Originally published 12/05/2013
An 85-year-old U.S. veteran being held in North Korea spent his war years there in one of the Army’s first Special Forces units.
Originally published 07/30/2013
BEIJING — As more than 100,000 Chinese soldiers swarmed over far fewer American Marines and soldiers in subzero temperatures on treacherous terrain in one of the fiercest battles of the Korean War, two United States Navy pilots took off from an aircraft carrier to provide cover for their comrades on the ground.One of the airmen, Ensign Jesse L. Brown, was the son of an African-American sharecropper from Mississippi. The other, Lt. Thomas J. Hudner Jr., was the son of a white patrician merchant family from Massachusetts.An hour into the flight, Ensign Brown’s plane was hit by enemy fire, forcing him to crash land on the side of a mountain at Chosin, north of Pyongyang. Lieutenant Hudner brought his plane down nearby and found Ensign Brown, but could not rescue him.On Monday, nearly 63 years after the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, Mr. Hudner, 88, arrived in Beijing after a 10-day visit to North Korea aimed at finding his friend’s remains....
Originally published 07/29/2013
Stooped and frail within the ranks of veterans, Lee Duk-bin watches the memorial parades marking 60 years since the end of the Korean war.He was 25 years old when the conflict began, an officer in the South Korean army, who believed passionately in the ideological fight against the communist North....The irony is that Lee Duk-bin is originally North Korean. He came to the South to fight with the UN forces against his own communist government.Sixty years after the fighting ended in a truce, he says it is still too soon for a permanent peace treaty."The very idea of a peace treaty is just North Korean trickery," he said....
Originally published 04/12/2013
In the East Room of the White House Thursday, President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously to Korean War veteran Father Emil Kapaun, a priest, a chaplain and a hero.Father Emil Kapaun sacrificed to save his fellow soldiers over and over again. To Mike Dowe, Kapaun's courage was almost other-worldly. "I'm telling you -- the whole atmosphere would change, just when he would walk in," Dowe says. "I've known a lot of priests, but I've never known one like that."
Originally published 03/21/2013
James Joyner is managing editor of the Atlantic Council.As we approach the tenth anniversary of the American invasion of Iraq on March 20, it's worth reflecting on the fact that it has been nearly seventy years since America's last successful major war.On August 15, 1945, known as Victory Over Japan Day or V-J Day, the Japanese unconditionally surrendered, marking the end of the Second World War and establishing the United States as a superpower. Since that day, the United States has lost three major wars—Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq—and is counting down the months until its loss in Afghanistan.To be sure, we won the Cold War, which was surely more important than those four combined. But that was fundamentally a contest of political systems and economies. We wouldn't have prevailed without a powerful military and a great military alliance with NATO. But it wasn't a war in a literal sense—and we lost the two major wars (Korea and Vietnam) waged as part of it....
Originally published 03/05/2013
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea vowed Tuesday to cancel the 1953 cease-fire that ended the Korean War, citing a U.S.-led push for punishing U.N. sanctions over its recent nuclear test and ongoing U.S.-South Korean joint military drills.Without elaborating, the Korean People's Army Supreme Command warned of "surgical strikes" meant to unify the divided Korean Peninsula and of an indigenous, "precision nuclear striking tool." The statement came amid reports that Washington and North Korean ally Beijing have approved a draft of a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for sanctions in response to North Korea's Feb. 12 nuclear test. The draft is expected to be circulated at the U.N. this week.Such heated military rhetoric and threats are common from North Korea as tensions rise on the Korean Peninsula, and Pyongyang's recent nuclear test and rocket launches, and the push for U.N. punishment that have followed, have increased already high animosity between the North and Washington and ally Seoul....
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