One Man’s Korean War

John Rich’s color photographs, seen for the first time after more than half a century, offer a vivid glimpse of the “forgotten” conflict

"I never thought anything would come of them," John Rich says of the some 1,000 personal photographs that he made as a reporter during the war. (John Rich)
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He has returned to his photographs because his eyesight is going. Glaucoma makes even reading the newspaper difficult and, especially when he wears the dark sunglasses he's prescribed, dims the goldenrod bouncing outside his door.

Riffling through piles of prints, Rich pulls out one of a South Korean soldier with pink flowers lashed to his helmet. "This is when spring came to Korea," he explains. The bright blossoms don't look like camouflage: the young man must have wanted to be seen. And now, finally, he is.

Abigail Tucker, the magazine's staff writer, last reported on the salmon crisis.


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