tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN April 16, 2017 12:43am-2:01am PDT
♪ this is cnn breaking news. >> welcome back, everyone. we're welcoming our viewers in the u.s. i'll cyril vannier in atlanta. >> i'm ivan watson. mike pence landed in seoul hours after another failed missile launch by north korea. aides to the vice president says he has been in contact with president trump. the launch was made from the port city of sinpo on the east coast. the type of missile has not been identified. but the u.s. military does not believe it was intercontinental. a u.s. official says the
land-based weapon malfunctioned almost immediately and exploded. our will ripley is one of the few western journalists currently reporting from north korea. and alexander field is standing by, south of the demilitarized zone, in south korea. thank you for joining us at this hour. will, a go to you first in pyongya pyongyang. were you surprised by reports of this missile launch? and does anybody else in north korea know about it? >> the answer to your first question, was i surprised? yes and no. we've been talking about the possibility of a sixth nuclear test. and even at the parade yesterday, when i was chatting with don lemon, i said north korea has a possibility of rolling out a missile launcher and a we could see a missile launched around the day of the
sun. you're thinking around the major holidays, north korea may attempt a show of force. everybody was thinking nuclear test, which could happen at some point because there's other points throughout the month of april, leading up to the military anniversary on the 25th of april. this is a window of time we need to watch closely. after all of the missiles were rolled out on the parade, including more missiles that have been shown, and the new kinds of wlballistic missiles, that perhaps that was the show of force for now. the fact that china may be able to take action, that parade may be the show of force. clearly, it wasn't. now, the question comes, since it was a failure, will kim jong-un try again. do people in north korea know about it? the answer is know. it will not be reported in korean state media. they don't report atheir test
unless they're successful and there's a propaganda value of telling the north korea people about it. >> about the military parade you witnessed on saturday, can you explain why from the north korean point of view, these demonstrations are so important? and what is it like to be an eyewitness, standing there next to the military machines and the thousands and thousands of soldiers and supporters as they march past. >> i know you've experienced this firsthand, ivan. it is something very special to north korea. but china's military parade is also an impressive spectacle. but north korea has the military parades down. they do it almost better than anywhere else in the world, in terms of just the precision, the involvement of the citizens, citizens of pyongyang are expected to be a part of these major celebratory events. and they turn out in droves. and tens of thousands, beyond
that, hundreds of thousands, depending on the celebration. they fill the entire massive kim il-sung square, that has large buildings, large par trots of the two late immediate eleaders to make the society feel big and the individuals feel small. seeing the missiles up close and feeling the vibration on the ground when the soldiers were goose stepping in unison is a remarkable experience. i don't want to say it's an intimidateliing feeling. i've couple a coof them. so, you know what to expect. a couple of them were very large. it is a show of force. this is propaganda for 25 million north koreans who are watching this on the news. it was being replayed on television just a short time ago, when i was watching north korean state tv. it will play over and over again in the coming weeks and months and even longer.
and then, also, of course, the other propaganda message is for the rest of the world. to show the rest of the world that north korea has these weapons. they're not afraid to use them if provoked. that's why the international press is invited here on the select occasions to take pictures. this is one part of north korea that the leader, kim jong-un, wants the world to see. >> all right. that's will ripley, live from pyongyang. thank you yand your team for yor week of sleepless reporting. >> let's go to the headquarters of forces in south korea. mike pence is set to meet troops there shortly. the u.s. has some 30,000 troops in this country. is there anything more that the u.s. can do at this time to allay south korea's fears? >> well, some of the fears may be allayed by the fact that the
vice president making this trip here during tense times. this was a preplanned trip, of course. but it does speak to the seriousness, with which the trump administration regards the situation right here on the peninsula and their commitment to working with allies in the region to chart a course forward. this is a third visit of a high-level trump administration official. first, you have the secretary of defense to reassure allies in the region, like south korea and japan that the alliances are strong and the u.s.'s commitment remains in place. and you have the secretary of state coming out here that says years to control the problem with north korea has failed. you have the vice president coming here with stops in seoul and tokyo, what the force is and how you counter the threats. these conversations won't be a direct reflection of what we saw happening this morning, the failed missile launch. that's something that washington is playing down, with every respect. they are feeling out of washington there's no recent to
give more credence to a failed missile attempt. there's no reason to pay attention to pyongyang for that measure. they don't consider it to be the most provocative measures that pyongyang could have taken on. analysts in the u.s. say based on satellite images, it appears that north korea is ready to conduct its sixth nuclear test at any moment. in a would be a far more provocative action. >> tell me how south korea's ongoing domestic political crisis has going on. the former president has been impeached, jailed. are they able to respond to a threat at the moment? >> i don't think there's any reason to doubt anybody's ability to respond to a threat. don't forget, we're talking about an alliance in place for 60 years. and south korea depends on the u.s. for any threat that north
korea could pose. there isn't a lack of confidence about ability here. but i see what you're asking. it is an awkward situation that the people in south korea are in the middle of. the u.s. and china are having the loudest global dialogue to handle north korea. the south korea here, and the people who live in this country are the most in line for some retaliation from north korea if provoked by the u.s. but the other sort of thorn in this issue is the fact that the president, the elected president, has been ousted from office, after an impeachment. in the middle of a presidential cycle. the topic of how to deal with north korea is a key election issue. people are looking at the candidates here, seeing what kind of course forward those candidates would advocate. and you have the high-level washington officials, including the vice president, meeting with an acting president, who won't even be in office in a few weeks. it's important to have the conversations. washington will say it's important to have this dialogue.
but, yes. the truth is, of courwashingtone dealing with a new leader in a few weeks. >> alexandra is reporting from seoul. we'll have more on the failed missile launch at the top of the hour. first, let's look at other items makes news around the world. >> in the u.s., 20 people have been arrested after fighting break out at duelling protests in berkeley, california. the rally was organized to show support for u.s. president donald trump. but police had to use pepper spray to subdue the crowd. kron's spencer blake has the story. >> reporter: the pro-trump and anti-fashism group started, as the demonstrations poured into the streets of berkeley. >> they're sick people. they're angry and they're sick. >> reporter: every so often, the masses would swarm from one side of martin luther king civic
center park to the other. several times, groups within the crowd would scatter, that was followed or proceeded by the sound of a smoke bomb. >> i kept my distance pretty much throughout the event. and when i see something, i kept my distance. >> a couple of people fighting with each other. >> reporter: tensions would ease. but then, soon, people would be at it again. >> they're crazy. i was hoping we could stop them from doing what they do. >> reporter: the longer the protests went on, the more bloody faces, posters and streets we saw. weapons included sticks, rocks, glass bottles and sticks. >> they hit you in the back of the head with the sticks. this is what they do. >> reporter: protesters made it up to shaddic avenue before things started to die down. other protests have been going on around the nation, to demand that trump release his
tax return. 74% of americans think he should. these demonstrators in florida marched from trump plaza in west palm beach for about five kilometers to the entrance of mr. trump's mar-a-lago resort. >> no more lies. this is what democracy looks like. >> and the president is spending the easter weekend at that resort. it's his seventh trip there since taking office. protest organizers say there were large demonstrations in about 200 cities across the country. mr. trump is the first american president in 40 years not to release his tax returns. he claims he can't because he's under audit. but the u.s. treasury department says there's nothing to stop a taxpayer from releasing his returns even if he is under audit. a new report has been released highlighting how climate change in the u.s. is negatively affecting people's health. derek van dam joins us with this that.
>> i'm an asthmatic. and we carry around inhalers, asthma pumps. and we feel the impacts of climate change here in the united states and around the world. this report coming from the medical society consortium on climate health. and they highlight areas across the united states. and you see some of the symbols inkating climate-related health risks. extreme air temperatures, contaminated air and water, mosquito-borne infections and wildfires. they highlighted certain areas of the country. but one thing that came out of this report is that globally, there's about 12.6 million people that die each year just due to environmental risk factors. the united states alone, we're seeing an uptick in our temperatures. globally, we had under one degree celsius temperature rise. look at the records we set, over
32,000 across the u.s. this has allowed for an increase in wildfires across the western portions of the u.s. a well-tized drought in the state of california. one degree temperature rise, increases coverage of wildfires by 400%. that's been evident in the past three decades, for the number of wildfires that burn in the western u.s., over a ten-year period. we saw a significant increase in that acreage being burned. thanks to warmer temperatures, the snow melts earlier in the mountain ranges. and that increases our fire season dramatically across the western u.s. across the eastern u.s., we've had air pollution becoming more stagnant. and we've had increased severe weather events. superstorm sandy. and mosquito-borne illnesses.
the zika virus across africa and the united states. in is thanks to the warmer temperatures and the mosquito-borne illnesses. look at what we have ahead this weekend on easter. 87 in the nation's capital. i want to end with this. tornado damage coming out of texas. this occur red roughly 36 hours ago. scary moments in the panhandle. look at the damage from this significant stuff. >> absolutely. derek, thank you so much. thank you for watching cnn newsroom. >> i'm ivan watson in hong kong. i'll be back with natalie allen and george howell with more news on the crisis from korea and from the world.
the u.s. vice president lands in south korea just hours after north korea test fires another missile. we're live in seoul and pyongyang this hour. >> and reaction to that failed missile launch. major powers with a great deal at stake on the korean peninsula. welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm ivan watson in hong kong. >> at cnn world headquarters in atlanta, i'm george howell. >> and i'm natalie allen. this is a special "cnn newsroom." it begins right now. u.s. vice president mike pence is now in south korea for
the first leg of a trip to asia and australia. his visit comes amid heightened tensions on the korean peninsula and another provocation by pyongyang. early sunday, the regime of kim jong-un tried but failed to test another missile. south korean officials say the launch attempt was made from the port city of sinpo on the east coast. the land-based rocket malfunctioned almost immediately then exploded. cnn correspondents are covering these developments from around the region. let's begin with alexander field, who's in south korea at the headquarters of the u.s. military and south korean militaries there. will ripley is one of the few western journalists in north korea. and matt rivers, of course, in beijing. let's start with you, alex. what can you tell us about the missile launch and the string of missile launches that north
korea has carried out in recent months? >> reporter: it didn't come as a surprise to much of the world, ivan. i can tell you that. everyone anticipated that kim jong-un could pull off a provocative action of some sort timed around the most important day on the north korean calendar, which was just yesterday. so daybreak in this part of the world, you did have this failed missile launch. officials in the u.s. are saying it appears it was some kind of medium-range missile they attempted to launch, but the whole thing crumbled just four or five seconds into it. so they're considering this a complete failure, and it is because of that, that you really won't see much of any response from washington. washington has acknowledged that the failed test happened. as for a response beyond that, they're saying they really won't have one. that clearly is because they do not want to give any more attention, cast anymore sort of endorsement of the fact that pyongyang has been carrying out these provocative measures. you did have these u.s. warships that have been moved into the waters off the korean peninsula.
the "uss carl vinson" aircraft carrier strike group. it's meant to be there as a deterrent against provocative actions. it's raised the tensions here on the peninsula as many wonder and ask what the u.s. would do. this is not considered by washington to be a provocation that merits any response, ivan. >> all right. thanks, alex. i want to move north of the demilitarized zone to will ripley, who's live from pyongyang. will, has the regime acknowledged at all this missile launch? are you hearing any reaction from north koreans in that tightly controlled society? >> reporter: north korea's government has not and will not most likely acknowledge this failed missile launch attempt. i've been in the country before when similar things have happened, and it's never reported to the general public. so most north koreans will never know.
what i will say, ivan, and i've always experienced this based on previous failed launches, is they will try again. we don't know when, but we know that april is a very important month. of course, yesterday, as alex mentioned, was the say of the sun, north korea's most important holiday. but there are other major events coming up later on in the month. there's a major military anniversary on the 25th of april. in fact, the united states believes there could be some sort of provocative act between the day of the sun on the 15th and this second holiday on the 25th. now we have a period of ten days where we need to watch very closely the actions of north korea. could they attempt another missile launch, or could north korean leader kim jong-un push the button on that highly anticipated sixth nuclear test, which u.s. and south korean intelligence analysts believe really could happen at any moment. they've thought that for several weeks now. >> will, you witnessed this massive military parade that was held in pyongyang yesterday. we've been showing images from that. can you help explain a little
bit the rationale behind these kinds of demonstrations of military force in north korea. >> reporter: well, these are designed to not only rally the troops but to rally the public as a whole. north koreans, when they see these images of strength on television, when they see their nation's tanks and artillery and, you know, extremely disciplined, goose-stepping soldiers, when they see people in uniform from various conflicts all the way dating back to the korean more, to the most modern special forces troops, it instills a sense of national pride. then it's also an opportunity for north korea to unveil, as they did on saturday, their latest missiles in their arsenal. we saw their scud missiles. we saw the submarine and land-based ballistic missiles powered by solid fuel, a major technological development for north korea. then we saw these potentially new types of intercontinental ballistic missiles.
analysts don't know and have no way of knowing how far north korea's come in the development of these weapons. military parades always show mock-ups because putting real missiles on display in front of huge crowds and the leadership of the nation would be very dangerous. however, north korea claims that they are perfecting this technology, and even the most skeptical analysts believe it could be just a couple years before north korea has a viable intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead capable of reaching the mainland u.s. so they're developing it very quickly. these parades showcase those efforts to a north korean audience to reinforce the propaganda that their government is standing strong against the imminent threat of invasion by the united states, a narrative that's helped keep the kim family, three generations, in power for the last 70 years. and it also sends a very clear message to the rest of the world, a warning if you will, that north korea is prepared to fight back. >> all right. let's go to china now. thank you very much, will,
reporting from pyongyang. we're going to go to matt rivers, who's in beijing right now. of course, success of american administrations have asked china to try to crack down harder on its economic trading parter in, north korea. matt, is china uncomfortable with these scenes, with these missile launches, and with the threat of nuclear tests coming from its neighbor, north korea? >> reporter: uncomfortable is a really good way to put t ivan. i think that the chinese are certainly not happy. if china wants anything, it's stability. stability means that the communist party here can retain power and can focus on more domestic issues like the slowing economy. china in an ideal world does not want to be dealing with these kind of issues. they do not want to see a nuclearized korean peninsula. they do not want kim jong-un to continue to provoke the rest of the world with these missile tests. the fact is they know have to deal with it. what china's going to say is that they want all sides to
refrain from provocative action. that would include the united states and south korea in these joint annual military drills they do. and china will consistently say, as they have for well over ten years now, that the only way to solve this crisis in a lasting and peaceful way is to return to the negotiating table. so yes, china is very uncomfortable with the instability that the kim jong-un regime brings to the korean peninsula, but we would be remiss if we didn't say that china also has a very strategic use for the kim jong-un regime and a regime hostile to the west in north korea. north korea acts as a buffer against south korea and the tens of thousands of u.s. troops stationed on the korean peninsula. if something happened to the kim jong-un regime, they may unify under south korean leadership. would that mean there are tens of thousands of u.s. troops on china's border? that's something they would not want at all. yes, they don't like kim jong-un very much in terms of how
provocative he can be, but china has a high level of strategic interest to keep a north korea that's hostile to the u.s. in power in that part of the world. >> matt, it's worth noting that in the years they've been in power, neither kim jong-un or chinese leader xi jinping have ever met face to face. matt rivers live from beijing. our man in china. thank you very, very much. i want to go back to south korea, where alexander field is standing by. again, mike pence, the u.s. vice president, just arrived in south korea. i guess the big question is, alex, what can the u.s. really do if it wants to stop north korea from carrying out another nuclear test short of triggering another war? >> reporter: yeah, what can they do to be effective and what can they do that would be different? you'll remember that the u.s. secretary of state rex tillerson was out here in the region in
seoul just a month ago. he made a lot of headlines for that trip, declaring that the era of strategic patience was over, that 20 years of diplomacy had failed and that washington would be looking at all options, including even a military option when it comes to dealing with the north korean nuclear threat. that was something that raised a lot of eyebrows here in south korea, to say the very least. it left south koreans with a question. what role would south korea play, and would they be at the table as the u.s. charts this new course forward? how involved would they be with the u.s.'s decision-making process? those concerns were escalated with the presence of the "uss carl vinson" being sent back to the watt we arers off the korea peninsula. so you'll have mike pence first coming here to meet with the u.s. military stationed here. he'll also be meeting with their counterparts, some of their south korean counterparts. this will be an opportunity for him to show the administration's
support for the work these men and women do here. but the high-level conversationconversations will be happening over the next few days when he sees south korea's acting president and when he goes on to tokyo, where he'll meet with the japanese prime minister. that's when these top-level officials will be talking about how to proceed when it comes to dealing with the nuclear threat posed by north korea. as will pointed out, it's everyone's belief that north korea is ready and capable of carrying out a sixth nuclear test. the question the u.s. and its allies needs to talk about is what the response to that will be. >> all right. alex field live from south korea. matt rivers live from beijing. and will ripley live from the north korean capital. i want to thank you for your excellent reporting. our fine three correspondents there. now for analysis of north korea's nuclear and missile ambitions, we're joined now by a senior fellow at the center for defense studies at kings college in london.
thank you for joining us, martin. >> thank you. >> i guess in your opinion, at this stage, is there anything washington can really do to stop north korea and its efforts to further develop nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles that could carry potential nuclear warheads as far as north america? >> yes, i think there is still an option for negotiation. for some time now, there has been talk of entering what we term a grand bargain with the north koreans. president trump has already indicated his willingness to talk to kim jong-un. i think provided the united states and its allies set realistic objectives, then an agreement could possibly be reached with the north koreans. to understand what you can achieve, we must understand two things. number one, the north koreans will never give up their nuclear weapons. that horse has long bolted.
anybody who talks about the north koreans being prepared to denuclearize is living in a fantasy world. we're going to have to accept that the north koreans will continue whatever agreement is reached to retain their nuclear weapons. the second parameter of these discussions is this. i cannot believe that any u.s. administration would tolerate a capability of the north koreans to target the continental united states with nuclear armed missiles. so within those two parameters, negotiations are going to have to take place. >> and let's just be clear. with the saber rattling, with the aircraft carrier strike groups from the u.s. that's now steaming toward the korean peninsula, you have both sides flexing their muscles now. if one side was to shoot, the potential consequences on the kore korean peninsula would be
catastrophic, wouldn't they? >> well, yeah, war would be catastrophic. i remember participating in an academic war game in the late 1990s, even before north korea had nuclear weapons. the view then was that escalation would be terrible. look, we're talking about two types of north korean missile activities. one is a test, one is an actual strike on the united states. the north koreans don't have the capability to hit the united states at the moment, but they're working irrevocably and at speed. what we can see in the next few weeks or months is a test of a very long-range missile. then the united states has to decide what to do. there's been talk of americans trying to shoot down that missile. there is a weapon called the egis-3 block 2a which apparently, according to some
reports, can shoot down an icbm test in its ascend phase. whether that's possible, i don't know. that's all classified material. i'm not even sure if that weapon exists in deployable form yet. if such a thing happens, obviously, yeah, a miscalculation could lead to escalation, even if both parties don't want to escalate. >> all right. martin, discussing some of the potential implications here of this ratcheting up of tensions on the korean peninsula. thank you very much, martin, for your analysis there. >> thank you. >> and i'm going to turn now to natalie and george at cnn headquarters. >> thanks, ivan. i'll be talking with someone else about analysis over north korea and what to do moving forward ahead here in this hour. other news we're following this day, it is easter sunday around the world. happening this hour at the vatican, easter sunday mass is under way. these live images where pope francis is leading the service
in st. peter's square. easter sunday is the most important day of the year for some christians, celebrating jesus' riding frsing from the d. >> the pope urged catholics to feel the pain of the poor and the immigrants. next here, turkey could make history today as voters go to the polls. we'll take you live to istanbul and tell you what it's about. plus, they were finally leaving their besieged homes when they were then attacked. we'll tell you about the blast that could end the fragile evacuation deal taking place in syria. live around the world and in the united states, you're watching "cnn newsroom." it's time for you and your boys to get out of town. (laughing) left foot. right foot. left foot. stop. twitch your eyes so they think you're crazy. if you walk the walk you talk the talk. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance you switch to geico. hide the eyes. it's what you do.
and it's convenient for those hard to reach places. and if you're like me, you'll love blue-emu super strength cream. it's made with real emu oil, it's non greasy, it's a deep penetrating formula that works itself down into your joints. take it from me. it works fast and you won't stink. blue-emu, it works for me it'll work for you. and welcome back. the polls are open in turkey. voters will decide whether to give sweeping powers to the president. >> it is called the so-called power bill. it would turn turkey's parliamentary system into a presidential system. following the story, cnn international correspondent ian lee live in istanbul, turkey, this hour. what more can you tell us about what's at stake with this vote? >> reporter: george, the polls are open, people are going to
them. they have until 5:00 p.m. tonight to cast their vote. really, it boils down to this yes and no vote. yes, meaning there would be a shift from the parliamentary system to a presidential system, giving the president executive power, dissolving the prime ministership. it also gives the president more powers over the judiciary and making laws. the no vote would keep that prime minister, keep that parliamentary system. >> and given what we know about what's happened in turkey, that nation has been rocked by attacks in recent months. given such a critical juncture with this vote, what can you tell us about security? >> reporter: security is very tight today, george. just in the lead up to this referendum, we're seeing in state media the police saying they have arrested at least 49 alleged isis suspects that were planning attacks around this
referendum. this is a country that has dealt with isis attacks for a number of years now. most noticeably this last new year's eve where many people were killed at a nightclub. so police want to make sure that this whole referendum process, the voting, goes by smoothly. >> cnn international correspondent ian lee live for us following this vote in turkey. thank you for the reporting. we'll stay in touch with you. we turn to syria now, where at least 100 people were killed as they headed to safe ground. cannot seem to get forward with safety in this region. it happened near aleppo when a blast targeted buses evacuated shiite villagers who back president assad. >> that was under a deal that also allowed the relocation of rebel supporters from other besieged areas. nick payton-walsh picks up the story. >> reporter: dozens of bodies recovered from this scene. absolute carnage. pictures posted on social media.
syrian state television very hard to see, frankly, people torn apart in their seats on these buses. they had hoped, perhaps, this was a journey on the way to a moment of respite. context as to why these evacuation buses were so important. the ones attacked were leaving two towns north of syria. these are full of regime sympathizers but were in a rebel-held province of idlib. also, in the south of the country, were towns full of rebel sympathizers. they were besieged by the regime. so the u.n. brokered a kind of swap, if you like, allowing a simultaneous evacuation of these two towns that were regime loyal in the north, while rebel sympathizing towns in the south were also being evacuated. it was those the regime loyal town that came under attack today. we don't know precisely whose territory they were in when this blast hit, but we think it was a
car bomb, and it does appear to be that the evacuation still continued after this tragic, horrifying episode. in the past, buses from the area have come under attack from people who clearly were extremists. it wasn't quite clear which group they were affiliated with, but nothing like the scale of devastation today. this, of course, has many worried in rebel sympathizing areas of some sort of regime reprisal. as a result, still focused very much on the terrifying toll on civilians on those buses. as i say, dozens of people of the 3,000 leaving losing their life from this car bomb. these towns had suffered from besieging, star vague, lavation medical supplies for months.
syria still seeing absolute savagery on both sides now as this war limps into its seventh year. nick paton walsh, erbil, northern iraq. >> nick, thanks for the report. next, the white house is watching pyongyang. we'll talk with an expert on international politics on u.s. efforts to rein in north korea. plus, violence breaks out between donald trump supporters and opponents. we'll tell you what led up to multiple injuries and arrests at a university campus. stay with us. finding time to get things done isn't easy.
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>> hello to you, ivan. at cnn world headquarters in atlanta, i'm natalie allen. >> and i'm george howell. the vice president of the united states mike pence has arrived in south korea. he'll be celebrating easter with u.s. and south korean troops. pence was briefed on north korea's failed missile launch while he was en route from the united states. aides to the vice president say he has been in contact with president trump about that failed missile. voters in turkey are heading to the polls. they'll decide whether to give the country's president sweeping new powers. the so-called power bill would change turkey from a constitutional democracy into a presidential republic. a relief agency says at least 100 people were killed in a car bomb explosion near aleppo, syria. the attack targeted buses evacuating shiite villagers who back president bashar al assad. that was all under a deal also allowing the relocation of rebel
supporters from other areas. mexican officials say a former governor has been arrested in guatemala. he was accused of mishandling millions of dollars. authorities accused him of misappropriating funds from programs for the poor. and he has been on the run since october. he faces money laundering and organized crime charges. >> thanks for that update, natalie and george. north korean state media so far has not reported on pyongyang's failed missile test early sunday. south korea says the rocket was launched from the north korean port of sinpo on the east coast. the u.s. military says it blew up immediately, so there wasn't much time to gather data. this latest provocation came just hours before u.s. vice president mike pence arrived in seoul for the first leg of a trip to asia and australia. we have reporters on both sides of the demilitarized zone.
cnn's will ripley is reporting from pyongyang. cnn's alexandra field is at u.s. military headquarters in seoul, south korea. let's start with you, will. what do north korean officials tell you when you ask b about the -- about these warnings that come from the u.s. and allies in the region not to carry out nuclear tests, not to carry out ballistic missile tests, which are all, of course, banned under multiple united nations security council resolutions. >> reporter: to put it simply, ivan, they feel the united states is hypocritical. they feel the united states doesn't really have room to talk, considering the fact that they are the only country in the world that has ever dropped a nuclear bomb on civilians, being hiroshima and nagasaki in japan back in 1945. a fact of history that's repeated constantly in north korean propaganda along with their version of events in the korean war. they claim the united states started the korean war, which is
contrary to the view of the majority of historians certainly outside of this country. so they also feel that the united states is the provocateur in that they're engaging in these military exercises with south korea, something that always enrages pyongyang. then they look at pruesident trump's order to launch that missile strike on the syrian regime. all of this fits into their narrative that they've told people for 70 years, that the united states is an aggressor waiting at their doorstep, ready to invade, or perhaps drop nuclear weapons on this country. people here believe, because their government-controlled propaganda tells them, that the u.s. could try to drop a nuclear bomb on north korea at any moment. they say that their government is justified in spending an extraordinary amount of its scarce resources on developing these weapons of mass destruction, even if it means hardship in other areas. they will say the missile program and the nuclear program
should continue to get full funding, even if the country has to cut back in other areas that are already pretty scarce in some instances because of increased economic pressure from, for example, china. >> will, does this in some way feel like a test, like north korea is trying to get the measure of a new u.s. administration that has had less than a hundred days in office? >> reporter: there is a sense of uncertainty as to what the trump administration is capable of. north korean propaganda always says that war with the united states is imminent and they always are in a kind of militaristic stance. there were plenty of times during the obama administration that tensions flared on the korean me nin korean peninsula and kim jong-un said the nation came to the brink of war. but there's a new administration that's really untested in terms of its international policy. they do not know what the trump administration is capable of. all they have to go off of are president trump's actions and
frankly his tweets. a north korean official at the military parade on saturday told me this special operation in north korea last week involving commandos jumping out of planes, practicing combat exercises, this official told me that operation was in direct response to president trump's tweets about north korea in regards to the china issue. clearly they're watching. they are trying to get a sense of what the united states is capable of here. i should also note that when you go on the streets and hear unanimous support for the direction that the leadership of this country is taking, you always have to keep in mind when reporting about north korea that it is an authoritarian government where political dissent is not tolerated. on the surface, you ask anybody, and they think their leader kim jong-un is doing the right thing, even as many around the world feel the country is headed to a path of further isolation and even perhaps a more dangerous situation than that if
things were to escalate. >> and we do have to point out how limited your access is when you're on the ground there. from my previous trip there, i felt like it was like looking through a key hole at a country because you are not free to move around. you're not free to talk to anybody you want to. they have to be careful about what they say. will ripley live from pyongyang. thanks very much for your update. i'm going to go now to the southern side of the heavily mined demilitarized zone. alexandra field in south korea. the u.s. vice president mike pence is visiting that country as we speak, alex, but he's also visiting at a very delicate time internally in south korea because you've just had a president impeached and jailed there. what real power does the interim administration have to deal with this crisis right now?
>> reporter: it's a question a lot of members of the public here are asking. they've got their eyes on this presidential election that will happen in a few weeks. a key issue here is how their five candidates would deal with not only the challenges of taking on the north korean nuclear threat but how these candidates will want to work with the u.s. and how these candidates see this relationship, this alliance forging forward. it's really interesting to point out that while the trump administration's full focus and attention does seem to be on the issues here on the peninsula, the fact that they have sent out three top diplomats now, secretary of state, secretary of defense, now the vice president. all these u.s. officials are speaking to an acting president who won't have power, won't be in office in just a couple weeks. they don't know who they're getting next, who will come to the table next. what is clear is that south koreans are committed to this relationship, to this alliance. what's also interesting to think about here, ivan, is that while in north korea they've got questions about how the trump administration will act and
respond, those are questions also being asked here among the public in south korea. they want to know and understand what the u.s. means when they say that if china doesn't handle the north korea problem, the u.s. will go it alone. they want to make sure that they're being consulted, that they're working in conjunction and in cooperation with u.s. leaders in terms of any decision made about how to deal with north korea, particularly when you hear words coming from washington like the fact that all options remain on the table and a military option could be considered. that's a very important issue to people here in south korea. they do know and understand very clearly that any kind of pre-emptive strike on north korea could put them in harm's way, ivan. >> that's right. we do have to point out that south korea has perhaps more to lose than anybody else with the capital where you are right now within artillery striking distance of the north korean military. that's alexandra field live from south korea. thanks very much, alex. and i'm going to hand it over to
natalie and george at cnn headquarters for more news. >> ivan, thank you. here in the united states, the u.s. defense secretary james mattis issued this statement about that failed launch. >> it said, the president and his military team are aware of north korea's most recent unsuccessful missile launch. the president has no further comment. let's talk more about these developments with scott lucas, professor of international politics at the university of birmingham. he joins us via skype. thank you for joining us. where do we pick up from here? we've just heard our reporters, alexandra and will ripley, the defiance of north korea, perhaps testing this new administration. >> i think we take a step back and draw breath, to be honest with you. even though north korea carried out this failed missile launch, it's quite interesting that it did not, as u.s. officials say
they expected, to carry out a nuclear test this weekend. it's been very notable that the chinese have been very vocal in calling on both sides to step back from any confrontation. i think mike pence's visit to south korea is a continued shift, which while talking about military preparations, is probably moving this to political and diplomatic steps. let's talk about context. what north korea did is nothing new. they have been testing u.s. administrations through both nuclear and missile launches for well over a decade. the question here was the reaction for many people of donald trump, who has been seen as unpredictable as well as untested. but to be honest with you, what we're seeing is not really as much trump but other american officials, pentagon, national security council, mike pence, sort of say, all right, let's get ahold of this. we've had our show. we've sent the u.s. carrier group out there. it's really time to try to
de-escalate this. and that's what i expect to happen in forthcoming days. >> it was interesting that they said the president would have no further comment. he had commented certainly before this. that seemed to ratchet up the response from north korea. they even called him out on a tweet. we can certainly see, and we've talked about it a lot, what a president tweeting can do to a situation, especially one that could be as dangerous as north korea and military intervention. >> the combination of north korean propaganda and donald trump on social media is like two guys in a bar who just keep bumping chests on each other and saying, look what i'm going to do. someone had to come in and separate them, to be honest with you. the u.s. bureaucracies had to do that. again, i emphasize, if anyone has taken on more pom innocenrot of this episode, it's china.
i think increasingly beijing will be seen as someone that's essential to keep temperatures down there. that's a big shift in the regional dynamics. i'm not saying the u.s. will not be influential the region, but the u.s. administration has to have a rethink about whether its postures are good with relations beyond north korea politically and militarily in the long run. >> and it seems like xi jinping and mr. trump found common ground at their meeting in mar-a-lago. mr. trump said going in it was going to be tough, but they came out of it seeming to have had a positive meeting. as a result, china did give some extra pushback to north korea. all at the same time, it does seem like the world has continuously just tiptoed around the fact that north korea is building and building and lately the rapidity of their building has kind of put the world on notice. >> well, i think we need to have a bit of a reality check here.
that's the north koreans declare they're making these rapid strides. we had this show yesterday of missiles, which look like intercontinental ballistic missiles, but this is the second missile test this month that has failed. and this test was not of an intercontinental ballistic missile. it was a much smaller one. north korea is a regional threat. let's be very clear about this. north korea really is not in a different position than it was when kim jong-un took power. it's an ongoing question of how you contain north korea. regime change is probably out of the question. there's no way of forcing that. so how do you deal with a country which will make these postures but where you know you don't want to start a military confrontation. again, i think the u.s. will have its place there. we're probably going to be looking in the forthcoming weeks to a number of countries in the region reassessing this while making sure that no one, no one tries to escalate the language of confrontation. >> scott lucas, as always, thank you for joining us, and your
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welcome back. news from the u.s. more than 20 people have been arrested after fighting broke out at dueling protests in berkeley, california. the patriot day rally was originally organized to show support for the u.s. president donald trump. >> eventually, police had to use pepper spray to subdue the crowds. our affiliate from kron, spencer blake, has the story. >> reporter: though the pro-trump and anti-fascism group started the day somewhat organized, the delineation between the two eventually melted away as the counter demonstrations poured into the streets of berkeley. >> they're sick people! they're angry and they're sick! >> reporter: every so often, the masses would swarm from one side
of martin luther king jr. civic center park to the other. several times groups within the crowd would scatter. that was usually either followed or preceded by the sound of a smoke bomb. >> i kept my distance pretty much throughout the whole event. whenever i see something, i kind of just keep that distance. >> there's a couple fights, you know, people punching each other, grabbed the back of their shirt. >> reporter: tensions would seize for a few minutes, but soon people on opposing sides would be at it again. >> they're crazy, but i was hoping in some way we could stop them from doing what they do. they did it anyway. >> reporter: the longer the protests wept protests went on, the more bloody faces, posters, and streets we saw. weapons included rocks, sticks, glass bottles, and fists. >> these guys are cowards. that's all they do, hide with their mask, sucker punch you, hit you in the back of the head with sticks. >> reporter: protesters made it up to the avenue before things started to finally die down. >> that's our affiliate kron. thank you so much for that report.
a new report has been released highlighting how climate change in the u.s. is negatively affecting people's health. >> derek van dam is looking into that for us. >> i myself am an asthmatic. with air pollution in and around atlanta, it could really exacerbate and make your asthma that much worse. what we're finding is it's not only here in atlanta but in many of the major cities on the east and west coasts. you can see on this region map. this is that latest report. climate related health risks we're talking about here. extreme temperatures, weather events, poor outdoor air quality, contaminated food and water, mosquito-borne infections. trying to break it down, the big thing that came out of this report is interesting to note that globally there are around 12.6 million people who die each year just due to these
environmental risk factors. that's globally, of course. now we're focusing in on more of a u.s. audience because we're talking about an increase in temperatures and how that impacts your health at home. take a look at this. just in 2016 alone, we broke over 32,000 record highs. you can imagine this has a direct effect on, let's say, wildfires, which causes air pollution, which decreases your lung health. of course, there's all kind of pollutants released into the air when we start burning forests. you can see the amount of acreage that increased over the past several decades. in fact, just one degree celsius temperature increase globally increases the coverage of foreest fires across the world by 4 purks00%. this is all thanks to warmer temperatures and a longer fire season. if we focus on the east coast, we've seen an uptick in
mosquito-borne illnesses. remember zika? that spread furiously across parts of the world. we have areas where mosquitos just thrive, like stagnant water in your backyard. it's all directly linked with warming temperatures. i'm not saying that today's forecast is a direct comparison to climate change, but just take a look at the daytime highs across the east coast. upper 80s for the nation's capital. it's only mid-april, folks. it shouldn't be like that. take a look at this coming out of texas. we had severe weather a day ago. check these funnel clouds out. no one injured, but there was a considerable amount of damage across the panhandle. you'll see that here in the last shot. scary moments for these people. >> dimmitt, texas. that's a new one. >> i was actually born in amarillo. grew up in austin. those tornadoes hit quickly. derek, thank you so much. still ahead here on "newsroom," it's one of the most important days of the year for many christians around the world. we go to the vatican, where the pope is leading easter sunday celebrations. that story ahead. hey allergy muddlers
sunday mass at the vatican. easter, of course, the day christians around the world celebrate jesus rising from the dead. >> cnn's delia gallagher is following events live from rome this morning. we've been talking a great deal in the news about egypt and syria, events in the middle east, these are issues the pope has spoken out about as well. it does seem there's a somber tone to the message this easter. >> reporter: that's absolutely right, george. in fact, just after this mass, the pope will go up to the central balcony of st. peters and gives his traditional address to the city and to the world. that is a time when the pope in particular normally focuses on situations around the world which he thinks need to have particular attention, something he has been doing throughout this holy week. as you say, george, given the circumstances around the world,
so many of the attacks we're reporting on and hearing about, unfortunately, i think the pope has really taken it even a step further with his message of asking the world not to close their eyes to the injustices and sufferings around the world. as you might imagine, a lot of extra security for today's event. it's also the 90th birthday of pope emeritus benedict. lots of sell bragts at tcelebra vatican. >> nice to hear. thank you. thanks for watching this hour of "cnn newsroom." i'm natalie allen. >> and i'm george howell. and i'm ivan watson in hong kong. the latest from north korea is coming up in just a moment as the news continues on cnn.
the u.s. vice president arrives in seoul, south korea, just hours after north korea test fires another missile. we'll have live reports from the region, including pyongyang. and reaction to that failed missile launch from major powers with a great deal at stake on the korean peninsula. s also, we'll go live to turkey where voters vote on a new constitution. welcome to our viewers around the world. i'm ivan watson in hong kong. >> i'm george howell in tat cnn headquarters in atlanta. >> and i'm natalie allen. let's start the progr