CNN 10:金正恩前往北京与中国领导人会面


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Welcome to CNN 10, your objective explanation of world news.

A heavily armored train pulled into a station in the Chinese capital of Beijing earlier this week, increased security there. The removal of tourists from the area and the fact that the train looked like one that North Korea's leaders have used on trips abroad all led observers to speculate that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was on it.

They were right. He was there to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The North Korean leader is also supposed to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump in the months ahead but a date hasn't been set for that.

Some U.S. officials say the fact that Mr. Kim engaged in diplomacy with China could mean it's more likely he'll follow through in talks with America. Others see it as a sign that China may try to play a role in talks between North Korea and the U.S.

So, the full significant of this trip isn't known yet. But it did catch other countries by surprise.



IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): China and North Korea dropped the diplomatic bombshell on Wednesday, simultaneously confirming that North Korea's leader made a secret four-day visit to China. They waited until after the meeting was over and after the special train carrying Kim Jong-un crossed the border back into North Korea to reveal that the visit took place.

This is Kim's first foreign trip since he assumed the throne in Pyongyang more than six years ago. China is North Korea's oldest ally, but the relationship has been frosty for years, especially after multiple North Korean nuclear weapons test and missile launches were all banned by the United Nations.

In Beijing, China's leader gave Kim and his wife the red carpet treatment. Xi Jinping called their alliance a strategic choice that shouldn't change because of individual incident.

As for Kim, he suggested denuclearization on the Korean peninsula could be possible if the U.S. and South Korea cooperate.

This is the surprise beginning to what's expected to be a busy period of high level diplomacy for North Korea's young leader. He's scheduled to hold the summit with the South Korean president in April and sometime after, he may make history with a face to face meeting with President Trump.

The White House quick to claim credit for Kim's trip to Beijing, arguing it's the result of the so-called maximum pressure campaign to impose economic sanctions on Pyongyang. If all goes according to plan, Kim will rapidly go from extreme international isolation to sitting down at the negotiation table with the leaders of the two most powerful nations on the planet.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Seoul.


AZUZ: A former U.S. Supreme Court justice is calling for a major change to the U.S. constitution and his suggestion has stirred up debate and controversy across America. Former Justice John Paul Stevens served on the high court from 1975 until he retired in 2010.

He recently wrote an opinion essay that was published this week in "The New York Times". In it, he said the demonstrators who participated in last weekend's March for Our Lives events should go a step further than demanding new restrictions on gun ownership in America. He said that they should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.

That part of the U.S. Constitution says this: A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Stevens, in line with what many gun control advocates argue, suggests that the Second Amendment is talking about militias having the right to bear arms, and he says, quote, that concern is a relic of the 18th century. But in 2008, the Supreme Court established that the Second Amendment applies to the individuals' right to bear arms, in line with what many gun rights advocates argue.

Former Justice Stevens was on the Supreme Court at the time of that ruling. He was among those who dissented or disagreed with it.

Stevens wrote that repealing the Second Amendment altogether would make it easier to create new gun restrictions.

U.S. President Donald Trump who himself has called for some new restrictions on buying guns and certain gun components responded that the Second Amendment would never be repealed. The White House says that the nation should focus on getting weapons away from dangerous people but not on, quote, blocking all Americans from their constitutional rights.

And Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress, even those who support new gun restrictions have indicated they also support the Second Amendment.

The U.S. Constitution has been amended 27 times since it was signed in 1787. Experts say it's very difficult to do. And even if Congress or the individual states met the threshold for a new amendment or a constitutional convention, it's still take three-fourths off the states to ratify any changes to the Constitution. None of its first 10 amendments has ever been repealed or changed.


AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

Which of these sea creatures is also called a devil ray?

Manta ray, skate, stingray or marlin?

The answer here is the manta ray, the largest type of ray there is whose wingspan can stretch as far as 30 feet.


AZUZ: Thirty feet was the Guinness world record for the largest manta ray wingspan ever recorded. Usually, they're not quite that big.

And while our friends at "Great Big Story" tell us that we should never try to touch a manta ray in the wild, they did follow a woman whose life's work is to do just that. A lot of her research on manta rays has carried off the coast of the East African country of Mozambique. Let's go for a swim.


DR. ANDREA MARSHALL, MARINE BIOLOGIST: Manta rays are very large. They're one of the largest animals in the oceans. Certainly, they're the largest of any of the race species.

They can get up to about 25 feet across when they come towards you and they're that size they look like an alien spacecraft as they go overhead. They actually blight out the sun.

It's just so incredible to be that close to such a large animal especially one that you don't have to fear.

SUBTITLE: Meet the manta queen.

MARSHALL: My name is Andrea Marshall. I'm a manta ray researcher and a marine biologist.

I've been in love with the ocean all of my life. Ever since I could remember, I wanted to be a marine biologist.

When I moved out to Africa with the intention of studying things like great white sharks, I actually shifted my focus over to manta rays when I realized that no one had ever done a study on manta rays before.

One of the things that makes manta ray so special is that they're large and sometimes people feel frightened by them just because of their sheer size. But actually, they're one of the most gentle animals in the entire ocean.

Manta rays are a very intelligent animal. They actually have the largest brain of any marine fish, but one of the things that surprises me the most is just the fact that they seek out encounters with humans. So, this isn't an animal that swims away from you. This is an animal that swims to you. They recognize you almost as a friend.

Southern Mozambique is just an incredible location. I lived here for the last 15 years and even though I travel all over the world to do my work, I enjoy coming back here because it's such a wild place. It's so exciting.

One of the reasons I began work on mantas is because I knew that these animals were under threat. Recently, you know, within the last 15 to 20 years, they have started to be fished for Asian tonics, and as a result of this, we've seen manta populations crashing across the globe. Even here in Mozambique where we don't even have a very aggressive fishery, we've seen the population collapse by up to about 98 percent over the last 15 years.

We're starting to lose them faster than we can study them. So, it's really important for me to get these messages across to people who don't have the opportunity to peek down into the underwater world.


AZUZ: A sheriff's office in Eastern Pennsylvania has issued an arrest warrant for a rodent. Wanted, Punxsutawney Phil. He's suspected of deception.

Back on Groundhog Day, as part of the American tradition, Punxsy Phil saw his shadow. Legend has it that that means there'd be six more weeks of winter. But when a snowstorm hit last week after the six-week period had passed, the sheriff's office said it was sick of a rodent masquerading as a meteorologist.

Guess they thought his predictions were Groundhogwash. They got tired of woodchucking up the weather to chance. Maybe a whistleblower named a whistlepig, and even if he never varmint to cause any harm, he might have just varmint his match. Only time will tell if this leaves him with a punxsutarnish reputation.

I'm Carl Azuz for CNN 10.


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