By Major Van Harl
Wisconsin –-(Ammoland.com)- By the time I was born, there was already an East Germany and a West Germany.
There was a North Korea and a South Korea. In my mind, there were four countries. Two were good and two were evil, supposedly.
By the time I was ten, I had been to West Germany. Not everything destroyed by WWII had been repaired. In my 20s I was in South Korea, and there was little sign of the Korean War, except the lack of trees. The Japanese masters of Korea, during WWII, took most of the good trees for wood to support their war. The Korean War destroyed most of the remaining trees.
What I failed to understand was that the average German did not see two countries. Germans on either side of the Berlin Wall saw one country, that was divided by forces the Germans could not control or counter. Koreans, also, only saw one country that was divided by the force(allegedly) of others, that they could not control or counter.
Lets us concentrate on Korea.
Korea has been at war with China, on and off, for over 2000 years. They had also been at war with Japan prior to 1900. Then, one day, they woke up and found themselves occupied by their former enemy, the Japanese. The Koreans hated them when they moved in, and they hated the Japanese when they dragged Korea into WWII on the side of Japan.
Both sides of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) are full of modern Koreans who still hate the Japanese and Japan knows this.
Have you ever seen the 1957 movie, the Bridge Over the River Kwai, where actor Sessue Hayakawa played the Japanese POW camp commander Colonel Saito? In real life the officers may have been Japanese, but most of the supposedly Japanese soldiers guarding and brutalizing the Allied soldiers were Koreans serving in the Japanese military.
The Japanese treated the Koreans, serving in the Japanese military, as second class citizens. So the Koreans, in Japanese uniforms, took out their long running frustrations with their Japanese masters, by abusing and torturing the Allied captives.
There was more than 240,000 Koreans who served in the Japanese military, and not all by force. I have read that nine Koreans rose to the rank of General in the Japanese military.
Of course the Japanese pressed over 200,000 women into a life of forced prostitution, calling them comfort women. A large percentage of them were Korean. When I served in Korea, in 1983, the local Koreans ran all the whore houses just outside the main gates of the American military bases. In 1983 the Korean women were not called comfort women. They were called business women. Of course, allegedly, all the girls working in the brothels were college educated, twenty one, from Seoul, and really wanted to work as business women–this was the story told to the young American G.I.s frequenting these establishments.
There was more than one American soldier who served in South Korea, before the Korean War, during the Korean War, or after the Korean War, who ran into a Korean, ex-Japanese soldier who had brutalized them, when that American G.I. was a POW in the evil hands of the Emperor of Japan. Gen. MacArthur worked really hard to keep the Australian military out of occupied Japan and South Korea after WWII ended, because of the exceptionally cruel way the Australians were treated by the Korean POW camp guards.
Because Japan is made up of islands and South Korean is on a peninsula, it was, and still is, very hard for people wanting to exact revenge against either of those countries, for the evil atrocities they inflicted on Americans and their Allies in WWII.
Both the Japanese and the Koreans got away with it.
Again, I see two Koreas, but I am not Korean. The Koreans, on both sides of the DMZ, see one Korea. The real issue is, “Who is going to rule the reunited Korea when that finally happens?” The other issue is, “How many Americans are going to have to die in order for Korea to be united?”
When Korea is united, neither side is going to thank us. One will hate us, and yes, the other one will hate us also. We cannot win in this scenario.
We can only lose American troops, equipment, and money on that peninsula, and maybe, even more American lives back home, “state-side.” The North Koreans will go after our power grid. Do not fool yourself into thinking that every Korean living in the US is pro-South Korea.
Not even every South Korean living in South Korea, is pro- South Korea.
Korea could be one nation, for all Koreans, standing against all others. Don’t think that that concept is not keeping some Japanese politicians and senior military leadership up at night. The Japanese have not spent tuppence ha’penny (2 1/2 cents) for every $10 the Koreans, on either side of the DMZ, have spent on their perspective militaries. Envision both the North and South Korean militaries combined into one, and steaming their new joint navy just off the shores of Japan.
Before there will ever be a reunited Korea, there will be a lot of dead Koreans. Both sides will brutalize each others’ civilians while fighting each others’ Army. They will also brutalize their own citizens, as they did in the first Korean War, because not everyone wants to die in a needless civil war. We, sure as hell, do not need to get thousands of Americans killed in their future civil war, because it will be a civil war. A civil war because there is only one Korea, that just happens to have a lot of barbed wire and landmines blocking the way between both sides.
Based on my past military experience, I am sure there have already been table-top war games conducted within the US Department of Defense, in the past few months, dealing with the Korean questions. On the news, you hear about the American, the Chinese, the Japanese and even the Russian involvement in this extreme North Korean problem. I keep asking the question, “What are the South Korean’s doing?” The answer I perceive is, “They have not really been asked to play.” I am beginning to think perhaps Washington, Tokyo and Beijing do not really trust the Land of the Morning Calm, north or south.
If either of the two sides of Korea break that “calm” a lot of non-Koreans will die.
Again I ask, “What will the North Korean sleeper agents, who right now are running your favourite Korean restaurant right outside the gate of your local “state-side” US Army base, going to do to the power grid in your home town, when the artillery starts raking Seoul?”
The USS Pueblo was taken by the North Koreans in January of 1968. It is tied up at a dock and used by the North Koreans as a museum to perpetually humiliate the United States. The Pueblo is still a commissioned US Navy warship.
Imagine if you got up one morning, and the fake news, liberal press, was all a-flutter about the latest President Trump tweet.
The tweet stating “I have decided to de-commission the USS Pueblo effective immediately, and the scrapping of that craft will commence in one hour.”
What do you think that would mean, and do you think the press would even understand the message, before the news of the ex-USS Pueblo lying on the bottom of that North Korean river made it to the internet?
This is a no-win situation and every president since Harry Truman has dealt with the intransigent North Koreans, and the attempts to undermine US efforts by the South Koreans.
The South Koreans have it in their Constitution to reunite the two Koreas into one nation. So, sometimes, the South Koreans can also be intransigent.
Only now there are nukes involved.
The US cannot stand by and watch North Korea become a nuclear power, and I know the Japanese absolutely will not. They know what is coming their way from either bad old North Korea or a brand new, “we are all just Koreans.” Either way, the Koreans still hate Japan, and could come looking to exact revenge, and to make comfort women out of little Japanese girls listening to K-Pop music.
US Powder Grid
I personally am still worried about what will happen to the US powder grid when all this starts. No matter what, the US will get blamed for whatever happens.
The senior military leadership is not just sitting around watching cable news to find out what the North Koreans are up to. I would suggest that those senior flag officers, and civilian defense leaders in the US Department of Defense, are receiving well orchestrated, and in-depth, briefings on the (allegedly) Korean problem. There are, perhaps, days when the entire US military brain trust is focused on one single issue. I hope this is correct. I have no doubt that the Pentagon is working hard on plans and procedures to confront North Korea, but so has every generation serving the US military since 1950.
The real questions are, “Will anything new actually happen? Will there be a regime change in North Korea?” And, “Even if there is, will that drive a regime change in South Korea that is anti-American?” Could a new combined Korea be a threat to it neighbors or other parts of the world?
What will this mean to the Korean K-Pop music industry and will we in the west still be able to buy that cute little KIA Soul car? If you have a Samsung smart phone is it, perhaps, time to get some other non-Korean brand, just in case. You would not want to be out of contact if a second Korean war sucks the rest of the world into their conflict.
If you are a prepper you already understand about stocking up on emergency supplies. If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.
I have had it explained to me, what PSY, the South Korean performer who does the Gangnam Style song and dance, is supposed to be singing about– it is about not having any meaning. Sort of a mind numbing dance meditation that pacifies the masses so they can tune out the problems of the world. Doesn’t sound too bad until the North Korean tanks show up on your street in Seoul to bring a new version of the Communist Gangnam Style, and dance on your grave.
Envision an old Errol Flynn, 1930s, swashbuckling, movie, in which, as Capt. Peter Blood, Flynn orders a full naval broadside, firing of all his shipboard canons. He fires every canon he has and hopes that, when the smoke settles, his ship is still afloat. Even if he is completely out of ammunition, and most of his crew is dead, if he is afloat, and alive, and the other guy’s ship is sinking, Capt. Blood wins. Total focused carnage, ordered to happen regardless of all the collateral death and destruction.
This is what North Korea will do to Seoul and the US will get the blame. I am not sure who will be Capt. Blood in this 2017 conflict.
Major Van Harl USAF Ret.
About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School. A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI. His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training. He believes “evil hates organization.” [email protected]