News / Asia

Hopes Submerged in Search for US Pilot in North Korea

A highly decorated American pilot from the Korean War, who has returned to North Korea, has been told severe flooding makes it impossible to reach the area where his wingman crash-landed in 1950 and died.

North Korean military officials have told 88-year-old Thomas Hudner and accompanying Americans they will not be able to travel to the Chosin Reservoir this week because of flooding.

The officials say their own advance team which traveled to the area has been isolated because of rising water levels there.
 
Hudner has come to North Korea to try to find and retrieve the body of U.S. Navy pilot Jesse Brown. Hudner was awarded the Medal of Honor for trying to rescue Brown who crash landed his plane after being apparently hit by ground fire from Chinese forces during a December 1950 battle. Hudner also crash-landed his plane in a futile attempt to free Brown from his crumpled cockpit.
 
North Korean army officers, from left to right, Col. Kim Meong Hwan, Sr. Col. Pak Gi Yong and Maj. Moon Geong Joon, during a meeting with Thomas Hudner in Pyongyang, July 23, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)North Korean army officers, from left to right, Col. Kim Meong Hwan, Sr. Col. Pak Gi Yong and Maj. Moon Geong Joon, during a meeting with Thomas Hudner in Pyongyang, July 23, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
x
North Korean army officers, from left to right, Col. Kim Meong Hwan, Sr. Col. Pak Gi Yong and Maj. Moon Geong Joon, during a meeting with Thomas Hudner in Pyongyang, July 23, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
North Korean army officers, from left to right, Col. Kim Meong Hwan, Sr. Col. Pak Gi Yong and Maj. Moon Geong Joon, during a meeting with Thomas Hudner in Pyongyang, July 23, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
During a 90-minute meeting in Pyongyang, a senior colonel told Hudner that once the weather and ground conditions improve, the military will make every effort to resolve this humanitarian issue.

Hudner thanked the army officer, saying such action would mean a lot.

“I feel that although we didn't get final resolution on this, this meeting has given us a lot of optimism. And we know that something is being done now and that will be passed on to the American people," Hudner said.

The cololnel also told Hudner that  North Korea “in the future” intends to resume joint efforts with the U.S. Defense Department to recover remains of American service personnel from the three-year Korean War.

Hudner replied he will inform U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry about this.

Hudner is accompanied by six other American civilians - including an 83-year-old ex-Marine who won the Silver Star for fighting off Chinese troops at the Chosin Reservoir.

They have been able to see some of the flooding damage on the highway northwest of Pyongyang. Officials say the road back to the capital is now impassible.

The state-run news agency (KCNA) says rising waters in several provinces have damaged or submerged more than 6,000 houses leaving 23,000 people homeless.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid