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  • CARL AZUZ, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: As we start this Wednesday edition of CNN STUDENT NEWS,

  • we`re taking you to the Korean peninsula.

  • An American admiral says the tension between North and South Korea,

  • and between North Korea and the U.S. is higher than it`s been in the past 60 years.

  • Here`s some of the latest in this story.

  • South Korean officials say North Korea could be getting ready to test-fire a missile.

  • They think it could happen as early as today.

  • The North gave a warning yesterday to foreigners in South Korea.

  • It told them to find shelter, or leave the country in case an armed conflict started.

  • American commanders say the U.S. is ready to help defend its friends in the region, like South Korea.

  • Another one of those U.S. allies, Japan, says it`s putting missile defense systems around Tokyo.

  • That would help it protect against a possible North Korean missile test.

  • North Korea`s economy is in bad shape.

  • Its manufacturing industry started crumbling decades ago.

  • The nation isolates itself from most of the rest of the world,

  • so it doesn`t have many trading partners.

  • Officials estimate that North Koreans face regular food shortages.

  • Twenty-five percent of the country`s people don`t have enough to eat,

  • and a military conflict can be expensive.

  • So, how does North Korea take in money?

  • Chris Lawrence looks at some ways.

  • CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: When it comes to selling technology,

  • the launch-pad is Kim Jong-un`s show room.

  • And the missile test doubles as a marketing tool.

  • JOE DETRANI, FORMER U.S. INTELLIGENCE OFFICIAL: It`s telling other countries, look what you could have also -- for a price.

  • LAWRENCE: Libya and Iran have been willing clients,

  • but former U.S. intelligence official Joe DeTrani says sanctions have cut into sales.

  • Kim is profiting off illegal weapons,

  • but brings in 20 to 100 million dollars less than his father.

  • How important is money to Kim Jong-un?

  • DETRANI: Money is key. He`s got to keep the elites happy.

  • LAWRENCE: North Korea has its own version of the one percent.

  • Kim needs that money stream to keep them on his side.

  • Fortunately for Kim, North Korea has legal goods and a willing trade partner right next door.

  • Who is Kim`s link to China?

  • DETRANI: It has to be Jang Sung-Taek (ph).

  • LAWRENCE: And Jang is part of the family.

  • Kim elevated his uncle to number two.

  • Jang Sung-Taek oversees some of the state-run trading companies,

  • which mine reserves like coal and iron ore.

  • Jang uses his connections to sell those minerals to China,

  • and the profits come back to Kim.

  • DETRANI: This is the man who can cut the deal with China.

  • He has a lot of credibility with the Chinese.

  • LAWRENCE: Thanks, in part, to Kim`s uncle, trade with China is booming.

  • From one billion a few years ago to five billion now.

  • We`ve accounted for the weapons and the minerals,

  • how else is he getting money?

  • DETRANI: He`s getting money through illicit transactions.

  • LAWRENCE: U.S. officials say North Korea is exporting illegal drugs like meth,

  • producing knockoffs of popular cigarettes and pharmaceutical drugs,

  • even counterfeiting good old Ben Franklin.

  • A U.S. official tells us that the illicit stuff is still pretty small scale,

  • but the North does get a bit more from tourism and foreign investment from South Korea and China.

  • But, in a country where residents don`t pay taxes and the country`s not connected to the international trading market,

  • the official says basically it`s minerals and weapons that are the cash cows keeping Kim in power.

  • Chris Lawrence, CNN, Washington.

  • UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s first shout out goes out to Mr. Meyer`s social studies classes

  • at Reach Academy in Roseville, Michigan.

  • Which of these is the flag of Kenya?

  • Here we go now, is it A, B, C, or D?

  • You`ve got three seconds, go.

  • Kenya`s flag has black, red, and green bands and features a shield and crossed spears.

  • That`s your answer, and that`s your shout out.

  • AZUZ: Kenya has a new president.

  • Uhuru Kenyatta is the son of Kenya`s first president, now he`s the country`s youngest leader.

  • UHURU KENYATTA, KENYAN PRESIDENT: That I will diligently discharge my duties

  • and perform my functions

  • in the office of the President of the Republic of Kenya.

  • AZUZ: Kenya has the biggest economy in eastern Africa.

  • It`s also a major U.S. ally in the fight against terrorism,

  • and it`s an important trade route into the rest of Africa.

  • Its newest president comes with some controversy, though.

  • He`s facing charges from the International Criminal Court.

  • Kenyatta has been accused of funding militias that carried out violent attacks after Kenya`s last election in 2007.

  • Kenyatta denies those accusations and says he`ll cooperate with the court in an effort to clear his name.

  • We are halfway through today`s show,

  • and we`re hoping you teachers will tell us how we`re doing.

  • The place to do that is our homepage, cnnstudentnews.com.

  • That`s also where you`ll find our blog,

  • where we recently asked students "what are your college expectations if you`re planning to go?"

  • For Raj, it`s all about skills,

  • "I hope to get specific skills that will be needed for my own life and profession."

  • For Abita, "College is the first step to making your dream come true,

  • whether it is music school, art school -- whatever it is you want to do with your life."

  • Ehren writes, " I want to get a good education and learn valuable life skills and maybe get a basketball scholarship."

  • Jordan plans to go to the U.S. Naval Academy, join the Navy, and become an aviator.

  • Tatiana wants "to consume as much knowledge as possible.

  • I would also want to experience the feeling of taking responsibility for my future and learning to make it in the `real` world."

  • And Louis plans to go to college "to become wiser and maybe even get a Ph.D.,

  • with my education, I want to make the world a better place."

  • UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for a shout out extra credit.

  • Which of these is a designation of an American civilian ship?

  • You know what to do. Is it SS, USS, HMS, or NCC?

  • Put another three seconds on the clock and go.

  • If you picked A, you`re in for smooth sailing.

  • SS stands for "steam ship."

  • That`s your answer and that`s your shout out extra credit.

  • AZUZ: In the 1950`s and 60`s, the SS United States carried world leaders, royalty, actors,

  • even works of art across the Atlantic Ocean,

  • and it did it faster than any ship before or since.

  • The designer said, quote, "You can`t set her on fire, you can`t sink her, and you can`t catch her."

  • But she hasn`t sailed since the 1990`s.

  • It costs almost $80,000 a month to keep her from sinking,

  • and unless someone saves this piece of maritime history,

  • she could end up in pieces.

  • SARAH HOYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The SS United States is sending out what could be its final SOS.

  • Once the fastest ocean liner to cross the Atlantic,

  • America`s flagship is in need of a rescue.

  • Larger, faster, and safer than the Titanic, the first time the SS United States took to the water,

  • she set the world speed record --

  • a feat that has never been surpassed.

  • But time and money are running out for the ocean liner that carried heads of state and celebrities across the Atlantic during the 50`s and 60`s.

  • Dubbed "the Big U," this lady in waiting could be sold for scrap

  • unless her owners come up with enough money to save her.

  • The ship`s designer, naval architect William Francis Gibbs,

  • put everything he had into his ultimate ship.

  • The 2,200 passenger liner also doubled as a convertible troop ship if war broke out.

  • Gibbs` obsession with creating the perfect vessel became his granddaughter`s obsession with saving it.

  • SUSAN GIBBS, SS UNITED STATES CONSERVANCY: I mean, this is an extraordinary American achievement

  • and an amazing expression of our post-war history,

  • and it would be so tragic to see it destroyed.

  • HOYE: Out of service since 1969, the vintage vessel is now docked in Philadelphia.

  • The goal is to turn the ship into a stationary entertainment complex and museum.

  • For now the clock is ticking.

  • GIBBS: Its name is the SS United States and she`s been here for 17 years because she is not done yet.

  • HOYE: Sarah Hoye, CNN, Philadelphia.

  • AZUZ: A dog eating peanut butter? You`d smile.

  • A dog eating peanut butter while wearing a suit? Worth a chuckle.

  • A dog feeding itself peanut butter while wearing a suit?

  • Almost too much for a cameraman to take. Jeanne Moos serves up a story.

  • JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Why make a sandwich when you could eat peanut butter straight out of a jar?

  • UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s so funny.

  • MOOS: The dog`s name is Odin, the guy laughing is the cameraman,

  • and the hands handling the spoon belong to Odin`s owner.

  • MOOS: And if you think the cameraman`s laughter is contagious, just imagine being there.

  • UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was basically crying behind the camera, I was laughing so hard.

  • MOOS: At least Trevon Spencer (ph) could see the action.

  • His roommate and the dog`s owner Ashlynn Parker (ph) was underneath the green jacket with her head covered.

  • Who cares about peanut butter and jelly?

  • We prefer peanut butter and German shepherd.

  • Jeanne Moos, CNN.

  • UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s so funny!

  • AZUZ: At first, it`s a little jarring,

  • but that performance deserves a hand or two and the cameraman better pay back the dog for giving him all that laughter.

  • You could say he Odin one.

  • I`m Carl Azuz, have a great day.

  • END

CARL AZUZ, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: As we start this Wednesday edition of CNN STUDENT NEWS,

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