Close to Nowhere
M*A*S*H still comes on TV a lot. Often, I can put the show on in the morning and watch it all day long.
If you are not familiar with M*A*S*H -- Mobile Army Surgical Hospital -- it’s a medical unit during the Korean War, or conflict, if you’d rather.
Other than what little I’ve learned about the Korean War through M*A*S*H, I’m not very familiar with that war. Vietnam was my generation’s war, although I will confess to a great interest in World Wars I and II.
The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, when 75,000 soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army poured across the 38th parallel, the boundary between the Soviet-backed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the north and the pro-Western Republic of Korea to the south. By July, American troops had entered the war on South Korea’s behalf.
America’s part in the war was relatively short, but really bloody. Nearly five million people died -- more than half were civilians. Almost 40,000 Americans died in action in Korea and more than 100,000 were wounded before an armistice was signed on July 27, 1953.
So, why am I so surprised to hear that the Korean War is finally over -- that’s pretty much been the top of the national news all weekend.
As a strictly non-policital person, I have been very interested in what goes on in Korea. And yes, mostly because of M*A*S*H.
Apparently, Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s president, is halting his nuclear testing. He has been making friendly gestures since the 2018 Olympics in South Korea.
Rumor has it, that Kim is halting the testing because the mountain used by North Korea for nuclear testing has collapsed. Mount Mantap has collapsed and there is a large hole in the mountainside.
Kim may be closing the Punggye-ri nuclear testing site for any number of reasons. American diplomacy and President Trump may have contributed.
My opinion as a non--political person is very simple. I don’t care why the site is being closed. I just care that it is being closed.
The U.S. has been out of Korea since 1953. But the struggle has apparently continued. All I know about the war I’ve learned from M*A*S*H.
And even knowing it’s not real, watching war is frightening, even a comedy about war.
I hope it’s really over.