tv CNN Special Report CNN June 10, 2018 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
the following is a cnn special report. >> the best way to destroy an enemy, abraham lincoln once said, is to make him a friend. president lincoln, meet kim jong-un. >> anybody said we'd be sitting here today talking about kim jong-un sitting down with president donald trump. >> he's like a maniac. >> you would have thought we were insane.
>> in just months, we have gone from schoolyard taunts. >> he's a sick puppy. >> to the hair raising rhetoric of war. >> they will be met with fire and fury. >> to a history-making moment. >> trump's groundbreaking summit with kim jong-un. >> i think it's going to be a very big success. >> the stakes could not be higher. >> read the twitter feed. follow it increasingly closely. >> kim jong-un knows and has read "the art of the deal." >> but donald trump wrote the book. >> this is the ultimate deal. >> great danger on the downside. but if he could pull it off there's tremendous reward on the upside.
>> danger. from a violent dictator. >> his own uncle killed by a firing squad. >> they're not crazy. they're brutal. >> but now, a new face of kim jong-un. >> all of a sudden he is literally toasting with the most powerful leaders in the world. >> this is north korea? >> kim jong-un at the water park, on the roller coasters with his beautiful wife. >> but one thing has never changed. >> they always wanted a nuclear weapon. >> how much does donald trump really know? >> he's a pretty smart cookie. >> about the man with whom he hopes to make a deal. >> incredible uncertainty. >> if you wait you die. >> consequences for the next 60, 70, 100 years. >> good evening. i'm fareed zakaria. i want to show a video, one that
tells the story of north korea. this is our planet. specifically, asia as seen from the space station. that area is south korea. ablaze with life and light. this black hole, it looks like water. is north korea. it's a country so impoverished, so backward that it's sometimes seems to be from another century. the economy of south korea is 36 times larger than that of the north yet somehow the north korean leader now commands the center of the world's stage. this is the story of kim jong-un, his past, his present and how has managed to bring an american president to his doorstep. ♪ december 28th, 2011.
kim jong-un had just inherited the cruelest, most repressive dictatorship on earth. his father kim jong-il was dead from a heart attack. in icy pyongyang, tens of thousands lined the streets. for many mourners, it was a chance to catch a glimpse of their new leader. >> people believed he's too young. he's too inexperienced. >> there were real fears that kim jong-un still in his 20s was not up to the job. >> he looked like a boy. there he is sobbing over his father's casket. >> some doubted that he could ever command the kind of cult-like worship his grandfather and his father inspired. a reaction like this. >> i don't want to say it's insincere but let's say the enthusiasm's over the top. these people are going to be on
north korean television. >> it's the question we so often ask about north korea. is this real? or is it propaganda? watch again. as the camera moves down the line of mourners, most seem to react only when the camera reaches them. this godfather-like drama ran for days on north korean television. it became propaganda. it is the life blood of north korea. and one of the key reasons the kim dynasty has endured. >> north koreans want kim family to continue ruling north korea. this is about regime survival.
>> kim jong-un quickly embraced the first rule of regime survival. control all information. >> kim jong-un is to a certain extent everything. he's the rock star. he's the celebrity. he's the be all and end all. ♪ >> which is good because he's the only show in town. there's only one kind of television. and it is all broadcast by the government. >> and it's all part of the brainwashing. complete indoctrination. since the people are born. >> in a program about the leader's extraordinary abilities, we are told that he is a world renowned composer. who learned to drive at the age of 3.
children are taught to worship him. this tv show for kids is not exactly "sesame street." these small children sing, americans go down on their knees and beg kim jong-un for their lives. a child draws a picture of the u.s. on fire. a kindly grandfather says, good job. most north koreans have no internet. no access to outside media at all. >> the north korean regime wants to be sealed up from the outside. it fears this kind of openness. >> there are a few exceptions. like kim jong-un himself. >> he watches american news. >> for ordinary north koreans, watching foreign tv can mean pris. still, many take their chances. ♪
copies of "friends" and shows like are smuggled in and watched in secret. "friends" seen widely enough that north korea appears to have copied it. our neighbors is about friends in an apartment building who hang out and watch tv together. they dance just like the friends characters. but on "our neighbors" this is the reason they're dancing. missile launches. the ultimate north korean survival play. and an ever-present theme. in music videos.
on huge outdoor screens. at classical music concerts. propaganda shows north korean missiles taking out imaginary american targets. all while the american flag burns. at a huge anti-american rally, banners read "we become human bombs to defend kim jong-un." the missile launches bring out a whole new side of the north korean leader. he gave one officer a piggyback ride. and even threw all of them a parade. he loves these guys. their nuclear weapons and missiles are kim jong-un's ticket to a seat at the table with donald trump. >> they look down the barrel of the gun in effect that donald trump had trained on them and
what they needed was to get to a point where they could reasonably say to the united states, now we will come to the table. >> but there was one more thing kim jong-un had to take care of before he could step out on to the world stage. it may be the most important rule of regime survival. eliminate all threats. >> his own uncle was pulled out of a party meeting. he was accused of having sold out north korea, of having clapped half heartedly at a meeting for the leader. >> that's right. uncle did not clap hard enough. but what really marked him for execution, he had amassed too much power. >> everybody in north korea new that, one of the most powerful people in the government executed and not just executed. he'd been killed by a firing squad. >> publicly executed him in front of hundreds of north korean officials. >> this was execution as propaganda.
>> it was a pattern kim jong-un began early. he may have been grief stricken at his father's funeral but the seven pal bears have all either been killed or pushed aside. >> he wanted people around him loyal to him and not to his father. >> his top military leader was said to have been killed with an anti-aircraft gun. and there was one more man who some saw as a threat to kim jong-un. >> tonight, the half brother of the north korean strong man kim jong-un has died suddenly and mysteriously in malaysia. >> murder and bizarre. kim jong-nam was killed in the middle of the kuala lumpur airport.
a young woman put a cloth to his face that contained a deadly nerve agent. >> the creepiest or the darkest part of the video is north korean managers in charge of that operation are in the airport watching him. there's still a lot of haze around mystery around it and who actually ordered it. >> earlier this year, the state department said north korea was responsible for the murder. but the north denies it. kim jong-un ordered the executions of at least 140 of his own top officials according to south korean intelligence. >> kim jong-un is a dictator and maintained power by ruthlessly eliminating a threat at the first moment it appears. >> many of the dead men had something in common. strong ties to china. he was worried that the chinese might try to depose him and make an alliance with the north
korean military. he goes after generals, north korean officers, his half brother. >> i think he felt insecure that china could do a regime change and come up with a different leadership in north kore>>. >> twice in recent months kim has visited the country for triumphant bonding moments with his new best friend, xi jinping. >> it is one more major step in kim's march on to the world stage. >> until very recently, most americans saw kim jong-un as a cartoon character. many asked, how could an american president meet with a man who was building nukes and missiles aimed at americans? >> donald trump has made a very big bet. he's basically putting all of this on his own ability to negotiate his way through this. >> it's about as high stakes a
summit as any president has ever had. >> we haven't had anything like this since the cold war. >> the cold war. to really understand north korea we need to go back to that crucial period. in the middle of the 20th century. it was in that crucible that the kim dynasty was forged. three generations of dictators who would rule north korea for the next 70 years. it begins just after the second world war. soviet troops had liberated the north of korea. the allies the south. soviet premier stalin names a
leader for the newly formed north korea. a young general who had fought with the soviets in world war ii. his name was kim il-sung. a genuine hero to the north korean people. >> he had enormous charisma. >> founder of the nation. >> with soviet help, he quickly amassed an army. and in950, kim il-sung invaded south korea. the korean war had begun. when america, the soviet union and china got involved, many feared it could become a world war. >> we are fighting in korea for our own national security and survival. we stand by that commitment. >> for the first time, north korea experienced the power of a nuclear threat. >> from the very moment of north korea's inception it has felt like it is under the threat of a nuclear attack by the united states. >> america did not use the bom but its aerial bombardme north korea was brutal. mo than 1 million north koreans died. so did more than 36,000 american troops. >> devastated the whole korean peninsula. >> in 1953, the two sides signed an armistice. and even though kim il-sung had
started the war, he blamed the u.s. for turning his country to rubble. >> this is how the north koreans grew up thinking about the united states. aer the war, kim rebuilt north korea with money from his sponsor the soviet union. he put in bridges, roads, built factories and plants. and by the 1960s, north korea became a relative economic success. >> this is a guy with a seventh grade education becomes one of the most powerful dictators of the 20th century. >> but there was a darker side to north korea's founder. kim il-sung who had endured the terrifying specter of a nuclear
war, had begun his own quest for the bomb. >> it never occurred to kim il-sung that north korea should not have nuclear weapons. >> by the 1980s, kim il-sung began turning over some of his duties to son, kim jong-il. father and son were vastly different characters. >> you could talk to certain migrants from north korea that live in the south. they'll tell you that kim il-sung we loved. kim jong-il terrified us. >> introverted. >> kim jong-il is a complicated person. he was prone to mood swings. >> in 1994, kim il-sung died. there were doubts about kim jong-il's succession but they gradually faded because he had one talent. he was a master propagandist. >> when kim jong-il took charge of the propaganda section, they started to turn kim il-sung into a god. >> the myths of the dynasty, the preposterous stories of the god-like abilities and sacred blood line. kim jong-il largely created them.
>> he was very influenced by christianity in a strange way. they he seems like a bible. that's all about kim song's works. they have bible study groups. >> the resemblance to christianity is no accident. many myths are rooted in the religion, perhaps because the founder was raised a presbyterian. his parents believed to have been converted by american missionaries. >> it's a cult with kim ill song as son and son of god and leaders to be worshipped. >> the kims essentially created a religion around themselves. and that became a key driver of their regime survival. kim jong-il created much of it. but it turns out he had another ambition. what he really wanted to do was
direct. >> kim jong-il wants to make movies. >> loved american cinema. and was a huge movie buff. ♪ >> he loved elvis. one with the wind." but most of all, "titanic." so inspired was kim jong-il he made his own version of "titanic." but what he did in 1978 was still more bizarre. even by north korean standards. he ordered the kidnapping of a south korean actress. ♪ he also kidnapped her husband, a movie director and he ordered
them to make movies. >> look i need to improve the north korean film business. anything you need, you just let me know. >> as the '90s approached, kim jong-il was spending huge sums to build a nuclear weapons program and the economy began to collapse. when flooding destroyed north korea's meager food supply in the 1990s, there were no resources left to feed the country. it was one of the worst famines the world has ever seen. at least 2 million people died of starvation. and finally, there is kim jong-il's legacy of political imprisonment. begun under his father, he greatly expanded it and it continues to this day. this is the dark side of a brutal and secretive regime.
but there is another north korea. a country many people have never seen. with entertainment. wealth. luxury. >> people are going to these restaurants. they are taking taxis. >> there's even a glamour couple. >> north korea's image makers are turning kim jong-un and ri sol-ju into william and kate. >> that story when we come back. ri sol-ju. sfx: muffled whistle text alert. i'm your phone, stuck down here between your seat and your console,
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promised. we know north korea is repressive and cruel. one of the darkest and most secretive societies on earth. but now there are some dramatic signs that it is changing under kim jong-un. >> what message are you trying to send to the west? >> he wants to show the world it's on the move. it's modern and it's upscale. >> this is a different north korea than you have seen before. it begins in the capital city pyongyang. if you didn't know, you might think it was orlando. this is north korea? new water parks, amusement rides. even unauthorized disney
characters? >> he had to build the support of his people. >> in a very poor country, kim jong-un has spent billions building new luxury apartments and at astonishing speed. he has transformed the city's skyline. >> you see it when you go to pyongyang. it is a city that's essentially created like a stage set. >> in a way, it is. pyongyang is a sort of village built to show that north korea is booming. the capital city does not represent how most north koreans live. only people most loyal to the regime, about 11% or 3 million people are chosen to live here. >> he had a lot of work to do to establish himself as a legitimate leader. and one of the ways he did that was starting to unveil the real
estate developments. >> north korea recently called these developments more powerful than 100 nuclear warheads. the capital has been dubbed pyong-hattan and apartments are not cheap. >> all of the apartments and land belongs to the state. people given apartments and then they begin to trade them. spending tens and hundreds of thousands to buy the best apartments in town. >> kim is desperate to convince the world that north korea is thriving despite catastrophe and severe sanctions. >> people are going to these restaurants. they are taking taxis. >> kim is showing off new subway cars, horseback riding stables. even an international beer festival. >> he's trying to counter the existing narrative that north
korea's a backward, isolated, backward place. >> the first lady ri sol-ju is a big part of the image makeover. >> north korea's image makers are turning kim jong-un and ri sol-ju into william and kate in the united kingdom. >> she became a fashion icon in north korea. >> rules of how women can dress changed. >> shorter skirts, taller high heels. >> luxury items or fake luxury items. faux chanel bags, fake louis vuitton. >> there's a new moneyed elite. comrade kim is even allowing something that looks suspiciously like capitalism to grow. in a sense, kim jong-un is buying the support of pyongyang. but there is a problem. kim is running out of money. it's one of the reasons why he's reaching out to the world. >> he has to show the most privileged people in his country that he can lead them to some kind of better life because if he doesn't they'll figure out how to get rid of him.
>> or, they may leave. there are more than 30,000 north koreans defectors now living in south korea and elites are leaving in recent years. most come from outside pyongyang. where poverty and hunger are widespread. >> north korea in many ways inhabits the 21st century in some places and the 17th century in others.
people are literally farming with their hands. >> in the other north korea, the roads and railways are crumbling. the u.n. says almost half the population is hungry and lacks clean water and electricity. in a socialist country where people are supposed to be clothed and fed by the government, most north koreans are now forced to fend for themselves. it looks like the hunger games. >> these markets sprung out of nothing, people started selling anything that they could to make money to support themselves and their families. >> under kim's father, people began selling foods and goods smuggled in from china to survive the famine. >> what began many evolved to massive businesses in north korea. >> kim jong-un has allowed the markets to grow. south korean intelligence estimates that about 40% of the
population is now engaged in part of the market economy. and the regime is profiting. kim jong-un is walking a tightrope. >> how do you begin to have some of this economic activity without loosening the reins so much it gets away from you and you end up driven from power? that's the dilemma. that's the dictator's dilemma. >> it stunned the world when kim jong-un invited k-pop singers of south korea to perform in pyongyang. ♪ >> it gets to be the heart and the puzzle of north korea. on the one hand, north korea knows that its people want to taste what the outside world has to offer. but then at the same time the leadership is desperate to maintain control. >> the question is, can this closed, repressive society survive as the door begins to crack open? when we return, what happens if that door slams shut? and all kim jong-un has left is his nuclear arsenal. >> he's just crazy enough that
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>> a deadly scenario haunts the greatest military minds. two unpredictable nuclear armed leaders just one terrible mistake. >> he's just crazy enough from myerspective and unpredictable enough that he might use those weapons. >> the scenarios i worry are not ones where leaders deliberately choose to start a nuclear but it's when they stumble into one through incompetence or shear miscalculation. >> one theory -- it could start with a commercial flight that goes off course. >> what if the north koreans shot down a civilian south korean airliner?
>> an accident or not, a major incident that could trigger an escalation. >> people would be really, really outraged and imagine there's calls for a kind of punitive strike against north korea. >> most likely, a limited strike. what's been called the bloody nose strategy. >> not to destroy north korea but to teach kim a lesson. >> what if kim doesn't understand the lesson? >> they don't know it's a limited and one time only. >> pyongyang might see itself as under attack. >> miscalculate and perceive a larger military action or regime change coming so he acts out first. >> some say his first response would be to use his conventional
weapons. >> north koreans have tens of thousands of artillery rounds and rockets aimed at seoul. >> there are 25 million people living in and around the south korean capital. including almost 30,000 american troops. >> it would be tens of thousands of people that would die almost immediately in seoul. obviously with seoul under attack, the south is going to go to pyongyang. >> tens of thousands more would
die there. and another twist. china could enter the conflict. >> there's an awful lot for china to lose here if this peninsula gets out of control. there's so much uncertainty here, fareed, with our president, with kim jong-un, with china. it's very, very difficult to predict how this is going to come out. >> one thing is certain. the stakes could get even higher. >> once there are things exploding in north korea, kim jong-un may very well conclude that that's not just a limited strike but the beginning of an invasion. and if that's the case, the north korean plan is to use the nuclear plans against u.s.
them and that's going to be a catastrophe. >> what is nuclear war? the most lethal, devastating weapons man has ever created and put on earth. >> to see the horror of it clearly, look back to 1945. japan. more than 70 years ago. >> people disappeared so quickly in hiroshima and nagasaki that their shadows were left on the ground. from my perspective, it is absolutely essential that we do
everything we possibly can to not get into a conflict there. >> to understand why north korea has fought so fiercely over the years for nuclear weapons you need to understand all that they went through to get them. one man who understood the power of the atomic bomb was its creator. robert oppenheimer. >> the world would not be the same. >> he looked back on the day the nuclear age began. july 16th, 1945. the test code named trinity. >> i remembered the line from the hindu scripture. multi-armed form and says, now i am become death. the destroyer of worlds. >> three, two, one. now. >> a few decades later north korea has become vishnu. how did a country so poor, so isolated from the world acquire the most destructive technology on earth? and can we really expect them to give it all away? this is the story of now north korea got the bomb. north korea's nuclear program began early. >> they always wanted a nuclear weapon. >> to get the bomb, kim il-sung needed help from his powerful cold world ally the soviet union. the soviets gave the north civilian nuclear technology. training its scientists in russia and helping them build a small nuclear research reactor. but they stopped short of giving them the bomb. afraid of the chaos that might result tie soviets told the north koreans don't build the bomb. >> after china joined the nuclear club in 1964 -- kim il-sung asked chairman mao for help but mao refused to help, as well. if north koreans wanted the bomb themselves.have to make it
kim il-sung ramped up nuclear programs at the universities to foster home grown talent. >> they were going to train their own people so they did not have to rely on the rest of the world. >> the north tried to copy a nuclear reactor in great britain. that the brits used to make their nuclear arsenal. >> it makes really nice plutonium for nuclear weapons. >> the designs for the reactor were not hard to find. >> by the 1970s, you can go to a university library and check out books on nuclear reactor design. >> to get all of the entry kate nuclear parts, the north went shopping. cutting deals all over the world. >> there were a lot of greedy business people that were
willing and able to sell this stuff. >> they began building their homemade reactor in the 1980s. under the watchful eye of the cia. >> the united states intelligence community at first thinks it's a copy of the tiny little soviet supply reactor. they think they're idiots and can't do anything. >> north korea surprised everyone. they had built a reactor that could fuel a nuclear arsenal. >> it's really big. and big enough to produce enough plutonium for a couple of bombs a year and that causes a panic. >> the crisis over north korea's nuclear program is nearing a crucial turning point. >> in 1994, the tense situation became a full-blown crisis. >> experts are convinced north korea's building a nuclear bomb.
>> the north blocked international inspectors at the reactor. >> it's the tensest time for the region in years. >> and appeared to start making bombs. >> it seems very likely they have started siphoning off plutonium. >> president clinton considered the military option. a surgical strike on the north's nuclear facilities. south korea braced itself for an all-out war on the peninsula. >> families are stockpiling gas masks, first aid kits, drinking
water. there could be a second korean war. >> then, miraculously, a way out. former president jimmy carter freelancing met with kim il-sung in north korea. they reached a deal. >> i think we ha come to a much better understanding. >> a few months later, the agreed framework was signed. the north promised to freeze its nuclear facilities including two much bigger reactors under construction that could have produced dozens of bombs every yore. >> that's an enormous amount and they gave it up as part of the agreed frame work. >> in exchange, the united states would give them millions of dollars worth of oil and help build two light water reactors good for making electricity but bad for making bombs. it looked like a victory for president clinton. >> this agreement is good for the united states, good for our
allies and good for the safety of the entire world. >> but a few weeks later -- >> the clinton congress is taking a pounding tonight. >> the republicans won control of congress for the first time in 40 years. they were not fans of the deal. >> i don't trust north koreans. i think this is a very questionable deal. >> we're going back to the days of president carter of appeasement. >> many in congress didn't want to pay for north korea's reactors or the oil and the shipments were delayed. meanwhile, north korea didn't live up to its end of the deal either.
they pursued a second path to the bomb. separate fthe nuclear reactor route. enriching uranium. >> we are happy that it was successful. >> enter a.q. khan, the master of pakistan's atomic bomb. can admitted he ran a nuclear black market for nations like iran and libya. north korea was set to be one of his best customers. can took back the confession but nuclear experts say it was all true. >> states like these and their terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil. >> the bush administration called north korea out for its uranium program and gave up completely on president clinton's deal from the 1990s. in hindsight, that was a big mistake. the north responded by restarting its moth-balled reactor and converting plutonium into nuclear bombs. bush scrambled to strike a new deal but it was too little, too late. >> north korea performed its first test ever of a nuclear weapon. >> north korea joined the nuclear club in october 2006. >> north korea tests a nuclear bomb and is now a nuclear power. >> under kim jong-il, it was nuclear program on steroids.
four tests in five years. >> a seismic event detected in north korea. >> north korea says it has successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. >> in a rare televised speech on new year's day, kim jong-il officially declared mission accomplished. his nation's decades-long quest for the bomb has been realized. the question is, despite the recent overtures for peace, will kim jong-un give up the prize that his family and his country fought for for so long?
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the world will watch nervously as donald trump meets kim jong-un. two mercurial personalities, a history of geopolitical tension and nuclear weapons. what could go wrong? in fact the summit has one benefit regardless of the out come. as the two sides meet and talk, it probably ends the idea of north korea as crazy. some of washington's biggest mistakes have been when it has treated countries or governments
s a ten feet tall and fanatical or lunatic. and for years the conventional wisdom about north korea was that it was unpredictable and irrational and thus undeterrable. after all, people said, just look at the bizarre ritual and crazy haircuts of its leaders. in fact as i've often pointed out, the north korean regime has been rational, strategic and successful given its core goal, survival. it has preserved its basic form of government for 70 yrs. persevering through the breakdown of the soviet union and the empire, the arab spring, the demise of other asian dictatorships, from south korea to taiwan to indonesia. after all, how many family dynasties have been able to handle a power from father to son to grandson. north korea endures because it is repressive. but many other regimes were pretty brutal, from romania to iraq to libya. the kim family is also shrewd at the art of survival.
look the at the world from kim jong-un's perspective. by the time he came to power, the regime had lost the great patron the soviet union and the closest ally, china, with whom it fought the korean war often viewed it as a nuisance, voting to sanction it at the united nations. and the most powerful country in the world, the united states, often expressed a desire to see wholesale regime change in pyongyang. >> so kim jong-un accelerated the policy of his father and grandfather. he bought insurance. in the form of a robust nuclear capacity, having achieved the security umbrella, north korea now appears ready to talk and it will probably propose a freeze, a ban on tests and even a rollback. but it would take a great deal to make north korea destroy its entire nuclear capacity. it has historically appeared
willing to do so for the end of the south korea and u.s. military alliance and formal recognition by washington and large amounts of aid. the negotiations contain serious risks. any t leaves north korea with nuclear weapons and yet eases sanctions and provides aid would cause dismay in asia and leave south korea and japan vulnerable. since pyongyang has often cheated in the past, the treaty and inspections would have to be far more intrusive even than the iran deal. but whatever the risks, it is certainly worth talking to north korea. in doing so, we'll realize that it is a rational regime. and we will also understand that if negotiations fail, it can be contained. north korea is capable of being deterred. but it is also capable of outwitting an american president, especially one too eager to make a deal. that is our program for this evening. i'm fareed zakaria. thanks for watching.
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comct, building america's largest gig-speed network. anthony bourdain was a true original. as a personality he was cool yet vulnerable. a tattooed cowboy bad ass. recently, on sexual harassment, anthony spoke with the conviction of an activist. he was one of the best correspondents at this network. a remarkable and unique storyteller. anthony got that way by hoping himself to the world. opening his eyes and his ears, opening his senses and soul, and thankfully bringing us along for the ride. he told stories t