Doualy Xaykaothao

Doualy Xaykaothao is a reporter and producer, based in Seoul, South Korea, covering breaking news from Asia for NPR News. Her reports can be heard across all NPR News programs.

Xaykaothao joined NPR in 1999 as a production assistant for Morning Edition and has since worked as an NPR producer, editor, director and reporter for NPR's award-winning programs. As a producer for NPR's Newscast Unit, she was a member of the team receiving the 2001 Peabody Award for its coverage of the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. From 2003 to 2006, she reported for NPR from Bangkok, Thailand, including coverage of the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean. In 2006, she served as a fellow for the International Reporting Project at Johns Hopkins University-SAIS with a focus on women inside Nepal's 10 year civil war. Xaykaothao was an Annenberg Fellow for NPR Member station KPCC in Los Angeles in 2007, and was part of the reporting team to receive a LA Press Club Award for breaking coverage of the California wildfires. Most recently, she was a producer with NPR's afternoon newsmagazine All Things Considered, until relocating to Seoul in early 2009.

Xaykaothao is Hmong-American, born in Laos, but raised in Texas. She attended Ithaca College and Empire State College in New York, where she specialized in television, radio, political science, and ethnic studies. Her radio career began at Harlem community radio station WHCR 90.3 FM, where she first volunteered as news-reader. Later, at Pacifica Radio's WBAI 99.5 FM, she worked for the station's resident film critic, the late Paul Wunder. At Pacifica, she also coordinated and produced Asia Pacific Forum, a one-hour program about the diverse Asian communities in the United States and abroad.

For those who are curious, Xaykaothao's name is pronounced "dwah-lhee sigh-kow-tao."

6:41am

Mon May 26, 2014
Around the Nation

World War II Vets Honor Their Own In Cactus Division

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 4:04 pm

Crowds gather around the lead tank of the 1st Battalion 400th Infantry task force, and 103rd Cactus Division, after soldiers entered without resistance in Innsbruck, Austria, on May 19, 1945.
Jim Pringle AP

When Kansas native Torrence Riggs was only 24, his Army division, the 103rd infantry, entered southwest Germany.

"I seen a lot of soldier boys with grim faces, I'll tell you that," he says. "I had one, too."

It was 1945, and the people in Germany's Dachau concentration camp had either been worked or starved to death.

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3:41pm

Fri April 4, 2014
The Salt

Cuisine And Culture Transform A Dallas Neighborhood

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 6:18 pm

Trinity Groves, a sprawling food incubator in West Dallas, has attracted diverse chefs and huge crowds.
Rebecca Combs Courtesy of Trinity Groves

Can food revitalize an ailing neighborhood? In Dallas, global flavors seem to be playing a pretty big part in one area's transformation.

For decades, West Dallas was a ramshackle place: a Superfund site with a cement plant, some crime-ridden warehouses and a modest Latino neighborhood known as La Bajada across a potholed two-lane bridge from the glittery downtown.

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6:58am

Sat October 5, 2013
Music

Run River North Stays The Course — And Finds Success

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 4:36 pm

John Chong (from left), Sally Kang, Joe Chun, Alex Hwang, Jennifer Rim and Daniel Chae of Run River North.
Doualy Xaykaothao

Run River North is a band that's gotten a few more breaks than most on its level. Last year, the Los Angeles-based Korean-American musicians produced a music video from inside their Hondas. The video went viral — and straight to the carmaker. The company rewarded the group with a surprise performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

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6:48am

Sat April 27, 2013
Around the Nation

Cambodian Americans Celebrate New Year, But Honor Grim History

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 3:57 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Today in Long Beach, California, Cambodian-Americans are celebrating their new year with traditional foods, dance and songs. But the festivities also coincide with the anniversary of the Cambodian genocide. During the Khmer Rouge's reign of terror between 1975 and 1979, cities were emptied and nearly one-fourth of the population was executed, starved or worked to death. Doualy Xaykaothao reports.

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4:15pm

Tue April 10, 2012
The Record

Everybody Wants To Be A K-Pop Singer

South Korean girl group Girls' Generation onstage during the Seoul Music Awards in January.
Chung Sung-Jun Getty Images

4:34pm

Fri March 23, 2012
Asia

Along Korea's DMZ, No Sign That Tensions Are Easing

Originally published on Sun March 25, 2012 5:35 pm

With a new leader in North Korea, the U.S. and South Korea are watching for clues of his policies. But so far tensions have not eased along the demilitarized zone. Here, two North Korean soldiers look across at a South Korean soldier on Dec. 2.
Lee Jae-Won Reuters/Landov

Cold winds blow through pine trees and across nearby mountains. On the horizon are guard posts and cameras. There's little movement, except for wildlife.

U.S. Lt. Col. Ed Taylor, lives and works on the Korean armistice line that has divided North and South for almost six decades. He even sleeps in a bed right next to North Korea.

"I cannot compare it to anything I've ever done. And I say that with 23 years in the Army and two deployments to Iraq," Taylor says.

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8:00am

Sat March 10, 2012
NPR Story

Boats Ashore, Tsunami Scars Japanese Fishing Town

Originally published on Sat March 10, 2012 1:49 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. One year ago this weekend, Japan was battered by a devastating earthquake and tsunami. One of the places hardest hit was the coastal community of Yuriage. What was once a beautiful fishing village, and home to a bustling community of thousands, is now a desolate and deserted place. Doualy Xaykaothao reported from there shortly after the earthquake, and has just returned to file this report.

(SOUNDBITE OF SEAGULLS)

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3:41pm

Fri March 9, 2012
Rebuilding Japan

For Kids In Japan, Adjusting To A Changed World

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 10:22 pm

Students at Tohoku Chosen, an elementary and junior high school for North Koreans in Sendai City, now take dance classes in the school's cafeteria because their main building was destroyed when the earthquake struck northeast Japan last March.
Doualy Xaykaothao NPR

Teacher Dave Rowlands is talking to his students in a kindergarten class at Imagine Japan, an English-language school in the Miyagi Prefecture of Sendai City. The school is just a short walk from pre-fabricated homes built for families who lost more than just property in the earthquake and tsunami last year.

"What came after the earthquake, was what?" Rowlands asks. "A tidal wave. In Japanese, what do we say? Or in English, actually, tsunami is now used around the world in many languages. Tsunami. We kind of leave the 't' off of there."

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12:01am

Thu March 8, 2012
Japan In Crisis

With Radiation, Doubt Grows In Fukushima Farms

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 4:00 pm

A woman picks carrots on her farm as she explains her fears that no one will buy them since the radiation fallout in March 2011 in Fukushima, Japan. A year later, challenges persist for farmers in the region.
Wally Santana AP

The mountain village of Kawauchi lies partly inside the area deemed unsafe because of high levels of radiation in Japan's Fukushima prefecture. Chiharu Kubota uses a high-pressure water gun to hose down buildings there.

Radiation is still leaking from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, which suffered multiple meltdowns immediately after last year's earthquake and tsunami.

'Nothing Is Better'

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6:48am

Wed January 4, 2012
Asia

N. Korean Kaesong Workers Mourn Kim Jong Il

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 12:36 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Throughout this morning, we're tracking the results of Iowa's Republican presidential caucuses, where Mitt Romney edged Rick Santorum by just eight votes. We're also following other news, including developments from a country that changed its leader with no election at all.

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3:00pm

Tue January 3, 2012
World

Many South Koreans Seem Apathetic About The North

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 9:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

South Korea's president delivered this message yesterday to North Korea: It will respond strongly to any provocations under North Korea's new leader, Kim Jong-un. However, in a televised speech, Lee Myung-bak also promised that North-South relations could improve if Pyongyang halts its nuclear weapons program.

Reporter Doualy Xaykaothao recently hit the streets of Seoul, to find out what South Koreans think of the power shift in the north. And for many the answer is simple: They don't care.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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6:25am

Thu June 23, 2011
Asia

No Trace Of Agent Orange At U.S. Base In South Korea

The U.S. military is investigating claims by veterans that they buried barrels of a toxic defoliant at an American base in South Korea three decades ago. Agent Orange was used during the Vietnam War, and it's been blamed for a variety of ailments, including cancer and nerve disorders.

12:01am

Fri May 27, 2011
Hidden World Of Girls

Family History: The General, His Sisters And Me

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 12:24 pm

Military officials salute the casket of Gen. Vang Pao in Fresno, Calif.
Lianne Milton for NPR

As an American teenager, whenever I asked grown-ups about the Vietnam War, few wanted to discuss it. As an adult, it was just as hard to talk about the war. That's why I never told friends and neighbors about my family's history.

You see, the Vietnam War took place in my family's backyard. My family lived in northeastern Laos, in Nong Het, right on the border with Vietnam. When the CIA needed an ally, they found a charismatic, passionate young man not afraid to die.

That man was my great-uncle, the late Gen. Vang Pao.

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4:58am

Mon March 28, 2011
Asia

Japan Prefab Houses

In one area of Japan, construction crews broke ground to start installing pre-fabricated homes for tens of thousands of displaced tsunami and earthquake victims. The units will be ready to move into by next month.

3:00pm

Sun March 27, 2011
Asia

In Quake-Affected Town, Scenes Of Chaos

Radiation at Japan's troubled nuclear plants is causing new concerns on Sunday. Authorities report that radiation levels in the contaminated water at reactor unit 2 are four times higher than is safe. They have evacuated workers from there. Meanwhile along many coastal communities survivors are struggling with hardship and loss.