Tree of strife: how a new Korean war could have started because of poplar
Conflict on the border between North and South Korea in the summer of 1976, which killed two American officers, almost became the beginning of a new war. Fortunately, the participants of the incident were limited to the demonstration of power and political demarches. The beginning of the “game muscles” because of poplars in neutral zone.
As writes the American edition of We Are The Mighty, 18 August 1976, a group of South Korean soldiers under the command of captain Arthur Boniface and Lieutenant Mark Barrett entered the Korean demilitarized zone to trim the branches of the poplar. Tree height of about 31 meters overlaps the field of view between the control points.
‘If a Tree Falls in the Demilitarized Zone: Operation Paul Bunyan Pits a Poplar against Pyongyang’ — digital collections reveal how a 1976 confrontation that nearly relaunched the Korean War was presented by different government and news organizations https://t.co/04EWgEHVuF pic.twitter.com/M5BvvhVhFa
— Readex (@Readex) on 15 January 2018.
When the soldiers went to work, then came the North Korean Lieutenant Pak Chul, nicknamed “Bulldog”. He demanded that the American officers to stop to cut down the tree, planted, according to him, by Kim Il Sung.
The dismissive attitude of the border guards of North Korea turned into a tragedy. Lieutenant Pak Chul has requested assistance, and to the place of the accident has a truck with 20 soldiers with wooden clubs and axes. They lashed out at their opponents. Armed with axes South Korea’s military fled in panic and abandoned to their fate by American officers. Captain Boniface was killed on the spot, and Lieutenant Barrett fell into the ravine. From the lookout point, the U.S. military could only see within 90 minutes, the North Korean guards were included in a ravine with an axe. Sent a search team found chopped up with axes Barrett, who died on the way to the hospital in Seoul.
On #MemorialDayWeekend remembering Captain Arthur Bonifas and 1st Lieutenant Mark Barrett @CNN @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/Rthj8wjPQm
— Brian Milinsky (@cyclist1959) may 24, 2015
The North Korean leader, speaking at a conference of non-aligned Nations in Sri Lanka, accused the U.S. of aggression, as they have not previously agreed on the felling of trees.
(1) On August 18, 1976, 42 years ago today, two US officers were brutally killed by attacks from North Korean troops at Panmunjom. The incident, known as the “axe murder incident” was one of the notorious provocations by Pyongyang since the armistice of the Korean war.
3 days pic.twitter.com/subxhZHoOP
— Kim Jae Yeop (@KimJYeop) 18 Aug 2018
“14 hoodlums with axes,” he stated, attacked the border guards of the DPRK, and they were forced to defend themselves.
U.S. President Gerald Ford was also ordered not to leave the incident unpunished, and three days later, on August 21 held a large-scale military operation “Paul Bunyan”. It was named in honor of the American fairy tale of giant lumberjack. In order to cut down a single tree took 23 of the armored car and of the car, and a support group was made up of 16 the bomb squad, the special forces of South Korea.
“In the area of operation were also 20 helicopters, and overhead flew bombers B-52 Stratofortress. The bombers were accompanied by F-4 Phantom II South Korean F-5 and F-86 and a number of bombers, the F-111. In the sea of Japan entered the aircraft carrier Midway”, — reports the edition.