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Letters: Please don't refer to Korean War as a conflict

Granted, wars are conflicts, but to refer to the Korean War as the Korean Conflict [or conflict] is incorrect.
Korean War
Letter writer Bob Orrick provides some insight into the Korean War.


With the 2021 edition of Remembrance Day in the books and after reading various comments from individuals who made reference to Canada's veterans and the various wars that this country has been involved in, I noted that some writers referred to the Korean War as a conflict.

Granted, wars are conflicts, but to refer to the Korean War as the Korean Conflict [or conflict] is incorrect.

Question: Is The First World War or The Second World War noted as World Conflict One or World Conflict Two? What becomes rather obvious is that the Korean War is unknown to many Canadians and that is reflected in their ignorance [correct definition of the word] which is, I suspect based on two salient points: first, the Korean War is barely mentioned in high school history class thus, eager youngsters are denied knowledge of their country's participation in the United Nations' determination to restore the border between the two Koreas and to remove North Korea from South Korea, and second, the use of the term 'conflict' by writers and newscast spokesmen. Additionally, when then-USA President Harry Truman used the term police action with reference to the USA going to South Korea's aid following North Korea's sneak attack. Truman used the term as no USA president is authorized to declare war. That decision is up to Congress.

The Korean War was not a walk in the park as has been suggested by some including some Second World War veterans. During the 25 June 1950-27 July 1953 action, 516 Canadians died while approximately 1,200 were wounded and several were prisoners while a couple are designated as missing in action.

On both sides, the casualty rate ran to five million among which were many Korean civilians including babies. Forty-seven per cent of the Korean Peninsula was laid to waste. The dead of the Korean War are just as dead as are those of The First World War and The Second World War, as are the 189 Canadian military personnel and four civilians who died in the Afghanistan War and those who died while on so-called peacekeeping missions. Incidentally, the Korea War is still 'open,' as the 27 July 1953 Panmunjom cessation of hostilities was a ceasefire not a surrender by either side.

Wars are hell and those who fought in them will and can attest to that fact.

Bob Orrick