Estherville Daily News (Estherville, Iowa) 29 October 1968 Page 1
N. Korea May Cause Trouble WASHINGTON (APt - Gen. Charles H. Bonesteel III, U.N. commander in South Korea, said here today North Korea is "more openly belligerent and ready" to cause trouble than at any time since 1953. "I think it is fair to say that with the exception of the conflict conflict in Vietnam, nowhere else in the world today is there so direct direct and inflammable a confrontation confrontation ... as there is along Korea's Korea's DMZ," he said. Bonesteol's remarks came a day after the Pentagon delayed, according to Defense Department Department sources, announcing an exercise airlifting troops to South Korea. Purpose of the delay, delay, the sources said, is to avoid endangering the Paris peace talks. Bonesto?l, also commander of the U.S. 8th Army, sa.d fire is exchange along the Korean DMZ—demilitarized zone—"almost zone—"almost every day or night. Bonesteel told the Association of the United States Army that 100 U.S. and South Korean troops have been killed and 200 wounded in more than 200 fire fights so far this year. Since September l% ! > hostile actions by the North Koreans have killed 33 U.S. soldiers and officers, he said. "Although 15 years have passed since the signing of the armistice, Korea is still without real peace, and the Korean war WHERE IT IS Briefs in the News 6 Calendar of Events 2 Dear Abby 2 Editorial Section 8 Markets 4 Personal Mention 6 Sports 7 Weather Information 6 isn't fully over," the general stated. "In fact the situation in 1968 is probably more unstable and North Korea more openly belligerent belligerent and ready, willing and able to cause trouble than at any time since 1953." Bonesteel said the Communists Communists are waging "porous warfare" warfare" against South Korea, sending highly train?d agent-infiltrators agent-infiltrators by land and sea into the South to attack U.N personnel personnel and conduct other forms of subversion. Bonesteel commands two U.S. divisions plus assorted support units and more -than 500,000 South Koreans. Opposing him, he said, is a "well equipped and highly dedicated" army of over 300,000 men organized into 25 small but powerful divisions. Bonesteel said Soviet weapons and equipment have greatly improved improved North Korea's mobility and fire power. The North Korean air force "which was virtually nonexistent nonexistent in 1953. is today a formidable formidable force of well over 500 MIG fighters and IL28 bombers," he added. The announcement of the Pentagon Pentagon airlift was due Monday. It was uncertain how lorn? formal disclosure would b2 withheld. North Vietnam's Communist party newspaper, Nahn Dan. denied denied that Hanoi is bargaining with the United Kates on conditions conditions that would permit a halt to the bombing of the North. It said reports that North Vietnam and the United States are secretly secretly negotiating concessions by Hanoi in exchange for a bombing halt were "ill-intentioned "ill-intentioned allegations" which "our people resolutely refute." A senior U.S. source reported that North Vietnam is deploying four divisions for its biggest of- fen.-ive yet on Saigon. He said the opening phase cr.uld be expected expected any time after the next two weeks.