The Korean War – a little history

Dear Editor:

Mr. Di Genio (Reporter, June 18) accuses North Korea of being a rogue state, of having a large standing army, of possessing weapons of mass destruction, and of being offensive and bellicose.

Well! North Korea accuses the U.S. of those same things, and of being untrustworthy liars. Mr. Di Genio reminds us that the Korean War started 70 years ago, and ended in an armistice in 1953.

I happen to be a veteran of the Korean “Conflict” as Harry Truman, who sent 37,000 Americans to die in that foreign ditch, called the war. For my service I was rewarded with the GI Bill, and that, along with part-time jobs, helped pay my way through college. But luckily, I did my army stint not in Korea, but Germany, where I learned what real beer (not the American swill) tasted like, and I could admire the frauleins who carried several mugs in each hand.

George Santayana warned that those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it, and George Orwell said, “Who controls the past controls the future, and who controls the present controls the past.” Mr. Di Genio seems to have forgotten both these truths in his letter. He blames N. Korea for being the way it is without knowing why.

N. Korea has every right to fear and distrust America. From 1950 to 1953 U.S. bombers flew over that defenseless country dropping blockbusters on its cities, reducing most of them to rubble and killing millions, a monstrous war crime. Most Americans, of course, are ignorant of this shameful history, but N. Korea can’t forget it. And this memory of what they suffered at the cruel inhumanity of the Americans is the cause of their distrust of our words and intentions today.

T. Weed

PS: A friend pointed out to me that I wasn’t old enough, as I claimed, to be a “veteran” of that war. True. Although I entered the army in 1955, two years after the “conflict” had stopped, technically it was still going on when I joined and I got the GI Bill as a veteran. Just in time. A month later, it ended.