Belligerent comments and actions from the regime in North Korea have the world on edge.
United States forces carried out an unusual practice bombing exercise with advanced aircraft across South Korea, which was seen as part of a dangerously accelerating situation by both China and Russia.
This has been taken really seriously by the United States government, starting with President Obama. It is really well known that he is more worried about the situation in North Korea than he is with what is happening in Iran. The other part we have to keep in mind is how ridiculous some of these statements coming out of North Korea are. North Korean state media said Friday that the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, ordered missile units on standby to strike the United States and South Korea.
This is what you call the hermit kingdom, these people are shut off and you begin to believe that they believe their own propaganda. People in Washington (at the Pentagon and State Department) are taking this seriously. Knowing that the U.S. has dispatched B2 bombers that can carry nuclear weapons and let them take the place in the military exercise is another sign of how serious this is. This is something people are watching and hoping the North Koreans will not do but we don't know.
If North Korea should launch some type of attack on the South there is no question that we would respond on time. We have treaties with South Korea and Japan, who are under the United States nuclear umbrella. That's one part that you hope North Korea understands. They would be obliterated if they try to do something like this. You have to hope that it's just propaganda but no one can be absolutely sure at this point.
The Chinese, who are allies of North Korea, do not want an attack on North Korea. That would cause literally millions of people to pour into China, causing refugees to look for places to get away from. The Chinese do not want a united Korea because it would be like having the western powers camping on their border. They have mixed views towards all of this but one would hope sensibility in the end would reign and they would do what they could to keep them from doing this. The question is, do they have the power to? Dealing with a leader in his 20s who has been cut off and hasn't really had much access or information coming in from the West. It's a tough one here.
Taking a step away from foreign relations, we have Cardinal Dolan for Easter Sunday. He just back from Rome following the election of Pope Francis. He is a great advocate for his faith and always a great interview. We'll also have Mariann Budde who is the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. Our subject this week is going to be on religion in America. Focusing on the question "where is it now?" There are not as many people who say they belong to churches compared to years ago. People now select "none" when they fill in forms about religious affiliation. I'm going to find out what all that is about. We'll also be joined by Imam Suhaib Webb who is of Muslim faith. Islam is the fastest growing religion in this country right now. Rabbi David Wolpe, very influential leader of the Jewish faith and pentecostal Bishop Harry Jackson . I think it will be a very interesting meeting and I'm really looking forward to it on this Easter Sunday.