Korea

Always Faithful: Three Marines, Two Countries, One Mission

Lt's Finley, Ford, and Chang at Camp Upshur

In early 1956, with Elvis songs flooding the airwaves, “I Love Lucy” beaming into living rooms, and Eisenhower preparing to run for a second term, three young men reported to Quantico, Virginia. They were beginning The Basic School, or TBS, a six-month training program designed to turn newly commissioned 2nd Lieutenants into knowledgeable and confident…

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The Kim Sisters to K-Pop – Korean Music Makes Its Mark

The program from the documentary film "Try to Remember"-Jan. 26, 2017

Koreans love their music. From Pansori, a traditional Korean, operatic-style performance with a singer and drummer, to K-pop, the phenomenon that’s sweeping the world with its all-boy and girl bands, to the ever-popular karaoke, or “noraebang,” establishments where friends, usually after a night of drinking, sing in small rooms equipped with a sound system, video…

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Teamwork, Freedom, and Choco Pies

choco pie

Remember the footage a few months ago of a North Korean soldier dashing across the border into South Korea, his fellow countrymen frantically chasing, yelling, and firing their guns at him? The video was seen by millions around the world. In the hours immediately following the dramatic escape, the 24-year-old, riddled with bullets and bleeding…

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Sending Them to Die

Lee Tae-Won protesting at Chinese embassy

At the age of 16, Lee Tae-won, convicted of helping a young woman escape from North Korea and deemed an enemy of the state, was sentenced to five years in a “re-education” camp or gulag. His father, an accomplice to his son’s treasonous behavior, was given the same sentence. As traitors of the Supreme Leader,…

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A Trip to the JSA

View of NK at JSA

It’s one of the saddest and most intimidating and dangerous places on earth. The Joint Security Area (JSA), or “Truce Village” as it’s frequently referred to, is a complex of small buildings that literally sits on the border of North and South Korea. Five of the buildings, collectively called “Conference Row,” actually straddle the line…

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Twenty and Counting

North Korean propaganda poster depicting destruction of US capitol

North Korea has launched 20 (yes, twenty) missiles this year. And we still have a month to go. Tensions on the Korean peninsula are at an all-time high, and as we look back on the Trump administration’s response to Kim Jong-un’s reckless and relentless pursuit of a nuclear-armed ICBM arsenal capable of hitting the US,…

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Trump’s First Visit to Korea

Gen. Walton H. Walker statue at Camp Humphreys

It’s always fun to write a piece for The Korea Times, and when I was asked to contribute my views on Trump’s upcoming visit I jumped on the opportunity. As I point out in my article below, the ROK-US alliance is strong – and getting stronger. South Korea and the United States have agreed to increase…

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