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Deaths Rising, Hundreds Missing in California's Inferno; Trump May Decertify Iran Deal; Help for Puerto Ricans not Forever; Rex Tillerson Calming the Chaos; North Korea Digging into Trump's Mind; China Not Keeping Its Word; Family Freed after Five Years in Captivity. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired October 13, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] CYRIL VANIER HOST CNN: It's one of the deadliest outbreaks in California's history. Hundreds of people are missing as firefighters battle the flames.

The Iran nuclear deal in limbo. Candidate Trump railed against the agreement, now President Trump is set to announce whether he's keeping it.

And is China failing to enforce sanctions on North Korea? Matt Rivers has a CNN exclusive report coming up later in the show.

Hi everybody. Thank you for joining us. I'm Cyril Vanier from the CNN Newsroom here in Atlanta.

Nearly two dozen wildfires are burning across northern California and it's not going to end any time soon according to officials. The death toll has now climbed to 31. Hundreds of people are reported missing and winds could spread the flames even further. Fires have been spreading across the region on Sunday.

Since Sunday, destroying at least 3,500 homes and businesses and burning nearly 80,000 hectares throughout the state. Currently the residents of Calistoga are under orders to evacuate the city. That's about 5,000 people in Napa County.

Dan Simon is with firefighters there.


DAN SIMON, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: We're on the front lines as firefighters try to keep another town from burning. The fire is coming up this hill. You can see the flames below us, the smoke is billowing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Load, boys, only two or three feet.

SIMON: In the hills above Calistoga it is a race to keep up with the flames. Endless fuel in the form of dry trees and brush make it a daunting task.

AMY HEAD, SPOKESWOMAN, CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY AND FIRE PROTECTION: It's really steep. It's rugged. There's a lot of thick vegetation. There's wind, there's spot fires blowing everywhere.

SIMON: Controlled burns like this one are meant to block the fire from advancing, but a half mile down the road the fire has done just that, inching down this hill towards the community. The team puts its out. They're exhausted. They use fire hoses as rope to make it back up the hill.

We find this firefighter trying to catch his breath.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very sporadic. Sporadic fire behavior. That's about it.

SIMON: How difficult has it been the last couple days?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's been busy. Definitely been busy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is absolutely the worst fire I've ever seen in California. I think it's because of the amount of people that are affected. You have whole swaths of neighborhoods that look like a bomb has gone off. It looks like we've been bombed.

SIMON: The fire swept through so quickly here residents say they didn't have time to grab even the most basic belongings.

KARISSA KRUSE, PRESIDENT, SONOMA COUNTY WINEGROWERS: I took a photo of my brother and me. I lost my brother 11 years ago. I wanted to make sure I had a photo of us.

SIMON: Karissa Kruse trying to keep the loss of her three bedroom house in perspective.

KRUSE: This is all just stuff you know, at the end of the day. It's just stuff. The amount of smell is just terrible.

SIMON: Back on the lines crews working overtime with little or no sleep.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got about an hour of sleep last night.

SIMON: You're not able to really get any rest?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I mean, you have to keep up with the fires that way to try to save homes, property, and lives.

SIMON: The number of those said to be missing continues to fluctuate but right now it stands at about 400, a scary number to be sure but authorities hope it will be paired down as people report that their loved ones have been found safe.

Dan Simon, CNN, Calistoga, California.

VANIER: And so you heard that one firefighter just now saying he had just one hour of sleep. Well, that of course is taking its toll on the firefighters.

In Santa Rosa one of the town's fire stations was burned to the ground earlier this week so the crew had nowhere to rest. So they headed for the nearest piece of lawn. That's what they could find. And a nearby Sebastopol firefighters crawl up on lawn chairs, they used rocks as pillows or they slept on the road.

Let's talk about how the effort is going. Fire battalion Mike Miller is on with us. He's with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Mr. Miller, thank you for joining us. A number of these fires in northern California are not contained yet or barely contained at this stage. Do you feel you're starting to win this fight against the flames or not yet?

MICHAEL MILLER, BATTALION CHIEF, CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY AND FIRE PROTECTION: Well, I think we have -- we're turning the corner but we still have a lot of work ahead of us. The resources that we have been asking for are now arriving if not already on scene which are definitely going to help us. But we still have a long road to go especially with the expected weather with our red flag conditions.

VANIER: So if you map out the next 24 hours or even two days where do you think it's headed?

MILLER: Again, Mother Nature plays a very key role in this. If we can keep the winds at a minimum even though we will still have low humidity which play a major effect on fire growth, if we can keep the winds to a minimum we have like you said those resources not on scene are still arriving, not only from California but across the nation to assist.

[03:05:13] We have a fighting chance. But again, it's very dynamic and we're cautiously optimistic.

VANIER: Last number I saw in terms of firefighters on the scene was 8,000. That's a very high number, 8,000 personnel on the ground. I don't actually have more by now, but does that mean 8,000 is not enough given the size of these fires?

MILLER: You know it is a very large number but if you look really at all these fires combine in California it's more than 300 square miles of open fire line including the devastation and structure fires that we've had. And we have to rotate those fire fighters (Inaudible) so one fire fighter only had an hour sleep within a 24-hour period. So we have to start rotating those crews to rest them so we can continue to get the work out of them.

VANIER: Right. What about the people in the region? I mean, there are actual residents of northern California. We're hearing there is a big question mark and a worrying question mark over the fate of hundreds of people who are still reported missing.

Do you ever find people either -- either people that you're able to rescue or sometimes perhaps people who have been killed by the fires? I mean, the death toll already stands at 31.

MILLER: yes. No, that' a frightening number. But we have to remember too a lot of people that did have the opportunity to evacuate have either left the area and are staying with relatives and have that reported to anybody so that can be the issue. And that's the story that we hope for.

But again, with the amount of devastation we have still active fire unfortunately, the number, that horrible number of 31 perish to stay there but again, we still have lot of property that have not been accounted for.

VANIER: So, we saw in Dan Simon's report earlier, just how quickly the fire can jump from one place to another. That of course can be extremely dangerous for your crews. Are you able to keep yourselves the firefighters safe?

MILLER: We are doing our best. Firefighting inherently is a dangerous job and especially with the conditions that we saw with in these fires, you know, within 12 hours, you know, thousands of structures have been destroyed.

You know, as firefighters, we train every day and we have what we call situational awareness. We always tell our firefighters to have their head on a swivel because these fire conditions can change within a minute and come right back at you.

VANIER: All right. Mike Miller, thank you so much for the update. We appreciate it. Good luck to you. Thanks.

MILLER: Thank you so much.

VANIER: Derek Van Dam from the CNN weather center is tracking conditions in California. Derek, where is this headed, the fire chief there didn't sound very optimistic.

DEREK VAN DAM, METEOROLOGIST, CNN: Well, unfortunately, things are going to get worse later tonight Friday evening. But we do have a very unique period of time for the next 12 to 18 hours where wind conditions will be low enough to where firefighters, you know, can continue to try and contain some of the larger blazes that are ongoing as we speak.

We have just seen from the National Weather Service reissuing of the red flag warnings for the central and northern sections of the state but that's valid from 5 p.m. on Friday right through 11 p.m. on Saturday. So we do have that small narrow window of time where weather conditions are uniquely positioned to help the firefighters battle the blazers.

Now we have over 23 active fires across the state right now. And we know that San Francisco has been choke off by some of the smoke that has drifted in from the north. And we focus in on the Napa Valley region. This is the Atlas fire. You can see just how close it is to encroaching on the actual city of Napa.

But as we go a little bit further on you can also see the tubs fire which is a large expansive fire and how it actually move in to some of the structures here. And you can see some of the outlying areas there from the Tubbs fire that really made quite an impact on that region.

What I want to you see is the satellite imagery that shows the smoke that moved in across San Francisco. It is really impacting the air quality across this region as well, which will remain unhealthy through the course of the day today. There have been cancellations at SFO, the international airport.

Here's a look at some of the larger fires at a maximum they are 10 percent contained. That's the Tubbs fire. We still have our ongoing threat today but really again, Cyril, it's tonight, Friday night and into the day on Saturday when I expect conditions to deteriorate.

Look at the windy weather picking up through the central valley region. That is where we're expecting gust easily an excess of 45 to 50 kilometers per hour. And any take all the available moisture out of atmosphere and that means conditions will remain bone dry and easily for fires to restart, rekindle and continue to start to flare-up.

[03:10:01] It's an interesting to note too, over the past three to four decades the increase in our temperatures across the western U.S. has also been a direct correlation with the amount of wildfires that continue to be on the increase as well. Cyril?

VANIER: All right. Derek Van Dam from the CNN international weather center. Thank you so much. Thanks.

Now President Trump has a message for hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico. He tweeted on Thursday that the federal government couldn't send help forever. Now this is a very different tone from what he was saying just a few weeks ago about sticking with the island no matter what.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are with you now I tell them, and we will be there every step of the way until this job is done.


VANIER: And Mr. Trump's chief of staff echoed that statement from September even as he defended the president's new approach.


JOHN KELLY, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Our country will stand with those American citizens in Puerto Rico until the job is done. But the tweet about FEMA and DOD with military is exactly accurate. They are not going to be there forever. And the whole point is to start to work yourself out of a job and then transition to the rebuilding process.


VANIER: Now while that's going on the people of Puerto Rico continue to struggle.

Here is Leyla Santiago.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) LEYLA SANTIAGO, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: The destruction a constant reminder. Maria's eye was here just 24 hours. Three weeks later, Puerto Rico is unrecognizable. But for us this is familiar.

We were here in (Inaudible) just four days after hurricane Maria struck. When we arrive, a woman, a complete stranger embraced me in a way I will never forget.

Desperate she explained no one else had been to her town since the storm. No one else had come to see if that mountaintop-community had even survived. Her name is Brenda.


SANTIAGO: We wanted to find her again to find out how she's doing. That's her right there. She recognizes us immediately.

The mayor she tells us brought a box of emergency food. The neighbors all shared it. There's nothing left now.

The president has said that he's doing an A-plus job in recovery efforts. How would you grade?


SANTIAGO: What grade would you give it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll give it a D. We have nothing anything.

SANTIAGO: It's hard for them to give the U.S. government a good grade when they still don't have power or water.

More than 80 percent of Puerto no electricity. Maria left these mountains scarred. Mudslides are closing off entire communities across the island.

So this is as far as we can get in this part of Anasco. There is a whole community back there. You can see that there's water that's taken over the road. There's mud. Trees down making it difficult to reach this community. So we're going to have to go by foot in order to get to them.

Along the way we meet David. He's a veteran, an orange farmer from the neighboring town who just wants to help. He hiked in with a full crate of water and ice.

So, right now you're having to walk through all is. Why?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the people.

SANTIAGO: The people. That's what makes it so hard for him. At 70 years old he's one of the few reaching the people in this community that he loves.

A half hour hike through an area once slushed now stripped of leaves and color. We learn one helicopter landed here since the storm. The bottled water is running out along with the food for Josean (Ph), five-month-old completely unaware of the realities surrounding him.

She's worried about the milk and the water for him?


She only has two gallons left. Mom tells me it's only enough for another week and a half. She needs more. She needs more power. She needs another helicopter to land here soon. A third of the island doesn't have clean water.

As we move to another part of the island we spot help. What are you guys doing down there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're heading out this pilgrim.

SANTIAGO: Are you bringing supplies?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we're bringing some stuff them down.

SANTIAGO: In Utuado the interior, the director of emergency management tells us they've been able to reach everyone here. His challenge - communication.

So this is what they -- this is what they've been given out here, OK. It's got a number, it's got a web site. But in an area where there's no cell service and there's no internet that's a problem.

He insists help is flowing. But it's not what we found when we talked to (Inaudible) up the road. Her home battered by Maria. The floors still wet no power here either.

[03:14:59] I notice she doesn't have a roof but I also note that flag she's flying. The reason she says.


She says that's their salvation. Among the devastation the desperation, she says she flies this flag with pride waiting for help to arrive.

Leyla Santiago, CNN, Puerto Rico.

VANIER: And the mayor of San Juan who's had a war of words with President Trump recently spoke with CNN's Don Lemon earlier.


CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, MAYOR OF SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO: There are thousands of people out there that still don't have drinking water. There are thousands of people out there that do not even have water. They don't have food. They don't have access to the appropriate medication.

And the White House response to this and the president's response to this is, you know, I said this morning, rather than being a commander in chief, he's like a hater in chief. He continues to tweet his hate all over the place, and rather than

offering comforting words and being, you know, hey, if you can't be a president, be an executive. Make sure that all ducks are straight in a row and you're getting things done.

And I have to say that in the past week, FEMA's response, at least in San Juan, has been a lot better. Is it everything that we need? No.

DON LEMON, HOST, CNN: Do you think the president is treating Puerto Rico differently than Texas and Florida after the hurricanes? Because he didn't tweet that about Texas and Florida and I'm sure there are FEMA, FEMA is still on the ground there.

CRUZ: Most definitely. He's treating Puerto Rico different than he treated -- than the U.S. treated Haiti. For some reason he's taken all of his anger out in Puerto Rico.

Now, we have served in all the wars and all the conflicts that the U.S. has had since 1917, you know. We have paid our dues, and there are American citizens here in Puerto Rico.


VANIER: Coming up after the break, President Trump looks set to decertify the Iran nuclear deal. Why a top former Israeli politician thinks that's a bad idea, after the break.


VANIER: For months during the campaign Donald Trump railed against the Iran nuclear deal. Well, on Friday, he will announce whether he intends to stick to it now.

And according to senior U.S. officials well, he weigh, he may well be on the verge of rolling back what is still a major piece of Barack Obama's foreign policy.

Robyn Curnow has more.


TRUMP: The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into. Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment.


ROBYN CURNOW, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: In 2015, the Obama administration along with five other wild powers made a landmark deal with Iran to limit its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of more than $100 billion worth of sanctions.

[03:20:07] But there was a catch. Congress passed a law that requires the deal to be recertified every 90 days and that deadline is up on Sunday.


TRUMP: You'll be hearing about Iran very shortly.


CURNOW: Trump has hinted that he will not recertify the deal because he thinks it's a bad one that doesn't cover missile testing. While also claiming that Iran isn't complying with the terms of the agreement even though the IAEA says they are. Even so, some of Trump's top officials have advised him not to dump the deal.


JAMES MATTIS, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Absent indications to the contrary it is something the president should consider staying with.


CURNOW: Other countries that signed onto the deal agree. Saying the benefits of the deal outweigh the potential consequences of the U.S. pulling out.


SIGMAR GABRIEL, GERMAN MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (through translator): Our big concern is that the security situation would get worse if the U.S. rejects the Iran nuclear deal and not better.

SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): We think this program is really one of the most important achievements of the international community and that its implementation makes a contribution to reinforcement of nuclear nonproliferation regimes.


CURNOW: Iran says there will be no renegotiation. At the United Nations last month the Iranian president gave a stern warning to the U.S. to keep its end of the bargain.


HASSAN ROUHANI, PRESIDENT OF IRAN (through translator): If the new officials in the United States believe that the violation of the Iran deal will bring pressure on Iran then you can say that they are completely and absolutely mistaken in their political equations.

TRUMP: And everyone in this room...


CURNOW: If Trump decides not to recertify the nuclear deal the next step for Congress they are left 60 days to consider re-imposing nuclear sanctions on Iran.

Robyn Curnow, CNN. VANIER: U.S. allies like Saudi Arabia and Israel have been major

critics of the Iran deal. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak long opposed the agreement. However, he says that backing out now would be the wrong move.

He spoke earlier to CNN's Christiane Amanpour.


EHUD BARAK, FORMER ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Yes, the deal we believe is a bad deal. I was very hawkish on Iran all along my service in government. From Israel's point it remains a bad deal but it is a done deal.

So to decertify it now it will basically, throwing it to Congress. Congress will not pull out of it. The Iranians will be served by it because other parties will not pull out neither Chinese, Russians, or the Europeans.

So, the Iranians will keep harvesting the benefit of this deal while the very de-certification will legitimate their intention probably in the future to break out. It will, and explain to the American behavior.


VANIER: Let's see what the Iranian point of view is on this. Joining us now from Tehran is Ramin Mostaghim, a journalist with the L.A. Times. Good to have you with us. Ramin, what's the Iranian mindset as we wait for Donald Trump to make this pronouncement over the next few hours? What's the Iranian mindset on the streets of Tehran and in the halls of power?

RAMIN MOSTAGHIM, JOURNALIST, LOS ANGELES TIMES: In the streets of Tehran as I talk to them as working for my daily it seems that if -- I mean, Trump at the end of today, Iranian time, just a bit back from his harsh words. That's enough for them. If, I mean, Trump doesn't say I withdraw from nuclear deal, that's enough for them. Because it gives them room for maneuver and then there is a hope for a near future that the economy can grow bit.

So what Iranian across the board industry expects is just a bit back from the harsh words from American side. But the officials at the same time the hard liners are rating, looking for any harsh words just to take advantage of it.

The reformist moderate government, incumbent government is just they are looking for some way to start negotiation. And for the time being to use the mouth piece of IRGC says that we remain united. We are under the auspicious leadership of the supreme leader. We are united against any conspiracies of the enemies, any plots of the enemy.

So, rhetorically, they try, IRGC, to produce counter argument against the argument produced by American administration. So it is argument against argument. But in terms of rhetoric, the tension seems high, but in terms of diplomacy there are lots of room for maneuver and renegotiation not about the nuclear deal but about the other issues, regional issues which is very important like missiles and other things.

[03:25:05] VANIER: Well, that's interesting because the argument from Donald Trump has always been to say that this is a bad deal. The U.S. doesn't get enough out of it and has made too many concessions. He would like to renegotiate it. Do you think there is any room for Donald Trump to get more or new concessions out of Iran?

MOSTAGHIM: Yes, a shift of angle if it is possible from American side it is possible, because if you say we rewrite the commander or argument of Trump we say we want to renegotiate but not about the nuclear deal because we should consider it done. It's a done deal as Barack said.

But common talk about other regional issues that remain to be talked, remain to be negotiated, yes. For the regional issue everything is ripe and right just for renegotiation but not renegotiation of nuclear deal. Renegotiation or resuming negotiations today of regional issues and then it brings some de-escalation. That's what we need in the Middle East.

VANIER: Ramin, thank you very much for your insights. Good to talk to you. Ramin Mostaghim, a journalist for the L.A. Times in Tehran. Thanks.

And just a day before Donald Trump is expected to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal if indeed that is what happens, well, the U.S. Justice Department asked a federal court to extend a deadline on whether releasing details of the Boeing Iran aircraft deal interferes with U.S. foreign policy.

The Trump White House wants a two-month extension saying it needs more time to review the deal's relevance to national security.

The family who are victims of Iranian state-sponsored terrorism sued Boeing to disclose the terms of the $17 billion deal. The aerospace giant argues it would threaten national security.

The Chicago federal court has ordered the Justice Department to state whether or not that is true.

He threaten the U.S. with missiles, hacks American businesses, now analysts say he wants to know more about Donald Trump. What Kim Jong- un is hoping to accomplish, after the break.

Plus, Beijing is supposed to be cutting back on trade with Pyongyang. But it seems that China has quite the appetite for North Korean seafood. How they are skirting U.N. sanctions when we come back.


VANIER: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Cyril Vanier.

Our top story this hour. The fires devastating northern California have killed 31 people, making it one of the deadliest series of fires ever in the state.

[03:29:59] Eight thousand firefighters are working around the clock trying to contain the outbreak.

A convoy of Turkish military vehicles has crossed into northern Syria. Syrian rebel groups are taking part in the operation in Idlib province. Turkey says it's moving in to enforce the de-escalation zone in the region. Its defense minister says the troops will stay until all threats are eliminated.

Several dozen people have been killed in northern Vietnam because of severe flooding during torrential rains. More than a thousand houses have been damaged and 4,000 hectares of rice and other crops have been destroyed.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is rarely heard in public but on Thursday, Kelly did make his first appearance at the White House briefing to end speculation that he was on his way out.

Afterward a Trump administration official told CNN that the president was pleased with Kelly's performance.

Here is CNN's Jeff Zeleny.


JOHN KELLY, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: I'm not quitting today. I don't believe and I just talk to the president I don't think I'm being fired today. And I'm not so frustrated in this job that I'm thinking of leaving.


JEFF ZELENY, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: With those words today, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly trying to clear the air and calm the chaotic waters of President Trump's tumultuous West Wing. To make his point he said it again although this time with a slight caveat.


KELLY: So unless things change I'm not quitting, I'm not getting fired and I don't think I'll fire anyone tomorrow.


ZELENY: Eleven weeks after coming on board to instill discipline in the White House the retired four-star marine general made his debut before the cameras. He made clear where at least some of the president's irritation lies.


KELLY: One of his frustrations is you.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ZELENY: It was an unusual sight for the Chief of Staff effectively upstage, the president for a moment at least.


KELLY: I was not sent into or brought into control him and you should not measure my effectiveness as a Chief of Staff by what you think I should be doing, but simply the fact is I can guarantee you that he is now presented with options, well-thought out options.


ZELENY: Kelly said Americans should be concerned about North Korea's ability to reach the U.S. homeland with its missiles.


KELLY: Right now there is great concern about a lot of Americans that live in Guam. Right now we think the threat is manageable but over time it grows beyond where it is today. Well, let's hope the diplomacy works.


ZELENY: Kelly came to the West Wing after serving as the secretary of homeland security. Today, the president nominated Kelly's top deputy Kirsten Nielsen to replace him.


KIRSTEN NIELSEN, UNITED STATES HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY NOMINEE: Thank you very much, Mr. President. Thank you for the honor of this nomination and for your extraordinary leadership.


ZELENY: Earlier today the president signed an executive order whittling away Obamacare. Yet it was hardly what he had in mind after the republican controlled Congress repeatedly failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act the president acted alone.


TRUMP: I just keep hearing repeal and replace, repeal and replace. Well, we're starting that process.


ZELENY: He and many Republicans blasted President Obama again and again for using his pen to bypass Congress.


TRUMP: Would it be nice if they could actually get Congress together and you know, do it the old-fashioned way where people work and they feast and they cajoled and they have drinks together and they go along or they don't get along.


ZELENY: There is none of that skepticism in the air in the Roosevelt room.


TRUMP: Today is only the beginning in the coming months we plan to take new measures to provide our people with even more relief and more freedom.


ZELENY: All this as the president took new aim at Puerto Rico. In a tweet he said "We cannot keep FEMA, the military and first responders who have been amazing under the most difficult circumstances in Puerto Rico forever."

Now the White House Chief of Staff said the president's tweet was exactly accurate. He said first responders and members of the military will not stay there forever.

John Kelly, however, did not respond to why the president drew a distinction between the responders on Puerto Rico and Texas and Florida. He is not yet called for anyone to leave in those two states.

Jeff Zeleny, CNN, the White House.

VANIER: And once again, North Korea is making ominous threats as the U.S. and South Korea prepare for another round of joint military exercises.

The North Korean state media declared this. "We have already warned several times that we will take counter directions for self-defense including a salvo of missiles into waters near the U.S. territory of Guam which is an advanced base for invading the DPRK, by which he mean North Korea, where key U.S. bases are located as the U.S. has resorted to military actions and sensitive regions making the waters off the Korean Peninsula and in the Pacific restless."

[03:34:57] White House Chief of Staff John Kerry -- Kelly says even if Pyongyang never tries to strike the U.S. the presence of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula still poses an existential threat to America and its allies.


KELLY: Probably the biggest threat -- the biggest concern and it's not in the media concern if this continues in North Korea, if eventually other countries or let it go with that become nuclear powers, obviously we already have some out there. There is real, could be a real impetus for a lot of countries to develop or buy nuclear weapons.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VANIER: The nuclear weapons are not the only threat posed by North Korea. Leader Kim Jong-un is pursuing multiple strategies including cyber warfare.

CNN's Brian Todd has a report.

BRIAN TODD, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Kim Jong-un appears to be burning both ends of a dangerous candle with the United States. On one end, the North Korean regime wraps up its public threats. North Korea's foreign minister telling a Russian state news agency that President Trump his recent U.N. speech quote, "lit the wick of war against us."

And Kim is going beyond words, allegedly ordering a cyber-attack on American infrastructure. The cyber security firm FireEye says it detected spearfishing attempts in recent days on American electric companies. Attacks which likely came from North Korean hackers.


BRYCE BOLAND, CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER, ASIA PACIFIC FIREEYE: As the U.N. sanctions come in, we only anticipate that North Korea will need to use even more of its capabilities in order to prop up its economy.


TODD: But as Kim continues those attacks, plus missile and nuclear tests, he's also trying to learn more about his adversaries. North Korean officials recently tried to set up meetings with experts from conservative leaning think tank in the U.S. like former CIA analyst Bruce Klingner of the Heritage Foundation.


BRUCE KLINGNER, SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: They perceive that we would likely have a greater entree to the Trump administration.


TODD: Klingner turned down an invitation to visit Pyongyang.


TODD: Have you guys met an American before?


TODD: Also the regimes recently allowed several American journalists to travel to North Korea including reporters from CNN. The Wall Street Journal, the New Yorker, and Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times who came back and recounted how even with the outreach North Korea still on the war footing in the capital of Pyongyang.


NICHOLAS KRISTOF, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: Everywhere you go there are billboards showing North Korean missiles striking the U.S. capital. Students are parading every day with this kind of military marches, and there's an effort, there's an element of menace in the air frankly.


TODD: North Korea's recent missile tests are celebrated, commemorated with collector stamps like these. Analyst say by alternately threatening and reaching out Kim is pursuing a purposeful dual strategy with America.


SUE MI TERRY, FORMER CIA ANALYST & DIRECTOR FOR KOREA: I think what Kim Jong-un is trying to do is figure out the Trump administration and what the policy is going to be, and because it's a little bit unpredictable he has to be prepared.


TODD: And specifically, Klingner believes Kim's after a crucial piece of intelligence.


KLINGNER: Is the Trump administration going to do a military strike to prevent North Korea from completing development of its ICBM. We've seen statements from the president, the Secretary of State, the national security advisor which would suggest that.


TODD: Beyond trying to figure out President Trump's mindset and learn whether the president might order a preemptive attack on his regime, analyst say Kim Jong-un has a broader a broader longer-term goal with this dual strategy to get the United States to negotiate with North Korea as an equal partner to recognize it as a nuclear power.

That goal most analyst believes Kim Jong-un will likely never reach.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


VANIER: When it comes to enforcing tough new sanctions on North Korea, China insists it's holding up its end of the deal but there are doubts about whether it's really showing its neighbors exports.

Matt Rivers traveled to Northeast China and found North Korean seafood for sale. Here is an exclusive report.

MATT RIVERS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: I went on the hunt for illicit North Korean goods it's best to head to Northeast China. Driving along the North Korean border, we head for Hunchun, a city known for buying and selling North Korean seafood. There we quickly found a street filled with seafood markets recording on our cell phones to avoid being spotted by the Chinese police.

In just the second store we tried we saw this.

And this is North Korean crab?


RIVERS: The shop owner said she got a fresh shipment of North Korean crab in just the night before.

What is she talking about?

"These are smuggled from North Korea."

Two doors down more still illegal.

"Those crabs are from Korea. We got smuggled in them a few days ago." Smuggled in because a few weeks ago, 7000 miles away, the U.N. Security Council passed new sanctions on North Korea that included a total ban seafood exports. There were hundreds of millions of dollars to the regime.

[03:40:01] China was the biggest buyer but that was supposed to stop two months ago. And to a large extent it did. Processing centers here close down, people lost their jobs, but clearly it hasn't stopped completely.

One woman even told us how the crab is being smuggled in.

"People bag them up and float them across the river, it's the border. We are not worried about it."

So part of the reason that smuggling can happen is because most of the land border between China and North Korea looks like this is pretty open. Right on the other side of that river right there, that's North Korea. You can see probably wouldn't be that difficult to get across.

CNN can't determine how much crab is still being sold the scale of it all. The Chinese government would not comment for this story but consistently say that they enforce all sanctions. But the Trump administration says Beijing is not doing enough, they want tougher sanctions.

And here a bit further south along the border the city of Dandong. It's the perfect place to see how China props up the regime economically and against U.S. wishes. This is all legal. Trucks loaded down with goods, everything from food to solar panels rumble across the Yalu River into North Korea each day.

Total Chinese exports to North Korea are up around 30 percent this year. North Korean laborers work in Chinese factories and send their wages back to the regime, and then there's this. A particular sticking point for the U.S. and the place the Chinese government does not want journalists to film.

The huge oil tanks storing the fuel that is sent across the border each day.

This facility right here is really the embodiment of the disagreement between Beijing and Washington. The Trump administration does not want oil running through its pipelines to North Korea but so far Beijing is not willing to totally do that.

China has only agreed to limit oil exports in line with current U.N. sanctions. Beijing fears that an oil embargo could help cause the regime to collapse and lead to a surge of refugees over its border.

In the meantime, back in Hunchun, U.N. mandates feel pretty far away. You can book a table at a local restaurant and pick out your very own North Korean crab, clear sanctions violations served up hot and fresh.

Matt Rivers, CNN, Hunchun, China.

VANIER: Now the investigation into sexual misconduct by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein now spans two continents. Police in London looking into the case it dates back to the 1980s, and in New York police are reviewing claims by alleged victims in that bombshell New Yorker article earlier this week.

They included 2004 incident involving actress Lucia Evans in a Miramax office, actress Kate Beckinsale also says she was victimized by Weinstein when she was 17.

On her Instagram page issue she recounts being called to a meeting with Weinstein at New York's Savoy Hotel. She said Weinstein open the door in his bathrobe and offered her alcohol. Beckinsale rejected his advances and left, she says uneasy but unscathed.

Actress Rose McGowan for her part is accusing Harvey Weinstein of rape. She's the fourth woman to do so. On Twitter, McGowan directed her IRA Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, she said I told ahead of your studio that Harvey Weinstein raped me over and over. I said it. He said it had been proven. I said I was the proof.

Amazon and the Weinstein Company are partners into upcoming TV series. A spokeswoman for Weinstein said quote, "Any allegations of nonconsensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein."

Now in Pakistan, five years of Taliban captivity are finally over for a Canadian-American family but they're not on the way back to North America just yet.

CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr explains the rescue.

BARBARA STARR, PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT, CNN: American citizen Caitlan Coleman, her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle and three small children born in captivity freed by Pakistani forces after being held five years by the Haqqani terror network.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A five-year hostage taking is too long.

STARR: A proof of life video released last year showed the family in grim circumstances. The rescue happened in the tribal region along the border with Afghanistan.


JOHN KELLY, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: We've been watching for the family.


STARR: The first hint of the relief coming from President Trump Wednesday night.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Something happen today were a country that totally disrespected us called with some very, very important news.


STARR: The mission to get them back began with U.S. intelligence assets tracking the family. The U.S. then alerted Pakistan that the hostages were being moved into the country's mountainous northwestern tribal region.

[03:45:02] Pakistani intelligence and military units moved on the information stopping the vehicle and securing a perimeter around it.

In a phone call to his parents, Josh said they were in a vehicle when gunfire broke out. Caitlan heard the captor say "kill the prisoners." When they were finally retrieved all five of their captors were dad. Josh said he was slightly injured by shrapnel.

But after the rescue Josh refused to board a U.S. C-130 aircraft that had been sent to pick them up. A U.S. official told CNN that Josh expressed concern he could face arrest. There is no indication that will happen.


KELLY: We had arrangements to transport back to the United States or to Canada anywhere they wanted to go, medical treatment along the way. A lot of this of course would be psychological treatment. They've been essentially living in a hold for five years.


STARR: Boyle had previously been married to the sister of Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen who was held at Guantanamo Bay until he was returned to Canada in 2012.


PETER BERGEN, NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST, CNN: Joshua Boyle was married to this Canadian family who was fairly notorious in Canada for its link to Jihadism but there is no evidence that has any bearing on what transpired either with the kidnapping assault or the rescue operation.


STARR: The Taliban continue to hold three other Western hostages, two Americans and an Australian.

Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.

VANIER: And still to come on CNN Newsroom, some students in the U.S. are working to bring an end to slavery around the world and they're taking cues from one of history's most famous freedom fighters.

We'll have more on the back of this.


VANIER: The fight against modern-day slavery sometimes means looking to the past to gain insights in how to put a stop to it.

And as Lynda Kinkade shows us, some students are learning lessons from the great emancipator himself, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.

LYNDA KINKADE, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: It is summer but this is no break. The subject matter - ending slavery. Now in its fifth year the students opposing slavery summit or SOS provide teenagers actionable skills for how to start human rights campaign in their own country.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What I would do in order to bring it back to my school is probably like start a club or something and we can spread awareness to my school because I'm sure a lot of other students in my school don't know about these problems.


KINKADE: The setting for the summit is equally impressive. Known as Lincoln's Cottage, this is where President Abraham Lincoln spends his summers when he needed a break from the White House.

[03:50:02] And even more significantly, this is the place where President Lincoln drafted the Emancipation Proclamation, a landmark piece of legislation setting the path to free slaves.


ERIN CARLSON MAST, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LINCOLN COTTAGE: Lincoln wants to declare that all slaves everywhere shall be free.

KINKADE: Erin Carlson Mast is the executive director at Lincoln's Cottage. In preserving his cottage it was an inclination to bring Lincoln's legacy into modern times.

MAST: Lincoln said that the fight for freedom was unfinished. And so we see doing things like making sure we had slaveries free rugs part of carrying out that unfinished work. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KINKADE: As this summit was taking place in another part of D.C., U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson outlines the global response to human trafficking with the release of the U.S. government trafficking in person's report. It ranks every country's response to the problem.


REX TILLERSON, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: It is our hope that the 21st century will be the last century of human trafficking and that's what we are all committed to.


KINKADE: And perhaps nowhere where you find more commitment to the future of freedom than with this makeshift group of idealistic classmates gathered in an historic cottage.

Lynda Kinkade, CNN, Washington.

VANIER: And stay with us, a quick break. We're back after this.


VANIER: Brexit talks ahead a Brit wall. After the fifth round of negotiations Britain and the European Union had no major breakthrough on key issues like how much money Britain should pay to leave or the rights of millions of citizens who have crossed borders to settle in Britain and in Europe.

These disagreements raised concerns that there might not be in agreement before the deadline in March 2019.

However, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson remains hopeful.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: As for getting ready for no deal I think the prime minister has made it very, very clear that we are going to get to deal. We're going to -- we're working for a great deal, but obviously, we must make the right preparations as and when it is necessary for a no deal scenario. Of course that's the responsible thing to do and that's what we're going to do.


VANIER: And the United States is pulling out of UNESCO, that's the United Nations body for education, science, and culture. It was founded shortly after World War II as a way to help allied countries rebuild their education systems.

Well, the U.S. says it's pulling out because of anti-Israel bias after the Tomb of the Patriarchs was classified as a UNESCO world heritage site. It's located in the West Bank city of Hebron and regarded as a sacred by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. called that decision the latest in a series of foolish moves. UNESCO's director general calls it a loss for the U.N. family.


IRINA GEORGIEVA BOKOVA, DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF UNESCO: Well, I express my deep regret. I remember what they said in 2011 already when the United States lifted voting rights and suspended their payment that United States methods for UNESCO and UNESCO methods for United States.

[03:54:56] In fact, if you back into history we will see not only that the United States is a founding member of UNESCO. The whole idea that you can deal peace through education science, culture, communication is basically an American idea.


VANIER: On the back of that U.S. decision, Israel also said it would withdraw from UNESCO.

At bill signing ceremony you have just one job, but it's a critical job, so you think it would be impossible to forget the reason everybody's gathered in the room around you.

Well, U.S. President Donald Trump is showing us that forgetting is actually pretty easy.

Here's Jeanne Moos.

JEANNE MOOS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: He came, he spoke, he forgot to sign.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He'll be signing an executive order, it looks like maybe he was (Inaudible) they are directing him to go back to remind him.


MOOS: There's really only one main thing you have to do. At an executive order signing ceremony and the president forgot until Vice President Pence tap him.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The most important thing.

TRUMP: I'm only signing it because it costs nothing.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MOOS: The president wrote his signature while critics wrote jabs. One pretends to be the Secretary of State, "OK, Mr. President, I'm ready to take the I.Q. test when you are.

Now let's not forget this forgetting to sign at a signing ceremony has happened before. Back in March, the president was supposed to sign two executive orders on trade but he was in a hurry to leave as reporters peppered him with questions.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you trying to do that, Mr. President? Is that your intention, Mr. President, sir?


MOOS: Again, it was V.P. pence who reminded him he hadn't signed the orders, the president gestured to the vice president to go get them and they ended up getting signed elsewhere.

Of course, if there's no on camera signing then there are no documents for internet photo shoppers to doctor with nicknames like 'dotard' and 'rocket man.'




MOOS: But there are worse things than leaving prematurely, at least President Trump didn't get locked in.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

VANIER: That does it for right now. Thank you for joining us. But do stay with us I'll be back with more news right after the short break.