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THE SITUATION ROOM
Deadline Looms in Iran Nuclear Talks; New Moves to Combat ISIS Social Media Threat; Security Boosted Across the Country for Holiday; "Soft Targets" A Key Concern During Holiday; Interview with Ed Royce; Deadline Looms in Iran Nuclear Talks; ISIS Threatens to Attack Hamas in Gaza; Charges Pending in Baseball Scandal; South Carolina Lawmakers to Debate Confederate Flag; Inside North Korea's New Airport Terminal. Aired 5:00-5:30p ET
Aired July 3, 2015 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN: Happening now, America on alert -- security is stepped up for the Fourth of July holiday amid growing concern that lone wolf terrorists may launch attacks while Americans are out in crowds and especially vulnerable.
Online battleground -- ISIS and its supporters have thousands of social media accounts to recruit terrorists and spread propaganda.
Is the U.S. doing enough to stop them?
And Un-veiling -- North Korea takes the wraps off its new airport terminal, a gleaming concourse and duty-free shops for a handful of passengers.
Did Kim Jong-un have the airport's architect executed?
Wolf Blitzer is off today.
I'm Brianna Keilar.
You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
America is on alert this holiday weekend, security being beefed up on city streets, in parks and ballparks, public spaces and wherever Americans are gathering to celebrate their independence. U.S. embassies and consulates abroad have also been ordered to review their security. Sources say there's growing chatter about terror threats, just enough to create a sense of unease among those charged with protecting the public.
And the biggest concern, lone wolf attacks, perhaps inspired by ISIS, carried out by individuals, tough to monitor and tough to stop. I'll speak with House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, Ed Royce, as well as correspondents, analysts and guests who are standing by with full coverage of all of today's top stories.
So how real is the threat?
We begin with CNN justice reporter, Evan Perez -- Evan.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, law enforcement officials are hoping increased security, both visible and invisible, reassures people celebrating this holiday weekend. From New York to Los Angeles, and even here in Washington, officials say they are taking more precautions than normal. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo today directed his homeland security office to increase monitoring of events around the states tomorrow.
In recent weeks, State Department officials have been doing security assessments at their diplomatic outposts. And this is all the result of what intelligence and law enforcement officials say is increased concern of a terrorist attack tied to this holiday. There's no indication of a specific plot, but instead, officials say there's more of a diffuse threat from ISIS and al Qaeda and from other groups.
At the same time, authorities are encouraging crowds to come out and celebrate. They say that increased security is intended to assure people that they're going to be safe -- Brianna.
And, you know, I'm going to be doing that. I'm going to be going watching the fireworks with family and friends. And I think a lot of people should go out and do that. And we'll see them next week.
KEILAR: With more vigilance maybe?
PEREZ: With more vigilance. Keep an eye out. You know, there's a fine balance that they're trying to strike, right, because they want people to enjoy themselves. And they want to see -- make people see the invisible security. At the same time, they want people to enjoy themselves. And so that's what the issue is, yes.
KEILAR: It sure is.
Evan Perez, thank you so much.
Here in Washington and in cities across the country, there's concern about protecting soft targets, places where crowds gather, where they can't move quickly, making them vulnerable to attack.
We have CNN's Rene Marsh live for us on the National Mall.
Tell us about what you're seeing there -- Rene.
RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I can tell you, Brianna, they have moved the perimeter here about three blocks out from the Capitol. So what you'll find if you're walking around the National Mall, miles and miles of link fencing. You'll see cement barriers. You'll see metal barriers and you'll definitely see a law enforcement presence.
But getting back to those soft targets that you mentioned there, by definition, they are relatively unprotected, very difficult to protect. We're talking about bridges, tunnels, train stations.
Here in the nation's capital, roughly 600,000 people are expected to ride the subways. And so law enforcement has the duty of trying to keep all of those people safe.
And what's so difficult about all of this is that at any given moment, you have thousands and thousands of people either going through, passing over these so-called soft targets. There are some analysts who say that there are limits to what law enforcement can actually do.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONATHAN GILLIAM, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: What I fear the most is what we saw in Tunisia last weekend, which is one or two people with automatic weapons. And they simply go into a place where it's really crowded or they go to a bridge where traffic is stopped, or a tunnel, or a captive audience that's on a ferry that's going across from New Jersey to New York, and just simply taking out 40, 50 people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARSH: Now, while it is challenging, indeed, to protect these so- called soft targets, what you will notice is a stepped up police presence.
We've seen lots of canines, as well, here in Washington, DC, in the subways. We're seeing them making their rounds.
So they're doing all that they can. And again, you know, they want people to be alert and to be looking around. They're not telling people to stay home, but they want you, if you see something to report it to the authorities.
KEILAR: Rene Marsh for us on the National Mall.
And joining me now to talk more about this, we have the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Republican Congressman Ed Royce of California.
Congressman, thanks for being with us.
And we hear Rene and Evan describing this threat. It sounds so vague and so broad.
How do you characterize it?
REP. ED ROYCE (R-CA), CHAIRMAN, FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: Well, I would characterize it as a different situation, obviously, than al Qaeda, because what they are requesting the supporters of this ISIS organization to do is to take things into their own hands -- those are the words they use -- and, you know, to act now and to focus. First and foremost, they're trying to keep the focus on police departments or military personnel in the United States and our diplomats and others overseas that are U.S. targets.
But at the same time, the reason I think we should shout-out to the FBI a thank you here is because so far, they have been able to take into custody 49 recruits, so far, to ISIS, who have intended to carry out attacks. And they've put those attacks down, so far.
So our Federal Bureau of Investigation has done a very commendable job to date in terms of moving in quickly and taking individuals into custody who have been online showing an intention of carrying out an attack.
KEILAR: We have heard from New York's governor, Andrew Cuomo, that that state is enhancing monitoring operations going into the weekend.
Are there similar measures taking place in your state, in California?
ROYCE: Yes. But in California, I talked to the FBI here a few days ago about the nature of the threat, I think it was yesterday. And they indicated to me no individual indication of threats, but a lot of -- a lot of focus on what can be done by law enforcement to be prepared -- and in the way of surveillance, a great deal is being done. And likewise for our embassies overseas worldwide right now. There is a a reassessment. There is a program going on where there's a special effort being made to make certain that all eyes and ears are on anything ISIS might try to do.
KEILAR: As they review all of their security procedures ahead of this holiday weekend.
I want to get your characterization of the threat level. There's been disagreements between officials, between analysts about whether this is the highest threat level that we've experienced since 9/11.
What do you think?
ROYCE: Well, remember, on 9/11, we were dealing with an entirely different entity that intended to carry out large scale attacks that would bring down, you know, basically to attack the World Trade Center, to attack the Pentagon, to try to hit the White House or the U.S. House of Representatives.
Now that took a great deal of effort and focus and an organization that we could penetrate. But clearly, the payoff was going to be very great if they could do it. And they managed to hit us on 9/11.
Since then, we've been able to knock down al Qaeda on most of its efforts worldwide.
However, this new generation of ISIS, obviously, these are pinpricks. They're smaller attacks that they try to carry out. They've been successful on three continents so far recently in carrying out and inspiring these types of attacks with their magazine, "Inspire," which shares with their, you know, rank and file how to do the attacks. But so far, the FBI has been able to prevent it here. So I would say if there's an attack, it's going to be at a much lower level than anything we saw on 9/11. And so far, we've been able to preclude such an attack.
KEILAR: Many more questions for you, Congressman. Stand by for me, if you would.
We're going to have much more straight ahead with the House Foreign Affairs chairman, Ed Royce.
KEILAR: We have House Foreign Affairs chairman, Congressman Ed Royce, with us.
We'll be talking to him in just a moment.
But first, I want to bring in CNN global affairs correspondent, Elise Labott.
We have a deadline that is looming in the Iran nuclear talks. Make that another deadline.
Can the United States reach a deal that will keep Iran from getting a bomb?
That's the big question.
What's the latest -- Elise?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Well, the talks are really in the end game right now, Brianna. They need to wrap up Tuesday or Wednesday to make the Congressional deadline of July 9th. There are still some sticking points, particularly what type of access inspectors would have to Iranian nuclear military facilities.
Marathon negotiating sessions going on between the U.S. and the Iranians. And a little bit of a game of chicken right now.
The question is, who is going to flinch first?
Today, the Iranian foreign minister took to YouTube to push the U.S. and its partners.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAVAD ZARIF, IRANIAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER: At this eleventh hour, despite some differences that remain, we have never been closer to a lasting outcome. I sense that my negotiating partners have recognized that coercion and pressure never lead to lasting solutions, but to more conflict and further hostility.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
LABOTT: So a lot of posturing in those final days.
[17:15:07] Now, there's a narrative that the U.S. is desperate for a deal and willing to make a lot of concessions, but the Iranians need this deal. Their economy is in a lot of trouble, so now it's about finding some language for a deal that gives the international community what it needs to curb Iran's nuclear program while helping the Iranians save face and not look like they're capitulating to the U.S. That's the art of diplomacy, Brianna.
KEILAR: It sure is. And you knew what was going on heading into the framework deal, the preliminary deal. You had a very good sense of whether there would be one or not. You were optimistic, and it turned out that there was one, with some details. So what's your read? What are your sources telling you about whether this is all going to work out?
LABOTT: I think they're close. I think there will be a deal. I'm not sure there's going to be a deal by next week. The danger is if they try to rush this and meet the deadline. That happened in Lausanne, Switzerland, a couple of months ago. A lot of issues left unresolved. This time, if there's a document that's too ambiguous, that opens up Pandora's box when you try to get the Iranians to implement it.
KEILAR: Yes, it's different. It's trickier, right, when there's a final deadline here.
All right. Elise Labott, great report. Thank you so much.
And we are back now with the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Republican Congressman Ed Royce of California.
So we are just a couple days away here now, a few days away from a deadline for a nuclear deal. Do you think, Congressman, that we'll be able to get a deal? And if so, is this going to be a good deal?
ROYCE: Well, the deal that the Iranians want is the same deal that the North Koreans got in the 1994 framework agreement. Certainly, that's the way it seems to be heading. But the problem is that if that's the deal we offer them, a deal in which our inspectors, international inspectors, can't go anywhere anytime, can't go onto the military bases to really be able to verify, then Iran will get what it wants. It wants the bomb. And our secretary of state will get a deal, but this won't be in the long-term interests of the region.
Because if we do this kind of a deal based on the '94 framework with North Korea, other governments in the region will know exactly what's just transpired. And they will figure out, whether it's Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, that they now have an opportunity, and indeed they'll perceive it as a necessity, since no one trusts Iran, given their aggressive nature -- they'll go out and get a weapon.
I'm not sure they have as much to worry about we do from Iran, because after all, the ayatollah last week was at his rally, yelling again "death to America." So I would say it would behoove the administration, make certain you stand firm, get an agreement where you can get the inspectors onto the military bases anywhere, anytime.
KEILAR: And that's obviously a key part to one of the goals in this agreement, which is to make sure that Iran would be a year away from breakout, so a year away from having this well-enriched uranium that they could use for a nuclear weapon. Right now it's estimated that it's just a few months from breakout.
ROYCE: That is correct.
KEILAR: Those inspections, important. Do you think that, ultimately, the deal could yield something where Iran is a year away from breakout?
ROYCE: Well, the other -- the other thing we have to be cautious about, too, is that you don't want to lift all the sanctions up front. We've already -- the administration's already lifted a lot of sanctions, and that's why Iran doesn't feel as pressed as it did before.
KEILAR: Iran wants things to be lifted immediately, obviously. They want complete relief immediately. How do you walk that line?
ROYCE: I think you have to write it...
KEILAR: To make sure that they don't have that?
ROYCE: I think you have to write it the other way so that -- so that you have to have compliance, and you have to have compliance over a long period of time so that you don't have, you know, 80 billion in the hands of the ayatollah, who right now has already, you know, helped overthrow the government in Yemen, and also is transferring new weapons to Hezbollah and to Hamas, including precision-guided rockets and missiles now into the hands of Hezbollah.
So any additional money he gets his hands on, it doesn't necessarily go to building his economy. It goes to this aggressive posture which Iran has right now, where they have military in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq. They're supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, trying to overthrow the government in Egypt.
I mean, this -- this government wants a nuclear bomb. Yes, we have to have the inspectors on the ground. But also if you lift the entire sanctions regime up front, they're going to have the hard currency to do a lot of mischief, too. So we have to hang tough in this negotiation.
KEILAR: Let me ask you a question about ISIS real quick. Europol, the European police agency, is going to create a new wing, and the whole idea is to combat ISIS on social -- social media to stop the recruitment, really. Do you think the U.S. needs to do a better job of this? How essential is this?
[17:20:03] ROYCE: Yes, we do. I was speaking the other day with the FBI on this, and one of the key issues is the ability, you know, in real time to get these websites down. And we don't have that right now, and clearly, ISIS uses that to their advantage worldwide.
So it's very intelligent, I think, for Europe to be moving in a direction -- and I would hope the United States would join here -- in trying to focus on the way in which they use social media to put up what they call a caliphate on the Internet. You know?
This is where they're doing their recruiting. This is how they got their foreign fighters out of the United States, several hundred now; and where they've attracted tens of thousands of foreign fighters from around the world to go there for their training and to carry out jihad to set up the wider caliphate.
And this is part of the answer. The other answer is to hit ISIS hard, you know, there in Syria and in Iraq with our military, with our airpower in particular, where right now we haven't done the time of job we should have early on in neutralizing ISIS as a force, and we haven't armed the Kurds, of course, the way we should have, either.
KEILAR: All right. Congressman, thank you so much for talking about Iran and for talking about ISIS with us. I really appreciate you being with us.
ROYCE: Thank you, Brianna.
KEILAR: Coming up, why this may by one of the last weekends the Confederate flag will fly on the grounds of the South Carolina state capitol.
And later, an exclusive look inside Kim Jong-un's latest show piece. It's a fancy new airport terminal with shops, amenities, a whole lot that might surprise you.
[17:26:08] KEILAR: A recent study found that ISIS and its supporters have tens of thousands of social media accounts used for recruiting and incitement. Is the U.S. doing enough to stop this?
Joining me now to talk about it, CNN law enforcement analyst and former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes. We have CNN counterterrorism analyst and former CIA official Phil Mudd. And we have CNN military analyst, retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling.
We just talked with Congressman Royce about this new wing that Europol, the European police agency, is putting together that's just about tracking down these sites, trying to eradicate them. So they have this big effort to do this, to counter the propaganda. Should the U.S. do this? Can the U.S. do this?
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, first of all, not to be too critical of Europol, but when I ran FBI international operations and worked with Europol, and had an agent, one of my agents, assigned to Europol full time, we discovered that they have a very difficult time doing anything.
And the reason is before they can implement a single policy, a single decision, every single member country has to be unanimous in approving it. So if you have other countries that don't go along, maybe the messages are too harsh, maybe the action isn't appropriate, they're not going to get it done. So I don't -- I wouldn't worry too much -- if I was ISIS, I wouldn't worry too much about what Europol is going to do to them.
KEILAR: OK. So you're basically saying it's pointless, what they might do?
FUENTES: It isn't pointless. I just said that they're probably not going to be effective.
KEILAR: They're not going to be effective. OK.
Well, Phil, I wonder if you think they might -- if the U.S. might be effective if they attempt this. But also, why is ISIS so good when it comes to social media? We know there are just tens of thousands of accounts, but there's also people who are ready to listen to what they're saying. Why is ISIS so effective in this realm?
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Well, I think you've got to contrast them to what we saw with al Qaeda.
First, think about security. Al Qaeda would have said, "If we have three people who we think, as our supporters, can penetrate the United States and get in to conduct an operation, we can't violate the security of that cell."
What ISIS says is, "We'll tweet out there. And if 10,000 people are following and ten of them are serious, why do we worry about security? That's fine."
You also have to think about geography. In terms of the ISIS message, if you want to follow al Qaeda, you had to go to maybe Pakistan or Afghanistan, which seems like a place too far if you're in Europe or the United States.
For ISIS, how about you just go into Turkey and cross the border into Syria?
And then you have to think about the simplicity. The thing I think is most important is simplicity of the message. Al Qaeda might have said, "Conduct terror attacks again the innocent civilians in New York."
ISIS is going to say very simple message to a 16-, 17-, 18-year-old in the United States or the U.K., Germany, France: "Come live a better life, a place you can practice the religion more freely, a way you can practice a religion in a better way than you can in the United States." Very compelling message.
KEILAR: OK, so, General, I hear some skepticism about tackling this social media, all of the sites, all of the Twitter accounts that ISIS uses. But at the same time, can you really effectively have a military strategy against ISIS if you're not taking out their recruitment efforts and their propaganda efforts?
LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It's a good question, Brianna, and I'll expand the question a little bit and say, first of all, no, you can't have an effective campaign. It's going to take much longer. But secondly, it's not just about going after Twitter accounts and Facebook pictures. What it's really about, and we had this as part of our national military strategy, is you go after the money. You stop the ability of ISIS to pay fighters to buy airline tickets, to promise them the kinds of things that they're looking for, to stop the government.
You engage the moderate imams, who are going to do different messages in their mosques as they talk to these young people who might be approachable in some of these kind of things.
And then you stop the fighters at the border.
So there are many other things that contribute. You can't just do a one-on-one war against web sites. It's got to be attacking the fighter in a variety of ways, and the advertisement, getting the people there is just one of those things.
[17:30:01] LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: You can't just do a one-on-one war against Web sites. It's got to be attacking the fighter in a variety of ways, and the advertisement getting people there is just one of those things. There's got to be a whole lot more to contribute to the effective military campaign.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Phil, what do you make of this? You have ISIS that is now slamming Hamas in the Gaza Strip, saying that Hamas is lax on religious enforcement. What do you see going on here?
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Pretty simple. ISIS doesn't believe in elections for a simple reason that elections mean that you believe the word of man can trump the word of God. Hamas says we won elections, and therefore we should rule in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, et cetera, so there's a fundamental difference there.
What you have is Hamas saying that -- as I said, the world of man can trump the word God, and therefore ISIS is saying we object to what you're doing. Secondly, Hamas has said we can negotiate at some level with Israel. For ISIS, that's something they cannot accept.
I got to confess, I love this when I see this. Two levels of extremism fighting each other. When they fight each other, that means they're not focusing on New York City, but the message here is pretty simple, don't participate in elections. That's the message from ISIS. And don't negotiate with the Israelis. And if you do, as we've seen with their fights with Hamas, we're coming after you.
KEILAR: What does it mean, General, for Israel? HERTLING: Yes, well, Hamas is vulnerable. I'll chime in what Phil
just said. Hamas is very vulnerable. They took a huge beating in 2014 by the Israelis. And the critical piece is there's a lot of Palestinians in Gaza who are saying they're not happy with Hamas. So ISIS is providing an alternative and they've issued a statement saying hey, unless you're living by Sharia law, that -- you're not living right. Therefore that might be contributing to your failure.
They're putting it in God's name, as Phil said. There have been 12 attacks so far this year against Hamas by ISIS in the Gaza. That's amazing. All of this is going to contribute to a little bit of a stew for Israel and Hamas. It's going to continue to have the kinds of things we've seen in Syria happening in that small strip of land in Israel.
KEILAR: General Hertling, Phil, Tom, thank you so much to all of you.
And coming up, South Carolina lawmakers get set for a momentous debate. Will the state legislature remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the state capitol?
Also an exclusive visit to a new airport terminal. It looks great until you see what's for sale, and maybe you'll start asking some questions.
[17:37:11] KEILAR: Breaking news, we're learning that federal investigators are recommending charges be filed in a very unusual case. It's an alleged breach of a Major League Baseball team's computers.
CNN justice reporter Evan Perez joining us in THE SITUATION ROOM to talk about this.
What are you learning in these new developments here?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: It's a very unusual case indeed. What we have is a recommendation by FBI agents that have been investigating a computer intrusion of a Houston Astros' database. This is a database that housed information on important baseball prospects in the Astros system. And according to people we've talked to, they've narrowed down where this breach came from. And it was from St. Louis Cardinals employees.
PEREZ: And so now this recommendation for charges, criminal charges to be brought against at least one employee of the St. Louis Cardinals is now sitting on the desk of the U.S. attorney in Houston, Brianna. And really what's at work here is that there was some personnel -- current general manager of the Houston Astros came from the Cardinals organization, his name is Jeff Luhnow. And according to people in the Cardinals organization, they suspected that he took with him and other employees' information on their own private proprietary database. Now the Astros say they built their own system from scratch. They
didn't steal anything. But this all became an FBI investigation when some of the Astros' information showed up on the Internet. The Web site Deadspin published information that they said were leaked from inside the Astros' database. The Astros went to the FBI and said we need you to figure out whether we were hacked.
But it turns out what really happened was that there was some employees who didn't change their passwords, went to the new team, and were using some of those same old passwords, apparently someone decided to guess and was able to get.
KEILAR: They took that information -- just take your log-in with you, right?
PEREZ: Right. Well, the -- I should add one quick thing, the Cardinals this week fired their former director of scouting. His name is Chris Correa. We have a statement from him real quick, his attorney says that the relevant inquiry -- he says he didn't do anything wrong, but he said that really what the FBI should be looking at is whether or not former employees of the Cardinals actually stole information and took it with them to the Astros.
KEILAR: We'll see. All right. Evan, thanks so much. Weird case. Thank you for breaking it down for us.
KEILAR: And you know this may be the final Fourth of July weekend that the Confederate flag will fly on the grounds of South Carolina state House. The legislature is meeting Monday to debate taking down the flag. A poll of lawmakers published this week by Charleston's "Post and Courier" newspaper indicates both chambers have the two- thirds majorities that will be needed to remove the flag.
And joining me now to talk about this, we have the president of the National Urban League, Marc Morial.
Marc, thank you for being with us.
MARC MORIAL, NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE: Hi, Brianna. Right.
[17:40:02] KEILAR: You see that poll there. That's not official. Things can change, but do you think that the legislature will hit that two-thirds mark and this flag will come down?
MORIAL: I think there's strong momentum in South Carolina. The grief the tragedy, the effect that the death of the Mother Emanuel nine and Senator Clementa Pinckney has had on that state I think is crystallizing support around the vote to take down the flag.
I spoke to the governor just a few days ago and a number of others in South Carolina, and I think there's a sense that this is a statement that South Carolina indeed wants to make. So while the vote certainly will take place soon, I'll say that I think the momentum is in favor of the Confederate flag finally coming down on the grounds of the state capitol in Columbia.
KEILAR: What do you think of this poll? A CNN poll this week found that a majority of Americans, 57 percent, see the flag as more of a symbol of southern pride than as a symbol of racism.
MORIAL: You know, as a southerner, I think when people are educated about the purpose of the Confederate flag, and about the very essence of why there was an effort to overthrow the American government in the south during the civil war, when they understand it was about slavery, all of the articles of secession said it was about slavery, the Constitution of the Confederate states of America was a reaffirmation of slavery.
I think when people are aware of that fact they recognize that we have one flag in this nation. And that is the stars and stripes. So that's the flag of the United States of America, and the rebel flag and the Confederate flag is an anachronistic. It's a sign of division and let us put it in a museum where people who want to study that period and study that era can go.
This Confederate symbols all across the south divide people, divide Americans. What I think we should be finding more ways to build bridges and bring people together in the 21st century. So I believe there's momentum in that direction, but we're going to continue to push. And as we celebrate this Independence Day weekend, we're saying to people this is one nation and one flag. And that flag is the stars and stripes.
KEILAR: Marc, there's an eye-popping photo that has surfaced on social media, the inside of a Baltimore Police van, of course, it was a Baltimore police van that Freddie Gray was in when he suffered a spinal injury and died in police custody. Baltimore Police, they say they're investigating. This is concerning and unacceptable. Do you think that this is real, that this picture is real, that this statement was inside of a Baltimore police van?
MORIAL: It is so important, Brianna, that the -- those who are looking at this get to the bottom of not only whether it's real, but who in fact may have done this and may have done this. It's divisive, it's provocative, it's not the kind of thing you want to have when I know leaders in Baltimore, activists in Baltimore are trying to find ways to reform the police and bring the community together.
So it's important that they get to the bottom of it, but we can't be distracted from I think the larger set of issues that exist in Baltimore, and that is to fix their police department, to reform it, to build bridges between police and community, and also for there to be justice for Freddie Gray.
KEILAR: And they are investigating that, so we'll see where this -- I guess, as you put it, a small part of the bigger debate where this turns out to be.
All right, Marc Morial, thanks so much for joining us.
MORIAL: Thank you. KEILAR: And coming up, we have an exclusive look inside Kim Jong-Un's
fancy new airport terminal. It's pretty eye-catching ways that it is really showing off some of its rather unusual features, I guess you could say, one of a kind.
Also a disturbing uptick in shark attacks as U.S. beachgoers thinking twice before venturing into the water.
KEILAR: Politicians like to talk about the need to upgrade U.S. airports, comparing some of them to, quote, "third world airports." But on a recent visit to North Korea's capital city, CNN correspondent Will Ripley traveled through a new airport terminal that is anything but what you'd think of as third world. Even if it is a little bit bizarre. Here's his exclusive report.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): I'm inside Pyongyang's brand new airport terminal. It just opened up. We're one of the first flights out. Only a handful of flights actually take off from Pyongyang in the course of a week. But this airport was clearly built with the hope and with the idea that that number will perhaps grow.
One thing we noticed while flying in here, there were a lot of soldiers working on the runway. And in fact, we know that soldiers played a huge role in getting this project completed relatively quickly. That's because North Korea uses its massive military as a construction force.
The Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un we're told played a personal role in the design and development of this airport, inspecting it. In fact, he was seen conducting a field inspection after it opened. Reportedly very happy with its progress.
People are pretty relaxed about having their picture taken, which I have to say is quite unusual for North Korea, where a lot of times traditionally people have shied away from the camera.
Hello. How are you?
The airport even has a convenience store where you can pick up a snack before your flight. There's also a selection of fresh fruits and vegetables similar to some of the grocery stores that you see around Pyongyang. Even frozen items, although I'm not sure how you'd exactly carry that on the plane.
[17:50:16] There's also this book shop where you can pick up some in- flight reading and of course all the literature is about the Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un, his father Kim Jong-Il, and of course the founder of North Korea, Kim Il-Sung. A lot of people you see there buying things to read before they get on the plane.
OK. Our flight is boarding now so it's time to go. But definitely a lot to explore here at North Korea's brand new international airport.
Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang, North Korea.
KEILAR: Fascinating report.
And joining us now by phone from Hong Kong is Gordon Chang, he's a columnist for Forbes.com, and he's the author of the book "Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World." Also with us former State Department senior adviser Christian Whiton.
So, Christian, you just saw that report about the new airport. This is more than just a renovation. What's this about?
CHRISTIAN WHITON, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT SENIOR ADVISER: Well, it's an important showpiece of (INAUDIBLE) airport, if you will. The regime takes propaganda very carefully, it takes its foreign image very carefully. 99 percent of North Koreans will never see the inside of this airport. They're not allowed to travel abroad. But it will be a nice thing for journalists and diplomats to come and visit.
Kim Jong-Un, the young dictator, was perhaps better traveled than his father and grandfather who basically limited foreign travel to occasional visits to the Soviet Union or Russia, and then China. Kim went to boarding school reportedly in Switzerland. He has a little more knowledge of what airports actually look like. But this is more just a showpiece in what is a fairly desperate regime.
KEILAR: "Impotent-Kim airport," very interesting phrase there.
Gordon, there are unconfirmed reports that Kim Jong-Un executed the architect of this airport awhile back before this project was finished. And then we also hear reports that many mid-ranking officials are defecting because they're afraid of executions.
Is this a sign that Kim Jong-Un's power is at risk?
GORDON CHANG, FORBES.COM COLUMNIST: Yes, I think that it is. Because Kim Jong-Un has gone on an unprecedented purge, extremely deadly. According to South Korea's National Intelligence Service, he put to death 83 senior officers and officials between 2012 and the middle of this April. Since then, he's killed the Defense minister and senior military officials have disappeared as well.
As you point out, the architect of this airport, plus five others were killed because the terminal didn't reflect national character and Juche, which is the national ideology. And I think what's happening right now is that people are leaving because they're scared and because of this situation, I think that you're going to see some people actively oppose the regime because if they can't get out of the country and leave, as others have, they have no choice but to take down Kim.
KEILAR: What do -- Christian, what do you think about that? That would be huge if there are people inside the government considering challenging or taking down the leader.
WHITON: It would be a big deal. But of course all of these regimes look perfect and impenetrable until they actually have facades. You know, it's a big deal for people to be defecting. North Korea has a policy of punishing people up to three generations away. So in other words, if your grandfather commits a political crime, you had nothing to do with it, you could find yourself chucked in a political concentration camp.
Also it goes laterally. A relative you never heard of does something wrong, you could really be in serious trouble. So these people who are defecting, their families will face serious trouble, but they're taking the risk nonetheless.
Also the fact that you have defectors outside of the regime, outside of North Korea, who could speak about the repression, who could speak about the regime's quality status, et cetera, actually will help to build a dissent movement.
KEILAR: Real quick, Gordon, there is at this point a severe drought, it appears. A severe drought in North Korea. The county is seeking humanitarian aid from Iran. How dire are things there?
CHANG: Yes, it is bad. But it's not the 100-year drought that the regime says because they're trying to portray it as worse than it actually is, because they want aid from the U.N. and the international community. And there is what is called donor fatigue after all these years. People are starting to think that it's really the regime's fault. It's not just some sort of natural disaster.
KEILAR: All right, very interesting insight. Gordon, thank you so much. Christian Whiton, as well, thank you.
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