Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"Korean Red Invaders Drive Within Suburbs of Capital".

On June 25, 1950 North Korea rolled into South Korea and declared war shortly thereafter. On the 26th, Eastern Standard Time, it made headlines in the Pittsburgh Press.

Two pages later it followed with an editorial, interesting for its own rhetoric and for how poorly it has held up over time:
The United Nations Security Council acted with admirable dispatch in convening in extraordinary session Sunday and demanding an immediate truce and cease-fire order in the phony civil war which has flared up between North and South Korea.

But unless there is quick compliance with this demand the organization must be prepared to take such steps as are necessary to prevent this now localized conflict from touching off a third world war.

Determined action now also should discourage future adventures of this kind in other parts of the world.

While the Red invasion of South Korea must have had its inspiration from Moscow, it does not follow that the Russians themselves wish to assume an aggressive role at this time, in Asia or anywhere else. More probably, this attack is a feeler, designed to see how the nations in the peace camp react against a maneuver of this kind.

If the "civil war" technique is successful, it doubtless will be employed in Germany and in other similar situations. But, if the invasion is turned back by prompt collective action, the expedient probably will be abandoned. For all their noise and bluster, the masters of the Kremlin prefer to play it safe when they can.

The appearance of a few bombing planes over the troubled area might be all that is needed to send the North Koreans scurrying for cover, back across their own border. They probably intend to go only as far as they can without encountering real opposition of the kind General Douglas MacArthur could dish out to them.

However, this is distinctly a job for the United Nations, and not one for the United States alone. On the surface, at least, it is an internal revolt, and we could intervene with propriety only as an agent of the United Nations, acting in concert with other members of that organization who want to keep the peace. Supplying arms along is quite another matter, for in South Korea we are dealing with a legal constitutional government with which we enjoy full diplomatic and commercial relations.

The State Department has taken the correct view of this situation and is to be commended for bringing it promptly to the attention of the United Nations.

But demanding a cease-fire order and branding the invading North Koreans as aggressors, as the Security Council has done, may make little impression upon Moscow's Korean stooges unless they are convinced that the United Nations is prepared to enforce its demands with hot lead and cold steel. Any temporizing with this situation would be construed as weakness.