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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  April 5, 2013 2:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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for the equipment and each movie runs about 500 bucks a pop. hash tag you're it. we asked what baseball card you would pay a pretty penny for and why. raymond smalley said i would pay $1 million for every card of former tigers short stop tramell. so worth it. and mickey mantle because it is so valuable. sell it to pay for my kids' college education. all for me. i now turn you over to wolf blitzer. jake, thanks very much. happening now, a stunning apology from president obama after his comments about a state attorney general, a close friend, are widely criticized as sexist. a punch to the gut. even the president's former chief economist is wincing at the grim new jobs report. is the economy slipping back into serious trouble? and the texas governor rick perry speaking his mind on guns, on immigration, on the letter he gave the president two or three years ago that still hasn't received in his words a
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response. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." all those stories ahead but we begin with an ominous new sign that north korea is edging closer and closer to launching a new missile. the north today warned foreign diplomats in the capital of pyongyang that it will not be able to guarantee their safety if fighting breaks out and the north korean regime suggested all those diplomats evacuate the capital. adding to the alert word north korea has two missiles ready for launch. the white house says that would fit the north's pattern of behavior. >> we've obviously seen the reports that north korea may be making preparations to launch a missile and we're monitoring the situation closely. we would not be surprised to see them take such an action. >> we'll have the situation room
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special report focused entirely on this latest north korean crisis coming up in our next hour right at the top of the hour, 6:00 p.m. eastern only here on cnn. here in the united states a rare apology for president obama over comments he made at a fundraiser, which in just a matter of a few hours, ignited a fierce debate around the country about successful working women and whether or not it's appropriate to acknowledge their looks. cnn's rene marsh is working the story for us. she has the latest details. what are those details? >> i'll tell you this. if you've been on social media, if you've turned on your tv, then you may already know this has become a hot public debate. the president feeling the heat after saying california's attorney general is a looker. harmless or over the line? you decide. kamala harris, a potential candidate for governor or maybe even the next u.s. attorney general. by many accounts, a rising star
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in the democratic party, but her resume isn't grabbing headlines. what president obama said about her thursday at a private fundraiser in california is. calling her, quote, by far the best looking attorney general. >> it ae's sexist. that simple comment drops her like a stone electorally and makes voters much less likely to see her as qualified or worthy of their vote. >> reporter: a harmless compliment or sexist remark, it sparked a debate. >> the president also causing a bit of a stir with some comments he just made. >> also raising eyebrows overnight the president out in california. >> it is not as if he called her a slut. >> the president acknowledged harris's accomplishments saying, quote, she is brilliant and dedicated and tough before mentioning her looks. >> if she were a male elected official obama would not have said and he's a handsome guy. wouldn't have happened. >> the debate requires a lot more context and a lot more
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knowledge because we don't fully know the extent of their friendship, which they claim to have. >> reporter: the president has been on the defensive before, fighting perception of a boys club attitude. the picture of his inner circle, all men, had many asking, where are the women? the president has turned that around. recently appointing women to his cabinet. most recently, the secret service director. he's not the first politician to cause a stir. >> binders full of women. >> reporter: nevertheless, the president's polling among women remains strong. >> what should the president have said when he introduced her? >> everything he said except the last thing he said, which is comment on her appearance. >> all right. well, i spoke with a professor of politics and communications at american university and he says image is very much a part of our culture whether we like it or not. he points to pictures of the president in his swim trunks that made it into magazines that generated comments just as much as a sleeveless paul ryan
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lifting weights. he says image is an equal opportunity subject in politics. wolf? >> rene marsh, thanks very much. let's go to the white house right now. our correspondent brianna kieler is there with react. didn't long for the president to do something rather extraordinary. >> reporter: that's right. that was to apologize to kamala harris last night as soon as he got back from the bay area of california where he had the fundraiser and made the comments. obviously president obama wasn't trying to be exist but has had to be very sensitive to issues involving women. we talked somewhat recently in the last few months about the fact that the top members of his cabinet and his cabinet level positions are men so he has been sensitive to that and the white house was very sensitive to the uproar these comments caused. >> president obama yesterday called california attorney general kamala harris by far the
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best looking attorney general. it created quite a buzz and uproar. some see it as a troubling pattern with a woman's success being linked to her appearance and it is unseemly for the president of the united states to say that. how has he reflected on his comments since them and has he called harris? >> the president did speak with attorney general harris last night after he came back from his trip and he called her to apologize for the distraction created by his comments. >> he felt like he messed up? >> look, i think i made clear he apologized for creating this distraction and believes very strongly that attorney general harris is an excellent attorney general and that she's done great work and she is dedicated and tough and brilliant. >> harris's office has also put out a statement in response to the president's comments. her communications director saying the attorney general and the president have been friends
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for many years. they had a great conversation yesterday and she strongly supports him. so, wolf, clear that she's not taking any offense but we should also point out that when you look at some of the president's comments in the past, he frequently does talk about people being good looking. the thing is they tend to actually be men when he is saying that. he said it in jest a number of times. this time though when he said it about a woman it created quite a buzz. >> certainly did. especially if you follow social media, brianna. thanks very much. let's dig a little deeper. joining us now, politico's deputy managing editor rachel smolkin. do ung tyou think the president needed to apologize? >> i think it was inevitable that he would. you can argue about whether he needed to. clearly something that took the white house off message a little bit and the president would want to clear up any misunderstanding shall we say about the remarks. so i didn't think that was surprising today nor did i think that the relatively supportive statement that attorney general harris issued in response was
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very surprising. >> is this a big deal or a little deal? you don't often hear a president of the united states formally issue an apology. >> it's a little deal. we're all sort of waiting for all the news of next week to happen so it happened in a little bit of a news vacuum although today we had some budget news to give attention to. we don't usually hear this kind of language from president obama, certainly not about women. so that made it unusual. i don't think we'll be hearing more language from him along these lines any time soon. i think he'll return to more traditional methods of complimenting his attorneys general. >> it does spark a little bit further discussion, though, of some of the earlier criticism the president received that there was like a little old boys network inside the white house that women weren't getting enough of a role. there weren't enough women in the cabinet. you're familiar with all that talk? >> that's a persistent criticism. certainly we've been hearing more of that early in his second term and specifically surrounding some of the cabinet picks.
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so it stirs that up a little bit though it is important to remember these are two different things and this was made in the context of complimenting attorney general harris on her professional record as well so it's not that she was being left out of any substantive decision making or a role in the administration. so a little bit different kind of situation. the divergent reactions to this have also been very interesting for everyone who's been offended by it and certainly there are people out there who have been, who also have seen some women going i don't know. it seemed like sort of a complimentary thing to say. >> were you offended at all? >> i was -- that's a good question, wolf. i wasn't offended by it. i was surprised by the language because it was a departure for the president. so that made it an interesting moment. i know here in the newsroom we talked about it a lot, stirred a lot of interest here and of course all over social media. i think any time within of those issues of women in the work place, it does stir up a lot of feelings on both sides.
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as james carville said today probably best to just stay away from that entirely because some women will be complimented. some will be offended. why go there? >> it stirred up a lot of commotion and discussion in our newsroom here at cnn as well. i'm sure newsrooms all over the country. rachel, thanks very much for coming in. >> thank you. just ahead, did the president really need to say he's sorry? we'll further ex-floplore what going on. we'll have our strategy session and talk about some other important stuff as well. and some pretty sorry jobs numbers were released today. even president obama's former chief economist says the latest report is in his words like a punch in the gut. ical thinker. ) i'm telling you right now, the girl back at home would absolutely not have taken a zip line in the jungle. (screams) i'm really glad that girl stayed at home.
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all three major indices ended down following a labor department report showing the economy added only 88,000 jobs last month. the unemployment rate actually slipped to 7.6% but that was because nearly 500,000 people left the job market. even president obama's former chief economist is calling the job report a punch to the gut. austin ghoulsby has left the white house and is joining us now. your words, a punch to the gut. how bad were the numbers, austin? >> i thought they were pretty bad. i mean, i was asked the question to describe it and i said people got, it made a little worse feeling because people got ahead of themselves last month. it was such a very positive report and it even got revised upward. but i've been saying for several weeks, i thought that it was inevitable we were going to
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start to see a slowdown because the economy is just not growing fast enough to sustain the kind of job growth we saw last month. i didn't expect it would be this negative. but it was a pretty tough report. >> because only 88,000 jobs. the analysts were expecting maybe as much as 200,000 jobs. what is it going to take to make sure we turn this around? unfortunately we're not getting a lot from the policy side to turn it around. it has to come from the private sector and the big rise of corporate profits and investment will have to lead it. i think what you've seen is the sequester starting to spook people and its impact on the growth rate is probably going to shave i'd think about half a point off of the growth rate and if it does that, that's likely to put us back into territory where we might see the unemployment rate starting to drift back up. so i'm not sure that consumer confidence is really going to be the driver of this expansion. it's going to have to come from the business sector.
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>> when we say that 500,000 people simply left the jobs market in the united states i assume that means some of them retired or moved on. they're getting older. some may be ailing. but a lot of them apparently just have given up hope of finding a job so they quit. is that right? >> yeah. i think all of those are right. and then the -- what you've seen over the last couple years, i mean, wolf, as you and i say every month, you never want to put too much in any one month's number. if you take a longer average so you can get a picture of the trend you've seen kind of two major groups where there have been a lot of -- a big drop in labor force participation. one is among young people where the unemployment's been very high but at least maybe they're going back to school or getting more skills. the other has been at the other side of the age distribution -- 50 and up -- and that's a lot tougher. you know, that's got to be people discouraged trying to switch jobs. this is the weakest part of the labor market, that long-term
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unemployment problem and the drop out of the labor force problem. >> what do you think, austin, of the president's decision. he's going to be releasing his own proposed budget next week and it is apparently going to include some cuts in the rate of growth of social security and medicare and a lot of liberal democrats are not happy to hear that. >> i agree. you know, he's got some of his own people kind of up in arms that he was willing to propose that. now, from what i gather, he's only putting that on the table as part of a broader package. he is not voluntarily saying, hey, i just want to cut entitlements. he is saying if we could get more revenues, i'm willing to do revenues with cuts and let's do it as a broad package. i hope that all of the sides will come together and they will be able to do some grand bargain but i'm not overly optimistic having seen this play out three or four times in a row. >> nobody is overly optimistic when it comes to that so-called grand bargain. austin, thanks very much for
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coming in. >> thanks for having me again, wolf. coming up, she's an old friend so why did the president have to call and apologize formally after praising her abilities and her looks? you're in "the situation room." more than two years ago, the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf. and every day since, we've worked hard to keep it. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy. we've shared what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely. bp's also committed to america. we support nearly two-hundred-fifty thousand jobs
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showing you glimpses inside the mind of the alleged colorado movie theater shooter james holmes. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and some other top stories in the situation room right now. what's the latest? >> new papers released by prosecutors reveal holmes' psychiatrist warned campus police about how dangerous he could be and that he talked
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about killing people. he reportedly sent her threatening texts and at one point mailed her a bizarre package containing $400 in burned bills. holmes apparently acquired an arsenal of almost 1,000 bullets or shotgun rounds. he is facing the death penalty for the killings of 12 people in the massacre last july. and horrifying video from our chicago affiliate of a roll over school bus crash that left one person dead in another vehicle. 35 children had to be transported to the hospital with minor injury. no details yet on what caused that accident. and for the first time since becoming pope, pope francis is publicly addressing the sex abuse scandal that rocked the catholic church. according to the vatican, he's urging the church hierarchy to act decisively and carry out due proceedings against the guilty. the pope says the issue is important to the church's credibility and worship. and the federal judge in new york is ordering the fda to make the so-called morning after birth control pill available to
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people of any age without a prescription. that ruling overturns a 2011 decision by health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius requiring a prescription for girls under the age of 17. the justice department indicates an apeefl the rulipeal of the rr consideration. all eyes were on this oakland as fan who managed to catch a ball that flew into the stands with one hand. look at him there. looks like he didn't even put his drink down to do that. the as beat the seattle mariners at last night's game but perhaps they should consider adding this guy to the team. how about that, wolf? >> nice catch. saved the glass, too, as well. very impressive, lisa. thank you. when we come back, president obama's controversial comments about california's attorney general and her good looks. did he actually need to call her and apologize for saying that?
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plus, my interview with the texas governor rick perry. he speaks his mind on guns, immigration, and the letter he gave the president some two years ago. maybe three years ago. still hasn't received a response from the white house. new car! hey! [squeals] ♪ [ewh!] [baby crying] the great thing about a subaru is you don't have to put up with that new car smell for long. introducing the versatile, all-new subaru forester. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
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happening now, president obama makes a rare apology for comments that have ignited a fierce national debate about successful, working women and their looks. was an apology the right move? former republican presidential candidate rick perry says he personally handed president obama a letter two or three years ago. he is still waiting for a formal response. my interview on that and a whole lot more with the texas governor just ahead. and u.s. tensions with north korea right now only getting worse. stay tuned for our special report right at the top of the hour on the growing crisis. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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let's get back to that rare apology from the president of the united states today and the uproar over his comments -- comments he made about the california attorney general's good looks. joining us now to talk a little bit more about that and other subjects in our strategy session two cnn contributors. the democratic strategist donna brazile and the republican strategist anna navarro. what do you make of all this, anna? >> i think he did the right thing by apologizing. whether he offended kamala harris or not he did offend some women. this is a sensitive issue for women. a lot of times women are put through a double standard when it comes to their looks -- professional women -- that men are not. so as we fight for equality, it is an important issue. also, wolf, he is the president of the united states. and like it or not the president of the united states gets a higher level of scrutiny than just about anybody else. and i also think there's some sort of double standard when it
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comes to president obama. i can tell you that i had a conversation this morning with the attorney general of florida, pam bondi. 44 years old, long, blonde hair. i said to pam bondi who was a very strong supporter of mitt romney what would have happened if mitt romney during the campaign had told you just how attractive you were. she said you know what? all hell would have broken loose. i completely agree with her. i think he acted correctly by apologizing. it was the right thing to do. >> what about you, donna? >> well, i hope this put the issue to rest. president obama has known kamala harris for many, many years. they are long-time friends. but there is an issue here and that is for years, for decades women were judged by their appearance, their hair style, not their professional qualifications. what president obama did do correctly and hopefully every man and woman take note that he praised her work. he called her brilliant. he said that she's dedicated and
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she's tough and that's what you want in a top ranking law enforcement official. she is an amazing, extraordinary public servant and i just hope that this president who's a champion of women's equality, and that's why you rarely hear this president, you know, have to apologize, because this is a president that's opening doors for women. not only elevating two women to the united states supreme court, women in his cabinet, but his policy issues for women in combat to signing this policy this last month this is a president who knows how to sit at the table with women in charge as well. >> donna, should the president have apologized? >> he did so i don't have to comment on it. >> i know. did he do the right thing by apologizing? >> you know, if you offend somebody in this society today and if you can apologize, and ask for forgiveness, i think that's the right thing to do and put it behind you because this is a distraction. there is so much more that i wish i could talk about in terms of the budget that's going to come out next week that is going to cause a lot of us liberals a
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little heartburn. >> i know you're not happy with some of the president's proposed cuts in social security and medicare. we'll get to that. candy crowley interviewed kamala harris not that long ago. she spoke about her admiration for the president. they obviously have a good relationship. listen to this little clip. >> you've sometimes been referred to as the, quote, female barack obama. what is your take on that? >> well, first of all, i am a huge fan of our president, and i think he has done an extraordinairy job as president of the united states on many levels so i'm humbled by that comparison and i think that, you know, there's a lot of work to be done and there are a lot of us out here who hold elected offices who i think have similar experiences to the president in terms of our background. >> anna, are we blowing this whole issue out of proportion? i just want to point out that
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it's not often you hear a president, any president formally apologize. >> no. it's not. look, are we blowing it out of proportion? i don't know, wolf. maybe if congress were in session and there were more things happening in the world and in congress it wouldn't be such a big deal as it is today. but nonetheless, it is a big issue for women. let's just put that on the table. it's something that we've been wrestling with for decades since women have been in the work force. we want to be recognized not for our hair cuts, not for our lip color, not for what we're wearing. we want to be recognized for our accomplishments and our qualifications. we saw for example hillary clinton who just about said, you know, a year ago i am not going to conform to these social pressures and started wearing a ponytail and very little makeup after having gone through 20 hair styles in her life. so it's something that i think most women understand that we are judged differently and it's an important issue to talk about, to discuss, and air out.
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>> context matters. i mean, again, he praised her work as a chief law enforcement officer in the state of california and then he made a blunt compliment about, you know, mrs. harris being one of the best looking attorney generals. so of course he apologized. distraction. let's move forward. >> context matters when it's president obama but i'm telling you, when it's mitt romney talking about binders of women or just about anything else it is a war on women. >> there is a war on women. and right now as we speak in north dakota and arkansas aother places across this country the republican party is once again trying to restrict the woman's right to choose. so there is a war on women. we can put it in context. and we could talk about whether or not this president has done enough for women to promote women's equality and women and girls in the work force and trying to raise the standard of pay for women, giving women
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roles in combat. we can do that. but this president has been a champion for true equality for women in the work place. >> listen, i agree with you he has done some things but also we've seen things for example like the front page picture in the "new york times" where there was nothing but men and half of valerie jarrett's leg in the oval office in a big-time meeting. we've also heard him call a reporter sweetie at one point. so has he done a lot? yes. has he been to the level that a president needs to be in this day and age? no. he did the right thing by apologizing. he had to apologize. >> the one thing you'll know about the democratic women including the vice chair of the party and the chair of the party debby wassermann schultz, where none of us is shrinking violets. we push and press and lobby every day for this president to be the very best president of all the people of the united states including half the population, which happens to be female. >> we should agree. he had to apologize. >> well, amen. it's over. >> don't go away. we got more to discuss with both
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of you. despite the growing number of senate democrats getting behind same sex marriage, one in particular isn't budging right now. you'll find out why. that's coming up. and hillary clinton is back in the spotlight and it sounds like she plans on staying there. stay with us. great first gig! let's go! party! awwwww... arigato! we are outta here! party...... finding you the perfect place, every step of the way.
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the ranks of senate democrats getting behind same sex marriage is growing with two more jumping into the mix today. that leaves four who have not. tim johnson of south dakota, joe manchin of west virginia. mark pryor of arkansas and senator mary landrieu of
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louisiana. our national political correspondent jim acosta spoke with senator landrieu earlier today. >> no. i have very personal views about same sex marriage. i believe people should love who they love and marry who they want to marry. like other people said, my views have evolved thon but my state has a very strong constitutional amendment against gay marriage and i think i have to honor that. >> let's get back to our strategy session. our cnn contributors still with us, donna brazille and anna navarro. what do you make of her explanation, donna, that she's not going to support same sex marriage because her state, louisiana, has that constitutional amendment banning in effect same sex marriage? >> well, i respect her. she's a senior senator from my home state. she's a personal friend. i have to tell you i interned for mary when i was 17. she is a dynamic woman and great
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lawmaker and i hope she wins re-election. that said, we have four democrats who haven't spoken on the record and supported gay marriage. again, i hope they all evolve. a year ago, when president obama jumped onboard, i was proud of the president. i'm proud of all of the democratic senators and i just hope that one day they will see clear that there is no second class citizens in our society and there is no -- there should be no form of discrimination that we allow in our society and hopefully one day the people, the great people of louisiana will see that as well. >> it sounds, donna, like she doesn't want to do it to endorse same sex marriage because she's up for re-election next year and it could hurt her. >> as you well know there are many democrats up for re-election next year and many of them have come onboard. kay haagin just this past week. mr. bachus of montana. so clearly, when we started this conversation earlier this week and talked about mr. nelson of florida we kept saying well
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maybe these are democrats who are vulnerable. no. it's a matter of their conscience and their -- and hopefully again they will understand there is no place in our society for any form of discrimination. including discrimination against gays and lesbians marrying. so i applaud those who have come out and support and we will continue to push the others along. >> i know, anna, you are one of those republicans who have endorsed same sex marriage but only two republican senators out of 45, only two have endorsed the same sex marriage, governor portman, excuse me, senator portman of ohio and senator kirk of illinois. where is the rest of your party? >> i think they're in the process of evolving. some will not evolve. some are evolving. i know i've talked to a number of republican elected officials who are telling me that they are thinking about this and they are evolving on this. wolf, the fact that this is in front of the supreme court has forced the entire country to think about this question and i think it's why you've seen this
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uptick and increase in support of marriage equality in the last few months and weeks. because we have been talking about it, because it's been an education for the entire country frankly and it's been the most rapidly changing social evolution i can remember in my lifetime. just a year ago, the president of the united states was against it. bill clinton was against it. hillary clinton was against it. and all of a sudden it all changed. so it can change quickly. i am very happy that my senior senator bill nelson came out and endorsed gay marriage yesterday. it has changed so much, wolf, that i remember when coming out used to refer to a gay person coming out of the closet. nowadays coming out refers to a politician or public figure coming out and endorsing and in support of gay marriage. if you notice, what we haven't seen, in the last few weeks and months, is anybody speaking that ugly tone and the hostile rhetoric against homosexuality.
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i mean, in an elected office. >> it takes leadership. >> and i think that in itself is great progress. we haven't heard senators or congress people speaking harshly against gay marriage. if they're not for it, they're mostly silent. >> a lot of evolution going on right now. >> absolutely. >> all right. thanks very much. coming up here in "the situation room" hillary clinton gets treated like a rock star or like a presidential candidate. is she back in the spotlight to stay? texas governor rick perry talks to me about guns, immigration, and a whole lot more. grated sec, we consider ourselves business optimizers. how? by building custom security solutions that integrate video, access control, fire and intrusion protection. all backed up with world-class monitoring centers, thousands of qualified technicians, and a personal passion to help protect your business. when your business is optimized like that, there's no stopping you. we are tyco integrated security.
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>> hillary clinton got a wild reception at a women's event in new york city today. very enthusiastic. let's talk about it with our chief political correspondent candy crowley the host of cnn's state of the union. what signs will you be looking for in the weeks, months ahead that she is in fact going to run for that democratic presidential nomination? >> maybe even a year and a half or so. i think what you begin to look at is where does she light? is she going to, for instance, start her own foundation? is it going to be centered around women and females around the world and their empowerment which certainly we believe it will. that's one thing. that's a policy thing around which she could certainly sit and do things on the way to a presidential campaign. as we know from the mitt romney campaign who you associate with, what boards you are on, who you speak to, all things that are kind of staples of retirement for politicians, you go and join
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the boards of companies and you give a lot of speeches. who do you give them to? what boards you're on say a lot about whether you're going to run. the minute they become controversial, this is a woman who is probably free of the decision and has decided not to run. again, i don't think it'll come for another maybe 18 months or so. but those are the kinds of things i think you have to look at. >> does she -- until she decides does she effectively freeze this contest for other democrats? >> i don't think so. i actually don't. i know that's how everyone is waiting to see what hillary clinton is going to do and then clear the way. maybe joe biden wouldn't run but, you know, go talk to governor o'malley in maryland. go talk to andrew cuomo in new york. i think that neither one of them would be, quote, scared out of the race awaiting hillary clinton's decision. i think what everybody is doing at this point. anybody you could name that we look at as a possible 2016 candidate are keeping their options open as she is. the difference is she can keep
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her options open for a lot longer because she's the best known. >> she certainly is. candy, state of the union sunday 9:00 a.m. eastern. up next the texas governor rick perry has a message for the white house. also coming up at the top of the hour, north korea. is it actually ready to launch a missile? our special report right at the top of the hour. hey, this is challenger. i'll be waiting for you in stall 5. it confirms your reservation and the location your car is in, the moment you land. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz. what's the "new" in the new new york?. a new property tax cap... and the lowest middle class income tax rate in 60 years... and a billion dollars in tax breaks and incentives.
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texas is on adjunct for the killing of a district attorney and murder of another prosecutor. governor rick perry said they are, quote, direct attacks on the core of our civil society.
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and the governor of texas, rick perry, is joining us now. governor, thanks very much for coming. >> good to see you, wolf, thank you. >> there are a lot of theories about the killings in texas. as far as you know, right now, are they connected? >> we don't know. and i think that's the appropriate position to take is that, as this investigation goes forward, a lot of different theories, as you've said. and we've been doing battle with various and sundry groups, whether it's drug cartels, aryan brotherhood, you name it, we seem to be at ground zero for a lot of activity dealing with a porous border with drugs, with prostitution, with all the other criminal activities that go along with that type of porous border. >> let's talk about guns right now. according to all of the recent
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polls, including a university poll that just came out, 91% support what's called universal background checks for all gun buyers. very similar to a cbs news poll that just came out, only 8% opposed the universal background checks for all gun buyers. what about you? >> oh, i think what's going on here is that the usual knee-jerk reaction to, we've got to do something to the gun violence that's occurring, i wish people were as focused on the mental side of this. we're looking at some expansion of mental health, particularly for our veterans in the state of texas. we're seeing these huge numbers of suicides, and our young men and women coming home from being engaged in ten years of combat. so rather than a quick fix that frankly, i don't think is going to make a difference from the standpoint of gun violence, we need to be looking at who are the individuals who in fact are
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involved with these violent crimes, who are the people that are pulling the triggers, rather than a band-aid that, frankly, is not going to make one citizen safer. >> you're with the tiny minority, 8%, or 9% who oppose universal background checks? you don't think that really is necessary? >> no, i think it is not going to address the issue. again, these individuals who want to pass laws as a knee-jerk reaction, and then go home and think that they have addressed, i have to deal with the reality. as the governor of the state of texas. and universal background checks is not going to save one life. i will suggest to you. and that is a panacea. >> let's talk about immigration. there's a big push, there's this so-called gang of eight democratic senators, four republican senators. they seem to be working toward a compromise that would eventually alo so many, in fact, most of the 11 or 12 million illegal
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immigrants in the united states, become legal residents of the united states, and if they do a whole bunch of things and the border is secure, they'll have a pathway to citizenship after many years. are you with them on that? >> well, i hope that this country will come together, and that the extremists on both sides of this issue will not be listened to, frankly, and that men and women who really are looking for a solution to how to deal with the issue of immigration can come together, and as a country, we can solve, fought only this problem, but many problems that face this country. we do that rather well, in my home state. democrats and republicans working together. but trying to reduce the influence of those that are on the extremes, on either side, i will suggest to you is very important. with that said, you cannot have
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an immigration policy until you address the issue of border security. >> the so-called gang of eight, they say the first priority, as you say, is to secure the border. but they say once it's secure, then you could have a policy that eventually leads to a pathway to citizenship. not just legal status in the united states. and i'll repeat the question, are you with them when it comes to that pathway to citizenship? >> we have a pathway to citizenship today. you get in line, just like people have always done. the idea that we're going to give amnesty to 12 million people, again, i think that's on the extreme outside of this debate. and just as shipping 12 million people back to their homes is on the extreme side of this debate. i don't think either one of those are reasonable positions. and if americans will come together on this, and i think there are some reasonable, thoughtful people, both in congress, and governors who have
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to deal with this, who need to be brought in, and i will suggest to you, wolf, ta that's one of the things that's missing. the president hasn't called up the governor of one of the largest states who has the longest border with mexico, and said, governor, what do you think we need to do about the issue of immigration? i would be open to that conversation any day. >> you might be getting a phone call from him after this interview, if his aides are watching, or if he's watching. so if he calls you, are you ready to go to the white house and sit down with the president and try to come up with some sensible solutions to comprehensive immigration reform? >> absolutely. as a matter of fact, i handed him a letter some two or three years ago on the tarmac at the austin airport about that issue, about border security, and yet to get a response. >> 2016, how seriously are you thinking about that republican presidential nomination once
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again? >> i've got 55 days left of the men and women who are working in this building behind me. the texas capital, our legislature will be leaving in approximately 55 days. and hopefully with a great budget put together, and continuing to make texas the epicenter for economic growth in this country. and at that particular point in time, i'll sit down with friends and family and make a decision about 2016. >> so you're obviously open to that notion? >> indeed. >> have you given any thought at all to a possible rick perry versus hillary clinton race in 2016? has that even entered your mind? >> i've given a lot more thought to how i work with the very disparate groups over in the capital as we put a budget together, and deal with water and transportation, infrastructure, and electrical power, and keep this state on track to lead the nation in job
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creation. >> what do you think about her in general, though? >> i think the first lady is a very capable, thoughtful and public servant. and i appreciate her service. >> she was the first lady. she was also the former secretary of state, former senator. she got a lot of credentials out there. so that would be a formidable race, right? >> i would suggest that whoever the democrats put forward will be a credible candidate in 2016. >> governor, thanks very much for joining us. >> wolf, it's always good to be with you. come to texas one of these days. >> thank you. >> yes, sir. >> yes, sir. so long. -- captions by vitac -- i'm wolf blitzer, this is a special "situation room" report. north korean crisis. happening now. missiles poised and tensions rising. north korea may be hinting at a timetable for an active
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aggression ta could rattle the world. u.s. troops in the region, they are on alert. we have new details emerging right now in how a war might start, and put tens of thousands of americans in danger. and is someone pulling kim jong-un's strings? we're learning about two people with considerable power to influence north korea's young ruler. in north korea right now, we're told that two -- two -- missiles are in their launchers, loaded and ready to go. the white house said it won't be surprised if kim jong-un orders those missiles to be fired in a new test of his military power. the communist leader is sending all sorts of signals about his next move, and when it might happen, including an ominous new warning to foreign diplomats in the north korean capital. our correspondents are standing by with all the latest developments in the region. and here in the united states.
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christiane amanpour and faique sa cary are here. but first, let's go to our pentagon correspondent, barbara starr, for the very latest. barbara? >> wolf, there were some initial signs today that things could be cooling off a little bit with the north koreans. but then again, maybe not. a dire new warning from kim jong-un, to foreign embassies in the capital pyongyang. after april 10th, the regime may not be able to protect them in the event of war. sweden, which oversees american and britain and russia cautiously acknowledged the warning. >> translator: we are very much concerned over the escalation of tension. we also asked if this is just a pro proposal or requirement. we are told this is only a proposal. >> reporter: one u.s. official called it weird. nobody knows what the north koreans are trying to do. it comes as the u.s. now
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believes north korea has loaded two musudan missiles into mobile launchers and could be ready to fire them at any time from its eastern coastline. those missiles with a 2,500-mile range theoretically could hit targets as far away as guam and even alaska's west coast. >> we would not be surprised to see them take such an action. >> reporter: the u.s. is watching two critical dates on the calendar. april 15th, the 101st birthday of kim ill song, and april 30th, when the military exercise ends. the regime could then feel free to launch a small-scale attack, perhaps at sea or across the border. but it's hard to really know what the north koreans have in mind. after days of broadcasts with talk of war, for now, it's new
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stores, farms and medicine on state tv. why is all of this so important, wolf? well, it missile movement is so far the only substantive military movement by the north korean regime. that's why everyone is watching it so closely. if they were to test fire these missiles, and if it these missiles went over japan, this will rattle the asian region, the economic powerhouse of the region that the world has come to depend on. wolf? >> it certainly would. barbara starr at the pentagon, thank you. as the crisis in north korea plays out, chuck hagel said the units cannot afford to underestimate kim jong-un. he said all it takes is being wrong once for something disastrous to happen. cnn's tom foreman is in our virtual studio with a closer look at how a war could start. >> wolf, all eyes remain on the east coast of north korea, and
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on these, these mobile launch musudan missiles. if one of these takes off, everything changes very, very quickly. general, come on over here and let's bring if the map and talk about this some. if there is a launch, you say the very first thing would be some ak son by a satellite. why? >> tom, this satellite is going to pick up the infrastructure, the i.r. signature coming off the mobile launcher. instantaneously, it will send messages to the tracking system. so we can track the telemetry of that missile. >> it involves units at sea, on land, in the air, everywhere, to hone in on this thing, right? >> exactly correct. from the ground, from the sea, from the air. totally integrated. tracking the missile. and the key objective there is to make sure it's not threatening a u.s. or allied resource in the region. >> it's worth noting this is not an easy task. a missile like this would be traveling at thousands of miles an hour. it's nothing at all like an airplane. >> no, it's not. this technology has been
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exceptionally highly refind. it's totally automated. >> if we see this moving toward a target, something we care about, that we want to protect, if the computers see that happening, they will automatically do what? >> they will take that missile out, but that's just the start. >> how will they take it out? >> it will be launched from one of the platforms, either from the sea or on the ground, that will be able to track it, it will be a -- >> a countermissile, blow it apart in the air. >> right. >> then there is the human equation. because humans have to say, how do we respond to the fact that they tried to hit an asset, or maybe didn't. >> this is a political, strategic decision. and those that are acting most closely to all of this is the united nations command, which is in south korea. and the objective there is to maintain the armistice. we might in fact go after the exact launch location, where that missile came from. but the objective is to maintain the armistice. that is a cease-fire that we signed in 1953.
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>> maintain a north korea, south korea and south. >> could be tense moments along the way to maintaining that objective. wolf is this. >> guys, thanks very much. let's bring in fareed zakaria, also joining us our chief international correspondent christiane amanpour. they're loading missiles, christiane. what is going on over here? >> can i just take a deep breath and step back? we don't actually know if they are for sure loading their missiles on their launchers. we have not been told that has actually been spotted. what we do know is the united states is saying the prudent thing, probably the obvious thing is we won't be surprised if there is some kind of launch. this will not be the first launch from north korea. they've done this stuff before. the south koreans are saying, that they do not know whether this -- if it happens -- will be an act of aggression, in other words, targeting something or will it be a test. they have not seen, despite
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they're deploying defensive warships, et cetera, they have not seen any mass movement of any troops, nor are they mass moving their own troops. the embassies, the governments, the foreign ministers, you just heard the russian, who have had the advisory from north korea, to perhaps move out their people, and would they like help in doing that. they are not doing that yet. neither britain nor the russians are deciding to evacuate their embassies. so i think everybody is really trying to take a step back, perhaps being prepared for the inevitable which might be some kind of launch, but they're not saying they think this will be a hostile thing or trigger a wider war. >> the actual decision they made to ask for in diplomats, you might want to lead, that seems more ominous than maybe launching -- than putting these two missiles on these launchers, which they've done before. as christiane points out. >> much more ominous, wolf, you're exactly right. the russian foreign minister
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said, are you demanding we do that or some kind of a plan? then they were told, it's a proposal. what the hell does that mean. i think so far, christiane is absolutely right, everybody has tended to be quite restrained in responding to south korea. the u.s. has the most difficult role where we have to reassure the japanese and south koreans so they don't overreact, that we will take care of things. yet no one wants to overreact, because there's a real danger here that if you overreact and you do something, this regime is probably pretty fragile and it could collapse and that produces a whole set of problems that nobody wants to deal with. not the south koreans who don't want to unify, not the chinese, in some ways not even us. >> why would the white house, jay carney the white house press secretary would say publicly, the u.s. would not be surprised that north korea took this -- >> well, i think they're realizing this is following a pattern that has been evident for the last 35 years. provocation, accommodation,
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provocation, accommodation. and i've been looking at the timeline, often when they've threatened these things, they've done it. it happened in february, it happened with the nuclear test in february, with the satellite launch in december. so these things have happened, and they have warned it. i think the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general dempsey, traveling in germany today said it correctly, look, we are not trying to be provocative, we're trying to be defensive. they understand that some of their moves have obviously rattled the north koreans and have contributed to this constant ratcheting up of tit for tat. he's been saying also that one of the things we really find very difficult right now is that we just don't know what motivates this new young leader. you know, we had a relationship of sorts with the founder, kim song il. with kim jong-un we had some relationship of his life. but this is new. >> this raises an important issue, fareed, because the u.s. has terrific technical information, satellite, intercepts, that kind of stuff, but not necessarily good insight
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into what is going on with the 28 or 29 or 30-year-old young leader in north korea. >> wolf, when you talk to senior u.s. officials, te really know nothing about what's going on in north korea. it's a black box. we haven't had diplomats this, of course, we haven't had much of a presence in terms of the cia. we don't understand the society. the this is true not just of north korea, it's true of iran. the u.s. has real difficulty understanding these rogue regimes, because we don't talk to them. >> hold on, guys, we have more to talk about amongst ourselves. up next, kim jong-un's leadership has been questioned. is someone else really running the show behind the scenes? new information coming in. a closer look at north korea's arsenal reveals it may not be the weapons that pose the biggest danger. we went out and asked people a simple question:
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the north korean leader kim jong-un's threats and bluster may be getting the world's attention, but many suspect he's little more than a puppet. the public face of a more mysterious and powerful hierarchy that's really in control. our pentagon correspondent chris lawrence has more on who may be pulling kim's strings. what are you learning over there, chris? >> reporter: make no mistake, wolf, i mean, there is a power behind this throne. it's really a family affair, with one woman in particular sitting right next to the throne. north korean video show us how kim jong-un wants the world to see him. but they barely give us a peek
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into kim's inner circle. what are we not seeing in this video? >> the people whispering to him in the ear, his key advise ers. >> reporter: joseph is a retired intelligence official who focused on korea. >> here we see a row of male officials, and one woman. who is she? >> this is the aunt. this is the sister of kim jong-il. >> reporter: she holds powerful positions in north korea's cabinet. they made her a four-star general in 2010 and she helped transfer power from her brother to her nephew. >> she is someone who is an operator behind the scenes. >> reporter: and the most powerful woman in north korea. >> but it's her husband who is the rainmaker of the kim regime. >> reporter: he led north korea's attempt to revive the economy, and has extensive ties to china of the he's now kim's key policy adviser. >> he's come very far, in a very short period of time.
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from number 19th to number 2. >> reporter: he may be the closest north korea has to a reformer. >> anyone who deviates, even slightly from the path. >> reporter: outside the first family, the inner circle is small. are these kim's military elite? >> no, they're gone. most of these people are gone now. >> reporter: kim purged the military veterans his father relied on and installed his own men. this is a party man, the first bureaucrat to run the military in the arms sales business. >> he is someone who is considered to be the kim jong-un's inner circle man when it comes to the military. >> make no mistake, kim rules with an iron fist, but it's not an isolated one. and after sweeping aside a lot of the folks who were in power with his father, he's even more reliant now than ever on his aunt and uncle, wolf.
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>> chris lawrence, with good information from the pentagon. thanks very much. let's bring in fareed zakaria, also our chief international correspondent christiane amanpour. this notion of he's a puppet, that there are these people pulling the strings behind the scenes, what do you make of that? >> i think, look, he's a 29-year-old boy, he's barely in office for much time. clearly he is not alone in exercising power. clearly this is a military dictatorship and that means the military part is very important. i think he does have -- it's a family dynasty, wedded to military power, so both sides have an important play. the key adviser is the liaison to chin amplt the reason north korea is able to survive is the chinese government provides 80% of its food and fuel. the man who negotiates with china is probably the lifeline of the regime. >> it's so weird, i mean, you can't make this kind of stuff up, christiane, one day he's going to a basketball game with
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dennis rodman, and inviting dennis rodman over for dinner, partying it up, whatever they were doing, and the next day he's threatening south korea, japan, the united states. >> it's more than weird, it's actually very troubling that the united states of america, the super power does not have any personal relationship or personal insight into this very troubled adversary, north korea. there's no diplomacy, no face-to-face engagement, no nl. when you hear the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff saying that this is what makes it so difficult and difficult to read, because we don't have -- >> what should the obama administration be doing? >> there should be more diplomacy. >> like what is this. >> engagement. whoever thought, you know that the united states relies mostly on china. in other words, the united states currently is outsourcing its most critical issues, let's say iran on one hand but also north korea. right now to china. i've spoken to you as officials
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whose job it is to deal with this, and they are hoping beyond hope, fingers crossed, that china will use its leverage to bring kim jong-un into control and into line. and also, china has been saying they're very troubled by this. they regret various moves. but you know, what are they going to do? >> is the u.s. outsourcing its diplomacy to china? >> yes. >> it is the chinese -- >> that's not true. the chinese is the super power of the world. >> christiane, we could nuke them. >> no, there's diplomacy. nobody's going to nuke anybody. >> guff me a second. they are one of the most isolated countries in the world. you talk about understanding them. because we -- >> not understanding. i'm talking about engagement and diplomacy. >> the chinese speak the language and they are the same people. they are more baffled by the north koreans than we are. the reason this regime is difficult to understand is it is a brutal dictatorship. it has starved 2 million of its
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own people. can you explain the rationale behind that? no, we can't comprehend the way in which they do these things. >> the united states engage with the soviet union, a military nuclear power. >> you find when regimes are isolated, it is very difficult for us, particularly, to have much control over them, because we don't trade with them. we don't do anything -- we can't sanction north korea. because they don't do any business with us anyway. the one country that does business with them is china. it's not that we're outsourcing, we're going to the country that has influence. >> because we have no connections. >> they do business with iran. they sell stuff to iran. they do some business with syria. they've sold some stuff -- they do business with other countries. and that presumably brings in a little bit of foreign currency for them. >> you're going to ask mr. assad to help us with the north koreans? >> i want to bring this up, because all of us remember how the u.s. indeed -- i think the whole world miscalculated saddam hussein in 1990, on the eve of his invasion of kuwait when he
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moved 100,000 u.s. -- or iraqi troops from the iranian border to the kuwaiti border, and all the top u.s. officials were telling me, i assume they were telling you, he's bluffing, he's not going to go in and invade a fellow arab country, maybe he wants the kuwaitis to raise the price of oil a little bit. he would never do that. maybe a little border skirmish. it's really a bluff. and it wasn't a bluff, and he went in and went like a knife through butter into kuwait. i think of that now when i see people saying kim jong-un is bluffing. >> he may have called everybody's bluff, but the united states assembled, with a coalition, 500,000 troops. >> over six months. >> yes. and did the job of getting rid of him. they would thought appease what happened. and he went back. the real bluff was saddam hussein thinking the world was bluffing in 2003. he didn't think the united states was going to invade. and he was busy telling people
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he didn't have any nuclear -- that he had nuclear weapons when he didn't. now the north koreans do. >> but the question i'm asking is, if all of these analysts right now are suggesting, fareed, he's bluffing, he's got his own initiative, he's not going to do nag crazy, suicidal, should we believe that? >> what we have to do is some mixture of deterrence. i agree that there has to be a better way to understand them. tess regimes are inherently unpredictable because they rest on very narrow bases of power. one guy. the saddam case is a perfect one. it wasn't just u.s. analysts saying this, it was the king of jordan saying this, the president of egypt. all the arabs who spoke his language, who met him several times, they thought he was bluffing. so when we look at north korea, when the south koreans don't understand it, let's not get too deeply soo the psycho analysis of one human being. what we have to do is protect our interests, reassure our allies and put in place a
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structure that speaks peace. >> we have more to discuss. a lot more coming up on our special report. up next, north korea's missile force -- missiles may force global powers to pay serious attention. we have live reports from the international capitals in the region, where war fears are building right now. and a rare and remarkable look at the tense korean border. from the communist north side. stay with us. state.ork what's the "new" in the new new york? a new property tax cap... and the lowest middle class income tax rate in 60 years... and a billion dollars in tax breaks and incentives. new opportunities for business. over 250,000 new private sector jobs were created over the last two years. and 17 straight months of job growth. with the most private sector jobs ever. lower taxes, new incentives, new jobs, now that's news. to grow or start your business in the new new york visit
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is "the situation room" special report, the north korean crisis. the ripple effects of the korean crisis are being felt far beyond the korean peninsula, thanks to the worldwide reach of cnn, we're monitoring this crieses from capital around the globe. let's start with cnn's kim leh joining us now in seoul. what's going on there now? >> caller: well, wolf, this is a country with the biggest bull's-eye on it. seoul is only about an hour's drive south of the dmz. and there is growing concern about these incremental steps that appear to be leading to a possible, we stress possible conflict. there continues to be tough talk from the south korean government, and among the older generation, people who truly remember the 1950 to 1953 korean conflict, a bloody conflict that also claimed many american lives. there is concern about that
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possibility. but overwhelmingly, there is numbness in this city. they have seen these missile launches before. so for the place with the biggest target on it, it is praying this will also, if there is a missile launch, only be a test. now, for the view from china, my colleague, david mckenzie? david? >> that's right, kim. here in beijing, north korea has had few friends for a long time, but china has always been one of them. western diplomats believe china could hold the leverage point to solve the situation diplomatically. because china could literally cut the taps off to north korea, with fuel and food supplies. but on the chinese side, they face this balancing act, because china wants the status quo to remain. they believe the dictatorship in north korea could help them here, and provide a buffer against u.s. troops in the korean peninsula. so while china should be the leverage point, they don't want
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to push too hard. let's hear from moscow and phil black. >> thank you, david. the russian government said its representative and all other foreign ambassadors in pyongyang have been advised by a north korean official to consider packing up their embassies and pulling out their people. this has seemed to taken russia by surprise. the foreign minister here said what is this exactly? is it a direct order from the north korean leader subpoena or just a suggestion? we're told for the moment it is only a suggestion. the british government says its ambassador was also among those who were washed they could not be protected in the event of a military conflict. and now have all just been given four days to let the north korean government know if they need any help to evacuate. for the moment, both britain and russia say they have no immediate plans to withdraw their people. but they are considering their options. back to you, wolf. >> for the moment, that was our key words. guys, thanks very much.
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reporting from around the world. let's bring back cnn's fareed zakaria, and christiane amanpour. christiane, you were there in the good old days when the north koreans blew up one of their nuclear reactors. >> i was, indeed, that was in 2008. they invited a selective group of journalists in the winter of that year to accompany the new york philharmonic orchestra to pyongyang as one of these unprecedented cultural events between pyongyang and washington, d.c. it marked an agreement of some sorts between pyongyang and washington. we saw them do that. we saw them do. they disabled it. we saw them do it. well, that was several months later when they then blew it up, as a further show of good faith. well, afterwards, kim jong-il fell ill.
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and after that, these talks basically went nowhere. and then the gradual ratcheting up of these tensions. let's just go back to before 2007, and it was the bush administration's decision not to engage with north korea. in fact, to cut off all previous engagement with north korea. to dismiss south korea's sunshine policy, this was the policy of president george w. bush, after that north korea pulled out of the nonproliferation treaty and then kicked out the iaea, the u.n. atomic agencies from pyongyang and they went ahead and did several tests. that's where we are now. there are americans who continue to go to north korea. not all the time, but they do still go. some of them are very highly based scientists, one was the director of the los alamos laboratory, and many others, former secretaries of defense, william perry, and others have been there. and they do have this two-track,
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or track 2 policy going on. there are people who can have this dialogue. but they're not empowered to have official dialogue. >> they're very sensitive, the north koreans. when i was there in december 2010, christiane speaks about the visit which was well received in pyongyang of the new york philharmonic. the north koreans wanted to send their philharmonic to perform in new york at carnegie. they were told that that was going to happen, reciprocal visit. i don't think that has happened. they're very sensitive, relatively small things like that. the. >> they are. you know, i'm all for people-to-people diplomacy, all for more information about that. let's keep in mind the blunt facts, which is the clinton administration tried to engage with them, signed an agreement with them, they broke it. it wasn't that the talks went nowhere, they cheated on it, consistently and by all accounts, all international authorities. the bush administration, after the first term, as happens off with bush, the second term here,
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he did engage and signed an agreement with the north koreans, they cheated on those, too. we've watched this movie before. they threaten, they kind of try to get attention, they lure united states into negotiations and get goodies and then break the agreement. i think it would be a wonderful thing to find a path, let's keep in mind this is a regime that has used this tactic twice it the last two decades. who knows what is going on. it's certainly possible that this is a third attempt to do exactly the same thing. and i think to a certain extent, the obama administration is being wise not to rush if there and say, oh, my goodness, we'll send diplomats immediately, we need to understand you, feel your pain. let's just figure out what's going on. we've been sold this brooklyn bridge twice before. >> i think feeling your pain is not quite what i would, you know, advocate. i think most people who talk about engagement, again, go back to the fact that diplomacy is a centuries-old tool that is used to deal with precisely these
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kinds of i with your adversaries. it doesn't mean you have to love each other. it doesn't mean you're appeasing them. the united states is the world's super power. it has more than enough to be able to defend itself and its allies. it is not physically threatened. it can defend itself. it has to figure out how to get beyond this, which is completely and utterly tied in a knot. as fareed said, as we've all said, this is one of the most sanctioned regimes in the world. and yet they continue, not just to be blustery and belligerent, but to make advances in their missile tech nol and perhaps even in their nuclear technology. ta thing that they blew up, they can, according to the scientists, put back together, the entire plant within six months to a year. they only have a certain amount of bomb's worth of plutonium. they may have uranium enrichment but don't have the where withall -- >> they have two or three crude nuclear weapons. their real power is that the chinese are so scared that if they were to put some pressure
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on them, the whole regime would collapse. it's the kind of power that you have because you're so screwed up and so disfunctional, that everyone is walking around gingerly. they sank a south korean ship a few years ago. the south koreans were extraordinarily restrained. i talked to the south korean foreign minister at the time. how come you guys didn't do something? he said because we all live in fear of the fact if we do too much, the whole thing will collapse and then we, like west germany, will have to absorb -- >> i've been saying for days, that the south korean president is a tough, tough lady. i think if a similar incident like that were to happen, she would respond militarily. god knows what would happen as a result of that. guys, excellent discussion. our coverage is going to continue on this. so you will be back. thanks to both of you for joining us. please be sure to watch fareed zakaria gps that airs sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m., also at 1:00 p.m. every sunday here on cnn. you can also see christiane
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amanpour weekdays at both 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. eastern around the world. two of the very, very best. we're fortunate to have them with us here on cnn. north korea has one of the biggest militaries in the world. but we're finding some surprising flaws in the country's stockpile of weapons. stay with us. it's just her way. but your erectile dysfunction - that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision,
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u.s. officials fear north korea will conduct a provocative missile test and will conduct it soon. there's no doubt the regime is dangerously unpredictable, but are its weapons any match for the most powerful military in the world. tom foreman is back.
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tom, you've been looking at north korea's arsenal. what are you seeing? >> wolf, almost all of the experts say that barring something really unforeseen, this is not a case of north korea likely going fu clear. they don't really expect that. the fear beyond that, though, is that somehow, through a series of unforeseen events, we stumble into what is a more conventional war, and we see more of their traditional military power. in those massive parades of north korean military might, the display may seem impressive. more than 1 million troops under arms, row after row of missiles, tanks and other weaponry. at global, john pike, a skilled military analyst, sees something else. >> it would look pretty good to people who didn't know anything about military equipment. you know, i mean, all the rockets are the same. but if you look at it closely, you basically see, this is a lot of old clunky stuff. >> reporter: when we asked pike's team to look over some photos of north korea's military, they quickly pointed
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out problems. old soviet style tanks still using technology from the 1980s or even further back. antiaircraft guns that lack any connected radar or computer targeting. boats not suitable for the high seas. almost antique equipment for communications. much of it appears to have been updated, but just look at a north korean war room compared to one in the south. >> we're talking about very simple, very rudimentary systems. >> reporter: there is, however, that greatest asset of the north, the massive number of troops, both active and reserve, they run into the millions. retired army general spider marks. >> they train every winter for weeks and weeks, in terms of maneuvering their forces. with great ak rasy. >> reporter: they believe in full battle with the south, the north could face critical shortages and rations, ammunition. >> and at some point any north korean offensive is going to stall simply by virtue of not
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having fuel to run the tanks. >> reporter: it all means that even though north korea's military may roar loudly enough to strike fear in any extended battle, analysts think it could prove a paper tiger. although, the word extended, wolf, the simple truth is many think that it would be very bloody and very difficult, because they would be expected to fight very fiercely with what they do have. wolf? >> they have thousands of artillery shells that would be launched from north korea into south korea. and there are millions of south koreans right in harm's way, not very far away. it would be a disaster. tom, thanks very much. i know from personal experience, if you do manage to get into north korea, they keep a very close control over what you're allowed to see. but some people are trying to show everyone what's really happening. cnn's mary snow is here. she's got this part of the story. what are you seeing, mary? >> wolf, as you know, because
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trips into north korea are so scarce, any glimpse into the country is closely watched of the now, dennis rodman's surreal visit is part of a documentary that's being made for our sister network, hbo. but there are other trips that give an insight and look into how tightly controlled things are. this is what the demilitarized zone looks from the north korean side. >> we're in the demilitarized zone where the armistice was signed between the dprk and u.n. >> reporter: the footage was taken by media that produced dennis rodman's controversial trip to north korea in february. while that trip made the most headlines, vice made other trips, getting rare access into a country the world rarely sees. and there's the choreographed
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displays north korea wants the world to see. >> it's a history of the korean revolution as portrayed by 120,000 people doing a simultaneous pantomime. >> reporter: on a tour of the great people's library, even a reading desk is linked to the supreme leader. a tour guide said kim jong-il invented it. >> really, in this bubble in which all you see around you is the state media, and the information that the regime wants you to see. there's no place in the world that has that kind of informational control. >> reporter: charles armstrong is the director of korean studies at columbia university. with no direct lines of communication, unconventional exchanges like rodman's face time with kim jong-un, took on more significance. rodman and the crew took heat for rodman fawning over the
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dictator and handing him an opportunity for propaganda. but armstrong says, in the end, it could prove useful. >> the fact that dennis rodman is the first american to actually meet kim jong-un is pretty amazing. and we can learn a lot through that visit. >> such as? >> well, what kind of a person kim jong-un is. what is he like, what's his personality like. what's the way to reach him. >> if nothing else, we found out kim jong-un likes basketball. and worth noting that he did meet with other americans, including google ceo when he went to visit ceo. >> and bill richardson, the former sufficient ambassador to the united nations when he was there in january. fascinating material. let's see what happens. mary, thanks very much. kim jong-un has been targeted by hackers. we're taking a closer look at another big threat in the region, cyber war. what's droid-recognition ? understanding you clearly... what is the capital of zimbabwe ?
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now to something the north koreans wouldn't want anyone to see. hackers apparently are responsible for this doctored image of kim jong un showing up on north korean web sites. we looked into who is responsible. >> reporter: it sounds like north korean state tv but what it says -- you're no better than a dog, kim jong un. that's what greeted viewers of the north korean government website along with pictures of
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kim jong un in drag. somber songs showing kim jong-il drinking wine while children starve. links to this image, a wanted poster showing kim jong un dressed as an obese pig with a mickey mouse tattoo on his gut. it blared the word hacked and showed an image of a mask that is the favorite symbol of the hacking group anonymous. that sounds totally like the north korean announcer. you can't help but laugh says this information security expert but this is latest shot in an on going and very serious cyber war between the two koreas that goes far beyond just the humiliation of a leader. which is the bigger threat, conventional war, nuclear war or this cyber war? >> cyber war. >> translator: the purpose of the cyber war is to enable the
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ability to fight. if the cyber war continues, there's a high possibility it could lead to a conventional war. in a country that claims to be the most wired in the world, south korea has been under increasing attack. just last month a major cyber assault knocked south korean television networks offline and throws business at banks. that's why seoul is building a cyber army. these are the soldiers learning to break code and understand what they call north korean cyber terrorism. we can't show you their faces because many of them will eventually work with the south korean milton the cyber front lines where they'll face off with cyber soldiers from the north. as amusing as this is, there is growing concern among security experts in seoul that because this was so successful and so funny that north korea may become enraged and launch a massive counter cyber attack against south korea. cnn, seoul. here at cnn, we've gotten to visit places inside north korea
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those of us who have agree it's an unforgettable experience. cnn's alaina cho went there twice. >> reporter: your eyes are not deceiving you, this is communist north korea. look at this western style amusement park. it's packed. there's a ride called power surge. and take a look inside the food court. you'll find western fare. on the menu, hotdogs and waffles on a stick. this family comes often to unwind. >> translator: at the time, he said, words cannot explain the excitement after working so hard general kim jong-il has given thus park to relax. we really love it. if north korea is stalin's last playground, this is its version of disneyland. not far at this outdoor food market, they're serving up more traditional fare like soy bean pancakes and people are paying,
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like their enemy neighbors in south korea, north korean currency is also called the won but this features a hammer and sickle, in the years since i last visited north korea, i did notice some changes. for one, more average north koreans speak english. do you like coming here? >> yes, very much. >> reporter: for the first time, there are street lights installed just before i arrived. most notably in a country closed off to the rest of the world, north koreans are now talking on cell phones. this girl says everyone in her family has one. but international calls are forbidden. word is, punishable by death. in that way, and others, time stands still. we can only see what our government minders want us to see and undeniably it is north
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korea's best face. many north koreans live in poverty, one in three young children is said to be malnourished and the average salary, a few dollars a month. there are still very few cars. in this city, there is no such thing as a traffic jam. this is pyongyang's subway station, one of two main hubs. and one of the main forms of transportation for average north koreans. many don't own bikes let alone cars, so this is how they get from point a to point b. and today, the trains appear to be running on time. many travel by foot. on the streets, there are no ads, only propaganda billboards. and listen -- ♪ they not only see the message, they hear it. north korean propaganda songs blaring across pyongyang. look at what we happened upon here. we're in the middle of week long celebrations here in north korea
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commemorating the 65th anniversary of the worker's party of north korea. this is how people are celebrating. they're literally dancing in the streets. railroad foul the small changes we've seen, the larger question remains, is the new young leader the son of the last any different? for now, it doesn't appear so. and north korea remains sealed. >> when you see what's going on now this incredible tension that has developed over the past few weeks and you've been there and you see the faces of real people on both sides of the demilitarized zone, you have to be nervous. you have to be worried about the potential disaster. >> i am. and, you know, you look at the leader, kim jong un and here is a young man we don't know his age. he looked like a kid when i saw him 2 1/2 years ago in 2010. he said to be 28, 29, maybe