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tv   MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle  MSNBC  August 9, 2017 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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meantime, i appreciate you hanging out with us for this past hour, right now more news with ali rel she in new york. >> it's going to be a busy one. we'll chat with you later on. good morning, i'm ali velshi. steve n ste stephanie ruhle is out today. >> north korea best not make any more threats to the united states. they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. they will be met with fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before. >> the united states has the capability to defend itself from any attack and defend our allies and we'll do so. the american people should sleep well at night. >> the language is so stunning because it contradicts all of the traditions of american military.
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>> thought kim jong-un had said those remarks. >> following president trump's tough talk, north korea issued a threat of its own. >> north korea saying it's seriously reviewing plans to launch missile strikes on guam. >> u.s. officials are discounting it as part of north korea's continuing anger over b-1 bombers flying over the korean peninsula. >> this man is not lying, he's saying he's going to build an icbm with a nuclear weapon on top to hit america and i don't want to live for the next 50 years under that threat. >> president trump faces his first military crisis. >> actually had a pretty good week. >> fire and fury, a war of words between the united states and north korea, just hours after president trump unleashed his harshest warning to date. north korea fought back with a chilling response, threatening to attack the u.s. territory of guam. 6,000 american troops are stationed there at an air force
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base and naval base. guam is also home to more than 162,000 american citizens. the threat does not stop at guam, north korea has demonstrated that the missiles could reach u.s. soil that they could arm with nuclear weapons. this morning president trump doubling down, retweeting this report, president trump vows america will respond to north korean thoughts with fire and fury and warning to the rogue nation. then he added, my first order as president was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. it is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before. hopefully we will never have to use this power but there will never be a time we are not the most powerful nation in the world. secretary of state rex tillerson addressing the situation this morning aboard his plane before making a previously scheduled refueling stop in guam enroute home from the trip to asia. >> i think the president sending a strong message to north korea,
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in language that kim jong-un will understand because he doesn't seem to understand diplomatic language. the think the president wanted to be clear to the north korean regime that the u.s. unquestionable ability to defend itself, will defend itself and its allies and i think it was important that he deliver that message to avoid any miscal lags on their part. >> we just received these pictures from the u.s. pacific forces of air force plaensznes arriving in guam, there to conduct military operations with japan and south korea. often after a north korean active aggression, planes from japan and south korea fly near the demilitarized zone. the u.s. planes are often based in guam, where they come from. nbc news chief global correspondent bill neely joins us us and reporter for kun news
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and madeleine bore dal lo, a democrat and member of the house armed services committee. thanks for being with us. let's start with you, bill. seoul has been on high alert for some time now because it is so close to north korea that in fact it can be hit along with the u.s. troops stationed there by conventional weaponry, not even nuke clclear weaponry. how are south koreans responding to the new war of words between north korea and the united states? >> good morning, there are two elements to this. from the south korean presidency, we hear there is no eminent crisis, they are watching for any new provocations from north korea and that they are determined to pursue a path of peace. underneath the surface, there is anxiety because i think that down beat reaction reflects decades of south koreans listening to fiery rhetoric from
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the north. but now for the first time ever they are listening to fiery rhetoric from the president of the united states. they haven't heard this in decades. and they are worried about it because as you say, no one stands to lose more in any kind of war than south korea. this is absolutely the front line. there are 10,000 artillery tubes pointed in the direction of seoul. never mind nuclear weapons and the south koreans have woken up to new realities now. they now know from that intelligence assessment their neighbor to the north is nuclear armed and now know they have heard donald trump's threats but what do those threats mean? what constitutes a threat for the president of the united states? what is his red line what is the policy? who speaks for the united states because you have that rhetoric from the president. you've got quite different rhetoric if you like from rex tillerson trying to calm things
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down and said ten days ago to the north koreans, we don't want war and don't seek regime change and said on the plane or in guam, calming words saying donald trump is speaking in language kim jong-un will understand. two things going on. you see it reflected in japan where the government spokesman said there's no mobilization of forces and one other official in japan saying very few people in the japanese government take trump's comments seriously. but in japan today, they just commemorated the anniversary, the direct anniversary. of the the nuclear bombing of nagasa nagasaki. there is anxiety there as well. you know, concern about i suppose what u.s. policy is and
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worry about the danger of miscalculation of either president trump or kim jong-un reading the signals wrongly and here there is no such thing, ali, as a limited war because seoul with its 25 million population in the metro area would suffer most of all. >> just miles from the demilitarized zone, you have articulated this perfectly, bill, that there's no room for miscalculation. there's no room for error here. i want to bring representative madeleine boredao into the conversation. the governor of guam assured the citizens today, let's play that briefly and i'll ask you about it. i'm working with homeland security and rear admiral and united states to ensure our safety. i want to reassure the people of guam that currently there is no threat to our island or the marian nas, no change in the
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threat level resulting from north korea events. >> so representative, i guess that's kind of what you have to do, but given what bill neely just said about the dangers of miscalculation and the fact it keeps those of us in the continental united states and many other people up at night, that kim jong-un and donald trump are in a battle of fierce words, how can you say that you think guam is safe? >> good morning, ali. let me say this. our people are very concerned. it's not first time we had a threat from north korea. three or four years ago we did as well. i became very concerned then so i went to see secretary panetta and he deployed a thaad missile defense group to our island which is with 300 army personnel. our people were so concerned, ali, they were calling me then
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asking me if they thought they should move from the island. i don't agree with there's no eminent threat i believe there's always a threat when any leader would talk like that and say that they are going to do this or that. guam is only very close to korea. and we have 168,000 american citizens living in guam. we have two large bases, anderson air force and big navy. we have so many -- i've noticed lately in talking with secretary mattis, just recently at a hearing, he told me they were going to protect guam. that gives me a good feeling but we're still concerned about any kind of a threat that comes our way. >> let me bring in the reporter, isa baza. you have been speaking to people, what are they feeling about this? is there a normalcy as the
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congresswoman said this is not the first time people in guam have felt this threat from north korea and if north korea thinks it wants to attack america, guam is the first stop on the way. what's the sense from the people of guam? >> people in guam are definitely concerned this time around. there had been threats by north korea before but we feel like there's been an increase in military activity. there's been an increase in missile tests from north korea. so people have been concerned. i spoke with a waiter at dinner and he was saying he's never seen a restaurant so quiet. people were glued to their phones and glued to the tv screens and radio stations, listening out for the latest news from north korea but our government assured us there's no imminent threat to guam. so people -- there are some people who don't feel this is a threat, we've heard it before and there are people who are very confident in the u.s. military's ability to defend
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against any possible missile threat to guam. we're told by military officials this has a 100% accuracy rate. aside from the thaad, there are warships throughout the japan sea and the area surrounding guam. there's definitely a mixed reaction. >> momentarily we're going to go through how a thaad missile defense system works and what the u.s. presence is in the pacific. it's actually fairly substantial, which congresswoman is probably what gives people in guam some peace of the 168,000 people americans you're talking about in guam, 162,000 are civilians and then you've got 6,000 military, i may have those numbers a little off. do you have a -- is there a plan in place for guam in the event that you learn that an attack is imminent? >> ali, is that question to me? >> yes, it is, sorry, yes. >> i would put my faith in the military. we're very fortunate.
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guam has been under occupation during world war ii so we've been through a lot. we're very patriotic community and the military is there to protect us and i have full faith in them, that they will protect us in this case, but i wouldn't put anything past north korea and i'm hoping that the president should work with our allies in this area and try to work something out. we don't want a war because in a crisis like an all right war, all we do is lose so many people, casualties occur and everybody is disoriented and we went through the war during world war ii, so guam knows. i have full faith in the military. thac they've assured me, matttis and harris, assured me that guam -- they'll take good care of guam. we will be protected. >> bill, i want to ask you one thing, the outliers here is that
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the new president of south korea has taken a different tone towards north korea. he's been more accepting of the idea of direct negotiations and he is not sort of sharing donald trump's fiery response to north korea's comments. how do you square that in south korea? as you said, south koreans are always worried about this. the escalation has to worry them and potential for miscalculation and yet the president there has a slightly nuanced view of how to deal with north korea. >> that's absolutely right, ali, he is a different kind of president. he certainly in the first few days in office he was talking about the desirability of dialogue with the north. but against that, he was cool on the thaad anti-missile system. he is now saying that he wants talks with the united states to
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deploy even more. so you know, he'd like dialogue but at the same time, you know, he wants -- he's realistic enough to want robust defenses here. he's actually calling for more anti-missile systems here. but you know, like everyone else, he is anxious about kim jong-un and they are anxious about a couple of things, number one, of course the military exercises later this month with the united states will go ahead. they haven't been canceled. and they are looking north at the possibility now of a sixth nuclear test. the last one was in september of last year. and given the pace of kim jong-un's testing it wouldn't be unreasonable to have another important test soon. as well as the anxiety of rhetoric, there's the anxiety too about real action in the months ahead. >> bill, thanks for your great reporting from there and to isa baza in guam and madeleine
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bordallo. we'll get back to north korea in a few moments but first breaking news, nbc has confirmed fbi agents raided the house of president trump's former campaign chairman, the raid went down a couple of weeks ago at one of paul manafortd's homes, they used a search warrant to seize documents and other materials. ken dilanian joins me from washington. what do we know about the raid? >> ali, a spokesman for paul manafort issued the following statement to nbc news, fbi agents executed a search warrant at one of mr. manaxfort's residents, he consistently cooperated and did so on this occasion as well. as you said this story was first broken by the "washington post" which says this raid was executed on july 26th, one day after paul manafort voluntarily appeared before the senate intelligence committee. this says the fbi and robert
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mueller was able to convince a judge there was probable cause to believe a crime had been committed and paul man na fort was not necessarily cooperating with the inquiry and they needed to execute a search warrant, raid his house and seize documents. this is a very significant development. very high hurdle to get a judge to grant this extraordinary authority. paul manafort was the chairman of the trump campaign from march 2016 to august 2016. nbc news has reported that he is a subject of this long running and far ranging russia investigation and there are other activities not related to russia, involving real estate dealings in new york. people may be wondering, what does this have to do with the larger russia investigation? well, allies of manafort are concerned the special counsel trying to squeeze him may seek to induce his testimony about
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what happened with alleged collusion with russia. >> ken, thanks very much. stand by, intelligence agencies believe north korea could have more than 1,000 missiles. i'm going to dig into north korea's military capabilities and america's military capabilities in the pacific when we come back.
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>> welcome back to "velshi &
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ruhle." sadly it is simply velshi without ruhle this morning. in the wake of president trump's comments about vowing to meet north korea with fire and fury, what are north korea's military cape ablts? they are one of nine nations known to possess nuclear weapons. you can see the numbers here, this is the total inventory of nuclear weapons. you can see the united states and russia are nearly matched and uk and france and india and pakistan and israel and much smaller number in north korea. we're noting iran is not on the list, doesn't have a nuclear weapon. since 2006 north korea conducted five nuclear tests, the latest last september now thought to be preparing to conduct a sixth nuclear test. it sends a lot of missiles out there a lot but they are not nuclear tests, north korea is thought to possess more than 1,000 missiles, most of these are short range missiles but just last month, it successfully tested a long range
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intercontinental missile believed to be capable of reaching chicago. here's the issue. they don't test these by shooting them across. they test them by shooting them up in the air and we try to judge the trajectory. it is not clear if you shoot it it would go north or go over the arctic most likely and come down over here. we don't know with what accuracy it can reenter and steer and maneuver. that is the big question. as for the armed forces, north korea is thought to be an army of 1.2 million soldiers and 7.7 reservists. check this out. 21,000 artillery, 73 submarines and 333 patrol and combat boats and 545 combat aircraft and 11,000 artillery guns. these numbers tend to be pretty small. this is worth looking at. 11,000 artillery guns, many of them north of the demilitarized zone in rocks and mountains on the south. they are hidden there, very hard to take out.
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but much of this is obsolete. a lot of this patrol -- they are estimates a lot of these don't actually work. the issue here, a lot of human power, more than 1,000 missiles and a lot of artillery guns. joining me, former ambassador robert galucci, chief u.s. negotiator during the north korean crisis of 1994 until president bill clinton and jeffrey lewis, an expert on north korea's missile program and director of the east asia nonproliferation committee at monterey, california. gentlemen, thanks for joining me. robert, let me start with you, you heard my description and i'm not an expert on this on north korea's capabilities. when it comes to conventional military or nuclear capabilities, north korea is zero match for any other nuclear country in the world. it has a lot of conventional
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abilities which threaten south korea and japan more than it threatens anyone else in the world. how does this description of the mismatch in military capabilities work into the threat that we're facing today? >> i think that's a great question. if we're in a crisis, it's a crisis we've defined because we've said we're not going to allow as i understand it anyway, not going to allow north korea to develop a capability they do not now have, one to reach the united states with an icbm mated with a nuclear weapon. as your intro demonstrated they have a rude meant tri system. right now they can reach our allies in south korea and iraq and in japan. the issue is whether the united states of america will accept
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north korea becoming another country that can attack the united states of america. we have tolerated this for decades from the soef yet union and russia and now china. it is really up to the president and his team whether we'll rely on deterrence to deal with this north korean capability but it's our decision. >> jeffrey, the united nations security council interestingly enough passed the 8th version of sanctions. it depends how you count them. but i think the eighth version on saturday. they really haven't had -- in fairness to robert, they did have some effect in an earlier round of negotiations but haven't had the desired effect here what are we looking for to fix this? it doesn't seem to be rhetoric that's going to fix it. it plain diplomacy? is it china? does russia have a role in this? what are we looking for to
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deescalate this. >> deescalate is exactly the right word. we're at the point where the north koreans do the capabilities to reach targets through the united states, including new york and los angeles with a nuclear weapon. what we've seen is sanctions at the end of the day have not made a difference. they aren't strong enough to keep the north koreans from building missiles and they aren't painful enough to make the north koreans make a different choice. we're forced to accept the fact this is a reality and if we want to deal with the problem, we have to talk to the north koreans, unpleasant as that may be. >> robert, tell me about the successes we've had in the past with respect to getting north korea to deescalate. it has worked at some points in the past. what is it that north korea will want in exchange for saying we're going to stop this, we're going to pull back? they've had the nuclear program is not on the table and their conventional arms shall not on the table but iran said similar things about its nuclear energy program and ultimately did come
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to terms with the world. >> i think the right question. quh we look back at past negotiations with north koreans, we should see they've had some success, an agreed framework which stopped the north korean program to produce plutonium for eight or nine or ten years. it ultimately fell apart, partly because of and mainly because of north korean action. but we can have a successful negotiation with the north koreans. it's got to include of course verification and monitoring, et cetera, we should not diminish the possibility that we can manage this crisis if it is that through negotiations. they've worked in the past. in terms of what the north koreans want, they certainly want a treaty of peace to end of korean war and certainly want
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assurances of some kind that they are not going to be subject to regime change and frequently point to american policy in libya and iraq and do not wish to become the subject or object of another american move to change the regime. there's serious negotiation to be done. i think my colleague is correct that sanctions, while they may be useful are not a policy, they may encourage the north to the table but not an answer to this problem. >> that -- last point too, that becomes the problem, right? if you can use sanctions -- i use iran as the example, the sanctions, particularly the financial sanctions were very effective at getting iran to the table but then it was two years of complex negotiations to actually come to a deal. we're nowhere close to that. >> i think at this point we have
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taken a long time to realize it was a mistake to walk away from the deal that bob negotiated. that was the best deal we were going to get. we have to realize we are where we are, that sanctions may play a role in creating pressure but at the end of the day, just like in the case with iran, you have to give the north koreans some way out and that way out involves admittedly some concessions and you know, you end up with a deal that's maybe not perfect but is better than where you are right now. >> good to talk to you. former ambassador at large and special envoy for the state department. he was a chief negotiator during 1994. jeffrey lewis, the director of the east asia nonproliferation program. global markets are moving on the north decree anews, we'll break down the impact this news has had. here's a live look at the dow. this is a market that had ten straight closes in a row -- record closes and fluttering just above the 22,000 mark it hit last week.
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this has been happening since jed when yesterday when we first got the news. they are down across the board. the nasdaq is down even more as a percentage. look at that 33 points out of total of 6,337. the dow is down as well and ended the day lower and turned around when news of the north korean threat and then donald trump's response to it came out. s&p 500 nor reflective of your portfolio is also down. joining me now is john harwood john. there are very, very few things that have affected this market over the last seven months. i seem to remember two things that cause investors to have some pause, one is if the stuff in washington looks constitutional in nature, investigations and things reaching to the president on that level and obviously war.
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>> exactly right. you know, when you look what markets have done since the election, ali, they have been in two distinct faces, there seemed to be a surge in confidence among investors and business community about tax cuts and deregulation. then the further we got into 2017 when results were not coming from congress and there was dysfunction in the white house and relationship with congress, then people said, well, we're not expecting anything from washington, they don't have to cut taxes or achieve deregulation or achieve the repeal of obamacare, they just have to not avoid an external shock. now we're in a case where nuclear conflict is about as big a shock as you can possibly have. when you heard the president speaking in the language about fire and fury and power being unleashed. >> it sounded like the kind of
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thing you hear in another language trans lated into english because we don't sort of tend to speak that way. >> exactly right. u.s. presidents speak in a sober understated tone about stuff like this. we saw cleanup from rex tillerson when he came up and said the president was speaking in language he thought that kim could understand maybe so, but investors in the united states were rattled yesterday afternoon and still rattled. when people ask why is the stock market so divorced from things going on in washington, why does it keep on going on? some of the earnings and interest rates in the country still remain very low. the obvious place to invest money is still for many people the stock market and until there is a shock or reason too worry about profitability going away, it's hard for people to give up on the stock market, those who are invested.
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>> that is true. and the -- what makes the north decree asituation so dicey is that we're talking about not a garden variety confrontation, when you're talking about a north korean regime, which seems to feel a necessity for advancing its nuclear program to make itself a player on the stage and then you have a president who has a kind of a dominant psychology and he wants to respond to what kim is doing by upping the ante rhetorically, then you have the potential for a conflict that would inflict devastating loss of life on the korean peninsula in theory elsewhere. so there's a whole lot of wishing today that this situation will cool and calm down and we'll see whether or not rex tillerson and john kelly, the white house chief of staff can execute a more
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understated approach to commencing the dialogue that might be useful. >> they seem to be starting that process. john, thanks very much. cnbc's john harwood, up next, a possible terror attack in france. several soldiers were hurt. we'll go live to the streets of paris right after this break. starts a chain reaction... ...that's heard throughout the connected business world. at&t network security helps protect business, from the largest financial markets to the smallest transactions, by sensing cyber-attacks in near real time and automatically deploying countermeasures. keeping the world of business connected and protected. that's the power of and. he's happy.t's with him? your family's finally eating vegetables thanks to our birds eye voila skillet meals. and they only take 15 minutes to make. ahh! birds eye voila
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terrorist. a driver crashed into a group of soldiers as they left their bar racks this morning. all six are injured. police caught up with the 36-year-old suspect, they captured him after a shootout. matt bradley is live in the paris suburb where the attack took place. matt? >> reporter: ali, this took before 8:00 a.m. right behind me. this apartment building, this is where the soldiers were domestic i' dom sooiled heavily armed soldiers patrolling the streets of paris for the last few years. now what happened shortly before 8:00 a.m., these soldiers were walking out of their apartment block where they were living and as they were reporting for a new shift in duty, the suspect was parked in an alley way where a soldier is standing right now. he came out and accelerated and
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slammed his car into a group of soldiers and tossed some of them against the military van that they were trying to get into in order to report for duty. now, an interesting thing about this square, this has 56 cctv cameras, so the police were very capable of seeing the entire incident on camera, taking the license plate numbers from the suspect's car and tracking him. that's exactly what they did. they followed this suspect all the way to -- right as you know on the english channel. that's where they intercepted him. they tried to catch him in a massive police shootout and pumped him full of five bullets and he was badly injured and he's been taken into custody. >> matt bradley, we'll continue to check in with you. matt is live in france, thank you. >> stand by, north korea threatens the united states, we want to tell kim jong-un about america's arsenal and the magnitude of a potential
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counterstrike, stay with us. our cartoon of the day, little kim jong-un bee taunting a giant eagle on its beak. you're watching "velshi & ruhle" on msnbc. er. i was active. then the chronic, widespread pain drained my energy. my doctor said moving more helps ease fibromyalgia pain. she also prescribed lyrica. fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. woman: for some, lyrica can significantly relieve fibromyalgia pain and improve function, so i feel better. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling, or blurry vision. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain and swelling of hands, legs and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you.
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>> let me talk about some of the issues. one is north korea and you say that you as president would be willing to launch a preemptive strike against north korea's nuclear capability. >> first i would negotiate. i would negotiate like crazy and make sure we try to get the best deal possible. the biggest problem this world has is nuclear proliferation, we have a country, north korea, sort of whacko, not a bunch of dummies and they are developing nuclear weapons. you better do it now. if you think your serious, they'll negotiate and it will never come to that. >> that was then businessman donald trump almost 18 years ago discussing the threat with north korea with the late tim russert. since taking office he's remained vague how he would handle this increasingly provocative nation. >> as far as north korea is
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concerned, we are in very good shape. >> it should have been handled by president obama. it should have been handled by other presidents in the past. all options are on the table. that i can say. >> i wish we would have a little more help with respect to north korea from china but that doesn't seem to be working out. >> the year of strategic patience with the north korean regime has failed. >> as far as north korea is concerned, i don't know, we'll see what happens. i don't like to talk about what i have planned. >> we'll handle north korea. we'll be able to handle them. they'll be -- it will be handled. we handle everything. >> and less than 24 hours ago, the idea of negotiations seem to be the furthest thing from donald trump's mind. >> north korea best not make any more threats to the united states. they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never
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seen. he has been very threatening beyond a normal statement. and as i said, they will be met with fire and fury and frankly world has never seen before. >> donald trump faced some criticism for those comments, but let's talk about u.s. capabilities. little earlier, i told you about north korean capabilities. u.s. air force has released these pictures of new planes arriving in guam. a white house spokesperson says the president and chief of staff are in constant contact with members of the national security council. let me take a closer look at u.s. military capabilities in the pacific. the united states has formidable power in this plane, the b-1 bomber, the same type that flew over the korean peninsula in a recent show of strength. it is the fastest air force bomber, it flies at mach 1.2, over 900 miles per hour, carries
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24 cruise missiles and can climb over 30,000 feet. then there are u.s. ground-based missiles which can hit combat units, incoming missiles, communication sites and more. some of them are able to deliver a 500 pound warhead to a target. they also have -- we have a big navy out there, the navy's guided destroyers, can target multiple targets. they have powerful guns on these to bombard land targets. and under the waves the united states has ohio class submarines which carry 24 triden 2 missiles, each one carries multile warheads that can target different locations. so we have got those. and the united states, we talk ed about this earlier, has recently deployed the thaad anti-missional system to south korea, they have the anti-missile system in guam. it has short and intermediate
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range missiles. you can make the launcher stationary for a while. it has radar. and this system, according to the united states, has a track record of 100% success in testing. don't forget, the united states, as i showed you earlier, has more than 6,000 nuclear weapons. that compares to 15 for north korea. just in the region alone, there are more than 100,000 u.s. military personnel. there are 37,000 in hawaii, 42,000, actually, up to 6,000 in guam. 23,000 when you add some others to that, gets up to 28,000 in south korea. and 40,000 in japan. more than 100,000 augmenting that. the navy has its 7th fleet which consists up to 70 ships and 140 aircraft and 20,000 sailors. complicating any response, by the way, is that there are more than 162,000 american citizens
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in guam alone. this is a territory. and seoul, south korea, close to the demilitarized zone. that is half the population of south korea. for more on a military response, and the consequences, i want to turn to thomas donley, resident fellow at the american enterprise institute. tom, good to see you. thank you for being with us. >> my pleasure. >> so i think the point i was trying to make there is that there is not going to be a great deal of balance in a conventional war between south korea and america. but that's not really what we're worried about here. south korea can create -- north korea, north korea can create all sorts of problems without launching a nuclear weapon, including using conventional
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weapons on south korea, with which the united states has a mutual defense treaty or using conventional weapons on japan. so what should we be thinking about? we have shown the imbalance of power, but what should we be worried about? >> well, we should be worried about the prospect of war. i mean, perhaps the outcome would inevitably be favorable or likely so, but the level of destruction that would be involved just really horrific to contemplate and what it would mean for the peace and the balance of power in east asia is really impossible to predict or to contemplate, but almost certainly it would be very, very bad news. so it is not that the outcome of a war is dangerous, but just the occurrence of a war. >> the cost of it is -- people are saying too high. the cost is too high. there would be tens of thousands
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if not more possible deaths in south korea. there would be american troops exposed to that. never mind the balance of power which is almost a secondary matter, but the actual death toll and then the idea that china is not going to be interested in having a decimated north korea on its border, the refugees that that would entail, the idea that south korea is a u.s. ally on the chinese border, it does seem to me that it is in nobody's interest for a war to take place between north korea and the united states. >> well, i would say that is absolutely the impression and analysis. unfortunately history is full of wars that were illogical and irrational. that's also part of the human condition. and it can be the case that some sort of military operation would be the least bad option. and there are military options
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short of a large scale -- >> let's talk about that. that's what people have said. the north korean artillery is buried in mountains and things like that, hard to get to. but there are conventional targets that the united states can reach with our -- with the thaad or the navy-based systems that we have got. in the end, though, how does that work out in your head, because the united states does something, sends some missile or bomb into north korea to indicate that it is serious, do you risk response from an unstable regime in north korea? >> yes, of course you're going to risk a response from north korea. just getting up in the morning risks a response from north korea there. they're provocative enough on their own. by far, the military maneuver that appeals to me is to try to intercept the next north korean ballistic missile test. that is not entirely a risk free
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proposition. but it would do quite a bit to change the strategic dynamic in the region and it would demonstrate -- it would in effect neuter the capabilities that the north koreans have been working for decades to cultivate. it would re-establish american credibility. and sort of get us back in a position of having the initiative in this situation, it would demonstrate that we have responses that don't involve cutting a deal with the chinese, for example. so there are a number of risks again as you say, the prospect of a north korean response and simply that the interceptors might not do the trick, but there is a reason to believe that they would do. >> thomas donley good to talk to you. thank you for being with us. you're watching "velshi "velshi & ruhle." we'll be right back.
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right now on "andrea mitchell reports," fire and fury, president trump drawing a red line with a thunderous warning to north korea. >> north korea best not make any more threats to the united states, they will be met with fire, fury and, frankly, power the likes of which this world has never seen before. >> the great leaders that i've seen, they don't threaten unless they are ready


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