EC-121, similar to the one shot down by North Korea. Image courtesy of stationhypo.com
So how about that North Korean aggression? No, I’m not talking about nuclear tests or sinking South Korean vessels. Let’s talk about the long history North Korea has of aggression.
On this day in 1969, North Korea sent two fighters into international waters and shot down an unarmed reconnaissance aircraft. You can make all the arguments you want about whether we should have been there or not, but the reality is that we subscribe to international law and allow unrestricted operations in international waters. This means that when occasionally other people do things we don’t like, such as Russia sending spy ships off our coast, our first reaction isn’t to lob a missile at them.
Later, in 1976, North Korea would murder two Army officers with axes who were trying to chop down a tree in the Joint Security Area. Before either of these two incidents, North Korea took (and still has) the USNS Pueblo and its crew hostage.
On top of this, North Korea engaged in brutal persecution of Catholics in the area. This is not the lame American version of persecution that we hear echoed in university halls. It’s straight up martyrdom for being Catholic, at the end of the barrel of a gun.
As we celebrate Easter tomorrow, let’s pause to remember that the war didn’t stop in 1953. Remember that 31 Americans gave their lives while monitoring a country so that we could avoid war. Pray for the people of North Korea, that perhaps one day they’ll know true freedom and be saved from a savagely oppressive government.