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tv   Get to the Point  CNN  April 4, 2013 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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that will be tomorrow night, as well. so a good bag of big stars for tomorrow night's show. armed and dangerous, taking a closer look at what may be driving kim jung-un to make reason threats and defy the world. and dialing it down, the obama administration addresses concerns that its response to this crisis has only made matters worse. one of the world's most
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dangerous regimes right now and now north korea says it is on the brink of war. u.s. officials fear it may be planning a missile launched soon with prats of an opening up every single day for a nation under the son of the young and critical year. kim jung-un is armed with a huge military powerful convention in a nuclear program. this hour our correspondents are taking an in-depth look at the threats of the united states and the world and president obama's rest response. a global view of this crisis unfolding right now. let's begin with our pentagon correspondent, barbara starr, who was watching all of this unfold. it is tense. what is the latest? >> as you know, the talk has been hot rhetoric for days and now a possible missile tests by north korea that possible is a new threat.
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it may be exercising his military might. cnn has learned that classified u.s. symmetry and communications center intercepts confirm north korea has moved up to two mobile missile launchers and fuel tanks to its east coast. the concern, kim jung-un is threatening the region with little warning. >> the reaction time is much less when you have mobile launchers. >> it could someday hit targets as far away as corn and even alaska's west coast. the problem right now is the test could send missiles over japan. u.s. warships armed with missiles would have to quickly react if it looks like japanese territory is friend. >> if the missile is mobile, we either have to follow it constantly or be lucky enough to
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survey all the areas where it could be. >> u.s. intelligence satellites are scouring the coastline for signs of a lot, especially here, there may also be a hidden launch pad summer, u.s. officials say. the ultimate concern is that north korea has progressed and try to put a nuclear warhead on top of these mobile missiles. it already has enough material for up to a half a dozen nuclear bombs. some experts warn the u.s. should not get overexcited about his threats of war. >> he and his advisers must not be extortion will not work any longer. they're not going to be exactly any concessions from the united states senate. still, the u.s. and allies hoped that p'yongyang will issue one of these standard notices that commercial aviation and shipping
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before launches a missile toward japan, warning everyone to stay out of the launch or the impact area. looking for that notice, that will be the first time that a launch may be imminent. >> let's hope that doesn't happen. let's get to the administration's reaction, brianna keillor is working as part of the story. water they sang at the white house, how worried are they? >>. >> white house officials are denying any new real levels of concern, they are more concerned at this moment that north korea has been on the radar for a while, particularly since december when the anti-ballistic missile tests that was successful. the discussion here on north korea is a very much in overdrive. one senior administration official telling me top officials and the state department, intelligence officials have been meeting much more frequently here in the last week and half in "the situation room." the north korea becoming the
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most pressing foreign-policy issue for this demonstration. >> stand by, pentagon officials are figuring out their next moves right now, we're doing the same thing in our virtual studio. tom foreman is there along with the retired general. >> all lies right now are on the east coast of north korea. why would they do this missile placement there? two possible missiles along the coast, why? >> that is closer to the united states presence in the region and its allies, they did not put on the west coast because they are not threatening china. >> we will get rid of this and bring in a model of the type of missile we are talking about. this was originally designed to be used by soviet submarines, and doesn't look like much of a muscle, but let's talk more
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about it because 1 piece is the mobility. why does that matter? >> this is a mobile missile. it can go anywhere and it can launch from any location. all it needs is a piece of level terrain and within minutes, it can launch. >> let's talk about the capabilities. fairly big and a lot of different ways in which it can be presented. >> this is about 40-50 feet in length. a payload of 2.5 tons. we do not anticipate it has a nuclear warhead at all. we think it is high explosives. >> when you talk about high explosive weapon like this, the question becomes the range. let's bring in the map and talk about that because as barbara pointed out, maybe 2500 miles, possibly a one or two stage missile. it might be able to get that far. and it becomes a lot less reliable. even the best case scenario,
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california has nothing to worry about. >> mainly the united states is not at risk at all, hawaii is not at risk. possibly the west coast of alaska. what is at risk is down an guam, underneath that umbrella. >> very important. >> they have a very large bomber presence and those bombers are used in the defense, critical they stay protected. >> last question about this, if in fact these lunch there, whether or not north korea says it is a test, what happens immediately with all of our forces? >> when that launches, it sends out the signature to the satellites. it is tracked by sea, land, and air base radar. it will determine the attitude
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and an mission of where it is headed. they are tracking it and an initial guided missile, what's it is launched, they will know where it is going and if it is headed toward any target, what message will be taken out by a high altitude antiballistic missile system. it will be gone. there are many steps in the analysis of where these muscles may be and what north korea's intentions may be and the response no matter what they say is largely the same. >> it would be intense, indeed. let's bring in our chief international correspondent, she is also the global anchor for "abc" news and joining us also, what is motivating all of this tough talk in north korea? >> it is anybody's guess.
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obviously, some people say he is trying to prove himself, proved himself to those who may be -- what we also know, he said and he is confident that they do not have the nuclear capability to threaten either south korea or the united states. it could be haps deliver a warhead to south korea but not on a missile. maybe by saying on a ship or a truck they don't have that ballistic delivery capability. it could take six months to year, i went in there and 2008 and i watched them disable it. it was a honeymoon period between north korea and the west as the disabled and then it
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comes to where it is right now. it could start within six months to a year. >> those were the good old days. the fear is that there could be a miscalculation. even though no one thinks north korea is suicidal. they know they would be destroyed if they were to do something drastic. if there were an incident. the new government if south korea, if they responded, who knows what would happen. >> that's exactly right. imagine that one of these missiles is launched. the km-8 missiles. they don't have nuclear warheads small enough to put on them so they would be high explosive, but launch it into the sky, we have destroyers that have radars, track them, we fire our own missile, the sm-3 to intercept and destroy it. then the north koreans feel they've lost face. they have to do something. they start attacking south korean patrol boats. you see, that's the danger. nobody wants this to happen. i think the obama administration is playing this just right, which is, this is at some level
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bluster. what you don't want to do is overreact to it, which then forces them to show that they're actually serious and you go down a tit for tat game. you've got to provide assurance and deterrence, assurance to the japanese and the south koreans, who are the most concerned, you have to deter the north koreans, but you cast play into this game. because they are somewhat irrational. they don't have very good command and control, one has to assume, and there could be some kind of miscalculation. >> does he really think he can get concessions, kim jong-un, money from china, south korea, the united states by this tough talk? >> wolf, it's a pattern that has happened over the last decades with this regime. they do believe they can. and they have been able to do this, this sort of extortion policy, if you like, in this regard. obviously nobody wants to let that happen right now. the united states is now saying, you heard barbara starr say it, the state department said it today, they want to give some diplomacy an outlet.
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what they will reasonable not be doing over the next several weeks as these joint military games continue between south korea and the u.s., te won't be showing some of the more demonstrable shows of force, marine amphibious landing on the shores, but i think the diplomacy is the problem, and they haven't had real diplomacy between either the obama administration or bush administration. >> is it time to send some sort of diplomatic envoy to pyongyang on behalf of the president of the united states? >> the bush administration actually did try diplomacy. they signed two agreements with the north koreans. the problem is, they cheat on them. they've cheated on every one of these. there's only one country with whom diplomacy would work, and that's china. the chinese provide 50% of north korea's food, 80% of its fuel. this are people in china who opened the taps and allowed north korea to survive.
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the problem is the chinese have never thought that they could put the real pressure on the north koreans without danger of the regime collapsing. so as for the chinese, they worry about all this stuff. they don't like the unpredict ability of this regime. millions of refugees into china, more importantly, it means almost inevitably the unification of the koreas, north and south, if the east german/west german style. here's what you have on china's border, a very large korea, with seoul as the capital, 40,000 american troops, treaty alliance with the united states and nuclear weapons. >> guys, it's a complex situation, but it's perilous right now. we'll continue this conversation. also, a prodder look at north korea's military and massive fire power, the danger goes much deeper than simply one missile test. and later, from the nba to north korea, did dennis rodman's recent visit have any influence
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at all on kim jong-un? the north korean leader kim lily...she pretty much lives in her favorite princess dress. but once a week i let her play sheriff so i can wash it. i use tide to get out those week old stains and downy to get it fresh and soft. you are free to go. [ dad ] tide and downy together. would absolutely not have taken a zip line in the jungle. i'm really glad that girl stayed at home. vo: expedia helps 30 million travelers a month find what they're looking for. one traveler at a time. expedia. find yours.
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what's the "new" in the new new york?. a new property tax cap... and the lowest middle class income tax rate in 60 years...
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and a billion dollars in tax breaks and incentives. new opportunities for business. over 250,000 new private sector jobs were created over the last two years. and 17 straight months of job growth. with the most private sector jobs ever. lower taxes, new incentives, new jobs, now that's news. to grow or start your business in the new new york visit the north korean leader kim jong-un is certainly a huge reason why this crisis right now is so uncertain and so very dangerous. he's young, virtually unknown, and this is his first major test if the global arena.
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he's critical in all of this. tell us what we know. >> reporter: well, to the outside world, he is simply the odd offspring of a tyrant, more image than man, image developed by north korea's twisted propaganda machine. he is the third of the kim dynasty, a man not yet 30, in command of a nuclear arsenal, ballistic missiles and the world's fourth largest army. kim jong-un is in pane ways an enigma, and a dangerous one at that. the youngest son of kim jong-il, he had a privileged upbringing while millions of north koreans starved. brazilian classmate remembers him as a shy teenager. >> he was very quiet. he didn't speak with anyone. he was a competitive at sports. for him, he didn't like to lose. >> reporter: he liked basketball and football and video games.
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his father had served a long apprenticeship before taking over the kingdom. but kim jong-un was catapulted into the leadership without serving a day in the military. when his father died in december of 2011, kim jong-un became supreme leader if the state propaganda machine. >> they've been trying to establish this myth regarding his expertise. he speaks eight languages, a military genius, and technical genius. >> reporter: and a leader with a complete backing of the military. in his first public remarks as leader, he talked about the heart break of a divided korea. but there was also a warning. >> translator: our military has become a powerful military. able to handle any kind of modern warfare with complete offensive and defensive capabilities. the foreign powers are not the only ones with a monopoly on
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military supremacy. >> reporter: but he also promised no more famine. >> translator: we will not let our citizens go hungry again. >> reporter: kim has tried to promote his youthful side. attending a concert with disney characters, and a youth festival. watching basketball with dennis rodman. kim jong-un has already married. his young attractive wife. he's also reinforced north korea's military first policy. with the successful launch of a ballistic missile if december and another underground nuclear test in february. the biggest and most dangerous gap is that we simply do not know, wolf, what is happening inside this young man's mind. wolf? >> a lot of technical information. the world knows about north korea, but inside stuff, obviously, that is a key
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problem. we'll get back to you if seoul, south korea. about 30 miles or so from the demilitarized zone with north korea. north korea's nuclear capabilities are an open question. their conventional military is heavily equipped, capable of inflicting immense casualties and damages on the millions and millions of people just below the demilitarized zone. let's go back to tom forman for this. >> a tremendous amount of power if the hands of this young man. let's talk about this nuclear capability first. what do we really think they have right now is this. >> tom, we think they have eight bombs. they probably have the materiel for 12. we don't think these are weaponized. they haven't been married up with a missile capability to launch somewhere else. >> as long as they're not able to be delivered well, they're not weaponized. >> correct. >> they have a tremendous amount of artillery and rockets, missiles.
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talk about that some. >> the north korean military, the korean people army was trained by the soviets and trained by the chinese communists. so they rely on volumes and volumes of artillery fire. so they have a massive amount of artillery and surface-to-surface missiles. we would see those at the start of a conflict. >> a lot of this has been dug in since the end of the korean conflict. they've been preparing for 50 years for the next one. >> they sure have. where the armistice was signed, back in '53, 1953, is where a lot of those units remain today. >> okay. and beyond that, there is this question of the shear number of people they have for a really quite small country. massive army. >> they have the fifth largest military in the world. over 1 million men under arms. that's on the active component. the reserve component has got about 8 million folks. that's about the largest reserve in the world. >> are they considered to be well trained? >> the active component, very
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well trained. and in fact, when you compare the military to the population, the military has a much higher level of nutrition training. so they are prepared. >> they have a navy, so to speak. they have an air force. they have submarines. but we don't think of those in the traditional way we do other forces like that. >> let me talk about the air force for a second. our primary concern about their air force is for the insertion of their very large, over 100,000 special operations forces. now, the navy can also insert special operations forces through midget submarines and other type of water craft that they have. then they would also activate sleeper agents if the south, and they would go after targets to disrupt the decision-making capability of the united nations command. >> so the simple truth is, wolf, even if you get past the nuclear question here, there's a formidable military force if north korea right now. >> it's huge indeed. could cause enormous, enormous destruction and disaster. guys, thanks for that report. still ahead, an administration
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insider, on president obama's north korea playbook and what's worrying him most right now. and life in north korea, as i saw it, when i was there, during another time of crisis in the region. email marketing from constant contact reaches people in a place they're checking every day -- their inbox. and it gives you the tools to create custom emails that drive business. it's just one of the ways constant contact can help you grow your small business. sign up for your free trial today at
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good. no, not good. he's a vegetarian and he's going to be here in 20 minutes! don't stress. we can figure this out. [ male announcer ] get the speed to make a great first impression. call today to get u-verse high speed internet for as little as $14.95 a month for 12 months with a one-year price guarantee. this is delicious. ♪ [ male announcer ] save the day in an instant. at&t. ♪ happening now, north korea's dangerous new military moves. one miscalculation by either side could be a disaster. national security insiders tell us what they're learning about the u.s. response. thousands of americans are at risk on the korean peninsula right now. we're going to explore america's stake in a region that could explode literally at any moment.
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and kim jong-un's new pal. did dennis rodman have any influence at all on the north korean leader or on his plan of attack? i'm wolf blitzer, and this is "the situation room" special report, the north korean crisis. the obama administration is struggling right now to calm an explosive situation if north korea. as we reported, kim jong-un may be gearing up for a new missile launch soon after weeks of warmongering. take a look at how he's ramping up tensions if the region. >> tensions began to sky robert if mid-february when north korea went ahead with its third nuclear test. imposed punishing new sanctions a few weeks later. the u.s. planned war games with south korea, and the north said it was pulling out of the agreement that ended the korean war.
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direct threats against america intensified. north korean tv aired a video simulating an attack on the white house and the capital building. in a show of force, the u.s. added nuclear capable b-2 stealth bombers to its military drills with south korea. then, kim jong-un put his forces on standby to strike the u.s. mainland. guam and hawaii. and he declared a state of war with the south. u.s. stealth fighter jets joined those war games in the region. and the threats went nuclear. north korea said it would restart a closed plutonium reactor. the regime claimed its plans for a nuclear attack on the u.s. were ready to go. the u.s. has ordered missile defenses to nearby guam as fears grow that north korea may be planning a launch soon. we've assembled our own security council here if "the situation room." including some of the more knowledgeable folks about north
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korea, to try to break all of this down for you. joining us is tommy, served if the obama white house. he's a former spokesman for the national security council. also joining us, christopher hill, former u.s. ambassador to south korea. fou dean at the school of international studies at the university of denver. and retired u.s. navy admiral william fallon, served as the head of the u.s. pacific command and u.s. central command. admiral fallon, what worries me the most is a miscalculation that could trigger all-out war. am i overly concerned or are you concerned about that as well? >> wolf, i think it's prudent to be concerned, and certainly pay close attention to this. but i believe it thing may be a little bit overhyped right now. >> tell us why. >> well, the first thing is, his ability to strike the u.s., i think is mostly talk. there's a possibility that some of his missiles might be able to range alaska, or possibly a u.s.
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territory or bases closer in. but unlikely, they've never demonstrated an ability to get anything to fly as far as the u.s. it took them many years to try to get that one missile that we call the tea pong-2 to fly. i think it's a lot of rhetoric. it's not helpful, of course, but this is a lot of the same old stuff out of the playbook that his father and grandfather used. and it's unfortunate. you've got to wonder what he's up to, and what the real motivation is, whether he's just trying to act strong in front of his military people. or again, what's worked in the past, in some instances, is to act outrageously and demand some kind of concession, and move on. but it is a time to be very attentive. i think the u.s. has made prudent moves. we have a significant missile defense capability. our people are certainly up to the task. from what i can see, i don't get
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any daily intel reports anymore, but it looks like we've taken the appropriate precautions. >> where is diplomacy, ambassador, hill, fit into this? the u.s. does have indirect contacts with north korea. the south koreans do. japan, china. but where should the u.s. be engaged right now, trying to ease it crisis? >> i think there are basically two tracks. one is with our allies, south korea and japan. i think it's been very important that we reassure them, and that we not hold back on these annual exercises. so if there's an air component to these exercises, we need to go through that. we need to assure our allies. that's one track. the second track is, of course, is with china. china may deny that they have a lot of leverage with the north koreans. but they do. and there's a lot more they can do. a third possible track might be with the north koreans. but you know, they kind of started this dance.
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i'm not sure it would be in our interests to approach them. to leave in our mind that we're worried, afraid or somehow blinking. i think we need to be very careful if how we would deal directly with the north koreans. i'd rather see a much more of an effort with china. >> tommy, you know that back when he was a candidate in 2007, 2008, president obama at that point made it clear, he's willing to talk to these kinds of despots, if you will, without pre-conditions. dennis rodman came back from north korea saying, call him. kim jong-un. do you think that's something the president would even consider? >> huge thank you to dennis rodman for delivering that message. i think the president has expressed a willingness to have direct negotiations or conversations with north koreans. but those need to be constructive. they can't be in the context of
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these absurd threats and this propaganda and continued nuclear development, continued tests of intercontinental ballistic technology. i agree with what the admiral said, i think anytime you combine long-range missile technology, efforts to develop a nuclear program, that's something you have to take very seriously. but the bottom line is, the united states has been working on missile defense technology for years. and 14 more ground intercepters will be put on the west coast, radar capability if the region. there are additional military ships in the region, as part of regularly scheduled military exercises. this is something we're well prepared for. i don't think your viewers should worry there's an immediate homeland threat, because the north koreans simply haven't indicated, or tested some of the weapons that would give them that capability. >> everybody stand by for a moment. i want to go it the white house right now. brianna keilar is standing by. so, are they worried at the white house, brianna, about this escalation that's been going on now for the past few weeks? and whether it has gone too far? >> well, certainly, wolf, there's a lot of talk among white house officials that they
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want to see things de-escalate. and you're seeing that in some of their changing rhetoric today. they also insist, though, that this sort of show of force has been a necessary deterrent to show kim jong-un that if he's going to make good on his threats, there will be consequences. i'll tell you, pentagon officials have been more candid with cnn. they say that after accusing north korea of amping up its rhetoric, they're afraid they may have done the same thing. worried that muscular displays of military might may have pushed the north korean military too far, the obama administration is changing its tone and said north korea should, too. >> we've also been saying all the way through, that it does not need to get hotter. that it can -- we can change course here, if the dprk will begin to come back into compliance with its international obligations, will begin to cool things down. >> reporter: secretary of state
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john kerry is leading the effort to dial back the discord, sources tell cnn, while behind the scenes at the white house attention to an increasingly threatening north korea is in overdrive. a senior administration source says top officials have been meeting for frequently in the situation room for the last week and a half. deputies from the president's national security council, the defense and state departments, the cia, and the joint chiefs of staff, among others are at the table. victor cha was a top adviser to president george w. bush. >> i think they're watching very carefully the situation. i think they're watching to see if there are military maneuvers, or a higher level of military alert on the ground in north korea, that is accompanying all of this rhetoric. >> now, don't expect north korea to be leaving the headlines anytime soon, though, wolf. the new president park will be here next month visiting with
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president obama. their first visit. and it's certainly expected, i would say, that north korea, as it does at times, may act up and try to steal some of the attention during that time as well. >> brianna, thanks very much. let's go wack to our guests for some further analysis right now. there is a new government, ambassador hill, in south korea, and president park, she's tough. if there is some sort of provocation, i suspect unlike her pre deceaser, she might respond right away, and that could escalate a dangerous situation. >> well, she's tough, but i think the times have changed somewhat. and this north korean bluster is pretty serious. so i ti the problem is, the north koreans might feel they can get away with some incident, where as you suggest, i think the south koreans would hit them back pretty hard. and there does appear to be some shift in the rules of engagement, that is local commanders seem to be empowered to move right back at them rather than phone home to seoul. so i think it is kind of a
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dangerous situation. and as we look at the various paths of this crisis, i think this kind of inadvertent conflict could be the most serious. >> as you know, admiral fallon, two years or so ago, when i was in north korea, the north koreans did bomb an island, they killed a whole bunch of south koreans. they attacked a south korean warship, killed a lot of sailors. the south koreans at that point did not retaliate. but i would suspect if they did those things again, the situation would explode. >> i think it's noteworthy that within the last week or ten days, there was an agreement reached between the u.s. and the republican of korea, i don't know the details of it, but it sounds to me like it was a heightened effort to consult very closely in the event of some untoward incident, or unpredictable activity on the part of the dprk. you know, we worked very, very closely, have for many years
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with our south korean allies. there's a well integrated plan, lots of discussion, and exercises for many years. we work very well together. there's a high level of confidence between the two militaries. and i think, again, this is a time to certainly be very attentive to take prudent precautions, which i believe we're doing. and to consult very closely with our allies in the region. because this is fundamentally a regional issue. >> tommy, you worked with the president for a long time when you were at the national security council. give us a little flavor how he deals with an emerging crisis like this. >> well, the first thing i'd say, wolf, is these problems with north korea didn't emerge just recently. this is something he's been working on for a long time. but you're right when there's an incident like this, or a series of incidents, the tempo picks up. the deputy's committee will pete more regularly. the president will receive regular briefings about the
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issue, and other venues. i don't think the white house is on high alert right now, as a result of these actions. it's something they've been aware of and working on for a long time. if the long game here, i think conversations with the chinese. the united states can, you know, work to get more sanctions on north korea, and do a variety of other efforts to increase diplomatic pressure. the chinese would just turn the screws a little more. they could have a real impact with north korea. they need to stop letting them get away with these temper tantrums. >> tommy, thanks very much. admiral fallon, and christopher hill, guys, we'll continue this conversation. if cooler heads can't prevail and shooting actually begins, many important u.s. targets could be within range of north korea's guns. and thousands, tens of thousands of u.s. troops. also coming up this hour, pictures from my own rare visit to north korea.
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north korea isn't the only country doing some serious military muscle flexing right now. a pair of stealth bombers has made the round trip from missouri to south korea and back. plenty of other u.s. fire power is deployed much closer to north korea and could become targets. cnn's pentagon correspondent chris lawrence is joining us with more on what's going on.
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what are you seeing, what are you learning, chris? >> well, wolf, you've got thousands of american troops stationed just about 15 miles south of the dmz, and you've got all of north korea's heavy armor and artillery aimed right at them. 25 miles, it's the magic number as far as american troops are concerned. some of north korea's massive artillery can fire up to four mortar rounds a minute, 25 miles away. >> u.s. forces that are near the front are probably going to be within range of the artillery. >> reporter: about 10,000 american troops are deployed to bases around camp casey, just 15 miles from the dmz. others are concentrated at olsaun air base. the u.s. recently put radar-evading raptors. but the risk the troops deployed closest to the dmz will change. over the next few years, the u.s. will move them to another
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base south of seoul. >> that means that the bulk of u.s. military forces in korea are not going to necessarily be in range of the artillery strikes at the beginning. >> reporter: farther out in the western pacific, the navy deployed the uss decatur and uss mccain, armed with a sophisticated radar system to detect north korean missiles, and then launch rockets to intersent and destroy them. the first reinforcements could come from one of the many american bases in japan, home to the navy's 7th fleet and more than 100 aircraft. and some 2,000 miles away, north korea threatened a nuclear strike on gu all. now the u.s. is deploying a land-based missile defense system, somewhat easing fears of an attack on the u.s. territory. >> though i hearken to see these improvements in the defense posture, i am concerned, not only as a governor, but as a man
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who has a wife and children and grandchildren here. >> those are the -- some of the same concerns that husbands, wives and children here in the u.s. have for their service members who are stationed over there in south korea. one of the big advantages ta the u.s. has is how quickly they can reinforce troops within two weeks, wolf. they could double the size of their combat aircraft and triple the size of u.s. ground troops in the area. >> yeah, guam there, almost 6,000 u.s. troops based there at any one time. not very far away indeed. chris, thanks very much. north korea only has two direct neighbors right now, south korea and china. the saber rattling has nerves on edge in both countries. let's get the latest from our correspondents in the two capitals, starting with cnn jim clancy in seoul. >> reporter: the south korean capital could become ground zero if there would be a conflict here on the korean peninsula. the people who live here know
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that it's not the nuclear arms, it is the conventional weapons that are possessed by the north that could reduce it city, or parts of it at least to ashes in a short period of time. older people tell me that this is the most tense time they can remember since the end of the korean war, some 60 years ago. younger people say, we can't relate to it. we are post-war. they do not believe that kim jong-un is going to attack the south. they believe, instead, that what he wants to do is to blackmail south korea. to get the money, to get the food aid, in order to keep his dictatorship afloat. jim clancy, cnn, seoul. >> let's go to david mckenzie right now in beijing. what's going on over there? because everyone seems to think china could play a critically important role if the government in beijing decided to. >> reporter: well, wolf, it's a smoggy day here in beijing, and
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the mood is certainly darkening here in china, with longtime ally north korea ratcheting up the rhetoric, and making moves for possibly a missile strike. the key may be china, wolf, with china having a lot of influence over pyongyang. they could close the fuel taps and conventional military ties between the two countries. a lot of frustration here in beijing, with north korea, though, in recent months, particularly with the missile test, and nuclear test. their frustrations might be boiling over and they could be pushing for north korea to get to the negotiating table. wolf is this. >> david mckenzie in beijing for us, watching it very closely. thank you. i was in north korea just two years ago. stand by for a rare look. plus, we're going to assess
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the impact of dennis rodman's improbable visit with the north korean leader. ere a vampire. but he's not. ♪ he's an architect with two kids and a mortgage. luckily, he found someone who gave him a fresh perspective on his portfolio. and with some planning and effort, hopefully bob can retire at a more appropriate age. it's not rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade. would absolutely not have taken a zip line in the jungle. i'm really glad that girl stayed at home. vo: expedia helps 30 million travelers a month find what they're looking for. one traveler at a time. expedia. find yours.
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north korea's threat and military power, it's people that don't have much. they live under a very difficult conditions. i got a rare look inside secretive nation. when i traveled there at the end of 2010. >> thank you so much. during my six days of north korea, i didn't see a whole lot of color unless you count the propaganda posters. we visited in the winter when buildings often go unheated. in this school, it's so cold in the classroom you could see
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their breath. even today top leaders often wear overcoats indoors. why the hardships? because so much of their limited money goes to the military. according to the cia, north korea industry is crippled and there are chronic food shortages. >> basically it's a starving country. always they are looking for better food. where is something to eat, to fill my stomach? >> starvation reportedly killed up to two million people in the 1990s. this 24-year-old defected from north korea six years ago. >> translator: you can see dead people everywhere on the street. >> in this satellite photo, south korea is blazing with lights at night. north korea is pitch black, except for the capitol. that capitol, pyongyang, is the home of top government officials with good salaries and impressive offices. we're on top of the world's tallest stone tower here overlooking pyongyang.
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it really is majestic to see what is going on. you see the river. you see the bitter cold, freezing snow. the buildings are really impressive to see what's going on here in the north korean capital. but one thing we noticed, not a lot of people with cars. there's not a lot of traffic here. it's icy here. the streets are icy. you see a lot of people shoveling. and there you see the hammer and sickle of this communist government manifestations of the communist philosophy. the subway is clean and orderly. although the lights don't always stay on. it's very deep underground. it doubles as a bomb shelter. and it is filled with propaganda pictures and even patriotic music. we're moving now. it's smooth. in spite of the propaganda, analysts say, the population may be getting other glimpses of the world. >> the younger generations are very skillfully adapting using the internet and gaining
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momentum and finding the information. and they finally are asking, north korea is not paradise on earth. it's actually hell on earth. but why are we living like this? >> up next, a wild card in u.s. relations with north korea, the former nba star, dennis rodman. ? turn to senokot-s tablets. senokot-s has a natural vegetable laxative ingredient plus the comfort of a stool softener for gentle, overnight relief of occasional constipation. go to for savings. for him, who dares to get in the picture. for her, who dares to show her love to the world. for the daring ones, there's crest plus scope. the only toothpaste that combines the freshness of scope with the whitening power of crest. has the best pickup coverage in america. with a new 2 year, 24,000 mile scheduled maintenance program, a 3 year, 36,000 mile, bumper-to-bumper warranty,
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dennis rodman and the north korean leader watched basketball together and ate sushi in february. his country loves him. love him. guess what? yes, yes, i love him. i love him. the guy is awesome. >> rodman was there for a hbo series. well, you know, it's hard to -- when i heard that dennis rodman was going, i couldn't believe it. i don't know about you, you can't make this kind of stuff up. >> he wanted michael jordan. michael jordan, perhaps, wisely decided not to go. >> he declined. >> you know this partly tells you is this 29-year-old boy is not running national security strategy. the guy is a few months in the job. there is a military


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