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tv   Ali Velshi on Target  Al Jazeera  January 7, 2016 1:00am-1:31am EST

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you can also talk to us on twitter or facebook and be sure to come back because we'll have modifier "america tonight," more ever "america tonight" >> our american story is written everyday. it's not always pretty, but it's real... and we show you like no-one else can. this is our american story. this is america tonight. >> i'm ali velshi. "on target" tonight, explosive claims by north korea. how a hydrogen bomb could shape the balance of, and doomsday, go inside the bunk they're could
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hold america's last chance of survival after a nuclear war. north korea reminding the world again , successfully detonated a miniaturized hydrogen bomb at a weapons testing facility this week, confirmation came in the form of aan earthquake measuring 5.1 on the richter scale. almost immediately the south koreans condemned the test as did leaders in japan, china and the united states. the united nations security council followed suit. accusing the north koreans of violating u.n. resolutions. north korea has been under international sanction since 2006. when it said it detonateits firsdetonated itsfirst nuclear . since then, it debt nataldevices in 2009 and 2013 in addition to this in addition to
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provocative blaballistic missile tests. that proves north korea has the capability to hilt parts of the united states. south korea's military responded to the news by going into full alert as almost 29,000 u.s. trooption stiltroops still state south. north korea's move is a reminder that it's still a powder keg that could explode at any moment, and could cost american lives. all the focus turning to the fact that the north koreans say they managed to detonate a hydrogen bomb. if that's true it would indicate they are developing far more lethal weaponry than what once thought. whatever the explosive claims this newest test is causing lawcial throughou athroughout asia.
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adrian brown reports. >> people in pyongyang stood for what was said to be an important announcement. on cue they cheered. the latest military success. kim jong-un signing off on the order. he's a man who likes attention particularly close to his birthday which falls on january the 8th. so this may have been his way of celebrating early. but it could take months or even years to prove if north korea really has successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. it says it deserves to possess nuclear weapons to counter threats from the united states. around the region, leaders responded with familiar alarm. it was north korea's fourth nuclear test in ten years. >> translator: our government has to take decisive measures against any additional provocations by north korea.
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and work with the international community to make sure the isolated country pays the price for its latest nuclear test. >> reporter: japan's government is also promising a firm but as yet unspecified response. >> translator: north korea's nuclear test is a serious threat to our nation's security and absolutely cannot be tolerated. >> here in china there is also deepening concern. china is about the only friend north korea has but it's a friendship going through testing times since the government is alarmed of the prospect of having a nuclear armed neighbor. at the daily foreign ministry news conference a spokes woman had admitted its old ally had not notified china and issued a strong rebuke. >> translator: the chinese government has always tried to keep debility and peace in northeast asia, sticking to its commitment and stop taking further actions to make the
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situation worse. >> reporter: the north korean test happened close to the chinese city of yan gee. whatever was tested it was felt here. fearing an earthquake, many local residents were evacuated. al jazeera visited this tense border area three months ago, where a series of rent murders and robberies have been blamed on hungry north korean soldiers. china's leadership has supported sanctions against north korea in the past. now it could be under pressure to do so again. adrian brown, al jazeera, beijing. >> many of the international community including u.s. officials at the time pentagon are skeptical of north korea's claims. al jazeera 's united nations correspondent jamie mcintire joins me. the white house now says its analysis doesn't fall in line with the successful testing of a hydrogen bomb but we just heard in adrian's story it could take
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months or even years to prove whether the test was successful. what do you know? >> reporter: well, could take months or years to figure out exactly what north korea detonated at that test site. but it was pretty clear almost immediately afterwards that they had not detonated a very powerful hydrogen bomb or if they did it was the world's smallest hydrogen bomb ever invented and very simply here is the reason why. the yield of this explosion was judged to be about 6 kilotons, 6,000 kilotons. but hydrogen bombs are measured in megatons. the first u.s. dealt necessitated was 10 megatons, a thousand times stronger than this one in north korea. in fact it is not almost as much
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as it did last time. very consistent with what would be a rudimentary fission weapon, the hydrogen bomb is a fission explosion plus a nuclear explosion. >> we're going to stay on top of this story. pentagon. there is all the speculation about what exactly north korea is up to. that's because the communist government there runs one of the most secretive states in the world. roger baker, global intelligence and advisory firm, roger good to see you, thank you for being with us. the international community sees this bomb test whether it was atomic or hydrogen as a provocation. they're not necessarily trying
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to be provocative. >> by using provocation there is a misunderstanding. it assumes that what north korea is doing is following an oiled pattern, where they will walk back to return for some sort of compensation or they're going to try go out and anger people and cause some problems. i think you have to look at the north koreans as carrying out a very calculated series of tests, nuclear and missile tests to be able to create what is a demonstratable viable deterrent. this gives them the security to be able to move forward with other activities such as economic reform in the future. they've seen many other countries that have been either invaded or had various political revolutions that undermined the state of the regime during transitional periods and they want some security element to avoid that. >> and your point is that no one in the west is going to foment rechtion revolution in a country where
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the leadership has a nuclear bomb? >> the idea is that not only where the leadership has a nuclear bomb but where the leadership is perceived to be slightly crazy enough to use it if somebody tries the overthrow them. >> you heard about jamie mcintire indicating that the white house couldn't determine, it is unclear, it will be a while before we know whether it is. but what is the claim of the hydrogen bomb? >> for north koreans, it would showcase a much higher level of technology than they have had in the past, and it would indicate the idea that they are still able to carry out all these activities and that way show the futility of such sanctioned and really the third component in there would be to show that it would, the hydrogen bomb perhaps
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is a faster path to a smaller nuclear weapon they could mount on a missile and therefore a more usable and deployable weapon. >> how do you at stratford determine, north korea, what's true or not, this december kim jong-un announced the country had developed a hydrogen bomb, the claim was shot down by intelligence officials. how do you make sense where they are in their nuclear prowess? >> in this case it's going to be waiting for the basic scientific tests. one is going to be the reviews of the seismic patterns, to get a gauge for the size of the explosion and an indication of the type of explosion he that took place, and testing the chemical elements in the air, those tests are already being undertaken and more information will come out to help to clarify. it could be perhaps that it's determined that it might have
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been an attempted hydrogen lgd hydrogen test but unsuccessful. >> it could hit american colonized places. let's talk about time lines. how long could a place like north korea if they are on the line of mirror chunizeing their weapons before they could pose a threat to america for instance? >> i think there's two piece he of the question. one is technology and two account threat or lack of threat. on the technology threat maybe within a decade they will be able to. they still have to test other elements. not only miniaturizing the warhead, but ruggedizing it. and they haven't tested whether their missiles have any viable targeting issues, there are a lot of technological issues.
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is it a threat the north koreans, one or three viable mountable missiles, it takes a day or two to set up so that's not a viable first strike nifl missile system. they are testing with submarines launching and so fort. north koreans know they are going to lose any war they engage in and they are going to be reticent to fire the first shot. >> roger bairveg is a vice president baker.thank you. coming up, the major strategy that could put north korea in its place. and what if doomsday were to strike? i'll talk you about the noah's
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>> north korea's latest nuclear test, hydrogen bomb or thought, could have a damaging effect on its relationships in asia. china has long been north korea's biggest ally, both politically and economically. it's north korea's chief supplier of food and energy. trade between china and north korea totaled $6.4 billion in 2014. but china quickly criticized this latest test and according to scott schneider there is no way to look at north korea's action is anything other than a you snub of its biggest benefactor. he joins me now from washington, scott good to see you, thank you for being with us.
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thinks have been recycle between china and north korea. they are still major allies, in fact for all intents and purposes, china is by far north korea's most important ally in the world. why would north korea antagonize china? >> really ally might not be the right word. china is a patron of north korea, the relationship especially over the course of the past three years, since the last north korean nuclear test, has been quite worn, and there really hasn't been the frequency or intensity of leader-level contacts between kim jong-un and the chinese leaders that existed under his father. kim jong-il. >> you underscored my point better than i did. allies have something they do for each other. with china as north korea's patron as a world where north
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korea isolates itself, where north korea doesn't have enough money why again would they be doing this? wouldn't they be wanting to say to china you're our oanld friend, let's kee only friend,let's keep on good ? >> north korea a pretty self-centered isolated place, china needs north korea for its own stability. they know that china cares in fact about north korean stability and they're betting that that desire to see north korea as a buffer, as a security buffer for china, will be sufficient to keep china in line and not be willing to do anything that would pull the plug on north korea. >> china's sowrchina's support for north korea militarily, financially, has helped keep the kim family in power despite overwhelming international criticism.
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but it doesn't need -- you were just describing what north korea might think china needs from it, but for economic reasons, china's trade with south korea is 296 billion as compared to $6 trillion. >> for china to come to the recognition that north korea engaging these kinds of provocative nuclear tests is actually taking destabilizing actions that damage china's security interests in the region to such a great extent that it's no longer worth the security benefit of the long standing so-called buffer that north korea has represented in chinese security discourse. >> china's got its own regional issues with the south china sea
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and various other matters including the transpacific partnership which has not been included in. i don't think it needs the nuisance that south korea is providing. what could china do that could get the fleants to ste north kop back in line? >> i think this is also a dilemma that brings in the united states. because many of these issues like the south china sea, or broader regional tensions, are really about iraqi-u.s.-china relationship in the context of a rebalance, u.s. policy of rebalancing to asia. but when you look at north korea, in fact, the ufs china south kore -- theu.s. china soul an interest in a denuclearized north korea. has china actually created a moment of opportunity for the u.s., china and south korea to
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work together to impose costs on north korea and to reverse north korea's efforts to become a nuclear weapons state? >> and costs often take the form of sanctions and we look at iran whether you look at the nuclear deal or not the sanctions were effective in getting iran to the table, particularly the banking sanctions, taking iran off the swift system. we don't have the same tools when it comes to north korea because it's substantially more isolatethan iran and other places that the u.s. has helped sanctions against. >> that's correct. a lot of people in congress have wanted to put secondary sanctions against north korea. i think there are several bills in capitol hill right now that are gaining momentum as a result of this test. but north korea is such a hard target in the international community. it is not like they're big international traders, the
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things they have been trying to procure are items that they can use for their nuclear and missile programs which are already under sanction by the u.n. so it's not clear that you can get the same result and in order to be able to quoaz tha impose that pain on north korea, you need china to go along. and so far china has not yet been willing to actually sanction chinese companies that are doing business in north korea. >> scott it's going to be an interesting topic to continue to cover and thank you for joining us. scott are schneider is a senior fellow with the council on foreign relations. so in the end north korea may be using these nuclear weapons as a deterrent or they may actually want them as weaponry. will this one day spell the end of life as we know it on earth? then this secret vault hidden in the side of a mountain may spell america's best chance for a new beginning. i'll take you there, next.
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>> our american story is written everyday. it's not always pretty, but it's real... and we show you like no-one else can. this is our american story. this is america tonight.
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so your business can get back to business. sounds like my ride's ready. don't get stuck on hold. reach an expert fast. comcast business. built for business. 9:30 eastern. north korea's claim that it detonated a hydrogen bomb is raising new fears about the country's ability to start a nuclear war and the devastation of war is just one reason for the existence of a special bunker located 800 miles from the north pole. but this bunker is not designed to protect people. it's there to keep seeds safe. seeds, hundreds of thousands of them, from all over the world, including north korea. it's a sort of last resort for
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the world's food supply and i got a firsthand look at how some scientists are planning for worst. honor a remote group of islands in the high norwegian arctic, polar bears out-number the people. it's called smallbard. it is known for the wildlife as much as the intrepid explorers who track these animals. but we traveled here to meet a group of scientists who work deep inside this mountain. in this mountain is a bank designed to last 10,000 years. call it the ultimate exercise in planning ahead. this bank holds something far more valuable than any currency. inside is the world's largest collection of seeds. it's a kind of global insurance policy for world's crops.
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which are threatened by climate change, war, and natural disasters. this is the entrance to the global seed vault. think of it as the noah's arc of seeds. contributing stashes of all kind of seed imaginable to be stored inside this mountain. now the thinking is if something really bad were to happen, human kind can start all over again. to keep the backup specimens of all these crops protected, security has to be tight. first off, the vault is far from civilization. located half way between europe and the north pole, a series of passwords, key cards, and locks keep unwanted visitors out. the actual vault is located at the end of a series of tunnels that bore deep into this arctic mountain.
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inside, is a scene that would make james bond enthusiasts proud. and executive director maria haga has granted us exclusive entrance. >> now we are in the mountain. and we'll take you in through the holy part where we have the seeds. >> the vault is climate-controlled, secure against earthquakes and rises in sea level. inside, tens of thousands of varieties of crops such as rice, wheat, and beans, are stored in boxes. >> here are boxes from canada, these are from colombia, here is north korea. you can find material from absolutely all over the world. so this is one of the few places where we really can see
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international cooperation in practice. >> most crops have duplicate crops in gene banks stored across the globe but accidents happen, make this facility humanity's last resort. >> in the philippines, for example, while they have been struck both by a fire and then by a flood, lots of materials being lost. >> there is a gene bank located in aleppo, syria, which is threatened. >> it has the world's most important collection of wheat. >> the no norwegians, built this facility in preparation for a doomsday scenario. but like any insurance policy the hope is that they never have to use it. >> well, tomorrow "on target" the first of two special reports from haiti. six years after a devastating earthquake struck.
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>> we can all do something. >> reach deep then reach deeper. >> only six years on they're still living in these tent cities. >> that's tomorrow "on target" at 9 eastern. that's our show for today. i'm ali velshi. thank you for joining us. the news continues here on al jazeera america. >> still living in these tent cities. >> we're back to square minus one. >> the city is a powder keg at the moment. >> you see transactional sex and no one is held to account for that. >> the united nations has never accepted responsibility for this. >> an ali velshi on target special:
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>> in his address at the white house, the president brought it up. gun rights advocates, keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. and what is less clear is how you do that, in a way that comports with privacy laws, and the second amendment. is all of the talk about mental illness and deadly firepower attractive because it tries to


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