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CNN 10 - April 27, 2017

CNN 10

The Leaders of North Korea and South Korea Prepare to Meet; The American Sedan Fades from Dealerships; The Mystery of Japan`s "Bunny Island"

Aired April 27, 2018 - 04:00 ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Paging Dr. Friday, we have a serious case of awesome! I`m Carl Azuz and you landed on CNN 10.

Today`s show starts with three subjects that could change the world. One, getting rid of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula. Two, a peace agreement between North Korea and South Korea. And three, improving relations between the two rival countries.

It`s all on the docket for an historic meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. They`re scheduled to sit down together today for the first formal meeting between their neighboring countries in more than 10 years.

In fact, since fighting stopped in the Korean War in 1953, previous leaders of the two countries only held two summits before this one. The stakes are high, North Korea, a communist dictatorship, and South Korea, a presidential republic, have been at odds with each other for more than 60 years. And this summit is seen as an event that will lay the groundwork for a meeting between the leaders of North Korea and the United States.

That`s expected to take place in May or June, and that would be the first time that those two countries sitting leaders have ever sat down together.

Friday`s event will be held in what`s known as the Peace House, a venue on the southern side of the Korean demilitarized zone.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REPORTER: The Korean demilitarized zone or DMZ runs along the entire link of the Korean peninsula, set up in 1953, it separates North and South Korea by a two and a half mile strip of land. It`s also an unlikely place to find contemporary art. This is the Yeongang Art Gallery. It`s located in Yeoncheon County, South Korea, near the heavily fortified DMZ.

YOON DONGCHUN, DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT, YEONCHEON GOVERNMENT (translated): It used to be an old factory, which was demolished. We rebuilt it with the aim of converting it into an arts and culture venue.

REPORTER: The gallery exhibits art from around the world and serves as a concert venue.

ANDREW ANANDA VOOGLE, ARTIST IN RESIDENCE, YEONGANG GALLERY: I`ve been coming here for the last two years, working on an art project, alongside the Imjin River. It`s just extremely interesting to see the visual contrast between the military and the geography here. You have a few people farming around this area, but in the region we`re standing right now, which is the non-civilian zone, there`s not many people other than soldiers and army barracks.

So, you have a lot of rare wildlife that has been able to flourish in this region, because there`s so little human contact.

REPORTER: That wildlife also has to co-exist with traces of the Korean War.

VOOGLE: The government and the military don`t know where the existing mines still are. You have to be very careful when hiking or walking through this area, to make sure that you don`t find yourself in a bad situation.

REPORTER: But to some local farmers, this area feels far from dangerous. Chu Moongil has lived here for 30 years.

CHO MOONGIL, RESIDENT AND FARMER (translated): I want to live here because my parents are from here. Their ancestors are from here, and they were buried here. It`s quieter here than outside the DMZ.

Seoul feels more uneasy. This area is right next to them, they can`t hit us. How could they do that? You`re most safe here.

REPORTER: With the upcoming summit between North and South Korea, there`s potential for huge change in this region, but Cho doesn`t believe the hype.

CHO: We don`t have any special feelings about it, because we`ve always been facing each other. They always say the same things. Even when the government changes, they still say the same thing.

REPORTER: Those involved in Yeongang Gallery are more hopeful however.

YOON: I have big expectations. Especially because Yeoncheon is at the heart of the Korean Peninsula. Depending on the political mood, Yeoncheon could be better off economically and culturally.

REPORTER: The walls of the gallery has 16 plaques carrying messages from embassies all over the world.

YOON: We plan to gather messages from all over the world and nurture the gallery as an international center of peace.

VOOGLE: If I can act in some form or way as a beginning or a talking point to these discussions of peace, or discussions of even commonality that at least in some small way does its part.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AZUZ: Across the Pacific, the United States Senate has confirmed former CIA Director Mike Pompeo as America`s 70th secretary of state. The vote was 57 to 42. One independent senator and several Democrats joined all of the Republicans who are there in confirming Pompeo.

President Donald Trump nominated him to the job last month after firing former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The president said he and Pompeo were more alike in their thinking.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

The Clipper, the Breeze and the Airflow we`re all what?

United States ships, motorcycle models, Gillette razors, or American sedans?

The Packard Clipper, the Plymouth Breeze and the DeSoto Airflow were all models of American sedans.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: None of those makers or models is still in production today. In fact, the American sedan as we know it maybe going the way of the dudu (ph).

The sedan, a two or four-door car that can sit at least four people has been a fixture on American roads for almost a century. And it should continue to be under models like the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. But auto industry experts say the three major American car makers, Ford, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler, appear to be putting the brakes on sedan production, and focusing instead on making more trucks and SUVs, sport utility vehicles.

General Motors has reduced the number of Chevy, Buick and Cadillac sedans it`s making. Chrysler has stopped manufacturing the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200. And Ford plans to make more SUVs and trucks in America, but to stop selling all of its passenger car models here, except for the Mustang and a new model called the Ford Focus Active.

In sales, SUVs first passed sedans in 2015. The larger vehicles have more space, their gas mileage has been improving and experts say the American manufacturers can make more money on them than the classic sedan.

(MUSIC)

AZUZ: It`s probably a good thing that Tashirojima Island and Okunoshima Island are separated by 550 miles and much of the Japanese mainland. One is famous for its cats, the other is famous for its rabbits. And that one is only a hop, skip and a jump away, thanks to our friends at "Great Big Story".

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REPORTER: Okunoshima Island is a short minute ferry ride from Hiroshima region of Japan.

While the sandy and palm-lined beaches are perfect for holidaymakers, the island draws crowds for a different reason, rabbits -- lots of `em. And how they got there is a mystery.

SUBTITLE: Welcome to Bunny Island.

REPORTER: Between 1929 and 1945, the Japanese army secretly produced over 6,000 tons of poison gas on Okunoshima Island. Some believe the current rabbits are descendants of those brought to the island to test the gas. But the current director of the poison gas museum insists these bunnies have nothing to do with those from the World War II era.

So, where did they come from?

KADOWAKI HIROKAZU, HOTEL WORKER, KYUKAMURA OKUNOSHIMA (translated): There are so many stories about rabbits on this island.

REPORTER: One theory --

HIROKAZU: The rabbits were brought to this land in 1971, because a local elementary school could no longer afford to raise them. So, eight rabbits were brought to this uninhabited island. That is the origin story.

REPORTER: So, those rabbits were released and with no real predators, they bred like -- well, like rabbits.

And yet another theory --

MASAYUKI YAMAUCHI, GUIDE, OKUNOSHIMA POISON GAS MUSEUM: Because rabbits are not too big and also cute, when this island became a tourist spot, they began to raise the rabbits. Now, the rabbit population has increased. The rabbits entertain the tourists and make them happy. And that is the situation now.

REPORTER: Either way, this new generation of feral rabbits has the run of the land. They`re creating a new story separate from the sordid past of Okunoshima Island. An island once known for death is now known for possibly the cutest thing ever -- bunnies.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AZUZ: And without Mr. McGregor, Elmer Fudd, or any natural predators, nothing Bugs them. They have a hare in the world. Maybe they keep an ear out for approaching tourists, if they care at all. But they seem to have no problem getting their bun-needs met, spending their Leporidaes and nights playing (ph) around a veritable gardan (ph) of peace.

I`m Carl Azuz and that`s all, folks, for CNN 10.

END