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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid