tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC May 7, 2013 10:00am-11:01am PDT
help me, i'm amanda berry. >> you need police, fire and ambulance. >> i need police. >> and what's going on there? >> i've been kidnapped. and i've been missing for ten years and i'm here, i'm free now. >> right now on "andrea mitchell reports" -- found alive -- breaking developments out of cleveland on the daring escape and rescue of three young women who vanished a decade ago when two were only teenagers. >> the families of these three young ladies never gave up hope. and neither did law enforcement. as you can imagine, words can't describe eat motions being felt
by all. yes, law enforcement professionals do cry. under arrest, the air force officer in charge of preventing sexual assaults is now accused of it. as a new pentagon report shows an alarging rise in the number of anonymous claims. >> well they're failing in this regard, sir. this is is a regard in which there's clearly insufficient training. insufficient understanding. if the man in charge for the air force in preventing sexual assault is being alleged to have committed a sexual assault -- this weekend, obviously there's a failing in training and understanding of what sexual assault is and how corrosive and damaging it is to good order and discipline. >> senator kirsten gillenbrand joins us on her proposals to clean up the mess. what really happened in benghazi on the eve of republican hearings into an
alleged cover-up. former state department officials line up to testify. we'll have our own reality check on the claims. judgment day for mark sanford, before fate facing the voters, he talked about his past, facing off on "morning joe." >> well, i don't mind the focus on my past behavior. it's absolutely been the topic of much conversation down here. it's been the topic of about a million dollars worth of attack ads that have been run against me. so it's not a new issue down here. and the president finally tees off with republicans at andrews air force base golf course and georgia's saxby chambliss score as hole in one. >> it was a number 11 on the south course, and 156 yards and i hit a choked down 5-iron. >> how did it feel? >> it was pretty special. the ball actually flew the route i wanted it to go. i didn't skull it. >> did you hit it straight, draw, hook? >> i hit a little fade. and -- this is my second one.
president got it out of the hole for me and handed it to me and then -- they brought the flag out later and he signed the flag. everybody signed the flag. and it was pretty neat. >> did he ask for your vote on immigration reform on return? >> actually, i told him, since i had made a hole in one, he ought to give us everything we want on entitlement reform. >> but did chambliss then buy drinks for the crowd? >> i'm andrea mitchell, live in washington. an incredible story of survival. three young women held captive for a decade in cleveland, in a house in a crowded neighborhood, two were young teens when first taken, now they're reunited with their families. police say one woman's bravery, one of the hostages made it all happen. >> the real hero here is amanda. i mean, she is the real hero. i mean she's the one that got this rolling. you know, we're just, we're following her lead. without her, none of us would be here today. >> nbc's ron allen is in cleveland. ron, you're in the neighborhood,
it's obviously a close-looking neighborhood. these are not large areas, it's not a forested community. how could this happen? nobody walking by heard anything? nobody in their backyards? >> well it is, amazing andrea. especially when you consider how many of these stories you cover on missing people and they turn out horribly. this is something different. you're right, i was struck that this neighborhood, it's very dense in this area where this all happened. look down the street behind me. you can see the house, the house with the flag there, if the camera can zoom in down there, you can see the house where the women were allegedly held. it's in a cluster of five houses and just across the street, there are four houses that look right upon it. and now, with hindsight. there are neighbor who is were saying that they called police several times when they heard things in the house and that the police came and banged on the door and went away. the police say that they have only come to this neighborhood on two occasions and had nothing to do with searching for missing people. another neighbor said that
they've seen the suspects, ariel castro out in the streets, giving kids rides on an atv. helping neighbors with stalled cars. they also said at one point they saw him arrive at the house, with bags of food. neighbors are putting things together that probably never seemed suspicious back then that now seem to fit the puzzle of what allegedly apparently happened here. but again, yes, everybody is just in shock that something like this could happen in plain sight. and the neighbors said that his sister called police after seeing a woman with a baby in the window, screaming and yelling, help, or something to that effect. the police came, the neighbors say, the police deny this, or won't confirm this. and banged on the door and nothing happened. so there seemed to have been indications that something was going on here. but again, the police say they only came here on two occasions. it had nothing to do with missing people, again everybody
here is just shocked and trying to figure out how this could happen essentially in plain sight. andrea? >> we just showed pictures of the three suspects, who are three brothers and the police are saying that a 6-year-old child found with the three women is the child, the daughter of one of the three. they don't know who is the father. but how did amanda berry, one of the women, how did she manage to escape and get attention of 911? and the 911 call is remarkable. because after a ten-year search for these women, when the police say they were constantly looking every day for these three women, how the 911 operator could be frankly clueless in response when she identified herself. >> a lot of amazing things about this you wonder how could this happen. but apparently she was able to get someone's attention, break through the door to some extent or put her hand through the door. a neighbor saw her. and called 911. and it would seem that why didn't it happen years ago? who knows? again because the houses are so
close to each other, you would think that somebody would hear people screaming. you would think that there would be some kind of unusual activity. but apparently nothing that rose to the level of where the police came and investigated and knocked down the doors and went inside and all that. it just never got to that level. and the question is, is why. how could that happen? the neighbors again have been saying that there were police who came on different occasions, and banged on the door. no one answered and they went away. again, just so many questions as to how this could happen. because again the houses are so close together. it's just really an amazing situation. andrea? >> we know they were missing person posters all around the neighborhood, all around the community for years and years and years. a lot of people can have a lot of explaining to do on this, ron allen. i know you're going to be following it all, all day. thank you very much. meanwhile, in south carolina, it's judgment day for mark sanford. his political future is now in the hands of the voters. sanford's special election fight against elizabeth colbert bush
recapture his old congressional seat has turned into a debate over the former governor's personal transgressions while he was back in office as governor. joining me for our daily fix, chris cillizza, msnbc contributor editor and editor of post politics.com and nbc correspondent, kelly o'donnell. what's the outlook going into the race, it's been hard-fought and tightly contested. >> it certainly has. and we were with both candidates, the former governor and elizabeth colbert busch as they cast their own ballots, we talked with voters and it is one of those things that's hard to predict. it should be a republican district. it has been in the past. romney won big here. but elizabeth colbert bush has gotten a lot of attention. a lot of help from national democrats who have pumped money here. and when we've been just in town for a couple of days. boy, i can tell you the air waves have been packed with tv commercials, so voters have been
saturated with news about this special election to fill a house seat. and the polling that was most recently done showed it very, very close. and so today both candidates are trying to see if they can do any final persuasion, we talked to voters in a couple of polling places and we got responses in both directions. we did hear from some voters, who told us that they did cast a ballot for mark sanford. but did so after a lot of reflection about some of his past mistakes. so for some of the people we talked to, it was not an easy thing. but they decided to go with him. we also spoke to supporters who said they cast their ballot for elizabeth colbert bush. so people are watching this. it's been the interest in town. people happy to talk about it. and both candidates have been getting out there and it's, you know, being in the south, you get the sense of how people receive their candidates very warmly, even if they don't agree with them. that's one of the things that makes covering these races so, so enjoyable. to get to talk to people who are actually voting and to be in the district. you get a real feel that some of the perceptions about sanford
outside, more broadly, may not play as much in town. because people told us, that they were willing to forgive. so again, that's anecdotal. we'll see what the polls show. but it might not be some of the things you'd expect if you're only looking from the outside. andrea? >> and chris cillizza, you've been reporting on this throughout and you've been saying that it's very possible that mark sanford will win this race. >> you know, i think kelly hit on it. i call it the sort of hold your nose and vote for mark sanford republicans. you know, that if mark sanford does wind up winning, andrea, he has one thing to thank for it, the partisanship of this district. mitt romney won the seat by 18 points last november. mark sanford is not going to win it by 18 points, if he wins it he's probably going to win it by a small single digits. but this is a republican district. what he smartly did and does deserve credit for in the final ten days of the race is he turned it into a referendum as much as he could, not on his own personal conduct, but rather on
the policy positions of he and miss colbert busch. in doing that, most people in this district are going to agree more with mark sanford than they're going to agree with the democratic nominee. i think a lot of people are going to say, oh, i don't want to vote for him. but i don't want her to go to washington with those beliefs. and be a vote for the democrats in the house. if he winds up winning it's because there are just more republicans in the district, a lot more republicans than democrats, andrea. >> and we've got a couple of other quick topics to go over before we're out of time for the segment. because we want to talk about chris christie, lap band surgery. this is released to the "new york post." chris cillizza, he says that he's doing this because he was concerned about his health. he hit 50, was worried about his four kids. but clearly this would also get him back in shape, into shape for a presidential run if he wants to make one. >> and i wrote about this, andrea.
i take him at his word. we take him at his word that he's doing this for his health and his family. but it happens in the political context. in the modern era of the presidency, we've not seen someone as overweight as chris christie be a serious contender for president. bill clinton battled weight issues but he was not in the state as chris christie. mike huckabee lost a lot of weight and made it a central theme of his 2008 presidential campaign. this is something that will be battered back and forth. people will criticize me and us for talking about it and writing about it. but i'll say this, in every conversation i've had, democrat or republican strategist, the first thing that comes up when it comes to chris christie and his presidential ambitions is his weight. >> we've talked about democrats as well and their weight. we've always talked about the late teddy kennedy and bill clinton when they would get into shape for races. quickly i want to bring and kelly to what happened downtown earlier today. tamryn hall was moderating a conversation at the pete
peterson institute at international economics with bill gates and bill clinton and take a look. >> women are clamoring at the edge of our seats. wondering what is next. we know that she's dynamic, her leadership is unmatched. her voice for women, the poor, families, so i have to ask it. mr. gates, when is melinda jumping into politics? >> i don't think melinda is going to run for president, she hasn't mentioned it to me. >> i pivot to you. mr. president? >> melinda hasn't mentioned it to me, either. but i don't know what's going to happen. but i know this, that is the worst expenditure of our time. you know, she's taking a role in the foundation, she's writing a book, she's having a little fun being a private citizen for the
first time in 20 years and she's you know, that's fine. but we need to be worried about the work at hand. >> so tamryn and bill gates and bill clinton. the bills. i'll be heading down there right after the show to join admiral mullen and governor o'malley and carly fiorina for a conversation about education. thanks very much to you, chris cillizza, kelly o'donnell, count those votes, we'll talk to you later. >> we'll let you know how it turns out. turning to boston. people who were injured in the boston marathon bombing are learning about how the millions of dollars raised in the aftermath are going to be distributed in a town hall meeting this morning, one fund boston administrator ken feinberg who we interviewed about this last week said the highest payments will go to people with the most severe injuries and obviously to those who lost lives, the families of those who lost lives. nearly $30 million in pledges and donations have come in so
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house republicans will open their hearings tomorrow into the benghazi attack that killed ambassador chris stevens and three other americans. but they have already released transcripts from state department officials, including one witness, the former deputy chief of mission, gregory hicks. hicks claims that two of the four americans might have been saved, if he had been able to send four special forces operatives from tripoli to scare off the terrorists. but he said he was overruled by the military. utah congressman jason chafitz
is one of the congressman with this. i know gregory hicks has very dramatic testimony, we've read the transcripts. let me pause at what the pentagon is saying and and get your response. the pentagon is saying number one, that the four special forces operatives had to remain in tripoli to guard the embassy there and they were not combat ready and his suggestion as well that there could have been a flyover of f-16s from aviano in italy to buzz the terror attackers and scare them off. wouldn't have worked. because they were five hours away and would have to be refuelled mid-air and there were not refuelers present. has your committee taken that argument into consideration? >> well, sure, that's why we're want to hear testimony from the career foreign service person who is the senior-most person on the ground. this is not a political appointee. gregory hicks, i found him to be
a real patriot when i went there in the first week of october. we want to hear firsthand accounts, not from the politicians but from the people who have firsthand accounts. >> i take that point, but he's not a military man. he's a diplomat and a very senior one. experienced one with great credibility. no argument there. but he's not a military man and what i'm suggesting is that the military argument is that what he is suggesting, which might have saved two lives, because it was shawn smith and ambassador stevens who were killed in those first few hours of the assault and then it was afterwards when there was a break in the action and the second assault didn't start until 5:15 in the morning. all of that is stipulated. but the pentagon is saying it wouldn't have worked. >> that's a change in the account. because that's new information, the pentagon has never said that the accountability review board said there was no way to get any more assets there. but what we've heard and what at least what we anticipate hearing tomorrow, is that gregory hicks is going to tep, these
gentlemen, these four were dressed, ready to go. these are special operations types of people. i'm not sure their exact title. but they were going to get in the car to go to the airport. they were told to stand down. so at the pentagon the last few hours is changing their story. that is the news. and the idea that the attack started at 9:40 local time and it was still past 6:00 a.m. the next morning before they were able to get people out of there. even if there was a few hours that it would take in order to stand up a supersonic plane to buzz the compound there to try to scare off the would-be attackers, there's still plenty of time. you get on a delta flight out of washington, d.c., and make it to benghazi in less time. so i think this is again, a very -- it still not explained. and if you're, what you're saying, i believe you, andrea, that's new news. >> now let me also put out the statement that came yesterday from tom pickering and admiral mullen who chaired the special review board.
they say, from the beginning of the arb, which is the special review board process, we had unfettered access to everyone and everything, including all the documentation we needed, our marching orders were to get to the bottom of what happened and that's what we did they're pushing back really hard against any suggestion of a cover-up offer any suggestion that hillary clinton withheld state department witnesses from them. >> they never even interviewed secretary clinton. she was obviously involved. how can you do a credible report and not even interview the secretary of state? second point, i would point you to page 37, you can see very definitively they said there were no military assets that could have gone there. and that the communication was great. they didn't make any mention of what you said, andrea. they said there were no military assets. and yet those people we believe were told to stand down. so again, the arb, i think is really questionable. because they didn't necessarily interview everybody. including the secretary of state. and they're making some very definitive statements that they didn't even talk, for instance,
about the f.e.s.t. >> the foreign emergency support team. that's not even mentioned in the report. not even the unclassified version. these people weren't even involved and engaged in this. and that to me -- is what we're going to hear from mark thompson. >> do you want to call pickering and mullen and others involved in that process and ask them why they didn't pursue these leads? they say they pursued every lead, you're saying they didn't. >> we have invited them since the moment the arb was done, to come in, chat with us, share with us, do it in an informal way. of course i'd love to chat with them. they've refused every outreach that we've made to chat with them. sit around a table and pepper them with questions. i don't know why, we would do it in a bipartisan way. they've refused to do that. >> we will follow up. >> and we'll be following the hearings all day tomorrow. and we'll be right back.
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. a day after the chief of sexual assault in the air force was charged with sexual assault. the pentagon has released a report showing assaults 6% up and and a huge increase in anonymous claims of attacks. mark welch that the nation's hook-up culture is a major culprit behind the sexual assault problem. >> roughly 20% of the young women who come into the department of defense and air force report that they were sexually assaulted in some way before they came into the military. they come in from a society where this occurs. some of it is the hook-up mentality of junior high even and high school students now. which my children can tell you about. from watching their friends and being frustrated by it. the same demographic group moves into the military. we have got to change the culture once they arrive. the way they behave, the way
they treat each other cannot be outside the bounds of what is, we consider inclusive and respectful. >> joining me now is new york senator kirsten gillenbrand. a driving force on this issue. senator earlier we played your questioning of the witnesses. some of the questioning and the issues that you were raising. forgive me, but my impression of this was that there was something of blame the victim here. that these women come into the military and they don't have the right behavior patterns. tell me what you took away from this hearing. >> the clip you, i didn't hear the testimony. the clip you just played is outrageous. to begin to attribute sexual assault rates in the military to a hook-up culture in high school? is beyond belief that those statements were just uttered. we're talking about violent crimes. committed by aggressors, perpetrators who are often targeting victims specifically. this is a violent act. this is not a date gone badly. this actually epitomizes one of
the cultural problems. when someone is raped or someone is victimized or sexually assaulted. one of the problems is, they have to report those crimes to their chain of command. and just as we saw this weekend, if the individual in the military, in the air force who is charged with preventing sexual assault and rape is committing sexual assault on the weekend, you don't have a culture that's going to respect victims and make sure that victims have justice. so our big problem here is structural and i think that victims should be able to report these crimes outside of the chain of command where they will have a hope that they'll receive justice. but as you started with, andrea, the numbers are horrifying. if you have arguably 26,000 sexual assaults and rapes a year in the military, but only maybe 3,000 are sore reported, and then only a handful of convictions, it's not good enough. you're lacking in transparency, accountability and justice for those who are assaulted. >> now i heard senator mccaskill asking about the qualifications
for this lieutenant colonel who was arrested and he's innocent until proven guilty. he was arrested, he has marks all over his face, this was a parking lot incident. apparently not someone under his command. it was a civilian, apparently. but what about the qualifications for someone who is in charge of preventing sexual assaults? >> well, andrea, you're identifying the precise issue. if the responsibility of deciding whether a case should go to trial or the responsibility of overturning the judgment of a jury is given to the chain of command, you're talking about commanders who air force to say that it's part of a culture coming out of college. a hook-up culture? that sounds to me that he has zero training on the kind of perpetrators of these violent crimes and what's actually happening in the rape cases. >> senator, are you going to pursue this, the way the
question was answered, is there any recourse here? i know he's confirmed by the senate and all that, he's in office. >> listen, andrea, i'm not going to let this issue go. the bottom line is the men and women who serve in our military do so admirably. we should not be asking of them to serve and perhaps lose a limb and even lose their life, and then say to them and you may be raped or sexually assaulted by your colleagues. that's unacceptable. we need not only a zero tolerance. but we need a zero occurrence, we owe it to the brave men and women of our military to provide that. if we reform the system, put new structures in place, the military can do this they can do pretty much anything if they put their mind to. they're going to lead a new way of looking at this problem. i do not think the current chain of command is capable of meeting out justice in these cases. >> until you were in office and claire mccaskill and your women colleagues, this issue has not been addressed in an open forum.
so thank you very much. >> and that's why we need more women in congress, it's one of the reasons why i focus in my off the sidelines campaign. if women's voices are heard, you're going to have different solutions being offered. >> thank you very much, to be continued. thanks, senator. in moscow today, secretary of state kerry met with vladimir putin to talk about possible political steps for the opposition to bashar al assad. russia has been the main supporter of assad. kerry did thank putin for russia's assistance on the boston bombing investigation. live pictures from the white house east room. we're seeing the east room where as you sigh from the flags, south korean president, park gwuen hye will be speaking. north korea has taken its missiles off their launching pads, that could be signaling a step back from the recent
escalation. nbc's chief white house correspondent and political director chuck todd is live at the white house for us and on the phone, nbc's ian williams in seoul, south korea joins us as well. chuck, what are we expecting to hear? the president will be asked possibly about benghazi and some of the other controversies. but in terms of the korean crisis that we have spent so much time on the last couple of weeks, it does seem as though possibly, who knows whether it's the result of american diplomacy. i was with secretary kerry in beijing. possibly we're standpointing back from the brink here. >> well it certainly seems like the north koreans were looking for a way to step back from the brink. and that could be what we end up finding out here. it is amazing when you talk about the various things on the president's plate when it comes to foreign policy. three weeks ago this was a crisis. that was being dealt with on an almost 24-hour basis. trying to figure out a way to deescalate the tensions between the north and the south. and all of a sudden, one terrorist attack later and you
see the north koreans almost were looking for a way to deescalate themselves. they weren't sure clearly calling the bluff worked. in some form or another. so the question is, what more have we learned about what the policy is in dealing with them going forward. you're right, the two bigger questions, possibly loom large in here depending on where the questioning goes. one is, what is our syria policy right now, right? has it changed? we've heard the president say certain things would be a game-changer. certain things would cross a red line. i think there needs to be, there's some fundamental sort of let's get back to the basics here. what is exactly our policy right now on syria. and then you're right, on the benghazi, with the testimony happening tomorrow, i imagine there are more questions that come out of it tomorrow once we hear from some of the state department folks who are testifying for the white house. in including on what level of involvement did the state department have when it came to for instance those talking points. >> and chuck, hang on for just a
moment. i know you may have to sit down as the president walks in i want to quickly bring in ian williams from south korea. what is the sense there, ian, because there is is a sense here in washington at least that kim jong un may be stepping back. the joint economic industrial zone is still closed, as best i know. which is an important signal that the south koreans are still looking for. ian? >> andrea. but the cyclsouth koreans, are talking about the closure, the suspension and they haven't cut off the electricity supply. which is what we had expected. we had thought that a bit of bli belligerence over this period while president park is in washington. instead the north koreans appearing to stand down those missiles which had been primed for testing. although we have joint military exercises this weekend, anti-submarine warfare, in u.s. and south korea. the arrival, according to south korean sources of the nimitz
battle group in bhusan this weekend, but a very muted reaction to that we've heard the north koreans today say well if you fire anything into our waters, we'll react with merciless retaliation. but by their standards, it's been pretty restrained. so clearly, they do appear to have stepped back. just ahead of this important summit, andrea. >> and the summit of course is with president park, who is the daughter of a former president. she is the first woman president. and she's being referred to here perhaps, this is too much of a western influence, as the iron lady in the steps of margaret thatcher. ha is her reputation right now, at home? >> she's been an admirer of margaret thatcher, she said as much during her election campaign. she's seen as a tough president. she's seen as tougher than her predecessors and she said some
pretty hard-line comments on the north. on her inauguration, she said she wouldn't tolerate any action that would threaten the lives of our people and the security of our nation. and a little later addressing soldiers here, she said that any country spent all its money on nuclear weapons was bound to collapse. that said, she seems to have come to washington with a far more nuanced message. saying she's ready for engagement and dialogue with north korea. if the north responds as she puts it, in a responsible way. now i think the iron lady, label, has come from the comment that she made about margaret thatcher. those who know her well say that she is in fact a far more personable, a softer individuals if you like than perhaps that image would suggest. >> chuck, going back to you, as
you wait in the east room there, for the president and president park to arrive, they've been having lunch, they had their meetings today. this is a break, if you will, a return to a previous crisis as you were pointing out. but syria, is a major focus for the national security team right now. and one other thing we should point out, the c.i.a. announced today. a shake-up, john brennan, the new c.i.a. director has replaced the acting director of the covert operations. someone who is undercover, a woman, a veteran. with a man and this was after objections from some senators, particularly dianne feinstein, because this woman had been in charge or actively involved during the bush era of enhanced interrogations. so there's that front as well. we also have kerry with putin today. a lot happening on the foreign policy team. syria, we talked about the red lines. there's a lot of reporting, you starting off and then "the new york times" and others, that the president never intended or had not scripted that red line on
chemical weapons. but it was something he ad-libbed in august and now they're stuck with it. they have to figure out what to do about any possible proof of chemical weapons. >> it's such a buzz word, fair, unfair. we know the idea that we're sitting here, parsing words. it is what it is on that front. obviously the white house wanted to send the message that they would have a different policy towards syria and what to do and ponder some form of intervention. had there been proof of chemical weapons. they do get that the world is watching. that other potential enemies in the united states are watching. and now it's about trying to thread a needle here. they do want to do some more for intervening on behalf of what is turning into a humanitarian crisis. let alone a national security crisis. at the same time, they're still trying to figure out who to help. i think the yes they know that
this, they got to do something. there is not a lot. there isn't a high confidence that they can get these weapons into the right hands. >> as richard engel was pointing out last night on nightly news, on the battlefield, once one side or the other loses in a battle, the weapons are taken. so you can't control whose hands -- >> even if you get the weapon into the right hands at the beginning, it ends up in somebody else's, it's an arbitrary think to say, we know that bob menendez has introduced legislation. that will be interesting to follow, andrea. certainly the white house would like to have congressional authority of some sort to have politically, it's more helpful. the question is whether that could get the votes. >> what's happened in the last few days, is two strikes, one bigger than the other, against what we're told is iranian-supplied advanced weaponry on syrian soil this was
aimed more at eriran and hezbollah. than aimed at assad. israel wasn't trying to become a player in the middle of the civil war. but they were drawing their red line. they're not going to let their iranian missiles, which could carry conventional or chemical weapons, potentially get on to lebanese soil in the hands of hezbollah. >> that's their number one concern, the question is did what israel did, does it expedite what the united states was. or does it bide the united states time you've heard lawmakers on capitol hill make both of those arguments. john mccain saying the israelis have acted, the united states must act. others saying clearly assad is not going to respond to the israelis other than rhetorically as he did. this is going to shake them, this buys the united states more time. it buys the diplomatic front and
being the time that the national security team is looking for. we just got the two-minute warning. meaning that the president, you see somebody from the pool has put their hand up there. indicating that in about two minutes we'll have the president and president park coming in. but just quickly to button this down. before i let you go. chuck. the other possible benefit for the white house is the israelis tested the air defenses. and found the syrian air defenses somewhat lacking. this is increasing support for limited, no fly zone which could involve some american military strikes. some are suggesting that it's past the point of arming rebels that the u.s. should go in and try to take out weapons. >> that's going to be, the debate that may take place on capitol hill as the legislation moves forward about trying to arm the rebels, does become a larger debate that we have only seen reserved for the sunday morning talk shows. >> as we focus on the korean
issue, as we wait for the president and president park to come in there's going to be some conversation between them surely as to whether or not the u.s. supports south korean, north korean talks and whether there should be bilateral talks with north korea as well. should there be another overture. >> that's something, don't forget the south koreans a little more concerned about the security and this president seems to be a little more interested in maybe not always relying on the united states. as their security blanket when it comes to north korea. what was said on that and what did the united states agree to or not agree to when it comes to that front. >> long-term, it this may prove to be the most important early test of the leader of china. the fact that now the leader of china and now vladimir putin, two heads of state met with the secretary of state, an early indication that they are interested in engaging with the obama's second-term white house on some of the biggest issues and if china did in fact persuade north korea to step down and step back from the precipice, pull the missiles
back op their launching pads, that would be a very big deal and a very good sign for u.s./china relations. >> it seems to be one of the biggest motivator, one of the things the united states makes clear, you would assume one of the last thing china wants is some sort of arms race. especially so this chatter about japan and south korea feeling the need to arm themselves is something china doesn't want and i will sit down. let me begin by saying it is a great pleasure to welcome president park and our friends from the republic of korea. madam president, we are greatly honored that you've chosen the united states as your first foreign visit. this reflects the deep friendship between our peoples and the great alliance between
our nations which is marking another milestone. i'm told in korea, a 60th birthday is a special celebration of life. and longevity. and -- [ speaking foreign language ] >> yesterday president park visited arlington national cemetery and our memorial to our korean war veterans. tonight she's hosting a dinner to pay tribute to the generation of american veteran who is have served in the defense of south korea. and tomorrow she'll address a joint session of congress. an honor that is reserved for our closest of friends. in this sense, this visit also reflects south korea's extraordinary progress over these six decades. from the ashes of war to one of the world's largest economies, from a recipient of foreign aid to a donor that now helps other nations develop. of course around the world, people are being swept up by korean culture.
the korean wave. as i mentioned to president park, my daughters have taught me a pretty good gangnam style. president park, in your first months in office, south korea's has faced threats and provocations that would test any nation. yet you've displayed calm and steady resolve. that has defined your life. like people around the world, those of us in the united states have also been inspired by your example as the first female president of south korea. today i've come to appreciate the leadership qualities for which you are known. the focus and discipline and straightforwardness and i very much thank you for the progress we have already made together. today we agreed to continue the implementation of our historic trade agreement. which is already yielding benefits for both of our countries, on our side, we're selling exports to north korea, more manufactured goods, a services and as we have a long way to go, our automobile
experts are up nearly 50% and our big three. ford, chrysler and gm are selling more cars in korea. and as president park and i agreed to make sure is continued to fully implement this agreement. we believe that it's going to make our economies more competitive. to boost exports. obviously it will be creating jobs in korea as they are able to continue to do extraordinary work in expanding their economy and moving it further and further up the value chain. we agree to continue the clean energy partnerships that help us to enhance our energy security and address climate change, given the importance of a peaceful nuclear energy industry to south korea, we recently agreed to extend the existing civilian nuclear agreement between our two countries, but we also emphasize in our discussions, the need to continue to work diligently towards a new agreement. as i told the president, i believe that we can find a way
to support south korea's energy and commercial needs, even as we uphold our mutual commitments to prevent nuclear proliferation. we agree to continue modernizing our security alliance, guided by our joint vision, we're investing in the shared capests that allow our forces to operate and succeed together. we're on track for south korea to assume operational control for the alliance in 2015 and we're determined to be fully prepared for any challenge or threat to our security and obviously that includes the threat from north korea. if pyongyang thought its recent threats would drive a wedge between south korea and the united states, and somehow garner the north international respect, today's further evidence that north korea has failed again. president park and south koreans have stood firm for confidence and resoch. the united states and the republic of korea are as united
as ever and face with new international sanctions, north korea is more isolated than ever. in short, the days when north korea could create a crisis and elicit concessions, those days are over. our two nations are prepared to engage with north korea diplomatically and over time, build trust. as always and as president park has made clear, the burden is on pyongyang to take meaningful steps to abide by its commitments and obligations, particularly the denuclearization of the korean peninsula. and we discussed that pyongyang should take notice of events in countries like burma. which as it reforms, is seeing more trade and investment and diplomatic ties with the world, including the united states and south korea. for our part, we'll continue to coordinate closely with south korea, and with japan. and i want to make clear the united states is fully prepared and capable of defending ourselves and our allies with the full range of capabilities
available. including the deterrence provided by other conventional and nuclear forces. as i said in seoul last year, the commitment of the united states to the security of the republic of korea will never waver. more of korea will never waver. in afghanistan where our troops served together and south korea is a major develop many of assistance, we're on track to complete the transition to afghan-led operations by the end of next year. we discussed syria where both our nations are working to strengthen the opposition and plan for a syria without bashir assad. and i'm pleased with our two nations and our peace worn are expanding around the world. finally, the ties between our young people. as an engineer by training, president park knows the importance of education. madam president, you've said and i'm quoting you, we live in an age where a single individual
can raise the value of an entire nation. i could not agree more. i'm pleased that we're renewing exchange program that bring our students together. as we pursue common sense immigration reform in the united states, we want to make it easier for foreign entrepreneurs and foreign graduate students from countries like south korea to stay in our country just as so many korean-americans already do. again, thank you president park, for the united states your first foreign trip. in your inaugural address you celebrate the can-do spirit of the korean people. i'm confident if our two nations continue to stand together, there is nothing we cannot do together. madam president, welcome to the united states. >> translator: we start by thanking president obama for his
invitation and his gracious hospitality. during my meeting with the president today, i was able to have a heart to heart talk with him on a wide range of common interests. i found that the two of us have a broad common view about the vision and roles that should guide the korean alliance as it moves forward and i was delighted to see this. first of all, the president and i shared the view that the korea/u.s. alliance has been carefully carrying out its role on the korean peninsula and in northeast asia. that the alliance should continue to serve as a lynchpin on the careen peninsula and in asia. i believe it is important that the joint declaration on the 60th anniversary of our alliance we adopted spells out the direction that our comprehensive strategic alliance should take. next, the president and i reaffirmed that we will by no
means tolerate north korea's threats and provocations which have recently been escalating further and that such actions would only deepen north korea's isolation. the president and i noted that it is important that we continue to strengthen our deterrence against north korea's nuclear and conventional weapons threat and shared the view that in this respect, the transition of war time operational control should also proceed in a way that strengthens our combined defense capabilities and preparations be made toward that way as well. we also shared the view that realizing president obama's vision of a world without nuclear weapons should start in the korean peninsula and we stated that we would continue to strongly urge north korea in close concert with the other members of the six party talks and the international community to faithfully abide by its international obligations under the september 19th joint statement and the relevant
security resolutions. korea and the u.s. will work jointly to induce north korea to make the right choice through multifaceted efforts including the implementation of the trust building process that i had spelled out. i take this opportunity to once again send a clear message. north korea will not be able to survive if it only clings to developing its nuclear weapons at the expense of its people's happiness. concurrently pursuing nuclear arsenals and economic development can by no means succeed. this is the shared view of the other members of the six-party talks and the international community. however, should north korea choose the path to becoming a responsible member of the community of nations, we are willing to provide assistance together with the international community. we also had meaningful discussions on the economy and ways to engage in substantive cooperation. the president and i welcome the
fact that the korea/u.s. free trade agreement which went into effect one year ago is contributing to our shared prosperity. we also said we will make efforts to enable our people to better feel the benefits of our free trade agreement for them. i highlighted the importance of securing high skilled u.s. work visas for korean citizens and asked for executive branch support to the extent possible to see to it that the relevant legislation is passed in the u.s. congress. moreover, we arrived at the view that the korea/u.s. civil energy agreement should be revised into an advanced and mutually beneficial successor agreement. we said we would do our best to conclude our negotiations as soon as possible. the president and i also had in depth discussions on ways to enhance our global partnership. first, we noted together that northeast asia needs to move
beyond conflict divisions and open a new era of peaceful cooperation. and that there would be synergy between president obama's policy of balancing asia and my initiative for peace and cooperation in northeast asia as we pursue peace and development in the region. we shared the view about playing the role of co-architects to flush out this vision. furthermore, we decided that the korea/u.s. alliance should deal not just with challenges relating to the korean peninsula and northeast asia but confronting -- >> that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." remember to follow the show online and on twitter@mitchell reports. my colleague tamron hall will be back in a few minutes and she will have the full questions and answers. of this other stuff... and that much freshness is gonna take some getting used to...
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hi, everyone. i'm tamron hall. the "news nation" is following big breaking news out of cleveland, lie high. police have released the mug shots of the three men in custody accused of holding three women against their will for ten years. the suspect are pedro, onil and ariel castro who is the owner of the home in downtown cleveland where the women were rescued. today police reveal that authorities had visited that very home back in 2004 while conducting a separate investigation. but when no one answered the door, they left. we've also learned that amanda berry, the woman who placed that frantic 911 call for help and set off the events of yesterday, has a 6-year-old child at the home as well. today officials praised amanda's courage. >> the real hero here is amanda. she is the real hero. she is the one thatot