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

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid