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tv   Inside Story 2018 Ep 111  Al Jazeera  April 21, 2018 8:32pm-9:00pm +03

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pro-government forces are accused of dropping a chlorine bomb syrian rebels and civilians in a countryside area northeast of damascus have started to evacuate to the north of the country under a deal brokered with the government state t.v. says over three thousand rebels will leave three towns in eastern color moon over the course of the next three days it's the latest in a string of evacuations around the syrian capital that have seen more than sixty thousand people displaced india's government has approved the death penalty for people convicted of raping children under the age of twelve after widespread outrage over a number of recent attacks the order was approved by the prime minister narendra modi but requires parliamentary approval within six months to become law there have been widespread protests following a high and number of high profile rape cases including the killing of an eight year old girl in kashmir. and least one person has died in
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violence between security forces and protesters in madagascar demonstrators have been rallying in the capital one town in a revolt against new electoral laws which the opposition says are meant to stop a candidate from running for president the city's hospital says at least sixty more people have been injured in the violence. there up to date with all of our top stories but we'll have much more on everything for you in about twenty five minutes time i'll be back with the news hour so do join me then but that's after inside story which starts now. a nuclear policy north korea's leader announces the suspension of all miss out tests ahead of historic talks with south korea and the u.s.
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what's brought about this dramatic shift in is kim jong un serious about peace this is inside story. come to the program. after a series of missile tests that kept the world on edge north korea's leader kim jong un has announced he's suspending all missile and shutting down a nuclear test site the surprise announcement comes ahead of two important summits with south korea and the united states both countries have been pushing north korea to denuclearize u.s. present describe this latest move as a positive step but is it a real change in pyongyang policy we'll get to our guests in just a moment but first kathy novak has this report from south korea's capital seoul.
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north korea regularly tested increasingly threatening ballistic missiles last year including weapons that could have the range to hit the united states in september it conducted its most powerful nuclear bomb test now north korea says those tests are over so it. should chip picture we will discontinue nuclear testing an intercontinental ballistic rocket test firing from april twenty fifth. the north and you could test ground at the d.p. r. k. one also be dismantled to transparently the discontinuance opinion. it's welcome news for the us president who's planning to meet north korea's leader kim jong un within weeks donald trump tweeted north korea has agreed to suspend all nuclear tests and close up a major test site this is very good news for north korea and the world big progress look forward to our summit state media says kim jong un made the announcement as he
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chaired a meeting of the workers' party central committee a gathering to rubber stamp the supreme leader's decisions it was at a similar meeting five years ago that kim unveiled his signature policy to prioritize the development of nuclear weapons and the economy the message from the leader now is that weapons program development is complete and the focus will shift to the economy currently under pressure from a u.s. led sanctions campaign. would you call kim jong un clarify the now that the t.p.r. case position as a wall of level politico ideological and military power has been successfully established it is the strategic line of the workers' party to concentrate all efforts of the whole party and country on the socialist economic construction kim is apparently seeking to cement his position on the world stage following his meeting in beijing last month with china's president xi jinping talks with cia director mike pompei o in pyongyang and ahead of
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a historic summit with south korea's president monday and on friday. south korea welcome to the announcement calling north korea's decision meaningful progress for the denuclearization of the korean peninsula the president's office said it will contribute to creating a positive environment for the success of the upcoming intercourse rian and to u.s. north korea summits. china has also welcomed the announcement while japan's prime minister was more cautious person of the us from the north korea's announcement is forward motion that i'd like to welcome but what's important is that this motion leads to a complete verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of north korea's nuclear and missile programs north korea's promise to stop weapons testing didn't go that far it cleage to never use nuclear weapons unless there are nuclear threats and uclear provocations against it cathy know that al-jazeera seoul.
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well the pledge to stop missile testing comes after a busy year of launches by north korea and twenty seven thousand there were twenty three in total last september north korea fired a ballistic missile over japan its right distance was thirty seven hundred kilometers which put the u.s. territory of guam under threat a few days later speaking at the u.n. the u.s. president called kim jong un a rocket man on a suicide mission and he warned the u.s. may have to totally destroy north korea but then a breakthrough came on the diplomatic front in february athletes from north and south korea march under a unified flag at the winter olympics and a month made to south korea announced pyongyang was ready for talks with the u.s. donald trump accepted the invitation within two days weeks later came made his first overseas visit to china following a meeting with north korea's strongest ally they were more conciliatory gestures and trump this week confirmed his administration has been in direct touch with pyongyang historic meeting is expected to take place in late may or early. let's
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bring in our panel for today's inside story. sonnen south korea robert kelly professor of political science and diplomacy at busan national university and singapore graham webb a research fellow at neon technological university and in washington d.c. mark fitzpatrick a twenty six year veteran of the u.s. state department way specialize in nonproliferation gentlemen thank you all for being with us on inside story robert kennedy is this in your view a genuine set forward by north korea or a negotiating tactic ahead of the summit with south korea and the u.s. i think it's a step forward it's a smaller one though then i think maybe many people want to find it to be probably though i think the news reaction today globally and in south korea has been properly restrained right cautious optimism it's good the north koreans are saying these things it's certainly better than we were four months or six months ago the real issue of course will be verification right the north koreans may say they're going to shut these things down and close them down on the rest of it but at this
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point after thirty years of negotiating with north korea nobody's going to believe them until we can get international inspectors in there cameras and stuff like that and big question of the north koreans always as well they allow that kind of stuff traditionally they've been quite hostile to it so maybe this is sort of an early bid to come help frame the upcoming summits but you know it's a positive small step. graham webb in singapore your father's the big question of course now is why is north korea acting in this way now not just our nuclear missile test but in other areas too agreeing to drop its objections for instance on u.s. south korean military exercises and so on why do you think this is happening now well it's really that kim jong un doesn't want to see anything new reeling the prospects for a meeting between himself and president donald trump in may or june and he's just setting the path for that for for success essentially what we've been seeing over the last few weeks in my assessment just a series of carrots to make sure that things stay on track that as we know
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president trump has the wherewithal to actually declined a meeting from now until it may happen and kim jong un is just taking chances on that and trying to ensure that that meeting does happen because it's a very important objective for him but there are those as you know who see this perhaps as something more sinister graham i mean that this could perhaps signal that north korea has made enough progress with its nuclear weapons program that they've moved on to a next phase for instance real likely i concur with professor kelly's segments he's made that the north korea's nuclear weapons program is more mature than many of us think yes barring final two tests many technical experts say that north korea ought to go through to completely verify the viability and. robustness of was not a weapons capability north korea under kim jong un's charge for the last few years on invasion bounce and achieving a good number of successful tests and have
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a relatively mature program and clearly what's happened over the last few days not weeks indicate a sense of confidence and that their nuclear deterrent is relatively credible enough for them to go around to cash in on that and to you know reach out to major policy during. well the u.s. and south korea and china and japan markets patrick in washington d.c. present donald trump has welcomed the north korean announcement as a positive step but his incoming national security advisor john bolton has made an entire career on the notion that you can't believe anything north korea says so how can the trump administration the u.s. justify today. basically giving the benefit of the doubt to to north korea you know should they be satisfied with just a pledge. you know i'm i'm happy to see don comes in stinks. speaking positively about this development of course it's not verified it closing
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down the nuclear test site may just be because of the tire mountain sent out that conducted so many tests there that the mountain can't take any more and it could collapse so maybe there's not that much here to hang a hat on but this one what has been a series of positive steps by kim jong un and i think we have to have some humility that we don't really know exactly what he's thinking what he intends to do but. parting it and hoping for more is a good thing it may not be totally verifiable and as you said i think there may well be some tensions between donald trump and national security advisor john bolton who his entire career has been terribly skeptical of diplomacy and distrustful of north korea and so it'll be interesting to see that i don't explain how it let me get robert kennedy's use on that i saw you smile robert when i mentioned john bolton's name how is the trump administration going to be speaking
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with one voice on this issue what is his strategy going to be going forward yeah well the time ministration probably won't speak with one voice i mean this is i think it's pretty well established now after fifteen months that the charm going to stray sion is perpetually chaotic and that's one of my big concerns actually but the trump him summit is that we just don't know we're going to get on the president's going to go all kinds of conflicting advice is going through all kinds of stuff on twitter he's not really going to read his briefing notes you know he doesn't read a great deal he might just walk in there and who knows what he's going to say. my my big concern in terms of football and specifically in the trump ministration is that if this thing really goes badly if it turns into a food fight with donald trump and kim jong un exchanging insults the way they did last year on twitter you know batman and rocket man and orange man or whatever that trump is going to walk out of there and john boehner is going to say look i told you you can't trust these people i told you the only thing to do with them is hit them that's my real concern if this thing fails. could be a causes belly for bomb graham on the trunk and summit what does came junk on. again him sitting alongside donald trump is it worth more than losing
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a nuclear test site well. to recapitulate the point about the very first site it is run it's full cost and there's nothing to really lose in and shutting it down dismantling it so kim jong un is really lost nothing there in offering it forward to everyone and saying that he's going to put it down the meeting itself is going to be of immense value to control this is a man who is looking for the tennessee not just internally in in the eyes of his own people he's had to work very hard since he came to power on his father's device back in twenty ten twenty eleven to work hard to hold the reins over the country and he's done us execute a series of measures to achieve that he's moved his enemies in the first reason within his administration of the way he's up to the very strong grip on his government machinery but he's had to win the confidence of hearts and minds of his people and in order to fulfill that he's got that that requires him going on to the
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world stage i mean but how does he i'm a curious you know graham how does he justify this changing policy this shifting policy to his people as you say it's a very different policy from his father is how does he justify it how does he justify the changing anti-american rhetoric to his people. well if you look if you have a look at it closely at the the rhetoric the speeches even as translated into the english language in terms of what he said since new year's is used beaches or has been very little change. or any betrayal of his. study sense of mission and objectives for the country. i think by and large you can take it that last christmas at the turn is going to be a of us i mean this is where the sticking point about egypt rights issues going to come up clearly north korea and the rest of the world or in the least the united states on different on different pages when it comes to what constitutes a crazy action and i think this is going to be one of the big things to look out
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for to the summit how that's going to be worked out but essentially coming back to north korea and kim jong un's mistreat his own people i don't think he's given up very much i don't think he's he's put himself in a position centric ssion in terms of you know going hard when we last year with those of tests and then swinging hard the other way it was you months this year in the sense of what seems to be what some people some people call equivalent of just lost anything so i think he's playing a very very careful and very well cochlear game and i think he has a compromise at all in terms of what he's trying to achieve ok let me bring back mark in washington d.c. mark you seem to think that this is a positive step i have north korea is living up to its side of the bargain if we see that they they are indeed making positive steps in the coming weeks what then can we expect from the other side from the trump administration they have owing to have to make a gesture. to north korea somehow and they what can we expect are we going to see
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a lifting of sanctions perhaps. well i think the term administration has already made a huge gesture in just a dream to sit down at the table it can be done and given the status that. the other guests have noted he craves some much but they will want something and you know there is a belief by some in washington including john bolton that they're going to get something important nothing and absolutely have to give something one thing that is in the works is no additional sanctions i think there's a pretty firm policy by the u.s. government not to relax the current sanctions but not accelerating you something also the no more talk about attacking north korea in terms of what north korea wants this is a big plus they're no longer in the crosshairs and the threat of a u.s. drake would have been very bad for both sides but disaster for north korea so putting
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that off is a plus really the united states will have to do more and already in the idea of a peace treaty is on the table that something that donald trump has indicated a positive attitude toward the end may be the biggest benefit for more of a career coming out of these series of summits book you saw korea now with the united states so what are the next step send what do we know about north korea's nuclear arsenal its intercontinental ballistic missile long some fifteen fries at a high altitude then father than any of its previous missiles it was last tested in november and the u.s. mainland was theoretically within range u.s. officials estimate north korea has sixty nuclear weapons independent experts suggest pyongyang has enough uranium to produce six new nuclear bombs a year in january twenty sixth in conjunction announced north korea's for its hydrogen bomb test but nuclear scientists have questioned that claim so robert kelly what happens next i mean if they are genuine and serious about peace north
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korea are they going to open up you know these sites for verification what are they going to be come they going to come clean about what they have you think. yeah and that's that i mean that's going to be the big fight right i mean if the north koreans stop now that's a good thing by the caps and where they are right so it freezes them in place you know ten fifteen twenty years from now we'll look back and say if they do this that that was a good thing right because you know nuclear weapons like everything else become obsolescent over time and need repair and things like that right so if they stop and they genuinely do that's a good thing going forward the real question to say is what do we do with the extant program right and the missiles are you know they seem like they have a lot of them right dozens if not hundreds and warheads to admit that the last one was somewhere around two hundred fifty to three hundred kilograms which is pretty large they may have a fusion weapon two so ultimately if there's going to be a deal there's got to be some kind of denuclearization compact i mean the north koreans have got to give on something otherwise a piece trees impossible you know sanctions or be huge pushback from hawks both in seoul and washington if it looks like the north koreans like to keep you know fifty
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weapons or something like that i mean that's really what the some it's going to be about the north koreans going to try to change the subject to things like even more cooperation sanctions and everything else but then the real acid test is will the north koreans move on the program and right now we just don't know and there's been a lot of good atmospherics but not actually a lot of concrete detail from the from casey and i the north koreans must be aware as roberts has ground that they have to undergo some sort of verification process do you think they will be willing to give access and if they do give access who are they going to give it to will it be the i.a.e.a. or when it be the u.s. you know that's going to be that's an important question and it remains to be see i mean we've seen in the past how the north koreans. so long in deal the scrutiny of awful awful i.a.e.a. inspectors when korea was on that the n.p.t. the nuclear proliferation treaty which is pulled out of the treaty and so one can really imagine that happening yet it's clearly a thing that the north koreans will have to see to in order to to establish
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a confidence and trust that is doing something tangible and sort of kenya's mention of as he mentioned capping its current program and you know. good all efforts towards the end you believe it's a rising ocean but just imagine that's typical of me having soaring u.s. inspectors or inspectors news coming in to the to scrutinize its facilities into knowledge of the north korean public i mean that's something that's a bit difficult to square off don't want in terms of the kind of credibility and prestigious respect he's trying to build for his country will stage. michael. patrick your thoughts about this whether they will give access to the u.s. or to. inspect his i mean where do you see this denuclearization process heading if it does happen or i think they will give at least partial access they've done it in the past there was a time once when the north koreans are allowed a team of american inspectors to go check out an underground facility that the
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united states suspected was a nuclear plant and it turned out to be nothing so they've done that before and they can do that again they have the i.a.e.a. in before and they absolutely have to allow the. backend to at least inspect the dissolute is that you on the on the the reactor that have been producing plutonium the uranium enrichment the reprocessing facilities those are then declare and it shouldn't be problematic in terms of of public area to use and so forth in north korea to allow the minute the problematic that they will be that the united states won't be satisfied with just going to a couple of sites they want to have greater verification throughout the country has not something that north korea will it also in the past deals have often floundered on the degree of access for verification and that may well be the case here that it
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began a summit will produce a very positive outcome but that it all fall down in the ensuing months over verification what would be the positive outcome for this summit for the u.s. you talk about the summit we have no date yet for it doesn't us even have a strategy going into this summit. oh the u.s. definitely has a strategy they're taking this very very seriously and i think we can see that by the fact that cia director might pump a.o.m. to pyongyang and have discussions with kim jong un himself the united states only has a strategy they've been careful about stating that they don't want to raise expectations too high because you know the outcome is not going to be anything perfect is going to be some degree of promise by north korea. process work of telling that promise some early. dismantlement by north korea of the test site maybe of some of the facilities at yongbyon and then a lot to be determined in the months and years ahead ok robin do you agree with
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that even the u.s. has a solid strategy going to this summit i mean we we still don't have a u.s. ambassador to south korea is there a team in place do they know what they're getting into yeah i'm a little bit more skeptical on that primarily because of the president's on erratic personality i'm genuinely doubtful that president trump can actually sit there for several hours and door a lengthy complicated discussion about denuclearization no one would normally not expect that it where you because there be a lot of staff or diplomacy that in taking place before the summit i mean summits normally happen after months or years of effort this thing is flying along it's going to happen in six or eight weeks or something like that again i mean maybe it's possible all these things are being hammered out lightning fast but it seems unlikely given how previous negotiations in north korea during the agreed framework in the six party talks went all that tells me that a lot of things going to be left unresolved and trump walks in the room and who knows what he's going to say i mean that's sort of the big question mark any other president i would say yeah we can see where this is going to go there to be want to small beer discussions and agreements and stuff like that and then verification of
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the big issue that's where it has been in the past but it might also turn out that the president just wanders off the reservation and says all kinds of erratic stuff i mean i just watch him on you tube it's. graham webb in singapore your thoughts on this where is this headed the summit between donald trump and kim jong un of course but there is the one coming up next week between the north and south korean leaders you think you know you were headed for for better relations between north and south korea well in the short to medium term i think we will. present moon has been working very hard to make sure that has been the fact i think in general is read again extremely well and at least in the least reading his out. of how he's basically skipped along and. be happy about the overtures from from of pyongyang and. reciprocated very quickly in fact just really i would say.
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and what do you think should be credited with the progress on the concessions that we've seen so far is it china is it is it south korea the south korean leader or is it the maximum pressure that the trumpet ministration has applied. it's really hard to say if you want but one could always sit on the fence and say all of these things and the stories are still flying about as to whether or not the maximum pressure effort or extra economic sanctions on iran has actually tighten the noose and brought north korea to its knees and now it's trying to negotiate but you know there's also a lot of concrete evidence suggests that the illicit illicit trade exchanges between china and korea have been also popping up in the uk and regimes so it's pretty hard to say about the maximum pressure i would see that right now my assessment is that kim jong un has been driving the series of events right from the beginning of this year and he's been reading that the geopolitical ground extremely well he knows what. his players have been reacting or who have been willing to
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react and he's the one who's calling the shots right now and i think he's the person who gains the most from the summit coming up in the near june to legitimise they'll realize it almost eight allow him to be interesting to see how things evolve thank you very much gentlemen for an interesting discussion robert kennedy graham webb and mocks it's patrick thank you very much for your time and thank you as well for watching you can always watch this program again any time by visiting our website at al-jazeera dot com for further discussion go to our facebook page at facebook dot com for sash inside story and also of course join the conversation on twitter i handle is that inside story for me for the back of one whole inside story team thank you for watching.
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from the journalism the issues here go far beyond one data mining company and one election with the listening post on al-jazeera. if you were in beijing looking out the pacific ocean you'd see american warships. somehow time is aiming to replace america and around the world well the chinese are not that stupid these guys want to dominate a huge chunk of the planet this sounds like a preparation for our first president george washington said if you want peace prepare for war the coming war on china. on a just.


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