With the threat of nuclear war once again a part of the national conversation, Reveal looks at nuclear threats both foreign and domestic. This episode takes listeners to Iran and finds out what life is actually like inside North Korea.
As the Trump administration pushes for the biggest increase in spending on nuclear weapons since the Cold War, Reveal explores how they’ve changed. Instead of annihilation, think “flexible” nuclear weapons that can threaten “limited” nuclear war. That’s the idea anyway.
Head over to revealnews.org for more of our reporting.
Follow us on Facebook at fb.com/ThisIsReveal and on Twitter @reveal.
And to see some of what you’re hearing, we’re also on Instagram @revealnews.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hey. It is your favorite host in all of pod custom. Now for the rest of the year, I'm gonna be asking you to join us by becoming a member of reveal reveal is all about going deep, pulling on threads telling stories that matter for more than three years now reveal has been fighting a lawsuit. That's been jeopardizing our very existence of restore we
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From the centre for investigative reporting in p r ex this is reveal a mallet in assisting he. There would actually, yes, dear me a couple weeks ago, I'm in place that will I dont really
want to be so why don't? You have seen right here in the crew commanders chair and nominating see here and the deputy crew commanders, chair of pretending to be a crew commander at a former nuclear missiles,
sitting in a cushy cheer staring at a wall of dials and buttons, labelled things like reading this control and stage one pressure. Let's say it's: nineteen eighty three
NATO is conducting.
Next size known is able archer my guide, is you ve gone Moors
If anyone knows what to do in this Commandest chair, she does and then eighteen
These events was a lieutenant in the air force. She led crews at this.
Nuclear missile site and others just like had moved a lot forces around.
And at the moment touch that the old fashioned light of buttons tempt me, although they terrified me too, before we get anybody. So let me tell you, I wager President Trump is proposing to overhaul the: U S New,
the arsenal. He said a lot of things. They make a lot of people, wonder how willing he would be to use nuclear weapons particularly facing off with no
we must not make anyone threats to the United States, they will be met with fire and fury like the world, has never seen
The president is the only one who can authorize using nukes. I want to get some kind of feel for what it's like to be a part of that chain of command. We drove a half an hour south of two side to see. What's essentially offence to spot in the desert, thirty five underground Yvonne takes us pass a set of gigantic concrete doors, so how the crew with society is through a series of these glass doors that each way three tons
this missile sight was built in nineteen. Sixty three, it held a titan to ballistic missile. There could deliver a nuclear warhead halfway around the world had down this pass. The entry blasters an underground corridor opens up, takes a couple minutes to walk right up to the missile.
Two hundred and three feet. Tall ten feet in diameter knows come up above the part that brown
that's where the warhead would have been? U S. Air force is in black paint on the shining metal, with the taken too
were taken out of service when missile safety inaccuracy improved. This launch site became a museum in the nineteen eighties random question
The government decided that they
do you decide to launch another missile? Could they do
a pretty easily. I mean it seems like gaily g, easier to start with black eyes and popsicles, because if you just can't get us parts, we had deeper into the silo claustrophobic
progress is we're, gonna, be in this elevator for about a minute
ago. This ride takes us. A hundred and twenty five feet underground will be directly below the rockets that would have shot dismissed,
into space, to keep your situational awareness at the head space pairs very restricted so
I'll, just be careful, gotcha
You walk in first, just keep in mind what I told you tat situational awareness, while I feel so
small standing under this old missile. It looms above me a giant tube of silver and White
I forgive you vans warning in Tipp, my head back to look up and see metal, metal, metal, finally sky
being here it's hard to process the emotions.
Because it's like it's amazing, but also if the purpose of which is to kill people and back- and I commend chair- that's what's all my mind, this combination of brilliant human ingenuity and deadly destructive
power I have to get to our stations, we need to get ready to an emergency action message,
who's running through a simulation. The president has just ordered a strike
we copy down the letters and numbers coming over the radio. We double check them for three lemme care, so commander they match. Do you agree? I great are right and we have a valid launch order,
The missile here doesn't have a warhead, it doesn't even have fuel still I'm feeling unkind
So true, commander, typically what you do is you would give a countdown,
three two one turn turn not push. There's no launch button to fire a missile to crew members turned separate keys. At the same time,
and then you would count down backwards, five for three two one and say release because the case which is have to be held in the on position by both officers for five seconds to initiate launch sequence. So I knew Mark Commander Mark three. Two one turn five
for three two one: that Claxton means that the stage one engine has fallen.
Oh, and I have now started something that we can't stop. It would have taken about
now before the missile delivered nuclear explosion. Thousands of miles away that's how nuclear missiles would have been lodged. Forty
let's go. I wanted to know how it works now, the actual process that
Still very similar. You still have a process
are you have two authenticate? Your launch water officers have to
operate just like we had cooperate and it still takes
in two keys
same moment in time somehow
living in an era with danger,
Nuclear war no longer feels like some abstract piece of his
The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to define
the self horizontal eyes. We will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and
or his regime today, when looking at nuclear threats, will take you to IRAN. We'll talk North Korea, but we begin at home. His reveals Emily Harris. President Trump threatened rocket. Man last fall a couple of months later this happens. We are concerned.
That the president of the United States is so unstable is
the decision making process that is so quixotic that he might org
a nuclear weapon strike. That is what
elderly out of step with. U S national
security interests. That's Chris Murphy he's a democratic senator from Connecticut. He speak.
The about whether this president's or any president
have the sole authority to order a nuclear attack.
This is at a Senate hearing in November. Our first witness today is general care,
Commander of the United States, strategic man from two thousand and eleven two thousand thirteen Bob Taylor, whereas a coat and tie his horn
rimmed glasses remind me of a style that was popular back when nuclear weapons were invented in front of a full here,
room, including a few anti nuclear activists, the now retired general tries to dial back concerns for nuclear
decision making at the highest level. It's it's a consultative process. Yes, the president is the old
the person who can order a launch, but Keller said that top generals advice.
Hers and government lawyers could question that decision.
Senator RON, Johnson, Wisconsin Republican,
so exactly how they would challenge the president, you
that is your responsibility. You have the authority get. This is not legal because we have not found the steps we have granted.
CS, I would have said. I have a question about this.
And, I would have said, I'm not ready to proceed and then what happens well,
As I say, I don't know exactly who wish you don't know.
Fortunately, we have never. These are all hype
medical scenarios, one
political scenario brought up in the hearings with the president waking up generals in the middle of the night, declaring that he wants to launch a nuclear strike Mikhail, adopt
A senior defence policy analysed at the conservative Heritage Foundation says that notion is ridiculous. The idea that the President says
I have a headache today: let's nuke North Korea, that's just silly. It's just plain silly
Mikhail knows a lot about nuclear policy and
it's a little annoyed. When I start asking about controversy over the president's temperament, despite trumps tweet about his big nuclear button
Taylor believes. He understands the seriousness of nuclear war plus she says
seeing the command structure would create delays and uncertainties, and that could make the
who ass appear vulnerable to its enemies.
Two nuclear command and control because you don't like who is the president which, by the way, Americans elected? That is not the president's,
problem. That is not the command and control problem. The problem is it it's maybe problem. When the perception of people who perceive personality of the precedent
some lawmakers have introduced bills to limit presidential power to order a nuclear strike, but no one. I talk to you for this story.
Those have a real chance of going anywhere congresses fractured and it would be a big deal to change the. U S,
president has had sole authority, since the first bomb was dropped in nineteen. Forty five, then Mikhail a mention
the different threat. She doesn't worry about Trump. What I
about is how the Russians think about using nuclear weapons.
It makes a lot of sense to hear from her. She grew up in the Czech Republic, a tiny country, its benefits.
Line of the Russian! U s rivalry! For decades and she's, not the only one wary of russian nukes. Russia continues to conduct dangerous nuclear exercise is directed against the United States. They allow us
republican congressmen MIKE Rogers. I think we are all concerned about the russian doctrine of escalating
DE escalate. That's democratic com
Swimming Susan Davis and hear Secretary of defence. Jim matters, Moscow advocates of theory of nuclear escalation for military conflict, and we cannot ignore their investment in nuclear weapons,
last month the Trump administration rolled out its new nuclear weapons strategy? It's a hundred page document and it mentions Russia one hundred twenty seven times
that's more than twice as often as North, Korea or China. So what's the plan all about part of our defence.
We must monitor and eyes and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and so powerful that it will lead to any acts of aggression
any other nation or anyone else. Whilst
people, see trumps temperament as a reason to rein. In the president, the new plan argues for expanding his nuclear options. It envisions the biggest spike in nuclear weapons spending since the cold war. It doubles the current costs
for several years, adding up to more than one point two trillion dollars over the next three decades. President Obama,
so favoured, modernizing the arsenal that present from take things further he's made it clear the? U S might use
books in response to a non nuclear attack and he wants new kinds of weapons
don't be so far ahead of everybody else. In nuclear, like you, ve, never
before this feels familiar
The arms race of the Cold war, the? U S and Russia, then the Soviet Union up to their arsenals, to threaten
total annihilation, a nineteen eighty three tv movie called the day after captured the fear
most of those times in the movie. Multiple mushroom cloud erupt across the Midwest planes in a flash families are transform,
into glowing skeletons- I was a kid then, and there
many I sometimes lay awake at night afraid of nuclear war. So are we heading back to that? Threats of? U S, Russia, an maybe, maybe not trumps. New plan aims for flexibility nuclear. What,
and tailored to respond to different threats. Experts say: there's always a possibility of annihilation but cataclysmic nuclear war.
Is not the only imagined scenario. There are a whole host of circumstances.
Her, which nuclear weapons might be used that would fall short of the cataclysmic Tom Mencken is a former top military guy. He was a deputy assistant secretary of Defence under George W Bush
now Tom runs a think tank that focuses on military spending, the centre for strategic and budgetary assessments. Tom says the crucial thing to understand about nuclear policy is that much of the weapons power
lies in threats alone, so we use nuclear weapons routinely. Even one
not thinking about it, you mean we use them,
Without exploding them exactly exactly: U S, officials,
re about several specific nuclear threats from Russia. They say more.
Go is not complying with the treaty. They believe Russia has,
many small nuclear weapons. It could be used in flexible ways and they worry Russia would choose to use nukes too quickly, Russia counters,
I don't think you an elixir for mental Second Secretary Russian Embassy, russian diplomatic, say from income is applied,
the man with a lush dark beard during a recent poll
see forum in Washington DC. He stood enemies in the aisle holding a small white notepad and he asked the top general in charge of. U s nukes a question: why does the Eu S think the threat of russian nuclear weapons is so
he'll. How did you make the determination that structural is increasing its wants nuclear weapons, especially since in the footwear decreasing the ruins? U S. Strategic commander General John heightened stood on stage in a dark blue, uniform with four silver stars lining each shoulder and a panel of ribbons decorating his chest. He looked down.
We have an income and replied there. Interesting dichotomy, our nation. We call this
did you go where you
say one thing, but you do another so
we listened very closely to what your president says. We listen
very closely to what your leadership say and then we will
very, very closely of what your nation does
in essence we don't trust you
this feels like deja vu, but some things have changed since the cold war over the past two decades. The number of nuclear weapons ready to go has dropped dramatically. That's because if U S, Russia, treaties
However, those treaties don't cover all weapons or all countries
and now almost ten nations have nuclear weapons at their leaders. Fingertips. That's reveals Emily hers. As Emily mentioned, President Trump has been focused on IRAN, saying it's a real threat when it comes,
find out how real we send a report to Tehran. That's coming up on reveal from this.
Before investigative reporting and p r eggs.
from the centre for investigative reporting in p r ex this is reveal a mallet
has long been considered a major nuclear threat. It was
the founding members of President Bush's so called axis of evil. Then, in twenty fifty seven countries signed the historic IRAN's nuclear deal. Iran agreed to limit its nuclear energy.
Graham and the international community lifted some of the crippling economic sanctions. This was a crowning achievement for President Obama's administration, one of the big
choose how long would it take IRAN to turn its nuclear energy programme into a nuclear weapons programme? Some estimates said just months. When then secretary of state giant carry testified before Congress, he argued the deal would significantly extend that. We believe that around was marching towards a weapon or the capacity
weapon and weave role, that back. Ok, that european industry suitably all. We ask you to accept this. Mr second families
man battling with carry is an Iraq war, vet and republican congressmen. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania Perry argued that the? U S shouldn't, ease sanctions,
that was giving up too much leverage and that IRAN simply couldn't be trusted. The american people
ran, is like a crocodile or a shark. That does what it does and we're saying we're. We're gonna give the crocodile or the shark a few more teeth and let's see if it does something, but if you're not accurate, entered Donald Trump.
As a kill it? He called the IRAN Nuclear Agreement, one of the worst deals ever as president. He refused to certify it. We will not continue down a path whose pray
Double conclusion is more violence, more terror
and the very real threat of IRAN's nuclear breakdown.
By refusing to certify the deal, trunk gives Congress the option of imposing fast track sanctions potential
under cutting the entire cord, so far, law
makers haven't done
How very real is the iranian nuclear threat reporter Reese early has been reporting from
on for eighteen years and has been investigating the question he big.
Our story in Tehran to see how the agreement is affecting people there
give I'm afraid when I report from a wash- and my standard answer- is yes
I worry about crossing Tehran. Six laying boulevards,
hundreds of cars coming down the main street, none of which will stop at pedestrian, and we have to get across my starting and hoping we don't get hit
along for the ride, my translator and fixer. Sarah, my name is Tisch allies
sorry works at a state on tv station. The government assign heard about me set up interviews and report back on what I'm doing
M authoritarian countries like IRAN. It's the only
where journalists can get permission to visit expiry whatever he says we have to get. You
This summer wears a charter. It's a piece of large black cloth, pull tightly overhead and is covering the upper body. Its commoner on an differs from the burka which completely covers a woman's face.
Also sports are card scarf, indicating choose a devout muslim and stylish
we live in a large mosque. Refraining prayers. Men were ensues with
Brown, robes women and all black. Suddenly, a woman approach makes what am I gonna finish. Com has, then we have already without even
asking the question he starts talking into my magnify Zora translates as a woman, let loose I'm trump
Well, I really hate the guy not just for IRAN, but for the whole world
I just hope he doesn't start a war, the woman
Sancho Sixty three and a housewife. She tells me she just wants peace and describes trumpets uninformed today
you can have desired by the american people and they start with this guy. I really dont know why the Americans voted for him. Perhaps not surprised
nearly two doesnt interviews in rich and poor neighbourhoods of Tehran, I couldn't
Anyone who said they, like trumps policies,
That doesn't mean erroneous, are happy with their own government either I told czar
I wanted to meet working class romance and she brought me here
upscale neighborhood in Tehran, were her grandparents apartment has been totally gutted for remodel your grandmother's enters the shock on your face you. What wonder? What do we see is in a big chaos I'll be doing how we're going to fix they felt place yet
Everyone you're all my christian Arioch, Robbie spices, multi,
colored wiring. While we talk I've always liked to fix things like tv,
radio and electronic devices, since I was a kid
our eyes and imposing guy six Rita, and he speaks with the confidence of skilled workers.
We finished compulsory military service, he became electricians apprentice. Then what-
college for two years to become adjournment decision I like to work with electricity. You have to be a smart and talented today
these poor working amateur IRAN can buy lamborghinis. Like many workers struggles to survive, he says he can afford rent and sometimes stays with relatives or sleeps in refurbished shipping containers are concerned.
Site help the economy we get better under Asano honey. The centre is present
It was re elected in two thousand. Seventeen Kinshasa kings
Ray came for change, but it wasn't much
hasn't had any effect on the life of the working classes.
Says the iranian government spending billions of dollars on many wars when it should be creating,
how you shut up,
mostly in default of our politicians and authorities, because they are looking for a fighting. Syria.
Never known and Palestine jealous, and those on whom you look normal for this universe. If your shovel and punished
also blames the sanctions for the economic problems, while the United States is
sanctions related to IRAN's nuclear activity. It continues.
Course many others punishing the country first,
rights violations and its ballistic missile programme.
Area tells me that sanctions even affect his work as an electrician instead about
electrical fuses from U S in european manufacturers. He says he,
to buy inferior quality materials from other countries.
For example, we had these views, this grand tour. I had to change them three times so for the better
punishing the country for human rights violations and its political missile programme are tells me: the sanctions even affect workers and electricity. Instead of by an electrical few
around one day obtaining nuclear weapons are ya like
most Iranian believes that his country,
never had a nuclear weapons programme and that the iranian government, this only
interested in developing nuclear energy lumps yard
we worry about making a nuclear weapon right now.
The government is more interested in getting nuclear power
so the iranian government has been saying for years
a visitor IRAN's matchless or parliament.
On the other side ignores chamber,
I shall deal with number parliament commander, agony,
we meet in the hallway, just outside the main chamber. Where is he going to sit there
as deputy chair of the National Security and Foreign Affairs Committee, while he supports the two thousand feet
hey neuron deal, he thinks you? U S
taking advantage of the Molitor remains, I mean it. I think the agreement should,
have been written in a way that Americans
couldn't use any loopholes or any opportunity
sanction IRAN. Again, I hear the same
being from almost everybody. I talked her but universe,
You have Toronto system, professor, for what is already says it best
A lot of people are asking. Yours
getting sanctions before the agreement and you're getting sanctions after the agreement. So
the use of accepting what the? U S wants you to accept
fine, regularly, consult with IRAN's foreign ministry. He says
iranian leaders are exasperated thick.
Is the Eu S of moving the goalposts that one
It's about nukes, then I say as human rights
I believe the real reason for you pressure is something else altogether. I think one of the primary
is that the Euro has in this part of the world, is
to make sure that the oil
that exists here is
or in jealously control by the United States,
for reminds me that british and american companies once dominate neurons oil production after
one thousand, nine hundred and seventy nine iranian revolution, the new government nationalized the oil industry. He believes the: U Dot, S wants to restore economic, political and
control over IRAN as a try
Did you in Iraq that exist?
having governments does
the? U s that listen to yours in their foreign policy and that make sure that the oil prices are not too high. Oil is
major factor in U S geopolitical calculations,
Few weeks later, I go to Washington DC, I'm in Lafayette Square across the street from the White House.
The rendezvous with a former? U S, intelligence officer, Esther Pillar, I presume pillars of-
Merci I analysed, he's met many times.
So, a presence in the White House situation room. He reflects the view
the CIA, then around it kinda
nuclear weapons research. I think IRAN did have the nuclear weapon option as something that it at least had in mind and wanted to preserve, as adoption reprocess around
to spend it has nuclear weapons programme long ago. That, of course, was the head.
Line item they headed
item in two different national intelligence estimates or enemies in two thousand seven
and two thousand eleven, all the major. U S. Intelligence agencies came together to.
And I use about IRAN and nukes.
They found that, while IRAN was likely keeping the door open to the possibility of nuclear weapons, it had actually suspended his programme years earlier way. Back in two thousand three,
so when it comes to the third of iranian nuclear weapons, Paul is quite clear.
Don't take. Iran was ever a nuclear threat to the United States policy,
think anything has changed since those and I use were issued, the international
How much energy agency, which conducts on the ground inspections says,
is abiding by the nuclear agreement.
And all the nations. Besides the? U s that sign the new thirty
agree that IRAN is in compliance. The agreement is working so from the standpoint of what
best serves? U S, national interested, really as mystifying that Washington is in the kind of snip about IRAN and and nuclear matters.
All of this raises a big question
If? U S nose, IRAN has had a nuclear weapons programme since two thousand three, why our trump
leaders in Washington so worried, Patrick closer
works at the Washington Institute for near policy. A conservative think tank with influence inside the Trump White House. He tells me IRAN is hiding
Iran has put a lot of effort into
a lot of money and lot prestige into building facilities, which
if any obvious civilian use, but do have a very clear potential, melter use. Sir, do you think that, as of today,
IRAN has its nuclear programme is really aimed at developing nuclear look. I think it programme is aimed at having an option.
And that's disturbing
the programme or not Patrick, argues the? U S is justified,
in imposing sanctions given around
human rights record and support for terrorist groups. It's very difficult to see. Circumstances under
which IRAN is going to satisfy the United States on those issues. When you really boil down past
says the: U S and IRAN are just politically incompatible and it certainly it will continue to be the case that justice, the
Green governed, would be delighted if U S, government fell, so the United States government were delighted with the iranian government fell,
but the story is an over. Just days after I left IRAN, this protest in IRAN, there being called the largest political protests in their nation, since two thousand protesters attacked the police station last night about two hundred miles south of Tehran outrage over skyrocketing prices thing it's a time machine anger, starting late December, two thousand seventy tens of thousands of mostly young workers, took to the streets. They
laid against high unemployment,
repression and soaring prices
some essential goods, some even chanted death to the victims
referring to arouse top political leader II,
contact the electrician area, but most messaging apps were blocked. After a few days I got through to he said the situation was turned
I know many people that took part in both demonstrations. Today, a group of people comes out and protest against the regime tomorrow, the same people go and take part in a parisian demonstrations, so they can
Both sides are explained. His friends were hedging their beds because they were so afraid of a government backlash. People are fearful of the government, not that they don't want change. They do, but since they know that this government is powerful and won't give up easily, they are afraid people really want a revolution, but also you're afraid
to lose, but they have areas. Friends had good reason for concern. The iranian government
crack down hard on the protests? Twenty five people were killed and nearly five thousand arrested.
In genuine February, individual women continued the protests,
of wearing the mandatory headscarves? They took them off
with them in the air. For now, the mass protests are over
the iranian people's opposition of the government party
And, U S? Interference seems likely to count
new for years to come
the Porter Reese Erlich has covered IRAN since two thousand and is the author.
The european agenda, the real story of
who s policy and Middle EAST crisis hit
being from IRAN was made possible by a grant from the Pulitzer Center, but crisis reporting
when it comes to Nukes North Korea claims Ikey large one at the. U S to understand that country,
Journalists went undercover as a schoolteacher. If she'd been caught, I think
but had been sent to alcohol locks engines lifetime, that's mixed on.
Yield from the centre for investigative reporting and p r exe
from the city for investigative reporting in p r ex. This is reveal a mouse
the winter Olympics in Pyongyang. South Korea have just wrapped up
one moment from opening ceremonies gained worldwide attention, and no I'm not talking about that oil, the guy from Tonga
the openings there,
here of young Chang, nearly three thousand athletes competing from ninety to different countries, but the spotlight at the opening ceremony on the unexpected show of unity between
North and South Korea
The two countries marched under a unified korean flag and the leader
even shook hands. It all look good,
on camera, but the tensions over North Korea's nuclear programme having gone away
Korea has basically been doing missile pass constantly. That's journalists suit. Like you, I mean
The latest nuclear test was September, and yet now we have a happy together. Korea moment.
First of all, does not make sense. Second, that just legitimizes North Korea
so if you want to know what life in North Korea was like, so
in twenty eleven. She did something really dangerous. She went under cover taken
job. As the english teacher at a private college, a christian group brand school, they pray,
Mr Leave religion out of their lessons her time. Their gives us a glimpse into one of the most isolated countries in the world and helps answer the question.
Big of a nuclear threat is North Korea,
moment she arrived on campus. She began to understand what it was like living under the great leader. It was this military compound. There were about thirty five
teaching who were all evangelicals from around the world. I lived in the dormitory
my minder was living downstairs from me, so he watched me twenty four seven, all my classes were.
Recorded and reported on, and I had to get every lesson plan approved by the North Korea's that full also lived within that
as I ended up living there for six months in Pyongyang, and then I wrote a book called without you, there is no US, so I read your book. It's just absolutely studying thank the school that your teaching at
Was a boy school and the boys air were from the political elite families and in an you, actually lived on campus with them? What was that
what there, where I guess, aged nineteen and twenty, so they were really young men, although they seem so much young. The more I got to know them a lot of it having to deal with them being so, infanticide eyes that short abuse and control due to people who have no agency in your book. When you described
North Korea. The images that came to mind from me was something out of the hunger games like a disturbing
world, where everybody kind of moves in one direction towards the great leader did you feel that way before you are under cover?
until you really level within the system, is really hard to gauge
what goes on and you know
people are not allowed to leave to foreigners, really don't get to see anything that goes on there, not for like three or four or five years for seven. These summits
is it was far far worse than I ever saw it was going to be, there is no escape, there's no escape, but also how can a human life exists this way where everything works according to the great leader system, it was horrifying sub sectors, but it's got a young fellow. She only one suit. You heard reports about how the government installed speakers in every home to broadcast propaganda. In how it build more than thirty, five thousand statues
the great leaders, grandfather, father and son across a country about the size of contact.
The whole time you were in North Korea. You weren't decisions a year, you're writing this book. How did you like hide the notes I had to erase every
trace from my computer and then I would put everything on usb sticks
had them on my body at all times, were them like a net bias and never was separated from my usb sticks, your goal,
under cover with his brutal regime,
you're reporting on them, you're you're, writing stuff. If the regime found out, what do you think would have happened, there would have been spying right right, so I think that I would have been sent to a cool ox sentence lifetime that fear was just a bone. Shine fear every second
we're gonna relationships. Is you form with people there? You know relationship was not allowed really bad, because I live with this young man and there were taken
away from their home and living in this school led by Foreign
and I M korean American along these foreigners. I think they got attached by that same time. I couldn't really trust them, because they were also reporting on me as well. I was told, however,
Still kids, I made them do a lot of letter writing because I was teaching English in trying to
find out what's going on in their world and slowly they did open. I was surprised about. Their lives
They were all and just adorable and charming, and then things would suddenly take a turn where there is
They live all the time. You know they lied about all sorts of things for no reason whatsoever
when your lie comes from the pot every book, every music, every single thing that ever exposed to is basically a bunch of law.
Yes, you do wonder what happened so human cycle,
when you're in that way that long in complete isolation? Did you ever get? The sense
like under all of the love for the great leader or the silence. Did you ever get the
feeling that under it all, was discontentment. Certainly people ask me
that a law did they know what's going on outside you know. Is there any sign of revolt there? Today,
is in thus system. First of all, you cannot be curious about the outside world, even if you ever need clean
tat. If you are carry as an you show that, then you would be punish you're not
you gonna, be sent a gulag, but your family will be.
What I found unfathomable there are more and more and more was that thinking was simply not allowed, and there is also no pine. You know if you have duties all day, long from like five thirty, until you got a bag, there's not whole out of time. So we ve got Kim Jong on
in North Korea, who has just launched two missiles that could possibly hit the United States. Then we ve got Donald Trump. Who
differ than any other american president before has engage with King John on in a way that feels bombastic now mean. Are you
scared that we're gonna end up in a nuclear war, the only play
was new and totally different is Donald Trump. Give German is not so different from his father in the grandfather who ve held that position.
Said. North Korea is doing what it's always been doing. Those horrible statements he makes about threatening to bomb viewers.
Is the same as always it doesnt making the news, because Donald Trump comes back with the same kind of thing on the same tone and he's belligerent very there.
Erratic messages are worrying because you know wars do happen out of mistakes, so
here. Don't worry they Kim Jong on actually wants to shoot a nuclear weapon. You just think it's all bravado, while because I've always- and that means it's- this thread of you now worth threat- is what North Korea is. You know my students, they don't use the word classroom, they use the word apply to their work. Rada
from day one as if war is going to happen tomorrow. So it's nothing new. What about how the american government should approach North Korea? It would be
disingenuous from it. Even pretend that I have a solution. Nobody has had a solution with this. You know you,
with a nation that does an honor agreements is alive.
The lies I think there is
no other way, but to put some resources to bring information into North Korea, which people do try, but none of us seems to work, but maybe a triple is better than none
before we close. I want to go back to the young man that you taught and career distill. Miss him
MRS the right word. You know, I'm in from a journalists position to a source dinosaurs there. My subjects suit Susie's, sooner
reading a book and you are falling in love with these kids, like they, your children, I'd know that they're, like from a very journalist point of view. They your subjects but I'm reading the book and, like you, are in love with these kids. I know you.
Of these guys go as your radio, like, oh my god, I'm in love with these kids. I think that that it that's what part of the embedded journalism is that you are such a deep in that emotion, and without that I think that feelings cannot really be created in a way you know be written or described
There is a bit of a removal I mean, but a lot of it has to do with the fact that
There is always sort of this kind of her breaking away because their lives arduous. I mean, there's nothing happy about it.
They live in North Korea. There who they are setting theirs
always a sadness for that
and I wish I never hear about them because I feel like if I ever hear about
it would be in a negative way, and I wish they would just be safe and do what we just keep them alive in that
Suki can talk to us from Souls Algeria, Cecy author of without you,
There is no US,
We spend most of the hour looking at nuclear threats.
We want an today show with something different, complete global disarmament. Perhaps
and the future. There will be a magical moment when the countries of the world
together to eliminate their nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, we are not there yet. Sadly, the thing is it's not magic. Its work, in fact, even as the president has been tweeting out, threats about nuclear weapons, a few folks at the State Department have been designing. A plan for nuclear free future is not an easy problem. Foreign service of Sir MIKE anger runs a small project with a long name. The international
partnership for nuclear disarmament, verification. Try saying that three times you have to be able to verify that what you ve done in reducing or eliminating weapons systems has actually taken place. You have to convince other countries, you ve gotten rid of your nukes. This means my expense time coordinating with experts from twenty some countries. They get together and figure out exactly how to physically get rid of nuclear weapons in a verifiable way. It's tricky because no country wants another country to watch them. Take their weapons apart. This amazed me even in some distant future, imagining that the politics of change and we're all dismantling our news preparing to destroy them makes it
The assumption is that nations would keep their weapons hidden, but isn't the only reason you wouldn't want some unseen is because you think one day you might have to have the nuclear weapon again well, either. You dont want others to to be able to see that particularly those that dont have them because of the potential that they could take. That info
you and build a weapon it just. It seems to me like all of this is circular right like we want to get rid of nuclear weapons, but we can't trust that the other side is gonna, get rid of nuclear weapons
and so, if we can't trusted they're, not gonna get rid of him. We actually don't want to get rid of well, and it's not even so much as can't trust
IT states, the old Ronald Reagan, mantra trust but verify so to verify the project spent two years coming up with a very specific process.
Imagine a nuclear weapon inside a big sealed shipping container inspectors,
and outside and take detailed measurements of radiation and explosives for container is hauled away in the weapon is dismantled in secret. Then inspectors measure every component coming out to make sure that all the parts are accounted for bottom line. This is about coming up with tools. The world could grab off the shelf, win or really, if this ever a political agreement to get rid of nuclear weapons
personally. Do you think it's possible that will will will get to it a time when we don't have any nuclear weapons? I certainly don't know. I don't have a crystal ball and frankly, I don't spend a lot of time focused on that. It's the it's the practical work that, if we're going to get there, you have to go through steps. I told MIKE I haven't worried about nuclear war, since I was a kid, but now I think
I kid and what they might be feeling do. You have kids had it. How would you talk to them about this? I do I'm the wrong gotta ask because had been in the nuclear field for my entire adult life, and particularly as a guy who used to sit on alert in the icy, be I'm world. I have a
and what the gallows humor when it comes to nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons issues. So I think you're, the exact right person,
ass, because you know more than me I want. I want you to give me something to tell my kids like. I don't think it's going to happen or tell me like. I need to build a fallout. Shelter lay help me. I will I'll be honest with you. I have two teenage boys and I have the list of issues that I have to tell you.
Worry about with them is so long, and this is so
down on that list that it's it's nothing that I received doc about at home. With my kids. This work MIKE is doing started under President Obama. For the first two years, Russia and China participated as observers, but they're not participating in a more IRAN and North Korea whenever invited the trumpet ministration has promised to support this work, even as it
makes a trillion dollars to modernize the. U S nuclear arsenal in the face of perceived threats to security situation right now, internationally is, is not great and are looking for.
Further down the road
It's been just over seven years since the first nuclear bombs killed. Hundreds thousands of people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki makes work reminds me. The people had been working
get rid of these weapons for almost as law
They show was Emily Harris said
from China, Yazzi DS, courtiers and Amy Waters. Red Myers edited this episode resource
Its reporting from IRAN was supported by a grant from the Pulitzer Centre on Crisis reporting production
Energy is my window, and hosts today show was mix
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sound design team. The dynamic do oh Jake Breezy, Mr Jim Briggs,
Fernando by May Nope Aruba, they had help from catch shipment are acting see. Eel is crystal sharper. Our executive producers Kevin solving our theme, music, is by camaraderie. Lightened
support for reveals provided by the Raven David Logan Foundation, the John Dene Catherine T Macarthur Foundation. The Jonathan Logan fear
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Feel, is a co production of the centre for investigative affording in p r ex analysis and remember. There is always more to the story.
These are last few shows of the year, and let me tell you in twenty twenty we are bringing the fire launching some of our most ambitious projects we ve ever done. I can wait for you to hear them reveal is all about going deep, pulling on threads.
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Transcript generated on 2019-12-20.