Tensions are running high in Washington this week, as threats from North Korea spark fear of an impending missile attack. We had a moment of comic relief on Monday, though, when the White House posted a “special message” from the President, who walked out to the podium – only to barely see over the podium. “You look like you were expecting someone else,” he said. “April Fools on all y’all.” Oh – did we mention this was the Kid President, Robby Novak? The nine-year-old online sensation’s videos this week – another posted Thursday showed Kid President touring the Oval Office with his counterpart, the “ordinary president” – were a welcome distraction as the North Korean crisis continues to develop.
Fear of launch
Debate over the weight of North Korean threats to launch missile strikes against the U.S. this week escalated to fear of an attack as Kim Jong Un’s regime moved missile and launch components to the country’s east coast in the last few days. The State Department says the situation “does not need to get hotter.”
Pentagon officials say U.S. military deployments to North Korea in response to the threats are worsening the tension, and angry rhetoric against U.S. military action on the peninsula continues to come out of Pyongyang.
We’ll talk with former Utah governor and U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman about the ongoing threats, and the administration’s developing crisis strategy to deal with a potential missile attack on U.S. soil. Back in 2011, Huntsman – who as ambassador worked on North Korean security issues – talked about a transitioning North Korea at the hands of Kim Jong Un, advising U.S. leaders to closely monitor the “dangerous mix” of threats the country presents. What we want to know – what is China’s role in this escalating situation? How about Russia? Is North Korea really capable of executing a missile launch on the U.S. – and what are our options for dealing with these threats?
Gun control in CT
Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy on Thursday signed into law what is being called the strongest and most comprehensive gun control legislation in the nation. The new law includes the widely approved measure requiring background checks for all gun purchases, as well as banning some weapons. It also makes illegal the sale or purchase of high-capacity magazines like those used in the Newtown massacre that left 20 children and six adults dead in December. Governor Malloy will join us in a Sunday exclusive to discuss the new legislation and what precedent this could set for federal legislation when Congress returns to work next week.
Finding a path on immigration
Talking with us Sunday about another hot-button issue, immigration reform – Representative Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL), a leader in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Representative Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), who is working with a bipartisan group on a reform proposal. The pair will join us to discuss what initiatives the House will take on immigration when they are back to work next week, including the much-discussed potential path to citizenship for undocumented workers and their children, as well as the “provisional legal status” for those who admit to breaking the law. We’ll also look into how realistic it is for the U.S. government to ask immigrants in the country illegally to return to their home countries and apply for legal entry – and how enforceable this is.
Ready for 2016?
Finally, we’ll also have a political panel featuring TIME magazine executive editor Michael Duffy and editor of Cook Political Report, Amy Walter. We’ll chat with them about the renewed push for a Hillary Clinton bid for president in 2016, and the ongoing issues in Washington – gun control, immigration, and President Obama’s budget top our list this week.