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pbs, tonight, important insight into three marriage challenges. is north korea for real, as the south says kim jong-un would give up its nuclear weapons. what is the catch? plus the kremlin in the cross hairs after yet another suspected poisoning of a former russian spy in britain. a life in limbo, as so-called dreamers face an uncertain future. what it means to be an immigrant in trump's america. ♪ >> announcer: "amanpour" on pbs
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has been made possible by the generous support of rosalynn w. walter. good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. i'm christian amanpour in london. north korea is ready to talk with the united states about getting rid of its nuclear weapons entirely if the regime's security is guaranteed. that's what the south koreans say after meeting with kim jong-un himself for more than four hours in pyongyang. it's thought to be the first time kim has met a south korean since he became leader north korea's state media called the conversation an open-hearted talk. the u.s. president has hailed possible progress, but he's also warned it may be false hope. he's said the united states is ready to go hard in either direction. june pack was for many years an analyst at the cia, and joining me from washington. welcome to the program.
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>> thank you. >> let me start by asking you, you were a skeptic, have you changed your mind today? are you surprised this dgamble n spor sport diplomacy with the winter olympics. >> it's a positive development. this is a big change in terms of what kim jong-un is willing to offer. and the fact that he's talked fered to the talk to the u.s. on the denuclearization, this is new for kim jong-un, the man with the plan, who's developing, fast forward on nuclear weapons development. but it's old news and playing from his father's playbook. his father in the past used dialogue to diffuse tension
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after major provocations. and let's not forget that north korea has tested icbms with the range that cou hit t united states, and six nuclear weapons tests. cording to the south, that kim jong-u would freeze, give up, whatever the correct terminology is, have a halt in his tests of either icbm technology or nuclear tests if there were talking under way. so that's movement. >> that's movement. but there are conditions attached, usually, to what north korea offers. a freeze on its program doesn't mean very much if there's no verification. so if we don't have iaea inspectors going into north korea to make sure there is a freeze, north korea could use the dialogue as a front while they buy time on their missile and nuclear programs. >> so obviously, north korea, pyongyang, hasn't officially corroborated all this that's t we heard that the public -- the media there called it an open-hearted conversation and dialogue. and we do know that apparently, according to the south, there
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will be a major summit later on in april. there will be a hotline set up between the north and south leadership so they can actually talk to each other. and, again, i mean, there seems to be movement. i know that you're saying we've got to wait and verify and trust and all the rest of it. but i guess what do you think, then, kim jong-un's strategy is right now? >> i think there are several drivers for why kim is reaching out now. and much has been said about wanting to reduce sanctions, implementation, the so-called maximum pressure strategy the trump administration has been leading. so sanctions are probably biding a bit. but i also think he wants to try to lure south korea away from the u.s. and to test the alliance, and how strong that alliance is. and -- but i think there are also the fact that he might enjoy the attention. if you look at all the newspapers that are plastered
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with kim jong-un holding court with the south korean delegation, he looks pretty confident. he's in charge. the fact that this meeting was in pyongyang and he's hosting it means he can control the scope and the timing and the venue for these talks. and he has also invited his wife to these -- to at least one dinner, which shows that -- which is his way of trying to show the world that north korea is a normal power and that he is the peace-maker in the region and not the trump administration. >> well, president trump, you heard me say in the introduction, has commented that this is possible progress. but, of course, you know, as everybody says, we've got to wait and see what happens. some of the u.s. intelligence officials have been lukewarm for the same reasons that you're giving. but from the south korean perspective, this is kind of proves their point, that they wanted to have dialogue. they've achieved dialogue and they seem to have achieved being
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a bridge between north korea and the united states. and obviously the trump administration gave them that space and that time to conduct this dialogue. so how would you say it's going to be playing in seoul? >> i think dialogue is a good thing, and this was a good -- this was a win, a political win for president moon who has wanted to pursue the inter-koreanngagement and to improve that side of his north koreaolicy. the other side is he has to -- or he has been supportive of the maximum pressure campaign to try to squeeze north korea and to try to reorient kim's pressure to the nuke yeclear weapons pro. dialogue is a good thing. any way to diffuse tension by the u.s. or south korea or north korea are good things. >> okay. >> but i think we're all clear that we want to make sure that we go into this with wide eyes. >> okay. but on that point, we really
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have to sort of narrow down on that. because one of the south korean's president es advisers told us that, look, since the days of kim il-sun, they always talked about denuclearizing, and many states have not let that come to pass, propaganda, et cetera, raising the same kind of doubts that you are now as a former cia analyst and specialist. what should the united states do now in order to give this the maximum possibility of success? >> president trump had tweeted that we're ready for dialogue and for pressure. i'm pretty confident about the pressure part. i think the maximum pressure campaign is all hands on deck. i'm not so sure about the engagement part. and because of warmi inter-korean ties, and the fact that north korea has come out and said that it wants to talk to the u.s., this requires a
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much more subtle finessing diplomacy, somebody who's really versed in dealing with north korea. and i have to remind the viewers that we still don't have a u.s. ambassador to south korea. and joe y oon who did an amazin job trying to drum up engagement, the special representative for north korean policy, his last day was last week. we are missing two critical players. on the dialogue front. >> right. on that note, thank you so much. and we should just say, we regularly seek comment on this issue from the white house, or the state department. again, today, they declined. now, north korea has long been suspected of assassinating it critics abroad. but that is not the only country. here in the united kingdom police are now racing to determine whether the kremlin had any hand in poisoning a russian former double agent. serg
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serg sergei scrip al was found unconscious next to his daughter. joining me is an author who's written extensively on russia, his latest novel is "red sky at noon" about world war ii. salmon, welcome to the program. >> great to be here. >> the russians are denying it. this is yet another example of russia phobia gone mad. how do you -- the semiconscious man and his daughter? >> we don't know the details yet, medically. the russian state has always regarded it as its right to take revenge on defectors and double agents. ever since peter the great lured his own son back and tortured him to death in the 18th century, and of course in stall
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in's -- a task set up to destroy people like tropsky abroad. this is a pattern of behavior. >> investigative journalists from buzz feed, specifically, have been looking into a lot of people who've been killed here, russians, about 14, that the british police force simply have closed the case, and given all sorts of other reasons for their very suspicious deaths. >> exactly. >> what you dooiy do you think happening? why aren't the british taking -- >> the clever thing about using poisons, rather than just assassinating people with guns is that there's always enormous doubt about whether the people have actually been poisoned or not. oftentimes it's unprovable, all sorts of poisons that disappear very quickly from the body. and so the great thing about
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poise -- using poisons, is diplomatically there's a gray area. and russia's taken advantage of that. >> so put it in context as to what's happening in russia right now. you've written all about the historical leaders from katherine the great, peter the great, stalin. but this is putin's russia, and he's facing an election. what is the context and the status there? >> putin has intervened in syria, he's intervened in the ukraine. syria is turning out to be a muchult more ffd sticky aren a military front than he expected. at home he's running a sort of fake election where candidates like his sobchak are running against him. he's desperate to show strength, and to project military power. that is putin's kind of formula. and the formula, all russian
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leaders, from stalin onwards, that is security and prosperity at home, glory abroad. >> one of the former obama administration officials wrote today about putin's sort of -- it's a potemkin village, you've written a lot about that russian leader, but basically saying he may not be all that he's cracked up to be. explain what you think he means. >> he isn't all he's cracked up to be. the columny is sc-- it's so necessary to the image and the excitement to the russian people who want to believe russia is a majestic international power. but all of them now are becoming more and more difficult to maintain the image of victory. and at home, you know, his power is a television-based regime. so, in fact, you know, it is a
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potemkin village in many ways, but that's very unfair to prince potemkin, the greatest czar russia never had. >> never had. the amount of military projection that putin is doing, and he did useis state of the nation address to brag abo a whole new generation of nuclear weapons and all of that. i mean, that's a lot of investment there. >> it's a lot of investment. that is where they're pouring all their money, into military. this was an extraordinary display of spectacular military muscularity, virility. but the president of the united states also says he has bigger and better nuclear weapons than anywhere else. he witness to have kim jong-unesque military parades down the streets of washington. of course, this is intensified, an arms race in china, in
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russia, and, of course in america itself. >> i want to go back to how you got such extraordinary access to write your books. i think president putin liked the job you did on katherine the great. so that when you went to write about stalin, you had amazing access. >> that's exactly what happened. when i went to write about katherine the great and p, otemkin, no one was interested. the russians were touchy that katherine was regarded a a nymphomaniac. he was a man who built fake v l villages. libel. >> she wasn't a anymore po maniac. >> no. she wasn't. astonishing character u both of them as a couple, they called each other the twin souls, not only the greatest romances
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between two politicians, but one of the most successful partnerships. when the book came out and it rehabilitated both of them, the new putin regime said this guy is not a kip catypical anti-rus we'll let him have the stallen papers. >> they didn't like what you did with that because you haven't had access now. >> no. when i published stalin and called him the red czar. they hated the way it painted stalin. intimate accord, if you like, they hated that so they cut off my access. >> particularly since putin is quite close to stalin now. >> in a very strange ambiguous situation. in one sense, stalin was the victor of world war ii, and delivered victory at a terrible cost, incidentally. that is the founding myth of the
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putin regime, really, is the victory of 1945. but at the same time putin is, as an autocrat is terrified of revolutions. in 2017, the anniversary, it have 1917, has passed with no celebrations whatsoever. and the interesting thing is, how are they going to celebrate this year, 2018, the sen tenry u're also the biographer of and "jerusalem," your thought of what it means that president trump has recognized it as the sole capital of israel. >> it is the capital of israel. but in other ways it's unwise to give anyone anything in the middle east unless they've given you something back in return. the one good thing about it is trump has carefully not ruled out recognizing a palestinian capital in jerusalem as well. i hope in the end jerusalem will
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be the capital of two states. >> simon, thank you for joining us. >> thank you very much for having me. turning now to developments in the united states where almost 100 dreamers and their supporters were arrested protesting the trump administration's deadline yesterday for their legal protections under daca, which is the deferred action for childhood arrivals act. now they're in uncharted territory. the courts are keeping daca enforced for now, nobody knows for how much longer. my next guest, jorge ramos says the dreamers are bringing knew vitality to american politics, he's the most inphofluential spannic language journalists. >> excuse me, sit down, you weren't called, sit down, sit down. >> no, i'm -- >> sit down. >> go ahead. >> i have the right to ask a question. >> no, you don't, you haven't
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been called. >> i have the right to ask a question. >> go ahead. >> you cannot deport 11 million people, you cannot build a 1,900 mile wall, you cannot deny citizenship to children in this country -- >> sit down. you weren't called. >> i'm a reporter, and -- don't touch me, sir. you cannot touch me. i have the right to ask a question. >> yes, go ahead. >> so, ramos has written a book about what it means to be an immigrant in america. it's called "stranger," the challenge of a latino immigrant in the trump era, joining me now from miami. it is extraordinary to introduce you with that piece of videotape and that reminder of what happened a couple of years ago. your thoughts now, seeing that, you know, yeah, i mean, he just didn't want to answer your question. even before you started with the statements. >> well, yes, it was -- i have to admit, it was a long
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question. but you've been to many press conferences, and not all the time you wait for your turn. if i had waited for my turn, believe me, i would be waiting right now. i think we were right, christian, we were right when we protested, when president trump, then candidate trump, said mexican immigrants were criminals, and rapists, ai am a mexican immigrant. he was lying. i asked for an interview. he published the letter i sent him, with my cell phone number on it. i got hundreds and hundreds of texts and calling. after that, i went -- you just saw it. at the beginning we were right. here, there was a candidate making racist remarks. and at the same time there was a candidate attacking the freedom of the press. even at the beginning, people were saying, oh, you're latino, too sensitive? no, we were right when people realized that, it was already too late, he was already at the white house. >> so fast forward now to 2017, that's practically two years
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since your encounter. and are your worst fears that you expressed in that press conference realized? >> exactly the -- here we have the most anti-immigrant president since the 1950s. he wants to cut legal immigration in half. he has arrested about 30% more immigrants than barack obama in his last year. he has offended constantly immigrants, calling people from haiti, and he constantly criminalizes immigrants. so it is very difficult to be an immigrant, a latino immigrant nowadays in the united states. he has created a hostile, even dangerous country for many people and he has separated thousands and thousands of families. so i think he has a nostalgic view of the united states, and we are being attacked because of that. >> so your book is called
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"stranger," do you as an immigrant who came a long, long time ago to the united states feel like a stranger in the u.s.? >> i do. and i'm not the only one. i've been living in this country for 35 years, both my children were born here. this country gave me the opportunities my country of origin could not give me. i left mexico because of sensorship. and i feel like an immigrant, but also a stranger. when you have the president of the united states telling go back to uni vision. he really meant go back to mexico. and after that press conference, you didn't see that, there was one of his followers telling me, get out of my country. this is also my country. and if that happens to a journalist who's on tv, just imagine what ppenso millions more who are not on tv, and who are much more erable. >> so, look, the fight over the dreamers continues. right now it's held up in the quar
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courts. we don't know how long. just as an indication of the atmosphere and the context, i mean, we were all quite stunned when we read a week ago that the united states citizenship and immigration services have deleted the phrase nation of immigrants from its mission statement. now, people all over the world will find that extraordinary. what precisely do you think it's saying? i know you probably disagree with it obviously. but what precisely do you think is the reason for that? >> i honestly believe that donald trump has a nostalgic view of the united states. he wants to go back to 1965, where about 85% of the people were white. i think donald trump and his advisers and his followers, they are afraid of the direction that the u.s. is taking. there's a huge demographic revolution. in 2044, christiane, for instance, everyone is going to be a minority, whites, latinos, many people will be minorities and people don't want that. donald trump is promoting
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official racism from the white house. and what this means is that he wants to stop immigrants from latin america. he wants to have chain migration. it is really family reunification. here's my question. if melania trump was able to bring her parents through chain migration or family reunification, why not the rest of america? that's concerning to me. >> it's a question to us, there's no doubt. i want to ask you about the democrats as well who have also failed to do the constructive and right thing, or come up with some kind of immigration reform, as everybody's asking. you know, president trump has tweeted that it's march 5th, which is what he did yesterday, democrats are nowhere to be found on da ca, give them six months. they just don't care, where are they? we are ready to make a deal. we all remember that the democrats actually failed to maintain their threat of closing
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down the government in the last time the daca issue came up. so where are they on this issue? >> that is true. first let me just say that the president who established daca was barack obama. the president who killed daca is donald trump. now, it is true, democrats didn't deliver. barack obama as a candidate, they promised me on tv that he was going to -- immigration reform, he didn't deliver when in 2009 he controlled the white house in both chambers of congress. and not only that, christiane, barack obama deported 2.5 milli 2.5 million undocumented immigrants, more than any other president in the history of the united states. so this -- had the possibility, the option of choosing between democrats and republicans, 14 million latinos that were eligible to vote decided to stay home. and maybe that decided the last election. >> so then what do you think is going to happen? you talk about president obama, and he was, in fact, called by your community, the deporter in
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chief. >> he was. >> so what happens, i mean, this is obviously such a massive issue for the united states. how does politics work, grassroots politics to come up with sensible immigration reform, once and for all, bipartisan? >> don't thi it's going to happen with donald trump. i think everybody, including the dreamers, the daca students, everybody's already talking about that it would be impossible to do anything. he says he has a big heart, but at the same time he's constantly attacking us. he's a president who's made racist, openly racist remarks. i don't know if he's a racist. i don't know what's coming out of his mouth. i'm not expecting anything. >> what is plan b, then? >> plan b is 2020, plan b is 2020. plan b is 2024 if donald trump gets reelected. but i think many people in the hispanic community, and many people who voted for donald trump, among the 63 million who
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voted for donald trump, they are realizing that if they want to save the united states as a country that is tolerant, inclusive, multicultural, multiracial, multiethnic, that something has to be done politically. and the only way to do it is voting, voting on 2020. that's plan b. i don't think anybody else is expecting anything from donald trump nowadays when it comes to immigration. >> jorge ramos, on that note, thank you for your exceptional insight. that is it for our program tonight. thanks for watching "amanpour" on pbs, join us again tomorrow night. >> announcer: "amanpour" on pbs was made possible by the generous support of rosalynn p. walter. generous support of rosalynn p. walter. ♪
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