Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: Korean War

Aug.
5th

Military can catalog World War I bombs but not medals?

This editorial, which will appear in Monday’s print edition, is an expanded version of an earlier blog posting.

For the last six years, Lt. Col. Jenns Robertson has been compiling a database listing every bomb the Air Force has dropped since World War I.

Sounds like a monumental mission, right? For World War II alone, he had to scan an estimated 10,000 pages of bombing reports.

Yet the Pentagon has long said that it would be too hard for it to compile another database – one listing medals given to service members. Such an online database would allow the media and individuals to verify claims many people falsely make regarding decorations they supposedly received.
Read more »

Nov.
23rd

China still abets North Korea’s acts of war

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

As of this writing, a second Korean war hasn’t broken out. Thank heaven for small mercies.

The exchange of artillery bombardments between North Korea and South Korea is the kind of skirmish that leads to big conflicts. The casualties could be high. This follows North Korea’s sinking of a South Korean warship in disputed waters last March, and its recent revelation of a major expansion to its nuclear weapons program.

A private group acting like North Korea would be called a terrorist network. The difference is that North Korea has an army, a navy, the beginning of a nuclear arsenal and countless big guns and rockets within range of Seoul.

America has every reason to worry about bombardments and ship sinkings. Given its close alliance to South Korea, the United States would almost automatically be drawn into a north-south conflict.

What’s going on behind closed doors in Pyongyang? There’s no telling, really, though one theory points to political maneuvering as dictator Kim Jong Il prepares to pass off power to his youngest son, Kim Jong Un.

To outsiders, the North Korean dictatorship remains a black box. As Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday, “I don’t know the answer to any question about North Korea that begins with the word ‘why.’”

Blaming the dictatorship is an exercise in futility. Condemn it, threaten it with sanctions, it acts belligerent. Make nice to it, send it assistance, it acts belligerent. Every variation of American and international diplomacy produces the same results.
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May
20th

A reminder: The Korean War never quite ended

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

In the 60 years since North Korea invaded South Korea, the hydrogen bomb was invented, the Vietnam War fought, China privatized, the Berlin Wall torn down and the Soviet Union dismantled.

Yet by some bizarre quirk of history, we are still dealing with a bellicose, Stalinist, terrorist North Korea. An international panel of experts has verified what was fairly obvious from the beginning: The sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan on March 26 was caused by a North Korean torpedo. Read more »