Korean War Veterans React to Peace Talks - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Korean War Veterans React to Peace Talks

Posted: Apr 27, 2018 5:35 PM Updated:

SUSSEX COUNTY, Del.- In the wake of renewed peace talks and unprecedented moves by the North and South Korean governments, some Sussex Countians who served on the peninsula during the conflict are reacting.

Jack McGinley, the president of Korean War Veterans Association Chapter #1 in Delaware, says he's hopeful there will be prolonged peace.

"I am very optimistic about the future as far as the Korean peninsula is concerned. Just to see the two leaders getting together and shaking hands," he says. "I recognize fully well though that this whole thing can change on a heartbeat it can change in a moment."

McGinley served in a defensive role in Korea in the early 1960s. He was in a truck company that supported troops at the demilitarized zone (DMZ), the same place where North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in crossed each other's borders for the first time this week. McGinley says when he was serving there, peace was unfathomable.

"I still remember getting off the plane in Kimbo with the bullet holes on the side of the air control tower," he tells WBOC. "And the barbed wire that we lived behind for months and months and months."

Sharing McGinley's cautious optimism for new progress is Walter Koopman. Now, Koopman is their chapter's Programs Director, but in the 1950's he served on the front lines of the Korean War. He was only seventeen years old.

"It was tough fighting there, it was really tough," he recalls. "Of course the winters are brutal."

Koopman says he's not sure if the new talks will pay off.

"He's really not sincere about anything," he says, referring to Kim Jong Un. "And then we tried to do this once before under the presidency of Bill Clinton and it did not work."

Despite doubts, Koopman says bringing peace to Korea would mean so much. 

"I think everyone in the Korean service, every Korean war vet that's alive today, that's all we hope for."

For more on the KWVA Chapter #1, click here. 




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