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Hope For Political Thaw As Olympics Kicks Off In South Korea; David Hockney: Master Of Contemporary Art. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired February 9, 2018 - 14:00   ET


[14:00:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Tonight, the Winter Olympics are on the way in South Korea, but will the North be looking to play a game of

sports, power or politics. My conversation with Chung-in Moon, who is special advisor to the president of South Korea.

Also ahead, the celebrated British artist creating a splash with his Californian canvases. David Hockney opens the doors to his LA studio for a

rare and revealing interview.

Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. The Winter Olympics have started now. The politics

that infuse every games are heightened this time by nuclear tensions on the peninsula.

But its northern neighbor has fueled hopes of a thaw by sending athletes and an official delegation, including Kim Jong-un's own sister, an

influential figure who will dine with the South Korean President Moon Jae- in, even as her brother threw himself a massive military parade in Pyongyang on the eve of the opening ceremony.

This show of force a reminder that the threat remains high. Vice President Mike Pence who is leading the US delegation vowed to keep up the pressure

with "the toughest and most aggressive sanctions yet."

Still, the US is backing South Korea's diplomatic outreach for now and this so-called peace Olympics as I heard from President Moon's national security


Dr. Moon, welcome back to the program.


AMANPOUR: Good to see you. So, you sit at the right hand of the president of South Korea. You are there in the Blue House, the presidential palace.

To your mind, what is the state of affairs right now? Has the tension been dialed down or is it still red-hot between you and North Korea?

MOON: I would say this is a transitional peace. President Moon Jae-in really want to have (INAUDIBLE), but his ultimate task is how to

transform peaceful Olympic into lasting Olympic peace.

AMANPOUR: Well, is it possible? Because, as you know, all the critics, all the skeptics think that North Korea is playing a very clever propaganda

game and it's getting all the attention and the world thinks it's behaving really well because it's coming to South Korea to March under a joint flag.

Even your ice hockey team will be a joint team.

MOON: Yes, we understand North Korean intention. North Korea wanted to show that it is a normal state while having nuclear weapons, but we cannot

accept it. We also know that there a lot of critiques in Washington who are extremely skeptical of this inter-Korean thaw.

And also, there are opposition within South Korea. Conservative South Koreans have been arguing that this is nothing but a show. But President

Moon really believes that he can make a transition.

AMANPOUR: So, is President Moon right in believing that? It's one thing to be hopeful. It's another thing to base that hope on rational

geopolitical strategy and events. Do you think the time is right for North Korea to engage in the way you want it and the US wants it to?

MOON: Yes. Time is right. Time is on nobody's side. It is better to have talks with North Korea earlier. And in this sense, then President

Moon made the right choice.

There are critiques. But ignoring critiques and trying to bring North Koreans to South Korea, trying to have some kind momentum for bilateral

talks between Pyongyang and Washington, that will be a great diplomatic achievement for President Moon Jae-in.

AMANPOUR: Do you think there will be actual peace talks between President Moon Jae-in and, for instance, Kim Yong-nam, who is the highest-ranking

North Korean official to set foot in South Korea and second only to the leader, Kim Jong-un? He is coming to your country at 90 years old.

MOON: Yes, that's true. Kim Yong-nam, who is chairman of standing committee of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea, is attending

PyeongChang Olympics. That is very significant. But I wouldn't say that his visit and any kinds of encounter or a meeting between President Moon

and Chairman Kim will be a proper piece.

It is just simply a starting point for the meaningful talks in (INAUDIBLE ) ahead. I really don't think that will be a truly peaceful talk per se.

[14:05:08] AMANPOUR: In other words, you don't think this will be formal peace talks or even informal peace talks? It will be a get-to-know-you and

a set-the-table for the future?

MOON: Yes. It is getting to know each other and trying to figure out what is the North Korean intention, what is the next plan for further talks.

AMANPOUR: What about Vice President Mike Pence? He will attend the opening ceremonies. And he is bringing the father of Otto Warmbier, the

American student who basically came back and died in the United States after being in prison in North Korea.

How will that go down? What will the North Koreans think about that?

MOON: Yes. Vice President Pence's message is very clear that you've got to really give up your nuclear weapons and you've got to pursue democracy

and human rights. That is American goals.

But it will be very difficult for North Korea to accept Vice President Pence's demands. However, we're hoping that there would be some kind of

new momentum for having a meeting between Vice President Pence and the Chairman Kim Yong-nam. That will be really good for us.

AMANPOUR: But that would be pretty huge. That would be the highest-level meeting in many, many years between an American and a North Korean


MOON: But North Korea then should give us some kind of positive message to Vice President Pence. Otherwise, there is no reason for Vice President

Pence to meet the North Korean leader.

Therefore, it is very important for North Korea to come up with some kind of meaningful messages to Vice President Pence.

AMANPOUR: Do you expect that to happen?

MOON: I hope.

AMANPOUR: Do you think it's a realistic possibility?

MOON: I think it's a realistic possibility if North Korea is smart enough to turn around PyeongChang Olympic into some kind of meaningful dialogue

between the US and North Korea.

AMANPOUR: So, now to President Trump. Is President Trump today, right now, helping your president to dial down the temperature, to try to

implement some diplomacy and move back from this war of words and a potential real war?

MOON: I think so. President Trump endorsed inter-Korean talks by saying that I support what you're doing, what President Moon Jae-in is doing 100


At the same time, he kindly agreed to suspend our (INAUDIBLE) joint military exercise and training temporarily. That means what? President

Trump is some kind of expectations from the PyeongChang Olympics.

But his position would be wait-and-see. OK. Now, I give endorsement. President Moon, you've got to deliver some kind of meaningful breakthrough.

Therefore, burden is on the shoulder of President Moon Jae-in.

AMANPOUR: And you know the other criticism in Washington is that North Korea is just trying to drive a wedge between South Korea and its ally, the

United States. Is that true? Can it do that?

MOON: It is true. But we're not dumb. We know North Korean intention. But we go along with the ally, not with North Korea.

AMANPOUR: You mean, you stick with your ally, not with North Korea.

MOON: Of course. We stick with the ally. But we are hoping that North Korea would understand the reality and that driving wedge would not work.

But North Korea should come up with very authentic talks with South Korea.

AMANPOUR: Do you think President Trump's "fire and fury," "little rocket man," "bigger button than yours," do you think that public rhetoric towards

North Korea has helped clarify US intentions and let North Korea know exactly where the US stands? Or has it complicated the issue in the


MOON: President Trump has been sending rather conflicting signals. On the one hand, his position was tough. But on the other hand, he hints to the

possibility of dialogue with North Korea. Therefore, it is all a matter as to how North Korea responds to President Trump's message.

AMANPOUR: But you say conflicting, but many people use diplomacy backed by the credible threat of force. That is an internationally accepted,

diplomatic, military, maximum pressure, as you call it, tactic. So, again, does it work?

MOON: It hasn't worked so far. American strategy has been so far deterrence first and then (INAUDIBLE). In other words, change North

Korean behavior by use of force or showing it's a formidable force to North Korea.

AMANPOUR: But you said it hasn't worked yet, but North Korea has sort of calmed down its rhetoric. It is sending this delegation to South Korea.

You are talking a little less fire and fury these days.

MOON: I really don't think it is the result of American hardline policy on North Korea, but rather President Trump's endorsement of inter-Korean talks

and hinting the possibility of dialogue with North Korea. That worked more positively in bringing North Korea to South Korea rather than (INAUDIBLE)

and hardline military threat.

[14:10:17] AMANPOUR: So, the North Koreans are interested in possibly talking to the Americans?

MOON: Definitely. The whole issue is whether it is conditional or unconditional. North Korea wants to have unconditional talks. But

American position is unless you show very concrete moves toward the denuclearization, we're not going to talk with you.

There is some incompatible elements between the two.

AMANPOUR: All of these talks, all of this effort between your president and everybody to try to calm this situation down, and you would like to see

a denuclearization, does all this time simply give North Korea more time to continue its military program, its missiles, its nuclear warheads. They

plan to have a massive military parade, as we speak, heading into the Olympics.

MOON: Yes. But, look, what North Korea is showing is reality, not fiction. And we've got to have a more realistic approach on North Korea.

Also, we've got to have a more flexible approach to North Korea.

(INAUDIBLE) we cannot really dictate North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons. It is not realistic. Also, we should come up with some

kinds of incentives to North Korea (INAUDIBLE) North Korean nuclear weapons.

AMANPOUR: In the United States, Republican presidents have dismissed any rapprochement or any progress that Democratic presidents have made with

North Korea, saying that these Democratic presidents were taken for a ride, that North Korea just cheated.

For instance, what President George W. Bush did back in the early 2000s when he just canceled all the rapprochement that Clinton had done. And

now, we see that President Trump dismisses what President Obama was doing, which, as you say, was not very much. But, nonetheless, that North Korea

has taken the US for a ride over and over again. Is that right?

MOON: You're absolutely right. For George W. Bush, anything but Clinton was the real cause of the problem with regard to North Korea. Now,

President Trump would come up with anything but Obama and wiping out any possibility for positive engagement with North Korea.

Therefore, we see some kinds of lack of coherence and consistence in American policy on North Korea.

AMANPOUR: But do you think the accusation that North Korea is always cheating no matter what deals the Americans broker is on target? Is that


MOON: Yes. North Korea has been cheating. But we've got to make a distinction between cheating and hedging.

AMANPOUR: Cheating and what?

MOON: Hedging.


MOON: Yes. If North Korea shows a hedging behavior, then we should not treat it as a cheating behavior.

AMANPOUR: OK. But they've hedged their way into dozens of nuclear warheads and a potential inter-ballistic missile capability that can

potentially reach the United States and everybody is scared now.

MOON: Precisely.

AMANPOUR: So, is that cheating or hedging?

MOON: It's both. Cheating to the United States and hedging from the point of view of North Korean national security.

AMANPOUR: As you know, there's one example of restricting a country's nuclear program, and that is the deal Iran struck with US and the rest of

the big powers.

If that deal is broken or somehow disappears, what message does that send to any attempt by your president to try to bring North Korea in from the


MOON: It will create a very difficult situation for South Korea and North Korea. North Korea will not try to come to any kinds of negotiation table

and South Korea will have a real hard time in persuading North Korea to come to the negotiation table.

AMANPOUR: Because?

MOON: Yes, because America is not trustworthy. US can change any time whenever there is a change of government.

AMANPOUR: A lot of people don't really know what the thinking of the North Korean leadership is. Are they sitting there with their finger on the

button? Are they trying to read the messages that are coming out of the United States? What they thinking? And what will all these external

pressures do to them? How will Kim Jong-un react?

How do you analyze what they're thinking on what their next move will be?

MOON: See, Kim Jong-un, like any other leader of the nations, really concerned about their national security and regime security. North Koreans

are concerned about how to secure credible minimal nuclear deterrence against the United States and how to deal with deteriorating conventional

arms race with South Korea, how to co-opt the military, how to sustain its regime and enhance international prestige.

Therefore, North Korean logic is not different from other nations.

[14:15:01] AMANPOUR: So, you don't think that Kim Jong-un would somehow irrationally launch a first nuclear strike?

MOON: No. American intelligence community come up with a very interesting report, saying that Kim Jong-un is not irrational. He's not crazy.

Surprisingly, he's a kind of leader with whom we can have a talk.

AMANPOUR: And so, will Kim Yong-nam be vital to that? If you can talk to him in South Korea during these Olympics, is he the first big opportunity

you've had to talk to a very, very senior North Korean leader?

MOON: Yes. I think it's a very good opportunity for us. But he would not make the decision. It's Kim Jong-un who will be making decision, but he

will convey our messages to Kim Jong-un very clearly.

AMANPOUR: And Kim Jong-un's messages to you.

MOON: That's true.

AMANPOUR: Dr. Moon, thank you so much indeed for joining us.

MOON: Thank you. So, from the icy landscape of sport and power politics, next we relax by sun-soaked pools in California. Those painted by the one

and only David Hockney.

He is among the world's greatest living artists. The Brit who left dark and gloomy Northern England for the brilliant light and colors of Los

Angeles. Most know him for his paintings of swimming pools. But his career spans huge scope and vision and time.

He's notoriously difficult to pin down for an interview, but now that he's turned 80, he's in a reflective mood, with sell-out retrospective


He knows he'll probably not see many more of these. And our Nick Glass met up with Hockey in his Hollywood studio. And he found the artist expansive

and as eccentric as ever, smoking up a storm in a cheeky rebuke to California's health-obsessed culture.


NICK GLASS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): David Hockney remains, as everybody knows, a committed smoker. The great retrospective has now

reached its final venue, the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Immediately before that was the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

And Hockney felt compelled to see us there twice.

David Hockney, Artist: I thought it was a marvelous show actually. Yes, I did.

We went back to see it in September because I realize, well, it's the last time this will be done in my lifetime, I'm sure.

GLASS: Hockney has always been a matchless draftsman. Probably without peer in the modern age. And, over time, his use of color has become ever

more rapturous.

His persona has always been colorful. Back in the 60s, dyed blond hair and owlish specs. Back then, and we sometimes forget this, he was also

heroically a painter of gay desire, openly celebrating his sexuality in his work at a time when gay sex was illegal in England.

(on-camera): What was the reaction to them at the time?

HOCKNEY: I think they thought they were naughty.

GLASS (voice-over): Britain's greatest living painter, the irrepressible David Hockney in his studio in the Hollywood Hills. Interviews are rare

and getting rarer. The Yorkshireman who went to California in the 1960s and quickly became an arts star.

Hockney has always looked at the world and at us unblinkingly in his own singular artistic way. He's recorded his own intensity of gaze ever since

he was a boy.

(on-camera): This is you at 16?

HOCKNEY: Seventeen years old. I've always loved looking. I've always loved looking. When I could go on the Bradford buses on my own, I used to

run right upstairs, run to the front of the buses, so you could see more. You could see more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He sees the world in more detail and with more analysis than most other people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The dialogue now is with art history. It always was. But now it's in the foreground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know that he would call himself an old master yet. I don't think he'd want to be known as old. But he certainly is a

master in my book.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I suppose you have a favorite painting, do you?

HOCKNEY: The last one.

GLASS: The last one.

HOCKNEY: The last one I'm doing now.

[14:20:01] GLASS (voice-over): This has been a momentous 18 months or so for David Hockney. He turned 80 last July. Huge cause for celebration and

a traveling international retrospective, shuttling from one great gallery to another.

At Great Britain, the most popular show there ever. Then on to the Pompidou and the Met.

An event of equal, if not greater importance to Hockney, was the launch of a giant picture book, "David Hockney: A Bigger Book." Otherwise known,

given its weight and size, as the sumo.

HOCKNEY: That's my house. That's my house again.

GLASS: Here was his artistic life spread out before him, page by page.

HOCKNEY: It's going to take me nearly an hour to go through this (INAUDIBLE).

GLASS: The sumo book made him reflect in a way perhaps that he never had before.

HOCKNEY: That made me look back into a lot of things because I haven't really looked back. I tend to think, well, I live in the now. You paint

in the now. The next hallway is now anyway.

And these are my dogs. My dear little friends they were for 40 years.

GLASS: This is your autobiography in effect.

HOCKNEY: Yes, this is. It is. Yes.

GLASS: (INAUDIBLE) words. It's just pictures.

HOCKNEY: And that's it. Well, I realized this book would last 100 years probably. Most people will see my work in this book.

That's my house in California and that's a glass ashtray in case you have forgotten.

GLASS: Even before setting foot in California, he imagined his life there.

HOCKNEY: This was a painting I did before I went to Los Angeles. It's called Domestic Scene, Los Angeles and I painted it in 1963 before I went

there. And I found it absolutely like that anyway.

I came to California in 1964 when nobody knew me. And I prefer that. I've always been running away a bit from London anyway. Too many distractions.

And I don't want that. I want just to work, to do my work.

GLASS: His best-known work is perhaps from the 60s and 70s. A Bigger Splash was painted in '67.

HOCKNEY: It was painted with small brushes. All little lines which I saw was rather amusing because of splash, of course. I could have just done it

like that. But I thought, no, I won't. I will do it painstakingly. And it's more amusing now.

Swimming pools, I always loved. I mean, all the wiggly lines they make. If you photograph them, it freezes them. Whereas if you use paint, you can

have the lines wiggly lines wiggle.

Here is another big one. This is the largest painting I ever made.

GLASS: The painting is over 4 meters high and over 12 meters across. A mesh of 50 different canvases completed in 2007 with a little technical


HOCKNEY: And I realized I could do a great big painting without a ladder by using a computer. And I've worked this out. And so, we did it.

GLASS: Making colorful marks with an iPad. In 2010, Hockney was one of the first artists to start using one. He has always happily embraced new


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It could be a video journey, it could be a Polaroid journey, it could be - but at the end of the day, it's informing his

painting. That is what he is. He is a painter.

HOCKNEY: I think in painting you can do things that you can't do in photography. (INAUDIBLE) Edvard Munch said about photography, photography

can't compete with painting because it can't be with heaven or hell, which I think is rather profound.

[14:25:04] GLASS: At 80.5, Hockney still loves looking and looking again. Still obsessively, joyously making art, mostly at scenes in the old-

fashioned way with tubes of paint and brushes.

HOCKNEY: I say I feel 30 when I'm in the studio. Well, you want to be 30, don't you, if you're 80. So, I come in the studio every day and work

because then I would feel 30.

My parents, Beverly Hills housewife - I'm just going through this as quick as possible.

Yes, I made a few memorable pictures. Yes, I know that now. I know it now.

GLASS: Only now?

HOCKNEY: Well, I'm more confident now.

GLASS: Belatedly, happy birthday.

HOCKNEY: OK, very good.


AMANPOUR: A beautiful way to end our program tonight. And remember, you can always listen to our podcast, see us online at and follow

me on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for watching. And goodbye from London.