News / Asia

N. Korea Flooding Hampers Search for Downed US Pilot

The city skyline is shrouded by a layer of mist after a torrential rain in Pyongyang, July 22, 2013.
The city skyline is shrouded by a layer of mist after a torrential rain in Pyongyang, July 22, 2013.
VOA correspondent Steve Herman is in North Korea and has been able to make a rare journey out from the capital Pyongyong, where he's had a first-hand glimpse at some of the damage in the country caused by overflowing rivers and other flooding.  He reports from Hyangsan, where recent heavy rainfall has led to the discovery of some human remains that seem to date back to the Korean War.

North Korean military officers have informed VOA News that the partial remains of what appear to be several U.S. soldiers from the Korean War were discovered after severe flooding around July 10.

Villagers are said to have spotted several pairs of American military shoes that led to the human bones at Ryongyeon-ri, Kujang County, in North Pyongan province.  Travel from the capital Pyongyang to the area has been restricted because the main and alternate highways have been partly destroyed.

Travelers can see an approximately 50-meter section of one direction of the primary road fully destroyed, the pavement having crumpled away and fallen dozens of meters.  At another point, part of the pavement on a bridge has buckled.

Former US Navy pilot and medal of honor recipient Thomas Hudner, seen here arriving at Pyongyang airport July 20, 2013, is greeted by North Korean officials. (VOA/S. Herman)Former US Navy pilot and medal of honor recipient Thomas Hudner, seen here arriving at Pyongyang airport July 20, 2013, is greeted by North Korean officials. (VOA/S. Herman)
x
Former US Navy pilot and medal of honor recipient Thomas Hudner, seen here arriving at Pyongyang airport July 20, 2013, is greeted by North Korean officials. (VOA/S. Herman)
Former US Navy pilot and medal of honor recipient Thomas Hudner, seen here arriving at Pyongyang airport July 20, 2013, is greeted by North Korean officials. (VOA/S. Herman)
Among those traveling on the hazardous road on Monday evening was American, Thomas Hudner, 88, from Concord, Massachusetts.  Hudner is back in North Korea for the first time in 63 years.  He crashed landed his Navy plane on a slope in the Chosin Reservoir in December 1950, in an unsuccessful attempt to save his wingman Jesse Brown who had crash landed his Corsair F4U jet after apparently being hit by ground fire during a fierce Korean War battle.

Hudner hopes to return to the site to try to find Brown's body, but the current flooding in the country is likely to prevent him from reaching the site.  Hudner is on a private mission to North Korea.  U.S. military search and recovery teams have not entered the country in seven years.  Since then, tensions between Pyongyang and Washington have increased.

In March of this year, North Korea's army severed the hotline with the U.S. military at Panmunjom.  North Korea's army says it informed its American counterparts in 2009 at the truce village that several sets of remains of U.S. servicemen from the war in the early 1950s had been found, but there was no response from U.S. military officials.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Curtis Melvin from: Arlington, VA
July 29, 2013 2:06 PM
The building in the picture at the top is the DPRK's new central bank headquarters (under construction).

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More