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U.S. and North Korea's Alarming Tensions; Libyan Coast Guard Fires Warning Shots; North Korea Set the World in Full Alert Mode; Zuma Survives the Vote; ISIS Recruiting in Suburbs of Australia. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired August 9, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, HOST, CNN: Responding in kind. The U.S. president uses colorful and forceful language to threaten North Korea. And Pyongyang says it's putting an American territory in its sites as retaliation for recent military exercises.

Also ahead, an ugly confrontation in the Mediterranean. The latest on rising tensions in the migrant crisis.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church, and this is CNN Newsroom.

And we are following breaking news out of North Korea where the country's military is threatening to strike the U.S. territory of Guam. U.S. bombers based on the island flew over the Korean Peninsula in a show of force on Monday. North Korea calls that a provocation. It warns it would turn the U.S. mainland into a theater of nuclear war if it sees any sign of an attack.

On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump took a break from his working vacation at his golf club in New Jersey to deliver an alarming message to Pyongyang.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: North Korea best not make not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.

He has been very threatening beyond a normal statement. And as I said, they will be met with fire, fury and frankly, power the likes of which this world has never seen before.


CHURCH: Well, joining us now from Seoul is CNN's Alexandra Field and live in Tokyo, journalist Kaori Enjoji. Thank you so much to both of you for joining us. So, Alexandra, to you first. How is South Korea responding to this threat of fire and fury from the U.S. president, and how is North Korea likely to interpret his message also what would China think of this sort of language? ALEXANDRA FIELD, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: This is not the language that anyone in the world is used to hearing from an American president, perhaps the caveat to that would be that it does seem in keeping with this president's style, so it doesn't come wholly unexpected to people who have watch this president in action before.

But certainly, it sets a new precedent when it comes to this war on words that we have watch to escalate between the U.S. and North Korea.

Mind you, President Donald Trump is not just issuing ultimatum in terms of another provocation from Pyongyang, he is very clear that there will be fire and fury if there's another threat from Pyongyang, not exactly clear what constitute of threat to the president because we know that Pyongyang makes a barrage of those threats and those threat kept coming this morning even after he issued that ultimatum.

One was very specific, a potential military attack on Guam. Guam is of course home to thousands of U.S. servicemen and women and it is the jumping off point for those B-1 bombers that have been flying over the Korean Peninsula in exercises that have been enraged Pyongyang which sees those exercises as address rehearsal for in Beijing.

The response in the region, however, has been to focus on the threats coming from Pyongyang, not the ultimatum that was issued by President Donald Trump. You got many officials here saying that it is North Korea that has created the tension on the peninsula.

They fired off this two ICBM's just last month and now you've got one intelligence analysis coming from the U.S. that they could in fact already have a miniaturize warhead that could be fitted onto an ICBM hat would be capable on reaching the U.S. mainland. That doesn't say whether or not that missile would be capable of re-entering and effectively striking the U.S.

But certainly you're at a point where security concerns are at really an all-time high here. And the officials in this region are calling on Pyongyang to act coolly, to act calmly. They aren't really saying anything about what President Trump has said.

And of course, Rosemary, we have to point again and again, that South Korea and japan depend on their decades' old relationship with the United States, their alliance for their protection and for their security more than ever at a tensed time like this.

CHURCH: Yes. That's right. And Alexandra, you mentioned Japan. Let's go to Kaori now. What is being said about this in Japan and indeed, the region there, given U.S. presidents of the past have been very careful to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula, haven't they, not to use this sort of language.

KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: Well, Rosemary, I think Japan is trying to keep a very cool head in terms of the language its using and try to maintain a sense of diplomatic cool throughout this exchange of war or words between North Korea and the U.S. president.

[03:05:01] The prime -- the chief cabinet spokesperson, Mr. Suga, not responding directly to U.S. President Trump's comments about fire and fury, saying that he is aware that the comments were made but reiterating the stance that the government has said made all along throughout these months of missile test from North Korea and that is that the U.S.-Japan alliance if the bedrock of Japan's security framework.

And those were exactly the words that the chief cabinet secretary used again this morning despite the upping of rhetoric between North Korea and the U.S. And I think that really highlights the quandary that Japan faces right now. One, its proximity to North Korea has always been problematic. You have missiles landing in Japanese waters, two of them in the month of July alone. Yet, it is hampered or it has its pacifist its Constitution.

And I think I cannot overstate the vein of pacifism that runs through Japanese society, particularly on a day like today. Today is the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and people are extremely aware of that historical past.

And I think this kind of language -- regardless of whether it's just rhetoric triggers a sense of disdain I think generally among the Japanese public. So I think the Japanese public is weary and growing a little bit uncomfortable at the level of exchange between these two nations.

And Japan -- the Japanese government at the same time trying to maintain its diplomatic cool but having a difficult time doing so because it's really cap between a rock in a hard place. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Certainly the timing of this extraordinary. Kaori Enjoji joining us there and Alexandra Field, many thanks to both of you for those live reports.

Well, Guam's governor responded to the North Korean threat just a short time ago. Take a listen.


EDDIE BAZA CALVO, GOVERNOR OF GUAM: I want to reassure the people of Guam that currently there is no threat to our island or the Marianas. My homeland security advisor who is in communications with homeland security and the Department of Defense notes that there is no change in the threat level resulting from North Korea events.

I want to ensure that we are prepared for any eventuality. I will be convening the unified coordination group which includes myself and the rear admiral. And to discuss the state of readiness of our military and our local first responders.


CHURCH: The Guam governor there. And Carl Baker is the director of programs at the Pacific forum with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He joins us via Skype from Honolulu in Hawaii. Thank you, sir for being with us. So, North Korea's state media report its military is examining a plan to strike the U.S. territory of Guam, and Hawaii is also on alert, isn't it, with a warning bunker already set up to sound the alarm should a missile head their way. What has been the reaction there in Honolulu to this threat and what do you believe North Korea's capabilities are at this juncture?

CARL BAKER, PROGRAM DIRECTOR, PACIFIC FORUM CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: Well, there has been a response here in Hawaii and I think a reasonable response and that as the governor from Guam said that there's a necessity to prepare.

But having said that, I do think that North Korea has propensity to overstate its capabilities. And in this case I think it is overstating its capabilities especially when you get the army intermediate range. And even in forums case I think that there really isn't a proven capability that North Korea can attack even Guam or Hawaii.

CHURCH: Guam and Hawaii have access to various defenses anyway, don't they, including the THAAD missile systems, war ships in the region. How much comfort to those defense systems offer and what would happen if this escalates to that point, what are the options available to the United States, South Korea, and Japan to make sure that it doesn't go in that direction?

BAKER: You know, you're right. There is missile defense systems both in Japan and Korea, as well as Guam and Hawaii. So there is -- there is a defense in place. Of course, it's a very limited defense system because it's really designed to stop one or two missiles not a barrage of missiles.

So, I think that that provides some level of comfort and some reassurance that in fact, North Korea doesn't represent a serious imminent threat to these places. But I think that what's important is as the reporters from both Seoul and Tokyo said it's time for some reassurance and some calming of the tension and calming of discourse.

[03:09:58] And I think that that is -- that is the most important part. We have to remember that the course that we've chosen at this point is to impose sanctions. And we have support from China and Russia in the forum of the United Nations Security Council to implement those sanctions which are tougher, and send a message that the region is committed to a peaceful peninsula.

And so I think that we need to give that time to work and we need to give the opportunity for the countries to demonstrate their resolve to actually send Pyongyang that signal.

CHURCH: Yes. Well, Rex Tillerson was trying to do that, wasn't he, but his president has moved in the other direction. So, what did you make of the language that President Trump use when he told North Korea to stop the threat or face fire and fury the likes of which this world has never seen before.

Then Kim Jong-un of course responded by threatening to strike Guam. Is that a red line from Mr. Trump, already closed apparently, by Kim Jong-un, where does this put the crisis historically?

BAKER: Well, certainly that the president, President Trump making that statement was not very helpful in calming anything. And in fact, I think the national security apparatus in the United States recognizes that. And so, I mean, we can't -- we can't make the president not say that.

But I think what we can do is we can demonstrate that in fact the national security apparatus in the United States is responding in a responsible way and, yes, I think Secretary Tillerson was doing that. Because to send to the North Korean level of sending out these threats is not useful.

CHURCH: Carl Baker, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your perspective. We appreciate it.

Well, North Korea has been working toward an arsenal of nuclear tip intercontinental ballistic missiles for some time now. Last year, the regime claimed it has a miniaturize nuclear warhead that could fit on a ballistic missile.

State-run media showed a spherical device but whether it was an actual nuclear bomb, well, that remains unclear at this point.

Now, in September, the North claim to have successfully detonated a nuclear warhead although many experts were skeptical. And last month, the regime claimed to have conducted its first successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach anywhere in the world according to them.

Well, if it's true that North Korea has miniaturize warhead that would be a major advancement, one which some experts thought would take much longer to achieve.

More now from our Tom Foreman.

TOM FOREMAN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: This photo reports to show Kim Jong- un with a miniaturize nuke and if it's the real deal here's what we know about it. It would be roughly two feet across, probably would weigh several hundred pounds, maybe 5 to 600 and would likely have the same punch as the nuclear weapons the U.S. dropped on Japan, 72 years ago this week.

But look at the tremendous difference in size. Here where each around 10 feet long weighed about 10,000 pounds and have to be carried in by a heavy bomber. Something this small could much more likely be carried into those cone of one of those missiles they've been testing lately.

And that tells us a lot because look what we've seen in the latest test. The last missile they had went about 2300 up well beyond the space station beyond many satellites out there. It only cover the land distance of 621 miles. But that because it went straight up and came straight down.

If you flatten that trajectory and fired it across the land it could reach Guam, Hawaii, Alaska, and depending on the weight of the payload some sciences believe technically it might be able to reach the middle of the United States and some of the cities there. Some scientist think that.

But I say technically because if you look at the overall scoreboard of what North Korea is doing they still have some big challenges in front of them. Let's give them a green light on range and say they do have enough thrust maybe to get to the United States mainland. Accuracy may be a big question mark still though.

We're going to call that a yellow light because getting a missile like this on that flatter trajectory in the space back out of space coming into the atmosphere without tearing apart and then putting a warhead on target, that's very, very difficult and hard to make reliable.

But remember, only a few weeks ago, we had a red light here on nuclear warheads because some of the scientists thought they lack the technology to make one small enough. Now, that are very least just changed to yellow. And so you can see they continue making progress despite the whole world is essentially telling them they would like them to stop.

CHURCH: All right. We'll take a short break here, but more on the North Korean threat and the political implications for the White House already dealing with some serious challenges.

[03:15:01] Plus, how is the U.S. preparing for a North Korean nuclear strike. We will take you to one state on the front lines of a possible attack.

And a dramatic standoff in the Mediterranean. A migrant rescue group says its ships are being turned away from ports in Europe and intimated by Libya's coast guard.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. U.S. President Donald Trump is facing some harsh criticism after his alarming threat to North Korea. New Zealand's prime minister said it was not helpful and could escalate tensions across the region. And some U.S. lawmakers called the comments overstated and unhinged.

Our Sara Murray reports the latest poll numbers show President Trump is losing the trust of Americans.

SARA MURRAY, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: President Trump issuing a sharp warning today to North Korea.


TRUMP: North Korea best not make not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.

He has been very threatening beyond a normal statement. And as I said, they will be met with fire, fury and frankly, power the likes of which this world has never seen before. (END VIDEO CLIP)

MURRAY: The president saying dire consequences lie ahead as North Korea's nuclear threat continues. The warning coming as the president injects a dash of policy to his New Jersey retreat.


TRUMP: It is horrible what's going on with opioid and other drugs.


MURRAY: Vowing to combat the opioid crisis as Trump faces a credibility of his own. Six months into his presidency just 38 percent of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing. Fifty six percent disapprove according to the latest CNN poll. But it's clear the new president is already facing a credibility gap with 60 percent of Americans saying they don't believe Trump is honest and trustworthy.

Add to that only a quarter of Americans say they believe all or most of the official communications from the White House compared to 30 percent who say they don't trust anything they hear from the president's office.

A series of questionable move by the administration may only fuel American's skepticism like this recommendation from Department of Agriculture officials to drop the term climate change and instead refer to weather extremes according to an e-mail obtained by CNN.

The guidance comes under a president who has frequently questioned the scientific consensus behind human impact on rising global temperatures. But Trump has also face scrutiny for its handling of classified information.

On Tuesday, he re-tweeted a Fox News report base on anonymous resources who leaked the information.

[03:20:01] It declared "U.S. by satellites detects North Korean moving anti-ship cruise missiles to patrol boat." This, as what Nikki Haley, the Ambassador to the United Nations had to say about that issue.




HALEY: I can't talk about anything that's classified and if that's in the newspaper that's a shame.


MURRAY: But the president apparently has no qualms about once again sharing potentially classified information. In July, Trump tweeted about a covert CIA program to arm Syrian rebels. After the Washington Post reported the administration plan to end it. Sources say Trump also shared highly classified information with

Russian officials when he invited them into the Oval Office in May.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is alarming the casualness with which President Trump shares classified information.


MURRAY: Now in terms of North Korea we know that President Trump has sent quite a bit of time over the last couple of days huddled with senior U.S. officials about how to deal with threat from North Korea. One thing that they have made clear is that every option is still on the table and that includes the military option.

Sara Murray, CNN, Bridgewater, New Jersey.

CHURCH: It's worth noting there's little precedent for Mr. Trump's language and both democrats and republicans quickly took issue with it. Senator John McCain said great leaders don't threaten unless they are ready to act and he isn't sure Mr. Trump is ready.


JOHN MCCAIN, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: I take exception to the president's comments because you got to be sure that you can do what you say you're going to do. In other words the old walk softly but carry a big stick.


CHURCH: Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein said this. "Isolating the North Koreans has not halted their pursuit of nuclear weapons and President Trump is not helping the situation with his bombastic comment."

Eliot Engel is the top democrat on the House foreign affairs committee he said this. "Make no mistake North Korea is a real threat but the president's unhinged reaction suggest he might consider using American nuclear weapons in response to a nasty comment from a North Korean despot."

A CBS poll found only 35 percent of Americans surveyed out confidence about the president's ability to handle the situation with North Korea's nuclear program. The responses fell along party lines with 76 percent of republicans feeling confident compared to just 10 percent of democrats.

Well, Guam is not the only island North Korea could strike. Hawaii is 7500 kilometers away but still within range of Kim Jong-un's missiles.

CNN's Sara Sidner takes us inside of bunker in Honolulu to show us what would happen if a missile was launched at Hawaii.

SARA SIDNER, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: We are inside a bunker inside the diamond head crater. There are 6 feet of concrete above me, 6 feet of concrete in the walls. This is the place for the emergency operating center state warning point is this. And the reason why this place is so important is this is where the warning to all the Hawaiian islands will come from.

See that phone there? That phone will get a phone call from Pacific command once they determined that a missile is coming from North Korea headed this way. Then this phone will be picked up a loss (Ph) this will send out called to all of the county simultaneously and they will warn their population that this is going to be an attack.

And to prepare there also be a tone that will be sent from here that is a plan to all of the islands and you will hear a warning sound and a siren coming through all the islands there will be also simultaneously everything going out on the television so that you'll know that this is happening here on the Hawaiian Islands.

Now one of the most important thing that people need to know is you can survive this if you are certain amount away from where the detonation happens. And in order to do so, though, you need to have a plan. Here's the kicker. There is only 20 minutes from the time of launch from North Korea before the bomb falls here in Hawaii.

It doesn't give you much time you'll probably have 15 minutes warning to get somewhere safe and that is something that the state is the first to work on that plan to try and save lives in case of a nuclear attack.

Sara Sidner, CNN, Honolulu.

CHURCH: Very sobering report there. Well, a dramatic confrontation in the Mediterranean is the latest development in the migrant crisis. A Spanish group called pro-Activa says the Libyan Coast Guard chased away one of its rescue boats and another boat carrying three migrants was denied entry to ports in Italy and Malta.

Nic Robertson reports.

NIC ROBERTSON, INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR, CNN: That's the Libyan Coast Guard firing warning shots at a Spanish NGO ship open arms as it tries to come to the aid of migrants 13 miles of Libya's coast.

[03:25:00] Next sending this blunt message.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have been monitoring you for the last two days. You are conducting suspicious activities. This is information that you are dealing with smugglers. Do not come back close to our waters. Next time you will be targeted.

ROBERTSON: The message and the shooting confirmed by the Libyan Coast Guard signals a dangerous rise in tensions of the Mediterranean migrants. Last week, Italy over burned by migrants arriving from Libya authorize its navy to deploy near the Libyan coast to its first smugglers but the request of Libya's government of national accord. But Libya has no central authority and days later, one leading Libyan commander General Hafta (Ph) ordered his forces to confront ships sailing into Libyan waters and the situation is only getting more chaotic. A growing concern that NGOs who rescue migrants are encouraging people smugglers.

Right wing European vigilante groups are in the med and threatening NGOs. Here defend Europe (Inaudible) challenges NGO vessel Aquarius.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We would like you to leave the area (Inaudible) a human trafficker making a billion.

ROBERTSON: Both Italy and NATO are trying to impose order rescuing migrants rounding up smugglers and setting standards for NGO's including forcing NGOs to take on Italian police on future missions, a move NGO's feel compromises their independence.

With smugglers NATO, the Italian Navy, the Libyan Coast Guard, NGO's vigilante groups and normal commercial traffic crowding the western med, the chances of a more serious incident are growing.

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.

CHURCH: Let's take a short break here, but up next, more on North Korea's nuclear progress. We will look at whether the country can make good on its threats to put a nuclear warhead on a long range missile.

Plus, Kenyans turned out in droves to cast their votes in a tight presidential race. Now the nation is waiting to learn what its political future will hold.

We're back in a moment with that and more.


CHURCH: A very warm welcome back to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church.

Time to update you now on the main stories we've been following this hour.

[03:30:01] North Korea says it's considering plans for a military strike on the island of Guam and the U.S. air base there. U.S. bombers based on the island flew over the Korean Peninsula on Monday in a show of force.

This after U.S. President Donald Trump says Pyongyang's threats will be met with fire and fury.

Guam's governor assured his people there is no current threat to the island and says several levels of defense remain in place. Japan also said it is analyzing the situation and pointed out Guam strategic importance.

Venezuela's new social truth commission says it will begin investigating violence in the country and warns that justice will come to some members of the opposition.

Meanwhile, leaders from 12 American nations met in Peru Tuesday to discuss the Venezuelan crisis. They called for new elections with international observers.

At least 13 people are dead, 175 injured after a strong earthquake struck a popular tourist area in southwest China. CCTV reports people are buried under the rubble and rescuers are working to clear the area.

Well, more now on our top story. The threats between the U.S. and North Korea escalating to an alarming level. North Korea is now warning of a strike on a U.S. territory and says it's long-range missiles can reach the American mainland. But can the North Koreans make good on those threats?

Our Brian Todd has this report.

BRIAN TODD, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Kim Jong-un appears to have ramped up his capability to deliver his deadliest weapons and is drawing a stern warning from President Trump about threatening the U.S.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They will be met with fire, fury, and frankly power. The likes of which this world has never seen before.


TODD: U.S. intelligence officials has assessed that North Korea has produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles including its long-range ICBMs that could reach the United States, that's according to multiple sources familiar with the analysis of Kim's missile and nuclear program. The one source tell CNN this is not the consensus view by the entire intelligence community.


TONY SHAFFER, FORMER CIA INTELLIGENCE OFFICER: Because of the North Korean progress Hawaii, Alaska, Washington State, Oregon, California are all now threatened directly by the progress that Un and the North Koreans have made.


TODD: A missile expert explains where that miniaturized warhead would go and how it would work.


THOMAS KARAKO, DIRECTOR OF THE MISSILE DEFENSE PROJECT, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: Within nose cone shroud would be the warhead. That would, you know, goes up into space separates, comes back down and it kind of pointed object is going to enter the atmosphere very fast. (END VIDEO CLIP)

TODD: Sources tell CNN it is not believe the warhead capability has been tested and there's another key question about the missiles that would deliver it.


DAVID ALBRIGHT, FOUNDER, INSTITUTE FOR SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY: It's unclear that there reentry vehicle that would hold warhead would survive coming back into the atmosphere and reaching the target.


TODD: For a warhead to reach its target it has to reenter the atmosphere from space at very high speed so the engineers need to protect it from extreme heat. North Korea has already been testing heat shields that protect the warhead during its fiery reentry.

President Trump's National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster recently said the possibility that North Korea could possess nuclear weapons capable of reaching America would be quote, "intolerable" and could lead to a U.S. military response. What could that response be?


SHAFFER: One of the options is to use military weapons, precision strike weapons to take these weapons out both in their hide sites, they are deep underground facilities as well as they are being mounted to the weapon themselves. These are all throughout North Korea. We do know where a lot of them are.


TODD: But that option comes with a warning about how Kim Jong-un could strike back.


SHAFFER: Because we have Seoul right on the border with indirect artillery range, one of the very likely retaliations would be a logical weapons direct artillery weapons against Seoul. That the Seoul, for example, is a hostage city.


TODD: A densely populated city of more than 10 million people also in the target range of Kim and his million man army some 28,000 American troops in South Korea, some estimates project tens of thousands of people killed in the first couple of days of a potential conflict.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

CHURCH: And Australia responded to the latest escalation just a short time ago. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull warned of what a conflict would entail while laying the blame squarely on North Korea.


MALCOLM TURNBULL, PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA: A conflict would be shattering. It would have catastrophic consequences. The fault in this area the wrongdoing is that of the North Korean government. They are the ones who have breach of U.N. Security Council resolutions. They are the ones that are acting illegally. They are the ones that are threatening the peace of the region and the world.


[03:35:07] CHURCH: So let's bring in Stephan Haggard, he is the director of the Korea-Pacific program at the University of California in San Diego. Thank you so much for being with us.


CHURCH: Now the threats are flying back and forth and what is a very delicate situation, what was your reaction when you first heard the U.S. president tell North Korea to stop the threats or e face and fury like the world has never seen and not long after that, of course, North Korea threatened Guam?

HAGGARD: Well, disappointment obviously because President Trump was sounding like Kim Jong-un. It's really sad actually because the administration had a pretty significant win over the weekend with the passage of the U.N. Security Council resolution which introduces some new sanctions on North Korea that are actually quite significant.

And I think that Secretary Tillerson has also outlined a pretty coherent strategy moving forward. But with this it's going to be hard for the North Koreans to go back to the table or make any concessions in the face of this kind of threat.

CHURCH: And of course, if North Korea does have a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit into the nose of a missile what options should be on the table, what's the best approach when it comes to easing tensions and threats from North Korea and does the language of the president undermine the diplomatic efforts of his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson?

HAGGARD: I think they do. You know, of course diplomacy is really difficult because you have to simultaneously signal that you're trying to exert pressure but you're also holding out the olive branch and saying we can get back to negotiations.

And I think Secretary Tillerson had done a pretty good job at maintaining that balance. On the one hand you have the U.N. Security Council resolution but he's made a number of statements saying the U.S. is willing to negotiate; it doesn't seek regime change, and so on.

But if you read the North Korean prowess and statements coming out of the military, for example, they see this kinds of statements not simply as an attack on North Korea but as an effort to undermine the regime itself, and of course that's the sacred Kim dynasty.

CHURCH: And so do you think President Trump understands the ramifications of using words like fire and fury when it comes to North Korea and essentially drawing this line in the sand.

HAGGARD: Well, you've actually raised another point which is the whole question of whether she is setting a red line that's going to get him in the same type of trouble that President Obama got in with respect to Syrian chemical weapons. But I think the answer to that has to be no. It's another example unfortunately of the administration going in multiple directions at once.

We had statements from Mike Pompeo and from General McMaster and Nikki Haley at the U.N. that are emphasizing the military side of the equation, at the same time the Tillerson is trying to conduct the diplomacy and get the sanctions worked on.

So, the sanctions were completely contingent on Tillerson's negotiation approach. And so with that now potentially out the window it's going to be interesting to see how the Chinese respond, not to mention the North Koreans.

CHURCH: Yes, indeed, everyone is watching the Chinese at this point. Of course the democrats are calling Mr. Trump's threat to North Korea bombastic and unhinged. Is that what it is, would you go as far as that?

HAGGARD: I prefer to not engage in that kind of political rhetoric. I just don't think it's useful at this juncture. I don't think the damage is necessarily irreversible but I think we need a single voice on policy coming out of the administration.

And as I said, I think that Secretary Tillerson had really struck a pretty coherent note. On the one hand with the sanctions on the other hand with the, you know, the reassurances to China, in particular.

And you know, the type of tweets on China are also not helpful because we're trying to enlist their cooperation on this issue not push them away.

CHURCH: Stephan Haggard, thank you so much. We really appreciate your perspective and analysis on this.

HAGGARD: My pleasure.

CHURCH: All right. Let's take another short break. Still to come, ballot counting is underway in Kenya's hotly contested presidential election as eager voters wait to hear who will lead their country. A live report from Nairobi. That's next.

Plus, South Africa's so-called Teflon president survived another political scare. Just ahead, why Jacob Zuma's party is under pressure despite his win.

Plus, ISIS is searching for recruits in the quiet suburbs of Australia. How Australian officials are fighting the threat. That's still to come. Stay with us.


CHURCH: Welcome back to CNN Newsroom.

Kenyans are eagerly awaiting the outcome of a very tight presidential election. Long lines didn't deter voters from coming out to cast their ballots Tuesday. Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta is facing his longtime rival former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

CNN's Farai Sevenzo joins us now live from Nairobi with more on this. SO, Farai, the ballots are being counted, when can voters expect to find out who their next president might be.

FARAI SEVENZO, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Very good morning to you, Rosemary. Yes, you're right in saying that this is going to be very tightly fought campaigned. Overnight, people were still voting by the time I went there last night because their ballot, their poll precincts had opened late so they compensated for that but letting them vote on.

At this morning, as we're coming to the bureau the results about 70 percent or 40,883 polling stations have been declared. And it looks like at the moment Mr. Kenyatta seems to have the numbers but we must be very careful, Rosemary, because that does not mean overall that he's won. There is already some disputes starting to happen.

At the moment, the leader of the opposition Raila Odinga is giving a press conference as I speak to you. And he is contesting the way the results have come out. He's unhappy with the manner in which they were delivered and we are in for a very interesting 24 hours as this a result unfold, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes, indeed. And there has been an incredible amount of interest in this. The turnout was very high, wasn't it, for this election. What are the two different visions of each of these main presidential candidates offer the people of Kenya.

SEVENZO: Well, Mr. Kenyatta sees himself as the man to do business with. He has been asking or he was asking now 24 hours later, he was asking the electorate to trust him to bring prosperity to Kenya. Mr. Odinga the man was been in opposition four times. This is his fourth time of running for president was saying, look, this old system is corrupt. I want to clear out all kinds of corruption from the Kenyan politics and to let everyone have a fair chance.

He promised things even like support for single mothers. And the whole idea between the two men is about leaving Kenya in a different way, but in fact they are from the same political dynasties. Their fathers run the country and now they hope to run the country themselves.

Interestingly, too, Rosemary, is there are several other legislators vying for office. We just heard that the governor of Kiambu, a long term governor Mr. Kabogo has been defeated by Mr. Waititu. So, all kinds of things are happening in this election. But in terms of the results and in terms of the vision the Kenyan people have voted to we have some way to find out. And I think by the close of today we should, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes, and we'll be all waiting and watching. Farai Sevenzo, thank you so much for your live report. I appreciate it.

And South Africa's President, Jacob Zuma is celebrating after surviving another failed attempt to oust him. On Tuesday, lawmakers defeated a no-confidence motion against the president even though the vote was by secret ballot.

[03:45:00] Now the opposition failed to get enough and see members to side with them. Here's what Mr. Zuma said about his party at a victory rally in Cape Town.


JACOB ZUMA, PRESIDENT OF SOUTH AFRICA: Those comrades who are in parliament (Inaudible) to this approach from the members and supporters who came in the numbers who demonstrates that is the ANC is there. It's powerful, it's big, it's difficult to defeat to the ANC.


CHURCH: President Zuma refuses to step down despite numerous corruption allegations.

And we have some breaking news into CNN right now. Six soldiers have been injured after they were hit by a vehicle in a suburb northwest of Paris.

CNN affiliate BF MTV says the soldiers were leaving their barracks when this happened and we will continue to watch this, and of course bring you more information as it comes into us.

All right. Well, fans are mourning the loss of country music star Glen Campbell who died Tuesday after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. A memorial wreath and other mementos are being left as a tribute to him at his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The award- winning artist is best remembered for his string of hits including "Rhinestone Cowboy" and "Wichita Alignment."

Well, Australians have been warned about the risk of a homegrown terror attack for years. But plots foiled over a week ago involving a passenger plane and a gas attack highlighted just how serious the threat is. Two men have been charge with terror-related offenses. Neither have entered a plea at this point but experts say there are many more Australians who have been recruited and have adopted the Isis ideology.

Anna Coren looks at the reasons why.

ANNA COREN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Australia's quiet tree-lined street maybe more than 13,000 kilometers away from ISIS self-declared opioid crumbling caliphate. But this is fertile ground for its murderous ideology. According to the government, ISIS has recruited around 200 Australians to fight in Iraq and Syria including two friends of this young noble man. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know two friends, two personal friends of mine now traveled to fight with ISIS. Once is a pharmaceutical friend and one is a friend who I see at the gym.

COREN: A 20-year-old university student who ask CNN not to reveal his identity out of safety concerns had no idea his friends were being radicalized until they arrived in Syria. And while he didn't see any red flags he believes a feeling of alienation in their own country made them vulnerable to ISIS.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do believe that it's because of the lack of sense of belonging here in Australia. When they -- when anybody travels overseas over there went on as Australians, here in Australia went on as foreigners so they probably some of them thinking who are we.

COREN: Authorities have managed to stop hundreds of Australians who are traveling overseas to fight and those at home with connections abroad are the ones experts say need to be watched.

GREG BARTON, COUNTER-TERRORISM EXPERT, DEAKIN UNIVERSITY: In some cases are ticking time bombs people who have sort of broken confused and if approach and grimed by those who want to use them could once again become dangerous.

COREN: Just over a week ago, Australia's security and intelligence agencies foiled the most sophisticated allege terror plot ever seen in this country to blow off a plane using an IED and unleash a chemical bomb in a crowded public space instructed by ISIS.

MICHAEL PHELAN, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE: If hadn't been for the great work of our intelligence agencies and law enforcement at a very quick period of time and we could very well had a catastrophic event in this country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All you have to do is put in him. All you have to do is believe.

COREN: A call for lone wolf attacks has resonated with homegrown Jihadists leading to a spate of them in Australia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can probably hear the loud explosions behind me.

COREN: The most significant being the Sydney siege in 2014 that led to three deaths including the gunman.


COREN: Well, Australians manage to evade a major terrorist attack on home soil experts say it's only a matter of time. Currently, dozens of counterterror investigations are underway and at least a thousand Australians with links to terrorism are known to police but are still flying under the radar that analyst fear poses a real threat. The government has poured tens of millions of dollars in de- radicalization programs across the country that work with communities and families to identify early warning signs.


HASS DELLAL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AUSTRALIAN MULTICULTURAL FOUNDATION: There are not going to a lot of mothers are going to dial a hotline and dug in their self, even if they, you know, feel that there is something wrong but they may do something at the grassroots level if they are connected to people that they trust and confide in.


[03:50:12] COREN: But with ISIS suffering defeats in Iraq and Syria there is concern it will pull out all stops to demonstrate it remains a potent force.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they could achieve a sophisticated attack out of Sydney on open for them it would be a sign of real potency.


COREN: A fear shared by this man one of his friends since being killed on the battlefield the fate of the other remains unknown but he's certain ISIS will continue to prey upon his community.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If are not doing enough to stop it. They have nothing to lose. We do.

COREN: Ana Coren, CNN, Sydney.

CHURCH: And you can find more of Ana and her teams reporting on this story at

Still to come, people in Virginia are stunned to see a van sipping around without a human behind the wheel also it seems. Plus, the song of the summer passes a major milestone. We'll explain.


CHURCH: That's right. Despocito, if you haven't heard it yet you are probably living under a rock. The video by Puerto Rican artist Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee is now the most popular ever on YouTube. It's the first to reach three billion views. Yes, that's billion with a b.

Despocito is also the most streamed song of all time and it got there in record time even though its name means slowly in English. The original video is Spanish but Justin Bieber popularized a partly English version and it's been covered in almost every language you can Google.

(MUSIC PLAYING) Singing along, yes, of course a simple translation isn't enough to some enough for some people. Parody artist have created versions with their own lyrics.


That was fun, right? And like almost everything else the song has even gone political.

All right, really infectious, right? And here's coming over in your direction, and apparently driverless car turning heads in Virginia.

Our Jeanne Moos explains a very strange length a man went to create the ultimate mobile masquerade.

JEANNE MOOS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: A gray van goes by what's wrong with this picture, rewind please.

SCOTT BRODBECK, EDITOR, ARLNOW.COM: I kind of glance at it and I said, you know, I didn't see a driver in there. That's really weird.

MOOS: Scott Brodbeck, the editor of in Arlington, Virginia ripped out his iPhone and started shooting the seemingly driverless van. When he publish the video it turned the vehicle into a mystery until a reporter for NBC Washington stumbled on the van discovering the driver seat had arms and legs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brother, who are you? What are you doing? I'm with the news, dude.

MOOS: He was half man half car seat wearing a sort of seat disguise. The van took off, WRC's Adam Tusk tried to follow.


MOOS: Eventually, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute acknowledge it owns the test vehicle. The driver seating area is configured to make the driver less visible within the vehicle while still allowing him or her the ability to safely monitor and respond to surroundings. The apparent purpose, to gauge people's reactions.

You know, this invisible driver that's been circulating as a prank on the internet for years. I've even converse with a car seat. I could almost seat in you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So this is how the custom looks.

MOOS: Rajah Hussein used to prank the employees of fast food drive- through.


MOOS: It was some serious smuggling when this man tried to sneak from Mexico into the U.S. sewn into the seat. The half-man, half-seat van drove home a phrase that's become a thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm with the news, dude.

BRODBECK: I'm with the news, dude. I wish I would have come up with that. That's great.

MOOS: As one commenter noted Cronkite.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that's the way it is.

MOOS: Murrow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good night and good luck.

MOOS: Tusk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm with the news, dude.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dude, can you pull over?

CHURCH: All right. Before we go a quick update on the breaking news we brought you out of France. Six soldiers have been injured too seriously after they were hit by a vehicle in a suburb northwest of Paris. CNN affiliate BF MTV says the soldiers were leaving their barracks when it happened.

Police say they are looking for the driver and the vehicle and the mayor of the suburbs says there was no doubt this was a deliberate act.

We will of course have much more on this next hour with Max foster.

Thanks so much for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter.

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