The Daily Telegram (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) 7 April 1969 Page 7
Armistice Signed 15 Years Ago U.S. Troops Still on Guard in South Korea . . „ lowing dispatch was written 'by UPi's chief Pentagon reporter who covered the recent mass airlft of 2,800 U.S. troops from the United States to Korea. While there he discussed the long-range outlook for keeping substantial Amerian forces in Korea with hgh U.S. and Korean officals.) By DONALD MAY SEOUL, Korea (UPl)-The view from outpost Mazle is across a valley toward the high hills of North Korea. Nearly two miles ahead in the valley bottom, yellow metal markers on concrete posts define the center of the Demiltarzed Zone (DMZ) esta- medical crashed causes.) blished in armistice. the 1953 Korean Six-tenths of a mile ahead is the "south tape," a two-strand wire fence. The top strand is wrapped with whte tape to mark the southern edge of the DMZ. Still closer to the outpost is a fence of heavy wire mesh, with barbed wire on top, protected by mine felds and guarded by DMZ is not really towers. The "demiltarized." Both the Unfed Unfed Nations command the North Koreans have bunkered guard posts in it, some only 600 yards from each other. Incongruously, outpost Mazie is not a fighting position but a small hilltop center for briefing troops, newsmen and touring congressmen. It has a small grandstand where visitors can listen to a lecture and look at a large relief map of the DMZ. Through binoculars, a visitor can see dark bumps on the tops of several hills across the valley —North Korean outposts. Nearby Nearby are hills Ohio and Texas, which were heavily contested in the war and are now the site of armed U.N. outposts. This sector of the DMZ- abou't four miles long—is guarded by the 3d Battalion, 23d Infantry Regiment, Second Army Division. The duty is dull, but not always so. On March 20 one American was killed and three Americans and a South Korean were wounded in a DMZ fire fight. (Tragically the death Church to Sponsor Music Conference RICHMOND, Va. (UPI)-A midsummer church music conference conference at Montreal, N.C,, is being sponsored by the Presbyterian Presbyterian Church U.S. Board of Christian Education. The July 24-30 meeting will give choir directors, choir members, organists and ministers ministers of churches of all sizes an opportunity to brush up on music skills under the guidance of internationally known musicians. musicians. toll rose to seven when a evacuation dug to helicopter accidental lee Park two days earlier speaks of the presence of U.S indicate that North Korea is Capable of bold, surprising and these Americans 15 years and 3 Just for Fun? BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (UPI)—Puzzled police are won- What are doing here months after the armistice? How long must they stay? What is their role in U.S. policy in Asia? Some 8,600 miles away in Washington, these questions are being asked in studies conducted conducted by the Nixon adminstration and the Senate Foreign Relations Relations Committee on U.S. military military commitments and forces abroad. U.S. Army troops permanently permanently stationed in Korea now number about 53,000. Before the North Koreans seized the Pueblo Jan. 23,1968, there were 45,000. Their units were "filled out" with about 8,000 men brought in as indvdual replacements. replacements. U.S. ground troops perform two roles in Korea: -Defense against infiltration. The Americans guard the western 17 miles of the 151-mile DMZ, the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army guards all the rest. — Maintaining defensive positions positions farther south against possible mass invason. In additon there are some 10,000 U.S. Air Force personnel stationed here, also augmented afber-the Pueblo seizure. Their missions: —Air defense. —Counter-infltration support such as coastal patrol and Hare dropping. —Maintaining a small number of nuclear-armed F4 fighter- bombers on alert. These planes have a combat radious of 600 or 700 miles, which puts them within range of Communist China and Soviet Vladvostok. U.S. military men here argue that Korea is the key to containing communism in East Asia; that Korea shields Japan; that Japan is the mosl important country in the Kurile chain, including Okinawa, Taiwan Taiwan and the Phillippines, all of which the United States wants to remain prosperously non Communist. South Korea is also a foothold 'on the mainland and a symbo to Americans', 33,000 of whom died here. Miltary officals note that North Korea's army of abou 350,000 is the fourth larges army in the Communist world The ROK army has 500,000 troops at home and 50,000 in Vietnam. The North Korean forces are largely Soviet equipped. Between 1966 and 1967 North Korean attempts to infiltrate the south expanded tenfold There were 564 "incidents' involving armed infiltrators along the DMZ and in the interior in 1967; 629 in 1968 am 27 through March 12 of this year. Many infiltrators come in by sea. They try to set up underground agent networks perhaps rash acts, But U.S. officials are also that the Korean War began ooking at these faetofs: " —There is some feat the United States could be caught up in a new war not of its own choosing here, for example if the south,retaliated against an infiltration raid by sending orces north. •Maintaining large U.S. forces forces overseas is expensive. -Though Korea is one place where there are no Yankee go lome signs, the presence of arge ground forces in a country s always a potential problem as nationalistic feeling increases. —The U.S. military presence wovides the Communists with the propaganda line that the country is "occupied." Ideas being looked at include having the ROK army take over all the DMZ; an over-all reduction in U.S. forces here; a change in the proportion of orces, with fewer ground troops but larger ah 1 units. Timing is important. Some officials believe none of these Korea's 50,000 troops come home from Vietnam. Others argue that no reductions should >e made while North Korea is n its present stage of increased belligerence. The South Korea government dering why someone would go """^grouna agent networns to the trouble to set up a Unl ! ke "} Vietnam, they appear counterfeiting opera- use it to print play complete tion and money. The counterfeiting equipment and stacks of freshly printed play money were found recently in a motel room. to find little guerrilla-type loca support. South Korean peasants are quick to report them to security forces. The Pueblo seizure and the 31-man attempt to assassinate South Korea's President Chung troops a* a matter of national fttrviva'l. Prime Minister Chung fl Kwon realled in an interview deas is Vietnam realistic War is until over the and after the United States, in 1949, withdrew its forces from the peninsula. "If you decrease the troops and maintain here only a nominal troop representation," he said, "it would be exactly what the Communists had intended for a long time—to pull United States troops out of Korea." The South Korean government wants the United States to send even more troops and use territo ry as a base for defense of all Asia. It has offered land for bases in case the United States is forced out of Okinawa, where nuclear bombers now are based. It expresses no qualms about nuclear weapons on its soil. Said the prime minister: "As far as Korea is concerned, the off its southern coast, AS t substitute for Okinawa. Publicly there is almost no dissent to the government's policy. Privately some Koreans will, when asked, confess doubts whether the U.S. military presence is really the best way to develop their country. The U.S. military is here with Its.PX's, with a large arcade in Seoul where Americans buy Korean goods at U.S.-set prices, with a separate American better facility weapon, you bring the better in here the more our people will wlelcome a U.S. point of view it." From there are military drawbacks to using Korea as a base for defense of a wide area. It is not centrally located in Asia. It is a narrow peninsula close to the Communist world. The Korean press had dis- «.« *• •*•. * ** • w*** wuv *»»* v*i«*» •»*«vvaw**« A, cussed the possibility of offering ointment or suppository form.) Korea's Cheju Do Island, just (Advtrtu«m«nt) Scranton Woman Better Next Day... Mn Of Piles Relieved treatment Pain, Itching in Most Gases Scranton. Pa. MM. J. Straniere, Jr. of this city writes t "When I had our non, 1 got hemorrhoids and how painful. 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