— The cost to the Pentagon for a float honoring veterans of the Korean War in Tuesday's Rose Bowl parade in Pasedena, Calif. The float, a replica of the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., was the Defense Department's first in the parade's 123-year history. More than 33,000 U.S. troops died in the conflict.
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Hey, the 33,000  didn't die in vain. Look at all those cheap Hyundai autos that are putting Americans out of work! And in between there were 32 years of brutal military rule in South Korea, with some intervening incidents.

There are many South Koreans (both older and younger) who simply accept it as an axiom that the United States CIA had SoKo President Park Chung-hee assassinated in 1979 for his pursuit of nuclear capabilities. Bolstering that idea is the fact that the US only recognised the legitimacy of his successor, the military dictator Chun Doo-hwan, on the condition of his giving up any nuclear ambitions (Chun was responsible for the Gwangju Massacre in 1980, which most South Koreans believe to have occured with US blessing.)

Currently the Korean War is in "armistice" mode, still going on, with the US military still in charge of military affairs, still provoking North Korea, as an excuse to maintain US troops one air-hour from Beijing and Shanghai. But it's not really dangerous after all -- SecDef Gates made it an accompanied tour.


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