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Pence Heads To Seoul As North Korean Tensions Escalate; North Korea Parades New Missiles Amid Rising Tensions; Trump's Evolving Foreign Policy Plan; Activists Demand Trump Taxes In Nationwide Marches; China, Russia, Syria And Iran Issue Warnings To The U.S.; North Korea Surprises With Never-Before-Seen Missiles; "Mother Of All Bombs" Killed 94 ISIS Fighters; Manifesto Fugitive Arrested In Wisconsin. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired April 15, 2017 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: -- North Korea where that country is wrapping up a day of alarming military parades that showcased never-before-seen intercontinental missiles. Dictator Kim Jong-Un claims that these warheads are so powerful they could reach America's west coast.
The missile reveal took place during North Korea's annual Day of the Sun celebration. The threat comes amid growing fears that Kim Jong-Un could be preparing another nuclear test and if it were carried out, it would be the first one under President Trump's watch.
All of this as Vice President Mike Pence is on his way to the region. Pence is scheduled to arrive in Seoul, South Korea, tomorrow. We've got a team of reporters covering this story from South Korea to the president's winter White House in Florida.
Let's begin there, where CNN's Jessica Schneider is live in nearby West Palm Beach. Jessica, what more are we learning about the vice president's trip and what the White House hopes to achieve with this?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Martin, this 11-day trip by Vice President Mike Pence, it does come at that critical time with those tensions escalating over North Korea. We do know that Vice President Pence is en route to Seoul, South Korea, where he will arrive tomorrow around 3:55 in the afternoon.
He has a long list of things he will be doing, among meeting with world leaders, while he is on this 11-day journey. Tomorrow the itinerary in Seoul, South Korea, includes visit Seoul National Cemetery and attending Easter church service with U.S. and Korean service members.
Also Vice President Pence will attend a fellowship meal with military families where he will also be making remarks. Of course, Vice President Pence will remain in Seoul, South Korea, through Tuesday, but he has a long list of other countries and foreign leaders he will be meeting with. Vice President Pence will also make the trek to Japan, Indonesia, as well as Australia, before making his way back to the United States with a stop in Hawaii.
But, of course, at the top of the list on Vice President Pence's itinerary and remarks, will be North Korea. Of course, Martin, this is the chance for the administration to lay out their plans and policies to U.S. allies in Asia -- Martin.
SAVIDGE: All right. Jessica Schneider with a view down there from the Southern White House. Let's get perspective now from the region, CNN's Paula Hancocks is live in Seoul, South Korea. Hello, Paula, good to see you.
North Korea clearly wants to send a message with these new missiles that it's put out on display. Can you put that message into context for us? And I'm wondering also what is the reaction from South Korea?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Martin, I think many experts are saying that this is really quite a significant array of missiles that we saw this Saturday from Pyongyang, some -- two in particular, experts are watching very closely they believe could be new ICBMs, intercontinental ballistic missiles, that Kim Jong-Un has said very clearly that he is working on to try to be able to hit mainland United States.
Now he's already said at the beginning of the year he was close to test launch one of those. So we have intelligence agencies and experts pouring over these images we saw today to try and glean any information they can about the capability that North Korea has.
Of course, one thing they're focusing on closely, they're within these canisters, they don't know whether or not or what was inside those canisters, of course, for the purposes of this parade, but it looks like it was solid fuel, which means it's much easier and quicker for North Korea to launch, and much more difficult to track.
That has people here in South Korea concerned, certainly from an official point of view. Interestingly when you walk on the streets of Seoul you wouldn't know that tensions were high. People in South Korea have dealt with this problem for many decades.
They're still technically at war with their northern neighbor, given there was not a peace treaty signed in 1953, so it is business as usual on the streets of Seoul -- Martin.
SAVIDGE: Paula, let me ask you this, who is the vice president, Vice President Pence, I'm referring to, meeting with tomorrow as far as leadership goes?
HANCOCKS: Well, on Sunday, he'll be meeting not with the South Korean leadership, he'll be going to the national cemetery and meeting with the troops, an Easter service as well, but then on Monday, he'll be meeting Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn.
But of course, bear in mind, this is a man who won't be in power in a few weeks' time. So it's kind of a tricky situation for the vice president to be walking into. The president, Park Geun-Hye, who was in power has been impeached. She's now in prison, potentially awaiting trial.
So it's a pretty tricky situation. He is not going to meet presidential hopefuls though.
SAVIDGE: It's that kind of a tricky situation that could only make matters worse if it comes down to any kind of conflict. Paula Hancocks, thank you very much for that.
CNN international correspondent, Will Ripley, is the only American television journalist who is in North Korea and he had a pretty up close view of this parade and the new military hardware. Take a look.
[12:05:01]WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An ominous in Kim Il-sung square. North Korea's growing missile arsenal on full display including what the South Korean military suspects are two never before seen intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Like all military parades around the world these are most likely mockups, but analysts believe North Korea has the real thing and may be waiting for the right moment to put the modernized missile arsenal to the test.
(on camera): What should the world think when they see these ballistic missiles rolling by? Is North Korea a threat to the world?
(voice-over): The Korean people's army is fully ready to attack our enemies at any moment, he says, if they try to attack us.
Despite escalating rhetoric and U.S. warships headed for the Korean coast the nation's supreme leader, Kim Jong-Un did not test a nuclear weapon Saturday as many predicted. Instead he showed force by showing off missiles that could someday deliver nuclear warheads to the mainland U.S.
I think we've done something bigger than a nuclear test, he says. We've shown the world something much bigger. Analysts say Kim Jong-Un can push the button on North Korea's sixth nuclear test at any time. He's already launched more missiles than his father and grandfather combined.
From missiles to manpower, soldiers from all branches of North Korea's massive standing army. A fighting force of more than a million men and women, soldiers chanting, they're willing to die for their supreme commander.
Also on display, North Korea's conventional arsenal, tanks, artillery, weapons pointed directly at tens of millions of people in the city of Seoul, South Korea. Even if North Korea can't match the fire power of the U.S., experts say they have the potential to do a lot of damage and kill a lot of people. (on camera): After the soldiers, the civilians, these are people who have been out since the pre-dawn hours, screaming, "long live Kim Jong-Un."
(voice-over): Saturday marks the Day of the Sun, North Korea's most important holiday, celebrating the 105th birthday of Kim Jong-Un's grandfather, President Kim Il-Sung, the founder idolized alongside his son, the second North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, an entire society built around three generations of the Kim family.
(on camera): What do you want President Trump to know about the North Korean people?
(voice-over): I think President Trump should try to learn more about North Korea and its people, she says. We are never afraid of the American nuclear threat. We have our own nuclear weapons to counter those threats.
Weapons North Korea and its unpredictable leader put on full display, promising they're not afraid to use them if provoked. Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang.
SAVIDGE: All of this brings up that critical question, what is next for the U.S. and for President Trump. So let's discuss it with our panel, Mike Shields, a CNN political commentator and former chief of staff for Reince Priebus and the RNC, Brian Fallon, a CNN political commentator and former press secretary for Hillary Clinton, and Mike Allen, the managing director of Beacon Global Strategies and former majority staff director for the House Intelligence Committee.
Mike Shields, let me start with you, first, the president orders the attacks in Syria and then the mother of all bombs dropped in Afghanistan, and now this tough talk with North Korea. So I'm wondering is the president shifting from his America first policy to the U.S. being the world's policeman?
MIKE SHIELDS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, no. I mean, America first means protect America first and the president was pretty clear in the campaign that's what he was going to do. You know, I think one of the things he didn't really talk about much as an issue in the 2016 campaign was defense of national security. It was a huge issue.
A lot focused on the Iran deal, but what reallythe voters were saying was they're tired of a weak foreign policy, a weak lead from behind policy, that President Obama had put forth and that Hillary Clinton was also a part of.
And so President Trump is doing exactly what he said he was going to do. He's going to keep America safe. That is a part of that policy. I think you're seeing his leadership on these things in a sense his budget document, you know, there's -- people talk about a lot of the cuts in the budget document.
The budget document was really a message, a communications device, to say I want Congress to increase defense spending and I'm going to cut in other areas, plus up defense spending to meet the needs of a dangerous world, which we are seeing here with these leaders that are testing us.
And so I think in many, many areas if you look at the cabinet the president put together, very, very strong on national defense with generals and people with real expertise when it comes to keeping the country safe.
So I don't think there's been any change. That's where he's been from the campaign through the transition to the beginning of his presidency, and that's what the American people want and that's why they voted for him.
[12:10:02]SAVIDGE: I would say that's what I've heard from a lot of his supporters. Brian, let me ask you about the optics, at least, the president golfing yesterday and then spending another weekend at his resort in Florida while his vice president is on his way to a very troubled part of the world, South Korea, with the threat of another nuclear test by North Korea. Is that kind of an odd message?
BRIAN FALLON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's problematic in this sense. I think that by any calculation it's probably true the president has spent more time on the golf course than he has in the White House situation room, and we're hearing reports that he has surrendered command and control to the generals in terms of carrying out tactics in these various hot spots around the globe.
To a certain extent that's fine and I agree with Mike that projecting American strength is important, but people expect the commander-in- chief to telegraph and explain to the public what the objectives are with all these tactics that are being carried out.
They want it done in a smart way. Otherwise, it comes across as adventurism, militarism for militarism's sake and that's not what Trump voters were signing up or that's not what they thought America first meant.
SAVIDGE: On the campaign trail, Candidate Trump, we realize it was the campaign, but he had a very different message than what we're seeing right now. Let's just take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Unlike other candidates for the presidency, war and aggression will not be my first instinct. You cannot have a foreign policy without diplomacy. A super power understands that caution and restraint are really, truly signs of strength.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: That was then. This is now. And it seems that the president has, well, a different thought on all of this when it comes to caution and restraint. What do we make of this, Mike Allen? MICHAEL ALLEN, MANAGING DIRECTOR, BEACON GLOBAL STRATEGIES: Well, several different things are happening at the same time in North Korea. One, it's harder for our satellites and our intelligence assets to be able to locate road mobile missiles. At the same time, they're making tremendous progress on building an intercontinental ballistic missile, their nuclear program is progressing.
And as you saw from the clips before this segment, the belligerence is on full display in North Korea. So I think President Trump is appropriately saying listen, the days of strategic patience are over.
This is a problem whose time has come to deal with, we have got to enable our diplomacy by being able to show that we are willing to use force. God we hope we don't get to that point, but to enable diplomacy the Chinese need to know that we're serious.
We need to get Iranian-styled sanctions on the North Koreans and so I think President Trump is appropriately putting focus on this issue because we cannot avoid it anymore.
SAVIDGE: Mike Shields, the problem with all of this talking tough and sending military hardware in that direction, you may actually have to use it and in a place like Korea, it is going to be vastly different than say Syria who isn't likely to shoot back.
SHIELDS: Well, I mean I agree with what Mike is saying. That is a part of diplomacy, strength is a part of diplomacy. Diplomacy for diplomacy sake is weakness and we've seen that in our country and that's what the country doesn't want.
So there is no good having diplomacy or going to China and saying we're going to negotiate with you and leverage you to put more pressure on the North Koreans if we're not going to show strength and show them that we mean business.
Look, the North Koreans are testing us. When Prime Minister Abe came over and met with President Trump, which by the way down at Mar-a- Lago, where they golfed together, so I think the whole golf narrative is absurd.
There is a lot of work that gets done there, and so when Prime Minister Abe came and met with President Trump, the North Koreans fired a missile. They were clearly testing us.
So the signals that they hear back from us when they test us are incredibly important and important part of diplomacy. So I don't think this is anything other than exactly what the American people wanted. They want us to show strength in our foreign diplomacy and that's what President Trump is doing.
SAVIDGE: And Brian, the last question has to go to you due to time, do you believe that we're seeing sort of the making of a Trump doctrine or does he need to have a doctrine at all?
FALLON: I don't think that there's been any clear doctrine that's emerged from any of the actions undertaken whatsoever. In fact, my concern is when Donald Trump was a television personality, he cared about his ratings most of all.
And when he first came in and sworn in, of course, he famously cared about the crowd size of his inauguration. I'm concerned that he's considering these military strikes that we've undertaken for the television value of them, this Pentagon provided footage of showing explosions in places like Afghanistan with no clear vision as to what's next.
So in a place like Syria, God forbid if Assad uses chemical weapons again, Donald Trump is now on the hook to respond again and how are we going to take that forward.
In a place like North Korea, you can't out crazy Kim Jong-un. So the idea of floating a preemptive strike like happened this week probably scared the heck out of our allies in Seoul and there is no clear articulated strategy for what comes next.
That's what I think is troubling to the public and most of all troubling to Trump's own supporters.
[12:15:08]SAVIDGE: Mike Shields, Brian Fallon and Michael Allen, thank you all for joining me this morning.
Still to come, protesters are gathering in cities across the country. They're demanding that Donald Trump release his tax returns. This as tax day is quickly approaching.
SAVIDGE: This afternoon people are expected to gather for marches in roughly 180 protest sites across the nation including Washington. Among other things activists are demanding that Mr. Trump release his tax returns.
In Washington, the march will kick off at the nation's capital and then go to the Trump Hotel and then end at the Lincoln Memorial. This comes as the deadline to file taxes around the corner, Tuesday, April 18th.
[12:20:04]CNN's Tom Foreman is in Washington, and Tom, what's going on now?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Martin, they've just started the actual program here at the capitol. You can look around and get a sense of the crowd that came here. Many people with signs, raising as you noted a lot of different issues here. It's not just about the taxes. We talked to a few of the protesters earlier on and that was first on their mind. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've been in the military for over 20 years and we said it was time, and this is something we want to see him do, is release his taxes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's an integrity thing because we're in the military, we were required to show any and every bit of information about ourselves and it showed our integrity and our commitment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: We'll hear a lot more of that as the program goes on up over here for the next hour or so. There will be a couple members of Congress and then this crowd will rally itself and start moving down this way as you mentioned toward the Trump Hotel, on near the White House, in a sense, and then down to the Lincoln Memorial way down there where they will wrap it up later this afternoon.
Celebrating this holiday weekend and this tax weekend, making sure that the president knows they're keeping an eye on his taxes and they would like to see them -- Martin.
SAVIDGE: Yes, hardly think of taxes as something to celebrate but Tom, I'm wondering why go by the Trump Hotel in D.C.? What's the message and connection?
FOREMAN: Well, it's almost an accident of geography the Trump Hotel is right on the way to the White House and down to the Memorial down there. I'm sure that's a stent that many people here are happy about because it gives them a moment to vent their feelings about this whole situation. So that's really the only reason it goes by there. I suppose if it were the other way it might not. In this case, they will and you can bet they will be heard at that moment -- Martin.
SAVIDGE: All right, Tom Foreman there, keeping an eye on the protest as we point out are occurring in 180 cities and towns across the country talking about taxes and Trump. Thank you.
Still to come, the mother of all bombs, dropped in Afghanistan, air strikes in Syria and a U.S. Navy strike group moving toward the Korean Peninsula. We'll look at Trump's foreign policy moves, next.
SAVIDGE: The U.S. is keeping an eye on North Korea for any possible nuclear test as the North warns of all-out war if it's provoked. This as the U.S. sends a Navy strike group towards the Korean Peninsula as tensions there and elsewhere rise.
The U.S. also launched a missile strike against the Assad regime in Syria and dropped a massive bomb on ISIS forces in Afghanistan. Are these isolated military moves or does it add up to a foreign policy doctrine for President Trump? CNN global affairs correspondent, Elise Labott has a look.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, new warnings from China, as tensions rise with North Korea, the Chinese foreign minister warning that if war breaks out, quote, "There will be losses on all sides." Russia, Iran and Syria also issue warnings to the U.S. against new strikes in Syria. The threats follow President Trump's decision to launch two major military strikes in Afghanistan and Syria.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We have the greatest military in the world, and they've done a job as usual. So we have given them total authorization. That's what they're doing. Frankly, that's why they've been so successful lately.
LABOTT: The display of military might a message to U.S. enemies and their supporters in what is quickly becoming a hallmark of Trump's emerging foreign policy.
COLONEL PETER MANSOOR (RETIRED), U.S. ARMY: President Trump has given much more leeway to his military commanders to strike and they're striking. I think that does send a message around the world that America is back.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Unbelievable.
LABOTT: It's an about-face from the candidate who promised a national security strategy that put America first.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I want to help all of our allies, but we are losing billions and billions of dollars. We cannot be the policemen of the world.
LABOTT: But as commander-in-chief, Trump acknowledged the images of last week's gas attacks in Syria had a deep impact.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I now have responsibility, and I will have that responsibility and carry it very proudly.
LABOTT: In the span of a week, Trump has also changed his mind on the NATO alliance now viewing it as a tool could counter Russian aggression in Europe.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I said it was obsolete. It's no longer obsolete.
LABOTT: And abandoning his hardline stance on China.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Great relationship.
LABOTT: Now calling President Xi Jinping a partner to counter North Korea's nuclear threats.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: President Xi wants to do the right thing. We had a very good bonding. I think we had a very good chemistry together. I think he wants to help us with North Korea.
LABOTT: If a Trump foreign policy is emerging, it would be don't have a doctrine.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I like to think of myself as a very flexible person. I don't have to have one specific way and if the world changes, I go the same way. I don't change. Well, I do change. LABOTT: Trump says he trusts his commanders pressing him to flex U.S. military muscle in Yemen where the U.S. is stepping up air strikes against ISIS, in Iraq and Syria where Trump has sent hundreds of additional troops to fight ISIS since taking office and in Afghanistan where his national security adviser, General H.R. McMaster, is traveling soon to plot the future of U.S. military presence. Trump now learning to trust the expertise of his generals he once boasted about knowing more than.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me.
[12:30:04] SAVIDGE: And CNN's Elise Labott joins us now from Washington. Hello, Elise. Is there a concern that Trump is ceding too much of his authority to the military, to his generals?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, it certainly looks like a more militaristic foreign policy. And I mean he's ceding authority to them in the field. But the military has a saying that they like to emphasize which is, you can delegate authority but you cannot delegate responsibility.
And, you know, he is the commander-in-chief, he does own the decisions, the consequences of the decisions that are made by the military in his name and on his behalf. And so, you know, it remains to be seen whether, you know, he likes to take credit when things are going well in the military operations are successful. But some of these military operations have had civilian casualties.
And while he's sharing the kind of credit, it remains to be seen whether he's going to share the accountability when things go wrong. I mean it's pretty clear that, you know, as he learns more about, you know, and grows into the role as commander-in-chief, he is getting used to the kind of trappings and the big, you know, weaponry of the U.S. arsenal. But I mean, I think he'll find that he has it to use that authority very carefully.
SAVIDGE: All right, Elise Labott, nice to see you. Thank you very much.
Still to come, CNN gets some rare access inside of North Korea. So, let's see what life is like for people who lives in Pyongyang.
[12:35:34] SAVIDGE: We have new images coming from North Korea today. And they are troubling to say the least because they show what appear to be two new intercontinental ballistic missile canisters.
A U.S. official says it's not known yet if the canisters actually contain the missiles which have the potential to reach the United States. They were part, though, of an annual military parade that was going through Pyongyang. CNN's Will Ripley is inside the super secretive state. He has visited North Korea now 11 times, one of the few journalists to do so. Here is some of what he saw.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I've been to North Korea 11 times over the last few years. And every time you come here you hear tensions between the U.S. and North Korea are high. But I have to say this is the most tense that I have seen it during any time that I've visited the country.
Whenever I come here, I always get a sense there are two very different worlds, the world inside North Korea and the world outside. Inside, everything in this society revolves around the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and before him his father and grandfather. This is a society that is built up around its leadership. They hold their leaders up to the highest possible esteem. And it's very much in contrast with the view from the outside world that North Korea is erratic, unpredictable and moving on a dangerous path as they continue to nuclearize.
In some ways, Pyongyang resembles many other cities, as an increasingly modern skyline, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has made it one of his initiatives to build more skyscrapers and public amenities in the city. In other ways though, it's radically different.
You hear music playing on loud speakers throughout the city all day, in the morning to wake people up, in the evening to put them to bed at night. There is patriotic, music, people are marching, they're practicing for huge mass celebrations that they often do for national holiday or to celebrate the achievements of their leader.
And of course North Korea is one of the only places in the world where no matter who you ask, at least publicly you will never hear political dissent. Everybody will say they are 100 percent behind their supreme leader. But given that Kim Jong-un has absolute power in this country, what else would they say?
SAVIDGE: Some strong reporting from Will Ripley. And I want to bring in now Balbina Hwang. She is a former senior advisor to Ambassador Christopher Hill and a visiting professor at Georgetown University. Welcome. Thank you for joining us.
BALBINA HWANG, FORMER SENIOR ADVISOR TO AMBASSADOR CHRISTOPHER HILL: Thank you.
SAVIDGE: I want to start by asking you about the military display that we were seeing this weekend. Some experts have expressed surprise at how advanced North Korea's military hardware appears to be. Do you think that's as justified concern?
HWANG: Oh, yes, of course, it is. But remember that this annual parade is very much a show, not just to the international world, especially this year, and those who are watching, but also to the domestic audience. It's a show of strength and force which the regime absolutely needs to do.
SAVIDGE: And as that parade is taking place, we know that President Trump is sending a U.S. navy strike group to the pacific right off of the Korean peninsula there. The north is already saying it's ready for all-out war if provoked by the United States. I guess the question to you is, is this all just rhetoric and the kind of up and down that we have seen before, or do you truly believe this particular instance is different and escalating?
HWANG: Well, it's actually both. In other words, we have been technically in a state of war with North Korea since the armistice in 1953.
Now, as far as we, meaning the United States, South Korea, the allies, and others in the region, that's essentially hasn't really matter because we have not been militarily engaged. And South Korea has been able to develop and modernize despite it all. But for North Korea, North Korea has always considered itself constantly at war with the United States.
And so for Kim Jong-un, President Trump has come in and it's actually President Trump that seems very unpredictable. And I think that has elevated North Korea's insecurity and sense of threat.
SAVIDGE: The president, President Trump, has said that several times, if China won't help with North Korea then the U.S. is willing to go alone. Why do you think that China is reluctant to sort of play a role in this crisis?
[12:39:55] HWANG: Well, it's not just a role in this crisis. But China has a very complex relationship with the entire Korean peninsula. China has supported North Korea for well over 60 years. And essentially, China cannot just cut off North Korea because it simply does not serve China's national strategic interests in the long term.
But in the short term, China is in a bind, precisely because this president is very serious. And he has put countries on notice as we've seen it, Syria and just now in Afghanistan.
SAVIDGE: So what are China's worries than about North Korea? I mean is it that it doesn't want to see a reunited Korean peninsula or is it that it doesn't want a flood of North Korean refugees?
HWANG: I've always believed that the flood of refugees is not that big of a problem for China. And even if it is, it's something that China can address and it's a very short-term issue. It's much more about long-term strategic interests. Certainly that a divided peninsula maintains the status quo for China, but if that -- if Korean peninsula is united it changes the power dynamics, not only for the region, but China's global position.
SAVIDGE: So, let me ask you this, from your educated perspective, what should the U.S. do next? We've tried sanctions. We certainly tried very strong rhetoric. We now have a military force that seems to be bolstering there. Is it military action or is it additional economic pressure that is likely to get Kim Jong-un to step or stand down, not step down?
HWANG: Well, it's all of those things. But I think what just the last 24 or 48 hours has shown us is that merely the threat and the seriousness of backing up the threat of using military force seems to have worked. In other words, we have not seen a nuclear detonation or a missile test in the last 24 hours.
And so it's actually working to our advantage to have a president whom everybody questions, not just those, our enemies, but our friends and allies. We should also not forget, there has not been enough attention paid to the most crucial player which is actually South Korea. And South Korea is undergoing elections right now for a new leader. We have to factor in South Korea's role, but also South Korea's desire in terms of its future.
SAVIDGE: Well, we know that the vice president is going to arrive there I believe in just a few hours. So that seems to be an indication that at least politically now we're focusing on this besides just militarily.
HWANG: Oh, yes. And that is absolutely crucial. And in fact, the timing could not be better. It sends a very, very strong message to the entire South Korean society that U.S. is very serious about its allies and allies' commitment.
SAVIDGE: Balbina Hwang, thank you very much for your insights. Appreciate it.
Still to come, new details about who is killed in the U.S. strike against ISIS that used the so-called mother of all bombs. That's coming up next.
[12:47:21] LAURA KLOCK, KLOCK WERKS: I'm Laura Klock.
BRIAN KLOCK, KLOCK WERKS: And I'm Brian Klock. 2017 actually marks 20 years of Klock Werks. And that's a big deal for us it's huge. And it was just building cool bikes. I would never guess we would get to this point. And it was only when Laura pushed me to spit out my ideas and say, why aren't you making these. And that was when we finally came out the products.
L. KLOCK: With the two of us doing marketing at the time, Brian, thought it would be a good idea to let me ride it. I found myself on the starting line of the salt flats. And set a land speed record in a partially streamlined class.
B. KLOCK: I got the inspiration to create the windshield after Laura set the land speed record because the bike does wobble at speeds upwards of 125 plus and we figured out the air and that revolutionized the windshield business.
L. KLOCK: Once we got the windshield to market which was a big deal for a small company, we grew about a 650 percent in a year and a half. And we went from five employees to 20.
B. KLOCK: We have to keep innovating and keep yourself out there. Laura always says, if you're going to be afraid just go do it afraid. And I was as afraid of failure as I was of success. And she literally helped me get across that threshold.
SAVIDGE: Four ISIS commanders are among the 94 militants killed by the so-called mother of all bombs that according to an Afghan official. The U.S. dropped the massive non-nuclear bomb two days ago taking out ISIS caves and tunnels near Afghanistan's border with Pakistan.
CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr has more.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: The largest conventional bomb ever dropped in combat exploded above a complex of caves and tunnels in a remote area of eastern Afghanistan, the top U.S. commander adamant that the mission was only about killing ISIS.
GEN. JOHN NICHOLSON, COMMANDER, U.S. FORCES IN AFGHANISTAN: The timing of the use of this weapon was the simply the appropriate tactical moment against the proper target to use this particular munition. So it is not related to any outside events.
STARR: It does deliver a psychological message to ISIS. One military official tells CNN, the massive bomb is powerful enough to destroy nine city blocks.
LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It will level that area and provide an unbelievable amount of concussion to that area. So, it will collapse caves, it blow up things, and it will -- if you're alive afterwards you're going to have perforated eardrums and a lot trauma.
STARR: General Nicholson says it all went according to plan, caves and tunnels destroyed. Afghan officials say dozens of ISIS fighters killed.
[12:50:03] NICHOLSON: We had persistent surveillance over the area, before, during and after the operation. And now we have Afghan and U.S. forces on the site and see no evidence of civilian casualties nor have there been any reports of civilian casualties.
STARR: The bomb had been in Afghanistan since early January. Nicholson signed the final order authorizing the mission just 24 hours before the bomb dropped. Afterwards, local Afghans described the enormity of the blast. PALSTAR KHAN, ACHIN DISTRICT RESIDENT (through translator): Last night's bomb was really huge. When it dropped it was shaking everywhere.
STARR: A lot of fire power was used but the estimate is there's still upwards of 800 ISIS fighters inside Afghanistan.
Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.
SAVIDGE: And still to come, chaos in reports of a shooting in New York's Penn station. But police say there was no gunfire. Here what actually caused all of this.
[12:55:11] SAVIDGE: At least 16 people are recovering after a stampede at a New York train station. Just look at this video. Pure chaos at Penn station during last night's commute after false reports of a shooting, people scrambled for the exits some left behind their bags and shoes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF WILLIAM MORRIS, NEW YORK POLICE DEPT.: We received numerous calls for shots fired in and around Penn station. As officers responded, we learned that the Amtrak police had deployed a taser, the likely source of the sound, and the ensuing 911 calls. We received several dozen 911 calls from Penn station and on 34th Street from 7th Avenue to Broadway. All of those calls were determined to be unfounded.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: To complicate matters Penn station was more crowded than usual due to a stalled train causing massive delays. Fortunately, none of the injuries were life-threatening.
A ten-day manhunt for a man accused of robbing a Wisconsin gun shop and then mailing a manifesto to President Donald Trump is over. The 32-year-old suspect is facing three felony charges of burglary to arm himself with the dangerous weapon, theft, and possession of burglaries tools.
Andy Rose has more on what led to the capture.
JOHN SPEARS, VERNON COUNTY SHERIFF: The fugitive that has been sought in a nationwide manhunt for the last week and a half, Joseph Jakubowski, has been apprehended.
ANDY ROSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thirty-two-year-old Jakubowski was found early Friday morning at a makeshift camp site about 125 miles from Janesville, Wisconsin, where he allegedly robbed a gun shop. The same day he allegedly stole the guns, authorities say Jakubowski sent a 161 page anti-government manifesto to the White House. The manifesto put the community on heightened alert.
SHERIFF ROBERT SPODEN, ROCK COUNTY, WISCONSIN: He has a strong dislike or hatred towards government officials, both local and federal and state level so we have tried to increase our security at areas such as the courthouse, you know, school events, things such as that where there would be an opportunity for him to inflict a lot of damage.
ROSE: The owner of the property where Jakubowski pitched a primitive tent says the stranger's anti-government, anti-religion conspiracy theories were what led to him contacting the authorities.
JEFFREY GORN, PROPERTY OWNER: Those red flags started to come up like why is he looking at wanting to talk to me so much and whatever else, and some of the things he brought up in his dialog. And again, that's what made me come down and actually make the telephone call to find out who this person was.
ROSE: Authorities say they found Jakubowski with a copy of the manifesto, a sword, and some of the firearms stolen from the gun store.
I'm Andy Rose reporting.
SAVIDGE: The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM still ahead. But first, let's take a look at CNN's new original series sound track songs that define history.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Music is an explosive expression of humanity.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every movement has to have a song.
GEORGE W. BUSH, 43RD U.S. PRESIDENT: I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you.
DWAYNE JOHNSON, ACTOR: The music will always remind us that it is possible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One small step for man.
RANDY JACKSON, TELEVISION PERSONALITY: That is what anthems are made of.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's about standing up for your rights.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were killing our own children.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought, what the hell are we going to do that for?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a cultural political statement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Music is a vehicle for revolution.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That king of courage changed how I viewed human beings.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The aftermath of 9/11 everybody was in it together.
JACKSON: Somebody has got to put this into words and emotions for everyone to hear.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is how we remember history.
SAVIDGE: Hi there, welcome you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Martin Savidge in for Fredricka Whitfield who is off.
Happening now, the Nation's Capitol, as the dead line looms for Americans to file their tax returns. Protesters are calling for President Trump to make his public. People are expected to gather for marches in roughly 180 protest spots across the U.S.
But first, the president is facing a renewed threat overseas. North Korea showing off never-before-seen intercontinental missiles that dictator Kim Jong-un claims could reach America's west coast. These ballistic missiles were paraded through Pyongyang during North Korea's Day of the Sun celebration. The threat comes in a growing fear that Jim Jong-un could be preparing another nuclear test. And if so, it would be the first one on President Trump's watch.
All of this as Vice President Mike Pence is on his way to the region. Pence, is scheduled to arrive in Seoul South Korea tomorrow.
[13:00:04] Meanwhile, President Trump is at the southern White House in Florida. And CNN Suzanne Malveaux is live in your by West Palm Beach. Suzanne, nice to see you.
You know what the president is working on there?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Nice to see you.