August 8, 1950. With all the talk, bluster and saber rattling going on these past few days over North Korea and the alarming possibilities of an accidental slip into war, here’s a reminder that the talk about using Nuclear Weapons in that area of the world isn’t new. In fact, 67 years ago this month, as reported by Gabriel Heater during his newscast over The Mutual Broadcasting system, just such a suggestion was brought up during what was our previous military involvement in Korea.
For those of you who might not be familiar, yes there was a war in Korea and it lasted about four years before a truce was called and a tentative settlement had been reached. The players were different, but the war was the same – North Korea, aligned with The Soviet Union and Red China invaded the South in an effort to unify the country under one leadership. Korea had been occupied by Japan from around 1910 until the end of World War 2, where the country was liberated by the allies, but also cut in half as part of a deal struck between the liberators; Russia (who had joined in the war against Japan at the last minute) and the Western allies who had come to the aid of South Korea as part of its obligation to defend the country in case of attack from an outside aggressor.
The invasion of South Korea took place on June 25, 1950 and Allied troops were forced to withdraw, and were almost at the point of defeat before a counteroffensive could be launched.
This broadcast, with commentary by Gabriel Heater talks about the war and the possibilities of what would happen if the U.S. decided to drop the bomb on North Korea. The broadcast isn’t complete, but you get enough of an idea that what you’re hearing from 1950 is eerily similar to what we’re hearing in 2017.
Back then, we had the Red Scare to go along with everything else – today we just have off-the-cuff remarks getting us deeper and deeper into the quicksand.
History – it’s something else, isn’t it?