tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN June 30, 2019 1:00pm-1:31pm PDT
>> this is my honor. i didn't really expect it. we were in japan for the g20. we came over. i said, hey, i'm over here. i want to call up chairman kim. we got to meet, and stepping across that line was a great honor. a lot of progress has been made. >> let's check in with cnn's white house chief white house associate jim acosta. he's in seoul, south korea. so, jim, how spontaneous was this? >> fredricka, this was spontaneous. i did talk to a law enforcement source who said the secret service had been preparing for the president's trip to the dmcz for some time because that had been talked about, that he might go to the dmz. in terms of meeting with kim jong-un, i talked to a source on the scene for this meeting who said this was spontaneous. the president tweeted that this was possibly going to happen, and then his team, quote, got into gear. and so this all came together
pretty quickly, according to our sources. and it was a dramatic moment as you were just watching in that video. perhaps one of the most remarkable moments of this presidency. the president talking to kim jong-un there in north korea, you know, 20 paces on to the north korean soil and they went in this meeting for a good -- almost a good hour which was not something we expected. the president was talking about perhaps just a handshake and then they came out of this and there wasn't a huge diplomatic or breakthrough when it comes to kim jong-un's nuclear program. but the two sides agree to keep talking. the president said both sides will announce teams in the coming days to restart these talks that fell apart in hanoi, vietnam, earlier in the year. so these images were remarkable, but i think the more daunting challenge at this point is whether or not the president and his team can somehow convince the north koreans and kim jong-un to give up that which keeps this brutal dictatorship and regime in power. and that is where we stand right
now in this sort of intractable position the north koreans have been in for some time. now moving forward, the president did talk about this idea of bringing kim jong-un to the white house. if you thought that seeing kim jong-un and president trump walking around in north korea soil was markable, imagine the idea of kim jong-un inside the white house and what that would be like. but i talked to a source there on the ground who said in terms of the timing of all of that, that's sort of up in the air that it's too soon at this point to anticipate exactly when the president might bring kim jong-un to washington. but as the president was putting on display yesterday, he is at times a master showman when it comes to the presidency. and he demonstrated that in this remarkable sort of unimaginable reality tv style moment with kim jong-un which really just took -- i think took the world by storm yesterday but again, fredricka, it's a matter at this point wlf the u.s. could convince the north koreans to do the very thing that keeps the
north koreans in power and that is talk about whether or not they could give us this very critical nuclear weapons program that has kept the kim regime in place for decades. >> and then just looking at the videotape as it was happening, whether it was the slow walk to the dmz line, the crossing over, it all looked fairly smooth sailing. but cameras also caught a moment with the new white house press secretary that didn't look so smooth. it looked quite rough and tumble, in fact. so describe for us what happened. we see her kind of pushing, ms. grisham pushing but we don't see outside of the camera view. what was happening? >> yeah, i mean, it's remarkable from what i understand talking to a source on the ground there. the north koreans were pushing and shoving with the americans in terms of getting in place to cover this spray as we call it. this photo opportunity of the
president and kim jong-un. and at one point, according to a source involved in all of this, there was a, quote, all-out brawl and a bit of a scuffle as stephanie grisham was pushing back and forth. you see some of this in the video, trying to get the white house press pool into place to cover this meeting. and you know, stephanie grisham was a bit bruised in the process. i did talk to somebody there on the scene for all of this. they said she's fine and everybody else moved on with the day. but it goes to show you how rough and tumble things can be with the north koreans. i was inside the pool back in 2018 when the president met with kim jong-un in singapore, and we got in place for one of these photo opportunities and at the very last second, the north koreans rush in and start pushing and shoving everybody because they're just not used to dealing with a free press. they're not used to dealing with a white house press corps, and many of us were pushing and shoving back to make sure we held our positions.
so the north koreans, they're tough customers, fred rikee fre they demonstrated that yesterday. ms. grisham deserves credit for all of this. we've not seen this white house, this administration exactly be champions for free press or for the white house press corps but what we saw stephanie grisham do and you have to give her credit where credit is due, she tried to muscle the north koreans out of the way so members of the white house press corps could get in place and cover this remarkable meeting. >> that's a great point. very notable she was in that scrum in that fight on behalf of the u.s. journalists. jim acosta, thank you so much, from seoul, south korea. so how is that historic meeting being looked at around the world? we'll talk about that next.
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at royalcanin.com. president trump making history today after crossing over the border at the korean demilitarized zone and stepping right into north korea. this is how he described the moment speaking to a group of u.s. soldiers in south korea. >> i actually stepped in with chairman kim. i stepped in to north korea.
and they say -- and they say that's a very historic moment. and i think it is an historic moment. and a very good moment. he asked me, would you like to do that? i said it would be my honor. and he did. and we went over the line and turned around, and everybody was so happy. and many people i noticed from korea were literally in tears crying, crying, because it's a big thing. >> i want to talk more about the meet with jean lee, the director of the center for korean history and public policy at the wilson center and she also opened the first pyongyang bureau for the associated press back in 2012. good to see you, jean. so the president described people being in tears at the sight of this meeting. do you think the koreans, chinese, russians are seeing this as historically
significant, as significant as the president does? >> well, i wasn't there, so i don't know if they were in tears, but that sounds like a bit of an exaggeration to me but it's safe to say that the asians in the region are probably relieved. and i think the leaders in the region, president moon, chief among them, but also prime minister shinzo abe of japan, the russian president, china's president all had a role in making this happen because, to be frank, people who are living in this region who are north korea's neighbors do not want a nuclear north korea and do not want a protracted standoff between the united states and north korea right on their border. while it may seem like a conflict far away in washington, d.c., it is right on their doorstep. so they are relieved contact has been made. >> how do you measure the value of this meeting? >> it is positive, certainly, after four months of little to no contact between the north
koreans and the americans that they are in touch again. however, will it get us to -- will it get north korea to the place where they're willing to give up elements of their nuclear program, partially or completely, to really ensure the stability and peace in this region? i don't know. it's a risky move because what he has done, is given, just handed kim jong-un this enormous amount of legitimacy, handed this propaganda boost on a platter. you can see how north korea state media are scrambling to get that picture. it's going to be plastered all over north korean state media. and it puts kim in a position of streng strength. so when it comes time for him to negotiate, he's going to be tougher. it's going to be hard for president trump or any u.s. president to demand he completely give us his weapons. kim is in a better position to say, hey, i'll give up my nuclear weapons when you give up yours. that's the risk. i do hope that what this kicks
off is a productive round of negotiations but we've seen before a lot of theatrics and very little substance. let's hope that's not the case and we're able to get some movement on denuclearization. >> wasn't kim jong-un likely to be tougher particularly because it was president trump that walked away from that meeting in hanoi? and now that at least according to the president, he kind of initiated. hey, i'm going to be in the neighborhood. why don't you meet me? was this a saving face moment? i guess not just for kim or -- and for trump but not more so for one than the other but maybe a saving face for both of them? >> i think that's absolutely rig right. hanoi was so disappointing for all sides. and totally understandable the north koreans would retreat and try to rethink their strategy. i do think from kim jong-un's reaction after hanoi that he was
taken aback that president trump was willing to walk away so quickly. and i think the bottom line, we have to remember that north korea is desperately poor, desperately needs some sort of economic deal, economic help from the united states and president trump knows that. he knows he's got the upper hand. but is he going to be able to turn that into denuclearization on north korea's part. north korea has been good at holding on to its weapons. and north korea has used the fire and fury of 2017 to build and perfect its program. and so certainly what i'm concerned about is if we let this process drag out, we are going to end up in a far more dangerous place than we were two years ago. >> all right. jean lee, fascinating. thank you so much. still ahead -- turkey's largest city banned pride parades but that's not stopping people from turning out to celebrate. we'll take you there next.
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pride parades are happening across the globe this weekend, including in places where lgbtq communities are under attack. that includes istanbul, turkey, where activists defied an official ban on the pride march and turned out proudly waving their rainbow flags. police in riot gear dispersed the crowd. cnn's ben wedeman was at the demonstration. >> this is the 17th time the istanbul lgbtqi community has tried to hold a pride parade in this city, but today and for the last four years, those parades have been banned. that hasn't stopped them from gathering, holding this noisy
demonstration. but, in fact, the interior ministry has banned all demonstrations in this area of central istanbul citing unspecified security concerns. what's different now is that for the first time in many years, the opposition runs the municipality of istanbul. the new mayor has said that he respects all lifestyles but it's not the mayor who is responsible for security here. rather, the governor who reports to the interior ministry. and the interior ministry is run by a member of conservative islamist president recep tayyip erdogan's justice and development party which frowns upon this sort of alternative lifestyle. istanbul lgbtqi community has put out a statement saying we are here. get used to it. we are not leaving.
i'm ben wedeman, cnn, reporting from a very noisy istanbul. >> and stay tuned. we'll have special coverage of world pride, our special pride & progress is just moments away. a look at our top stories. three people were arrested and eight injured during violent protests in portland, oregon, saturday, according to police. demonstrators threw containers that looked like milkshakes but contained, instead, quick-dry concrete. three officers were among those injured. the clashes started after several different groups of anti-fascists and right wing demonstrators collided in a downtown square. dominican republic officials say they are looking for one more person involved in the shooting of former baseball star david ortiz. officials arrested the alleged mastermind of the shooting on friday. victor hugo gomez was arrested on the dominican coast while trying to flee the country. gomez is accused of ordering on
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thanks for joining me for this cnn special "pri "pride & progress." i'm fredricka whitfield. cities around the world are marking world pride weekend. the worldwide celebrations come 50 years after that pivotal moment when police raided the stonewall inn, a gay bar in new york, touching off days of riots and bringing the fight for gay rights to the forefront. here's a look at the celebrations in istanbul, quit
o'ecuador, nepal and new york city. new york is hope to the largest celebration and is also this year's world pride host. organizers there are expecting more than 4 million people to attend today's day-long festivities. cnn's paulo sandoval is at the parade and is joining me live. >> fred, good afternoon to you. you look over fifth avenue right here in manhattan. it's a virtual sea of people. we have been hearing from people all day. really important. not only is today commemorating the fight that ongoing fight of the lgbtq community for equality but also it's also celebrating that monumental moment at the stonewall inn. love is taking center stage around the globe today. ♪ express yourself >> reporter: from portugal to
peru, to paris -- ♪ even in istanbul where the governor of turkey's largest city banned pride activities citing security concerns. that didn't stop activists who took to the streets proudly waving their rainbow flags while police in rainbow gear stood by eventually firing rubber pellets to disperse the crowd. but the biggest gathering is in new york city where world pride is being held in the united states for the first time ever. the largest lgbtq celebration in the world. and this year it's not only honoring the sacrifices and achievements of the gay rights movements but also the 50th anniversary of the stonewall riots. >> i think the country overall support the gay community so much better nowadays than in those days. >> our society truly is doing what it needs to do naturally, which is to speak out, stand up, be who you are, love who you love. >> reporter: today marked the first pride celebration for nikki and her daughter madeleine. >> we moved up here from