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Latest on North Korean Missile Test; Russian Doping in Olympics. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired November 29, 2017 - 14:00:00   ET


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNNI: Tonight, a world coming to grips with dramatic missile technology from North Korea. The latest rocket could reach

anywhere in the United States, they claim.

I speak to a leading expert in the field. Plus, President Trump comes under a chorus of condemnation here in the UK for re-Tweeting anti Muslim

propaganda from a far right British hate group. And everyday, more Russians are banned from the winter Olympics for doping. The lawyer for

the Russian whistle blower speaks out for the first time.


AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. Pyongyang now has the United States mainland

in its cross hairs.

By now this familiar face, North Korea's state news caster breaks the disturbing news to the world. Kim Jong-un tested yet another

intercontinental ballistic missile, one that they claim can fly higher and further, with the potential to reach even Washington DC.

That claim isn't yet verified but world leaders quickly condemned Pyongyang's action. Today, US President Donald Trump took a firm but

moderate tone on Twitter. Saying, just spoke to President Xi Jinping of China, additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today.

This situation will be handled.

So let's bring in Jeffrey Lewis, he's the Director of the East Asian Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International

Studies. And, Mr. Lewis, welcome this evening. We spoke to you barely 24 hours ago when news of this launch was coming from South Korea. Now that

you've had time to analyzed what they're claiming, what do you make of it?


Korea has tested a very large missile, one that's capable all throughout the United States. The Secretary of Defense, James Mattis said, North

Korea now could target anywhere in the world. So I think this is the end of a long story we've had as North Korea has moved acquire the ability to

target the United States with nuclear weapons.

AMANPOUR: I mean you say the end, of course, many people might think that that means, you know, an inevitable military confrontation. What does the

end mean? It's it's it's reassist(ph) projectory in it's point, can it put nuclear war heads on it? What is a way of containing it?

LEWIS: Well, I think it's quite clear that what's going to have to happen is, we're going to have to learn to live with this. Just as we learned to

live with China having nuclear weapons that can target the United States and the Soviet Union before that.

That's a very unusual thing, you know, we haven't gone through this in decades and so it's a, it's a very jolting embracing thing, particularly in

Washington DC for people to come to grips with. But, you know, I think there were, there were some efforts to head this, head this off over the

coming, over the past years. But we are where we are, and I think we now need to start to look the situation realistically and realize, even if we

can't achieve denuclearization, we still have interest in having a stable deterrent relationship with North Korea.

AMANPOUR: Right. So again, this goal post has dramatically shifted. It was denuclearized, or else, for years and years. Do you accept what I've

heard, for instance, coming out of Japan? Former officials saying, that the United States and the west is really engaged now seriously since about

September and only because their ability in North Korea is now to target the west.

LEWIS: Well, you know, I think that what we've seen over the past few years was a kind of denial. I don't think we really knew quite what to do

and so there was a desire to push things off. If you don't know what to do, you image that the problem isn't there.

I had some quite heated discussions in Tokyo about a year ago, where I was told that we needed to give sanctions a couple of years to work to stop the

ICBM program. It clearly hasn't worked out that way so, yes, I I think as North Korea has acquired this capability, it's becoming harder and harder

to deny and people are really coming to grips with this reality. And and you're starting to finally see people taking this seriously. I fear it's a

bit too late though.

AMANPOUR: So Jeffery, you know, again you say too late, but there is the possibility of deterers(ph). We've had it with the Soviet Union through

out the cold war, but given that everything we hear, including our own reporters when they go to Pyongyang, that North Korea is not interested in

talking, or hasn't been until potentially this ballistic missile test. What more diplomacy or what current state of diplomacy could there be?

John Kerry the former secretary of state says, "Diplomacy is not exhausted." So, too, does the current secretary of state Tillerson.

LEWIS: Well, I think you hit on the right formulation earlier where you talked about moving the goal posts. Reality is we had an interest in

preventing this outcome and we failed but we still have interests. Those interests are deterring North Korea, those interests are reducing tension

so that we don't find ourselves stumbling into a war.

So, I do think that there is a lot to talk about. The challenge that we face is the North Koreans don't want to talk about giving up their nuclear

weapons and so far that's been the only thing we've wanted to talk about.

I think we have to get to the point where although it's undesirable and no one likes it, we're going to have to start talking to the North Koreans

about our interests other than denuclearization. And, that includes reducing tension on the peninsula.

AMANPOUR: So, given again that there seems to be a lot of marshall (ph) music coming out of Pyongyang, reporters going in, talk about all the

billboards they see, they interview people, they interviewed officials who all speak about war and that they will win if there is a war.

What odds do you put on a war happening and let's face it we're talking about a potential nuclear war?

LEWIS: Yes, sometimes people call this a preventive nuclear war and I like to point out that that's only true if you do it before they have the

nuclear weapons. If we do it now it will just be plain old nuclear war. I don't think that there is a chance of us doing this deliberately. The

North Koreans don't want to use their nuclear weapons unless they're attacked and I think it would be madness for the United States to attack


However, I do worry about the leadership in both countries and I worry that people may try to engage in some brinksmanship and maybe get a little close

to a war in order to scare the other side and things could go too far. So, I don't worry about waking up one day and anyone deliberately deciding to

initiate a war but I do worry if we don't work to reduce tension that we may find ourselves stumbling into one.

AMANPOUR: Jeffrey Lewis, thank you so much and god forbid there is a miscalculation. And, you just talked about the state of mind of the

leaders. So, amid these dramatic escalation President Trump who was moderate about the ballistic missile test instead went ballistic on Twitter

about a completely different issue.

Retweeting anti-Muslim propaganda from a fringe far right British hate group, Britain First. The group that counted among its supporters the

assassin who killed the British MP Jo Cox last year. This has shocked both sides of the U.K.'s political aisle. They roundly condemned their most

important ally, the United States and its highly unconventional president. Nick Paton Walsh has more.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At a presidency where the extraordinary and baffling is redefined weekly it still rang an ugly bell.

President Trump retweeting violent videos from tweets intended to inspire anti-Muslim hatred posted by a far right British political group.

All three were originally posted by Jayda Fransen. She's definitely leader of Britain First a fringe political party who has been convicted of

religiously aggregated harassment.


WALSH: Her group often protects the building of mosques in a country barely five percent of which is Muslim.


WALSH: She complains of frequent run ins with the police and films them avidly.


JAYDA FRANSEN, BRITIAN FIRST LEADER: He's responded to. Don't think (ph) I'm not doing it.


WALSH: What's been most remarkable is this isn't a really a group people have heard of much. They're the obscure angry fringe of nationalism here.

About 80 percent of Britain's according to one pole think Donald Trump's bad for America yet even his detractors have been stunned that he would

choose (ph) to promote and give oxygen to radical views like this.

Remarkably, the British prime minister spokesman said the retweeting was quote, "wrong" and "the Britain First seeks to divide communities through

their use of hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tensions." One lawmaker suggest President Trump should council his delayed visit here.

And, most pointedly the widower of murdered law maker Jo Cox condemned the president's retweets fro spreading hatred. His wife's disturbed killer

reportedly shouted, "Britain First" as he stabbed the mother of two.


BRENDAN COX, WIDOWER: I think when you see hatred in any form when you've been the victim of that hatred and that hatred has changed every element of

your life it's horrific. But when you see that hatred being espoused by somebody who is the president of the U.K.'s closest ally it feels surreal

frankly. It feels like something that shouldn't happen. It feels like there should be some mechanism to stop those things from happening. It

feels like there should be some accountability , but I think that we know enough now about this president that this is how he operates, it's not a

mistake, it's a strategy. A casual flick of the smart phone in the early hours without sized and real ramifications on the other side of the world;

leaving nobody the wiser. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN London.


AMANPOUR: So joining me now here in London is Khalid Mahmood, he's a labour member of the British Parliament and he himself is a Muslim. Mr.

Mahmood, welcome to the program. I just say a labour MP because not only has the Prime Minister condemned this, but also the labour leader who has

said, I hope our government will condemn far-right re-tweets; they are abhorrent, dangerous and a threat to our society. So what do you make of

Britain's strongest ally, the leader of the United States being.

KHALID MAHMOOD: Shocked and stunned, as most people are, condemning it totally. This is a real lack of understanding on behalf of the president,

he hasn't understood the hurt it's causing. The whole of the community, (the far-right), murder of a fellow MP (that it's caused) and this person

is currently going through the courts at the moment for trials of.

AMANPOUR: For the murder of Jo Cox.

MAHMOOD:.and the offenses that are -- the other co-offenses that (are being reported). But furthermore what's going to be really important this is

going to increase hate crime against Muslims, not just here but more importantly in the U.S. and there's going to be a lot of answers for him to

be able to give to those people.

AMANPOUR: Mr. Mahmood, you heard Jo -- Brandon Cox saying that he felt it wasn't a mistake this tweeting, it's part of a strategy. President Trump

has re-tweeted what turned out to be false (words) about Muslims cheering 9/11 from New Jersey and all of that kind of thing. What does it mean to

your community, to harmony between communities in the west and elsewhere when somebody as powerful and presumably as well informed as the President

of the United States sends this kind of thing?

MAHMOOD: Well it's legitimizing hate, it's legitimizing hate of what (Britain) first does, what he's doing, he's done that to the right in

America and now what he's purported to do is (let) in the United Kingdom and across Europe and that's how dangerous this is.

AMANPOUR: Do you feel that on these grounds his state visit should be cancelled?

MAHMOOD: Well the government's looking at that, I think what we need to do is what Theresa May's just done, we need to push for saying how

unreasonable as an ally he is and how uncouth in the way that he's acted; this isn't an accident, he has done this deliberately to raise that

temperature and that is -- that's worked.

AMANPOUR: You know it's beggar's belief frankly to figure out what that strategy could be because it just develops more hatred and more civil

strife and potentially more blow back, more terrorism, all of that.

MAHMOOD: This has been his agenda right from the start anti-Muslim to get the votes that he wanted and this is what he's pursuing now and what it

will do is put a lot of people in danger, both in the U.S., the U.K. and across Europe.

AMAPOUR: Can I ask you as you look further around, I don't know whether you're noticing what's coming out of Saudi Arabia, but the whole idea of

moderating Islam is coming out of the Crown Prince there, Mohammad Bin Salman, and he's saying that he wants to return Islam to where it was at

the time of the prophet, to get away from some very, very (caliphates) and extreme elements that came really in 1979 with the attack on the Grand

Mosque. What do you think about that in general?

MAHMOOD: Well that's a positive move and it's a real positive move for Saudi Arabians now to take that responsibility. No accusations have been

made against Saudi Arabia over the last 30 years almost of funding these new (caliphates does) come up. Now they want to move back -- and first of

all that has to be ended in Saudi Arabia, Prince Mohammad is doing that and so therefore that's been encouraged and think for President Bush to follow

that suit.


MAHMOOD:.and sorry, Trump, to follow that suit and he doesn't need to move forward with that.

AMANPOUR: All right well we thank you for coming in on this extraordinary divisive issue and hopefully won't create more complexity amongst the

British here today. When we come back, a massive conspiracy infects the Olympic Games and an extraordinary whistle blower brings the scandal to

light. Blowing the lid off Russian doping, that's next.


AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program. The International Olympic committee has banned three more Russian athletes from the games for life,

bringing the total to 22 as the committee continues investigating the countries doping scandal.

Moscow says it will appeal. Crucially the IOC, also confirmed this week, the creditability and the truthfulness of the director of Russia's main

anti-doping lab who exposed the scandal.

He's Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov and he says that he was the mastermind of a massive state-sponsored doping program that went all the way up to

President Putin. Rodchenkov was forced to resign and he's not in witness protection in the United States where he's cooperating with authorities.

He's also feature in the documentary "Icarus" which asks, if this lab could cheat, what does it say about the whole world anti-doping system?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Society) is that corruption has gone the depths of that part of the process which would be most deserving.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does (inaudible) have the ability catch drug cheats today? No.


AMANPOUR: Well, Jim Walden is Dr. Rodchenkov's lawyer and he joins me now from New York. Mr. Walden, welcome.


AMANPOUR: What do you make of what the IOC has been saying? I -- just to understand, they have upheld Dr. Rodchenkov's credibility and his

truthfulness, but they have not yet officially connected the dots to the state.

WALDEN: That's correct. On December 5th the executive committee of the IOC is scheduled to release the findings with respect to whether they

system was state sponsored and if it is determined to be state sponsored, what the penalty will be for Russia, either an outright ban or some lesser

penalty. And so, those dots will finally be connected for the world on December 5th, although the evidence leaves little doubt that it was state

sponsored indeed.

AMANPOUR: Well perhaps I can ask you about these diaries, I assume you've seen Dr. Rodchenkov's, so-called, doping diaries which "The New York Times"

has obtained and the IOC is using as potential evidence. He writes there about following instructions from some of Russia's most powerful sports

officials, including Vitaly Mutko, who was then Russia's sports minister and he's now the nation's Prime Minister.

Give us a sense of the gravity of that and as we said, he believes it goes all the way up to President Putin. How is that dot connected?

WALDEN: So Mutko, if you remember, was elevated to Deputy Prime Minister after the scandal broke, although various other people from the ministry

were shunted to the side. So, it's very important for the Russian state to protect Mutko.

But you're absolutely right Christiane, the diaries are very compelling evidence. The diaries are a day-by-day account of what happened from what

he ate to what his blood pressure was, but it also documents the meetings and the discussions that he had with Mutko's deputy, a man Yuri Nagornykh

and other people from the ministry.

And so, taken from with the credibility of his account, which has been very consistent since his first telling of the story in the "Icarus" documentary

to "The New York Times," to various other commissions every single time there has been any sort of objective test of his credibility, he's come

through with flying colors because he's telling the truth.

AMANPOUR: So, I want to play a particular part from the documentary where Mr. Rodchenkov is confirming that he was the mastermind and as I said as he

says, it goes all the way up to the very top. Let's listen and we'll talk about it.


JIM WALDEN, LAWYER FOR RUSSIAN ANTI-DOPING LAB DIRECTOR: Does Russia have a systematic statewide doping system in place to cheat the Olympics?


WALDEN: Were you the mastermind of the statewide system that cheated the Olympics?

RODCHENKOV: Of course. Yes.

WALDEN: Russia won a total of 73 medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. How many of those athletes were dirty?


WALDEN: Russia won 81 total medals in London, how many of those were dirty?

RODCHENKOV: Oh, even more. 50 percent is for sure. Let it be 50 percent. They were earned using special program. State sponsored of course.

WALDEN: Was Putin aware of the existence of a Russian doping system?

RODCHENKOV: Yes, aware of my name.


AMANPOUR: I mean it is chilling and dramatic stuff. So remind how he actually did what he did, how he was the mastermind. Do you do passing of

the urine samples etcetera?

WALDEN: Well, I'll try and be brief because it was an extraordinary conflict system that required the cooperation of many different parts of

the Russian government including the special police the former KGB. But the basic structure of it was first the athletes went on to a special

program that required them to take a cocktail of drugs that helped them recover more quickly.

It was a very clever device because these drugs are very difficult to detect to begin with, and they were given in very small amounts. Then

clean urine was collected from the athletes in advance of the games and stored by the FSB, the former KGB. And then during the games itself after

athletes were tested bottles that should not have been able to be opened were opened by the KGB and clean urine was substituted with the dirty urine

that would have shown their participation in the drug program.

AMANPOUR: So let's take Russia's position on this. It says that its own inquiry has established that athletes didn't know Rodchenkov had given them

substances and maintained a Rodchenkov alert and not the state was involved in this scheme. And let's just put the numbers out there. The 2016

McLaren that more than a thousand Olympic athletes from Russia benefitted from a state sponsored doping program between 2011 and 2015.

WALDEN: As I said the Russians deny that it was state sponsored it was Rodchenkov. Well, that claim is just not credible on its face. No one

person could've possibly done this. I mean we have to remember a couple things Christiane. After this story broke the former head of the Russian

Anti-Doping Agency died under very suspicious causes.

Then (inaudible) directed the Russians, the Federation to cooperate with its investigation and Russia has done nothing but stonewall. They have not

provided stored samples, they were to do that, did not provided the back up data for their lab equipment which is inalterable. They can't change the

backup data which would verify Dr. Rodchenkov's account.

So Russian denials really I don't think anyone outside of Russia takes them seriously. It is just missed directions.

AMANPOUR: So very - very quickly where is this finally leading to, and does this Rodchenkov now fear for his life? What is his motivation for

coming out?

WALDEN: Well, he's escaped Russia only after a friend with inside the (Kremlin) told him that he was going to be killed, and so he narrowly

escaped death and when he came here he decided that the only way that he could possibly stay safe was to hide in the sunlight and to tell his story.

And that's what he's been doing.

So it's obviously a great time of anxiety for him, he doesn't wish ill on Russia and he certainly doesn't wish ill on clean Russian athletes. What

he wants is reform and what he wants is peace. And so I'm hoping that the end of this story is that Russia comes clean and does what the world is

expecting it to do which is to accept responsibility so the Olympic community can know that they can trust Russia to move on. As long as

Russia denies no one is going to have that trust.

AMANPOUR: All right, Mr. Walden thank you so much indeed, and we continue to try to get reaction from Russia as well. Still to come imagine a real

court room drama where a war crimes trial comes to a deadly conclusion as the defendant takes his only life while listening to the verdict. That

story next.


AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, imagine a world where a former theatre director, a convicted war criminal makes a final dramatic exit. At the

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, in the courtroom today, Jadranko Prli?, a wartime commander of Bosnian Croat forces drank a

vile of poison just after a judge upheld his 20 year sentence.


MALE: Prli?, you may be seated.

MALE: Honor roll judges, Jadranko Prli? is not a war criminal and I accept your verdict with utter disgust.

MALE: Stop please. Please sit down.


AMANPOUR: The judge obviously was stunned, he immediately suspended the proceedings but it was too late. Prli? died shortly afterwards at hospital

in The Hague. That he was able to smuggle a vile of poison into the courtroom represents a major security breach.

It marks a particularly unfortunate ending for the ICTY. Twenty three years since his inception after dozens of convictions including last week's

genocide verdict against the Bosnia Serb Commander Ratko Mladic.

The tribunal is due to close its doors after all this work December 31st. And that's it for our program today. Remember, you can always listen to

our podcast CS online @ AMANPOUR.COM and follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for watching and goodbye form London.