North Korea releases war veteran Merrill Newman

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North Korea releases war veteran Merrill Newman

I'm sure this was a very trying time for his family, but I was pretty sure he was going to be released the entire time.  If for whatever reason you haven't seen this already, I wanted to share two videos that lay out what happened fairly well: 

And then this follow up:



There's a follow up in the Washington Post today that shocks no one.....believe it or not, the "confession" wasn't exactly without coercion:

“Anyone who has read the text of it or who has seen the video of me reading it knows that the words were not mine and were not delivered voluntarily,” Newman said in a statement issued by his family. “Anyone who knows me knows that I could not have done the things they had me ‘confess’ to.”

“I just didn’t understand that, for the North Korean regime, the Korean War isn’t over and that even innocent remarks about the war can cause big problems if you are a foreigner,” Newman wrote.

“I’m a Korean War veteran and I’m proud of my military service, when I helped train Korean partisans. The North Koreans still harbor resentment about those partisans,” and other anti-communist guerrillas, Newman added.

I actually wasn't very familiar with the partisan fight in Korea, and had never heard of the "White Tigers" of the United Nations Partisan Infantry Korea.  Seems like an interesting story though.  Wiki just says this about them:

United Nations Partisan Infantry Korea (UNPIK), also known as the White Tigers, was a unit during the Korean War that was consolidated under the control of Eighth United States Army, Korea's 8th Army G-3 Miscellaneous Group, 8086th and 8240th Army Unit. The details of the undercover operation were made public by the US Army in 1990. The unit worked deep inside North Korea to gather intelligence, conduct raids and sabotage, rescue POWs, recruit & lead guerrilla armies and create confusion in the enemy’s rear.

There is a book listed on Amazon about the unit as well, but alas, not available on Kindle. 

White Tigers: My Secret War in North Korea by Ben S. Malcolm. 

From Publishers Weekly

This is the untold story of the U.S. Army's role in unconventional warfare in the Korean War. An army first lieutenant, Malcom was handpicked to go behind enemy lines to recruit, train and lead North Korean partisans in their war against Chinese and North Korean forces. He recounts how he won the guerrillas' trust and, with a minimum of support from Far East Command, mounted a series of operations that combined sabotage with intelligence-gathering. (His 4th Partisan Infantry Battalion provided the framework for establishing the Army's Special Forces in 1952.) His account of the raids behind enemy lines makes for exciting reading, and he pays moving tribute to the Koreans' extraordinary stamina, seeming indifference to pain and chivalric code of conduct. But the most eloquent passages revolve around his complaint that the institutional knowledge he acquired during the war was ignored in Vietnam, where U.S. military advisers had to learn the hard lessons of guerrilla warfare on their own.
May have to pick that one up and read about them.  Glad to have Mr. Newman home.  And eager to read about what his unit did during the war.
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IN WWII we learned the 1st Special Service Force then forgot for Korea. In Vietnam we had to relearn form the beginning not a knowledge base to invent the Special Forces. Enough time went by that we again had to develop our doctrine and training to provide an in country Special Forces now Special Operators to repeat the same function we did in WWII and Vietnam,. I guess all of the old Vietnam Hands had retired and we re invented the wheel because we dismantle our old wheel at the end of the fighting to save money.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.