What Needs to Happen at the Trump/Moon Jae-In Meeting
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The meeting of President Trump and South Korea’s new president, Moon Jae-In is an opportunity for the president to propose a plan that has a strong possibility of preventing another bloody Korean War. I submit that President Trump should make it absolutely clear that the United States will not fight another war to save South Korea from the North Koreans.

To accomplish this, South Korea must immediately mobilize and develop a military capable of repelling any attack from the north and, in fact, powerful enough to defeat North Korea if the North Koreans attack. The United States should work with President Moon to assure he has the necessary armaments, planes, and other items required. The U.S. would also need to provide special personnel to train South Koreans and shape them into an effective an efficient fighting force. Because the threat from the North Korea is imminent this must be done as expeditiously as possible.

Presently, the U.S. has about 28,000 troops stationed in South Korea. They are there as a deterrent against an attack from the North. This relatively small force is not capable of defeating the North Koreans. The idea of the deterrent is that Kim Jung-Un knows that if his forces kill Americans the U.S. will respond with a massive attack that will destroy North Korea. That, of course, would be the end of his dictatorship. The problem, however, is that Kim Jung-Un may make an irrational decision and our troops will be sacrificed. That concerns me and should not be allowed to happen.

President Trump should make it clear to President Moon Jae-In that it is the sole responsibility of his country to defend themselves. I suggest that the two presidents at their meeting develop a timetable to achieve the mobilization of South Korea and the withdrawal of all American troops from the peninsula. I believe that only after the troops are removed will the South Koreans have adequate motivation to do whatever is needed to protect their nation.

I have a particular interest in our nation finding a solution short of a massive and deadly conflagration. In the midst of the Korean War, I was with the First Marine Division fighting at the 38th Parallel in Korea. I experienced first-hand the blood, death, and destruction of that terrible war.  Thirty-six thousand American service men and women lost their lives between June 25, 1950 and July 27, 1953 when a cease-fire was agreed to stopping the killing. No peace agreement was achieved, which means that technically the war never ended. More than 103,000 were wounded and sadly 7,799 are still listed as missing in action. All that happened in the 37 months of fighting. These statistics are significant, but to me, the war lives on in the faces and voices of my buddies who did not come back. I still see Sammy’s smile, the steely gray eyes of Big Mike, Jimmy’s scruffy face and I hear Darry’s voice talk about his plans for a future that was not to be.

President Trump must put maximum pressure on the Chinese to force Kim Jung-Un to give up his nuclear program before it is too late. It is a given that when North Korea reaches the point where it is close to achieving the capability of launching an intercontinental missile with a nuclear warhead that can reach Japan, the Philippine Islands, Hawaii and the U.S. west coast, the world will attack and North Korea and its leader will be destroyed. Our President should remind China that the Chinese intervention in November of 1950 extended the war and the massive casualties that followed. China should be made to understand that it should have a responsibility to prevent another potentially catastrophic war.

I hope our leadership is strong enough to execute a policy that prevents our country from repeating the tragedy of the Korean War of 1950-1953. Another Korean War involving American troops must not happen, not now, not ever. This is a desperate situation calling for action now. The meeting of the two Presidents is the opportunity to start the process that will make it possible for the Korean situation to be solved without the impending death and destruction that is the present direction of the Korean dilemma.

When you consider that South Korea is a relatively prosperous nation of more than 50 million people and North Korea is an impoverished nation of slightly more than 25 million people, it seems logical that a large South Korean expenditure in equipment and manpower should be achievable. Because it will take time, the process must begin now.

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