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MARKS: Well, it's an extremely big deal to the Defense Intelligence Agency, the DNI, General Jim Clapper. They have to go back and make sure that they are looking at exactly what the congressman released.
Certainly, there are some private communications. So the classified intelligence may be out there. The conversations that have to follow might only prevent something else coming out. It's not going to be able to mitigate that.
COOPER: Right. We have the congressman joining us.
Congressman Lamborn is here.
Congressman, I appreciate you joining us.
Can you tell us how this came about, why you chose to share that information today, and what you hope to accomplish?
LAMBORN: And I did act properly, in that this was declassified. Whether it's a mistake or not, I can't answer that.
But this is -- given the seriousness of the threat, Anderson, this is something that I think people do need to know about. And when you combine that with the fact that our vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has said that North Korean missiles probably can reach the United States, that's a direct quote, and you put all that together, that is a serious issue that we need to deal with.
And I think, Anderson, we are dealing properly in the short term. We have beefed up the Aegis missile destroyers around Japan. They already had some there. And we have some intercontinental ballistic missile interceptors in Alaska and California, about 30. That's excellent.
But going forward, I need to make sure and I'm concerned that we're not going to get the funding from this administration that we should long term to protect our country like we should.
COOPER: There's a classified context around that mistakenly unclassified sentence which you read today. Do you know what that classified context is?
LAMBORN: I have not read the entire seven-page report. I'm in the process of getting my hands on that.
But I did read and asked their assessment of the unclassified portion.
COOPER: So did you have any concerns because you didn't know the context of the full report about releasing that one sentence? Because it's obviously, you know, gotten a lot of attention.
LAMBORN: Anderson, I think that the conclusion is pretty clear and speaks for itself.
And I did ask both Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman Martin Dempsey, Joint Chiefs of Staff, their response. So they had a chance to clarify anything that needed to be clarified, if that was their desire.
COOPER: Clearly -- Dempsey clearly didn't want to even address it because of concerns he had.
Did you confirm at all with the DIA that it was OK to release this information? Did you confirm that the information was in fact unclassified?
LAMBORN: Anderson, we double and triple-checked to make sure that what was divulged in open forum was declassified.
COOPER: Our reporter Kyung Lah is standing by in South Korea.
Kyung, has there been any reaction to this news from the South Koreans?
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is certainly making headlines here, because this is a threat that South Korea has lived with for some time, because North Korea is just one hour away.
This warhead, though, specifically pointing to America, they believe the technology is working towards hitting America. But here's where it's making a bit of news here in South Korea. This is moving the ball, moving the ball because South Koreans believe that the only way to stop North Korea, and this is a growing sentiment here on the peninsula, is for South Korea to have its own nuclear capability.
Two recent national polls showed 60 percent to 70 percent of South Koreans want that capability. It doesn't have it right now. Here's the global concern. If South Korea then arms itself with nuclear weapons, you're looking at a potential regional arms race, Japan wanting in, China escalating. So that's a big concern here in South Korea right now.
COOPER: Congressman, so is your understanding of this that the DIA believes that the North Koreans could launch some sort of a weapon against, say, South Korea that has a nuclear device on it, they could currently do that? It wouldn't be accurate, but they could do it?
LAMBORN: Yes. Yes, the reliability is low. They could launch, but who knows where it would end up exactly.
They have, according to DIA -- and I'm just repeating what they have said -- there is some confidence that they can put the nuclear weapon on a missile and make it deliverable, and that is something that we have suspected, but this puts it out there in black and white.
COOPER: All right.
Congressman Lamborn, appreciate you being on. General James "Spider" Marks, Barbara Starr, Kyung Lah.
Let us know what you think about this. Follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper.
We have more on the breaking news coming up. We will dig into how to defuse this crisis. We're joined by Christiane Amanpour, who spent time obviously in the North, and former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, who served as ambassador to a key player in the diplomatic game, China. We will get his perspective on all of this.
Later, they call them mass games. However, as you will hear from a documentary filmmaker who got unprecedented access to them inside North Korea, they are actually mass indoctrinations for the tens of thousands of North Koreans who take part and the millions who watch.
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