Return to Transcripts main page


G7 Summit Ends in Chaos; U.S.-North Korea Summit; Plane Arrives in Singapore from Pyongyang; China's Counter-Summit; Royal Family Celebrates Queen's Birthday; Trump and Kim Impersonators Hold Faux Summit in Singapore. Aired 3-3:30a ET

Aired June 10, 2018 - 03:00   ET





DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're like the piggy bank that everybody's robbing and that ends.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: Canadians, we're polite, we're reasonable but we also will not be pushed around.


CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The G7 ends with tough talk on tariffs from Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau and Theresa May. Now the U.S. president is on his way to meet with North Korea's Kim Jong-un in Singapore.

Meanwhile, another summit. What the leaders of China, Russia, India and five other countries talked about. We'll have more on that.

Live from the CNN Center here in Atlanta, I'm Cyril Vanier. It's great to have you with us.


VANIER: A trade war between the U.S. and its key allies now certainly seems more likely than ever. G7 leaders had hoped their summit in Canada would ease tensions over U.S. tariffs but nothing was resolved and the summit ended in disarray after U.S. president Donald Trump angrily pulled out of the group's formal communique.

By all accounts, he didn't even want to be there. He arrived late for the summit, showed up late to breakfast the next morning and then left early. During their meetings, the other members lobbied Mr. Trump hard to change course on his trade policies.

The official White House photo seems to convey an amicable atmosphere. You see the smiles there. But contrast that image to the body language in this photo by the press secretary for Germany's Angela Merkel, leaning into the cross-armed Mr. Trump.

The U.S. leader summed it up this way.


TRUMP: I will say it was not contentious. What was strong was the language that this cannot go on. But the relationships are very good, whether it be President Macron or with Justin. We had -- Justin did a really good job.

I think the relationships were outstanding.


VANIER: But here's how he described trade relationships with these same countries.


TRUMP: It's going to change. It's going to change. It's not a question of I hope it changes. It's going to change 100 percent. And tariffs are going to come way down because we -- people cannot continue to do that. We're like the piggy bank that everybody's robbing. And that ends.


VANIER: The U.S. president then departed for Singapore, where he's set to meet North Korea's Kim Jong-un on Tuesday. At this point, the other G7 members believed that the U.S. was on board with the group's joint communique. And then this happened.


JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: It would be with regret but it would be with absolute certainty and firmness that we move forward with retaliatory measures on July 1st, applying equivalent tariffs to the ones that the Americans have unjustly applied to us.

I have made it very clear to the president that it is not something we relish doing. But it is something that we absolutely will do because Canadians, we are polite, we're reasonable but we also will not be pushed around.


VANIER: As soon as Mr. Trump got wind of this, he fired off this angry tweet, backing out of the joint communique. He sent another tweet then, calling Mr. Trudeau meek, weak and dishonest.

So Mr. Trudeau's office responded, "The Prime Minister said nothing he hasn't said before, both in public and in private conversations with the president."

The E.U. and Mexico also say that they will impose retaliatory tariffs on the U.S. Our Nic Robertson joins us. He's in South Korea right now. But he has covered countless G7 summits.

Nic, is this the most disarray you've ever seen the G7 in?


And certainly the messaging that's come out subsequently, I mean, the French president Emmanuel Macron actually said during the later hours of the summit that it was good that the joint communique was being signed by everyone because that was -- that showed a desire, a general desire by everyone, to stabilize things.

Those were his words. So clearly he felt and other leaders we can see from some of those photographs feel that's necessary. The language going into this was always going to be contentious.

But I think, you know, when we compare this to other G7 meetings, perhaps last summer was a slight precursor for that. You had the Italian prime minister then warning, if you will, or at least calling for professionalism at the table, which seemed to be very much a comment toward President Trump.

But if you look at what President Trump did coming into this G7, when the issue was about contentious issues around trade, he sort of lobbed a diplomatic grenade in before he even got there, turning up late, late for meetings as well, by saying that Russia should be invited back and it should become G8 again.


ROBERTSON: That wasn't even on the agenda. So you know, as President Trump judges things, as he has said about his upcoming meeting with Kim Jong-un, I will know within seconds whether or not we can make a deal here, President Trump, by his own measure, was signaling very clearly that he was going to make this a very rough and tumble G7.

It's this kind of rough and tumble, different kind of diplomacy, if you will, some might argue it verges away from diplomacy. So I think, in that context, this is different. And these leaders are now trying to figure out, yes, they know how to deal with it in terms of responding to trade tariffs, et cetera.

But in terms of a diplomatic adjustment, I think that's something they're only beginning to grapple with.

VANIER: So if the G7 leaders could not work things out diplomatically, then this begs the question, are they now doomed to fight this out in a trade war?

ROBERTSON: I think that's a question they're asking themselves as well. What they have said is, if this is going to be such, then we're going to apply -- we're going to reciprocate. Justin Trudeau has said that. British prime minister Theresa May said that the E.U. would be doing the same as well.

Undoubtedly, diplomats will be looking for an off-ramp. Finance ministers, et cetera, will perhaps have opportunities to discuss this in detail. But the trend does seem to be set at the moment. Undoubtedly, there will be an effort -- and we heard that again, just

going back to what Emmanuel Macron, the French president, said, that there was a general desire to see things stabilize, in his view.

So there will be -- this is the way that these countries do business together. So there will be an effort to restore what's normality. But we are on another path right now; that has to be recognized. And how easy or even if it's possible to get back to where they were before the G7, it's not clear that that's going to happen easily or quite how.

One can expect at least among the Europeans and others some meetings amongst themselves, as they try to figure out how best to calibrate their steps beyond these reciprocal responses to the current tariffs that President Trump intends to impose.

VANIER: Nic Robertson, thank you very much. Always a pleasure.


VANIER: Security is tight in Singapore ahead of the historic summit between U.S. President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. An Air China jumbo jet arrived in Singapore in the past few minutes from Pyongyang.

Now there are no regularly scheduled flights between the two cities. So naturally there's speculation that Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, is aboard this plane. President Trump is expected to arrive in the coming hours.

In a tweet from Air Force One he said he has a feeling that, quote, "This one-time opportunity will not be wasted."

Before leaving Canada, Mr. Trump put the responsibility for success on the North Korean leader.


TRUMP: He's got an opportunity the likes of which I think almost, if you look into history, very few people have ever had. He can take that nation with those great people and truly make it great. So it's a one-time -- it's a one-time shot.


VANIER: I want to show you some pictures right now that just came in to us from Singapore airport, cars leaving the airport. Now remember the context here and see why we're showing these to you. The context, of course, is we are waiting for the arrival of Kim Jong-un.

And we've just shown you that plane. You see the cameramen there in those official cars with the tinted windows, clearly filming some kind of personality, some kind of official in those cars, coming out of the airport.

So there is reason to believe, although we're not in a position to confirm it at this hour, there is reason to believe that the North Korean leader is in that car.

This is the scene just moments ago at the Singapore airport. A plane that we had been tracking, that took off from Pyongyang shortly after 8:00 am local time, has arrived at the Singapore airport. We believe it well may be North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.

This a day and a half before he is scheduled to meet with the U.S. President, Donald Trump. The first person we can ask for context about this is Paula Hancocks.

Paula, first of all, just question mark, what do you know?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Cyril, just looking at those images that you showed just a second ago, you could see the DPRK flag, the North Korean flag, on the front of those cars. They looked like diplomatic cars.

Of course it looked like there were cameramen out of the sun roof of the convoy, just ahead of those cars with the North Korean flags on. So add two and two together --


HANCOCKS: -- it could well be Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader.

But we don't have confirmation at this time. But certainly the fact that an Air China flight has arrived here in Singapore -- there are no scheduled flights from Pyongyang to Singapore today or on the weekend.

The fact that you have this convoy with cameramen, with the official DPRK flag, coming in this direction, would suggest it as well.

We also heard from the Singapore police just over an hour ago that they were going to shut down certain areas of the city, shut down the road from the airport to an area where The St. Regis hotel is here in Singapore. This is a hotel that has been very heavily fortified, that has a number of international journalists outside.

And it's reported to be the spot where the North Korean leader will be staying. So certainly, from what it appears to be, from what we can piece together, there's a good chance the North Korean under is currently in Singapore. But we don't know for sure.

The other clue we have is that we have heard from the Singaporeans that he will be meeting with the prime minister today, this Sunday. He'll be meeting with the prime minister -- the prime minister, I should say, will be meeting with Donald Trump, the U.S. president, tomorrow, on Monday.

But certainly there is expected to be this diplomatic process on Sunday. So we don't have the ultimate confirmation. But we are expecting the North Korean leader to be here, to have that meeting to start with, with prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong.

So it could well be -- Cyril. VANIER: Yes, Paula, I'm really glad you were able to cast your eyes on that flag because I couldn't clearly see it. We just saw it there again, the flags on the front of that car, which you just pointed out was the North Korean flag. Hard to imagine it could be anybody other than the North Korean leader, leaving the airport under the gaze of the cameras.

When does Mr. Trump arrive?

Do we know?

HANCOCKS: It will be a few hours before we see the U.S. president. He is on his way. He's in the air. He's had his refueling stop in Crete, according to the pool reporters on board, and he'll be heading here this evening. He'll be meeting with the Singaporean prime minister on Monday.

We don't know what the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, will be doing on Monday. These two leaders don't meet until Tuesday, 9:00 am local time, what we have understood, which is 9:00 pm Eastern on Monday evening U.S. time.

Certainly he has a day in pocket potentially to be preparing for this summit. We've heard from U.S. officials that they believe Kim Jong-un is very well prepared for this. Even the U.S. secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, when he went to Pyongyang and met Kim Jong-un, said that he was very knowledgeable. He knew what he was talking about. And he was well prepared.

So he will have this 24 hours after meeting the Singaporean prime minister before that historic meeting between him and the first time that a North Korean leader has met with a sitting U.S. president -- Cyril.

VANIER: All right, Paula Hancocks is in Singapore.

Manisha Tank is also in Singapore, Manisha is a little closer to the airport.

Manisha, you've been on plane duty, on lookout duty. And this is an unenviable position in a way, because it's really hard to know what you are seeing, but what can you tell us?

MANISHA TANK, CNN HOST: Like you said earlier, we've been tracking this Air China flight that was coming in from Pyongyang on flight radar. And down to the minute we were able to see it come in overhead here.

We are just a little bit east of Changi Airport. That means that we can track all of these planes as they come in, in the far distance. And we did indeed see the Air China plane come in. So I certainly saw that.

And a lot of plane spotters here with me. A lot of interest here in Singapore. Let me just frame that for you. This is a really big moment for this island nation-state. We're going to see that big summit happen on Sentosa Island, which is slightly disconnected from the mainland on Singapore.

It's really important because it ensures safety, it ensures security for this summit. And Singapore has been very quick to point out that it was approached by the U.S. and then by the North Koreans to host this summit. It didn't go out looking for this.

These agencies, these parties, came to them. There are many reasons why but most importantly it is because Singapore is one of those rare nations that has diplomatic relations with both the North Koreans and the United States.

It puts this little red dot in a really important position. Good to hear news that he did -- that we think that maybe that motorcade does have something to do with the North Korean leader.

What is the point of this?

What is the point of tracking all of this?

Because, like Nic pointed out earlier, President Trump has indicated that within seconds he's going to know where this is going. People are watching this by the second. They're watching every look, they're watching every movement, they're watching every action to look for that genuine --


TANK: -- concern and that genuine intent to start what might be a new era in history for this divided country.

Let's not forget, for more than 60 years, we're talking about a country that's been at war. This is a very momentous occasion for Singapore and a lot of interest from Singaporeans.

We are regularly getting updates for those who live here, like me, on what's going to be on lockdown, where the security sections will be. But it's a very historic and momentous time and it starts now, perhaps.

VANIER: Absolutely, Manisha, thank you so much for painting that picture for us. It is just past 3:00 pm in Singapore local time there.

If you're just joining us on CNN, I want to recap what we've seen over the last few minutes. We saw an Air China plane land at Singapore airport. And then this, the first of what is probably going to be quite a lot of pictures coming out of Singapore over the next and 2.5 days or so, as the U.S. president Donald Trump is scheduled to meet the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.

And we believe, there is reason to believe Kim Jong-un was in that Air China plane. And there is reason to believe that he is in the car that you're about to see, one of the cars with the flags, exiting the airport under the gaze of the cameras.

Likely, but we cannot this confirm this, likely headed for the hotel where he'll be staying over the next two or three days.

Let me go to Jee Kwang Park. He's a research fellow at the Sejong Institute, joining from us Seoul, South Korea, obviously watching this keenly.

Donald Trump says it will take him about a minute to get a feel for Kim Jong-un. And them he'll know whether the North Korean leader is serious about denuclearizing.

Your thoughts on that?

JEE KWANG PARK, SEJONG INSTITUTE: Well, one minute is too short. However, I think President Trump can figure out whether Kim Jong-un is really serious about giving up their nuclear weapons or not in a very short time.

VANIER: We have a pretty good idea of Donald Trump's mindset walking into this, because he's been talking a lot over the last couple of days and weeks.

Can you even begin to imagine what's going through Kim Jong-un's mind as he approaches this meeting?

PARK: It's very difficult to know what Kim Jong-un thinks about this summit and keeping nuclear weapons. Even in South Korea, people are sharply divided into two camps. So people strongly believe Kim Jong- un is ready to give up his nuclear weapons and he's very serious about talking to President Trump and probably there will be big result from the summit.

And (INAUDIBLE) people strongly believe that this is another scam from North Korea and this will be recorded as another perilous (ph) moment in U.S. and South Korea diplomacy.

VANIER: Donald Trump said he can see this meeting going different ways. He hopes that, at a minimum, they're at least going to meet, get a feel for each other and perhaps strike up a relationship, the two men.

And he sees in its most positive scenario that he gets some kind of commitment from Kim Jong-un. Those are the sort of the two ways this could go. And there's obviously a big gray area in the middle.

What do you think would constitute a successful summit?

PARK: Well, obviously, if Kim Jong-un says something about denuclearization of North Korea or if he officially announce that North Korea is going to give up their nuclear weapons, that will be recorded as a success.

However, the problem is nobody knows what North Korea denuclearization really means. North Korea has said that they will live up their nuclear weapons.

However, in what sense? So that means North Korea will allow United States or any international organization to inspect their facilities inside for nuclear weapons?

Or North Korea will not develop their nuclear weapons, even in the future?

So it totally depends on the meaning of North Korea denuclearization.

VANIER: All right, Jee Kwang Park, thank you very much for your insights.

Coming up, Russia and China will likely be watching as the Singapore summit kicks off. What they have to say at their own meeting in China, ahead.





VANIER: The G7 is over and the U.S.-North Korea summit is just at the corner but another group of world leaders just wrapped up a different meeting, this one in China. The city of Qingdao was host to the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping were there; so, too, were the presidents of Iran and Pakistan an the prime minister of India.

CNN's Matt Rivers is in Qingdao, he joins me live with the latest.

Matt, we saw and we were talking earlier in the show about what transpired at the G7 summit. Now we see your summit in China. It is hard not to think of this in terms of East versus West.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, in a lot of ways, you could argue this is an alternative vision for these kinds of summits. To be sure, you certainly didn't see the kind of discord that you saw at the G7 between Europe and the United States.

Here in China, all you saw was the typical shaking of hands. Really more along the lines of the summits we're used to seeing, very bland statements, win-win cooperation, development. You know, the exact kind of thick that you're expecting to hear. No real news was made here.

This is a summit that happens every single year. But you're right, when we look at this, it's important to recognize the difference between the Western summit in the G7 and this summit.

What you're seeing, specifically with Russia and China, an increasing willingness to present this alternative vision for global influence. Russia and China for decades didn't get along, despite their shared Communist backgrounds. Yet over the last several years Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin have made a concerted effort to put forward a more united front.

When it comes to Iran, for example, we will do things, we will do business with Iran that the West don't. We're going to continue to give material support to the North Koreans that the West won't.

So even though they might have not have gotten along in the past, Russia and China really taking the lead here at this summit and showing, smiling hands, cooperation, even if they didn't make a lot of news, the symbolism of it all, I think, does matter.

VANIER: So I want to make sure I get what you're saying.

Are you saying that they are poised or perhaps they are already exploiting vulnerabilities that they see in the West?

RIVERS: Yes, I think you could certainly make that argument. I mean, they are seeing a West that is changing, a fracturing of alliances that, just a couple of years ago, you would have never expected.

The G7, you could have argued just a couple of years ago, was just as boring as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which is the name of this summit here. No real news was made It just was a glorified photo op.

Yet what we saw at the G7 is a clear fracture between America and some of its oldest and most traditional allies. And here in China, with the Chinese and the Russians specifically, I think you are seeing both of those countries try and pick up some of the slack there, present some sort of alternative, present a unified vision of an argument for global influence that doesn't include Western powers.

VANIER: Matt Rivers, reporting from Qingdao in China, thank you very much for your insights. Fascinating, thanks.

Something totally different now. On Saturday, the queen of England officially celebrated her 92nd birthday with the annual Trooping the Colour parade. Nearly the whole royal family --


VANIER: -- joined in, including the newest member, who, some say, stole the show. She's there in the middle of the screen. CNN's Nina dos Santos was there for the big day.


NINA DOS SANTOS, CNNMONEY EUROPE EDITOR: Meghan Markle took part in her first major royal engagement just three weeks after tying the knot with her new husband, Prince Harry. This ceremony was the Trooping of the Colour.

Since 1748, U.K. monarchs have had two birthday celebrations, one unofficial and one official. The queen turned 92 in April but this was the official ceremony to mark her birthday, the so-called Trooping of the Colour is actually an opportunity for the sovereign to inspect her troops.

More than 1,000 soldiers took part in this event, 200 expert cavalry men and about 400 soldiers as part of the marching band as well.

One of the highlights of the day was when the royal family gathered upon the balance of Buckingham Palace to wave to the crowds but also to inspect the fly-by of Lancaster bombers, helicopters, fighter jets and also those famous RAF Red Arrows as they flew by with their characteristic trails of red, white and blue smoke.

Just as there was one new member of the royal family present at the celebrations in the form of the new Duchess of Sussex, there was also somebody who was noticeably absent. The queen traveled back and forth from the palace to Horse Guards parade on her own because the Duke of Edinburgh, who will turn 97 on Sunday, has retired from royal duties -- Nina dos Santos, CNN, outside Buckingham Palace in London.


VANIER: As Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un prepare for the historic meeting in Singapore, scheduled for Tuesday morning local time, a couple of their lookalikes had a summit of their own there.

Impersonators of the American and North Korean leaders held a chili crab summit. That's what they called it. That was in Singapore on Saturday.

The two surprised guests at a seafood restaurant, where they were presented with original crab dishes, made in the likeness of the two leaders, before they were treated to chili crabs, one of Singapore's famous delicacies.


"HOWARD", KIM JONG-UN IMPERSONATOR: The swear (ph) on my face, this is how good it is. and I can't get enough of this. I'm going to take some of this crab back to North Korea with me. I think we can solve the problem famine problem in North Korea with the crab, what do you think, yes?

VANIER (voice-over): Well, he's having some fun with it. "Howard," an Australian comedian who is known for his Kim Jong-un impersonations, was reportedly detained -- less fun -- by Singapore's authorities when he arrived Friday. He said he was questioned about his political views before he was then allowed to enter the country.


VANIER: That's it from us for now. Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Cyril Vanier. I'll be back with the headlines in just a moment.