Security number, 42 states including Wyoming and Arizona.

How significant a setback is this for this hunt for 2 million to 3 million illegal votes?

RUSSELL: Yes. I mean, it's a big setback. Not just Democratic states, it's 42 states. That's a lot of Republican states, too.

BRIGGS: Right.

RUSSELL: That are not going to give up this information. So you know, if you can't even get Republicans on board with this with this idea of cracking down on voter fraud, then it's going to be a big uphill battle to get this investigation I guess underway.

ROMANS: And we should remind people the reason why there is this voter fraud commission is because the president without any evidence at all several months ago said that millions of people voted illegally, and he would have won -- he would have won --

BRIGGS: The popular vote.

ROMANS: The popular vote had it not been for all these illegal voters. The attorney general and state election officials have been saying, no, we don't have rampant voter fraud. We did not have people voting illegally. Now, 42 states refusing to handle over that information.

BRIGGS: All right. Jason Russell, we'll talk to you in about 30 minutes. Thank you.

RUSSELL: Sounds good.

ROMANS: All right. Eleven minutes past the hour.

Car leaderships gearing up for Fourth of July sales. But will it help reverse a slump in the auto industry? That's next.


[05:15:41] ROMANS: The auto boom appears to be over. All three major U.S. automakers reporting lower sales in June. General Motors and Ford sales fell 5 percent. Fiat Chrysler fell 7 percent. That is the industry's sixth straight month of falling sales. It's now on track for its first yearly decline since the financial crisis.

A few reasons for the slump -- low gas prices mean consumers are opting for SUVs over smaller cars. New cars are priced higher, and rental agencies are buying less.

But mainly many experts think sales have peaked. Auto sales are an important driver for the broader U.S. economy. And the industry has seen seven years of growth. Look at that. Hitting record numbers of sales as automakers raked in billions in profit. But now, sales are pulling back from those highs, just as President Trump is counting on the industry to add more jobs, pushing carmakers to import fewer and produce more in the U.S. However, auto makers are trimming or shifting production to save money. In fact, GM and Ford have announced thousands of layoffs this year.

BRIGGS: The Environmental Protection Agency reviewing its legal options after a federal appeals court struck down the agency's suspension of new gas and oil emissions standards. The court ruling the EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt overstepped his authority by trying to delay implementation of an Obama-era requirement for companies to monitor and reduce methane and smog-forming pollutants. The decision seen as a blow to the Trump administration's broader strategy to roll back Obama rules.

The government shutdown in New Jersey is over. Governor Chris Christie ordering all state parks to reopen this morning after a budget agreement was reached last night. The governor blaming Democrats for dragging their feet on a spending plan, triggering a three-day impasse that ruined holiday plans for thousands of beachgoers.

ROMANS: And, of course, the governor took criticism for spending time at a beach he had closed to the public. He is still defending that move. There he is with his family. He says now that a budget is in place, he's headed right back to the beach. The shutdown in the states of Maine is also over after the sides, both sides reached a deal that eliminated a proposed hike in the lodging tax.

BRIGGS: Christie not too concerned about what the public thinks on that one. Chris crispy on the cover of "The New York Post".

Ahead, talk about a big day for Freddy Galvis. The Philly shortstop hit a homerun hours after becoming a new dad. Coy Wire with this morning's "Bleacher Report", next.


[05:22:31] BRIGGS: Venus Williams in tears after her match at Wimbledon yesterday. The American tennis star was asked about a fatal car accident she was involved in early last month in Florida.

ROMANS: Coy Wire has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report."

Good morning, Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine and Dave.

According to a police report, Venus is responsible for a recent car accident in Palm Springs, Palm Beach Guards, Florida. A 78-year-old man was severely injured and later died due to the accident. Police say Venus violated the right of way at an intersection where her car was T-boned. Venus is being sued by the family in a wrongful death suit.

Venus tried to answer after she was asked about the incident after her opening match at Wimbledon.


VENUS WILLIAMS, 5-TIME WIMBLEDON SINGLES CHAMPION: There are no words to describe how devastating and -- yes. I am completely speechless. It's just -- yes. I mean, I'm just -- maybe I should go.



WIRE: Venus won her first match over unseeded Elise Mertens. But, clearly, this tragic accident weighing heavily on her emotions.

All right. Two weeks after announcing he'll get professional help with his medications and after being charged with driving under the influence in May, Tiger Woods released this statement yesterday on Twitter saying, quote: I recently completed an out-of-state, private, intensive program. I will continue to tackle this going forward with my doctors, family, and friends. I'm so very thankful for all of the support I have received, unquote.

In New York, the table is set for the 45th annual Nathan's famous hot dog-eating contest. Reigning champ Joey "Jaws" Chestnut stepped on the scales for weigh in, weighed at 221 pounds. Other competitors getting ready, too.

Last year, Chestnut took down 70 hot dogs and the buns in ten minutes. That was the record for most ever. That equates to a 15-pound Thanksgiving turkey all in your gut at once. My goodness.

Phillies player Freddy Galvis had himself quite the day. He and his wife were blessed with the birth of their second daughter Nicole. That was in about 5:00 a.m. in the morning. Then with hospital band around his wrist, that man went yard. Just a couple hours of sleep, he told managers, I might be late for the game.

Well, he showed up on time. He delivered a home run for the Phillies who go on to beat the Pirates 4-to-zip as his wife delivered him a baby girl that morning. [05:25:06] Pretty cool stuff.

BRIGGS: I hope he got that ball back. I mean, that's a pretty significant ball.

WIRE: That's a great point, Dave.

BRIGGS: All right. Happy Fourth of July, my friend.

ROMANS: Thanks, Coy.

WIRE: You, too, guys.

ROMANS: All right. President Trump facing another provocation this Fourth of July from North Korea. How will he respond to the G20 after Pyongyang's test of an intercontinental ballistic missile?


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The era of strategic patience with the North Korean regime has failed.



BRIGGS: North Korea claims it successfully launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, one that can reach U.S. territory. The sharp turn in a critical foreign policy week for President Trump. His response sure to affect this week's G20.

EARLY START's with live coverage around the world begins right now.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: Good morning, everybody. I'm Christine Romans.