Transcript for Retired 4-star general and Korean War vet talks path to peace with North Korea
General war thank you for joining yes we thank you really appreciated in this veterans day weekend with tensions as high as they are on the Korean Peninsula. And like you to help us understand better your experience in fighting that first war in Korea almost seventy years ago. In your oral histories said those were difficult days and worse with the north Koreans than with anybody else. We couldn't get any quarter and we weren't giving any quarter in fighting north Koreans we killed a lot of them they killed a lot of us. So we're still facing the Kim regime on the peninsula with fighters presumably as fanatical as the ones you faced. Tell us what it was like to fight the north Koreans then and what it might be like today. Well I suspect the biggest differs than fighting in north Koreans at that time. Was that we are pretty well armed with. Hand me down or work to equipment. Both weaponry and uniforms. And the north Koreans didn't seem to have any. I guess moral background as far as the heart we were concerned and in terms of how solution behave. And how you should treat prisoners. Which led to people not offering a lot of quarter. And bill we tried just for that it was hard to do. And everywhere he spent a lot of time trying to find automatic weapons. Because they felt they were tremendously outnumbered and they were. And that became even more apparent as we attack to the north and in the Chinese in the in fact I remember one. Occasion where we found two or three T 34 resident backed off into the ditch. And we also fundamentals as extensive time in the motor pool and a lot of put it in reverse and get it out. So we took the T thirty fours to be short on. Really firepower we put him in or call along with four Russian vehicles and also been captured. And we started to take them up north and we found we could move more quickly was in the to have ever column. Until we're received a call made their forces that we can no longer here do you that we will have. Pilots are going to hit you or your going to be traveling around with those tanks and we put back the ditch. So think about what the United States and South Koreans have in terms of military now that that willfully and prepared time. When the United States was caught unaware by the North Korean nation and now we have. We have stealth bombers and we have fighters and we have ships and we have you a US army did its trained and person levels. But there's still 7000. Some odd artillery tubes. A million men on the other side of the border. So what Ari are you confident in the US in South Korea's ability to quickly defeat to north Koreans. It would seem to me that the thinks that if changes in the structure of the south Korean army and also in the in the US are rare dramatic vistas a couple of examples. Instead of listening to wounded people bleed out all night long pitcher could give off the hill. We have dust off has been refined to a fair as you well where you can hear teasing Gould are usually get to guide back into a mash hospital some more. At this time we spend a lot of time trading two cartons of cigarettes is trying to get an additional aid for a six machine gun so we taped clips together everybody tried to do the best they could we picked up. Any number of Thompson submachine guns brand guns. And for were fighting for firepower we're fighting for some for rations because you're always sure corrections. It was a terrible way to fight a war. Survival from the elements became about the most interesting thing in the most difficult thing in the middle of the wonder. It's even hard to compare I think the two forces between what they are and you know what they were at that time. That this week and a congressman said that a conflict and with North Korea would result in quote a bloody protracted ground war. One writer argued that the American political class is drifting towards war in North Korea and that quote it's a matter of preventive war now or larger war later. You know we haven't fought. The US hasn't fought that kind of war in a long time where you have the conventional military against a conventional military in Korea we have a million men on either side of 160 mile. Line facing off against each other. What has the US forgotten about that kind of war and what should. We remember. I think the big thing you've forgotten about the war than that still exists. And it continues under armistice. And my personal opinion one of the best things we could do on a political note would be to go ahead and talk to North Korea. How that issue and try to formally end the war would North Korea. Obviously. As the president facts is enough to that if the worst ours we can win the war. What we have to due to do that might be unacceptable to many other countries millions of people. But I think it goes say that we can win that war the real question is whether or politically up to enough to go has to figure out how to not have them or. When you when you look at South Koreans can mean it would when I drive through Seoul if you squint your eyes you can be in Los Angeles you can be in Chicago. And you look at the pictures of Seoul in 1953. And it looks like Rocca it looks like Fallujah it was nothing. And then you have this unbelievably wealthy dynamic country. When you think back about that. Personally do you think. That the price the United States paid in blood and. Treasure. Was it worth it. Personal view. 34000. Names on a wall was I price to pay me. As a soldier whether to Vietnam or anywhere else flies seawall snow with names. I have to think about could there be a better solution and you have the capability in this country to come up with a I'm I would not say is that we've done that necessarily reduce debt and South Korea I think the person strike they did that for themselves took a long period of time. What we can do much more on the positive side that we have in the past were very unified. And were terrible building.
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