ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on January 18th, 2013 at 6:01 pm

DMZ Flashpoints Archive

» by in: DMZ

A picture of a bullet riddled US Army truck after being attacked by North Korean commandos in 1968.

This is a collection of articles from my ongoing series describing the various attacks and other provocations carried out by the North Korean regime over the decades.  Some of these provocations are well known while many others have been long forgotten.  This ongoing series is an attempt to help people today remember the sacrifices of those who came before us that stood their watch to ensure freedom in South Korea.

Note: If you have a recommendation for a future DMZ Flashpoints article please leave a comment. 

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  • once there
    6:13 pm on January 18th, 2013 1

    I’m not sure what your qualifications for flashpoints are, but when I was in Korea in 77 – 78 they found a couple of tunnels big enough to move a battalion through. Also I seem to recall several infiltrators coming across the wire and I believe one of them went on a shooting rampage across part of the country before being caught.

    The second time I was there in 80 -81 they had several intrusions with boats trying to drop off infiltrators.

  • YokoGaijin
    7:06 pm on January 18th, 2013 2

    How about the 1969 KAL YS-11 Highjacking? A North Korean spy highjacked a KAL YS-11 aircraft and forced it to land in Wonson. Eventually most a of the hostages were released a few months later, but to this day NK still hasn’t released the flight crew and some of the passengers. I’ve seen a few articles on DailyNK and Chosun Ilbo about how the son of one of the passengers is actively lobbying the ROK government for more recognition of the incident and to get hostages released.

  • Louis T Dechert
    10:45 pm on January 18th, 2013 3

    Thanks, ROK Dropper, for re-running this series. The war in Korea has not ended, and everyone needs to be reminded of this fact, as America’s longest war continues.
    The EC121 was loaded with compacted high level SIGINT packages similar in size and capabilities as those specially built and installed in submarines for ferret missions off the the USSR and CHICOM Borders throughout the Cold War (sic)!
    The crew size reflects the comprehensive intelligence activities taking place in real time.
    National policy (and National Security Action Memorandum, NSAM, since Kennedy, 1962) have generally always required an in-being backup force to go to the assistance of intelligence, special operations, and what were then termed ferret missions when they are discovered and attacked.
    Nevertheless, each time execution has been ordered, Pueblo to Benghazi, the Americans being attacked were NOT ASSISTED, the plans and preparations were not worth the paper they were written on. This was–and is–dereliction of duty at the highest levels on the US civilian and military authority, and violations of the laws then in effect, as we have just been observing in Benghazi.
    Generally speaking, all clandestine, covert, or even overt special operations, especially cross-border intrusions, from 1960 on (Eisenhower) required such operations to be executed as non-attributable, in a court of law, to the USA in all aspects. This has been blatantly violated by the Obama regime with deadly consequences and lost mission effectiveness.
    Louis Dechert

  • Teadrinker
    4:36 pm on January 19th, 2013 4

    What would also be interesting would be a series on South Korean commandos trained to infiltrate North Korea in the ’70s. Many of these guys were from poor families, many were fishermen as they were rugged and already decent swimmers. Quite a few died during training, and I would imagine many also died during missions. I remember about 10 years or so ago when some of them took control of a bridge in Seoul, setting fire to propane tanks so the riot cops couldn’t approach them, to protest the fact they never received the pensions and other benefits they had been promised.

  • Teadrinker
    4:37 pm on January 19th, 2013 5

    Oh, and it’s not just the ’70s. I believe the program started shortly after the Korean war.

  • Bill
    7:24 am on January 20th, 2013 6

    1975 – The Major Henderson incident. I wrote up the intial draft on Wikipedia about it. Just within the JSA there were far more incidents, most of which never made the news. But, those were the days when the demarcation line was not enforced within the JSA and it was all a ‘free movement zone’ (neutral zone), and our job, besides protecting all vistors (tourists, military officers for the meetings and other dignitaries) was to enforce our right of free passage anywhere within the JSA. We had quite a few scuffles and other fun times harassing Joe (what we and our KATUSA’s called the NK’s).

  • once there
    12:43 pm on January 21st, 2013 7

    I remember after one of the boat intrusions there were a few survivors that the South Koreans captured alive. They returned them to the North decked out in nice new suits. Once they crossed over the line they stripped down to their skives and threw the clothes back to the other side. Somehow as brain washed as they were they really hated that part since it was probably one of the few times they had nice new clothes

    On the couple of land incursions the ROK Army made quick work of a few of them and they used to lay the dead guy out on a poncho stripped down to his skives with everything he had on him when killed. It was shocking to see what they were carrying. Guns, Knives, money, passports, cameras, etc.

  • John Bailey
    4:18 pm on April 10th, 2013 8

    In the 70′s I was stationed in Korea as a UH-1 pilot. We used to fly missions into the Han Estuary and deposit South Korean troops on Islands. We would return 72 hours later. Sometimes there was nobody to pick up, sometime less than had started out, sometimes there were “extra’s” wrapped in duct tape and had guns held at their temples. Made for an interesting day.

  • A. C. Carter
    1:29 pm on August 16th, 2013 9

    I have the Stars and Stripes photo of the 18Oct1969 of the unfortunate 4 men killed. I was on one the guard post in the DMZ that day and heard the gun fire and found later what happened. I always wanted to know the name of that guard post. I also would like to know what happened to the prisoner we took who surrender to us, it happened after October killings. He told us he one of a team of South Korean’s and the other members were killed and was the only survivor.


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