Las Cruces
Weather from Yahoo!





Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” to be reissued as gold vinyl single to mark its 50th anniversary

RhinoOn this day 50 years ago, Otis Redding recorded perhaps his most enduring song, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” which went on to become the soul legend’s only #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In honor of the milestone, the tune will be reissued as a seven-inch single on gold vinyl January 9, 2018, a day after the 50th anniversary of the song’s original release.

The single will include the rare, original version of “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” which was pulled shortly after its release and replaced with the one that’s known to this day. The original recording was shorter and Redding’s voice was mixed lower. The single also features the tune “Sweet Lorene” on the b-side.

Sadly, Redding never enjoyed the success of “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” — he was killed in a plane crash on December 10, 1967. He was just 26.

The vinyl single is one of several releases planned to mark the 50th anniversary of “The Dock of the Bay.” Another is the previously announced vinyl box set The Definitive Studio Albums Collection, a seven-LP package featuring mono versions of every Redding studio album. It’s due out December 15.

In related news, a tribute concert called An Evening of Respect: Celebrating Otis Redding & 50 Years of “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay will be held on January 25 at the Apollo Theater in New York City. The benefit show, which will raise money for The Otis Redding Foundation, will be hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, with performances by neo-soul band The Dap-Kings and various guest stars. Tickets go on sale to the public Tuesday, November 28, via, while pre-sale tickets are available now for American Express Card members.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

The Beach Boys’ Mike Love looking forward to a fun, fun, fun Thanksgiving with his family

Credit: Udo SpreitzenbarthThe Beach BoysMike Love has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving: he just released a new solo album, Unleash the Love, that features new original songs and rerecordings of some Beach Boys classics.

Love tells ABC Radio that he’ll be spending the holiday with loved ones at his home in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

“There’s a beautiful view from my house of 26 miles of water,” says the Rock & Roll Hall-of-Famer. “We usually are there for Thanksgiving and Christmas, ’cause it’s totally family.  You know, a lot of people come in for it. Sometimes we have a crowd of maybe 60 people at Christmas, but Thanksgiving will be a little more low-key.”

Mike tells ABC Radio that music has always been a big part of his family’s holiday gatherings, and this year’s Thanksgiving should be no exception.

“We have the grand piano and the harp in the living room, and we play Christmastime music and all that, which is how we started,” Love explains. “We started with family gatherings due to the fact that my mom was incredibly into music of all kinds.”

He adds, “So yeah, it’ll be all about family, and I wish everybody a Happy Thanksgiving.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

U2, Nile Rodgers & more nominated for BBC Music Awards

Kevin Mazur; Jim Dyson/Getty ImagesU2 and Nile Rodgers Featuring Chic are among the big names nominated for this year’s BBC Music Awards.  That’s the good news: the bad news is that there won’t be an actual ceremony for the stars to attend.

As the BBC reports, the show has been scaled back this year to just a few categories, so the winners will be revealed during a TV show airing December 8 called The Year in Music 2017.   It will look back on the biggest music stories of the year, as told by the musicians involved with them.

U2 and Rodgers’ group are both up for the BBC Music Live Performance of the Year honor. The Irish rockers are being acknowledged for their The Joshua Tree Tour 2017, while the funk/R&B legend and his band received their nod for their set at the U.K.’s Glastonbury festival. Also in the running for the award are the Foo Fighters, Depeche Mode, Katy Perry, and Boy Better Know

Here are all the nominations for the BBC Music Awards:

Ed Sheeran
Harry Styles
Kendrick Lamar
Rag N Bone Man

Calvin Harris — Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1
Ed Sheeran — ÷ (Divide)
Dua Lipa — Dua Lipa
Rag N Bone Man — Human
Stormzy — Gang Signs & Prayer
The xx — I See You

Boy Better Know — Glastonbury
Depeche Mode — Glasgow Barrowlands, BBC Radio 6 Music Festival
Foo Fighters — Glastonbury
Katy Perry — BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend
Nile Rodgers Featuring Chic — Glastonbury
U2 — The Joshua Tree Tour

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Don’t panic! ‘The Chew’s’ Carla Hall has last-minute turkey tips for Thanksgiving cooks

ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua(NEW YORK) — The 11th hour is here for Thanksgiving cooks — Thursday, your guests will be arriving and expecting you to be dishing out a perfect meal.  So, how far along with you meal should you be already?  The Chew‘s Carla Hall has an answer.

“You should have your cranberry sauce made, you should have your desserts made, your pie crusts and the start of your desserts, any homemade condiments and those things, those should be made,” Hall tells ABC Radio.

Twenty-four or so hours out, if you bought a frozen turkey, it should be thawed, and, says Hall, you should be thinking brine.

“This year I’m going to do a dry salt brine,” she says, explaining, “I will be salting my turkey the night before, uncovered, so it can dry out, and then that salt permeates through the meat of the turkey. And I think it gives you a really nice texture of turkey.”

OK, but what if you haven’t gotten quite out in front of your meal yet?  What if your turkey is still frozen even?  Don’t worry, says Hall. “What you can do is get a really big pot, and with the turkey still in the wrapper, immerse it into cold water, and then keep changing that water every 30 minutes,” she explains.  “If it’s just like 25 percent frozen you can still cook it, but it will slow down the cooking time. So you have to add some time to that turkey.”

And if you have any last minute shopping to do, there’s one gadget Hall suggests you add to your shopping list: “A thermometer with a probe, and then it has a magnet that can sit on your oven…so you know when your turkey is, and you’re not opening the oven constantly…”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Rashida Jones says she did not leave ‘Toy Story 4’ over rumored sexual advance

Rashida Jones on ABC’s “black-ish”; ABC/Kelsey McNeal(LOS ANGELES) — Actress and writer Rashida Jones is denying a report that she quit Toy Story 4 because of an unwanted sexual advance from Disney/Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter. 

Lasseter announced Tuesday that he’s taking a six-month leave of absence from the animation studios, in the wake of allegations of workplace misconduct.

In a statement to Variety, Jones and her writing partner, Will McCormack — who were scheduled to worked as writers on the Toy Story sequel — say they left the project over “philosophical differences” related, they say, to the role of women and people of color at Pixar, not because of a sexual advance, as The Hollywood Reporter had alleged.

“The break neck speed at which journalists have been naming the next perpetrator renders some reporting irresponsible and, in fact, counterproductive for the people who do want to tell their stories,” the pair said in the statement. “We did not leave Pixar because of unwanted advances. That is untrue. That said, we are happy to see people speaking out about behavior that made them uncomfortable. As for us, we parted ways because of creative and, more importantly, philosophical differences.”

The Hollywood Reporter published a story Tuesday afternoon, prior to Lasseter’s announcement, detailing his alleged misconduct in the workplace, saying while Lasseter was known for hugging employees, he was also known for “grabbing, kissing, making comments about physical attributes.” The story also contained the allegation regarding Jones.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Coco’ leads this week’s new releases

Image from “Coco”; Disney/Pixar(NEW YORK) — Opening in wide release on Wednesday:

* Coco — Disney-Pixar’s animated feature centers on aspiring musician Miguel — voiced by Anthony Gonzales — who bucks his family’s generations-old ban on music and enters the Land of the Dead to unlock the mystery behind his family’s history. Benjamin Bratt and Edward James Olmos also star. Rated PG. ABC is owned by Disney.

* Roman J. Israel, Esq. — This drama, which debuted in limited release last Friday and opens nationwide on Wednesday, stars Denzel Washington as the titular character, a driven, idealistic defense attorney who, through a tumultuous series of events, finds the activism that defines his career tested. Colin Farrell also stars. Rated PG-13.

Opening in limited release on Wednesday:

* Darkest Hour — This true World War II story stars Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, who — just days after becoming Britain’s prime minister — held the fate of Western Europe in his hands as he weighed negotiating with Hitler, or fighting on against incredible odds. Rated PG-13.

* The Man Who Invented Christmas — Christopher Plummer stars as Ebenezer Scrooge in this story about the journey that inspired Charles Dickens to write his timeless classic, A Christmas Carol. Dan Stevens and Jonathan Pryce also star. Rated PG.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Inside the Thanksgiving mad dash at Charlotte Douglas International Airport

iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, North Carolina) — The rush is on at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina to get passengers into the air and on to their Thanksgiving plans.

The airport is the ninth busiest in the United States and the second biggest hub for American Airlines. Airport officials there are expecting to serve more than 130,000 passengers on Wednesday alone.

Nationwide, TSA plans to screen more than 26 million passengers and crew at airport checkpoints, a 5 percent increase over last year.

Many airline employees like pilots, flight attendants and gate agents are regularly seen by fliers, but there are others who are working equally hard over the holiday: baggage and cargo handlers, mechanics and cleaners.

“Everything has to be done in 120 minutes, otherwise we don’t make our time,” said Frank Fracsa, a maintenance worker for American Airlines.

If you look outside at the baggage handlers, you might witness a rarely seen exercise.

These men and women regularly gather to stretch, and are sometimes joined by an on-site physical therapist.

“It does make a difference,” said Laura Sabatino, a physical therapist at the airport. “Nobody realizes how physical the jobs in the airport industry are. I mean, they’re lifting over and over all day.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Clear weather greets most of the country for Thanksgiving travel

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The travel forecast across much of the country for one of the busiest travel days of the year will be quiet with minimal travel disruptions on the road and in the air.

The main trouble spot will be in the Pacific Northwest, where several storms have brought heavy rain to the area this week. It will continue Wednesday with possible flooding and flight delays.

Anyone traveling early Wednesday morning in the Northeast could face some issues, with snow for the interior areas and rain showers from New York City to Boston. However, it will clear out by the afternoon.

Elsewhere, the rest of the country will be mostly sunny and dry with easy travel weather.

Wet early in Northeast

A cold front is making its way into the Northeast Wednesday with colder air behind the front and milder air ahead of it.

The cold air is creating light snow for parts of Pennsylvania and western New York early Wednesday morning, and that will move into interior New England later. Any snow should be confined to northern interior Maine by the afternoon.

ABC meteorologists are also tracking the rain ahead of the front with some heavy showers happening in eastern North Carolina — mainly the Outer Banks — and moving up the coast through Wednesday morning.

Washington D.C. should stay mostly dry, with some light rain anticipated for New York City between 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Then rain moves into Boston, lingering there through the early afternoon. Overall, this could bring minor travel impacts to the area Wednesday morning.

Cold weather coming next

Behind that front is another cold blast. Although widespread record lows are not expected, wind chills will still be quite cold for the Midwest Wednesday morning and the Northeast by Thanksgiving morning.

Wind chills are in the teens and even single digits across the Midwest early Wednesday, and it feels like only 15 degrees in Chicago and 9 degrees in Minneapolis.

By Thursday, morning wind chills will be in the 20s from New York City to Boston.

It will be cold for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but winds look light with lots of sunshine.

Northwest continues to see rain

A flood watch remains in effect for northwest Washington, including Seattle, Wednesday through Thursday afternoon.

Rainfall totals of 2 to 5 inches have already fallen, and an additional 1 to 3 inches is possible, with storm totals of over 7 inches of rain this week.

Due to all the rain from these storms, minor flooding is possible for rivers in the area. The rain will also bring slick and wet roads for travelers.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Remains of 2 victims found after fire at Pa. nursing home

iStock/Thinkstock(WEST CHESTER, Pa.) — The remains of two individuals have been found in the rubble of a Pennsylvania senior living community that burned down in a massive fire last Thursday.

Authorities discovered the first victim of the Barclays Friends Senior Living Community fire in West Chester, Pennsylvania early Tuesday morning. The second victim was found Tuesday afternoon, and crews are continuing to search for the remains of two other individuals previously reported missing.

None of the victims have been identified by name, but authorities have said the four missing residents included a husband and wife ages 89 and 92, an 85-year-old woman and a 93-year-old woman.

The families of all four have been notified.

“The thoughts and prayers of the men and women of ATF are with the families of the victims during this difficult time. Their losses only strengthen our resolve to provide answers to them as a result of our investigation of this tragedy,” said Special Agent in Charge Donald Robinson.

Both the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Chester County Fire Department are continuing to investigate the origin and cause of the five-alarm fire. Cranes and excavating equipment have been brought to the scene to remove large masses of debris.

There were 152 people in the building when the blaze erupted on Thursday at 10:30 p.m. ET. Hundreds of first responders used beds and wheelchairs to evacuate elderly residents. The fire continued burning into the next day and was contained Friday afternoon.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Die-hard Giants fan sobs after mom surprises him with tickets to his 1st game for Christmas

iStock/Thinkstock(CONCORD, North Carolina) — Jaidyn Covington, 10, is a die-hard Giants fan, but he lives in Concord, North Carolina, and has never been to a game.

As an early Christmas present, his mom, Emily Covington, surprised him with tickets to see them play at MetLife Stadium — in person. Jaidyn, who absolutely adores Odell Beckham Jr., couldn’t believe his eyes.

“I was so surprised,” Jaidyn Covington said of opening the tickets.

After following a trail of clues all day that finally led him to a giant box, he discovered balloons inside that were attached to the tickets. Once he realized what was happening, he began sobbing tears of joy.

“I had no idea he was going to react like that, so it was really special,” Emily Covington, 32, told ABC News. “We knew he’d be excited, but the tears and stuff were pretty surprising. We were taken aback because he normally tries to act like such a macho man.”

The hints leading up to the big surprise started in the morning with a handwritten poem teasing the big reveal.

Then an unsuspecting Jaidyn received pieces to an airplane puzzle all day – some in his lunch box, some after school – before completing the puzzle with his grandmother. He still didn’t know what to expect.

“I was kind of confused about the airplane, but when I opened the box I saw the balloons and the little baggy, so I opened it up and the tickets were there,” Jaidyn said. “First of all, I just saw some players. I thought we were just going to a Panthers game or something. But then I read them and it said the New York Giants versus the Chiefs. That’s when I figured out I was going to New York.”

The excited mother and son flew to New York the next morning and apparently Jaidyn couldn’t stop crying the whole wait to the airport.

“The next morning on the way to the airport he was still crying,” Emily Covington said of her son.

“It was really sweet. I’ve never seen him react to something like that,” his mom said. “He’s not a big crier or a super emotional kid.”

The two of them had the time of their lives watching the Giants beat the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime.

“I’ll never forget this,” said Jaidyn.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Beverly Hills soccer referee quits after calling parents ‘disrespectful,’ ‘entitled’

iStock/Thinkstock(BEVERLY HILLS) — The lifestyle of the rich and the famous was too much to bear for one youth soccer administrator in Beverly Hills, who called parents “disrespectful” and “entitled” before resigning from his post.

In an email sent to parents last week titled “Advice for how to end the season and move into the elimination rounds,” Avery Krut, a referee administrator and game scheduler for the Beverly Hills American Youth Soccer Organization, announced that he was quitting at the end of the season due to the behavior on the sidelines by parents and coaches. The emails were provided to ABC News by an organization employee and parent.

“Your behavior on the sidelines has, for far too long, been disrespectful and you are damaging the children,” Krut wrote. “You have said nasty things to and about too many referees and it must come to an end.”

Krut wrote that while the “vast majority” of those on the sidelines are “wonderful people,” he added that he has come to “despise” many of the offenders due to their “[despicable]” and “threatening” behavior.

“I can no longer be involved with so many people who feel so entitled,” he wrote.

Krut had been a volunteer with the organization for about 15 years, first as a parent and coach and later as a referee and referee administrator, LA Weekly reported. The position is unpaid, the paper says.

The soccer league’s regional commissioner, Alex Grossman, later sent a message titled “Unfortunate E-mail today,” informing parents that Krut’s personal opinions do not represent the opinions of the board.

“We on the Board value, respect, and appreciate all of the hard work the volunteers in our Region put forth to help the kids in our community play a game they enjoy with their friends,” Krut wrote. “We look forward to a fun and successful end of the season.”

Krut wrote that he will continue to referee but will no longer be involved in administrative matters after Dec. 17. He “may consider a return” if there is a “concerted effort to change the culture in Region 76.”

“You may not like my tone, but everything I have written is the truth,” he said. “Let’s enjoy the playoffs and let’s be respectful.”

Krut did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar pleads guilty to sexual assault charges

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The sports doctor accused of molesting young athletes while working for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University pleaded guilty Wednesday to multiple charges of sexual assault.

Clad in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs, Dr. Larry Nassar appeared in court in Michigan’s Ingham County where he agreed to plead guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving girls who were younger than 13 and as old as 15.

The plea deal calls for a minimum prison sentence of 25 years, but the judge could set the minimum as high as 40 years.

Nassar, 54, answered “yes” to questions during the hearing about whether he penetrated each of the seven girls using his finger without gloves. He acknowledged that his actions were not for any legitimate medical purpose and were against medical protocol.

“I think this is important to have what I’ve done today to help move the community forward and away from the hurting and let the healing start,” Nassar said in a statement to the court Wednesday morning. “I’m so horribly sorry that this was like a match that turned into forest fire out of control.”

Nassar will be sentenced Jan. 12 at 9 a.m. ET and the victims will have an opportunity to speak, the judge said.

“You used that position of trust that you had in the most vile way to abuse children. I agree that now is a time of healing, but it may take them a lifetime of healing,” Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said in response to Nassar’s statement. “I’m not going to speak for them; they’re going to have that opportunity at sentencing, and that will strengthen and heal them. I agree and I’m glad you recognize that, but it does fall very short.”

“But they are strong in numbers, and I’m proud of them. They are superheroes for all of America, because this is an epidemic,” she added.

Nassar had previously pleaded “not guilty” in connection to these seven counts. The charges relate to Nassar’s time when he was a faculty member at Michigan State University from 1997 to when the university said he was fired in 2016 after the allegations surfaced.

Nassar’s attorney did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

He is also facing lawsuits filed by more than 125 women and girls, mostly gymnasts.

Olympic gymnasts Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas have publicly said they were abused by Nassar as well.

USA Gymnastics said in a statement it is “very sorry that any athlete was harmed by Larry Nassar. Upon first learning of athlete concerns about Nassar in 2015, USA Gymnastics reported him to the FBI and relieved him of any involvement with USA Gymnastics. Federal and state authorities ultimately charged Nassar with multiple crimes, leading to his incarceration and now his admission of guilt to charges of criminal sexual conduct. We note that affected women contacted by Michigan prosecutors supported resolution by plea, and USA Gymnastics also views Nassar’s guilty plea as an important acknowledgment of his appalling and devious conduct that permits punishment without further victimization of survivors.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


North Korean soldier who defected to the South loves watching music videos and movies, doctor says

iStock/Thinkstock(SEOUL, South Korea) — The North Korean soldier who was captured on video defecting to the South is enjoying watching South Korean music videos and the American movie “Transformers 3,” his doctor says.

The 24-year-old defector, identified only by his last name, Oh, was shot at least five times by North Korean guards before he made it past the demarcation line on Nov. 13. But Oh is “not going to die,” Lee Cook-jong, the lead surgeon who operated on the defected soldier, said at a press conference Wednesday.

The United Nations Command in control of the border between the two Koreas released dramatic video footage that shows Oh speeding south in a Jeep, before getting out and running from North Korean soldiers who open fire on him. Oh was later dragged to freedom by South Korean soldiers after being shot.

Oh has been in the North Korean military for eight years, at times working as a vehicle driver. After being rescued, he was immediately transported to Ajou Hospital in Suwon, south of Seoul, where he underwent two critical surgeries. He has since fully regained consciousness and confessed that he defected to the south on his own will, Lee said.

An emergency surgery took place just 30 minutes after Oh arrived at the hospital. The second surgery followed two days later, when surgeons removed five bullets from his body. Lee explained that Oh will be able to leave the intensive care unit as early as this weekend, but it could take over a month until the patient is ready for in-depth interviews, he said.

The medical team discovered parasitic worms in the man’s intestines. He is also under examination for signs of post-traumatic stress disorder and is suffering from tuberculosis as well as chronic hepatitis, according to Lee.

Lee told reporters Oh is still shy and reticent. Hospital staff do not allow Oh to watch news programming in fear of triggering PTSD. Instead, they have played three K-pop music videos for Oh, including a song called “Gee” by the girl group Girls’ Generation, which Oh liked, according to Lee.

Oh has also been watching Korean TV, particularly the movie channel, including the third installment of “Transformers.” He likes watching the American crime drama series “CSI” as well as films starring American actors Jim Carrey and Morgan Freeman, Lee said.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tillerson declares violence in Myanmar is ethnic cleansing

Masfiqur Sohan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson described the violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar’s Rakhine state as ethnic cleansing for the first time on Wednesday.
Tillerson did not use the term during his brief visit to Myanmar’s capital, Naypyidaw, on Nov. 15, deciding only after visiting and analyzing the situation to describe the situation that way.

What does declaring the violence ethnic cleansing do in effect?

In reality, the new descriptor does not immediately accomplish much. Ethnic cleansing is a term that is not legally defined by U.S. or international law. A declaration does not trigger any sort of obligation or consequence.

For now, State Department officials said they are looking into targeted sanctions against individuals who may have carried out violence if the specific allegations can be confirmed. Some sanctions placed on Burma in 1998 due to anti-democratic activities of a military junta were lifted in 2016.

State officials said they expect the determination to “increase pressure” on the civilian government and military in Myanmar to reach an agreement on repatriating the 600,000 or so Rohingya who have fled as refugees into neighboring Bangladesh.

Who is perpetrating the ethnic cleansing?

Though ethnic cleansing has been declared, the perpetrator has not been defined as the Myanmar military. State Department officials said there are a number of “potential sources” of conflict, including both military forces and vigilante groups.

What will happen to the victims of the violence?

The State Department is focusing on returning the Rohingya who have fled to Bangladesh as refugees back to their homes. Even still, officials acknowledge that repatriating even a few hundred Rohingya per day would mean the process could last for years — a huge logistical challenge at this point. The department will focus on voluntary repatriation, meaning they realize many Rohingya might not want to return to their former homes.

Last week, Tillerson announced an additional $47 million in humanitarian assistance for those affected, bringing the total amount spent to aid the victims since August of last year to $87 million.

Why aren’t broader sanctions being imposed?

Broader sanctions remain a challenge, as State Department officials are wary of hindering the fragile civilian government in Myanmar, which has shared power with the military as laid out in the Burmese Constitution about 18 months ago. Transition of power to the fledgling civilian government is a delicate process and could benefit all the persecuted civilian groups in Myanmar — if it can be accomplished.

What is Aung San Suu Kyi doing about the crisis?

The State Department had little to say about the role of the de facto civilian leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who many have criticized for not doing enough to stem the violence. State Department officials look to Suu Kyi’s leadership but did not lay out a specific goal or role for her to play.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Dramatic video shows mad dash as North Korean defector shot 7 times, pulled to freedom

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The United Nations Command in control of the border between the two Koreas released dramatic video footage on Tuesday of what happened when a North Korean solider defected to the South earlier this month.

The video shows the defector speeding south in a Jeep, before getting out, pursued by North Korean soldiers who open fire on the man, and later dragged to freedom by South Korean soldiers after being shot seven times.

The surveillance video also showed one of the North Korean guards step across the demarcation line, a violation of the ceasefire agreement, while chasing and shooting after the defector as he ran for freedom.

The 24-year-old defector, identified only by his last name, Oh, is shown driving a four-wheel military jeep along a road on the northern side of the border toward the South. It approaches a white building, a checkpoint under North Korean control, then passes by the building at full speed after turning on its headlights.

A North Korean guard is seen running after the vehicle as it drives across a bridge and then passes a memorial to North Korean founder Kim Il Sung. This memorial is a well-known tourist spot for visitors to the Joint Security Area (JSA) inside the demilitarized zone.

The jeep appears to run into a ditch just a few feet away from a white demarcation line officially separating the two Koreas. After failed attempts to free the vehicle, the defector jumps out and sprints for his life toward the South. But North Korean armed guards who had hurried to the jeep fire shots behind the defector. The dramatic moment is shown in the video when he succeeds in running past the demarcation line then falls on the side of a concrete wall controlled by the South Korean side.

The United Nations Command also released infrared video images of how the allied soldiers carefully crawled toward the defector lying on a pile of fallen leaves, and drag him to safety.

“After thoroughly reviewing the investigation results, I assess the actions taken by the UNC Security Battalion were in a manner that is consistent with the Armistice Agreement, namely — to respect the Demilitarized Zone and to take actions that deter a resumption of hostilities,” Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, the UNC commander, said in a statement. “The armistice agreement was challenged, but it remains in place.”

Violation of the armistice agreement

Analysis of the video shows that North Korea violated the armistice agreement by firing weapons across the military demarcation line (MDL) and actually crossing the line temporarily, according to Chad Carroll, Director of Public Affairs for the UNC.

Signed in 1953 by the U.N., North Korea and China, the Armistice Agreement put an end to the Korean War that stretched on for three years. The agreement states, “Neither side shall execute any hostile act within, from, or against the demilitarized zone. No person, military or civilian, shall be permitted to cross the military demarcation line unless specifically authorized to do so by the Military Armistice Commission.”

Although North Korea has announced its withdrawal from the agreement repeatedly since then, the U.N. has continuously argued that it is still in effect. The open fire across the demilitarized zone and crossing of the MDL shown in the video is therefore taken as a provocative violation of the ceasefire designed to ensure peace in the peninsula.

The North Korean Army was notified of these violations on Wednesday through communication channels in Panmunjom, a village just north of the border. The UNC personnel have also requested a meeting to discuss the investigation results and measures to prevent further transgressions.

North Korea is yet to comment on the defected soldier or the violation of the agreement.

Medical condition

Despite being shot seven times, the soldier is “not going to die,” Lee Cook-jong, the lead surgeon who operated on the defected soldier, told press on Wednesday.

Oh regained consciousness and confessed that he defected to the south on his own will. The 24-year-old has been in the military for eight years, at times working as a vehicle driver. Hospital staff played three K-pop music videos to Oh, which he liked, said Lee. Lately he has been watching Korean TV, especially the movie channel, including the Hollywood action film “Transporter 3.” Lee told reporters that they do not play the news for the patient in fear of a post-traumatic stress syndrome, and added that Oh is still shy and reticent.

Immediately after the rescue, the North Korean soldier was quickly transported to Ajou Hospital in Suwon, south of Seoul. He has fully regained consciousness after withstanding two critical surgeries. An emergency surgery took place on Nov. 13, just 30 minutes after he arrived at the hospital. The second surgery followed two days later. Surgeons removed five bullets and reportedly there are two more bullets to be removed. Lee explained that Oh will be able to leave the intensive care unit as early as this weekend. It could take over a month until the patient is ready for in-depth interviews.

After the first surgery, there were reports that parasitic worms were found in the young man’s small intestines, demonstrating poor hygiene in North Korea. The medical team discovered that the patient is suffering from a chronic hepatitis. The defector is also under examination for signs of post-traumatic stress.

ABC News’ Hakyung Kate Lee, Yejin Jang and Jaesang Lee contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This