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North and South Korea Both Flexing its Muscle; Trump to Get Rid of DACA Program; Rohingya Minorities Flee for their Life. Aired 3- 4a ET

Aired September 4, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST, CNN: South Korea holding a live fire military exercise, a day after North Korea tested its biggest hydrogen bomb to date. We are live in Seoul with the very latest.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, HOST, CNN: And in the United States, President Trump is suspected to end a program that protects undocumented immigrants who came to America as children. What this could mean for the nearly 800,000 people currently in that program.

Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Seoul, South Korea.

CHURCH: And I'm Rosemary Church here in Atlanta. This is CNN Newsroom.

STOUT: South Korea is responding to North Korea's claimed hydrogen bomb with its own show of force. It conducted these military drills and one defense official said that they're meant to send this message to Pyongyang that Seoul is willing to wipe out its leadership and nuclear test site.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump sent another message and it's not likely to be viewed well here in Seoul. He said in a tweet "South Korea is finding as I have told them that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work. They only understand one thing," unquote.

Now CNN's Ian Lee joins me live with the latest to the reaction to the missile test and the reaction to this tweet sent by U.S. President Trump, criticizing a key ally of appeasement. What is the reaction you hear to that?

IAN LEE, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: yes, you know, when you have an international incident like this you want to rally around the flag. Get all your allies to come together to show a strong show of force united front against whatever threat that is.

And this tweet has a crack of daylight in it where it shows there isn't this united front or at least President Trump is tweeting out that is going to anger both Koreans about appeasement toward North Korea. Yes, it's true President Moon when he first came into power talked

about a dialogue and getting to the negotiating table with the North Koreans to resolve their conflict. But he's inherited a completely different situation where you have North Korea defiant about their nuclear program and you also have President Trump, who's talking tough as well, and President Moon has shown a strong hand in this crisis, but this isn't the only thing worrying Koreans right now.

There's a report that Donald Trump is looking at the free-trade agreement between the United States and the South Korea. And that is also something the Koreans are going to scratch their head at, what kind of ally would do that, especially now during this crisis and especially since the United States put the THAAD anti-missile system here in South Korea.

That angered the Chinese. The Chinese retaliated and there has been economic troubles through that as well. And so to cut off that free- trade agreement would just be adding salt to a wound.

STOUT: Absolutely. It's incredible because at a time when key allies in the region especially South Korea are seeking reassurance in the United States they're getting these signals from Donald Trump of an alliance as being actively undermined.

That separately, we have Secretary Mattis saying he is promising a massive military response. I mean, that must generate some measure of concern here in Seoul. We're not that far away from the DMZ.

LEE: Yes, general or Secretary of Defense Mattis now said that would have a -- they were going to have a strong response. And he said that for any threat against South Korea, United States or any ally of the United States.

And that's the tough talk, though, we kind of expect from the United States when it comes to any threats towards the U.S. ally and that's kind of the stable side of this relationship right now.

We do have heard that President Trump's advisors have been saying, you know, when it comes to this breaking off of this free-trade agreement, they say don't do it now. We won't need the strong alliance.


LEE: And that's what we're hearing from general -- or from Secretary of Defense Mattis saying that, listen, we are with our allies, we're standing united together and if North Korea tries anything, we're ready to respond.

STOUT: Got it. Ian Lee, good to see you here in Seoul. We thank you for your reporting. Ian Lee there.

Now the international watchdog agency -- now at the moment before we go to Vienna where we were hopefully that -- hoping that Nic Robertson would be standing by, we do have a guest joining us from London to talk to us more about how South Korea is responding to North Korea, not only that but just the threat itself, the nuclear threat being posed.

We have, as I've been mentioning before, this is what's happening today, against the will of the world North Korea has gone ahead and tested what it claims to be a hydrogen bomb. The hydrogen bomb that it says is small enough to be able to put on top of an ICBM missile, of course experts are still verifying that and (AUDIO GAP).

[03:05:04] ... and Nic, what is the director general responding to, how is he responding to this latest nuclear test, the sixth test believed to be a hydrogen bomb test by North Korea?

NIC ROBERTSON, INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR, CNN: This is the man who sits atop the International Atomic Energy Agency who has an absolute world view and a better grasp for these issues than anyone else, his response was and it was a very swift response as well, is that this is an extremely regrettable act. It is against the express wishes of the international community.

He reminds North Korea of its obligations under many U.N. resolutions, where most recently the U.N. resolution 2371 that North Korea should end its nuclear weapons program, should put everything that it has in that context beyond use that it should do this in a verifiable way, in a reversible way.

But of course Yukiya Amano, the Director General here is fully aware of the tense relationship with North Korea. The fact that it has broken its previous obligations in this regard. But he says, you know, the IAEA in its role as a monitoring organization, has a role as an organization that can lend a hand if there is a diplomatic progress to oversee such an effective control and measurement of what North Korea is doing with its nuclear capacities on the ground in North Korea.

He says they, this organization, the IAEA, stands by ready to help in that process. But his initial reaction is very, very clear. This is extremely regrettable and obviously very big and broad concerns going with that. Kristie?

STOUT: Extremely regrettable that's the reaction from Yukiya Amano, the Director General of the IAEA. Nic Robertson reporting live for us. We thank you.

Let's get some nuclear expertise on board to figure out what's going on here. Martin Navias joins me now from London, he is a military expert at King's College London and the author of "Nuclear Weapons and British Strategic Planning."

Sir, thank you for joining us here on CNN.


STOUT: The North Koreans can make this claim of what they detonated on Sunday, but from what you're able to tell from the evidence available at this point, looking at the seismic readings, looking at the history of the nuclear tests, did they test a hydrogen bomb? NAVIAS: Well, that's kind of, as you correctly say, that is going to

take a few more weeks to determine definitively. What we can say with pretty much confidence now is that the magnitude of the blast was somewhere around 6, 6.3 and you can extrapolate the yield of the bomb from that magnitude, and it was a pretty large bomb the estimates I've seen are well over 100 kilotons.

So it is quite possible that they either detonated a hydrogen thermo nuclear bomb or a boosted fission weapon. Now they detonated that explosive underground in tunnels. There have been some reports that the tunnel collapsed because of the blast.

And we can expect that over in the next few weeks some of the radionuclide will escape and observers will test the atmosphere to see what kind of chemicals have been released and from that there be able to make a definitive judgment.

But I would say that with reasonable confidence and if they have not tested it now, the way the program is progressing, that the rapidity and the deliberateness of it, if they don't have it now, they'll have it shortly.

STOUT: It sounds that once the experts they do take that the data that within a couple of weeks they'll be able to get that verification. And then comes to that second claim that we got from the North Koreans, is it true that this is a hydrogen bomb, that would they be able to put it on an ICBM?

NAVIAS: Well, they have shown pictures. There was a picture of Kim Jong-un in front of the warhead together with what seemed like a cone of a missile. Again, that is difficult to prove. Nevertheless, given the status of their program, given the rapidity with which they are developing. If they're not able to do that now, they would do it in the near future.

You know, they're not -- presumably they are not going to test a ballistic missile with a live nuclear warhead. I mean, that is very rare and that would be a major escalation. The Chinese did it some decades ago, they fired a live nuclear warhead in a ballistic missile.

[03:10:04] But I can't see the North Koreans doing that. But we have the worst case, we have to prepare for the worse. And if they don't have it now, again, they will have it in the near future. They will be able to fit a nuclear war head and possibly a thermal nuclear warhead to an intercontinental ballistic missile.

STOUT: Understood but everything has changed since that test on Sunday. So what is the updated threat assessment? If North Korea did successfully detonate a hydrogen bomb, what is Pyongyang capable of doing?

NAVIAS: Look, North Korea has the capability to deliver ballistic missiles to intercontinental ranges. We have seen that. They have tested that. Now they will increase the reliability of those weapons and they will increase the arsenal over the next few months and years. And we can expect that they will be able to fit a nuclear warhead into

an intercontinental ballistic missile, and also into an intermediate range ballistic missile, that is those missiles that are capable of hitting Guam and places such as Tokyo and elsewhere.

What we will expect is that they will deploy a nuclear thermal nuclear force capable of striking the United States. That will come. If they are not stopped either physically or through diplomacy over the next few months or years, they will have a sizable force.

STOUT: Martian Navias of King's College London, we thank you for joining us here on the program.

NAVIAS: Thank you.

STOUT: And let's take it back to Rosemary Church. And Rosemary, as you heard just then, progress, incremental progress is definitely being made in North Korea's weapons and nuclear weapons program. Back to you.

CHURCH: It had a lot of people on edge for sure. Kristie, we'll come back to you in just a moment. But we do want to turn to another major story that we've been following. CNN has learned that President Trump is expected to end a program that protects hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants in the U.S. from deportation.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA applies to qualified participants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Now Mr. Trump's decision won't be final until he makes that announcement, and that's expected on Tuesday.

Sources tell CNN he will give Congress six months to pass legislation to fix DACA and allow people covered under it to remain in the U.S. Now during the presidential campaign of course you recall Mr. Trump repeatedly promised to end DACA.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will immediately terminate President Obama's two illegal executive amnesties in which he defied federal law and the Constitution to give amenity to approximately five million illegal immigrants.

When somebody is terrific we want them back here, but they have to be legally...



TRUMP: Look, it sounds cold and it sounds hard that we have a country that we have a country. Our country is going to hell. We have to have a system where people are legally in our country.

Those we're talking about DREAMers for other people. I want the children that are growing up in the United States to be dreamers also. They're not dreaming right now.


CHURCH: All right. A lot to discuss here. Scott Lucas joins us now, he is a professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham in England and the founder and editor of E.A. World View. Thank you so much for being with us.

S, it's believed that the elimination of DACA will cost employers about $2 billion or so and the GDP could lose $280 billion over the course of 10 years, so why would the Trump administration get rid of this program?

SCOTT LUCAS, POLITICS PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: Well, the reason why we're hearing this is because there are certain advisors, the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, a hard right White House advisor, Stephen Miller, who really want to end this program.

There are also some state attorney generals that are pressing for the end of it and Trump himself of course has the simple view of - if they're undocumented immigrants they're not doing us any good.

But Rosemary, I actually think the big story is that Trump has taken a step back in the last 24 hours. Because you'll note that while we were talking about it as he would make an announcement tomorrow that would immediately terminate the program.

Instead, what we're hearing now is well, we're not going to immediately end DACA, instead let's give it over to Congress and let's give them six months to, quote, "fix it."

Now what I think Trump has done is actually kicked the can down the road to Congress. If Congress doesn't remove DACA and replace it, Trump as he did with the GOP's failure over health care, as the administration is doing over tax cuts, they can say this failure is Congress' responsibility, it's not ours.

[03:15:05] Now it would be hard to predict what will happen with this president, he does probably to change his mind. But I think far from ending DACA there's action now breeding force for it given that a lot of republican congressman, as well as democrats, actually want to retain the program.

CHURCH: That's interesting you mentioned that because I do want to discuss that because if it's six months for Congress to come up with that legislation and it sounds like that would be the answer to keeping these DREAMers in the United States, the question is what form would that legislation take and also, is there any possibility that some of those dreamers would be sent back to their country of origin and then have to go through the process of coming back into the country legally.

LUCAS: Well, the first part of the question, Rosemary, if it isn't broke, you don't fix it. In other words, if the DACA program is working and you decided the economic evidence that it does, we have evidence from businesses as well as the immigrants that this program is working effectively to keep young people in the U.S. and they'd be productive, you don't make changes.

Now on the second part of the question as well, what happens in the meantime, the risk is here, we go back into another limbo, such as we had if you might remember over the Muslim ban on entry to the U.S., where individual agents may take actions there may be young undocumented immigrants whose status is in limbo who are unable to establish effective identity checks and they may be deported.

We need to see guidelines from the Justice Department and from the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions on what happens in the six-month period.

CHURCH: And Scott, while I got you here, I do want to shift to the other main issue we've been looking at North Korea. The U.S. is considering of course a number of options in response to the testing of that hydrogen bomb, if that is indeed what it is in the end.

What was your response to President Donald Trump attacking South Korea's approach to the North and then Mr. Trump threatening any country doing business with North Korea? How does that help or hinder the situation and how realistic is that?

LUCAS: My response, Rosemary, is that folks need to keep Donald Trump off Twitter. Let me be blunt with you here. Threatening South Korea, which is of course the country on the front line with the North is not helpful. It is not realistic to say that we are going to stop trading with China or France or Germany or other countries who actually have economic links with North Korea. So Trump is blowing smoke.

Instead, if there is stability it has come from, for example, the Defense Secretary James Mattis, who after the White House meeting yesterday tried to reassure allies and said, look, we are going to defend you if North Korea takes any aggressive action, while at the same time, saying but we are not going to push the button. We are not going to take this, you know, to a military show down.

Diplomacy in the end is the only way to this crisis, Trump does not help that with his Twitter activity. So hopefully he'll be put off to the side.

CHURCH: You've been watching this for a very long time, of course, and expert in politics, how concerned should we be in America across the world in this sort of brinkmanship that we're watching play out between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump.

LUCAS: Of course we should be concerned, Rosemary. I mean, what we're seeing is a couple of alpha males, or rather an alpha male North Korean regime and an alpha male U.S. president keep poking each other in the chest. And the North Koreans will continue to do this because they know they can wind Trump up.

So, at some point we need to step back before a mistake occurs, for example a North Korean missile going off course, a North Korean missile going off course and hitting say, Japan. But I also want to say, Rosemary, we have been here before. I lived through decades of the Cold War where we had this threat that someone would take the step too far and move beyond language to a nuclear strike. Thank goodness it never happened. And I'm hopeful it won't in this case.

Cooler heads I think will prevail I think on all sides, but we may to look, for example, to recognize that we need leadership from China, rather than Washington, to make the first step to negotiations with North Korea.

CHURCH: Yes, the ball does appear to be in China's court right now. Scott Lucas, always a pleasure to talk with you and get your analysis. Many thanks.

LUCAS: Thank you.

CHURCH: I want to take a break but still to come, international reaction is swift condemning North Korea after it detonates its most powerful nuclear bomb yet. More on that still to come.


STOUT: Now for a recap of the news that we're following out of the Korean Peninsula. South Korea is responding to Pyongyang's latest nuclear weapons test with its own threat.

Defense officials say these military drills show Seoul is willing to wipe out North Korea's leadership and nuclear site. The South Korean general also says that there are signs North Korea is preparing for another missile launch.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the BRICS countries is underway in Xiamen, China. It got leaders from Brazil, India and South Africa, there are other attending as well. As the Russian President Vladimir Putin he is there with China's President Xi Jinping who is hosting.

Now CNN's Andrew Stevens is there, he joins me now with the latest. And Andrew, no doubt coming up in discussions there at the BRICS summit is a tweet from the U.S. President Donald Trump, saying, quote, "The United States is considering in addition to other options stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea." Not knowing that there are and have been trade links between North Korea and China, does China consider that a direct threat?

ANDREW STEVENS, ASIA-PACIFIC EDITOR, CNN: China and also India as well, the leader of India, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also here. Kristie, no doubt this will be a topic of the conversation.

But to many people it is such a farfetched scenario that the U.S., the world's biggest economy would cut ties completely with the second biggest economy, we're talking about total direct trade going both ways of about $580 billion of which U.S. producers would lose about $115 -- $115 billion in sending their exports to China. So that would have a direct impact on U.S. Economic growth as well.

[03:25:07] In fact, most people will tell you that if Donald Trump went through with that, it would lead to a global recession, which includes recession in the United States as well. So I think it's more of a case really that BRIC leaders, as with many analysts have looked at that statement at face value and said that's just not going to the happen.

Now as you say, the BRICS meeting here has gathered five leaders from the BRIC countries, including Vladimir Putin. Mr. Putin and President Xi met last night to discuss North Korea and they pretty stuck to the same script which was that they were still pushing for denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.

They both strongly condemn this latest missile move, but as yet no indications that they're going to change their strategy on how to deal with North Korea, other than sticking to those U.N. sanctions against North Korea, Kristie.

STOUT: All right. Andrew Stevens joining us live from Xiamen the site of the BRICS summit. Thank you, Andrew. Now let's bring in CNN's Frederik Pleitgen, he joins us live from Moscow.

And as mentioned just a moment ago, Fred, we know the Russian President, Vladimir Putin is there in Xiamen to attend the summit, he is also addressing North Korea. Do you feel that Putin and Xi are providing a united front in terms of how to best manage the North Korean threat?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes. Well, that's exactly Vladimir Putin says. He says that China and Russia absolutely see eye to eye on that issue. And it's very interesting to hear what Andrew just said. Because the Russians do indeed say that they feel that this latest nuclear launch, which they've condemned, needs to be dealt with by the United Nations.

But he also went on to say that through his spokesman Dmitry Peskov that he doesn't believe that sanctions so far are working. And while the Russians are condemning this latest nuclear test they're also saying cooler heads need to prevail and there can only be a diplomatic solution to this crisis.

I want to read for you a quote by Dmitry Peskov who is obviously speaking on behalf of Vladimir Putin who is actually he attend there in China right now. He says, this is the quote, "Vladimir Putin called on the international community not to yield to emotions and act calmly and in a balanced manner."

He also stressed that "A comprehensive solution to the nuclear and other problems of Korean Peninsula can be reached only by political and diplomatic means."

It was interesting because people on this call that Dmitry Peskov had been asked what can absolution be and he said, look, so far it really is difficult to tell what is going to be the solution to this.

However, one of the things that Russia and China have proposed is what's called a double freeze, where they say in essence is a little more complicated, but in essence they say the North Koreans need to freeze their nuclear and missile programs and the U.S. should stop things like these military exercises that have been going on in that region. Of course there is some self-interest there, as well, Kristie,

obviously the Russians don't want to see the U.S. ramping up their military presence in Pacific region around Korea.

STOUT: Fred Pleitgen reporting live for us from Moscow. Thank you.

Now coming up right here on the program, President Trump responds to North Korea's latest nuclear weapons test. Plus, reports say he plans to end a program that allows thousands of young undocumented immigrants to work and study in the U.S. The latest on both these stories ahead.


CHURCH: And a warm welcome back to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church in Atlanta.

STOUT: And I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Seoul, South Korea.

Now we want to recap the news that we're following out of the Korean Peninsula. South Korea is responding to Pyongyang's latest nuclear weapons test with these military drills. One defense official says that they're meant to send a message to Pyongyang that Seoul is willing to wipe out its leadership and nuclear test site.

Now, South Korean general also says that there are also signs North Korea is preparing for another missile launch.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump sent another message and it's not likely to be viewed well here in Seoul. He said in a tweet this. "South Korea's finding as I've told that that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work. They only understand one thing.

Now Jean Lee joins me now. She is a CNN contributor journalist and a fellow with the Wilson Center. Great to meet you and to see you here in Seoul. Thank you for joining us here on the program. About that tweet that we just read out. That really undercut the alliance between the U.S. and South Korea during such a sensitive time. What has been the reaction here to that?

JEAN LEE, FELLOW, WILSON CENTER: It's a terrible time to be showing a possible rift between the U.S. and South Korea.


LEE: This is a time when the U.S. and South Korea needed to show that they were on the same page. So I'm a little concerned about the lack of unified messaging coming out of the White House.


LEE: And also coming out of these two capitals. So there's a lot of concern right now, that here in South Korea they're calling it Korea passing. There's some concern that the White House is just bypassing South Korea's interest. And so we're seeing the blue house here in South really scrambling to

assure the South Korean people that the U.S. president will take South Korea's interest at heart and will notify and work with South Korea if there's any kind of strategy, change in strategy.

STOUT: And just in terms of phrase here, Korea passing the feeling that the United States is bypassing South Korea altogether. And if that feeling is here, is there also growing support for South Korea to say hey, we need to take our security into our own hands.

LEE: There are some rumblings here among certain sectors of the population, there are calls for their own nuclear weapons. And this is what makes me concern. This is not possible for South Korea. There are signatory to the NPT.


LEE: But there's a concern here in South Korea that they're not (Inaudible) be protected and so there are some calls for their own nuclear weapons or to bring nuclear weapons back on the South Korea.

STOUT: Yes. You're a South Korea watcher, you're also an avid North Korea watcher as well. Of course you set up the A.P. news here in Pyongyang. Can I ask you about the psychology of Kim Jong-un. And we know that Kim Jong-un, even though he's making these threats, for him it's all about survival, right, survival of his regime. So does that in his strange way offer a glimmer of hope that he can be deterred?

LEE: So we do have to take that into account. He's telling his people that North Korea needs this nuclear weapon in order to survive, in order to keep the U.S. from striking. And he's convincing his people that they need to go out, go without food and electricity because their very survival is at risk.

If you keep that in mind, if you take away the threat to their survival, if you take away some of this incentive and you give them what they need, perhaps there's some room to take away the will or the motivation to continue testing.

[03:35:09] STOUT: OK. So, what is it going to be? What is the additional sanction, that turning of the screw, that needs to take place to reign in North Korea?

LEE: So if the united -- sorry, the United Nations Security Council or any other government wishes to really pinch the North Koreans it's going to be cutting off the fuel supply.


LEE: Cutting off the gasoline supply. So when I was there in May, that was the one thing that the North Koreans were really questioning me about. There were long lines at the gasoline stations, that they were already anticipating the possibly that China would stop sending fuel.

And think about what the ramifications are, if you don't have gasoline you can't operate tractors, you can't distribute foods. It would have massive implications for the North Korean economy. And I think the fact that we didn't see those sanctions in the last round of U.N. sanction says something. It's probably China saying this is where we draw the line because we know the impact that it would have on North Korea (Inaudible).

STOUT: Yes. There's also the final part to play, right, to really have leverage here. Jean Lee, as always, thank you so much. Take care.

LEE: Thank you for having me.

STOUT: Thank you, Jean. Now, Rosemary, back to you.

CHURCH: All right. Thanks so much, Kristie. We'll get back to you very soon.

More now, though, on another major story we have been following. Sources tell CNN President Trump is expected to end an Obama-era program that protects undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, protect them from deportation.

Now they say Mr. Trump will give Congress six months to try to fix the program known as DACA through legislation. The president's decision won't be final until it's announced and that's not expected to happen until Tuesday.

Eduardo Samaniego joins us now from Boston, Massachusetts. He is former executive director of Freedom House and has worked extensively with students helping them with their DACA applications.

Thank you for being with us, we appreciate it. And of course, you understand the plight of these students, you've helped many of them. So, how will these nearly 800,000 people be affected if the Trump announces Tuesday that the DACA program will come to an end?

EDUARDO SAMANIEGO, FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FREEDOM HOUSE: Well, first of all, thank you for having me. There is close to 800,000 undocumented immigrants right now who were protected in the deferred action that was enacted by Obama in 2012. I believe that, you know, these immigrants are some of the best immigrants that we have in the country. They have been able to contribute.

About 12 percent of those 800,000 have been able to buy homes. Fifty four percent of those have found a better job. About 60 percent of those have been able to buy a car for the first time. So it is clear how this has DACA has allowed the students to contribute to our economy and to our way of life.

I think that the main thing here is that either they're working or studying through DACA. So if DACA is ended this will affect, you know, the daily lives and the lives of their families and in turn that will affect the economy.

So this is huge for this 800,000 young immigrants who have qualified for DACA because this means that they could be immediately legible for deportation. I believe that that is one of the biggest concerns in their community.

CHURCH: yes.

SAMANIEGO: That if DACA is taken away, these young immigrants will be a target of deportation.

CHURCH: Yes. Certainly very uncertain times for those people. And President Trump is apparently planning to give Congress six months to come up with legislation to replace the DACA program. What are you expecting will come from that legislation. Could that, in essence, save the program, do you think?

SAMANIEGO: I think, you know, that one of the things we need to see Congress act on. Recently the Senate introduced a new version of the DREAM Act, the 2017 DREAM Act and we believe that that is definitely a bipartisan piece of legislation that has been introduced by both republican and democrat senators in the Senate.

And so we believe that moving on that plan will be one of the steps that would need to be taken if DACA was to be ended, that would be a way to protect not only those 800,000 undocumented immigrants but perhaps that's a pool that could enlarged to include people that didn't qualify on the first round either because they were just months into their 16th birthday or months into their 30th birthday and they couldn't qualify.

So, either way there is a piece of legislation waited on the Senate to be acted upon. And we know that DACA is another -- has the overwhelming support across the United States by both the republican, from, you know, Speaker Paul Ryan, Ileana from Florida, you know, to all democrats on the other side.

[03:40:12] So we know that this is a popular piece of legislation in the United States and we hope that Congress can act and protect these children and, you know, potentially even move on to protect a little bit more of those 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States.

CHURCH: All right. We will of course wait and see. We understand that announcement will be made on Tuesday. Thank you so much, Eduardo Samaniego for joining us and explaining the benefits that the DACA program has brought to so many people, hundreds and thousands. Many thanks.

SAMANIEGO: Thank you.

CHURCH: Well, thousands of Rohingya Muslims are leaving Myanmar after days of deadly violence. We'll look at the details. That's still ahead.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. We will of course get back to developments on North Korea in just a moment. But right now we want to turn to the escalating crisis at the Myanmar/Bangladesh border. Thousands of Rohingya stateless ethnic Muslim minority are fleeing to

the border after a deadly week in Myanmar. Refugees tell CNN the army attacked them but the government blames Rohingya militants for starting the violence with coordinated attacks last Friday.

Matthew Smith joins me now from one of those refugee camps in Bangladesh. He is the co-founder and CEO of Fortify Rights, a non- profit human rights organizations based in Southeast Asia. Thank you so much for being with us.


CHURCH: So, talk to us about just how bad this situation is. You've had an opportunity to talk to some of those refugees. What is happening to the fleeing Rohingya population and what is the truth here because we're getting conflicting reports.

[03:44:56] SMITH: Yes. We're piecing together what's happening. What we know is that the Myanmar, what triggered this was of course coordinated attacks by militants on August 25th, but since then the Myanmar army, Myanmar police force and armed were kind civilians and others have committed mass killings, were documenting mass killings, were documenting men, women, and children are getting killed, in some cases soldiers are opening fire on unarmed groups of civilians and then setting the bodies a light and burning the bodies.

It's truly horrific. There are entire village tracks are emptying out. Entire villages are being burned down. Huge numbers of people are point across the border.

CHURCH: They are horrifying details. And of course, Myanmar's Aung San Suu Ki has come under a great deal of criticism over the treatment of Rohingya people. Is she doing enough to help these people and if not, why not?

SMITH: Well, unfortunately, since a similar type of violence back in October and November, Aung San Suu Ki's office has been spreading very, very irresponsible propaganda, deadly propaganda about the Rohingya population about what's happening in Rakhine State.

We have not seen her office do enough. It's worth mentioning that the main perpetrators in Rakhine State are certainly not the civilian government, it's the state security forces, but we do -- (TECHNICAL DIFFICULTY) calling upon Aung San Suu Ki in reference to this, these are mass killings that are taking place right now and her office is not only doing nothing to stop it but in some ways they're throwing fuel on the fire.

CHURCH: Matthew Smith joining us there from Bangladesh with the details of the horrifying plight for the Rohingya people there. Many thanks for detailing that for us. We appreciate it.

And we'll be back with more news after this short break. Do stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PEDRAM JAVAHERI, METEOROLOGIST, CNN: For talk weather, meteorologist Pedram Javaheri for weather watch here.

And dry condition finally beginning to persist across much of the state of Texas. Good news across this region while excessive heat build around the western United States into parts of British Columbia.

And of course, what is left of Harvey exiting off the eastern United States coastline but a lot of attention now looking back out towards the Atlantic Ocean. One area of disturb weather near Africa, but of course, hurricane Irma sitting out there across portions of the central Atlantic Ocean at this hour.

So here is what we're watching. Sixty percent chance this will become Jose, still ways out, but Irma certainly in full force there. A category four storm system and modeled in very good agreement on a V line here towards areas around the Turk and Caicos Islands by middle to the latter portion of this week.

[03:50:05] The Bahamas eventually beyond that. It gets a little gray as far as where we think the storm system will head. Of course, we want to see this begin of year and pull away from the United States as it approaches a tremendous population across the eastern United States.

But the models do want to trend this slightly farther towards the south towards the latter portion of this week. If that is the case, of course the storm system could go through the Florida Straits and eventually make its way into the Gulf of Mexico.

So we'll follow that over the next several days. And again, being track the persistence of the strength of the storm not look to be changing in any way in a significant way at least in the last several days.

If you have any photos, please share it with us using hash tag CNN weather.

STOUT: Welcome back to Seoul. I'm Kristie Lu Stout where we are monitoring North Korea's claims that it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. Now North Korea has been working towards an arsenal of nuclear tip ICBMs for quite some time now.

Last year, the regime claimed it had miniaturized a nuclear warhead that it could fit on a ballistic missile. Now state run North Korea media showed a spherical device but whether it was an actual nuclear bomb that remains unclear. And then last September the north claimed to have successfully detonated a nuclear warhead although many experts were skeptical.

And in July, the regime claimed to have conducted its first successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile. And then Saturday, North Korean state media claimed that the country had developed its first hydrogen bomb releasing this photo with the announcement.

On the same day North Korea announced that it had tested a hydrogen bomb and the U.S. Geological Survey measured a 6.3 magnitude quake at the same location as previous missile test.

Now we spoke to a guest earlier from King's College London who says based on the evidence presented as of now looking at the show waves, the USGS data, as well as the history of North Korea nuclear test up to now, he believes that there is a very high probability that yes, the North Korean claim is correct, they have tested a hydrogen bomb, they have detonated its most powerful bomb yet.

Rosemary, back to you.

CHURCH: All right. Thanks so much, Kristie. I want to turn now to the U.S. State of California more than 1,000 firefighter in Los Angeles are battling a fire that's consumed more than 2,800 hectares, that's about 7,000 acres.

Officials say the La Tuna blaze is the largest fire the city has ever seen. The California governor declared a state of emergency for the area. The fire started Friday and is now only 30 percent contained.

Well, the mayor of Houston, Texas says his city is 95 percent dry and mostly operational. Still floodwaters from hurricane Harvey could take another two weeks to fully recede in some areas. The storm killed at least 53 people and tens of thousands are still living in temporary shelters.


GREG ABBOTT, GOVERNOR OF TEXAS: The population size and geographic size is far larger than Katrina and I think Sandy combined. We have over five million people who are affected by this, it's not that flag in Houston, it's the hurricane swath all the way from Corpus Christi over to Beaumont. And so, it's going to require even more than what was funded for Katrina which was $120 billion.


CHURCH: And people throughout southeast Texas are returning to their homes to take a look at the damage Harvey cause. One woman in Houston got a welcome surprise amid all that devastation.

CNN's Rosa Flores was there.

ROSA FLORES, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Authorities say that they connected more than 36,000 rescues. Now that doesn't include good Samaritans helping others. We caught up with one woman who was rescued by her neighbor and our cameras were rolling when she reunited with her rescuer.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The house right across the street.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Those are the people who came and got me out the water. My son couldn't come and get me. And they don't even know how to speak English, but they came and got me, and I want to thank them because I called for help and they couldn't get to me. But that young man said don't worry, mommy, I got you, he didn't even know me. They didn't even know my name. I didn't even know his name.

He pushed me on the walker from here all the way to lay road five blocks in the water way up to his neck and my neck at the same time. This is my hero right here. I appreciate you so much.


Thank you so much. Because you didn't have to do it, but you did. I appreciate you so much. And when I fell in the water his baby say, I'm so sorry, she is 4 years old, mommy we didn't want to hurt you.

[03:55:07] So I want to thank them for looking after me, and they took me and brought me to my pastor's house. That's only way I was able to get out of this water.

FLORES: He says, that everyone is family, it doesn't matter what race you are. He says that everyone is family.


FLORES: Take a look at these pictures this is what that neighborhood looked like during the storm. Now we should also add that Javier Ramirez was also trying to take his pregnant wife and three daughters to safety.

Rosa Flores, CNN, Houston.

CHURCH: It is a powerful story. Thanks for your company. I'm Rosemary Church in Atlanta.

STOUT: And I'm Kristie Lu Stout in South Korea, where the nation is holding live fire drills as a show of force targeting North Korea after its nuclear test over the weekend.

For our viewers in the United States, stick around, Early Start is next.

CHURCH: And for everyone else, stay tuned for more news with Max Foster in London. Enjoy your day.