tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN September 3, 2017 2:00am-3:00am PDT
breaking news this morning. north korea is claiming it's successful tested a hydrogen bomb. i'm victor blackwell. >> and i'm christi paul. that is coming from north korea. >> yes. this is major development and a clear message to the world from president trump that they are not backing down. here's what we know. overnight the usgs measured a
6.3 earthquake. they say the test is ten times more powerful than a few years ago. >> a few hours they declared the test, quote, a perfect success. the blast comes less than a day after pyongyang said it had an icbm icbm-ready hydrogen bomb. you see kim jong-un therive specking the device. this morning global leaders are rejecting the test and calling for new measures against the regime. >> translator: if north korea has gone ahead with a nuclear test, this is absolutely not acceptable and we will have to troungly protest. we're starting a national security council now to collect information and analyze this. >> we have correspondents and experts standing by from around the world for what this provocative new test means and what happens next.
>> let's start with will ripley who was just in pyongyang. will, let's start with you. the significance and what comes from the president and the time line over the last couple of weeks. >> this is all unfolding after a series of events that infuriate north korea. there were the joint military exercises between the u.s. and south korea that ended last week. then the united states flew b 2 bombers alongside south koreans. after that show of force by the united states we saw a message from north korea indicating a willingness to open the door to diplomacy, urging the u state to rethinking its position and that north korea will only continue is weapons program faster if the united states puts additional pressure on pyongyang and its
leader kim jong-un, pressures meaning sanctions and shows of military force. when i landed in north korea last night, i thought the condition may be calming down but i was considered when they released the images shortly before the nuclear test showing the leader standing in from front of what they claim was a hydrogen bomb that could be placed on top of an intercontinental ballistic missile. shortly after that a large earthquake detected in the north korean region, the site of all of noerk's previous underground nuclear tests and eight minutes later a second earthquake detected smaller, believed to be 4.3 in magnitude. some analysts thinks it could be the result of a tunnel collapse which givens you a sense of how powerful this explosion was if it can cause rocks undergrournd
to cause a seismic event, traced all the way to norway. they say it was around 100 kilotons of tnt. you compare that to the bomb dropped on hiroshima, japan, in 1945, that carried about 15 kilotons. it sends a message to president trump and the united states that despite the remark, the fire and fury and locked and loaded, that north korea and kim jong-un believe that these weapons of mass destruction are the weapons that will get them to the diplomatic table of respect. what was reiterated to me time and time again when i was on the ground last week, north korea is not developing these weapons because they want to use them against the united states. they consider this a nuclear deterrent in hopes that in the long term the united states will end what they consider a hostile
posse against their country, recognize them as a nuclear weapons state. north korea has had it written in their constitution since 2013 they're going to be a nuclear power and whaeb this test has proven is they're not straying from that goal. >> will ripley for us in tokyo. will, thank you very much. >> joining us now, christiane amanpour. i want to ask a question off of what pyongyang said. is his endgame to expert a nuclear power or to be recognized as a country that has the power to do so? >> you heard will's description of the north korean side. they say one thing. the importance is to hear what the u.s. say and others who have engaged with north korea and many are saying similar things, that north korea will not denuclear rise it. the outgoing head, director of national intelligence said it is
probably now a lost cause to try to denuclearize. that was months after the test before that. we heard from former secretary of defense william perry. i've been speaking to these people for months as this crisis escalates who says north korea wants three things. a, the survival of the kim din city and the country, b, to be taken seriously as an international nuclear power and partnersnd and, c, to venetz policy. i talked to a former iowa analyst to actually meet with senior north korean officials to hear what they have in mind and they have reaffirmed that just in the last month or so as well. the north koreans tell them, tell these american officials, that they will not denuclearize, that they would be crazy to so so now that they're finally in the last throws of pe ferkting it. they want to change the relationship and change the balance of power between north
korea and the rest of the world. they want to be taken seriously. but they also want to say, they say, sign a peace deal. the problem with that is analysts believe that will be the only thing they want. they want all u.s. forces out of the korean peninsula and out of that area. so it is a very tricky situation and those who really have a real handle on this, especially on the american side, are concerned that while the north korean regime is not suicidal, they believe, that there could be some blunder, some misstep, some miscommunication when north korea finds itself accidentally or mistakenly blundering into a confrontation, which would be catastrophic. >> so there is this growing course of people who know the reason, know the motives of kim jong-un who believes he will not abandon his nuclear aspirations. is there any official shift from the white house, from the u.n., that would shift to a policy of
nonproliferation instead of attempting to convince kim to abandon his nuclear program? >> well, one of the issues and one of the challenges for the u.s., analysts have basically described as having a policy that's, quote, all over the map. this not just this administration. it goes back for decades. how does one have a coordinated coherent way of dealing with north korea as perhaps the united states and the west had dealing with then soviet union during the cold war, two nuclear poyer boy powers that had to fi out a way. the united states is much more powerful. the rest of the world's nuclear powers are much more powerful. but in terms of a regional catastrophe, it would be catastrophic. there will millions and millions of people within raij of a
nuclear weapon and certainly con investigational weapons in that region, south korea, japan, and elsewhere. so what most people on the -- in the west are saying and even you hear china and russia, but they have different conditions attached to it, there has to be some kind ofdy ploemtcy not just about sticks but carrots as well. there has to be some kind of conversation that's, you know, maybe unpalletable at this particular time but they have to go back to a past. under bill clinton in the '90s and for a while under the bush administration when he, george w. bush, was in his second term. there needs to be some kind of redress of the situation that could otherwise get out of control. you can see in the trump administration, there are different messages coming from the president himself and coming
from them themselves, george matusz. >> you say both sides wants diplomacy. but who on both sides sits down at the table and facilitates that? >> well, you know, in a normal situation, you would have the president of the united states and all the other, you know, major world leaders deliver a very public and stern message about what's going on and then develop and implement a coherent and collective strategic negotiation or moves forward, whether it's sanctions and negotiations or whatever they might come up with but something of a coordinated world view of what's going on. and there's a problem there, of course. i don't mean these are the people who sit down in talks with north korea. i mean it has to start at a lower level like any of these
things in the past. there's a problem because china and russia also constantly vote in the security council at the u.n. to condemn north korea's nuclear moves. they kind of take north korea's position. yeah, and the united states should stop its joint exercises with south korea and get out of the korean peninsula. so they sort of take a fwit of the usz position. and china, which has a huge alt of leverage, no matter what they say has up until now for all intents and purposes that a nuclear north korean career will collapse with china than with the tens of millions of people they believe would flee into north korea and destabilize that situation there. so the -- you know, the established nuclear powers of the five permanent members of the security council are not on the same page on all of this.
>> all right. christiane amanpour, so appreciate your insight this morning, thank you. all right. so despite the new sanction and the threats of fire and fury, north korea tested this powerful hydrogen bomb. how will president trump react to the latest test? let anything keep you sidelined. come on! that's why you drink ensure. with 9 grams of protein, and 26 vitamins and minerals... for the strength and energy, to get back to doing what you love. ensure, always be you. super-cool notebooks, done. that's mom taking care of business. and with the "25 cent event", office depot officemax takes care of mom! now, all this just 25 cents each! ♪ taking care of business did you know that l'oréal actually invented hair color? so who better to care for it. color vibrancy haircare from l'oréal. protects color-treated hair and keeps it vibrant for up to 60 days. this is my new favorite find. l'oréal's exclusive ultra-protecting haircare with an anti-oxidant and uv filter.
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impactful. this was a strong day for the united states, the international community. it with us not at a good day for north korea. >> well, the breaking news this morning, north korea claims it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb and this warhead can be loaded onto a missile and launched toward the united states. >> it's after new sanctions came from the united nations as you heard from nikki haley and this threat from president trump. >> north korea best not make any more threats to the united states. they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. >> cnn international correspondent boris sanchez joining us lierchve. have we heard anything yet? >> we have not gotten an official response to this latest
nuclear test from north korea. however, we got a response from south korea. they said kplun indications between that country's chief security adviser and the counterpart, national security adviser h.r. mcmaster, they discussed, throat, the strongest military assets being explored to denuclearize north korea. both of those leaders actually speak just on friday. yesterday the president actually had a call with shinzo abe of japan, so this is something perhaps they weren't expecting but was certainly part of the conversation with leaders in that part of the world. look. this has really been an escalation on both sides. you have a missile launch or a test or threat from north korea and then you have a stern warning or all out threat from the president like you heard, fire and fury, the likes of which the world has never seen. and that's responded to by another test. this by far is the strongest
provocation of north korea, the strongest nuclear test they've had. their state claiming they've been able to miniaturize a nuclear warhead, to be able to put it on an icbm missile. it is a very strong threat. all eyes of the world are now on president trump's response who just a few days ago actually slightly opened the door to diplomacy. listen to what he said. >> kim jong-un. i respect the fact that i believe he's starting to respect us. i respect that fact very much. and maybe. probably not. probably not, but maybe something positive can come about. >> the president saying maybe but probably not something could come out of this. then days later when they sent missiles over japan, the president sent out a tweet
saying the united states was essentially paying extortion money to north korea and saying talking is not the answer. there's the tweet there. so you've heard a very aggressive line of rhetoric from the president. some of his closest slierzs, secretary of defense james mattis and secretary of state rex tillerson saying that's the route we should take. it will be interesting to see how the president responds. we were excelling a response any minute perhaps as he often does via twitter. victor and christchristi? >> boris sanchez, thank you. >> let's go to mike chinoy. i want to speak on the issue of where they say they'll work with them on the dprk. we're weeks out from what ambassador haley described as a gut punch to north korea with
those sanctions. they didn't work. there was a missile launch over japan and now this hydrogen bomb test. does this make talks more likely and what's the optimism that those talks would even be fruitful? >> there are a couple of questions there. in terms of china, the chinese are in a very uncomfortable situation. they don't approve of the nuclear program. they're very unis. but up till now their calculation has been it's more dangerous to so squeeze north korea that it might collapse or back kim jong-un into a corner where he might lash out. therefore, while china supports the sanctions and has implemented some sanctions, beijing has held off from doing the really, really tough things it might otherwise do. in particular, it has not cut shipments of oil and particularly aviation fuel to north korea. but the chinese are uncomfortable with that. in terms of talks, the north
kor koreaens have indicated they would like to talk. they want to come to the table as two nuclear powers dealing with quality and discussing issues of arms control. the u.s. wants it to be about north korea getting rid of its nukes. but i think at this point, the danger is you're in a cycle of escalation. the north koreans have made it very clear they're going to ignore all the threats, sanctions, tough rhetoric from president trump. and without some diplomatic avenue, it's very hard to see how you get out of this cycle of escalation and the more it continues, the greater the danger of miscalculation leading to catastrophe. that's the big worry now. >> mike, north korea has been accused of funding its program three some global dealings, h k
hacking banks, et cetera. is there any way to infiltrate those routes of financing sf. >> i think all the measures have been tried for many years to try to blunt north korea's ability to move ahead with its nuclear and missile program. the reality is none of it has worked. they have a largely self-contained program. i think it's important. all the alarmist headline, remain aware of the fact that the north koreans see this as primarily defensive. this is a capability, they're requiring to deter the united states or anyone else who might think of taking military action against north korea. so at this stage of the game, i think one of the interesting questions is going to be whether the there's any room for diplomacy, whether there's some initiative, some gesture that would indicate that escalation alone is not the
only course. some kind of off ramp. and i think part of the jujts of the u.s. response is going to will be whether that's there. if not, i think we're going to see more of the same. one u.s. intelligence official years ago told me they have what's described as escalation dominance. any gestures they can take, the u.s. can match and exceed. that's the dynamic we're seeing now and that's what's so dangerous. >> mike, appreciate your insight. thanks for being with us. stay close. we have more coverage with what's happening on north korea in just one moment. stay close. they're learning resilience, and tenacity. here's to the moms who show their kids that every step -even a misstep- is a step forward. are you one sneeze away from being voted out of the carpool? try zyrtec® it's starts working hard at hour one
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welcome back. i'm victor black well. >> and i'm christie paul. so great to have you with us here as we cover breaking news this hork. >> yes. north korea claims it's successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. the test was announced on north korea state television. now this blast caused tremors ten times stronger than the last nuclear test about a year ago. >> this is the first test kim jong-un conducted since president trump took office. hi had a call with h.r. mcmaster. we should point out north korea has ignored sanctions and a request for diplomacy. the question is what happens next? >> we're joined by lieutenant
colonel rick francona. colonel, i want to talk about what happens if he threatens the u.s. or our allies. we saw the test happened. we see this hydrogen bomb test. what has the president left himself as an option as a way to respond after saying that talks are not the answer? >> yeah. well, i think he was meaning that what we're doing now is not working, and i think that's -- that's a real fact. no matter what we've done, no matter what actions we've taken, no matter how many sanctions we've put on north korea, we continue along this path with an icbm warhead. what does the president do? he can change his tactic, and that would be some sort of containment mechanism. whatever it is, we've got to
come up with a coherent policy so we can move forward. right now we're in the same -- they do something, we threaten, they do something else, we threaten some more, and nothing changes the situation. it just gets worse. >> because of that, i think a lot of people are waking up and they're hearing about this and they're wondering how dangerous is this situation? as i understand it, it's the miniaturization capability that is of utmost importance here, is that correct? >> yeah, that's exactly right. we know they're developing the missiles because you can watch that. we can watch the test and we know what the capabilities are. with no-kn we know they have an icbm. what we did not know is they were working on a miniaturized kwarhead for the icbm. if it's not there, it will be very shortly. that's the threat. that's the threat that will threattown united states. for years we have said we have time. we have time to negotiate with north korea.
we have time for the sanctions to work. we have time to do something that will prevent them from acquiring this capability. that time is gone. now we have to face the new reality, we're going to have a nuclear armed north korea. so today's announcement, today's test, these were just more steps. they don't have a fully operational capability yet, but they're going to get there because they've devoted the resources. this is their number one priority. they're going to do it. >> how reliable is the u.s. thaad system? >> thaad is a good system but it's not designed to shoot down an icbm. it wouldn't be able to defend the united states. it can defend japan. short-range. but it's not that effective. that's where they use the
defense system. it's a layered defense system, so depending on what missiles are fired is what system you go after with. for the defense of south korea, the missile will be required. >> thank you so much for your expertise. cnn's will ripley live from tokyo right now. and, of course, you were recently there in pyongyang, and we've just had this in the last week conversation about south korea and about how the u.s. is going to be sending military resources to south korea, stronger military resources than have been there in the past. possible that that conversation really aggravated kim jong-un and precipitated this? >> we know that north korea has had the capacity to conduct its six nuclear tests since as far
back as april because remember when we were there in april for day of the sun celebrations, all of the indications were that they had that at the test site and all kim jong-un has to do was give the order and that test did not happen. we've seen two launches since then and two testset last week north korea launched a test missile over japan. this has always been on the horizon. we were talking last week they have recently detected movement there. it's been done so far without environmental impact.
we have no doubt it's seeped into the united states since then. china has deployed emergency radiation testing along its border to see if there's any radioactive fallout from this nuclear test. but it is an underground nuclear tell. north korea when they made their official announcement, they said no radiation has been emitted into the outside environment. they were waiting and feels now is the right time. perhaps it has something to do with the actions of the united states. there have been a number of actions north korea has considered provocative. they said this is the most tense situation they've experienced in recent years. that is a combination of president trump's fire and fury rhetoric and the joint military exercises with south korea as well as the show of force that flew over the korean peninsula. >> will ripley, thank you so
much. >> we'll take a look this morning at the lessons that kim jong-un has learned from his family that makes him even more dangerous than his father and grandfather. we, the people, are tired of being surprised with extra monthly fees. we want hd. and every box and dvr. all included. because we don't like surprises. yeah. like changing up the celebrity at the end to someone more handsome. and talented. really. and british. switch from cable to directv.
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breaking news this hour, north korea claims it has successfully tested. >> this is pyongyang's sixth test. japan says it was at least ten times more powerful than the last. >> here's the thing. north korea is claiming the successful bomb test just hours after warning the u.s., once again, of, quote, disastrous con consequences to come. it os not the first time it's
threatened the u.s. obviously. >> it was built on the foundation left by his father who built it on the foundation left by his father. >> reporter: >> reporter: since the founding in the 1940s, north korea has been led by three leaders with an iron grip. a regime based on militarizatiomilitarization and others. the supreme leader's rule is in question. >> translator: in order to deal with north korea, we have to understand how the north korean system works. they're like a din citynasty. what's important for the leader is maintaining his dynasty and the security of his rejeechlt all the decisions are focused on that. >> reporter: analysts say some
disturbing traits seem to run in the family. >> paranoia, narcissism, an abnormal atraktraction to viole. that was indeed true with his father and grandfather. they understand what it takes to stay in power. >> reporter: kim jong-un is different. >> he's unpredictable, he's brash, in essence, irrational, and quite a big ego. >> reporter: kim's grandfather kim has festivals. he emulates his look, even his
hair stiegs in an attempt to project ledge mait macy. >> he gave them independence. he fought against the colonials. fought against japan. fought against the united states in the korean war. >> he was next in line with his penchants for luxuries like hollywood movies. kim jong-un was only in his late 20s when he took over north korea in 2011. inexperienced in government or the military. he brought an affinity for basketball, mercedes limo, yachts, and quickly proved wrong. analysts thoul he would be just a figurehead. kim has accelerated the missile and nuclear programs that his father and grandfather started with more tests in a few years
than his predecessors conducted in decades but he's not depending on his father's holdover cronies. some have been purged or executed. >> unlike his father, he exhibits a ruthlessness here by his actions, by the things that he's prepared to do that his father was not prepared to do or didn't feel the need to do it. he does. >> reporter: kim jong-un also had his older brother killed according to intelligence in a bizarre attack this year where two women smeared deadly nerve agent in his face. many analysts think kim wanted to eliminate a rival. >> the more they can eliminate any possible contenders, the longer he'll be in. >> reporter: kim jong-un has several ways to keep higgs country's elites in line.
>> he's got to have people who he feels are going to be unquestionably loyal to him, who are not going to undermine him, who are going to protect him under all circumstances. >> and that's something which analysts say china is hoping for as well. the chinese are believed to dislike kim and disapprove of his nuclear buildup, but many experts believe the schchinese would rather see him in place with nuclear weapons than see him loose his power or the regime collapse and have millions of chinese at the border. >> thanks. we want to turn to what we're seeing in texas and the recovery from harvey and now this political fight here. new jersey governor chris christie on cnn said senator ted cruz is telling lies while being surrounded by harvey storm survivors. next you'll hear a response from
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successfully tested. they call it the final step in attaining, a, quote, state nuclear force. >> this is the sixth test. it produced a yield of about 120 kilotons. japan says the tremors caused by the test were at least ten times the power of the last nuclear test. >> and now turning to texas and louisiana and the aftermath of hurricane harvey, the death toll just moments ago was increased to 53 people now killed. the magnitude of the tragedy continues to unfold, and the response to the storm could soon be a fierce political fight. >> for instance, texas senator ted cruz, he's firing back at new jersey governor chris christie. he said, cruz explored it.
now that the storm has hit texas, cruz is trying to go back and change his story. take a listen. >> and i have no sympathy for this and i sigh senator cruz, and it's disgusting to me he stands in a recovery center with victims standing behind him as a backdrop and he's still repeating the same reprehensible lies about what happened in sandy. and it's unacceptable to me. >> all right. joining us from houston where he spoke with senator cruz, cnn correspondent and anchor george howell. george, good to see you this morning. what did senator cruz tell you? >> well, christy senator cruz makes it clear. the need here is great. some 40,000 texans in various shelters of some kind, nearly half a million applies for emergency assistance and $79
million has been doled out so far. senator cruz knows that. he was at the shelter. the question from governor kr christ christie, was senator cruz hypocritical in his response. here's what he said. >> i have the utmost confidence the people in texas give a flip what governor christie has to say. we're trying to save lie. it's not the time for partisan jobs and nonsense in washington. this is a time heroes and first responders, firefighters, police officers, you know, i spent much of today at ellington base meeting with coast guardsmen and national guard and people who risked their lives, who, you know, dove into raging floodwaters to save people, to pull them to safety. and this community is coming together. we're coming together. we're going to make it through and be stronger on the other
end. >> are you concerned you could get push back when it comes to getting the federal funding? >> i am confident we're going to see strong bipartisan is up fort for major federal relief. i will say from the beginning i've spoken with the president repeatedly throughout the course of this horrible storm. at every statement the president is committed that the administration is all in. he said, ted, whatever texas needs, that's what you've got. our governor greg abbott has been phenomenal. turner has done a terrific job. we've seen government working together. i'll tell you, next week when we come back to congress, we're going to see strong bipartisan support for disaster relief. my phone has been ringing off the hook from everyone reaching out to say, listen, we're standing with you, praying for the people of texas and standed united. >> what's the biggest concern with regard to infrastructure
with regard to damage from the storm? >> the scope is massive. there are estimates this may prove too be the costliest in american history. i spent time yesterday in port aransas. it's devastating. home after home and business after home is obliterated. in the entire houston area, the flooding has been staggering. the other day i was in an airboat north of the addicks dam. you see homes flooded up to their roof roofs. port arthur, you're seeing the same thing. massive flooding that's destroyed huge arias. the number of people who have lost their home, cars, businesses, is staggering. >> what's the biggest difference between this and hurricane
sandy. >> both very devastating. >> politically. >> i don't care about politics. i care about being here for the people that are hurting. you know, we're saying right now bipartisan unity. here in a state of texas, i think it's a wonderful thing. a couple of days ago i went to the houston council meeting. sat alongside leechlt we thanked the firefighter, thanks the police officer, the city workers who worked around the clock. and we're coming together you nighted. we're not wired about the silliness of washington. we're coming together. houston will come back, texas will come back, the gulf coast will come back stronger than ever because of those experience. >> thank you for your time. >> senator cruz saying it's not about politics. governor christie disagreed.
victor, christi? >> thank you so much. the u.s. is already prepared to defend against the threat it says. coming up a look at a military operation that cnn was allowed rare access to, the defense against intercontinental ballistic missiles. office depot officemax takes care of mom! now, all this just 25 cents each! ♪ taking care of business we dei should know.m our eyes every day. i have chronic dry eye caused by reduced tear production due to inflammation. so i use restasis multidose. it helps me make more of my own tears, with continued use, twice a day, every day. restasis multidose helps increase your eyes' natural ability to produce tears, which may be reduced by inflammation due to chronic dry eye. restasis multidose did not increase tear production in patients using anti-inflammatory eye drops
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throughout history, the one meal when we come together, break bread, share our day and connect as a family. [ bloop, clicking ] and connect, as a family. just, uh one second voice guy. [ bloop ] huh? hey? i paused it. bam, family time. so how is everyone? find your awesome with xfinity xfi and change the way you wifi. breaking news this hour. north korea is claim, quote, it had perfect success in testing a hydrogen bomb. it's the kind that can be attached to an intercontinental ballistic missile. >> this is the sixth test, the first of the trump
administration. and japan says the tremors could be felt there and were ten times more powerful than the last test. >> we want to get a gauge of what exactly that means. for more on the geological readings here, i want to go to cnn meteorologist allison chinch chinchar. talk about what that means? >> the difference between a 5.1 or 6.1 isn't an 0.1 difference. they're ten times different. it's an easier scale to use. this one we're talking about, an artificial earthquake, i want to make sure you understand, this is not like the geological ones that you see in place like california or japan. it had a depth of zero. real geological earthquakes tend to have a depth of one kilometer to even 100 kilometers because they're initiated underground.
in an instance like this because of a bomb or missile or something like this, you're often going to have a depth of zero because it didn't initiate underneath the ground. it initiated at or above the surface. we had a second one, 4.0. this is likely due to some structural collapse around where the earthquake originated, okay? we know the sixth where it took place. that including one that happened, sunday, today. this is the strongest one. the previous one was back in september, 5.3. this being a 6.3, guys, that initially makes it ten times stronger. keep in mind, the one before, that was the strongest one we had had before. >> allison, thanks so much. they're preparing for a worst-case scenario. >> we look at what stands between the u.s. and a north
korea missile strike. >> reporter: this is america's final shield, the last and only protection against an incoming north korean nuclear missile, housed deep underground in the heart of alaska's north, about 150 miles north of fairbanks. they secure 38 missile silos, dotting a landscape frigid even in late summer. the tip barely looks at what's underneath. we look closely at gbis. >> this will defend any threat coming to our homeland. >> the key piece of equipment is right there. >> the kill vehicle is right there toward the top. >> reporter: the kill vehicle, to take down any potential intercontinental ballistic missile continuing to the u.s. including from north korea, which the u.s. could face in the
future. here's how it works. north korea launches -- >> impact, location. this is los angeles. we are engaging this threat at this time. >> reporter: -- instantly activating a room in fort greeley. what you're seeing now is a drill declassified so we can show you generally how the ground intercepters work to protect the u.s. >> as the alarms would go off, what you would see is the white shells you see behind us would separate extremely quickly and immediately you'd see a flash of flame as that gbi would leave the tube at an incredible rate of speed. >> reporter: if it works, the interceptor kills the incoming nuclear weapon. >> we train to shoot a bullet at a bullet and destroy it and destroy it so it doesn't destroy us. >> has it taken on new meaning? >> what it does is makes it more
real for us because now i've got a leader of a foreign country who says i'm going to take my missile, and i'm going to kill your citizens with it. >> what kind of confidence do you have if north korea launches a system that the missile will work? >> interceptors have only struck as target ten times in controlled launches. >> just because we have had some failures doesn't mean we are not learning. >> alaska senator dan sullivan believes its the best shot as a last defense as north korea moves rapidly to strike the u.s. mainland. announcing -- >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news! >> breaking news from north korea. this morning, a pyongyang is claiming to have successfully tested a hide again bomb decide to fits its