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South Africa President Survives No-Confidence Vote; Report Of North Korea Nuclear Progress; Israel's War Tourism

Aired August 8, 2017 - 14:00   ET


[14:00:02] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Coverage of all these late breaking developments out of North Korea for international viewers.

Amanpour is next for our viewers in North America "Newsroom" with Brooke Baldwin starts right now.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, South Africa's President survives a highly charge no-confidence vote. We're live from Cape Town.

Also the Washington Post says North Korea has now created a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on a long range missile. What that means coming up.

And Israel's latest tourist attraction amok (ph) terrorist attack.

Good evening everyone and welcome to the program. I'm Clarissa Ward in London sitting in for Christiane

Well, staying put South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has survived yet another vote of no-confidence. Law markets in Cape Town voting by secret

ballot for the first time. That allowed members of his own ANC party to vote more freely.

But enough of them stood by the controversial leader. Here with the reaction in parliament when the vote of no-confidence failed.




WARD: Celebration outside parliament two a victory for Zuma supporters for months. President Zuma to five calls to step aside and his also long

denied alligation of corruption against him.

Well, let's go out now to Cape Town for the latest. We're joined by CNN's David McKenzie who is live there for us.

David, I'm assuming not everybody was celebrating the result of this vote.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly not everyone celebrating. But an extraordinary day here in parliament in South Africa

was President Zuma, Clarissa facing his toughest test yet. This president has survived so many political scares before and again it was case of nine

lives and counting for President Jacob Zuma.

He did succeed and surviving but it was a close one. Certainly clear Clarissa that several if not may more ANC MPs crossed party lines and voted

for that motion or no-confidence. He had thousands of protesters from the opposition and from the ruling ANC out in the street of Cape Town today

voicing their passions.

Many of them I spoke to said they want Zuma to go because they said the daily allegation that seem of corruption and other dodge dealings by the

president and his closes allies are making them sick and tired of politics in South Africa and they want change given the economic situation in those


President Zuma has long denied those allegations. He came out pretty soon after that vote to relatively to small group of ANC supports.

Here what he have to say.


JACOB ZUMA, SOUTH AFRICA PRESIDENT: Now, they believe they could use technicalities in parliament to take over the majority from the ANC. It is

impossible, they can't do it. We represent the majority in the public.


MCKENZIE: And President Zuma also blaming propaganda of the media saying that they represent the majority and that the ANC is looking after the

majority. But certainly Clarissa with this tight vote he faces even more challenges in the weeks, months ahead, Clarissa.

WARD: And of course David there have been protest, you know, in almost daily basis lately against Zuma. Is there --and also from his supporters I

should say. But is there any expectation that those protest against Zuma would be likely to continue or does he simply lived to see another day and

that South Africa moves on?

MCKENZIE: No, I don't think. Well, he will live to see another day certainly in terms of this vote, Clarissa. But I don't think this is the

end of the story by any means. The opposition will see this in many ways as a win because they prove they can get ANC and MPs to join their side

that they can show present word the practice nature of that party, the party of Nelson Mandela, which is long pride itself.

In closing ranks when it came to it being under these kind of a political scrutinizes. But President Zuma certainly will face pressure from his

parliamentarians, from the opposition. There's talk even now of moving towards some kind of impeachment.

[14:05:05] So this isn't the end at all in terms of pressure and a lot of this momentum will be building towards the ANC's conference in December

where they will choose a successor for President Jacob Zuma and a lot of host trading will be going on now.

But a truly significant day that the secret ballot, yes, he survived. It was a tense day but many saying it was a victory for democracy because it

all run pretty smoothly here in South Africa. But tough time ahead I believe for the president.

WARD: OK, David McKenzie live for us in Cape Town. Thank you so much.

Well, ahead of the vote South Africa's opposition parties called on ANC members to back the no-confidence motion. But the countries deputy chief

would accuse them of trying to stage a coup d'etat.


DORIS DLAKUDE, DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE ANC: The motion is they are publicly stated intention of regime change. A wish to manipulate the

legislator, you set our constitution so as to collapse government, deter service delivery and sow the seeds of chaos in society so as to ultimately

grab power.

A hypocritical opposition divide of integrity.


WARD: Well, Richard Poplak is a Senior Writer for the South African online newspaper, the Daily Maverick and he joins us now from Cape Town.

Hi, Richard Poplak, thank you so much for joining us. I just wanted to ask you Jacob Zuma has now survived eight no-confidence votes, does today's

outcome surprise you at all. To some of us that sounds incredible.

RICHARD POPLAK, SENIOR WRITER, DAILY MAVERICK: Oh, he's unkillable, it's amazing. He's an incredible fighter and credible political operator. Am I

surprise by the outcome? I'm surprise of how close it was actually. I don't think there was any doubt in my mind and certainly anyone who's

experience to it sort of analyzing South African politics.

It's not a particularly big shot that he survived. But it was pretty close. ANC counting abstentions lost 35 votes, 35 MPs across the floor and

that's got to be a big blow and that's really, really got to hurt.

WARD: But we've seen these crowds who are out celebrating on the street, his supporters celebrating in the parliament when the vote failed. I just

wanted to get a sense from you more broadly speaking across South Africa. What do you think the mood is like tonight? Are people largely supportive

of Zuma? Are they pleased that the vote has failed? Or is this something of a blow?

POPLAK: No, I don't think there's any real support for Jacob Zuma himself. It's not like his a popular president by any means. I think his polling

numbers are disastrous and so far there's as any real sophisticated polling here in South Africa.

As far the ANC, you know, the ANC especially in the rural areas still hold a lot of power. It's enormously powerful political brand. And there's a

lot of motional attachment to it. You know, this is Nelson Mandela's Party. It's the liberation party in (INAUDIBLE).

It's a real, real powerful political force in this country. And that's why this debt is happening so slowly and it's happening so painfully. And, you

know, the real reason for all of these chaos is Jacob Zuma.

So, much of the focus and much of the anger is sort of being shunted towards Zuma. But even out in rural basis where the ANC retains much of

its popularity but still an enormous amount of discontent.

The country is not in love with the ANC right now.

WARD: So give us a sense for some of viewers who aren't following South African politics so closely. What the root of some this discontent was is

rather. And what some of these allegations that have been leveled against President Zuma are?

POPLAK: Yes. I mean the short answer to that question is corruption. The long answer to that question is massive, massive amounts of corruption.

Jacob Zuma is tied to a family called the Gupta's who essentially act as gate keep. So anytime you want to get contract with the state own company.

Effectively you have to go through the Gupta's.

So, we have a term here called state capture and narrative is that the Gupta's along with Jacob Zuma and his family had effectively captured the

state. And have looted tens of billions of rands from state propose and send them off to effectively to bank accounts and to buy an elsewhere in

the world.

So, this is a highly sophisticated corruption syndicate and Jacob Zuma although there's no smoking gun.

[14:10:00] My publication to Daily Maverick has done extensive work and trying to dig up exactly how tied to the Gupta's Jacob Zuma is. And it is

very, very deep how far the stuff runs.

WARD: And just quickly because we're running out of time. But I do think it's important to touch on the fact that in December the ANC will meet and

decide on the future leadership of the party. Is there a chance that Jacob Zuma may go on to live yet another day, or is his time not withstanding the

failure of this no-confidence vote coming to an end do you think?

POPLAK: Well, the African National Congress constitution doesn't really allow him to stand for another term as President of the party and the

constitution of the country doesn't allow him to stand again as president.

But he has a very powerful faction within the ANC who is promoting to try to ensure that they retain power, which would mean he retains his patronage

neighbor. So the real fight now is within the ANC, two factions battling out going into December, going into the electoral conference, disparately,

disparately trying to win.

If Jacob Zuma faction loses, well it means Jacob Zuma is in a lot of trouble and he could very well lose the immunity that protects him now.

And for him that is enormously dangerous and existential threat.

WARD: OK, Richard Poplak, thank you so much for your perspective and we will continue to watch closely.

We have asked MPs from the ANC to join us on the program both pro and anti- Zuma. But we have not yet heard back from anyone who is willing to speak out today.

And from one African vote to another. Kenyan's when to the polls today deciding the faith of a tight presidential election that is being watch

with interest across the globe. We'll have more on that election later this week when observer and former U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry join

us on Thursday.

Well, coming up after the break. A new report says North Korea has taken another big step and its nuclear program. We're live in Beijing with the

latest next.


WARD: North Korea capable of launching nuclear weapons that could strike American soil. It's a nightmare scenario for Washington and it could be

one step closer to reality.

Pyongyang has developed a miniaturized nuclear warhead capable of fitting inside one of its missiles, that's according a Washington Post report on a

confidential assessment from the U.S. Defense Intelligence agencies. And we must stress CNN has not independently confirmed this reporting and it is

not know whether or not North Korea has successfully tested the miniaturized warhead.

It is also not clear that this alleged assessment by the DIA is shared with people across the U.S. Intelligence community.

Well, joining us now is Will Ripley who has been following the story for quite sometimes. He joins us from Beijing. Will Ripley, please tell us

what is significant about this report. What is of concern? What is new?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, North Korea claimed in March of last year Clarissa that they had miniaturized the nuclear warhead. They even

release a photo of their leader Kim Jong-un standing in front a metallic orb claiming that it could be put on ICBM and news to attack the United

States. But even last March most analysis were very skeptical of North Korea's claims.

[14:15:03] And so, if you think about how far North Korea has come from then to now, it's truly remarkable that now according to Washington Post

members of the U.S. Intelligence Community are operating on the assumption that North Korea has miniaturized nuclear warhead, could put them on ICBM.

And use them to strike many cities in the mainland United States, from the west coast towards Denver, Chicago and possible by early next year just a

matter of months away, even New York and Washington.

So, I had conversation with North Korean officials as recently just a couple of months ago when I was in Pyongyang. And they have always express

confidence about their program. But there's a new energy inside the country that they feel this is the final stretch before they have this

weapon and their arsenal that they feel gives them leverage when dealing with the global community, leverage and respect.

WARD: And Will you're in Beijing of course the Chinese have started to take a slightly tougher tone with North Korea. Any reaction from anyone

there to this report yet?

RIPLEY: No reaction in these early morning hours to this specific report. But China, it's really not worthy that China approved this latest U.N.

security counsel sanction. It was 15 to nothing vote. So the United States through some diplomatic lobbying was able to get Russia and China to

sign off on this.

Normally China would only approve sanctions after a nuclear test. So it does show that there as shifting concern on the part of Beijing about North

Korea's nuclear program. They have said that they're willing to enforce these sanctions which were intended to cut about a billion dollars from

North Korea's exports, preventing them from selling things like iron and coal and sea foods which are major revenue generators and also further

limiting their access to banks and global markets.

Of course, North Korea's been operating under very strong sanctions for a long time. They have figure out how to get around them. And so even if

China does enforce this latest round of sanctions, it's going to take quite some time for them to actually take effect.

And again, with this ICBM, reliable ICBM just months away. And China is really calling for diplomatic solution here. They feel the United States

shares a part of the blame of the escalating situation on the Korean peninsula.

They think that the United States by engaging in military exercises with South Korea is giving North Korea motivation and incentive and

justification for developing these missiles and for also continuing to grow their nuclear program.

So with China we expect we'll continue to call for as they have for quite sometime is for both sides to suspend their activities and then come to the

negotiating table. But as of now the United States has said it absolutely won't stop those exercises and North Korea has said, it won't stop their

missile test.

WARD: All right. Will Ripley with the report from Beijing. Thank you so much.

Well, let's discuss this further now with Scott Seaman. He joins us from Washington D.C. he's with the Euroasia Group.

Scott, thank you so much for being on the program. I just want to get a sense of your reaction to this report in the Washington post. As we

mentioned earlier CNN has not corroborated the information in this report. But potentially it sounds pretty petrifying.

SCOTT SEAMAN, ASIA DIRECTOR, EURASIA GROUP: Certainly it suggests that they are continuing to make progress. Whatever the differences of opinion

might be in the intelligence community, even the fact that one agency may be suggesting that he has reached this threshold is very significant.

And as I've heard people comments earlier on your show. There are a lot of different capabilities that a missile has to have to really be fully

functional. But North Korea continues to demonstrate that it's making good progress towards finally reaching that ultimate goal.

WARD: I mean you spend, you know, many years studying North Korea and looking at the sort of Kim dynasty. Do you believe that the younger Kim

Jong-un would actually use a weapon like this? Or is this simple a power tactic? Does this just give him leverage as the negotiating table to

extract more concession from the international community?

SEAMAN: Obviously it's difficult to get in the head of any individual. What we do know about Kim Jong-un is that he is far less flexible than his

father or his grandfather in terms of his willingness to even entertain the idea of trading away his weapons, development programs for something else

that he wants.

One of the reasons that we suspect for that is that the North Korean economy is actually doing quite well and of course we're talking in

comparative terms. But it certainly doing much better than it did under his father or grandfather.

And because of that there are just fewer reasons for Kim Jong-un the current leader to think that he needs to trade anything away. There are

fewer things that he wants from the outside. And so his leverage is greater than was the case with his father.

[14:20:04]WARD: But what about this latest round of sanction impose by the U.N. which will shave about a billion dollars off of North Korea's budget.

I mean how much is that likely to change of dictate a shift in the rhetoric and policy and behavior that we're seeing coming out of North Korea.

SEAMAN: Probably very little. I don't see any indication that we're going to see softer rhetoric. We're going to continue to see missile testing.

We think that another underground nuclear test is likely by the end of the year. There won't be any change in his rhetoric of behavior.

And we certainly know that this is a regime that is very, very good at finding ways to get money when other avenues are shutdown. They continue

to diversify their exports, to find new customers. So this is, you know, it's a show game. It's a whack-a-mole or whatever you want to call it.

But this is a regime that is determined to get the missile that it wants. And if it is having trouble getting financing in one area, it will find


WARD: So, I guess the question then becomes Scott. What does the U.S. do? How does the U.S. respond? You heard our reporter Will Ripley in Beijing

talking about, you know, how the Chinese would like the U.S. to kind of dial down on the rhetoric a little bit, bring everyone to the negotiating


Is there a diplomatic solution here, or do you think ultimately a military solution maybe more viable?

SEAMAN: Everything that we've heard from the administration suggest that the people who are giving advise to President Trump are very much of the

opinion that a military option is absolutely the last option that should be considered.

The diplomatic option is something that has been offered. But the terms are difficult, what the U.S. is asking North Korea is to essentially stop

all of its testing and that would be the prerequisite for sitting down and talking about the problem.

And so far Kim Jong-un has shown no willingness to stop what his doing and, you know, we're heading towards kind of a chicken game that is quite


WARD: Quite concerning indeed. Scott Seaman, thank you so much for joining us on the program with your perspective.

Well, when we come back, imagine a world spoiling for a fight just not a real one. We go to Israeli tourist hotspot where conflict is the main



WARD: And finally tonight, imagine a world where war is the latest tourist attraction. In Jerusalem an elite Israeli fighting unit called Caliber 3

has opened it doors to visitors giving them a taste of how they train security personnel to deal with terror.

[14:25:08] Our Ian Lee has this report on the unorthodox holiday activity.


IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Class is in session at Caliber 3. First lesson, a mock knife attack.

SHARON GAT, CEO, CALIBER 3: They can understand what it really means to be part of an attack. They'll understand the intensity. They'll understand

the heart breathing.

LEE: Caliber 3 CEO Sharon Gat led the fast and loud two hour experience. The 27 year veteran of Israel's special forces sketches out a scenario.

GAT: You have 2,000 students and teachers in the school and five terrorist over there. If you don't really expect people will lose their life.

LEE: Gat's company train security personnel from around the world. But now tourists give a shot.

Helen Lamm brought her four grandsons.

HELEN LAMM, AMERICAN TOURIST: It something that they really see what the soldiers are going through here. And they see what it is to protect this

country in a land and be part of an army.

LEE: The class also includes a K-9 demonstration. Thousands of would be warriors have plot to this west bank settlement. Today, they're from the

U.S. and Canada.

SHIMON ROSEBERG, AMERICAN TOURIST: It's certainly a source of, you know, pride to be a part of the larger family of Israel.

LEE: The west bank though is disputed territory. The scene of conflict between Israeli's and Palestinians for decades, I put it to strong gap that

there is politics in this enterprise.

GAT: This activity is not political. It's not talking about the Israeli, Palestinian war. It's talking about what a soldier in the Israeli army has

to do and what his morals, his values and his duty on.

LEE: This money making enterprise isn't without it's own moral issues. There's a risk of hurting more in terror than entertainment.

GAT: I'm showing them that war is a disgusting and ugly thing. I'm showing them that I don't want them to participate in war.

LEE: Experience Gat passes on to Lamm's grandson, war isn't like a video game.

AARON SKARST (PH), AMERICAN TOURIST: You have three lives over there. Over here is you have one life and if you got shot you're done.

LEE: A valuable lesson for anyone picking up a gun.

Ian Lee, CNN, Jerusalem.


WARD: Well, that's it for out program. Tonight remember you can listen to our podcast. See us online at and follow me on Twitter

@clarissaward. Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.