Sunday, June 25, 2006

Korean War officially enters its 57th year

Today, June 25, 2006, is the 56th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War. In Korean, it is called Yugio Chŏnjaeng: literally, 6-2-5 war, after the starting date.

Near one of my places of work is a large banner reading: "6.25를 잊으면, 전쟁이 다시 온다." If we forget June 25, war will come again.

The current administration has been criticized by many for being a bit too conciliatory toward a country to the north that would crush those of us down south if they had a chance. While they deserve some credit for taking in more North Korean refugees than all administrations ahead of them
combined, they often seem to have their head in the sand when it comes to issues such as South Koreans being kidnapped to the North, Japanese being kidnapped to North Korea, North Korean attacks on ROK military personnel (this month is the fourth anniversary of deadly attack on South Korean positions in the Yellow Sea), and an utter lack of cooperation

It's not entirely prudent to keep bringing up the past, but the regime in Pyongyang is the same one that invaded early that Sunday morning in 1950. The number of people who died — the vast majority of them civilians — is in the untold millions. The two Koreas were both devastated.

Today is a day when we need to soberly remember that this is still a nation that stands on the brink of war. Détente has its place, but vigilance should rule the day. Let's not kid ourselves.

Thank goodness for the ROK and USFK men and women who sacrifice years of their lives to keep us and this country safe.

The following pictures (deliberately posted out of chronological order) are courtesy of this site.

US Marines storm ashore at Inchon, a major event in the history of warfare that turned the tide against the North Koreans.

Argyll and Sutherland units from Scotland arrive to join the Americans.

Captured Chinese prisoners.

Evacuation from Hamhŭng (Hamhung/Hamheung).

US military equipment after the landing at Inchon.

North Korean strongman Kim Il-sung, the father of North Korea's current strongman, is handed armistice papers to sign by North Korean General Nam Il.

Prisoners of war in the overcrowded Kŏje-do Prison (Koje-do/Geoje).

The US military bombs the Han-gang Railway Bridge in Seoul so that North Korean forces can't use it. The bridge to the east was blown up by South Korean forces, despite it being crowded by desperate civilians using it to flee (reportedly, the civilians were warned that the military would blow up the bridge).

General Douglas MacArthur, architect of the Inchon Landing, examines the body of a North Korean soldier near Inchon.

US Marines retreating from the Chosin Reservoir (the Frozen Chosin) area.

Virtually everything of military value in North Korea was destroyed by aerial bombing.

An inexperienced Task Force Smith arrives in Taejŏn (Taejon/Daejeon).

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