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South Korea Show of Force; Hurricane Irma Approaches the Caribbean; EPA Visits Petrochemical Plants; North Korea Makes Rapid Advances In Technology; Putin Warns Against Ramping Up Military Hysteria; Hiroshima Warn Trump Amid North Korea Threat; Israeli Lab Testing New Anti-Radiation Treatment; Advocacy Groups: Ending DACA Will Hurt U.S. Economy. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired September 5, 2017 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST, CNN: South Korea's navy conducts live fire drills warning North Korea that if they will provoked they will, quote, "bury them at sea."
ROSEMARY CHURCH, HOST, CNN: State of emergency is declared in Puerto Rico and Florida for a category 4 hurricane now approaching the Caribbean.
STOUT: And later, CNN visits an Israeli live after experimenting with a new drug to treat radiation poisoning.
Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Seoul, South Korea.
CHURCH: I'm Rosemary Church in Atlanta. This is CNN Newsroom.
STOUT: The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is begging for war. Well, Nikki Haley is urging one last chance for diplomacy in the form of the strongest sanctions possible on Pyongyang. Now Haley says that North Korea's sixth nuclear test on Sunday is a clear sign the U.N. incremental approach is not working.
And meanwhile, South Korea's navy staging a new round of live fire drills in the waters of the Korean Peninsula. Seoul says if North Korea provokes we will destroy and bury them at sea.
Now South Korean President Moon Jae-in spoke by phone with Donald Trump on Monday, their first conversation since that nuclear test. They agree to lift restrictions on just how powerful Seoul's ballistic missiles can be.
Now CNN Barbara Starr reports on the other military options the U.S. and its allies are considering.
BARBARA STARR, PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT, CNN: This live fire exercise by South Korean forces a direct military response to the North's largest nuclear test. Army and air force simulating an attack on North Korea's nuclear test site. Even as North Korean state media issued new threats to the U.S.,
including Guam. One editorial saying "Every time the U.S. goes crazy talking about sanctions and war, our will of vengeance will become hundred and thousand times stronger."
U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley very much in the hard line mode back at Kim.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY, UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: His abusive use of missiles and his nuclear threat show that he is begin for war. War is never something the United States want. We don't want it now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STARR: Rising tensions pushing Defense Secretary James Mattis to exactly where he never wants to be, center stage at the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES MATTIS, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam, or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STARR: But are there credible military options without thousands of casualties.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL HAYDEN, FORMER CIA & NSA DIRECTOR: What I think Secretary Mattis was doing was trying to convince the North that we have this option and they cannot be certain we would never use it under certain circumstance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STARR: It may be the most critical decision ever for Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE WARREN, MILITARY ANALYST: How much of a price we are willing to pay, how much we are willing to bleed to accomplish our objectives, this is a decision not for military members, this is a decision for elected political leaders to make. And they always have to weigh the costs versus the benefit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STARR: Short of U.S. attack, the Pentagon could send an aircraft carrier off shore. The Ronald Reagan is nearby. More bombers could be sent, South Korea and Japan both upping their missile defenses and cooperation with the U.S. but there is no indication Kim Jong-un is listening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANG KYUNG-SOO, SOUTH KOREAN ACTING DEPUTY MINISTER FOR NATIONAL DEFENSE POLICY (through translator): We predict that North Korea could fire an intercontinental ballistic missile to show that they have obtained the means of delivering a nuclear bomb to the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STARR: Some military assets could move closer to the Korean Peninsula in the coming days. Nothing has been announced yet. But the bottom line is, would any of this change Kim Jong-un's mind about proceeding with his weapons program, the betting money is it won't.
Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.
STOUT: Our CNN contributor Jean Lee joins us now. She is a journalist and global fellow with the Wilson Center. She also open the Pyongyang bureau for the A.P., the Associated Press and she joins us once again. Good to have you back here on the program.
Let's talk about the prospects of more powerful ballistic missiles here in South Korea. Because we know that Moon Jae-in and Donald Trump they spoke on the phone. The U.S. and South Koreans they agreed that they will lift the restrictions on how powerful South Korea's ballistic missiles will be, what impact is that going to have on the Korean Peninsula and the region?
[03:05:04] JEAN LEE, FELLOW, WILSON CENTER: Well, it's an interesting agreement because there are policy in place to try to restrict and limit the payload precisely to avoid an arms race in the region. So now that they've made an exception here, that races concerns in my mind about how far are we going to go in letting South Korea build bigger and me powerful missiles.
LEE: And that is going to be seen by North Korea as a major provocation and it's going to embolden them to continue testing their own missiles and it's quite possible that we'll see some more provocations in the weeks, in the days to come.
STOUT: I want to get your thoughts on the alliance between U.S. and South Korea. This is a 70-year-old solid alliance and it has been tested by North Korea, hasn't it?
LEE: This alliance is changing a bit.
LEE: I kind of reading between the lines from the readout from the Trump/Moon call. Of course we could see that they are trying to show that that they are on the same page, they agreed that they need a little bit more of a military buildup, but I also see that South Korea saying listen, I'm not sure we trust that you're going to protect us.
We need bigger missiles, we need to consider bringing nukes back in. We're not sure that you're there to protect us. And this is something that we're hearing on the streets of Seoul as well, people are starting to question can we really count on this alliance?
This is an alliance that goes back decades, but I have to say the population here in South Korea thinks a bit more differently about the U.S. than it did decades ago.
LEE: My parents and grandparents relied on the U.S. They were told of the Korean War, they grew up here. They remember seeing soldiers in the streets -- soldiers in the streets would throw them candy and they knew that they were their protectors and their saviors.
But my cousins who were born and raised in the post-war period have a different attitude. They were born in a democratic South Korea and economically powerful South Korea and they are not as beholden to the U.S. as their parents and grandparents. So I think this alliance is going to have to transform according to how the South Korean population is changing and evolving.
STOUT: Interesting. The alliance is transforming and it's not because of Donald Trump and any sort of criticism he may have tweeted out directing in South Korea, it's also because of also demographic forces inside South Korea.
LEE: This is the population that elected President Moon Jae-in.
LEE: They want a change in South Korea. Just remember that the previous two presidents were conservative and they were -- this alliance with the U.S. was the bedrock of their presidency. This is new and more liberal minded more progressive.
Frankly, when he was -- before he became president he had said that there may be times when South Korea needs to stand up to the United States and we may be seeing a little bit of that in some of their conversations, and we haven't been privy to that.
But I think we're starting some of those cracks. I am concerned because this is not the time.
LEE: This is not the time for the two countries to be showing that there are cracks.
LEE: North Korea is going to exploit that.
STOUT: That's right. And North Korea were planning on another ICBM perhaps missile test. What do you hearing about that, when will it happen?
LEE: We're seeing reports that there is some imagery or intelligence that North Koreans may be moving some equipment to the launch pad -- and this whether it's posturing, of course the North Korean are very aware that satellites are watching every move, and whether they actually pass another device, this is their way of saying we are watching you.
LEE: We are watching the military buildup, we see the live fire drills, we are watching the U.N. Security Council, we understand that you are considering sanctions and we are ready to keep testing to show you that we are going to be defiant.
And I think that it would be surprising. Just to remind you, there's an anniversary coming up on Saturday in North Korea.
LEE: This is the day that they call it their foundation day. This is the day that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was founded in 1948.
LEE: And part of all of this is to give the people something to celebrate.
LEE: It's a part of this is just maximizing the propaganda value of having a nuclear test and intercontinental ballistic missile test.
STOUT: That is all eyes on Saturday and that next anticipated missile test from North Korea. Jean Lee, we'll leave it at that.
STOUT: But as always we really, really appreciate your insight.
LEE: Thank you.
STOUT: Take care. Now let's turn to CNN's Ian Lee, he is also standing by here in Seoul. And Ian, I wanted to get your thoughts on what happened earlier this morning. Another day, another live fire military drill by the South Koreans, this time the navy. Tell us what happened.
IAN LEE, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes. That's a continuation of a strong show of force, Kristie, with the navy conducting these live fire drills in the waters in the east of the country. And it's a show of force really that we've seen over the past few days which included the navy, the air force, and the army to tell the North, listen, we're watching you, we're ready in the event of a war to go after your infrastructure but also mainly to go after your leadership and the nuclear infrastructure.
[03:10:04] And we've seen this approach from the North Korean government. We also had a phone call between President Moon and President Trump where they talked about closed relations, military ties between the two countries. Also bringing up the lifting of a cap of ballistic missiles by the South Koreans currently that 500 kilograms. There's a tentative agreement to lift that cap, also the purchasing of billions of dollars of weapons and equipment.
So you are having this South Korean government say, that they are preparing for any scenario, but they're also talking about diplomacy, they want to continue to isolate North Korea both diplomatically, economically and they're going through the U.N. and they're rallying around the international community. It doesn't seem like it's having much of an effect, both this military posturing as well as this diplomatic pressure.
STOUT: All right. Ian Lee reporting live from Seoul. We thank you for that. We'll talk a bit later. Now the President of China, Xi Jinping just wrap up the key economic summit without mentioning North Korea in his final remarks. However, Beijing has said a freeze for freeze proposal has a change.
Now under that idea Kim Jong-un would freeze his nuclear program and in exchange the U.S. and South Korea would stop their military exercises, but the U.S. calls the proposal insulting.
Now CNN's Andrew Stevens joins us now from Xiamen, China. And Andrew, Nikki Haley we heard her speak at that emergency session at the U.N. ruling out a freeze for freeze plan. Has there been any reaction any comment from the Chinese to that?
ANDREW STEVENS, ASIA-PACIFIC EDITOR, CNN: No comment from the Chinese today on that, Kristie. And Nikki Haley as you say ruling that out saying it was an insult, basically her line is if you have a rogue state with an ICBM and a nuclear warheads that ICBM is pointed at you, you do not lower your guard. It pins to this as an insult.
So, the U.S. ruling that out. And basically that shows that that's a freeze for freeze plan, which was put forward by China with the backing of Russia is really dead in the water. As you say, Xi Jinping speaking for the, I think it's the fourth time publicly in the past two and a half days here in Xiamen.
And once again not referring to North Korea at all, not referring to the North Korean crisis at all. Just talking about the world needing to speak together to solve to geopolitical issues. But certainly he's steering right away from it.
China has responded officially through its ministry of foreign affairs strongly and clearly condemning North Korea's actions. But still at this point, Kristie, China is offering no new way forward, no new strategy. They are still talking about this place.
I just actually just want to bring you up to date with what they're hearing now because Vladimir Putin has also been speaking at the end of the summit in Xiamen and he's been much more direct about what's been happening about these new drills, about the tweets from President Trump.
He describes the military drills and the buildup of the military as military hysteria and he said it will not lead to good results; it could lead to a global catastrophe with a lot of victims.
And Vladimir Putin also saying that sanctions are useless and ineffective as well. And it does seem, Kristie, that sanctions are at the leading edge, certainly diplomatically, economically at the moment with the U.N. or with the U.S. promising a much tougher line of sanctions, the U.N. currently looking at those.
The question becomes does China sign on to those much tougher sanctions if they're actually officially proposed? China has signed on to sanctions up to now. The question is doesn't take what could be a quantum link in new sanctions which could destabilize Korea, and that really is the equation at the moment.
STOUT: Yes. And you heard Nikki Haley saying that she's calling for only the strongest sanctions but will China sign on to that.
Andrew Stevens reporting live from the Xiamen. Thank you very much indeed for that.
The U.N. Korean watchdog said North Korea has evolved from a regional menace into a global threat. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency says Sunday's hydrogen bomb test by Pyongyang is a new dimension of threat.
Now the nuclear chief spoke exclusively with CNN's Nic Robertson, and Nic joins us now live from Vienna, Austria. Nic, tell us what Yukiya Amano told you.
NIC ROBERTSON, INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR, CNN: Yes. Look, the IAEA is obviously closely monitoring what happens in North Korea, they don't have inspectors there, they have had them in the past. They've been pulled up, but everything that they see from all the nuclear sites that they're watching, the reprocessing, the enrichment, even the mining facilities that are getting the role or out of the ground, they're also -- they're seeing activity at all of those.
[03:14:57] And to them it points in one direction. He believes that when North Korea says that it is committed to go in a particular direction, a miniaturized hydrogen bomb to fit on an ICBM missile, then he said you have to take that seriously. That's why he believes the threat is so high.
But beyond that he sees them, and this is what he told me that that they're making rapid progress.
YUKIYA AMANO, DIRECTOR GENERAL, INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY: On the field must be a much bigger and then on the previous bomb. North Korea says that it is a hydrogen bomb, we cannot determine but because of the dimension of the earthquake it is for sure that that yield is much bigger than the previous ones.
ROBERTSON: Is it possible to tell if it's a hydrogen bomb if they're telling the truth?
AMANO: We do not have the capacity to determine whether it was a hydrogen bomb or not. On some analysis by other organizations is a point but it is difficult. In light of all the experience of the IAEA following on the nuclear programs of the North Korea, North Korea generally does what it says it is going to do. Now it is prudent of what's not to suppose that there has been quite a significant progress.
ROBERTSON: In your opinion has North Korea made significant progress that it can now miniaturize the nuclear weapon to put it on ICBM?
AMANO: Again, it is difficult to say for a certainty but as I said North Korea generally does what he said it is going to do and that's applies to miniaturization and other issues.
ROBERTSON: In the timeframe that they've been doing these tests and everything the progression of the tests that you've seen if they haven't achieved it now how long before they achieve it?
AMANO: The interval of all this of all the latest one and the previous one is a very short. On some on other field is much bigger this time compared to that last one. So it is safe to suppose that North Korea is a making a rapid progress.
ROBERTSON: Is it possible to say or is it right now to say that in fact, North Korea is now a nuclear armed nation capable of threatening the world?
AMANO: North Korea is not the nuclear state under the treaty but it is clear that North Korea have some of them are nuclear weapons, nuclear explosive devices and missiles. So, in the past of the threat of North Korea was related to nuclear weapons.
Now North Korea threat is related to nuclear weapons combined with some missiles. So this is some of them a grave concern, a grave threat and a new dimension of threat.
(END VIDEOTAPE CLIP)
ROBERTSON: So base on that the IAEA is taking proactive steps, the only proactive steps they really can't take which is to create a North Korea team which is to increase their readiness and preparedness both in training and equipment that should there be a negotiated agreement.
That there would be monitors here capable of going in speedily and quickly to do essentially what the international community will hope they will get access to do, which is to get an understanding of what North Korea is stands in terms of this nuclear development and also put an end to it.
STOUT: Yes, absolutely. Nic Robertson, thank you for bringing that exclusive interview live from Vienna there. Take care, Nic.
Let's take it back to Rosemary Church at CNN center for more. Rosemary?
CHURCH: Thanks so much, Kristie. We'll come back to you in just a moment. Let's take a break for now, though.
Coming up, another powerful storm is threatening the United States just days after Harvey devastated parts of Texas. Now Puerto Rico and Florida are bracing for hurricane Irma.
We're back in just a moment.
[03:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Hurricane Irma is barreling west across the Atlantic as a category four storm. Residents of Puerto Rico are stocking up on food and supplies ahead of the storm. Both Puerto Rico and Florida have declared states of emergency.
Irma is packing winds of 215 kilometers per hour and is expected to make landfall on Wednesday. So let's get the latest now on Irma's path. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri has that for us. Pedram?
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, METEOROLOGIST, CNN: Yes, Rosemary, the storm system has strengthen tremendously. And you can see the presentation on satellite imagery very impressive, 230 kilometer per hour wind and it's a healthy category four right there into the Atlantic.
And we think it will actually strengthen potentially a little bit more and retain a category four strength potentially through Friday night into Saturday. And of course, the immediate threat being parts of say, the Turks and Caicos and to the Bahamas including back behind that Puerto Rico, as well.
And tremendous rainfall in store, especially in these mountainous areas these regions are going to be devastated with the flash flooding potential, and of course, the landslide potential as you talk about 200 to 300 millimeters approaching parts of northern Cuba.
That's the immediate threat again inside the next couple of days. Beyond that here's the long-term outlook. Just about every single model takes us to the west, wants to shift the track little farther toward the south and we think somewhere around say Friday night into Saturday the storm system is centered across northern portions of Cuba.
Beyond that a steering current atmosphere shift is such that the storm would take a right turn and at this point just about every model wants to bring this in somewhere around southern and even southwestern Florida. Noticed couple outliers take into the Gulf, another outlier wants to bring it into the Atlantic, of course best case scenario would be a shift into the Atlantic.
But at this point it looks more and more likely the storm system has dissect across southern and southwestern Florida. So, again, the day by day outlook Puerto Rico by Wednesday, Turks and
Caicos by Thursday. It also includes of course the island of Hispaniola. And noticed Friday the Bahamas on into portions of Cuba and that's where it gets interesting as far as the track shift.
And we're watching this carefully because the steering environment right now wants to push this category four to the south. The water temperatures here bathwater, we're talking lower 30 Celsius. And again, based on a track that's been into the eastern U.S. we can see this potentially shift a little to the right or to the east or keep its westerly track and then turn to the north.
So, again, the state of Florida at this point looks to be in the crosshairs of the storm system no matter how you break this down and that is the main area of concern. So there was a storm. Again look how powerful it remains through this region and any sort of interaction with the mountains of Puerto Rico, for example, or even the island of Hispaniola would potentially weaken the storm system.
But beyond that the waters are playing warm, the atmospheric environment is a place suitable for the storm system to stay very strong and then back behind it another system in the way of potentially Jose in the works as well.
So there's a lot going on right now and the main threat be in the way of Irma in the next couple of days, Rosemary.
CHURCH: All right. Thanks so much, Pedram. Thanks for keeping an eye on that. And of course for hurricane Harvey victim's recovery efforts are slowly but steadily moving forward. The Federal Emergency Management Agency says they will rush recovery money to those with flood insurance.
[03:24:55] Homeowners who can provide proof of damage make it up to $20,000. Meanwhile, Congress is expected to vote on a disaster relief bill Wednesday. The White House is requesting an initial $7.9 billion in aid but that's only a fraction of what the Texas governor says his state needs.
Well, a big concern right now in Texas is what exactly is in those floodwaters. More than a dozen Houston-area toxic waste sites were damaged by the storm raising fears that hazardous materials could now be contaminating those waters.
CNN's Martin Savidge has the story.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Houston is America's petrochemical headquarters. Harvey left a number of chemical plants around the city flooded and damaged. The city is also home to some of America's most polluted and toxic waste dumps called superfund sites overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency. Areas so problematic signs one entrance to wear protective gear and more than a dozen superfund sites here were either threatened by floodwaters or went completely under.
EPA officials have seen the sites for the air but this is the first time investigators have made it to them on the ground, eight days after Houston flooded and we've been invited along.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRENDA BASILE, SITE MANAGER: We will be walking down to this end of the site stay on the concrete, stay out of the water.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: The first office is a 17 acre site once a notorious polluter who's owner, we're told by the EPA is still on the run from law enforcement. EPA officials say most of the pollutants were removed from the site in 2010 and what remains was secured is hardly closed in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAMUEL COLEMAN, ACTING REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR, U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY: In this particular case the goal would be to make sure that these covers that you see on the tankage were in place and that we knew that the site was basically secure.
SAVIDGE: These are the consumers they're worried even though there is water all around them they essentially say that the site didn't flood. The inspectors here are looking just to make sure that everything is still sealed. We found nearby structures still several feet deep with rainwater.
EPA officials say this was the soon as the ground troops can access the site due to the danger of flooded roads down power lines and debris even though a number of nearby neighborhoods residents have been cleaning up for days.
The next site is called the highland acid pit, once a dumping ground for sulfuric acid and other spoils from the oil industry. That's the San Jacinto River and all the evidence of the river bank would suggest that water didn't just inundate the site, it went roaring over it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only concern we had was that the wells are still stable and they could be used for future monitoring.
SAVIDGE: The final site the EPA takes us is the San Jacinto River waste pits located right beside the very busy i-10. And again, the EPA officials say despite being battered and flooded there is no indication of any toxin or pollutants leak in the sand.
So the flood victims the people of Houston in this area at least as far as their concerns of pollution what would you say?
COLEMAN: As it relates to this site specifically then this site is secure.
SAVIDGE: What about the other Superfund sites?
COLEMAN: Well, as it relates to the superfund sites that we've discussed with a 30-degree sites in the state of Texas we're confident that those sites are secure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Full transparency, there was not enough time nor were there are the conditions to try to talk to get a second opinion say from environmentalists. But everyone agrees that perhaps the greatest pollution didn't come from superfund sites but from what you would say is everyday life.
More than a million automobiles are thought to have gone under the water. There were gasoline stations, several stores and businesses with their chemicals in homes with their cleaning supplies and paint, all of that went into Houston's floodwaters.
Martin Savidge, CNN, Pasadena, Texas.
CHURCH: And we'll take a short break right here. But still to come, as Donald Trump talks fire and fury and locked and loaded, survivors from Hiroshima have a message for the U.S. president.
[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: A very warm welcome back to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church in Atlanta.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Seoul, South Korea. Here's an update of the top stories at this hour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: South Korea's Navy is staging a new round of live fire drills in the water out the Korean Peninsula. They're meant as a show of force in the wake of North Korea's latest nuclear test. The Navy says if North Korea provokes, we will destroy and bury them at sea.
CHURCH: Florida is already under a state of emergency as Hurricane Irma barrels towards the United States. The category four storm is packing winds of 250 kilometers per hour.
Land fall is expected in the Caribbean, Wednesday. The storm comes just days after Hurricane Harvey devastated much of southeast Texas.
LU STOUT: Tens of thousands of people gathered into capital of Chechnya, Grozny to rally in sport of Rohingya Muslims. The U.N. says more than 73,000 Rohingya have escaped a military crack down that's left hundreds dead. The military says Rohingya extremists started the violence with an attack on Myanmar police.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: Now back to our top story now. Over the past year, North Korea has made rapid advances in nuclear and missile technology that we haven't seen before. Brian Todd explains how Pyongyang's nuclear program accelerated so quickly. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: New warnings of a young dictator's nuclear and missile program that caught the world off guard.
JOHN PARK, DIRECTOR, KOREA WORKING GROUP: These are startling developments in a short period of time that we're measuring in terms of weeks rather than in terms of a year of time span.
TODD: North Korea has increased the strength of its nuclear bomb blast over the last decade from about 1,000 tons of TNT to 10,000 tons last year at this time to Sunday's test, estimated 50,000 to 120,000 tons of TNT.
That means it could be three to eight times stronger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Over the past year expert say, Kim Jong-un has accelerated his most lethal capabilities at a breathtaking pace.
JOSEPH CIRINCIONE, PRESIDENT, PLOUGHSHARES FUND: North Korea has made a quantum leap in both nuclear weapons and in missiles. They've gone from a regional nuclear threat with short and immediate range missiles to a global nuclear threat with proven intermediate ranged missile, now into continental ballistic missile.
TODD: Those two ICBM tests in July, expert say, catapulted North Korea's ability to hit the U.S. with a nuclear tipped missile. Some analysts say the speed of the missile program caught U.S. Intelligence off guard.
ADAM MOUNT, SENIOR FELLOW, AMERICAN PROGRESS: The range and the sophistication of the missile tests are far beyond what U.S. Intelligence and open source analyst expected.
TODD: In a recent interview with the CBS, CIA Director Mike Pompeo denied that, saying they have been tracking the North Korean's missile program all along.
MIKE POMPEO, DIRECTOR, CIA: The Intelligence Community has actually had a pretty good picture. Can we predict days or weeks? No, certainly not. But we have certainly had a pretty good handle on the work that's been done to develop these system of systems.
TODD: But North Korea has also ramped up research and testing for mobile missile launchers, advanced engines and fuels, high-tech material, miniaturized warheads, reentry shields and submarine launched missiles.
Kim's regime now claims it has a hydrogen bomb small enough to fit on a missile. Experts aren't sure but some say the North Korean nuclear missile threat is now greater than it's ever been.
CIRINCIONE: By the end of the first Trump administration, North Korea will have the ability to hit almost any city in the United States with a nuclear bomb.
[03:35:00] TODD: What the North Koreans haven't perfected at least at the moment, the reentry and targeting capability of those long range missile.
But they haven't proven that their missiles can go up into space, carrying a nuclear warhead and reenter the atmosphere without breaking up, and accurately hit their targets, but they're working furiously toward that. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
LU STOUT: Now the U.S. is urging the U.N Security Council to pass the toughest sanctions possible on North Korea. But a few moments ago, the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, said that stronger sanctions will not stop Pyongyang's nuclear threats.
CNN's Senior International Correspondent Fred Pleitgen joins us now live from Moscow. And Fred, I know you've been monitoring what Putin has been saying while he was attending that BRICS Summit in Xiamen, China. Putin dismissing sanctions, what is he proposing?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know it's interesting, Kristie, because it really isn't clear that if there is going to be a new draft resolution whether the Russians are actually going to be going along with it.
Now Vladimir Putin once again came out at this press conference there at the summit in China and said look, obviously Russia condemns what that the North Koreans are doing.
They called it provocation and even went as far as to say that he believes the standoff right now between the U.S. and North Korea could lead to what he calls a global catastrophe with many, many victims, so certainly, a very gloomy picture. At the same time, the Russians are saying look, they don't believe that sanctions are going to work.
They in fact believe that the current rhetoric that's coming out of -- coming out of some from North Korea's neighbors as well is only going to entrench the Kim regime even more to pursue nuclear weapons and obviously also pursue delivery systems for them as well.
And he said he doesn't believe that sanctions are going to help at all. Let's listen into one remark that he made which I thought was really remarkable. Let's listen in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): What I mentioned earlier, they will -- they will eat grass but they will not turn away from the path that will provide for their security. What will restore their security, restoration of international law.
We should -- we should aim toward dialogue from all sides. We should aim toward -- that all participants, including North Koreans, will not have any threat of their destruction, that all parties will get on the path of cooperation. And this situation to -- to force military history is a dead end road.
(END VIDEO CLIP) PLEITGEN: So the Russian president there saying he believes that people in North Korea would quote, rather eat grass than change the policies that they're currently pursuing.
Obviously that's a big swipe at the United States saying look, they don't believe that sanctions are going to work. but of course you were asking, Kristie, what do the Russians believe is the path forward and they say it has to be a return to dialogue.
And obviously, the Russians have sort of a joint proposal that they've been putting forward with the Chinese which they called that double freeze calling on the U.S. to stop its military maneuvers and actually scale down military assets in the region in return from North Korea curbing its missile program or freezing its missile program and its nuclear program as well.
We obviously heard Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. last night saying that such proposal was what she said insulting. But the Russians are saying look, it's well and good for the U.S. to talk about war because they are simply not in that region.
But Russia has a border with North Korea and so they do take this conflict very seriously and certainly want to do everything to prevent it from getting out of control.
And they believe the only way to move forward is going to be to get some sort of dialogue going. But obviously, at this point in time, it really seems though the U.S. is not going to accept Russia, possibly even China as a broker between these two countries certainly with the way that things are escalating at the moment, Kristie.
LU STOUT: Absolutely, especially now that Putin has revealed where he stands on new sanctions proposal. Fred Pleitgen reporting live for in Moscow, thank you so much.
The fiery rhetoric between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, you've heard it over the last few weeks. It's more than a war of words for survivors of Hiroshima's nuclear bomb.
Now history does not repeat itself and but it does rhyme and those survivors, they have a message for the U.S. president. Here's Kyung Lah.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A childhood horror that never fades. At 87, Fumiko Kato still feels the moment her city of Hiroshima became the world's first victim of an atomic bomb.
[03:40:00] FUMIKO KATO, HIROSHIMA SURVIVOR (through translator): We were all blown to the corner of the room she says, bodies on top of each other like a mountain, I was at the bottom.
LAH: Kato was in a building less than a mile away from where the bomb fell, a concrete wall shielded her from the initial blast. Of the girls pictured here, Kato was the only survivor on August 6, 1945. Japan remained at war with the allies, ignoring final demands to surrender. The atomic bomb dropped in the morning she explains but suddenly it became night from the mushroom cloud.
KATO: People outside, their bodies burned, their skin hanging down and peeling, walking like they don't know where to go. I witnessed the terror of a nuclear weapon.
LAH: In the war of words from North Korea to America's president, she hears the echo of history, in 1945 President Truman issuing a warning to Japan.
HARRY TRUMAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of men from the air the like of which has never been seen on this earth.
LAH: And now to President Trump to North Korea.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.
LAH: Arrogance says Kato who has not just seen but lived it.
KATO: I don't know why President Trump doesn't think of a peaceful solution. They don't understand the terribleness, cruelness of nuclear weapons, Trump needs to educate himself.
LAH: More than 260,000 people would die in Hiroshima and Nagasaki from the nuclear bombs under fall out.
KATO: They're threatening this like it's some kind of a joke says Shozo Kawamoto. Trump and Kim Jong-un, he says, they make me angry, they don't understand.
LAH: Kawamoto just 11-years-old when the bomb hit Hiroshima, lost his parents and three siblings, his entire family. Today, this elderly man spreads peace the only way he knows how. To President Trump and Kim Jong-un he says.
KATO: You're overconfidence is scary and ignorant.
LAH: These survivors are living witness to history. They are in their 80's and 90's. Their numbers are dwindling and disappearing with them, the understanding into this horror of war. Kyung Lah, CNN, Hiroshima, Japan.
LU STOUT: A hunting memories of war there. Now let's take it back to my colleague Rosemary Church in Atlanta. Rosemary.
CHURCH: Thanks, Kristie. Well coming up, President Trump promised to show great heart in nearly a million young undocumented immigrants, so-called Dreamers but could the program that protects them from deportation be about to end? We'll take a look. The details ahead.
[03:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. In the coming hours, we should learn exactly what President Trump wants to do about an Obama era program that protects from deportation thousands of young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: The program is known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA. Sources tell CNN Mister Trump is expected to announce he's ending DACA, but he will giving Congress a six month window to fix it. DACA Supporters held rallies through the weekend.
U.S. attorney General Jeff Sessions will address the state of the DACA at a briefing Tuesday morning. During the presidential campaign, Mister Trump promised to end the program. But after winning the election, his tone softened.
TRUMP: They shouldn't be very worried. I do have a big heart. We're going to take care of everybody. Some absolutely incredible kids, I would say mostly. They were brought here in such a way -- it's a very, very tough subject. We are going to deal with DACA with heart. We love the Dreamers. We love everybody.
CHURCH: The issue came to a head after 10 state attorneys general wrote to President Trump asking him to end DACA. They gave him a September 5th deadline to act or face a legal challenge.
And meanwhile, government officials in Washington State and New York are also threatening lawsuits if President Trump goes ahead with his expected decision to end DACA.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the states attorney general say the move would rip families apart and force innocent people to live in fear. Advocacy groups also warn that ending DACA would be a big blow to the U.S. economy.
A study estimates there are nearly 800,000 participants in the DACA program losing it would cost employers $2 billion. GDP would take a hit of $280 billion over the course of ten years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: All right, we're going to have more on this after this very short break. Do stay with us.
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. The growing threat from North Korea has the U.S. and other countries thinking about what would happen in the event of a nuclear accident or even an attack. One company in Israel is working on a new treatment for radiation exposure. CNN's Oren Liebermann reports.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At 430,020 degrees below freezing, the medicine in these vials are being tested for a worst case scenario. Inside each one is a dose of an experimental PLX-R18, a drug begin developed for a nuclear catastrophe.
It's designed to help the body recover after exposure to radiation in the case of clear fallout of worse. Now, the Department of Defense is testing this medicine to see if it can be administered before service members are exposed to radiation.
[03:50:00] The test of what North Korea claimed to be a hydrogen bomb has increased the urgency here.
YAKY YANAY, PRESIDENT, PLURISTEM: The U.S. Armed forces probably the first responders in any radiation event. But one of the main goals is to see if we can use the cells to treat the soldiers in a (Inaudible) treatment before actually exposing to radiation and to prevent any radiation damage.
LIEBERMANN: Fukushima site of the 2011 nuclear meltdown has become an opportunity from Pluristem. A medical university there has partnered with the Israeli company in developing this drug. PLX-R18 is made from placenta cells. Harvest it from placentas that would otherwise be medical waste.
Pluristem says their one-size fits all doze makes this easy to stock pile and use without prescreening. Because we step-in into a lab where it produce the cells, because it's a clean room, we have to put on these sterile suits to make sure we don't alter the environment.
Inside the labs, these bioreactors multiply the cells in possible doses. Radiation attacks the body, partly by destroying bone marrow, which produces critical blood cells.
This medicine from placenta cells helps the bone marrow rebuild. How many cells go in at the beginning and how many cells come out seven to eight days later?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This system which are system we see about 600 million cells in the beginning and after about a week we get 200 billion cells for one system.
LIEBERMANN: Twenty billion cells.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty billion cells.
LIEBERMANN: One placenta can make 25,000 doses. How much is enough? That depends on the scale of the nuclear disaster. Oren Liebermann, CNN, (Inaudible).
CHURCH: All right. We want to return now to one of our top stories. Later today we are of course expecting to hear President Trump's decision about an Obama era program that protects from deportation thousands of young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Joining me now from Hong Kong to talk more about this is former U.S.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. Secretary Johnson, welcome bad thank you so much for being with us.
JEH JOHNSON, FORMER SECRETARY, HOMELAND SECURITY: Thanks for having me.
CHURCH: And of course we know that Attorney General Jeff Sessions will announce the future of the DACA program in just a few hours from now in fact.
And it's expected he will end the program but give Congress six months to come up with legislation to fix it. What does that signal to you, a possible lifeline perhaps for the program or its demise?
JOHNSON: Well, if the reports are true, I think this is going to be a really sad day for almost 1 million young people living and working in the United States and frankly for the -- traditionally humane way we have enforced our immigration laws in this country and what this country is all about.
DACA was a program launched in 2012 for those who were brought here as children under the age of 16 and those who have been here in excess of five years. We're talking about young people who, in effect, grew up as Americans.
They are Americans, in fact, though not in law. DACA is a terrific program, they're given work authorizations, they go to school and they're allowed to work on the books as opposed to working off the books after submitting to a background check.
This is a program that has never successfully been challenged in the courts and it's been up and running for five years. Now this administration wants to take it down. I don't believe that we should count on Congress acting in a period of six months.
Congress has difficulty even doing the simple things frankly like passing a budget and so we're going to face a very difficult tragic situation where people who has now have work authorizations are going to be forced to surrender those work authorizations.
And my fear is that we're going to be driving people into the shadows who previously were allowed to work on the books, pay taxes and be accountable.
CHURCH: Right. Let me put this to you though, President Trump's base wants him to eliminate the DACA program, so he would certainly be keeping them happy.
But he does appear to have softened on the issue. Could this six-month delay offer President Trump a way to legitimize the young people currently covered by DACA if Congress cannot come up with the legislation to fix it? Is that a strategy keep the base happy but fix the problem and ultimately keep these young people in the United States? JOHNSON: Well, first of all, I don't see how Congress is going to be
able to pass legislation to codify DACA in six months. Nor do I see how the president through some type of executive action, could do something to satisfy his base.
I think the issue here is the president can enforce border security. He's enforcing border security now. We enforced border security in a previous administration.
[03:55:00] But at the time have compassion for hard working for the most part, overwhelmingly honest people who were brought here as children. Children are generally not regarded as being responsible for the actions of their parents in bringing them here.
So I think there is room for both President Trump's objective of enforcing border security and being compassionate when it comes to a remarkable group of young people. Even President Trump acknowledges that these are incredible young people.
He has met with Dreamers and so my hope was that he would find a way to get to yes. I happen to believe it's a legal program and that there is ample authority for the executive to create such a program.
And that he could, if he chose to, defend this in the courts if he's sued by those states. But apparently this administration has reached a different conclusion. And I think again, it's a real tragic day.
CHURCH: Yes. Mister Trump does appear to have been affected by some of those stories and in many success stories of those Dreamers but if DACA is scrapped, what could that mean for the nearly 800,000 young people who would be affected.
All of whom a very anxious at this time, and is there concern on your part that that six month in that time the uncertainty could perhaps create a situation where some may be deported? $
JOHNSON: Well, we'd be in an unprecedented situation where at one point the U.S. government tells a group of people your deportation is deferred.
And you're allowed to have a work authorization for a period of two years to a situation now we're taking down the program and you have to pretty much be on your own, and you cannot count on working on the books.
And we're talking about people who have grown up in America, who are essentially Americans, who live here, who work here, who go to schools. They go to some of the top universities, they work for major corporations. And now all of a sudden if they want to work, if they want to earn a living...
JOHNSON: ... to support themselves and their families, they have to go into the shadows and work off the books. And I think that's a really tragic, unfortunate, misguided situation. I was hoping the president would come to a different conclusion but apparently he will not.
CHURCH: Secretary Johnson, thank you so much for joining us. We do appreciate it.
JOHNSON: Thank you very much.
CHURCH: And thank you everyone for your company. I'm Rosemary Church in Atlanta, for myself and Kristie Lu Stout in Seoul, thanks for watching.