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tv   Amanpour on PBS  PBS  May 23, 2018 6:00am-6:30am PDT

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welcome to "amanpour" on pbs. tonight a high-wire rescue attempt in washington. south korea's president meets donald trump to try to keep nuclear talks on track as both the u.s. and north korea ramp up the rhetoric ahead of their planned singapore summit. from pennsylvania, i'm joined by the u.s. former special representative on north korea, joseph yun. plus, award winning director wim wenders on his new movie "a man of his word." it's a candid, revealing portrait of poperancis as you've never seen him before.
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good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. i'm christiane amanpour in london. president trump has indicated that there is a chance his much ballyhooed summit with north korea may not happen after all. at a white house meeting with the south korean president today, the agenda seemed to move from summit prep to operation summit save. >> we're moving along, and we'll see what happens. there is certain conditions that we want, and i think we'll get those conditions and if we don't, we don't have the meeting and, frankly, it has a chance to be a great, great meeting for north korea. and a great meeting for the world. if it doesn't happen, maybe it will happen later. maybe it will happen at a different time. >> thanks to your vision of achieving peace through strength as well as your strong leadership, we are looking forward to the first-ever u.s./north korea summit and find ourselves standing one step closer to the dream of achieving complete denuclearization on the
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korean peninsula and world peace. all this was possible because of you, mr. president. and i have no doubt that you will be able to complete, accomplish a historic feat that no one had been able to achieve in the decades past. >> we will unpick those seemingly different emphasis there, but both pyongyang and washington are now moving the ball down the field. foreign journalists have been invited into north korea to witness the dismantling of the nuclear test site which was scheduled for this week. we will wait to see whether that happens, while the white house preemptively minted a new coin showing president trump and kim jong-un alongside the words "peace talks." so which will it be? good evening, and welcome to the program. >> good to be here. thank you. >> can we first unpick the two seemingly different, you know,
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tones from both presidents sitting there in the oval office. very optimistic, very flattering words from president moon of south korea, and slightly more skeptical from president trump. >> yes. i think, you know, we've seen this before, and really the problem started brewing about a week to ten days ago when north korea sent the signals that their expectations are quite, quite different from those of washington. washington wants immediate, quick denuclearization. complete denuclearization, while north koreans are saying, well, we're not quite there yet. we want action for action, reciprocal action, so, really, president moon is here in washington to try to narrow the gap, but more than anything else, to convince president trump that it is still worth going to singapore for june 12th summit.
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>> well, because, do you believe that the chairman, kim jong-un, is intending to go to singapore? >> i think he's completely intending to go to singapore. i -- this, for him, as it was for his father and his grandfather, this is the moment. they've always wanted a summit meeting with a u.s. president. so he's completely prepared to go, but his position is, he's not going to go already defeated, already surrendered. he is going to negotiate. that's his position. >> right. and of course he has said that if america expects unilateral nuclear abandonment, pyongyang will pull the plug on these talks. so let's sort of focus in on that. we've all been reporting and nuclear experts from the very beginning said look, two sides have two different views of what
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denuclearization means. the president, president trump thinks it means give up all your nuclear weapon, disable all your intercontinental ballistic missiles, and kim jong-un thinks it's a carrot and a stick and process, and maybe like for like, the u.s. giving up its nukes as well. can i just ask you, does this not demonstrate the danger of puing the cart befe the horse, so to speak? having a presidential suit foregend the ais worked out? before the prep work is done? >> i agree completely with that assessment. and it's not really about one side getting played or who is trying to pull a fast one. i worry that the groundwork has not been done. we agreed to a summit. president trump asked for a summit, not even at a direct request, at the request of president moon. so he has been acting as the
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go-between, between trump and kim. now it is his job to save it. i would say that more than anyone else, president moon has the biggest stake on the successful outcome. he has bet the farm on this idea and for him, it has to work out. so he is in a desperate situation. he needs to make sure that this is held on june 12th. >> all right. so he's bet the farm. of course, his farm has the most to lose if there is any kind of conflict on the peninsula. do you think that it's -- actually worth having? or rather -- i guess what is he doing to make this happen? he was very, very flattering to president trump. it seems like he has to convince president trump to go to singapore? that king jong-un already has his mind made up? >> yes. i think you know, he believes
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above all else that beginning of process, beginning of peace process, beginning of denuclearization process, is very, very important. that the first step has to be taken. i really don't think koreans like experts in washington buy the idea that north korea will quickly denuclearize without getting anything in return. so i think he wants to make sure that there is something in it that he can deliver from kim jong-un to president trump. we saw this. we saw the one-on-one meeting between kim and moon where he appeared to be coaching kim on how to deal with trump, and i think he's going to convey to president trump that there is sincere desire on the part of kim jong-un, that he will denuclearize. it may take longer, but he will denuclearize. >> uh-huh. okay. i want to unpick this whole
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libya model controversy that seems to have sparked a lot of problems over this last week. so i'm going to play you a series of sound bites from the principals in washington, including the president. first, john bolton, the national security adviser. >> and we have very much in mind the libya model from 2003-2004. there are obviously differences. the libyan program was much smaller, but that was basically the agreement that we made. >> the libyan model isn't a model that we have at all when we're thinking of north korea. in libya we decimated that country. that country was decimated. there was no deal to keep gadhafi. the libyan model that was mentioned was a much different deal. this would be with kim jong-un, something where he'd be there. he'd be in his country. he'd be running his country. his country would be very rich. his people are tremendously industrious. >> some talk about the libyan model last week.
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>> right. >> and, you know, as the president made clear, you know, this -- this will only end like the libyan model ended if kim jong-un doesn't make a deal. >> i mean, honestly, there seem to be a lot of mixed messages there. can you forgive north korea for not quite understanding what the administration is saying? do you understand what it's saying? >> i think, you know, often, really what i think is diplomatic mistake by mentioning libya model, because it is a complicated model. there is a denuclearization part, which was 2003, and also the collapse of the government much later. eight years later. so it's a different model, and by just mentioning libya itself, i mean, that's really call for surrender as far as north korea's going to do, and so i
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think it was a mistake, and i think president trump and vice president pence tried to walk it backwards, but in the end, it did not succeed, because they kept on mentioning the threat at the end, which is a 2011 in which gadhafi was killed by his own people. >> and essentially, i'm afraid vice president pence seemed to -- seemed to mention that, you know, if -- if kim jong-un didn't make a deal, military action would be intthe inevitab consequence. >> i, quite honestly -- i mean, when i was in administration is where we looked at military options, and we all know that there is no good military option. which is why diplomacy and negotiate a settlement is the only way out. look, north korea now has the weapons.
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they have nuclear devices that are so powerful, the last one that went off was about 15 times the bomb that went off in hiroshima, and they have the delivery method. so they believe they're actually speaking negotiating from a position of strength. and so we have to understand that mentality. >> these tests that you're talking about, and you rightly point out how relatively and actually developed they are. what do you make of north korea inviting all sorts of journalists in, foreign journalists, to witness dismantling or destroying the main nuclear test site? do you really think they're going to do that? >> well, there is some -- some -- some information suggesting that their blast in september last year was so powerful that it may have actually made a test site unusable. never the less, they have done
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number of things, including that one as well as of course stopping tests of both nuclear devices and missiles. so they feel they've taken the first steps, and so they do not understand why washington is insisting on complete denuclearization, getting rid of all of their nuclear missiles before they actually get rewarded for anything. so they want to go back to the old model of action for action or what the chinese recently called synchronized action. >> it's going to make the iran nuclear deal look like a picnic by comparison. let me ask you a final question. you were in the state department. you were in the room in various negotiations with north koreans over the years. what did the north koreans, who are very savvy students of american domestic politics, what
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did they make of the squabble, the fight, the disagreements between secretary tillerson and president trump? >> north koreans view that they must get to president trump. that's been their goal from the beginning. and they felt that really by, i would say, end of last year, former secretary of state tillerson had lost credibility with the white house, and with president trump, and that's why we had virtually no dealings, and which is why, of course, it took the south koreans to bring the deal. not someone within the state department or within the administration. >> fascinating. joseph yun, thank you so much. and if this does indeed happen, there will be somewhat of a leap of faith, but now we take a turn. a leap too faith. the reckoning in the catholic church continues. today the australian archbishop philip wilson became the highest
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catholic official to be convicted of concealing child abuse committed by a priest. meantime in chile this week, 34 bishops offered to resign en masse over their failure to respond properly to allegations of sexual abuse by priests for years. pope francis himself has spoken to survivors of abuse and he has vowed to crack down. so imagine the good timing of the award winning filmmaker wim wenders whose latest film about the poet has just been released with unprecedented access to the holy father, wenders has made such critically acclaimed films as "paris, texas" and "wings of desire." and now "pope francis: a man of his word." i spoke to him just after the film debuted at the cannes film festival. wim wenders, welcome to the program. >> thank you for having me, christiane.
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>> it's a great pleasure, and this documentary, this film that you've done has got great reviews in cannes, where you debuted it. but the real question is -- how do you get such access to a pope? i mean, we can't for love nor money. >> yep. i wonder myself now how that can possibly have happened. you see, it was not in my life's plan. one day i got a letter from the vatican. would you be inclined to talk with us about the film involving the pope? and that was amazing. almost too good to be true. i am truly admiring of his work and i think he's one of the great leaders of our world today. >> what specifically about him do you love the most? >> you see, i remind you of latin, and for once in my life it paid off, because they introduced him, before we saw him, in latin and he said he had chosen the name of franciscus, and i was flabbergast.
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because for me, saint francis was a hero of humanity and the only saint i could, so to speak, put a name on a face on, because he stood for a few things that were amazing. he stood for a radical solidarity and edification with the outcast, with the poor. he stood for completely new relationship between man and nature, and i figured that was the most necessary thing today. saint francis and the name of francis, he would be the first ecologist today and st. francis stands for a new effort of peace between the religions. >> so let's pick up on that, because obviously, this pope distinguished himself on that very environmental level you talk about in his encyclical, a tremendous document, and he's also spoken over and over again about the refugees, about the
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poor, about all the proper values that he thinks we should hold. here is a little clip of an interview that you did with him. we'll play it and then talk about it on the other side. [ speaking in foreign language ] >> i can even see you miming his words. you're so familiar with it. >> i know every word by heart. yes. >> i bet you do. you say you had two hours with him. what, for you, were the most -- >> four times, two hours. >> four times, two hours? >> four times, two hours, yeah. >> wow. >> we spent a long time. it was four afternoons. each time a good two hours, yes. thank you. >> so what was the most surprising things that you heard from him? >> there were many surprising things, because he didn't hesitate to answer any question,
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he didn't exclude any question. all the answers were spontaneous and immediate. some really at length, and thorough. and he got very upset sometimes. my question about pedophilia. he got very angry. really angry. and you realized if only he could, he would do so much more right now, right away. and you feel that in the conversation. that was a completely fearless man in front of me, and that is very rare to see that. >>o i'm rely fascinated again to hear. because you say he would want to do much more, if he could, but 's the pope. he is god's representative on earth. and yet he claims that he can't go as far as he would like to, and as the world demands in response to this pedophilia scandal which is still rocking the church. which is still driving catholics
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away from the church and i reminded of the fact he says on the one hand i want zero tolerance and the other hand gets jolly angry at journalists or at people who raise controversial issues. can you try to square that circle, explain that conflict, and why he can't resolve it? >> he cannot just do everything on his own. he has to move a huge machinery and he has to move an institution that is very rigid and has this 2,000 years old. i think if it were up to him, his zero tolerance would be across the board, but still he has to move a whole big institution. and i think that is frustrating for him and sometimes you feel that anger that he would like to move things faster and more radical. >> the thing is, again, we're in a me, too, moment now. the whole world, you know, is reacting. people with much less power are reacting very definitively to
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employees, let's say, who are violating these fundamental human rights and fundamental legal rights. so, again, do you think that he feels disempowered? i mean, is his brand of catholicism, his brand of religious politics, a minority in the vatican? does he feel being overthrown by the very conservatives? >> i don't think he's overthrown, but he does have a lot of resistance. and we are unknown about it. and i just didn't want to make that the central issue of the film. my film was going to be about his concerns and about the solution that he suggests and his stance, and -- somebody else must make this film about the conflict with the -- with the ultraconservatives in the church, which is not my film. my movies are sort of -- sort of
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moment made because i really love something and i want to share what i like and with an audience and i love the courage of this man, and i love how open he is and how he lives what he preaches. he has to move an institution that hasn't been rocked and moved so much in a long, long time, and so he's not the youngest. so -- i've -- i have nothing but respect for his efforts, and i also sometimes sense the frustration that he couldn't go further. >> i sense you incredibly personally invested, incredibly moved as you speak about him and about your film and, of course, you are yourself a roman catholic. what is your experience with the church? are you always -- you know, a devout catholic? have you fallen off the wagon? come back in? how has this pope affected your own catholicism and your practice? >> i did fall off the wagon. i was raised in a catholic family.
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very catholic family. at the age of 15, 16, i actually considered maybe boming a priest, but then the age of 18, 19, along came rock 'n' roll and pinball machines and movies, and i -- came back after huge detour when i was 50 years old and came back to my belief. realized i'd never really left it. i have always been a believer and a friendly god that sees us, but i did convert. i became a protestant, and today i'm a, i'm an ecumenical christian if ever there was one and that's one of the messages of this pope. all people of goodwill in the end do believe in something and we need some sort of more revolution today. to get us back together and act and -- and this planet is in bad shape and this whole idea of brotherhood in the 21st century went down the drain in a big way. >> well, you know, you have told
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us simple, basic but very, very intense stories in your movies, whether it's "paris, texas," "wings of desire", whether it was the buena vista social club" on whole different level. and i just want to go back to cannes and a little sort of contraton you had with spike leeway back in 1989. i think spike lee felt that you had robbed him of the palme d r d'or. and he said wim wenders had better watch out. somewhere deep in my closet i have a louisville slugger bat with vendor's name on it. he since said he was -- it was slightly immature but still thinks he was robbed. rector in these circumstances? >> well, let me speak to spike right through the camera. i did say it already in interviews. spike, i was the president of the jury, but i didn't decide anything on my own. and that was a year, 1989 with
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amazing movies and some great directors didn't get rewarded, and you're one of them. and i hope we can make peace. he just reached out for me, spike. he said, we should meet in brooklyn. i hope it's not a dark alley, but maybe we both bring our baseball bats and cross them peacefully? i think it's about time to end this. >> if you do that, come on our show together, in cannes, a protest just this last week. women protested the cannes awards ceremony this year for only featuring 82 female directors in its history compared to 1,688 male directors. i mean, how long is that going to continue? does that have to change? >> i think it's changing drastically as we speak. it needs to change drastically. i think -- everybody's asked to contribute to that change. i do my very best in my own movies. i don't shoot movies with, unless i have a 50/50 crew.
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>> wow! >> because i hated being surrounded by men on shoot. it's the worst. films go down the drain if you don't have a balance in your crew. yes. you're right. in the histories of cannes, it's a disgrace and i signed that petition, and we all have to work on changing that. absolutely. >> and just before i go. can you tell me which is your favorite film? that you made? >> of all-times? >> yes. that you made. >> oh. of my own? itill be hard to beat "a man of his word" because it's just sonew. and my wife said to me one night, you know, wim, you have rehearsed 50 years to make this movie, and she had a point. but in all the rest of the 50 years, there's one i like very much, and it was maybe the most ambitious thing i did is, "until the end of the world," it's a
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movie that actually goes around the planet, a science fiction movie. and that is probably my own favorite film after "a man of his word." >> all right. wim wenders, director of "pope francis: a man of his word," thank you so much. >> thank you so much for talking to me. and that's it for our program tonight. thank you for watching "amanpour" on pbs. join us again tomorrow night.
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