STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, and welcome to This Week. On this first Easter Sunday for Pope Francis, we talk with one of the Cardinals who chose him, New York's Timothy Dolan on what the new Pope means for Catholics here in America. And our panel of scholars and pastors discuss religion's place in the public square. Does it help or hinder the search for common ground? Our powerhouse roundtable takes on all the weeks politics, including the Supreme Court's struggle with marriage equality.
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(UNKNOWN): When did it become unconstitutional to exclude homosexual couples from marriage.
(UNKNOWN): The voice of those children is important in this case, don't you think?
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STEPHANOPOULOS: And North Korea declares a state of war. How real is the threat? ABC's Martha Raddatz reports live from the front lines.
ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Reporting from ABC News headquarters, George Stephanopoulos.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Hello again, and best wishes to all of you celebrating this Easter and Passover season. It is a tense one in Asia where North Korea stepped up its provocations by declaring a state of war against South Korea this weekend. The latest challenge that has officials in Washington and Soul brace for a possible confrontation. Let's go right to ABC's Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz for the latest on where all this fiery rhetoric is heading.
Good morning, Martha.
RADDATZ: Good morning, George. There is a real sense of unease here in Soul tonight. They have heard rhetoric from North Korea before, but nothing like this. And this is different. This is a new leader, a young leader. No one knows how he will react. And this time, the U.S. and South Korea are really pushing back. We had those B-2 Stealth bombers last week make a round trip from Missouri and drop inert bombs in an exercise here. That has got people on edge, what the U.S. was trying to do, what message they were trying to send.
And they have also said, we have a range of options to counter the provocation and threats, and we hope we never have to put those into effect, George. But there is always room for misjudgment, miscalculation here.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Martha, is there any contact at all between officials in Washington and top North Korean officials?
RADDATZ: Well -- well there are certainly diplomatic channels that the U.S. can go through, and they are giving a very strong message through those diplomatic channels that other people in the regime, in the North Korean regime, to step back and stand down. But we again don't now how far Kim Jong-Un will push. He has said so much, it almost seems he has to take some sort of action.
STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, Martha. Thanks very much. Let's get more on this now from Congressman Peter King, the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, also member of the Committee on Intelligence. And -- and you have seen the intelligence. I know you can't divulge all of the intelligence, but North Korea has been talking about reaching the United States with missiles. Is that an empty threat?
KING: It's not an empty threat. I wouldn't be that concerned about them hitting the mainland U.S. right now, even any U.S. territory. I think the real threat is to what North Korea might be boxing itself into. Kim Jong-Un is trying to establish himself. He's trying to be the tough guy. He is 28, 29 years old, and he keeps going further, and further out, and I don't know if he can get himself back in. So my concern would be that he may feel to save face he has to launch some sort of attack on South Korea, or some base in the Pacific.
And then the president -- Premier President Park, the new president is much more pro-Western, much more hard-lined than his predecessor -- predecessor. And so she may respond against North Korea, and then we end up...
STEPHANOPOULOS: So then it just spirals out of control.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, there are no direct contacts between the White House and the North Korean leadership, or Kim Jong-Un. But we saw Dennis Rodman a couple of weeks ago...
STEPHANOPOULOS: ...come and say that Kim Jung-Un wants a call from President Obama. Would it make any sense at this point to have direct talks with North Korea?
KING: I don't believe so at all, no. I -- I don't see any purpose in that. As far as I see, this is not even a government. It's sort of like an organized crime family running a territory. They -- brutal, he's brutal, his father is brutal, his grandfather was brutal. I don't see any purpose at all in doing that at all. So I think it would marginalize our allies in Asia, certainly in South Korea and it would serve no constructive purpose whatsoever.