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North & South Korea Commit to End War This Year; Royal Baby Named Louis Arthur Charles; White House Drama Overshadows Angela Merkel's D.C. Visit. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired April 27, 2018 - 06:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Friday, April 27, 6 a.m. here in New York. And we begin with major breaking news.

[05:59:24] The North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, and South Korea's President Moon making history. Moments ago, they announced a commitment to end the Korean War, ushering in a new era of peace after 65 years of division. Both leaders signing a declaration committing to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: You have to remember, there is no peace. An armistice was just a declaration that there be no more hostilities between the United States and China, North and South Korea. That was on July 27, 1953, after three years of bloody, bloody war.

Now, how good will the commitment be? We'll have to see. But Kim Jong-un saying that North and South Koreans are, quote, "the same people, the same blood."

This extraordinary moment in history playing out in the South- controlled territory of the Demilitarized Zone, the home of the truth of the armistice.

All of this comes as President Trump prepares for his own meeting with the North Korean leader.

So let's begin our coverage with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, live in Seoul, South Korea, with the breaking details. Christiane, of course, you need to be cautious and deliberate with the realities versus the rhetoric. But we have never heard talk like this about ending the armistice and creating a real peace.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you're absolutely right. Listen, while everybody was asleep, the temperature of the world dropped dramatically, and that is a good thing.

We have had weeks, months, and years of nuclear tests of intercontinental ballistic missile tests, of threats from North Korea to the United States and vice versa. And now, for the first time, there is a different route planned ahead. And for the first time, North Korean and South Korean leaders have

actually stood together and expressed themselves, either in signing those joint declaration statements and then appearing before the assembled cameras and officials to actually speak. This is the first time that has happened.

And actually, President Moon of South Korea made that very clear. He said, you know, there have been other promises, other summits in the past, but never before have two leaders come here and stood together and reaffirmed their commitment to what we've just done.

They have up what they called the Panmunjom Declaration. And it goes about three pages long. It's a lot about how the two countries must get back together, how they're going to start steps towards liaison offices, towards exchanges, towards family reunifications, towards military-to-military contact. And at the very, very end, the last two points, deal with the crucial matters at hand.

One, that there will be peace on the Korean Peninsula, according to both leaders. They will sign a peace treaty to end the war. As you mentioned, it's just an armistice. And the second was that they will be -- they are committed to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Again, we really do need to understand exactly what that means. But in their words, in their, you know, visuals to the world; and Kim Jong-un kept saying that. "Here before the world we are saying that history is changing." He was very interesting in his words into the visitors' book. He said, "This is a new moment. History starts today."

He was very interesting when he crossed that demarcation line, when he said, "I hadn't expected it to be like this. I wonder why it took us so long to move across to this place where we are now."

So great deal of interesting and important words, actions, body language and commitment. And we'll see how this plays out, Chris.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely, Christiane. Thank you very uch for setting all of that up for us.

Joining us now are Gordon Chang, "Daily Beast" columnist and author of "Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World"; and CNN political and national security analyst David Sanger.

David, I'll start with you. When Christiane says that the quote is, you know, "History starts today," tell us how you see the import of today?

DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, first of all, optically, it was pretty remarkable, Alisyn. And from the very start this morning, when President Moon and President Kim met each other, shook hands going right across the stones that mark the North/South demarcation line and then President Kim, who was on the Southern side, steps back over and brings President Moon, the South Korean president, over into North Korea. Something that was not planned.

So what's the difference between what we've seen and heard today and what we've seen and heard before? There have been promises before of denuclearization. There have been vague promises that they would reach a peace treaty. Although this agreement actually sets a time limit to do it this year, the 65th anniversary when the armistice was signed.

What it's missing in this agreement right now is any timetable toward denuclearization. And of course, that's exactly what President Trump and everyone else in the White House and in the Trump administration are looking for.

This was -- this agreement is much more about the relationship between North and South and beginning to warm that and actually building into that some economic and cultural connection before it gets to the nuclear issue. And that's where the rub is going to come, I suspect. Because President Trump's approach and, certainly, John Bolton, who's the new national security advisor's argument before he came into the White House has been that you have to start with nuclear and let everything else fall from that. This is the reverse.

[06:05:11] CUOMO: Well, Gordon, though, we can't talk about what's happening right now without including the efforts of the Trump administration. I mean, it strains credulity to believe that this wouldn't be happening right now if they hadn't had -- if the U.S. government had no hand in it. So when you look at this dynamic, even though the president of the United Sates isn't even there yet, ow big an influence? How big an impact did the United States and the Trump administration have on this moment that even a week ago was not imagined, that this is not far Kim Jong-un would go so quickly?

GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR, "NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN": There are two things, Chris, I think that the Trump administration did that sort of created the conditions for this. One of them is, of course, the threats to attack North Korea. That probably unnerved Kim Jong-un.

But more important, it was sanctions. It was really the tough enforcement of U.N. sanctions and U.S. sanctions. There's a lot of anecdotal evidence we have that North Korea right now is hurting.

So for instance, the South Koreans are saying that North Korea will run out of foreign currency reserves by October. Perhaps not that dire but, nonetheless, that's a real indication that Kim needs sanctions relief. And that's the reason why, as you just heard from David, that the whole concept of these two Korean leaders is, first of all, to have economic relations and all sorts of cooperation and then disarming North Korea.

We have heard, actually, the North Koreans and the South Koreans agree to denuclearization. There's the October 1992 declaration, which in many ways is very is similar to the Panmunjom declaration that was signed just a few hours ago.

So we've got to be concerned here. But it is the sanctions, I think, that have been driving this. CAMEROTA: David, what do you think? I mean, the South Korean foreign

minister is giving President Trump credit. He said that President Trump deserves credit for bringing North Korea to the negotiating table.

SANGER: I think there is a big element of truth to that. We discussed this a few weeks ago, Alisyn. That I think President Trump definitely deserves much of the credit for the fact that his threats, which worried the whole world and worried all of us at the time that he did it, I think did break the ice here and probably so concerned Kim Jong-un that he felt he needed to do something.

And the something he's trying to do is draw in the South so that President Trump can't act against North Korea while it seems to be engaged in a process with -- with the South.

So here's the big question. Did Kim come to the conclusion -- this is all part of Kim's plan, or did he have to make it up as he went along -- that last year was all about nuclear tests and missile tests, until he demonstrated that he's got a capability that can probably reach the United States.

And then he pivots very quickly, moves to to this peace accord or intimates that he's moving to a peace accord with of the South before he's had to give up any part of that nuclear and missile complex. And that, I think, is going to be where this is going to get difficult over the next year. Because the Americans are going to have to -- are going to be saying nuclear has to be dealt with first. And as you read this agreement that came out, this is about peace agreement first.

CUOMO: And, look, obviously, Gordon, we don't know in an obvious way, the way we do now with the North and South Korean leaders holding hands, where China is on this, what they want, what their role will be. Certainly, they're going to want a slice of the pie. They're a party to the armistice and party to politics, obviously.

So give us your plus/minus going forward. It's right to have some optimism here. That is an historic moment that we're watching in real time. What are the potential good outcomes, and what are your concerns?

CHANG: Well, the good outcomes is that we're going to have peace in North Asia, and it's going to be disarmed. And that's not impossible, especially if the North Koreans really do need sanctions relief.

You know, Kim Jong-un, I'm sure, is cynical when he says, "Yes, we're going to give up our weapons." But nonetheless, he's created a momentum. And he's also created markers by which the United States and the rest of the international community are going to judge him. So this is going to be very difficult for Kim.

You know, in the past, Chris, we have seen these periods where things seem to be going so well on the Korean Peninsula. And then they fall apart, and you have hostility. And that actually occurred after that 1992 declaration on denuclearization. So there is sort of a precedent to be concerned.

But nonetheless, with events moving so fast, I'm not so sure that the plans of President Trump, the plans of Moon Jae-in, who by the way, is very pro-North Korean, the plans of Kim Jong-un, I'm not so sure that they're going to be able to do what they want. Because they will be Carried and swept forward by the momentum.

[06:10:04] CAMEROTA: David, as you were saying, the optics are riveting. So we were just watching the -- yet another awkward hug of the week, between the North and the South. That was interesting.

And now the White House has released the photo of now secretary of of state -- this is his first full day -- Mike Pompeo. This is the first time that we see the evidence of him meeting with Kim Jong-un. This was over Easter weekend. Neither are smiling, but they are -- there's a handshake, obviously, here.

And so, David, does President Trump still need to go is and meet with Kim Jong-un now, or is this also sort of mission accomplished?

SANGER: I don't think it's mission accomplished yet. You know, President Moon, as you've seen him operate in recent days, clearly sees himself as the mediator between Kim Jong-un, a longtime avowed enemy of South Korea, and Donald Trump, a somewhat unpredictable ally of South Korea. So that's the dynamic going forward.

And I think having the meeting between President Trump and President Kim is the next big step in that momentum that -- that we were just discussing with Gordon.

I think that watching this over the next few weeks, I think the big question is do they reach this -- does this momentum keep going? Or do you see the effects that you've seen in past agreements, where suddenly, you hit some kind of blockade, and everybody retreats back to their corners? And that's the big -- the big danger here.

And you know, when you talk to the Trump administration, their idea is disarmament in six months or so.

CUOMO: Right.

SANGER: We don't see that likely to happen, at least given the agreement as it's put together now.

CUOMO: But look, I mean, you guys are totally right to be sober in the analysis here because of history and because just of the nature of the players.

But you know, a week ago, as speculation, the idea that, well, look, if the administration, the U.S. administration can pull off getting peace, real piece, not an armistice, and some type of scale-down in nukes by North Korea, it could be the stuff on of a Peace Prize.

You know, there was a thunder cloud over my social media threads for, like, three days. Nobody saw this coming just a week later. So you've got to take the positive with the negative. We'll see where it goes.

But gentlemen, we couldn't have had better guests this morning to help us understand this moment. Gordon, David, thank you.

CHANG: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: OK. There's more breaking news. It's going to be a morning like that. There's royal baby news. Kensington Palace announcing the name of Prince William and Kate Middleton's new little prince.

CNN's Max Foster has the breaking details. Max, I did not see this coming.

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What did you guess, Alisyn? What did you guess?

CAMEROTA: I guessed -- I thought it -- what did I think? I thought it was going to be Arthur or -- what was the other?

FOSTER: Phillip.

CAMEROTA: Philip. I thought Philip.

CUOMO: You took -- you just -- you pretended to have guessed the two that he said was most likely. I said Donald John.

CAMEROTA: Right. Which one was it?

FOSTER: We got one out of three, Alisyn. One out of three. Because Arthur is the middle name. The prince's name will be Louis Arthur Charles. So these have great histories in the royal family, these names.

Louis will be interpreted as a tribute to Louis Mountbatten, who was Prince Philip's beloved uncle, the queen's cousin, as well. He was killed in 1979 by an IRA bomb. So that will be interpreted as a tribute to him, certainly. We haven't had that confirmed by the palace, but that's how it's been used in the past.

Arthur is a very regal name. No specific people associated with that, I think, for this family.

But Charles, of course, is William's father's name, so he's got a mention in there, as well. There's often talk about tension between William and Charles. I think this points to the fact that actually, William has a lot of respect for his father, as well.

His full title, His Royal Highness, Prince Louis of Cambridge. He's fifth in line to the throne. Harry is now No. 6. So Harry's going to have to technically bow to this baby. But I don't expect him to do that for a while.

CAMEROTA: So it's spelled "Lewis," but they'll call him "Louie"?

FOSTER: Yes, exactly. Louis. CUOMO: That doesn't sound as royal. Wouldn't they like to -- the more royal, the more august way to say it, you would think, would be "Lewis." But no.

FOSTER: It is stronger perhaps. Yes.

CUOMO: RFD says, "Got to go. It's Louis."

CAMEROTA: It's settled. All right. Thank you.

Max, thank you very much.

CUOMO: All right. President Trump says Michael Cohen only handled a, quote, "tiny fraction" of his legal work. This is a real-time example of the president thinking too quickly and not well enough. He gave federal prosecutors a gift. How so? The answer ahead.

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[06:18:18] CUOMO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel will arrive at the White House in just hours. Her visit is being overshadowed by drama involving the president's cabinet, not to mention what's happening in North Korea right now.

But we've seen the stunning downfall of yet another cabinet pick, Ronny Jackson's nomination to head the V.A. scuttled. President Trump's unhinged interview on on FOX yesterday may have prompted more legal woes for his long-time attorney Michael Cohen.

CNN's Abby Phillip live at the White House with more. What's the reporting, my friend?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Chris.

This has been a week of really high stakes for the president on the foreign policy front. He started it by hosting Emanuel Macron, the president of France, on Monday in his first state dinner, and continuing on to the developments in North Korea just this morning.

But the president's international activities have been overshadowed by, really, some turbulence on the domestic front. As you just mentioned, his V.A. nominee, Ronny Jackson, really had a tough time this week and was struggling to get through this confirmation process until he had to withdraw in the wake of some allegations about his conduct while as White House physician.

And while the president did get his CIA nominee, Mike Pompeo, confirmed yesterday, he also threw a curveball in the way of his own White House staff, giving this free-wheeling, wild FOX News interview on a variety of topics. And in some cases, really making it much more difficult for his legal staff to defend him in several pending legal cases.

Now the president has been saying for quite some time that Michael Cohen, his personal lawyer, was -- was his lawyer, that he was doing work for him on a number of issues and that Cohen had handled the Stormy Daniels issue for him on his own. But listen to what he told FOX News yesterday that was a little bit different from what we've been hearing from him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[06:20:05] STEVE DOOCY, CO-HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL'S "FOX & FRIENDS": How much of your legal work was handled by Michael Cohen?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (via phone): Well, as a percentage of my overall legal work, a tiny, tiny little fraction. But Michael would represent me, and represent me on some things. He represents me, like with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal, he represented me. And, you know, from what I see, he did absolutely nothing wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIP: So the president did two important things there. He confirmed that Michael Cohen was handling Stormy Daniels for him, which is in contradiction to the distance that the president has been trying to put between what Michael Cohen did on the Stormy Daniels case and what he knew about it.

And then secondly, more importantly, he also confirmed that Michael Cohen did very little actual legal work for him. The attorneys in the Southern district of New York that's handling the seizure of documents from Michael Cohen's office at home are now using that as evidence that, as they have been claiming there is very little privileged information in the documents that they seized. They want to be able to go through that without the White House or the president trying to pull any of those documents back. And the president yesterday made that task far easier.

Now this case is going to take a little bit of a different turn. And the president's staff, some of them shaking their heads that he decided to just go out there, do a telephone interview, very campaign style, and weighing in on a lot of really tricky legal issues here for his staff, Chris and Alisyn.

CUOMO: You know, people, Abby, often say, you know, politicians don't like to be tested. But sometimes it's helpful, in an interview, to have some spin pushed back in your face. Because it gives you a chance to think about the implications of what you're doing. When you get free reign sometimes, someone like Trump is even more likely to say things that he might regret, and that certainly might be a category he's going to have to check with this interview.

Joining us now, CNN political analyst Jon Avlon and CNN legal analyst Carrie Cordero.

This is not speculation, Carrie. As soon as he said, "Cohen only does a tiny fraction of my legal work," prosecutors responded almost immediately saying, "Thank you. That's our case. This is about his business deals, not his legal work. That's why all this privileged talk is a little overwrought, because we don't really care about legal work and sensitive information, just the business information. Let's get going." That mattered, did it not?

CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It sure does. I mean, the president basically just gutted Michael Cohen's legal argument that a large volume of the materials that were seized in the search were protected by the attorney-client privilege between the president and Michael Cohen.

And remember, attorney-client privilege is held by the client. So if the client says the information is not privileged, that it wasn't privileged information, then that really should hold.

And so it just goes to the difficulty that lawyers have in dealing with this president. I think it speaks to why, in the broader, the president's had difficulty getting, in some cases, good legal help. Because he is an unpredictable client. And, you know, the lawyers who make these representations based on information that maybe they thought was true in the past, their reputation is also on the line when they go in front of court, and they're making arguments. And then the next day they wake up, and the president has undercut the arguments that they've been making before a judge.

CAMEROTA: John, as you will remember -- my ears almost popped up yesterday, when we heard the president. Yes. I had to glue them back on.

CUOMO: I've never seen them. So much hair.

CAMEROTA: Yes, that's right. And yesterday, they came through my hair, because when the president said for the first time that Michael Cohen represents him in the crazy Stormy Daniels deal, as I believe he put it. That was so different than what he had said on Air Force One when he was like, "No, I know nothing about it."

JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, yes, I mean, he sort of hinted at -- you know, "You'll have to ask Michael. He's my personal attorney." But this time, he went much farther.

And of course, it's that shoot-from-the-lips style that can cause real problems. I mean, here he does this free-wheeling interview by 8 a.m. This is introduced in a court before lunch, people. And it really does cut Michael Cohen's case in many respects.

Folks are going to put their own partisan spin on this, but this was not a disciplined interview, and it will have consequences, which is not something the president is acquainted with.

CUOMO: Right. And look, you know, in truth, in a -- in a twisted way, the president's saying, "He represented me on this" may help -- and Carrie, feel free to jump on me for this if you don't agree. But you know, Cohen on a much lower level of legal concern about his law license, you know, the speculation that you do deals without your client's knowledge, that's unethical. At least now, he's got Trump on record saying, "I knew he was representing me." What Trump has not said is that he knew what he was doing in this representation."

CAMEROTA: Not yet. Wait till the next call to the press. CUOMO: Right. And that's why he should think about what he says.

So -- but then Michael Cohen got something that he didn't have to get, that the judge, Kimba Wood, didn't have to give him, that is helpful to his cause, a special master. So not even the TANK team, which is often -- sometimes used with one set of prosecutors vetting things before another set of prosecutors gets it. Here, there'll be a former judge who will look at everything and make an independent decision about what of this material that was seized may be privileged. That's helpful to Cohen's cause, is it not?

[06:25:11] CORDERO: I think, yes. I think this was helpful to him. And it also -- you know, the judge is most concerned with protecting the integrity of the proceedings and making sure that not only is there not any particular conflict, but there's no appearance of any kind of conflict or impropriety.

And so appointing a special master just adds that extra layer of neutrality and enables that -- whatever attorney-client privilege information may exist, whether it's only limited is what it sounds like from the president's most recent statements, even if it's only limited to the specific representation of Ms. Clifford or -- and then other clients that Michael Cohen may have had that he might have been doing legal work for, which doesn't sound like it was very much.

But the special master will review that particular subset of information. And it just insulates the process from further criticism or any allegation that, oh, it was just government agents looking over the documents.

CAMEROTA: OK, so John, let's move on. You'll remember the names Peter Strzok. He was the former FBI agent. And Lisa Page, the FBI lawyer. And, you know, their text messages have become, you know, the stuff of, either -- depending upon how you read them, either wildly inflammatory or certainly partisan, because they are anti-Trump. So there's a new batch of them. And they're cryptic. And so people are trying to parse what this means.

Here is Peter Strzok, sending a text to -- after James Comey is fired to Lisa Page. "We need to open the case we've been waiting on on now while Andy" -- Andrew McCabe -- "is acting director."

AVLON: Dah, dah, dah.

CAMEROTA: Yes. What's that.

AVLON: That one is fascinating. A lot of times these text message exchanges, when they get released, people seize on a fever dream of a conspiracy theory. That one is generally interesting.

What is this case they felt urgency about to move forward while McCabe was acting? That is -- that's something that I'm looking forward to day two of the reporting on, because that could be consequential.

CUOMO: And the irony is that it will be seized on by conspiracists as something that's nefarious. And yet, if they were going to open a case, how could that have been good for Trump? You know, because they'll play it as this case. It might have been about Clinton, and that's all the secret things and the FBI. Because conspiracists have it both ways.

CAMEROTA: But they think that these two are anti --

CUOMO: I know. For now. Let's see. Let's see how they take it.

CAMEROTA: It could be a lunch case. I mean, we don't know.

CUOMO: The unknown is always a tool -- the unknown is always a tool to the Internet. Case in point.

Carrie, thank you very much.

John, thank you.

CAMEROTA: OK. An ugly moment in court. Bill Cosby cursing out the prosecutor after a jury found him guilty. What's next and how do the victims feel today? We have a live report next.

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