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High-Level Talks Begin on the Korean Peninsula; A U.S. Aircraft Carrier Arrives Off the Coast of Vietnam; The Sting King


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CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Carl Azuz.

Today's edition of CNN 10 begins by explaining why a dinner gathering in North Korea is making news headlines around the world. There's a lot that's unknown about the nation situated between China and South Korea. For decades, its secretive communist government has completely controlled the media, the economy, the nation's industry.

And experts say that since he took power in 2011, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has kept himself pretty close off as well, rarely meeting with people who aren't from North Korea.

That's why this dinner we're telling you about is so significant. A high ranking group from South Korea's government, including its national security leader and its national intelligence leader traveled to North Korea's capital for talks with Kim Jong-un. This is thought to be his first face to face meeting with South Korean officials and it's part of a series of friendlier interactions between North and South Korea since officials from the two sides begin talking again in advance of the Winter Olympics.

It's also a major contrast to what happened last year, when North Korea conducted weapons test that the international community considers illegal and threats were exchanged between North Korea and the U.S., an ally of South Korea.

But America and South Korea say their priority is getting the North to give up its nuclear weapons program, and while some experts are encouraged by the talks on the Korean peninsula, others are doubtful about whether they'll lead to any lasting peace, so they're being watched very closely worldwide.

Another interesting news event concerning the U.S. and the nation in Asia, an American aircraft carrier has arrived near Vietnam for the first time since the Vietnam War ended in 1975. USS Carl Vinson and its 5,000 sailors and pilots are scheduled to stay off Vietnam's east coast for a few days.

Though the communist country was an enemy of America after the conflict, it's become more of an ally in recent years.

In fact, the aircraft carrier is there now to capitalize on a growing friendship between the U.S. and Vietnam. One reason for that, and another reason for the U.S. ship's visit is China.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right now, we're just off the coast of Vietnam near Danang, and we're onboard this relatively small boat heading to that very large ship. That's the USS Carl Vinson. It's an aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy and it is moored right now a couple of miles off the coast.

This is the first time a U.S. aircraft carrier has made an official visit to Vietnam in more than 40 years, since the end of the Vietnam War actually. Other Navy ships have visited since 2003, but this is different. This is an aircraft carrier and it's emblematic of a changing relationship between both countries.

Trade, for example, has exploded between both sides and, of course, both sides have been cooperating on security as well. It was just in 2016 that

President Obama lifted an arm sales embargo on lethal weapons to Vietnam and it was a major sign that the bilateral relationship had progressed to friendlier terms and that does appear to be continuing under President Trump. The president visited here last year. Secretary of Defense Mattis was just here in January and the ambassador to Vietnam says he hopes to keep that momentum going.

DAN KRITENBRINK, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO VIETNAM: I think you're seeing the fruits of decades' worth of effort to build bilateral trust to overcome the legacies of war.

RIVERS: Not too far from where we are right now, the Chinese military has been building and militarily developing artificial islands for years in waters that they claim is their territory. But several other countries including Vietnam claim some of that same territory as theirs. And the

U.S. doesn't recognize the Chinese claims either.

Vietnam, more than most countries in this region, has shown a willingness to stand up to Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea, and the government here, the United States likely sees an ally in this part of the world in regards to this particular topic. That is part of the reason why this aircraft is docked here right now. This is a projection of U.S. military might, able to go to all corners of the globe. And analysts tell

CNN that this is absolutely a message to China, that message being the U.S. military is here to say in this region and that they are willing to team up even with old foes to combat what it sees as a growing threat from Beijing.

Matt Rivers, CNN, aboard the USS Carl Vinson, off the Vietnamese coast.



AZUZ: Technology has come a long way since the humble carrier pigeon, or has it?

The animal also known as a homing pigeon has been used for centuries to quickly and reliably carry information over hundreds of miles. How reliably?

Well, some historians say that during World War I, carrier pigeons were able to carry a message to their destinations 95 percent of the time. So,

the next time your cellphone crashes, give a salute to your neighborhood homing pigeon.

Now, that's random!


AZUZ: Another random animal fact for you.

The most deadly animal on earth isn't a snake or bear or shark, it's a mosquito. They're considered the most deadly, not because their bites alone can kill you, but because they can transmit diseases that kill more people worldwide than attacks from any other animal. Of course, their bite itself is mild. Oftentimes, you don't even feel it. But for those insects whose bite you do feel with the sting you'd never forget, there's an entomologist who measures the level of pain by experiencing it.


REPORTER: This is Justin Schmidt.

JUSTIN SCHMIDT, ENTOMOLOGIST: Yes, my name is Justin Schmidt.

REPORTER: He's an entomologist.

SCHMIDT: And I'm an entomologist.

I basically study stinging insects.

REPORTER: He's been stung by a lot of insects.

SCHMIDT: I've probably been stung at least a thousand times.

REPORTER: He reviews insect stings the way a sommelier reviews wine.

SCHMIDT: Pure, intense, brilliant pain like walking a flaming charcoal with a three-inch nail embedded in your heel.

REPORTER: Which insect was that?

SCHMIDT: That's the bullet ant.

REPORTER: This is his lab in Tucson. This is his harvester. This is his vinegaroon. This is his tarantula hawk. These are some more harvester ants in a park near his lab.

He is the creator of the Schmidt Pain Scale.

SCHMIDT: The Schmidt Pain Scale is basically a scale to rate the painfulness of stinging insects on a scale of one to four. A one would be a sweat bee. Two would be something like a yellow jacket wasp. The three would be something like a harvester ant. And a four would be a tarantula hawk.

REPORTER: How bad is a four?

SCHMIDT: Four is absolutely excruciating the debilitating, incapacitating, just shut you down, just absolute sheer pain. There's just nothing you can really do about that. I don't think I'd want to be stung by a whole bunch of different force. I don't think I could endure that for very long.

REPORTER: Let's be clear, Justin Schmidt doesn't just go out and get stung on purpose. It's just that he's dedicated his life to studying -- well --

SCHMIDT: My passion is insects and stinging insects in particular.

Yes, I get stung, but that's all just part of the passion. You know, that gives me data. You know, sting helps me in understanding what the insects doing and I get to be out in the sunshine and out in the rain, out in the environment and studying these magnificent, beautiful insects. Just such a joy. I can't imagine anything I'd rather do more.


AZUZ: Now you see him and now you don't. He's Houdini and he's a goat. I don't mean the GOAT, I mean a goat. He lives in Kentucky either on or under interstate 65. And he's called Houdini because whenever someone calls law enforcement to get the goat, he is vanished by the time they get there. One construction official says he's like a pet and the way he'll walk next to the road or stand in the bridge itself, he doesn't actually cross it.

Maybe the traffic is responsible for the belly goat's gruff attitude. Guess he has to deal with it every Bovidae and while he doesn't leave much ruminant for the cars passing by, it seems he's able to huff if they get too close. Maybe he's just the greatest of all time at avoiding them.

I'm Carl Azuz and that's all for CNN 10. It's time for us to goat.

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