05/07/2017 Newsnight


With Kirsty Wark. Korea's nuclear threat, universities minister Jo Johnson discusses tuition fees, and a new Brexit plan. Plus LSD, and are sexbots bad?

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Kim Yong-Un taunts Trump by showing again and again the moment


North Korea launched a missile apparently capable of


While the UN Security Council meets in emergency session,


the US president is right now en route to China.


But does he have any clue what to do about it?


I'l be speaking to one of the few Americans ever to negotiate


Has the election played havoc with Theresa May's


Nick Watt has news we may be looking north.


Westminster is abuzz with talk that the UK should follow


the example of Norway for its immediate


But some Brexiteers see this as a ruse by Remainers


who are turning into Referendum Reversers.


The sexual revolution never envisaged this.


Robots are being programmed to have sex.


Is there anything wrong with that, and if so, exactly what?


We'll be sorting out the politics of robosex.


At the emergency meeting of the UN Security Council tonight


to discuss the response to the threat from North Korea


following the first successful launch of an in intercontinental


If claims are confirmed that the missile is capable


of hitting US territory then the pressure will be on the US


President to make a measured response after he has raised


the rhetoric on North Korea since he entered the White House.


When the missile was fired he tweeted, "Perhaps China will put


the heavy moves on North Korea and end this nonsense


The Chinese President, meeting President Putin


yesterday in Moscow, announced that they want to take


the lead in dealing with this escalation, at the same time


condemning the US for increased military activity in the Pacific,


and the deployment in south Korea of the US missile Defence System.


Kim Jong-Un has ridden the rocket of brinkmanship again.


By testing a missile with a range long enough to hit


parts of the US he has thrown down the gauntlet.


Unbowed by American threats and also resolved a


We assume that North Korea has that capability with its medium-range


systems, because they have been testing those


And of course North Korea has had a number of nuclear tests.


But you are right we will never know for sure whether they have


an operational capability unless they have to use it.


The new missile test lead the US to say that piece on the Korean


peninsula is a choice they could change. And that diplomacy is


running out of steam. -- peace. Their actions are closing off the


possibility of a diplomatic solution. The United States is


prepared to use the full range of our capabilities to defend ourselves


and our allies. Where does that leave camp? Early in January the


president tweeted that Kim's bid to develop something capable of hitting


the US wouldn't happen. He listed China's help. In April he suggested


China could get better trade terms if they solve the North Korean


problem. Late last month but with -- late last month he said at least


China tried. This gave way to anger. He accused them of wrapping up trade


with North Korea rather than squeezing it. When Trump made his


deal perhaps he was not fully aware of the history of US efforts to


elicit better cooperation with China. If he was he probably would


have been more careful in his approach to the Chinese premier. But


we are where we are. The Chinese president today pointed that


Vladimir Putin was his country's closest allies. And in the context


of North Korea that points to a hidden alignment towards America's


threats of force. Russia and China have implications for North Korea.


Especially as it presents an option for North Korea. North Korea is a


client state of China. In some way they legitimise North Korea's


existence. America and South Korea today conducted their own missile


firing drills. A warning to Kim Jong-Un. But also a reminder to


China that the US is not about abandoned its regional partners. But


for all the symbolism it shows the military options of the Pentagon.


Trump is finding, like previous presidents, that we don't have any


capability to stop North Korea from advancing its nuclear missile


programme. Military options are obviously not practical because we


are not capable of knocking out North Korea's missile systems. In


any event, even if we tried, that is likely to lead to a conflict of the


Korean peninsula which the US and US allies and Japan are not prepared to


fight. Given the risks of using force, the Chinese option was


probably worth a try. But Kim Jong-Un continues weapons tests


undaunted, while President Trump formulates new policy, China holds


nearly all the key cards. Bill Richardson - is a former


Democratic governor and has negotiated with North Korea


since the 1990s - he was involved in securing the release of US


student Otto Warmbier. Good evening. How would you rate


this particular moment historically? This is the worst state of tension


in the Korean peninsula since the Korean War. With this capability


that North Korea now has with the Kim Jong-Un acting in defiance. Not


just of the US but the international community. Detailing Americans,


Canadians there, basically sticking his nose up to the international


community. And trying to provoke Donald Trump and the G20 into


basically saying, you guys are meeting at the G20, I'm the main


player in the world today. That is what Kim Jong-Un is saying. If it is


one of the most dangerous moment since the Korean War, is it also a


moment of opportunity? Well, I believe the only way we will get out


of this North Korea drama is through diplomacy. But right now the options


of diplomacy, because of the... There is no room for that type of


diplomacy. The pre-emptive military strike I don't think that right now


is realistic. In between we should look at options of squeezing China


to squeeze North Korea more. I don't think we've done enough. I think


more cyber efforts, more sanctions at the UN, get the international


community, the G20 countries, the new alliance. I think we have a


little time. But not much more. Nicky Healy has talked about the


fact America will propose sanctions. But you have to have China on board.


I just wonder. You talk about pushing China harder, but what never


-- what leverage does Donald Trump have on China? Negative. Doing this


them... Is that for Trump to do? Do we continue arms sales to Taiwan?


And their efforts, you know? China wants to be pre-eminent in East


Asia. Buttress our relations with South Korea, with Japan, commerce


wise, militarily. China has to realise that the turmoil in the


peninsula is not in their interest. But they are unwilling to risk


anything by squeezing North Korea. So we have to put more levers on


China. We need to get our European friends to help us because this


affects the international community, the East Asian peninsula. This may


be something, as a Democrat, you would have a certain answer for, but


isn't part of the real problem the instability, you know, the


flip-flopping Donald Trump undertakes? The goading of China for


not doing enough, the idea he could do it himself, the idea they would


never happen into ballistic missile -- intercontinental ballistic


missile. Donald Trump is playing with fire and not essentially


understanding what he is doing. The fire is caused by Kim Jong-Il and


the North Koreans. As a Democrat, I think Donald Trump has been


relatively restrained. I don't like his tweeting. I don't like him


saying that he wants to meet Kim Jong-Un and that it would be an


honour. I want him to have a coherent policy with his military


advisers, our allies, bring it up at the G20. Try something new. But I


think diplomacy is the only option. There is no sound military option. I


think Kim Jong-Il and wants to provoke the international community.


We shouldn't let him get away with that. We should be united in our


efforts to squeeze him and the key is China. And the key is China.


China has not stepped up. I want to come to the role you've played the


past. The G20 will be a public thing. State to state diplomacy


hasn't shown to be working. Are there back channels that need to be


activated quickly and strongly? Yes. Let's look at new back channels.


Private groups. Perhaps the Vatican. Perhaps China can play a mediating


role by saying Kim Jong-Un, you've got to sit down and talk to the


South Koreans and the Americans. Let's get this new president of


South Korea who is ready to engage with North Korea, and in


humanitarian issues, maybe he can be a channel. But let's try something


new because the traditional China US South Korea in the past, six party


talks, that isn't working. Are you optimistic on a scale from one to


ten? I am about three right now and its dwindling. I'm worried, I'm


really worried. But I think eventually the international


community will develop a strategy. And hopefully Kim Jong-Un will come


to his senses. But I wouldn't count on it right away. I think he is


going to stretch it out. Thanks very much.


We'll tuition fees in England stay or go? Labour wanted to scrap them.


And it looks like the government was listening, following their


disastrous election result. Damian Green stated there should be a


national debate on fees. That's because the ISS has released a


report which says students in England are going to graduate with


an average debt of nearly ?51,000 and will be paying it off well into


their 50s. -- that's because the IFS has released a report.


But University Minister Jo Johnson today insisted they would stay.


The message to the country, that it is absolutely paramount we pay off


the country's debt, we become solvent. Yet your message to


students seems to be, if you get a debt of ?51,000 and it lasts for


many years it doesn't matter. Isn't that a inconsistent message? We have


a world-class education system. Three of the universities here in


the world's top ten. They need to be funded. We need to share the costs


of that funding between the individual student that gets to get


higher earnings, higher earnings than those who don't go to


university, and the high tax payers. You called Jeremy Corbyn a liar when


he said the fees discourage poor students from going to universities.


He said he was a liar. Before poor students had maintenance grants. Now


they don't. Poor students have maintenance loans and they also have


their tuition loans. Student loans. Therefore poorer students come off


worse. I didn't use the word liar. I said he was factually wrong. The


number of students... Maintenance loans... Our finance system is


allowing them to go to university in record numbers. But they don't have


maintenance grants any more, they have maintenance loans. If they get


a well-paid job they are worse off. I don't accept that. The government


has made more financial support. But they are paying more. They have the


cash in hand enable -- they have the cash in hand so they can go to


university. Once they are in a job earning above ?21,000. So they are


not saddled with debt. They don't have too pay until they are earning.


But poorer students have to pay back more and they are worse off than a


lot of other students. And worse off if they get a better job, actually


worse off. There is a different way of putting it. But that's the right


way of putting it. The government is making more resources available for


people from poorer backgrounds. They have the chance to go to university


and they are. This government says it is all about continued learning.


You wanted to have mature student and part-time students. But there


has been a drop mature students of 56% since tuition fees came in.


Exactly the opposite of what you wanted over the last five years.


One of the reasons is so many people are going to university for the


first time when they are younger and not seeking to acquire higher


education later in life. People need to retrain as their jobs change? We


have an exceptionally strong labour market so the appeal of part-time is


at diminishing... Part-time study. When there is a buoyant Lega market,


the cost of going into part-time study is higher than when there are


fewer jobs around. So we have diminishing part-time students? We


have a buoyant labour market so there are lots of part-time jobs for


people to go to. I am not denying there have been lots of barriers to


part-time studying and that is why there is a part-time maintenance


loan for the first time and that will help address some of these


financial problems. But mature students and part-time students tend


to be the poorest so they are proportionately again going to have


more debt even if they are in well-paid jobs? This is about


sharing the cost of how we fund a higher education programme. We have


seen an increase in funding since our reforms. We want that to


continue. You have a situation in the United Kingdom where the debts,


?50,000, ?50,800, double the regular US debt student comes out with. You


cannot be happy about that, double with what they pay in America? We


need a sustainable cost funding university and the individual


student will have a much higher lifetime learning trajectory. It is


a fair system. Are you happy with that? Yes. The OECD, which looks at


these finance systems of higher education around the world have said


we are one of the few countries in the world to have cracked it. You


are happy that the debt burden the student is tries than the American


won? What I am happy with is we have a sustainable finance student system


that allows people to go to university. You are 43% more likely


to go to university if you are from a disadvantaged background today


than you were in 1997. That is why Jeremy Corbyn is wrong to say


working-class students are going to university less than before. It is


factually wrong to say that. If everything is rosy in the garden,


why is the Deputy Prime Minister saying he thinks there could be a


debate about tuition fees in England. He is second in charge to


Theresa May, you are the universities minister and you


disagree with him. It is another example of this government looking


in two directions at once. Damien is right, we need to look at the facts


that exposes Labour's tuition fees. If you read his comments carefully,


he was calling for time to expose the shortcomings of Labour's tuition


fees policies which would lead to university is being unsustainable


and the re-imposition of student number controls, which we have


taken. It would stop more people from disadvantaged backgrounds going


to university. There will be absolutely no change to the system


under this Conservative government? We have a good system, enabling more


people from disadvantaged backgrounds to go to university it


is sustainable the funding universities. It is working and we


wouldn't want to change the fundamental features. We always want


to keep it under review to make sure it is fair and effective. Thank you


very much. Before the election


Theresa May was clear - she wanted a mandate


for her version of Brexit. But the mess that she says


she created with the election result means that she has lost authority


to dictate terms. Now some MPs are pushing


for a different vision of Britain's Two allies bound together


by historic ties. Eight decades after our wartime


alliance, could our friends to the North provide a template


for the UK as we negotiate In quieter corners of Westminster,


there are calls for the UK to follow the example of Norway


during a transitional period Some senior figures,


still struggling to come to terms with the referendum,


even whisper that what they are calling Norway for Now, could turn


into a permanent arrangement. Under the Norway option,


the UK would negotiate a semidetached relationship


with the EU as a member of a club Brexit supporters are likely to be


alarmed by some of the club rules, which would mean membership


of the single market, accepting the free movement


of people with some rights No vote, only


consultation on EU rules. Accepting the rulings


of a special court which always complies with judgments


from the European Court of Justice. Substantial contributions


to the EU budget. But Brexit supporters


might be encouraged that under the club rules,


the UK would be out of the Common No longer part of the common


fisheries policy and outs of the customs union,


freeing up the UK to strike up trade The father of the Tory


modernisation project, who made a point of not


showing his hand during Britain in the EEA would be


in the single market with all of the benefits


of certainty that brings for businesses who are really


concerned about the supply chain But outside the customs union


so we could make our I think in many ways,


as a holding pattern, the EEA option has a huge amount


to recommend it. Yes, we would continue to be


making some contributions. That, compared with the loss


of revenue that would come, if we have a real economic slowdown,


that would be kind Yes, you would have to accept some


kind of freedom of movement, although how much, remains


to be seen. It's not a certainty,


it's not an absolute. You don't have a wrote


on those rules... But one veteran pro-European


has his doubts. I think politically,


as a long-term solution, it's not viable because the British


people in the referendum, the general analysis is,


they voted to restrict free movement, so I think


the problem with Norway is, it has free movement of people


with the EU. The prospect of the UK modelling


itself on Norway is being canvassed by supporters of a so-called soft


Brexit, who feel newly emboldened by Theresa May's setback


in the general election. They believe that Philip Hammond's


recent talk of a lengthy transitional period has given them


license to highlight Norway Under their breath, they are also


saying that the so-called Norway for Now option would allow the UK


to hug the EU very close Some Leave supporters have told


Newsnight they could sign up to the Norway option,


as long as it's subject Britain would also need to win


concessions, for example a 50% cut in EU migrants and 50% cut


in contributions to the EU budget. But one minister told Newsnight


the Norway option would amount to a strategic mistake of historic


proportions, by turning the UK a rule taker,


rather than a rule maker. If you are going in saying, look,


I'll accept free movement, I'll accept paying in year in,


year out, for now or otherwise. Why would your interlocutors ever


give you a permanent deal? Why would they ever deliver a final


deal, as long as you are paying, as long as you are effectively


in the EU, because you are accepting free movement as well as accepting


EU laws without even shaping them? As Westminster basks


in another heatwave, the political atmosphere is gently


calming down ahead Below the surface, however,


Brexit keeps bubbling away. What does all this talk about Norway


say about the state of Brexit? It shows there are some senior Tories


that are advocating ideas she has dismissed. The Prime Minister is


clear she is not interested in off-the-shelf solutions like Norway.


She is clear Britain will negotiate its own bespoke gear. The most


senior person flexing their muscles is Philip Hammond. I am hearing


stories before the election, when he tried to raise concerns with Number


Ten about the possible economic consequences of Brexit, he was told


you of being overly pessimistic. The Chancellor is not talking in private


or in public about this Norway for now option. But some of his allies


are saying this could provide what he wants, which is a stable landing


for the UK economy in the transitional period. People are less


afraid of speaking out to the reason now since the election. Moore is


getting through. Tell me what others are saying who are pro-Brexiteers?


Some are saying they could live with this idea on the way, but others are


deeply suspicious. One senior figure told me it is about trying to weaken


Brexit in the hope of overturning the referendum. They are not remain


as, they are reversers. I am hearing talk in some quarters that Brexit


might not happen. I am talking to one Leave supporter who now fears


that the combination of stalling economy and investor fear over


possible Jeremy Corbyn Premiership could create a storm that would


stall Brexit. I spoke to another person who is familiar with the


Brexit process who said they think there is a strong chance it may not


actually happen. But I did speak to one senior Brexiteer who is


absolutely confident Brexit will happen, if only for one very simple


reason, divisions mean the legislation paving the way for


Brexit will get through Parliament. Nick, thanks very much.


It has been a very short leap from The Stepford Wives


to The Handmaids Tale a decade later, to female sex robots


for hire now in brothels in Asia and in Europe -


and which will soon be for sale, with AI, speech and movement,


TV drama has long been rehearsing the arguments


I'd rather make out with my Monroe-bot.


Billy, do you want to get a paper round and earn some extra cash?


No thanks, Dad, I'd rather make out with my Monroe-bot.


Billy, do you want to come over tonight, we can make out together?


Gee, Mavis, your house is across the street,


that's an awfully long way to go for making out.


Did you notice what went wrong in that scene?


Ordinarily, Billy would work hard to make money with his paper route.


Then he'd use the money to buy dinner for Mavis,


thus earning a slim chance to perform the reproductive act.


But in a world where teens can date robots, why should he bother?


Why in deed and is it acceptable to use so-called sexbots to redirect


dark behaviour from Newman is the robots. If six robots can be


programmed to put up resistance to a sexual aggressor who then rates the


robot, will it make it more likely his next victim will be human? These


are questions which discusses the controversial suggestions with the


use of six robots to prevent crimes. Please welcome my guests. What


basically is the issue about a robot who is capable of giving someone


sexual pleasure? People get confused with the idea that somehow a robot


is like a vibrator. A vibrator is something you rub on your body part.


I don't have a problem with objects you rub on your body parts. Could


they not be any shape, the shape of a female person? We are not just


talking about something you rub on your genitals, it has a complete


female form. It is still a machine. But it is piggybacking from ideas in


the pawn industry. Do you take the view is that it is pornographic?


Now, a vibrator is objectifying a male body part, even more


dehumanising because it is not the whole model it is presenting when


you are using it. On the point that the standard view is, if it gives


you pleasure and is not doing any harm to anybody, you take the view


it is OK? I would, but what I don't like is these robots are modelled as


women. It is something we have known about the pawn industry for ever it


is men making women for pleasure. We don't want to come 20 or 30 years


down the line to issues that have not been addressed. I wonder when


you actually read this report, robots with AI and can speak, are


coming soon, what do you think about the idea who can be resistant to six


and then what might happen is that there might be a scream and then the


robot might be hit three or four times and then gives in? That is


mimicking rate. Is that more likely, in your view, encourage human to


human rate or be a way of deflecting?


We have had to look at the fact that we are even asking this question.


But it'll be a reality soon. The point about sex robots, they'll


really a product of the porn industry. What we have created with


pornography is this detachment between sex and intimacy, we have


turned it into a commodity. We are getting young boys at the age of


nine watching pornography. Young girls turning up at clinics... That


may be true. That's the generation that will be using these. What I am


suggesting to you is that there is a difference between, as it were, an


inanimate object, or one that is created now for the actual purpose


of mimicking a rape victim. I talk to a lot of survivors of child


sexual abuse and rape. I think they would be insulted to think you could


compare something about their experience with a doll. However it's


going to be part of the fantasy world that is being created for men.


These dolls are coming. What would you say that they could be


programmed and made to make responses? We have to talk about the


good and bad, we always do with technology. There is something to be


said to get them to work with people who have committed rape to


rehabilitate them. Once somebody has done this many times with an


inanimate object and had no push back, they might actually go out and


rate humans. They have found from academics that have been studying


the art technology with a response to people with paedophilic desires,


they have try to see if these people would offend again or hurt children.


-- studying VR technology. There is no research -- there is not enough


research to see if it would encourage behaviour or stop it. It


is a bit like we sat around a video nasty 's and porn. The idea that


what ever you view will give you the idea to go and repeat it which isn't


true for many people. This is outrageous to suggest such a thing,


that we can experiment with younger children and test a product in


society which would make somebody very wealthy. I've not said anything


about experimenting with children. That paedophiles have to have a


paedophilic experience. There should be an absolute ban. We actually know


that there is a child sex robots. It is on the market. Not in this


country. This report is saying that these should be outlawed. Is that


your view? This is good. They are only just catching up. We said there


should be a ban on these. Because children cannot protect themselves.


I would agree. Not for pleasurable use. But there is evidence to


suggest they could be used for therapeutic use. That needs to be


researched more thoroughly by those that are already researching it in


Canada. They use the images to see if these offenders will reoffend.


Thank you very much. It's now 50 years since


the Summer of Love, but echoes of that groovy season


keep repeating, Talking of which, police have


stepped up patrols in a remote Welsh village which was once the scene


of a high-profile drugs bust on an LSD factory,


later immortalised in a song A former officer involved


in the raid says he believes a cache of high grade acid tabs


and ill-gotten money may be buried in nearby woods, which is why police


activity has increased. Our Culture Editor Stephen Smith


went to the village of Carno Come with us on a trip


to Carno in mid Wales, the kind of idyllic village that


seems to have one of everything. Oh, and a major class


A drugs factory, as was. This was the scene of notorious drug


bust, Operation Julie, Gumbo!#.


for the Drug Squad -- Police smashed an LSD lab this


old Mansion house loving -- Police smashed an LSD lab this


old Mansion house following a surveillance operation involving


a caravan full of plainclothes officers living hugger-mugger


in a muddy field. Millions of pounds worth of assets


was produced in these cellars. It was a large proportion


of the supply reaching Farmer Hugh Thomas


saw it all happen. And this car came into the yard


with a person walking out of it and we knew straightaway


they were police officers. The police took it over


and they dug the well out. It sounds like something out


of the Sweeney, though. The police grabbed the JCB digger


and they pulled a well out. Something like that


sticks in your mind. Pure LSD crystals were found buried


in another part of the garden. For a time afterwards


police recovered drugs from near the mansion,


but did they get it all? One person who doesn't


believe so is former policeman Steve Bentley,


who was once holed up in that cosy From the bar of that one pub


I mentioned in Carno, Newsnight spoke to Steve who now


lives in the Philippines. That stash is still buried


there within the grounds OK, so, then I checked


with a former colleague. And I said, hey, was a thorough


search made of the grounds come His answer was no because


the passage of time. So, could there be other intoxicants


in the Village apart Just talking to people


particularly recently, I don't think anybody has been


discounting the possibility. There was the lab equipment


hidden in the world. The fact they may have hidden LSD


is a distinct possibility. It was time to call


on the former drugs lab. Now home to the thoroughly


respectable Sue Marsh This was the cellar where


the illicit magic happened. Sue's husband keeps his


fishing tackle here. Have you had any psychedelic


experiences in the house, Sue? We have a ghost up


in the attic bedroom. I think it's a Victorian


lady, little, in white, Do you think I could be


picking up something. What's the best interpretation,


the acid or the ghost? We've had the police


round every day. What have they been


doing and saying? They've been guarding


the house and guarding us. We did think, though,


that last week we may have people coming up,


digging into the woods. My son found some jars,


sealed jars, and he has handed them to the police,


but we've had no feedback. Is there a fortune in contraband


in these here hills? And could Newsnight


succeed in unearthing it No, I don't think, there


is nothing here that... Perhaps I'll have a mooch about


and see if I can find it, shall I? It's not like us at all,


but it's almost as if we've We leave you with the winners


of the annual awards The rule is, as you probably worked


out, all the pictures have to be Submitting artists can


use their real names It looks as though Thursday could


start with a bang. Especially in the south-east quarter where there could


be a rumble of thunder accompanying some of these showers. Not




In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines. With Kirsty Wark.

Korea's nuclear threat, universities minister Jo Johnson discusses tuition fees, and a new Brexit plan.

Plus LSD, and are sexbots bad?

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