U.S. military officials were left in the lurch last Thursday when North Korean representatives simply failed to show up for a meeting on recovering and repatriating the remains of the U.S. troops killed during the Korean War, the Washington Post reports.
According to the Post, officials from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency and representatives from United Nations Command were left waiting in the Joint Security Area of the Korean Peninsula’s demilitarized zone on July 12, although it is unclear why the North Korean counterparts failed to attend.
“We were ready,” according to one anonymous official who spoke to the Post. “It just didn’t happen. They didn’t show.”
This move was clearly a surprise: According to Stars and Stripes, Pentagon officials "have been on standby for weeks and have sent wooden coffins and flags to Panmunjom in preparation for a handover" to U.S. government officials.
"Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol agreed in his dialogue with Secretary Pompeo to have his team meet with an American team in Panmunjom on or around July 12th to move forward with the repatriation of American service members’ remains," State Department spokesman Heather Nauert told Task & Purpose. "Midday July 12th they contacted us and offered to meet on July 15th. We will be ready."
Around 7,700 American service members remain unaccounted for from the Korean War, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency; of those, 5,300 are believed to be located within North Korea.
It's worth noting that the repatriation of military remains was virtually the only solid point of agreement between Washington and Pyongyang following the historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un on June 12.
Trump claimed in late June that the repatriation of the remains of U.S. service members killed on the peninsula during the three-year conflict was already underway, telling a crowd during a Minnesota campaign rally that "we got back our great fallen heroes, the remains sent back today, already 200 got sent back."
The current status of such transfers remains unclear.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.
In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested on Jan. 29, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Wilmington Police Department, North Carolina.)
A special operations Marine is due in court on March 7 after being arrested last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Task & Purpose has learned.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested and charged with assault inflicting serious injury on July 29, 2018, according to Jennifer Dandron, a spokeswoman for police in Wilmington, North Carolina. Evans is currently assigned as a Critical Skills Operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps Personnel Locator.
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Elyse Ping Medvigy conducts a call-for-fire during an artillery shoot south of Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Aug. 22, 2014. Medvigy, a fire support officer assigned to the 4th Infantry Division's Company D, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, is the first female company fire support officer to serve in an infantry brigade combat team supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston (Photo by U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston)
Following Trump's inauguration, some supporters of ground combat integration assumed he would quickly move to reinstate a ban on women in jobs like the infantry. When this did not happen, advocates breathed a collective sigh of relief, and hundreds of qualified women charted a course in history by entering the newly opened occupational fields.
So earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal published an editorial against women in ground combat by conservative political commentator Heather Mac Donald, the inclination of many ground combat integration supporters was to dismiss it outright. But given Trump's proclivity to make knee jerk policy decisions in response to falling approval ratings and the court's tradition of deference to the military when it comes to policies affecting good order and discipline, it would be unwise to assume the 2016 lifting of the ban on women in ground combat is a done deal.