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CNN 10

North Korea Reopening Its Borders to Some People For The First Time Since The COVID-Era Shutdowns; Update on Hurricane Idalia; The Rare Blue Moon. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired August 30, 2023 - 04:00   ET


COY WIRE, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hey, what`s up sunshine. It`s your boy Coy, wishing you a wonderful Wednesday full of wonder. Halfway through the week.

So let`s lock in and aim to be just a little better today than we were yesterday.

It`s time now for the best 10 minutes in news. We start today by traveling to the isolated nation of North Korea. The country announced this week that

they`re reopening their borders to some for the first time since the COVID era shutdowns. They are considered one of the last countries on the planet

to do so. The Democratic People`s Republic of Korea is considered one of the most secretive countries in the world.

During the pandemic, the government imposed extreme measures to close its borders and tightly restrict travel even within the country. They also

restricted the distribution of food and other products. According to the organization Human Rights Watch, COVID-19 further isolated the country as

the government maintain tight control over its people. The news that North Korea will ease these border controls comes months after most other Asian

countries relaxed the last of their COVID era restrictions. This includes China, which was known for its zero COVID policy, and unlike other

countries, North Korea will still require its citizens to do a one-week quarantine.

On Tuesday, a flight from North Korea landed in China the first time since 2020. And flights between North Korea and Russia are also set to resume.

CNN International Correspondent Paula Hancocks has more on what the reopening in North Korea might look like.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): North Korea`s athletes are back on the global stage. Its taekwondo team headlined at the opening

ceremony of the World Championships in Kazakhstan last week, believed to be the first overseas sporting engagement since its borders reopened.

This week, Pyongyang confirmed its borders are reopening to allow citizens stranded outside the country for more than three and a half years to

return. It is considered one of the last countries to reopen its borders, and even then, they`re only opening a crack with some international flights

resuming with China and Russia. Tourism, though, is still a dream. Koryo Tours which specializes in taking Westerners into North Korea, since

they`ve heard nothing beyond plans to repatriate its own citizens.

SIMON COCKEREL, GM KORYO TOURS: All kinds of people essentially marooned outside of their country, with in most cases no way to contact family for

three and a half years.

HANCOCKS: Bart Van Genugten went on a tour of North Korea with his father one year before the borders closed. He created YouTube videos of his


BART VAN GENUGTEN, YOUTUBER: You go and everyone hopes maybe that they will see a bit more of the real North Korea which won`t happen. Like they show

you the place that they`re going to show you and it`s the best of the best.

HANCOCKS: He does see value in North Korean seeing foreigners in their country but acknowledges useful interactions with the people are rare.

Western tour operators already a niche market are likely to be among the last to be invited value.

(On camera): One other group waiting to be allowed back in diplomats. The vast majority of them left during the pandemic unable to send supplies in

or rotate staff out. And so far only Russian and Chinese officials have been invited back to Pyongyang since the restrictions eased showing Kim

Jong-un`s political priorities.


WIRE: Up next an update on Hurricane Idalia which has been making its way through the Gulf of Mexico toward Florida. At the time, we recorded our

show Hurricane Idalia was expected to intensify before hitting Florida`s Gulf Coast. The storm is predicted to hit the coast of Florida early

Wednesday at Category 3 strength and will come with powerful winds and life-threatening storm surge.

Idalia`s storm track is especially interesting because it`s the first major hurricane in at least 172 years to head toward Apalachee Bay in the Big

Bend region of Florida. It`s a marshy coastal area, and though it`s not densely populated, it is home to all sorts of wildlife and nature areas.

Another concerning aspect of this storm is that over the summer water temperatures around Southern Florida climbed to 100 degrees and

temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico overall have hit record temperatures. Warm waters tend to act almost like fuel for hurricanes and Idalia could

strengthen as it approaches.

Preparations for the storm have been underway. People in at least 22 counties along the Gulf Coast were told to evacuate their homes, air and

train travel have halted across the state. In 42 districts, schools have closed. And the governor of Florida Ron DeSantis, had declared a state of

emergency in 67 counties when we recorded our show.

The National Guard was also activated to assist with storm response. We`ll keep you updated over the next few days. Our Meteorologist Jennifer Gray

has more on what you need to know about hurricanes.


JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You have tropical depressions, tropical storms, and once it is strong enough to become a hurricane, you have five

categories of category five being the strongest.

The state`s most frequently hit by a hurricane Florida, Louisiana and Texas. But as much as we know about hurricanes forecasting them is still a

challenge. Just as we name each storm, each storm has its own personality, like Katrina in 2005, which intensified rapidly overnight going from a

Category 3 to a Category 5, it became the fourth most intense hurricane on record as of that time. And the forecast track can change dramatically,

like Erika and 2015, or a system that can be viewed as relatively weak like a tropical storm could end up like Tropical Storm Allison in 2001. The

remnants of the storm stalled over Southeast Texas dumping 35 inches of rain over Houston in just five days. The storm became the first non-

hurricane to have its name retired.


WIRE: 10 Second trivia.

What is the popular term for the second full moon in a calendar month?

Red moon, Blood moon, Blue moon or Harvest moon?

WIRE: Blue Moon crew put your hands up, the phrase once in a blue moon can refer to the second full moon in a month.

If you look to the sky tonight, there`s a chance you might see that once in a blue moon opportunity, but tonight will be an even rarer treat. It`ll be

a super blue moon, a rare combination of a super moon and a blue moon. These are complicated terms, so let`s take tend to break it all down. Super

moons happen when the moon is full and located at or near its closest point to Earth. They happen three to four times a year. And a blue moon the

second full moon in a month happens every two to three years. According to NASA, this combination, a super blue moon is very rare.

The next one won`t happen until the year 2037. But don`t fulminate against me if the moon isn`t actually blue tonight. Despite what the name might

suggest a super blue moon isn`t actually super blue. It is super bright though compared to normal full moons, super blue moons appear 16% brighter

and 14% bigger. And that`s because they`re slightly closer to Earth.

Thanks to the UIL team at Alvarado High School in Texas. You submitted the winner for #YourWordWednesday. Fulminate, a verb meaning to express intense

protest. Well done.

Something very different was found in the ocean in Wildwood, New Jersey. Frank Bolger was spending time at the beach with his wife and granddaughter

when he spotted a message in a bottle. He took it home, opened it to find a note saying the bottle had traveled all the way from Ireland. The note was

written back in 2019. So it took four years to travel across the Atlantic Ocean, but it was signed with just one first name. Now Frank Bolger is on a

mission to connect with the writer and his story is making its way all over the world through the power of social media.

Today, we want to give a special shout out to Ojeda Middle School in Austin, Texas, rise up. Thanks for subscribing and commenting on our

YouTube channel with your shout out request.

By the way, who`s up for a challenge. Our CNN 10 YouTube channel was closing in on 750,000 subscribers. My producer said if we make it to

800,000 I can start shouting out to schools at the end of every episode, doubling your chances of getting one. If we hit 900,000 we`re going to do

three. And if we get to a million, we`ll give a super shout out more on that to come.

But that`s not all, every time we crossed one of those milestones, I have to be the subject, my producer says, of the 10 out of 10 in the form of

some sort of video challenge voted on by you. Better not be a dunk tank. I`ll see you tomorrow, everyone. Thanks for being the absolute best

audience in news.