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

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid