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tv   North Korea  BBC News  December 16, 2017 9:30pm-10:01pm GMT

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hello. this is bbc news. the headlines: the south african president, jacob zuma, has spoken of the enormous challenges facing the country and the governing anc as it chooses his successor. speaking at a gathering to decide the next leader, he said the anc must tackle the country's economic crisis. the man who will be austria's next chancellor said he will be leading a government clearly in favour of the european union. sebastian kurz has formed a coalition with the far right freedom party. the head of the argentine navy has been sacked over the loss ofa navy has been sacked over the loss of a submarine and its crew. 44 crew members were on board, it is thought to have exploded. romania's last monarch, king reichel, has been buried with full state on. his coffin was earlier carried on a gun carriage passed thousands of people lining the streets of the capital, bucharest. at10pm, at 10pm, clive myrie will be here with a full round—up of the day's news. until then, we willjoin
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rupert wingfield hayes, as he assesses the stand—off between donald trump's administration and north korea's kim jong—un as donald trump's administration and north korea's kimjong—un as it reaches crisis point. in south korea, the us air force is practising for war with the north. president trump is now threatening to erase north korea from the map. we will have no choice, but to totally destroy north korea. kimjong—un is responding with ever bigger and more powerful missiles and nuclear tests. the us is moving ships and aircraft to the korean peninsula in ever greater shows of military might. are we now on the road to war, or is president trump in danger of starting a war he doesn't want? this could go bad very very quickly. and it could go very bad very, very quickly.
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0k, we've just been told to put our goggles on. the plane is descending fast. i think that's the signal we are about to go on board. this is the scary bit. ok, that's the signal. and we're down. off the coast of south korea, three giant american super carriers are sailing together. this is an extremely rare sight. they've been ordered here by president trump in the biggest show of naval might in this region for over a decade.
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the last time anything like this was seen in the western pacific was ten years ago. here off the korean peninsula, no one can really remember. this is a raw expression of america's military muscle. and for president trump it is a message being sent to pyongyang that if it doesn't come to the negotiating table, this is potentially what it faces. on board these ships are more than 200 combat aircraft. so, what does it mean to have three carriers out here together? well, the significance of our combat power as an american super carrier is our striking arm of ourcarrierairwing. and we can sustain 24—hour operations for
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extended periods of time. however, with more than one carrier, that length of time goes out indefinitely, quite frankly, when we get to three. in other words, if called upon to do so, there is enough firepower out here to go to war, and to keep fighting day and night. this is president trump's response to what has been a year of dramatic advances by north korea. on 28th august, just after dawn, a long—range ballistic missile is launched from the runway of pyongyang's international airport. kim jong—un is there watching as the missile heads for space. it is the fifth missile test of 2017, but this one is different. five minutes later, and 1500 kilometres away in northern japan,
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air raid sirens start blaring. this is not a drill. the north korean missile is passing right overhead. the loudspeakers order people to find shelter. it is the first time this has happened since world war ii. for months, up and down this coast, they have been practising for this. now, they're doing it for real. for a japanese generation brought up in peace and security, it's a big shock. translation: i want to protect my kids, but we don't have a basement, we have nowhere to hide. that missile takes only ten minutes to reach japan, what can we do in ten minutes? translation: the sirens just scare people. there's nothing we can do.
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so what is the point? the government needs to have a real policy. five days later, kim shocks the world again. deep under a mountain near the chinese border, north korea has set off a nuclear device. pictures show the north korean dictator looking at a new peanut—shaped bomb. the explosion is huge. 20 times bigger than the bomb dropped on hiroshima. at the un general assembly in new york, president trump makes his response. rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself. and for his regime. the united states is ready, willing and able. but hopefully this will not be necessary. the united states has great strength and patience. but if it is forced to defend
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itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy north korea. speaking to the bbc, republican senator lindsay graham says this is no idle threat. i am 100% certain that kim jong—un continues to develop missile technology that can hit america, if diplomacy fails to stop him, there will be an attack by the united states against his weapon systems. let me tell you how the war ends, it ends with his utter destruction. before we get to that point, it might be worth trying to understand why kim jong—un seems so determined to face down america with nuclear weapons. on 17th december 2011, north korea's long—reigning dictator
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kim jong—il suddenly dies. his 30—year—old son is thrust into the leadership with virtually no experience. as he escorts his father's coffin, kim jong—un is surrounded by powerful old men. walking right behind him, the most powerful of all — his uncle, jang song—thaek. today, all of these old men are either dead or in prison. in 2014, kim has his uncle hauled out of a party meeting accused of treason and executed by firing squad. kim jong—un is systematically eliminating all threats to his power. at kuala lumpur international airport, a rotund north korean man
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is heading for check—in. moments later, cctv cameras catch the moment he is attacked by two young women, who wipe liquid on his face. almost immediately, he starts to feel ill and seeks help. minutes later, he's unconscious. soon he will be dead. the man is kimjong—nam. kim jong—un's older brother. just a few metres away, in this cafe, at one of those tables, four north korean men were sitting watching. all four are now wanted by malaysian authorities. one is reported to be a known north korean security agent. after the attack here was over, they got up and headed for departures. kim jong—nam has been
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poisoned with vx, a rare and deadly nerve agent. almost certainly supplied by the agents sent by his younger brother. why would kim jong—un want his older brother dead? in the south korean capital, seoul, i've come to meet a man who once served in kimjong—un's palace guard. he describes a regime obsessed with security, and paranoid about being overthrown. translation: to the kim family, everyone is a potential enemy. the north korean military, the general staff, the entire north korean population. anyone who opposes kim is an enemy. even blood relatives. this man says kim's nuclear quest is likewise about survival. and that it intensified after the overthrow of libyan
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dictator colonel gaddafi in 2011. translation: the reason why the kim family is obsessed with developing nuclear weapons is to protect and maintain the regime. if the us attacks the north, it will use everything to strike back. but kim will not risk losing the regime by attacking first. kim jong—un is not stupid. and nuclear weapons serve another purpose. to secure kim's own power and legitimacy. in every recent test, he has been there — personally supervising, cigarette in hand. president trump calls him little rocket man. but to his own people, kim is now the leader who has taken their country
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into a very exclusive club. it is no small feat. the question now is, can anything be done to stop him short of a war that everyone says they do not want? for us, in a way, the most important thing is not whether he's homicidal, it's whether he's suicidal. because whether we go to war or not, it might well depend upon whether we think deterrence works, or whether we need a preventive war. because we can't fall back to deterrence. if he's not suicidal, hisjust homicidal, then i'm prepared to argue let's rely on deterrence. at gunsan airbase in south korea, the united states air force is practising for war with the north.
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i'm getting a very rare opportunity to see what that means. flying in the back—seat of an f—16 fighter. up front is colonel steve tittel, callsign wolf ii. we're heading out on what they call here a red flag — simulated air—to—air combat. we're going to go ahead and we're going to engage them. 0k. ourjob will be to play a north korean intruder. up ahead, two blue team f—16s are waiting to stop us. wolf ii makes repeated high g turns as he tries to get a missile lock on the defending aircraft. in the back, it feels like
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an elephant is sitting on my chest. to stay in the air and keep fighting, thesejets need to be refuelled once every hour and a half. so we're about to go up and top up ourfuel tank, this is not a game. there is a very serious point. this is deterrence at work.
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wolf ii and his fellow pilots practice every day so that north korea knows if it ever attacked the south, it would be attacking the united states, too. i want to be ready because i want to send the message of deterrence, and the message of, leave us alone, you don't want to mess with us. but if you make the mistake of straying across that line, may god have mercy on the wolf pack‘s prey, because we are ready. readiness is our currency, and we have money in the bank. for over 60 years, this strategy of being ready to fight tonight has kept the peace. but north korea has never had the ability to directly strike the united states. until now. on 28th november, north korea again shocks the world.
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in the middle of the night, it launches a new missile. this one is huge. much more powerful than anything pyongyang has launched before. large enough to carry a nuclear warhead all the way to washington, dc. two hours later, president donald trump tries to sound calm as he absorbs the news. thank you very much. as you probably have heard, and some of you have reported, a missile was launched a little while ago from north korea. i will only tell you that we will take care of it. we have general mattis in the room with us, and we've had a long discussion on it. it is a situation that we will handle. in the days that follow, america's most advanced stealth fighterjets start landing at bases
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in south korea. it is now perhaps only months before north korea will be able to hit america with a reliable nuclear tipped missile. former state department officials like david straub say this fundamentally changes the equation. whether we will be content to continue just containing north korea as we've done when they can actually hit us is the big question. and it's a very difficult question. because there is no way that american leaders can know for sure whether north korea will never use those weapons against the united states. even if we don't provoke them in any way that we regard as provocative, we can't be absolutely sure that they won't some day attack us. so what would it mean for america to go to war? in south korea, i am on the road to the demilitarised zone.
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the four kilometre wide strip of land that separates south korea from the north. this is the most heavily fortified place on earth. the south has hundreds of artillery pieces pointing north. the north has thousands pointing back. this recent north korean propaganda video shows its massed artillery in action. for south koreans living close to the demilitarised zone, this makes for very uncomfortable viewing. the little town of hwacheon is just six kilometres from the dividing line. in any new conflict, people here would have only minutes to evacuate. this place was built
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about five years ago. underneath a mountain. and it is absolutely vast. it's 100 metres long, 20 metres wide, and so big it's got its own echo. listen to this. hello! echo: hello! the shelter is designed to take over 2000 people. if they can make it in time. this 86—year—old woman is one of the few still living here who remembers the last korean war. so, are you worried there could be war again now? translation: of course i'm worried, but what can i do? it's up to the government. if they say i should die, i'll die. and leave, then i'll leave. a much bigger target for north korea's artillery
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is the south korean capital, seoul. half the south korean population lives in the greater seoul area. 25 million people. andrei lankov is a long—time seoul resident and professor of north korean studies. so 25 million people is within the shooting range of the north korean artillery, which is located that direction, roughly, say, 20, 30 kilometres from here. and if we have a conflict, this city will be attacked by the the conventional weapons, which will lead to thousands of casualties in the first few minutes. many more in the first few hours. if it happens, most likely the south koreans will strike back and there is a second korean war. a second korean war would be bad enough. but this time it could go nuclear. that thought brings
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horror to the people of this place — hiroshima. when that happens for you here... this woman still remembers vividly the sunny morning of 6th august 19115. she was eight—years—old. yes, every time i come here, you know, by the river, i remember it quite well. so many people died in the river. those like keiko who survived the world's first atomic attack are worried the world has forgotten the true horror of nuclear war. we have to avoid, stop, america will use their power
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to attack north korea, because not only korean people north and south, and the chinese, we japanese, everybody will be involved. even though they don't use nuclear weapons. but they will have a very big casualty. this year, kim jong—un has repeatedly shocked the world, taking giant leaps towards his goal of a full nuclear arsenal. he is now threatening to carry out an atmospheric nuclear test over the pacific ocean. if he did, president trump might feel he has no option but to order a military strike. the president is following his instinct. and his instinct, if he's challenged, as he has been by the north koreans, is, as he says sometimes, he's a counterpuncher, and to punch back. this could go bad very, very quickly. and it could go very
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bad very, very quickly. and a lot of people can die very, very quickly. winston churchill once said that meeting jaw—to—jaw is better than war. but pyongyang says it will not talk to america until it accepts north korea is a legitimate nuclear state. washington is adamant that will never happen. and with each new test, the pressure on the american president to act grows stronger. hello. thanks forjoining me. i'm going to give you our latest thoughts on how the weather's going to pan out. we'll do that in some detail over the next few days. and then as we push towards that all—importa nt christmas period, then i'll give you some of the trends as we see them at the moment.
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looking pretty christmassy in some locations just at the moment. the vestiges of what fell last weekend for the most part still there across wales and the midlands. a little bit further south than that, well, there's no great complaints i suspect coming out of guernsey. saturday was indeed a glorious day. but there is a change on the way. it's there right from the word go across scotland and northern ireland, and increasingly through the western side of england down through wales. and through the day we'll push the cloud and wind and rain, for that is what the change is, ever further towards the east. at least that allows scotland and northern ireland to see a little bit of sunshine before the day is done. and just a sign of slightly milder conditions trying to get into most parts of the british isles. but it may not seem that way across east anglia. through the evening and overnight, we'lljust drag that weather front ever further towards the near continent. following along behind, a little ridge of high pressure clearing the skies and allowing the temperatures to dip away. i suspect these will be some
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of the early values as you wake up on monday morning. even in the south, it may be a good deal cooler and fresher than that. sunday into monday is the last of the cold air i think we'll see for a little well. you see away towards the west of the british isles, this is where we'll be looking for our weather over the next few days or so, there's a lot of relatively mild air. out towards the east, bright and crisp, certainly. but as the day goes on i think we'll fill in the cloud across these western areas. but some of those western spots benefiting straightaway from that relatively milder air, pushing the temperatures to around ten, possibly 11 degrees. in the first half of the forthcoming week, a lot of dry weather around. because of what i've already shown you, it will be on the mild side compared to where some of you have been, but it will be at the expense of not an awful lot of sunshine and quite a bit of cloud. you can see what it's doing for the temperatures. many more getting close to the promised land of double figures. but, as we move from tuesday on into wednesday, the first signs of a cold weather frontjust
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working its way slowly but surely down and across the british isles. it will bring with it a chance of some rain, and i think it will be rain rather than snowfall. and still that mild air sits ahead of it primarily. the first signs of the temperatures wanting to dip away across the northern areas as you become more dominated by the area of high pressure. a lot of dry weather, as i say, but it does mean that we're going to cool things off relatively speaking from those lofty heights. from a lot of double figures we'll be back towards the upper end of single figures as we get towards the end of the week. for that, we have to thank the fact that we're still running the air between the high pressure trying to dominate the south, low—pressure further north, and so that sets us up with a westerly or south—westerly, a track that takes over relatively mild waters in the atlantic. no signs of the beast from the east bringing in some siberian trill. towards christmas itself, we expect that high pressure will be there or thereabouts across the south, but it mayjust slip away.
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and that could open the door to a succession of lows, some of these could be really quite deep. that offers the prospect of some wet and windy fare just as we get on towards christmas. but maybe mild for the most part, could be cooler in the north for a time. but, as i say, potentially, for some, wet and windy.
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