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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  December 19, 2011 1:00am-2:00am EST

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-- captions by vitac -- welcome to our viewers in the u.s. and around the world. now, the death of north korean leader kim jong il has rattled the nation. put the region on edge and has the world watching intently to see what happens next in the isolated country. a very emotional presenter on
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north korean state tv made the official announcement. [ speaking a foreign language ] >> the state tv reports the 69-year-old leader died saturday morning of a heart attack while an a train trip. the report also said that doctors used every possible first aid measure, but mr. kim could not be saved. a funeral will be held on december the 28th in pyongyang. well, kim jong il was only the second leader the people of this reclusive nation has ever known. dan rivers looks back at the enigmatic kim jong il. >> kim jong il always cut a slightly bizarre figure.
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his diminutive stature and characteristic hair were parroted by some in the west, but for the citizens of the democratic peoples republic of korea, kim was the embodiment of this reclusive state. feared, loved, worshipped, obeyed, his cult of personality was deeply entrenched. his father was kim il-sung. kim jong il was a little boy when the korean war broke out in 1950, but the soviet-backed north invading the american-backed south. after fighting ended, kim jong il became steeped in his father's philosophy of juche or self-reliance and the north became ever more reexclusivive. the north and south never formally signed a peace treaty and remained technically at war separated by a tense demilitarized zone. gradually, kim jong il made public appearances in front of cheering crowds.
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when kim il-sung died in 1994, he was declared eternal president. so his son instead became general secretary of the ruling worker's party of korea. and by 1998, as head of the army he consolidated his position of absolute power. >> he will be remembered as a person who was responsible for awful things, for the existence of one of the worst dictatorships in probably not only korean history, but in the world history. at least in the 21st century. yes, he did not create this dictatorship, it was his father, but he took responsibility and he made sure it continued for many more years. >> he was known for his love of fine wines, where food shortages were common. while the dear leader is said to have indulged in the appetite for the finer things, his people
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were literal i starving to death. the collapse of the soviet union hit north korea hard. suddenly ending guaranteed trade deals. and then, devastating floods compounded the famine. estimates vary for the number that died. but even the regime itself admitted that almost a quarter of a million perished between 1995 and 1998. some day it was more like ten times that figure. but in the capital, pyongyang, the art art fas was maintained and the progress under his and his father's leadership. kim jong il was well known as a filling buff. here, visiting the set of a north korean production. his personal video lie bray was said to include "rambo" and "friday the 13th" supposedly topping his favorite flicks. in 2000, there appeared to be a
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thaw in north-south relations and the first-ever summit between kim jong il and his counterpart in the south. it seemed to be bearing fruit. but kim jong il pressed ahead with his nuclear weapons program. the u.s. labelled it part of the axis of evil in 2002, a year later north korea withdrew from the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. in 2006, the north conducted a nuclear test and test fired missiles. it added extra urgency to the six-party talks designed to deal with north korea's nuclear program. a breakthrough came in 2007 when kim jong il finally agreed to disable the nuclear reactor. in return for fuel and better relations with the u.s. but despite dramatically blowing up the cooling tower, north korea seemed to back track afterwards. the deal appeared to be in jeopardy. the capture of two u.s.
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journalists, laura ling and euna lee sparked another crisis in 2009. it ended when former president bill clinton flew in and successfully negotiated their release, prompting hopes there would be further engagement. observers say kim jong il will be remembered as a nearly impossible man to bargain with. stubborn and fickle in equal measure. a man who kept 23 million people in a totalitarian nightmare in one of the most preprerepressiv reclusive regimes in the world. the defense ministry has raised the national alert to the second of three levels. and the president myung-bak, he asked that the country remain calm. in south korea, much of the region is concerned about what might concern in the secretive leadership ranks and we asked
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han sang joo about that. >> i was the foreign minister when his father, kim il-sung, died in 1994. and we had then and i'm sure right now we had plans to make our military and security ready for any unfore -- unforsee and untoward provocation and events, and also we have to see what's going on. another very important part of the preparation would be to have very close consultation with the other countries, particularly the allies, the united states and china. russia and so on. >> and so what do you think is happening inside pyongyang right now? >> well, pyongyang took two days
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to announce the death of kim jong il and also announce the makeup of the -- what they call the funeral committee. which consists of 232 members headed by kim jong un, the third son. and so they are trying to put up a face that is both orderly a aand united. we are not sure whether that's what's natural or whether there was any foul play, but regardless, they are trying to put up the best face. under the circumstances. >> now, china is north korea's closest ally of course and now this video just in. it shows the flag being lowered at north korea's embassy in beijing. and people watch as the flag is raised and lowered again to
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half-staff. again, this in beijing. all in mourning for kim jong il. now, stan grant joining us from the chinese capital. stan, so much on the line. how is beijing, which is the closest ally, how are they weighing the news of kim jong il? >> well, as you'd expect in china, no rush to any comment at this point. we're expected to get some official comment later in the afternoon. exactly what china's position is. but we know that china has been in constant contact with north korea. this has been a constant process of the back and forth in this relationship. a relationship that's been described in the past as being as close as lips and teeth. we see north korea often described as a client state of china and certainly china bank rolls north korea. so much of the economic -- of the economy of north korea is dependent on china. now, interesting too, that kim jong il who brought his son kim
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jong un to china recently to meet china's leaders, to almost get their stamp of approval for any succession. so when it comes to the ongoing role of the relationship, the stability of north korea, trying to smooth the way of this transition, china does have a lot at stake. to that extent this wouldn't come as a huge surprise. china would have rehearsed contingencies just for this event. in north korea as well. we know that kim jong il had been in poor health for some time. he'd appointed his son, his son decided to take a much more prominent role just for this day when the leadership would be thrust upon him. what we really don't know is how this is going to play out in the coming days. what is the impact going to be in the hinter land of north korea? away from pyongyang where people have to live in horrendous circumstances? as this news comes and filters down, what will their reaction be? along the border as well, there
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are about 30,000 north korean refugees in china. china's big concern has been what if there was an implosion, if people made a run for the borders. china right now has the emphasis on stability and hoping that all those plans they have put in place in the lead up to this event will in fact be able to play their way through. christy? >> you described the relationship "as close as lips and teeth" between pyongyang and beijing. why has beijing been such a close ally to pyongyang and hosting as many train trips to main land china? and the former president giving a bear hug to kim jong il. how do you explain it? >> well, we know that members of
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the army were sent over, out of uniform, to fight alongside north korea. who are responsible for helping to drive back the u.s. and south korean forces. u.n. forces in north korea as well. so it's a relationship that is founded in blood, it's founded in history. that china has had an ongoing interest in trying to continue the stability of the regime. it certainly came a lot more to the fore with the collapse. we know the collapse of russia led to the end of the lucrative deals and that's put more of a spotlight on the relationship between china and north korea. what's really crucial here is how the various parties are able to play this out. up with of the really crucial -- one of the really crucial elements, the genius of the six-party talks was that rivals, enemies, were able to sit down at the table, that china could
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speak to japan, that china could speak to the united states. the u.s. could speak to russia. this was the real -- the benefit and the genius of those talks. how these parties played out now is crucial and right front and center there is the relationship between the united states and china. the u.s. if you like, south korea's corner, and china in north korea's corner. they all have an interest in stability. that relationship is going to be crucial. >> and how will six-party talks continue to play out if they're restarted again under a north korea -- under kim jong un? is kim jong un expected to be more of a modern leader, a reformer or more of the same, in line with his father? >> well, we talked about kim jong un, it's question mark. what do we know about him? we don't even know his age. there are rumors he had some education in switzerland, a couple of years at a swiss
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boarding school. he's more exposed to the west. but we still don't know a lot about him. how much authority he'll carry, what his relationship will be with the aging generals you always see flanking kim jong il. those generals of course have a real stake in that country and they are the ones with the fingers on the triggers if you like. they're the people who really hold power in that country. so his own relationship is going to be crucial. a return to the six-party talks. well, glenn davies the u.s. envoy recently just last week was talking about visiting north korea, but he was optimistic, he was relatively optimistic about a return to the talks. one of the real hallmarks of kim jong il, one of the reasons he was able to survive and his regime was able to survive was his ability to play one off against the other.
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despite the buffoonish image if you like, those who spoke to him, those who got close to him, said this was a shrewd man, and someone who was able to achieve what he wanted, take something with one hand and give something with the other. so with him gone, kim jong un in the picture, if they return to talks, how will he impose his own authority and how will he impose his authority inside his own country? those questions yet to be answered sdplchblt yoanswe answered. >> and your thoughts about the power transfer underway. kim jong un was named as the heir apparent quite a while ago. pyongyang waited a few days to report the death today. do you think the process will be smooth? >> well this is customary in these type of countries where information is so very tightly controlled. where survival of the regime is paramount to be able to orchestrate something like this.
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to be able to orchestrate and control the news of his death to hold the state funeral, to try to get some indication of how countries throughout the region might react. listening earlier to some of the guests we had on in particular, mike chinoy, former cnn correspondent, a fount of all wisdom about north korea. he talked about a country that's not going to want to appear to be weakened by this, but a country that is going to want to try to orchestrate a very stable handover. that's certainly going to be in china's interests as well. what's going to be really crucial here is the potential for misunderstanding. that's where problems can occur. that's when situations can really get out of control. i cast any mind back to the island attack last year. a lot seemed to stem from misunderstanding, war games carried out by south korea, south korea continuing and then north korea saying that's why they attacked.
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any chipginning in the armor co lead to problems. at the moment we're trying to see a form of stability. but the big question mark is what happens in the kingdom. we don't know. it's very opaque. how much authority kim jong un has. the jury is still out on those questions. >> all right. stan grant, live from beijing, thank you. now, japan has called an emergency national security meeting on the news of kim jong il's death. the statement has been issued offering condolences and japan's chief government spokesman went on to say this. we wish the sudden news would not wish north korea negatively. now, meanwhile in washington, d.c., an official says the death brings extraordinary change and uncertainty to north korea and that an unsecure north korea could be a more dangerous north korea. earlier the white house press secretary issued a statement
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saying, now we are closely monitoring reports that kim jong il is dead. the president has been notified and we are in close touch with our allies in south korea and japan. we remain committed to stability. on the korean peninsula and to the freedom and security of our allies. how is the u.s. state department dealing with this news? well, elise labott spoke to us earlier from washington. >> i think it happened a little bit sooner than they thought it would. they don't know who is running it. is kim jong un making the decisions at this point? or so-called regents, his aunt, his uncle, the sister of kim jong un and her husband, are they making the decisions? is the military making decisions? i think there's a real period of uncertainty for the united states. they have seen some progress in engagement with the north over the last six months or so.
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i think they're going to put on the brakes a little bit, trying to decide what they want to do. going to have to very carefully calibrate the messages over the next 24 to 48 hours. are they going to offer condolences? are they going to anoint so to speak the so-called new leader that the -- that we expect him to be, it hasn't been announced yet. i think the u.s. is going to tread very carefully. certainly won't going to be a wholesale engagement. over night the u.s. isn't going to embrace this young, untested leader, but i don't think they want to close the deal to what we have been talking about all evening, could be an opportunity, could he be a more benevolent leader than his father? certainly. but he could be a much more unpredictable leader. he's untested. obviously the north koreans want to portray him as in command. could that mean an overture toward the west or could that mean some provocative behavior
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towards the south? they don't know. i think they'll be watching and waiting as they closely coordinate with south korea. >> and this just in from reuters news agency. now, north korea state news agency is calling kim jong un the great successor. let's take a closer look now at the heir apparent. the youngest son, kim jong un, he's believed to be 27 or 28 years old. because of his age and lack of his experience he's said to be a political novice. in 2009 he reportedly took a low-level post at the national commission, the highest ruling agency led by his father. last year he was promoted to a four star general. seen as a steppingstone to taking over from his father. there are few known photographs of kim jong un. he's said to look much like his father. maybe overweight like his
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father. may have diabetes. it is believed that as a boy, he secretly attended boarding school in switzerland. then the kim jong il military academy named for his grandfather in pyongyang and is a reportedly a big fan of basketball and michael jordan. kim jong un, the great successor in north korea. the breaking news coverage continues in a moment. stay with us. an dandruff. how it gives me a healthy scalp and great looking hair. but who used mine up? it was hines. seriously? you lying fool. [ male announcer ] head & shoulders: seven benefits, every bottle. not quite knowing what the next phase was going to be, you know, because you been, you know, this is what you had been doing. you know, working, working, working, working, working, working. and now you're talking about, well you know, i won't be, and i get the chance to spend more time with my wife and my kids. it's my world. that's my world.
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welcome back to our viewers in the u.s. and around the world. let's take a moment to recap our breaking news. the end of an era in north korea. state television says north korean leader kim jong il has died. now, state tv said the 69-year-old leader suffered a heart attack on saturday while on a train trip. also said a funeral will be held december the 28th in pyongyang. the state media is describing kim's youngest son, kim jong un, as the great successor. a state media reports that foreign morning delegations will not be received. and now for an analyst view, peter beck is with the council of foreign relations and he joins us now from cnn washington. peter, koim jong il he had been in poor health for years. he had a stroke back in 2008, so was north korea prepared for this moment and transfer of power? >> as prepared they could be.
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as one of the interviewees mentioned, it was a surprise, but even if half of the ailments were true, he should have been dead years ago. so it's not a surprise. he did suffer a stroke in 2008. so we had a dress rehearsal if you will for what would happen were he to be inxcapacitated or die. >> what is the likely reaction inside north korea where they have been operating under the cult of kim for decades? >> well, i think it's fair to say that the outpouring of emotion that we saw with the official announcement is unlikely to be followed by the average north korean. i mean really in his 17 years in power he did not do much to distinguish himself other than making north korea a nuclear power. that doesn't put food on the table for the average north korean. i think as far as the average north korean is concerned, they're not going to be shedding to many tears for him. >> let's talk about the human rights legacy of kim jong il and what happened to north koreans under his leadership.
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the famines, the human rights crises. explain. >> that's right. he took over -- his father died at the outset of the most serious famine that north korea has experienced in really in its modern times. we don't know how many people died. hundreds of thousands, at least. we think up to 200,000 are in north korean due lgulags. he has maintained an iron grip over the country in the last 17 years. when his father passed away he did not appear in public for several years. whether it was mourning or consolidating his rule, we don't know. he was in seclusion for the first several years. >> do you think that people of north korea would ever dare to rise up, even at this point of a power transfer in north korea? >> i would say no. that the state structure is extremely strong, whether it's intelligence apparatus. literally citizens are monitoring each other and
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themselves. so the idea of people rising up, it's really hard to imagine. north korea, that would be the hardest place i think on earth for that to happen. >> give us an idea of what north korea will look like under kim jong un now being called the great successor of north korea. on one hand, could he be perceived as a modern new leader, on the other hand, a political novice who could be subjected to the political hard liners. >> he's only been in the public eye for the last 14 or 15 months. we still know very little about him. i would see him as a younger version of bashir al assad, more internationalized than his father. having spent time in europe and gone to school in europe. but very much committed to maintaining this iron grip on the country. the most outrageous -- one of the outrageous provocations, shelling a civilian island happened after kim jong un had
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been introduced to the public. nothing's happened this past year, but certainly he got off to a big bang of a start in 2010. so i don't think we can expect much in the way of enlightened leadership from kim jong un. >> you mentioned the sinking of the incident in 2010, it happened right after kim jong un was named four-star general. do you think he played -- sorry. it happened before. but nonetheless, do you believe that kim jong un had a hand in that, he was asserting himself to say he was being groomed to become a leader who would be able to take over his father's shoes? >> we may never know if he actually had a hand in making these events happen, but it's clear that both the incident, and before he had been chosen and the island shelling which happened after, it's fair to say they're closely associated with him. that the regime wants him to be seen as a strong and vigorous leader that will maintain north korea's power on the world stage.
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>> the funeral, the date has been set, december the 28th. kim jong un will make a public appearance there. what should we expect -- and looking back on the funeral of kim il-sung in the 1990s, could we see a repeat of what happened then happen this year? >> i think there will be a lot of similarities. it's interesting that north korea's not going to be accepting foreign funeral delegations because if they had been doing that, it would have placed washington and particularly seoul in a very difficult position. do you send condolence mission, thereby offending many for paying respects to a dictator, but on the other hand, getting off on the wrong foot with the new leader. that doesn't seem like that will play out. we're paying close attention to how people are listed and who's standing next to who at the funeral. >> and one broad-brush question
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for you. do you think the world's a safer place after the death of kim jong il? >> i'm not -- i don't think s g safer, but in the short term i don't think the world has gotten more dangerous. i think the regime will focus on who's in, who's out. kim jong il did create a transitional structure, a gang of four. his sister, his brother in law and his most trusted general who he grew up with and his son, kim jong un. i think they're foster parents, if you will. his sister and brother-in-law are foster parents for kim jong un. i think things will be stable but i think they'll be inward oriented. kim jong il surrounded himself with elderly generals. the average age is 80. 80-year-olds don't make very good revolutionaries or coup leaders.
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i think there will be period of sorting out who's in and who's out. >> thank you very much for joining us here on cnn. now, former cnn chief international correspondent christiane amanpour traveled to north korea in 2008 and she shared her memories with us a short time ago. >> we were there with a team in 2008, first with the new york philharmonic. it was around the time when there were negotiations going on with north korea and the united states and they came to true s its -- fruition in 2008 when we saw the nuclear tower, the water cooling tower at the plant blown up. but it was a moment of hope then which rapidly came to an end in the summer of 2008 because apparently about that time, most people suspect that kim jong il suffered a stroke. as his health deteriorated, negotiations fell apart. and basically have been none since then, except there are
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reports over the last several months the north koreans and the united states have been talking. there were reports that potentially a food deal could be announced. nutrition deal between the united states and north korea this week potentially and there were reports, as yet not completely confirmed, but there might be some deal, some movement on a nuclear deal with north korea again agreeing to suspend their enrichment activities. but again, this has not yet been announced, but that's something that negotiators who met several times with north korean negotiators over the past several months, both in geneva and in beijing had hoped to bring to fruition. >> and everyone is looking to the heir apparent, kim jong un, a man we know little about. we think he's in his late 20s. that he likes basketball. we heard mike chinoy give us a few more details, he is a quiet, polite man.
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but is this young man with very little experience the man who can essentially create the cult of personality as his father and grandfather did? >> well, it's probably unlikely that he will be able to do that. even kim jong il was not able to maintain the cult of personality that his own father did. kim il-sung. certainly when kim jong il nominated his young son to take over, people are concerned. he's very young. he hasn't got that much experience that we know of. and he's going to be taking over we presume a nuclear nation. we will have to wait and see. the issue here is whether it will promote more hard-line policies from some of the old guard, whether they will sort of, you know, circle the wagons around this young man. and whether it will put a stop to some of these negotiations that were going on with the united states or whether they would be able to go through
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nonetheless. >> christiane amanpour there. now, there have been nears about chaos in the wake of his death. mike chinoy told us how on a recent visit he was struck by the stability by of the regime. >> i had not been in pyongyang in six years and i went back in august. i was struck by the sense of political stability across the board. the diplomats, the aid worker, the people i spoke with seemed convinced that the secession was on track. moreover some intriguing signs in pyongyang of some of inklings of movement towards opening up a little bit. north korea now has over half a million people using cell phones with an internal cell phone system that was set up by an egyptian company. there are more private restaurants than i had seen
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before. there was even of the first joint venture pizza parlor in pyongyang. they were moving ahead with economic zones with the chinese, while i was there kim jong il went to russia and talked with vladimir putin about north korea and russia and south korea jointly setting up a gas pipeline to send natural gas from the russian far east through north korea to south korea and at the same time, north korea's foreign minister was in washington meeting with the united states. so i came away, not with the sense that the north koreans were embracing chinese style market reforms. but that the focus was on securing a more tranquil external atmosphere and trying to crank up the economy. and that fits into the critical importance of the year 2012 and the north korean calendar. the north koreans call it juche 100. juche is the national ideally of
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self-reliance invented by kim il-sung. the official mantra has been that the country should be a powerful and prosperous country. and the powerful they have got because they have got nukes. the emphasis was on the prospero prosperous. so you had the indications of focusing on the economy. i came away with a sense that it was more relaxed and a little bit more open to being open. than it had been before. and i -- it's very hard to interpret what that means, and it may well be in this period f of, you know, national tragedy and crisis that the north koreans will tighten things up again which is a natural response. but there were these very interesting vibes that were significantly different from the conventional picture of north korea that a lot of people have. >> well, fascinating insight there from mike chinoy about north korea's look youth look.
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and a documentary has been filmed and the flow of refugees is a major concern for pbeijing if there's instability. i want to get your thoughts on this breaking news story. the death of kim jong il, the power transfer being managed right now. your thoughts on whether or not there will be instability and could beijing see an influx of refugees? >> that's exactly what beijing fears most. that part of the reason why these refugees have such a lot of trouble escaping through china is there's a bounty price placed on their heads by the chinese government. so chinese citizens and chinese policemen are inial so cases awarded several hundred dollars for turning in north korean refugees. and china has stepped up security along the border. it has succeeded in stemming this flow of refugees and i think the top concern for china is trying to stabilize that situation and trying to prevent
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any massive influx of north koreans across the border. >> have you been age to conta contact -- able to contact those whou -- you interviewed, to gauge their thoughts and reaction to the death of kim jong il? >> i have spoken with a missionary this morning, and they have not spoken to the specific refugees that i filmed. one is still in hiding in bangkok while still applying for asylum to the united states. two were sold into sexual slavery, and the missionaries that i spoken with and that i was following and filming, they said many of the refugees will be reluctant to speak out or have an opinion on this. because they still even after they have escaped to south korea or the united states, they still have very scared. they're scared for the safety of their family members back in
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north korea. they'll be reluctant to say anything negative about the regime. but judging from my experiences with them, i think they hope that north korea will change to the extent that people have enough food to eat, that their families are not dying of starvation, that people do not face public executions for watching banned television shows. these are all experiences they the scribed -- they described to me. >> i want to hear more about that. the reasons they risk their lives to leave the country. what kind of conditions they were facing to force them to make this harrowing journey through china and to the ultimate destination? >> sure. two of the refugees i interviewed were teenagers. one was a 19-year-old girl and she was sold into sexual slavery. she went across the border for a better life in china and primarily so she could feed her family. her mom was unable to get out of bed because she didn't have enough food to eat.
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her parents were incred my sick and she wanted to feed her family. that was her only goal in coming into china. that was still her goal when i spoke with her before she made it to seoul. they desperately want their family members, their parents, to be okay. to have enough food to eat. the two women i interviewed, they had been sold into sexual slavery in china and then deported back to north korea. they were caught by the police, so they spent several months in hard labor camps. the conditions were absolutely horrifying. they had scars on the legs because they were beaten by leaches. they had to live in a place with bugs and leaches and a room -- small room with maybe 80 people to a room. they had to do back breaking work and hard labor. one was 19. so the conditions they described were unimaginable. and the third refugee i interviewed is a 16-year-old boy. his family was not dying of starvation, but he said that they basically only had potatoes to eat. and a family would be considered quite wealthy if they could
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afford a bowl of rice. >> shannon van sant, thank you. and for joining us here on cnn with your reaction to the death of kim jong il and of course the lives of people who he had led while he was alive. a check of the markets, stay tuned for continuing coverage of the death of north korean leader kim jong il. we'll be right back. financial advice is everywhere. real, objective investing help? that's a little harder to find. but here's what i know -- td ameritrade doesn't manage mutual funds... or underwrite stocks and bonds. or even publish their own research. so, guidance from td ameritrade isn't about their priorities. it's about mine. straightforward guidance. that's what makes td ameritrade different. ♪ [ male announcer ] trade commission-free for 60 days. plus get up to $600 when you open an account.
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welcome back to our breaking news coverage, and take a look at this. this is the last image of kim jong il that the state-run korea central news agency released. we don't know the date it was shot or the location. but kim jong il is said to be inspecting a firing drill of the korean people's army. well, let's check on markets across the region, how they're reacting to the news of the death of kim jong il. pauline? >> well, christy, the markets were in negative territory all day today. the kospi dropped as low as 5% at one point and it closed down 3.4%. let's take a look at the time line and see what happened when the news hit that kim jong il had died. that news came down at around 12:00. you see the kospi taking a pretty dramatic dip there. then it gaped a little bit, then it dipped again to end the day at 1776. now, let's take a look at currencies. and take a look at how the
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korean with an did against the u.s. dollar. right here, when the news came in, there was a big sell-off of the korean wan which means that the wan weakened, then it hit 1179 to the u.s. dollar at one point. so the wan was hit pretty dramatically today. let's take a look at how the u.s. dollar did against some of the other currencies. the dollar strengthened on the news as investoras went to the dollar and a safe haven. the dollar has been weakening anyway. the yen, the pound at 150 and the japanese yen at around 77 to the dollar and earlier it was trading -- the u.s. dollar/yen exchange was at 78, so the yen was a little weaker earlier in the day. mainly the markets are reacting
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to the uncertainty, will there be a power vacuum, how will this affect stability in the region? as for stocks, take a look at this. shares that produce military supplies in south korea rallied up almost 15%. now, there's the stock of specko there. up 14.9%. victek is up. and a military communications equipment maker, that was up 15%. there's a daily limit of how high these stocks can go and that daily limit is 15%. so those defense stocks reached that limit and that's the furthest they could go today. >> that's incredible, seeing that graphic and the bulls are out when it comes to south korea military stocks. you walked us through the currency effects and how's that changed, but how does the news affect south korea's credit rating? >> we did call fitch's credit
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rating to ask that question, to see if today's news would actually affect its rating of south korea, and fitch said that the death of kim jong il itself doesn't trigger a negative action. and it's still too early to tell the risks for south korea, for the credit rating. but right now, fitch has a positive outlook on south korea's a-plus rating which it designated back in november. just a month ago of this year. but christy, fitch said it's going to keep a close watch on the situation like the rest of the world. >> of course. pauline chu, thank you for that. now, kim jong il's death brings a new season of uncertainty for the long struggling communist nation. his son kim jong un has been groomed to take over and everyone wonders whether he would be any different. and we put that question to north korean expert han park. >> when a country is under security threat as north koreans have felt at least subjectively
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and objectively as well, then human rights and imprisonment and much oppressive policy is expected. so as long as north korea is still -- still in the same security threat situation, i think we can expect the same thing. under kim jong un or possibly kim jong il era. however, i think kim jong un would very much be obsessed to develop the economy more than anything else. because kim jong il kind of wanted his son to become like china's -- china's dow ping.
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so first it will be the choice, on the part of kim jong un. if that doesn't work of course, i think it is -- it is highly unlikely that north korea will reform and change and become a liberal democratic system. >> han park speaking to us earlier. breaking news coverage on the death of north korean leader kim jong il continues in a moment. stay with us. if you're like my patients, you want to hear you've done a good job. that's why i recommend a rinse like crest pro-health multi-protection. it helps you get a better dental check-up. so be ready for your next dental check-up. try any crest pro-health rinse. we get double miles on every purchase. so we earned a holiday trip to the big apple twice as fast! dinner! [ garth ] we get double miles every time we use our card.
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welcome back to our viewers in the u.s. and around the world. let's take a moment to recap our breaking news. the end of an era in north korea. state television says that north korean leader kim jong il has died. now state tv said the 69-year-old leader suffered a heart attack saturday while on a train trip. it also said a funeral will be held december 28 in pyongyang. north korean state tv is saying that kim jong un is the great successor. the state media also report that foreign mourning delegations will not be received. now this extremely rare new
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video just in from pyongyang, north korea, people reacting to news that leader kim jong il is dead. . >> incredible glimpse there from inside north korea. reaction to the death of kim jong il. now, as we mentioned, the state run news agency is reporting that the funeral for the self-proclaimed dear leader, kim jong il, will be held december the 28th. with the national mourning period extended into the next day. now, here is john vause, for a
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look at the dictator's life and legacy. >> with the bouffant hair, platform shoe, oversized sunglasses and trade mark jumpsuit, kim jong il looked every bit the nutty tyrant. >> the appearance made it a little bit more difficult to treat him seriously, at least at first. >> he was the diminutive dictator with the reputation for indulging in fine wine, cognac and foreign prostitutes who held total power over a failing state, developed nuclear weapons and forced the u.s. to negotiate. >> that is not necessarily the work of a womanizing booze swilling individual, drunk during the day. >> inside north korea, it was all about kim. portrayed by his propaganda machine as a political, military, technological, artistic and cinematic genius. a renaissance man who's flown fighter jets, written operas and
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shot 11 holes in one at his first try at golf. his public appearances were breathlessly reported on state media. he was hailed as the central brain, and the morning star. ♪ he was a crazed ruler who loved to make people dance, a million of them all at once and all in step. he presided over a nation more cult than country. ♪ he chased away fierce storms and give us faith they sing. he was born in a log cabin on a sacred korean mountain under rainbows and stars. western scholars say it was probably in siberia in a camp his father was learning to fight. and james bond was among his favorite, but he was inhappy with the north korea's portrayal in "die another day." no word on what he thought about
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"teen america." in the late 1970s it is believed he personally ordered the kidnapping of a south korean act tris and her director husband. and for eight years forced them to make propaganda films. he allegedly approved the bombing of a korean airlines flight which killed more than a hundred people. the apparent motive was to disrupt the 1988 olympic games in seoul. where u.s. officials dubbed north korea the soprano state and in the production and distribution of heroin and methamphetamine. >> his legacy will be that he actually made some pretty bad choices for his country. >> he was the man who every day it seemed had a bad hair day. who starved his people, threatened south korea with the fourth largest military in the world and built missiles that could reach japan and possibly beyond. the certainty of his brutality is gone.
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in its place, the terrifying uncertainty of what continues next. john vause, cnn, beijing. our breaking news coverage on the death of north korean leader kim jong il continues in a moment. stay with us. people love the surf & turf. you can't go wrong. [ male announcer ] don't miss red lobster's surf & turf. 3 grilled combinations all under $20. like our maine lobster with peppercorn sirloin, or our new bacon-wrapped shrimp with blue cheese sirloin for $14.99. i'm john mazany and i sea food differently. the other office devices? they don't get me. they're all like, "hey, brother, doesn't it bother you that no one notices you?" and i'm like, "doesn't it bother you you're not reliable?" and they say, "shut up!" and i'm like, "you shut up." in business, it's all about reliability. 'cause these guys aren't just hitting "print." they're hitting "dream." so that's what i do. i print dreams, baby.
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