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Four Boys Rescued from Thai Cave; Trump Prepares for Big Foreign Policy Week; South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham Accuses China For North Korea's Condemnation Of Talks With The U.S. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired July 8, 2018 - 14:00   ET


[14:00:00] JOE JOHNS, CNN ANCHOR: So far rescue teams successfully evacuated four boys from the cave. Really a system of caves and tunnels. The remaining eight boys and their coach spending another night in the depths of that dark cave where they've been trapped for more than two weeks.

It's a race against the clock. Oxygen levels are rapidly depleting, and heavy rain is on the way, threatening to flood the cave. Right now rescue workers have wrapped up a strategy meeting to plot out their next move, and divers are refilling their oxygen tanks before the next mission, as families wait anxiously for the remaining kids to start the treacherous journey to safety.

CNN has reporters on the scene. Jonathan Miller near the cave entrance and CNN's Matt Rivers outside the hospital where the four boys are now being treated.

Let's go first to Jonathan Miller. This was an extraordinary rescue. There's still a long way to go. So how do they pull this off?

JONATHAN MILLER, CNN ASIA CORRESPONDENT: Joe, they had about 90 rescue workers in total down in that incredibly labyrinth and cavern system. Only 13 of them were involved with the actual rescue of pulling the boys out. They were the trained cave divers. And each boy, each of the four boys who've come out had a diver one ahead of them and one behind.

The boy in the middle held on to a rope tethered to the front diver, who also held his compressed air tank. The diver on the back would also have been holding a guideline, the dive line, and they navigated through several passageways of submerged tunnel before scrambling out into the upper chambers of the cave.

About the last third of the exit would have been this wading through caverns which have been drained of water. So not as perilous as the early stages, but I think it's given people a lot of hope that those four have emerged. But with torrential rain here tonight and a huge catchment area with water feeding into that underground cavern system and the water table rising, concern growing for the eight remaining boys and their coach left down below.

JOHNS: Right. The more water, the less air generally speaking. Do the other boys and the coach inside the cave have any idea that these first four have made it to safety?

MILLER: We don't know that yet. We've had a briefing from the governor this evening who told us some details of the operation, but we don't actually know whether a diver has been down to bring the glad tidings of great joy to the others. What we do know is that they have been properly prepared for this adventure. You know, they've been trained to how to use these full-face scuba masks. They've been taking practice and swimming lessons and all this sort of thing with the Thai Navy SEALs who've been down in the cave with them.

They sent up letters yesterday suggesting that they were in high spirits. They -- they sent these letters to their parents, you know, talking about looking forward to birthday parties and eating fried chicken when they came back up again. So we know that they're in reasonable form. We know that they're physically fit. They were given a proper medical check by an Australian diving doctor down in the chamber before they left. And hopefully we'll see them all again soon.

We think the final extraction or the next extraction will probably take place before late afternoon tomorrow.

JOHNS: Really fascinating when you talk about that teaching session that the divers would have given those young boys. In amateur diving terms, they call that a resort course, though usually given in a swimming pool. This, of course, very different from that.

Thanks so much, Jonathan Miller.

After that intense rescue mission, the boys were rushed to a hospital about an hour's drive from the cave. Doctors and nurses there have been preparing for days in anticipation of treating the first boys.

Let's check in with CNN's international correspondent Matt Rivers right outside the hospital. What are you learning? How are the boys doing?

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John. No official word yet from hospital staff in terms of the conditions of these boys, but kind of like Jonathan just said, you have to imagine that given what they've gone through, at least physically speaking, they had to be in some sort of shape to be able to make that very arduous journey. But nonetheless, of course, as you would expect, those boys were transported immediately here to the hospital, unclear how long they'll have to stay here. And it's unclear what kind of symptoms, if anything, they had while here.

We saw four different ambulances arrive, one ambulance for each boy. We expect that process to continue as more people are extracted from that cave. But like you said, this hospital was prepared for this. If there was a silver lining to all of this, John, is that we have had -- Joe, sorry, we have had a lot of time here. The boys and their coach have been underground for weeks now. And so this hospital was prepared.

We saw gurneys outside the hospital earlier today. And the staff here has told CNN, look, we're ready for anything. And so hopefully these boys are in good hands.

[14:05:09] JOHNS: All right, Matt Rivers. Thanks so much for that. Keep us informed about the condition of those kids.

As for the rest of the boys still in the cave, how do they feel anxiously awaiting news from the outside if they'll make it out? Joining me now is psychiatrist Carole Lieberman. She's also a former scuba doctor and diver.

Doctor Lieberman, just the anxiety of learning to swim for the first time, how do these boys deal with that?

DR. CAROLE LIEBERMAN, PSYCHIATRIST: Yes, it is very anxiety provoking because, you know, you were talking about resort lessons, scuba diving lessons. Yes, you know, when I worked during -- as a scuba diver briefly, for a period of time, it was a kind of resort situation, and I would look at the people, examine the people, do a history and a physical exam and decide whether they were fit enough to be able to take the four-day scuba diving course and then the fifth day is the deep dive.

So -- and of course, needless to say, none of these boys would pass the test. You know, you have to look at their respiratory capacities, whether they have -- whether the person has high blood pressure, heart problems, a cold even. And these boys are certainly in no position to have been able to have gotten the green light to go ahead and scuba dive.

You know, on the one hand, well, of course when they finally hear that the four -- their four friends have made it, that will give them an enormous boost of confidence, which is key in scuba diving because the most -- the biggest threat is being anxious, having a panic attack, because then you use up too much oxygen and you can take off the mask.

You know, people tend to do that when they panic because they think I can't breathe, I have to take this mask off. So, you know, it's -- what's hard is that, you know, the decision of who to go -- who should go first, that was such a hard decision. If it was that these were the most healthy boys, you know, in a way that's great because then they were successful and that will give the boost. But on the other hand, the boys who are left who are in this low-oxygen condition, all the other horrible conditions of the cave, it makes them even less strong, you know, less likely to be able to be successful.

JOHNS: So correct me if I'm wrong. You were talking about that Navy SEAL who died before this operation. You said you actually saw that coming. Why?

LIEBERMAN: No, I don't know that I said that about the Navy SEAL really, but I was -- I did say -- I did talk about how precarious it was for the boys to get out because of these situations, because of them being -- you know, having some degree of PTSD probably, each of them, and anxiety and of course their physical state. Then all of that made it really difficult and precarious. I mean, it's a miracle that the first four came out. JOHNS: Yes, it certainly is shocking. And I think that's the word

people are using again and again. So the boys who are still down in that cave, give me some sense of what would be going through their heads right now, sort of their stress levels, the anxiety.

LIEBERMAN: Yes, you know, it's interesting. When the first four were sent on their way, of course, you know, the boys I'm sure were cheering them on, and so on, but it made it so much more real for the boys. You know? That was the significant part of that. When the two divers, the two British divers, first came and the boys were so ecstatic because in a way where there's kind of childish, magical thinking, it meant to them, oh, now we're saved, everything is going to be OK.

And so since then, the longer they've had to wait and the more difficulties there have been, it's been harder for them. So, you know, on the one hand, so now that there were actually four boys who left and they don't -- until they know that these boys have been successful, it's more anxiety provoking because it's like, oh, my god, this is really real. I'm going to be expected to do this.

JOHNS: So assuming the rest of this rescue mission is successful and we all pray for that, give me some sense of resiliency. So many times we like to say that kids are resilient, they can bounce back from almost anything. How long do you think it'll be before these kids feel normal after this experience?

LIEBERMAN: Well, it'll be different for each child. And that will depend largely on how they were, who they were before this incident happened.

[14:10:03] In other words, the more psychologically healthy they were beforehand, the more loved and supported and -- you know, the healthier their childhood was before all of this, the better prognosis they will have in general. But I hope that people don't -- you know, yes, of course, they want to go back to their families and so on, but there shouldn't be a big rush because there's going to be some degree of bravado that the kids will want to show, you know, because -- to show their parents just like they wrote in the letters, to show their parents I'm OK.

But we cannot just, you know, say, OK, great, you're here and that's that. We really -- they have to be carefully monitored psychologically, you know, with therapy, group and individual, for quite a while to see what happens. You know, remember, there were some children who thought that they heard the sound of a crow or sound of a dog. If that really was a dog or a crow, that's fine, but if they were having hallucinations then obviously those kids are going to need a lot more intensive treatment.

JOHNS: Absolutely. Thanks so much for all of that, Carole Lieberman.

This has truly been an international effort to rescue these boys and their coach. Countries from around the world are lending resources and expertise. The help the U.S. government is providing coming up next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHNS: An international coalition of 13 specialists divers and five Thai Navy SEALs rescued four of the boys trapped inside that cave in Thailand. This morning, President Trump tweeting, "The U.S. is working very closely with the government of Thailand to help get all of the children out of the cave and to safety. Very brave and talented people."

CNN Pentagon reporter Ryan Browne is here now.

Ryan, what are you learning about the United States' involvement in all of this?

RYAN BROWNE, CNN PENTAGON REPORTER: Well, we're being told by U.S. officials that the United States remains very much in a supporting role, that Thai military personnel, Thai rescue personnel are very much in the lead, but there is a significant U.S. military presence. About 40 personnel, mostly coming from bases in the region, Pacific Command, Japan, places like that, they're coming over to support.

That they were never supposed to participate in the rescue itself, at least this initial one. They're more in a supporting role, providing potential medical support, pre-staging equipment, working with the other countries that are pursuing this rescue effort.

JOHNS: So how does this come about? Typically does the host country send out a request to various countries for assistance on something like this? Because it's a very unusual mission.

BROWNE: Absolutely, and so high profile. Sometimes the host nation will make a request. And this is all done through the U.S. embassy. So the U.S. embassy in Bangkok very much has the lead here, working with the Thai government, reaching out to U.S. military personnel throughout the region, flying them in so it's very much a supportive effort.

You also have British divers participating in the rescue effort as well.

JOHNS: Right.

BROWNE: Other European countries are involved. In fact, the U.S.'s main role, at least nationally, the plan was for them to provide medical support to British personnel if they were to be injured in any of the rescue attempts.

Now we're being told that U.S., British, and other officials -- personnel participated in some of the initial mission briefings for this rescue operation with the Thai government.

JOHNS: Right. And we also have Aussie divers. A sort of real coalition of Western and democratic countries, isn't it?

BROWNE: Absolutely.

JOHNS: Thanks so much for that, Ryan.

The focus now is shifting to the health of the boys. Joining me now, someone who's very familiar with these situations, Dr. Jean Christophe Romagnoli Prado. He assisted in the Chilean mining rescue back in 2010.

Doctor, these boys have been in this cave for more than two weeks. What sort of ailments can we expect them to have?

DR. JEAN CHRISTOPHE ROMAGNOLI PRADO, SPORTS MEDICINE SPECIALIST: Well, basically, you should expect them to be malnourished probably with some type of respiratory problem due to the humidity of the cave. And I'm not actually aware of the temperature in the cave, but probably they should have mild hypothermia also and muscle fatigue probably because of the emaciation produced due to the lack of food. And basically that.

Also, there are psychological type of problems expected that should have wide ranging between anxiety, probably some kind of panic attacks or anguish attacks or maybe -- or maybe later, post-traumatic stress syndrome should be expected also.

JOHNS: You've got it. All recoverable, it sounds like, but as they come out of the cave, you've been there before, what is the first thing doctors would try to diagnose?

ROMAGNOLI PRADO: Well, any type of main system problem like cardiac problems or respiratory problems that are the most like dangerous ones. And then you can receive them properly, and rehydrate them properly, and with a very long therapeutic, psychological program. Probably you'll get them back on their feet pretty soon.


JOHNS: We have been told -- I'm sorry, go ahead.

ROMAGNOLI PRADO: The kids are young enough so we should expect plasticity of their young bodies to have absorbed a lot of the stress they've been receiving without having major ailments.

JOHNS: So --

ROMAGNOLI PRADO: Fortunately, they're young enough for that.

JOHNS: OK, so --

ROMAGNOLI PRADO: Unfortunately, their youth basically shuts down their mental strength. So they might experience more psychological problems than adult people.

[14:20:07] JOHNS: So the limited availability of oxygen, we've been told, has been a problem in the cave. Is that expected to cause any problems for them going forward, or do they recover quite quickly after they get back out into normal air levels?

ROMAGNOLI PRADO: Well, no, they should be recovering quite normal and very fast after recovering normal air level. The problem is you can affect the kidneys probably with a lack of oxygen and the muscles, but recovery, once you get out of this high toxic environment, should be fast enough.

JOHNS: Now some of these kids are as young as 11 years old. They're also presumably very fit, being part of a soccer team, if you will. Is that an advantage for them, or is it sort of a mixed issue, if you will?

ROMAGNOLI PRADO: Again, mixed issue because it's an advantage because we know they can perform physical activity very properly, but the problem is we should expect they have more muscles in themselves than a regular kid. So more muscles imply more oxygen consumption. And more oxygen consumption probably will increase their breathing rate that will diminish quicker the oxygen levels in their tanks. So we should recalculate that in order or considering the fitness they have.

JOHNS: When you were involved in the Chilean mining rescue back in 2010, how long did it take everybody to recover and come back to reasonable states of health, and can you make any judgments about what would happen with this entire team, presuming they all get out safely? How long will it be for them?

ROMAGNOLI PRADO: The Chilean miners recovered physically in two days or all discharged in two days, even one that had pneumonia ongoing and had lung fibrosis and silicosis. The mental health, some of them haven't even recovered yet. The Thai kids, probably, the entrapment duration has been less, so they should recover faster. But we wait to see what happens. If they all come out alive, that would be a major kind of powering aid for them to recover psychologically.

JOHNS: Got it. All right. Dr. Jean Christophe Romagnoli Prado, thank you so much for that.

I think that's very telling that some of those miners in that Chilean mining rescue in 2010 have not yet recovered fully mentally from their experience.

We'll have more on the rescue efforts in Thailand in just a moment. Plus, tomorrow night President Trump will announce his nominee for the Supreme Court, kicking off a real battle as well as a busy week, which is likely to include a testy NATO meeting in Brussels. Going to talk about that coming up.


[14:28:00] JOHNS: President Trump wrapping up a quiet weekend at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, but it's not going to be quiet for long. He's returning to the White House soon. Very busy week ahead. Tomorrow he's expected to announce his Supreme Court nominee. Tuesday is the immigration deadline for the administration to reunite children under the age of 5 with their parents.

Later that day, the president heads to Brussels for the NATO summit. Thursday night, on to Britain where he has dinner with Prime Minister Theresa May. And Friday he's going to meet with the Queen. After that, Mr. Trump heads to Scotland for the weekend before his big sit- down with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Finland on the 16th.

CNN's Boris Sanchez is in New Jersey near the president's Bedminster resort.

Boris, real busy week ahead for the president. What are we expecting? What should we look for?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Joe. As you well know, never a dull day for President Trump. The big thing on the agenda for the early part of the week, of course, is the announcement of his nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court.

The president has spent part of his weekend teasing that primetime announcement Monday at 9:00 p.m. via Twitter. Sources indicate that the president has also spent some time here in Bedminster fielding calls about the Supreme Court pick, though this source would not indicate specifically who the president had been speaking to.

Another White House source telling us that all the paperwork, all the interviews are done. The only thing left is for the president to make a final decision and then announce it to the American people. Of course, the backdrop for that news is that there is a brewing legal battle between the president's legal team and the special counsel.

Now Rudy Giuliani, the president's attorney, was on "STATE OF THE UNION" this morning talk to Dana Bash, outlining these new terms that he's demanding from Robert Mueller in order for the special counsel to interview President Trump. Chiefly suggesting that the special counsel has to provide some kind of evidence to suggest that the president may have committed some sort of wrongdoing.

[14:30:00] He says that he does not expect Robert Mueller to comply with those demands. He is essentially putting the special counsel in a position where they have to issue a subpoena to try to force the President to do an interview. Listen to more from the former mayor of New York.


RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LAWYER: I have no idea what he's going to do. I think if he does, we could have the subpoena squashed. To subpoena the President, never been done successfully in the history of this country. There is very, very strong law that the President cannot be subjected to criminal process. There's very good argument that the OLC opinion governing Mueller says that. But certainly constitutional law may say it. The reality is that we have a very strong argument that they haven't made a case for an interview.


SANCHEZ: Now, Joe, as you noted, the agenda is packed. It's not just the President's trip to Europe to meet with NATO allies, but also the department of justice is still awaiting word on a possible extension to the reunification process between these young children who have been separated from their parents at the border. As you noted, that deadline is fast approaching. And the fact this Russia investigation may continue to cloud the President's agenda as he moves closer and closer to that one-on-one next week with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, a sit-down the entire world will be watching, Joe.

JOHNS: The entire world certainly will be watching that, Boris Sanchez. Very interesting to see how the President maneuvers the optics of that one. Thanks so much, Boris.

Topping the President's to-do list this week will be his big announcement on his Supreme Court nominee to replace retiring justice Anthony Kennedy. The President says he will announce his choice tomorrow.

Joining me now to discuss this is CNN Supreme Court reporter Ariana de Vogue.

Ariana, what do we know about the likely finalists? I have heard four people. I have heard five people, six, you know.

ARIAN DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: Well, this is the frantic last weekend before the announcement tomorrow. The White House counsel's office has been working on this around the clock. And there is a list of four top contenders right now.

Brett Kavanaugh has always been at the top. He is a circuit court judge here. He is 53 years old. He is a conservative with over 300 opinions on issues that the conservatives really like. Religion, for instance. Religious liberty. But remember, President Trump ran on draining the swamp, and he is from Washington, D.C.

And some people are a little concerned about a couple of opinions, so there's other people on the list. Another one is Ray Kethledge. He is also 51 years old. He has been on the bench for ten years. And he, though, he is considered Gorsuch 2.0 because of his philosophy that matches Gorsuch and matches a little bit Antonin Scalia.

And then we have Tom Hardiman. Tom Hardiman is interesting. He was the number two last time around for Justice Scalia's seat. The President really liked him for his personal story. First in his family to go to college, drove a cab. He has a big second amendment case people like.

And finally, Amy Coney Barrett. Now she is new on the bench. Trump put her in just a few months ago for a lower court. And so, she doesn't have this long list of opinions, but she has got a lot of writing that she did at Notre Dame. And a lot of that writing is on issues regarding religion. And during her confirmation hearing, Senator Diane Feinstein talked about her religion a little bit if you remember. And she said something like the dogma lives loudly in you. And that really angered conservatives. The social conservatives really like her. They think she might be a vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. So that's the short list right now.

JOHNS: All right. OK. So of these, Thomas Hardiman was the front runner they called the runner-up this time but not necessarily the runner-up this time. DE VOGUE: Well, it's a very interesting thing that has been going on

behind the scenes, right. Because the conservatives, they haven't had a lot of time. The President really wanted to move closely -- or quickly. And on one side, you have the social conservatives. And they care about Roe v. Wade. They really like Judge Barrett.

And on the other side, you have the more traditional conservatives. They care about issues like separation of power, the administrative state. So what's been going on behind the scenes is this sort of struggle of which candidate they might pick with that.

JOHNS: And interesting question here, too, because I think the conventional wisdom, if you will, is that if the President chooses Judge Barrett, then he is angling for a fight during the midterm election year because it would create a lot of controversy, a lot of democratic wringing of hands. But who is the judge he would choose if he was trying to get a couple Democrats to select someone as a consensus choice?

[14:35:13] DE VOGUE: Well, that's exactly the great question, right, because Judge Barrett, she has this -- she has had a lot of writing on religion. So maybe some of the Republicans who are -- believe in abortion rights might think, wait, what are we going to do here? Whereas you have got Kavanaugh, for instance, because he worked for the George W. Bush administration, there are thousands of documents that are being held in the George W. Bush library. So if he were to get the nod, that might change the time frame. And keep in mind, there's a lot of people in the Senate that want to move quickly and get this through.

JOHNS: Where is Kethledge from?

DE VOGUE: Kethledge is from Michigan. So that, again, remember, that's not inside the beltway. And last time around for Scalia's seat, there was a lot of talk about looking outside of Washington, drain the swamp. So he would be a very interesting choice, and that might be very attractive.

JOHNS: Yes. You have to wonder also whether a choice of somebody like Kethledge from a state where there was a red-state Democrat, that red-state Democrat might feel a lot more pressure to vote for somebody from his or her home state.

DE VOGUE: Which is so fascinating because there's so many balls in the air here. And the White House counsel's office is basically doing their best to prepare the President, and now as we reported, the President is going through pros and cons not only on the legal side, right. There's a lot more in play here.

JOHNS: And also interesting that they are saying the President hasn't already made his choice yet and we are on the eve of the choice that he said he was going to make.

DE VOGUE: Well, that's the --

JOHNS: Trump administration. DE VOGUE: Exactly. That's what I was going to say.

JOHNS: Thanks so much for that, Ariana. Good to see you.

DE VOGUE: Thank you.

JOHNS: We'll have more on the efforts in Thailand to rescue eight more boys and their coach trapped in that cave.

Plus, Senator Lindsey Graham blames China for the change in North Korea's attitude toward the U.S. and the denuclearization negotiations. That's next.

But first, here's a sneak peek at the CNN original series "the 2000s."


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[14:42:52] JOHNS: South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham accuses China for North Korea's condemnation of talks with the U.S. North Korea has accused secretary of state Mike Pompeo of using quote "gangster-like tactics" in denuclearization efforts and said the meeting was regrettable. Listen.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I see China's hands all over this. We are in a fight with China. We buy $500 billion worth of goods from the Chinese. They buy $100 billion from us. They cheat. And President Trump wants to change the economic relationship with China. So if I were President Trump, I would not let China use North Korea to back me off of the trade dispute.

We got more bullets than they do when it comes to trade. We sell them 100 billion. They sell us 500 billion. We can hurt them more than they will hurt us. And all we are looking for is for them to stop cheating when it comes to trade. There's no doubt in my mind that it's the Chinese pulling the North Koreans back.


JOHNS: OK. A lot to unpack there. Joining me now is CNN global affairs analyst Joseph Yun, who is a former top U.S. diplomat on North Korea policy.

So when you look at what Senator Graham said, he sort of laid out there this idea of linkage between the back and forth suggestions of a trade war with China and North Korea backing away, if you will, from the spirit of the summit with President Trump. Do you buy that?

JOSEPH YUN, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, Joe, there is something to that. China has always played an enormous role on what North Korea does. And China has a huge equity in ownership over North Korea. But I think there is a lot more to why we are stuck than just China. I mean, for example, we really don't know what was discussed in Singapore between President Trump and Kim Jong-un. What did they exactly agree to? Because the follow-up is becoming impossible. Mike Pompeo went there to try to clarify, and he got nothing but insult apparently, you know.

[14:45:05] JOHNS: But he also came out with a much rosier view than the statement we got from North Korea.

YUN: Yes. I mean, to me, that surprised me that North Korea was being way more transparent to international society than our own United States government. So there's something weird going on there too. But still, you know, we are stuck and Mike Pompeo's stuck. Give him an "a" for effort. He's been there three times. He failed to meet Kim Jong-un this time. And that in itself is a very, very negative sign.

JOHNS: Now, what does this really mean for denuclearization? Is it just totally going south? Because North Korea does seem to have the habit of saying one thing publicly, doing something else privately.

YUN: Well, there is something to that, but denuclearization is a difficult topic. We can't just meet among two people, have a personal agreement, no. Denuclearization is a state to state, government to government agreement. And really, expectation that somehow President Trump can meet with leader of North Korea and to strike a deal over coffee or over an hour meeting, that's not going to happen. It is a state to state agreement involving enormous details and involving security.

JOHNS: President Trump claimed essentially that there was a new chapter now with North Korea, and it does look as we move further into it that all of the platitudes the President expressed sounded like things he wanted, not things he had gotten.

YUN: Right. I mean, it's not over after one meeting. And also, that's what North Koreans are saying. You want this from us, well, what are you going to do for us? And for them, as we talked about yesterday, you mentioned it, Joe. Security is very, very important. How is the U.S. going to assure our security? But apparently and that was made clear in the North Korean statement, but Mike Pompeo went there and demanded immediate denuclearization. They are saying, what are you talking about? That's not what President Trump and Kim Jong- un talked about in Singapore. They talked more quid pro quo, what are you going to do for me, what can we do for you? Buy now you are asking the CBID. No, we are not going to go there.

JOHNS: In the eyes of the world, and we are just talking optics now, who has the upper hand?

YUN: Oh, I think --

JOHNS: Does anybody?

YUN: You know, I think you have to say Kim Jong-un has the upper hand.


YUN: He has China. And you know, we are in big difficulty with China. He has China. He is making friends with South Korea. International communities, say the Europeans. I think they are looking more sympathetically to Kim Jong-un than before. So he has come out of his isolation, made enormous diplomatic moves, quite successfully I might say. So in the end, you know, it really reminds me a little bit of watching "Sopranos," you know. Initially, we try to isolate Kim Jong-un. And he is saying, you isolate me, I'm going to isolate you, you know.

JOHNS: Got it. Joseph Yun, thank you so much. Great to see you again. Thanks for coming in.

YUN: Thank you very much, Joe. Thank you.

JOHNS: We will be back in a moment.


[14:53:11] JOHNS: Tonight, CNN is premiering the new series "the 2000s," and it starts with a look at the biggest shows on the small screen. One of the most talked about and critically acclaimed, of course, the hit HBO series "sex and the city."

CNN's Kate Bennett joining us now live in New York, where she is about to join the "sex and the city" bus tour, checking out the iconic locations from the show.

So Kate, you are out in front of the fountains of Columbus circle. I assume you drove there, given the fact that CNN is right across the street.

KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, we had an easy commute today. And tough assignment for me going around all the "sex and the city" spots.

This is actually where, and I know you are an aficionado, Joe, this is where Carrie and Aiden broke up for the second time when she was wearing that white ball gown and they had the fight about her not -- him not believing that she actually wanted to marry him. So this is one of the iconic moments of the show.

We are going to be going all around the city, as you said, of course leading up to tonight's premiere of "the 2000s", talking about this iconic moment in television.

JOHNS: So Sarah Jessica Parker, the star and basically producer of the show, has said more than once that New York was the fifth lady on the show. So let's talk a little bit about the locations in the city, the other locations that have sort of become tourist attractions thanks to "sex and the city."

BENNETT: It's so true. I mean, the show wouldn't have been what it was without having New York City as the backdrop. I mean, these women lived all over Manhattan. At one point, of course, Miranda moves to Brooklyn and everyone freaks out. Certainly in Central Park, you now, the stoop at Carrie's apartment, magnolia bakery, where the cupcakes got put on the map, towel, (INAUDIBLE). All these night life spots and restaurants.

The city really felt like part of the characters as Carrie Bradshaw made her way through her life and love life with her girlfriends around town. And this is what we are trying to look at today. These people are really dedicated to the show. The fans stay fans for a long time. It's been 14 years since the show ended. It's hard to believe it's been that long, but certainly people still remember these moments. This fountain with the breakup, the horse and carriage ride, which we will be doing soon.

And then certainly, all those moments where the four women took on Manhattan and made their lives and made their way as single women in New York City. We are taking a look at that today, of course, leading up to tonight's big premiere of "the 2000s," Joe.

[14:55:47] JOHNS: Yes. Looking forward to that very much. I definitely have my DVR set. And you know, that show was just so relatable.

Thanks, Kate Bennett. Appreciate that.

Be sure to catch the premiere of CNN's original series "the 2000s" tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern and pacific time.