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Letter: Be wary of North Korea, it simply can’t be trusted

Be wary of North Korea, it simply can’t be trusted

The request for a meeting by Kim Jong Un to discuss differences with President Trump, which may be a welcome gesture, should be viewed with suspicion and skepticism.

It must be remembered that the president will be dealing with a third-generation despot from a family with no human feelings, who had no hesitation in subjecting their own citizens to mass arrest and imprisonment, mass starvation, torture and killing, and had no hesitation in murdering their own relatives, including uncles and brothers.

The North Koreans are also skilled in diverting attention to gain strategic delays (a term coined by President Barack Obama, to excuse his failures.)

Sixty-five years ago, in 1953, I was stationed in Korea as the war was still raging. In late spring of that year, we were informed that negotiations to end hostilities were to commence. With great hope and relief we awaited news that the war was ending. It was not to be.

North Korea began its delaying tactics by protesting the size and shape of the negotiating table. The American negotiators (and allies) tried to get negotiations back on track only to be met with more protests about trivial matters such as opening and closing windows. All the while the fighting was raging with many casualties.

Finally on July 27, 1953, at 10 a.m. the negotiated truce was to go into effect. (The actual shooting ceased at 10 p.m. the evening of July 26, 1953.)

The cost of the delays can be measured by the many injuries and deaths during that period. Two days after the truce, I was unfortunate and received a non-combat injury. I was treated in field hospitals before permanent evacuation.

When I finally got to the Osaka, Japan, Army hospital, I thought I’d seen the worst. In the Osaka hospital there were many severe wounded, with amputations. One was a Marine sergeant from Holland with a severe shoulder wound who also lost both his legs, which probably wouldn’t have happened if the North Koreans were trustworthy. I hope Trump isn’t as naive as his predecessors.

Harry Gugino


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