North and South Korea

January 11, 2018

The two Koreas; one is smaller than Indiana, the other contains less mass than Mississippi. Where South Korea has become a global economic engine, with an economy 36 times greater than its northern neighbor, North Korea’s people reportedly suffer from malnutrition and the lack of basic human needs. Its leader Kim Jong Un, appears to emphasize building and maintaining a million member military, increasingly powerful nuclear weapons, and deploying sophisticated missiles with global reach capabilities. Americans need to fully understand how different and unique the people of both South and North Korea are, psychologically and philosophically, from those living in Western societies, especially the U.S.

The U.S. Government Bookstore has a comprehensive collection of publications that feature every aspect of the Korean War, the aftermath, profiles of North Korea prior to the emergence of Kim Jong Un, studies of Confrontation on the Korean Peninsula, plus in-depth studies about “Our Not so Peaceful Nuclear Future” and other insightful titles about the state of nuclear confrontation facing our leaders today, primarily due to the dramatic new capabilities of the Kim Jong Un regime.

Here are a few examples; or, click here to see a full range of pertinent publications.

North Korea: A Country Study. This volume is one in a continuing series of books prepared by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress under the Country Studies/Area Handbook Program. This study attempts to review the history and treat in a concise manner the dominant social, political, economic, and military aspects of contemporary North Korea.

Confronting Security Challenges on the Korean Peninsula. This publication provides papers from a symposium that was held on September 1, 2010. South Korean military strategists in Panel 1 talked about challenges on the Korean peninsula including the effectiveness of the U.S.-South Korea alliance, and the relationship between North and South Korea. Panel 2 addressed the Obama administration’s expansion of sanctions against North Korea and the freezing of assets of individuals and organizations linked to its nuclear program, focusing on contingency planning, military readiness, and the potential economic impact of the collapse of North Korea. Panel 3 focused on human rights issues in North Korea.

Underestimated: Our Not So Peaceful Nuclear Future. With the world focused on the nuclear crisis in Iran, it is tempting to think that addressing this case, North Korea, and the problem of nuclear terrorism is all that matters and is what matters most. Perhaps, but if states become more willing to use their nuclear weapons to achieve military advantage, the problem of proliferation will become much more unwieldy. In this case, U.S. security will be hostage not just to North Korea, Iran, or terrorists, but to nuclear proliferation more generally, diplomatic miscalculations, and wars between a much larger number of possible players.

Moving Beyond Pretense: Nuclear Power and Nonproliferation. Most governments have made the promotion of nuclear power’s growth and global development a top priority. Throughout, they have insisted that the dangers of nuclear weapons proliferation are manageable either by making future nuclear plants more “proliferation-resistant” or by strengthening International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards and acquiring more timely intelligence on proliferators. How sound is this view? How useful might civilian nuclear programs be for states that want to get nuclear weapons quickly? Are current International Atomic Energy Agency nuclear safeguards sufficient to block military nuclear diversions from civilian programs? Are there easy fixes to upgrade these controls? How much can we count on more timely intelligence on proliferators to stem the further spread of nuclear weapons?  This volume taps the insights and analyses of 13 top security and nuclear experts to get the answers. What emerges is a comprehensive counter-narrative to the prevailing wisdom, and a series of innovative reforms to tighten existing nuclear nonproliferation controls.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

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Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


The Real stories of MASH and disease-fighting Armed Forces medical scientists

April 9, 2014
TV Week final episode cover depicting M*A*S*H television show cast

TV Week final episode cover depicting M*A*S*H television show cast. Did you know that the character of MASH 4077th’s head nurse “Hot Lips” Margaret Houlihan was inspired by two real-life Korean War Army MASH head nurses “Hotlips” Hammerly and Janie Hall?

The music starts. The lyrics to the haunting song “Suicide is Painless” play in your head. The sound and sight of helicopters enter and then you are looking down from the helicopters view on a village of tents and red crosses. The television series M*A*S*H, based on the 1970 movie that was set during the Korean War at the fictitious 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital or M*A*S*H, established itself as one of the greatest shows in history. The show was on air from 1972-1983, and it still lives on today in syndication.

The series finale was broadcasted on February 28, 1983 to 105.9 million viewers, becoming the most watched television broadcast of all time. The record held for nearly three decades until the 2010 Superbowl surpassed M*A*S*H’s record with 106.5 million viewers. The show had the ability to make you cry from both a comedic and emotional standpoint striking a unique balance unlike many shows.

But sometimes real life can be as fascinating as fiction. Learn about the real-life exploits of a genuine Army MASH unit and of brave medical researchers fighting tropical diseases in southeast Asia with two recent Armed Forces medical history publications from the U.S. Army Medical Center and School’s Borden Institute.

Skilled and Resolute: A History of the 12th Evacuation Hospital and the 212th MASH, 1917-2006 ISBN: 9780160922534Skilled and Resolute: A History of the 12th Evacuation Hospital and the 212th MASH, 1917-2006 follows the 90-year history of a medical unit, the 12th Evacuation Hospital and its successor the 212th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, which served in military engagements from World War I to Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as many peacekeeping and humanitarian missions. The unit’s goal is to be trained, equipped, and deployable at a moment’s notice.

There are some gruesome pictures in the Vietnam War section, but overall the book is a fascinating read about how medical techniques evolved with warfare practices in makeshift hospitals close to front lines. In 2006, the unit transformed once again to the 212th Combat Support Hospital and was deployed to Afghanistan.

Lt. General George S. Patton visits the US Army 12th Evacuation Hospital (MASH) to award decorations to the World War 2 wounded. (Photo courtesy U.S. Army Medical Department, Office of Medical History)

Lt. General George S. Patton visits the US Army 12th Evacuation Hospital (MASH) to award decorations to the wounded. Patton would later infamously get in trouble for slapping a soldier at another World War 2 hospital who was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or combat stress reaction (CSR), which was called shell shock starting in WW 1.  (Photo courtesy U.S. Army Medical Department, Office of Medical History)

The photos in the book look like scenes out of the M*A*S*H television series; you can picture Radar turning is head to the side, pausing to listen and exclaiming “Choppers!” to be followed by the sound of helicopters.

Getting the sick and wounded from the front to a MASH unit during the Korean War. (Image courtesy http://www.koreanwar60.com/army)

Army helicopters were critical for evacuating the sick and wounded from the front to a MASH unit ambulance during the Korean War. (Image courtesy http://www.koreanwar60.com/army)

The Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS), 1960-2010: a 50th Anniversary Photographic History ISBN: 9780160918315The Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS), 1960-2010: a 50th Anniversary Photographic History is a lean coffee table book organized by decade. The black and white and color photographs tell the story of AFRIMS – a medical military partnership between the United Sates and Thailand that was founded in response to a cholera epidemic in Thailand in 1959. Within 10 years, a laboratory was built and AFRIMS established the reputation of being a major force in tropical medical research. In the 1970s, the lab played a crucial role in researching and developing treatment for tropical diseases inflicting the military serving in the Vietnam War.

Technology advancements in the 1980s were adapted by AFRIMS and helped with storing and organizing research. In the 1990s and the first decade of the new century, AFRIMS conducted trials impacting the research on vaccines for hepatitis A, malaria, and HIV. The photographs are very compelling and effectively share history while showing the way they conducted research and interacted with the Thai community.

AFRIMS Captain Michael "Mike" Benenson (future USAMC director)  returns a “wai” while the study team prepares medications in the 1973 malaria drug prophylaxis study. (Photograph courtesy of Dr. Michael Benenson)

AFRIMS Captain Michael “Mike” Benenson (future USAMC director) returns a child’s “wai” greeting while the study team prepares medications in the 1973 malaria drug prophylaxis study. (Book photograph courtesy of Dr. Michael Benenson)

HOW DO I GET A COPY OF THESE BOOKS?

About the author: Our guest blogger is Emma Wojtowicz, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Office of Public Affairs. 

Additional images and content provided by Government Book Talk Editor Michele Bartram is Promotions and Ecommerce Manager for GPO’s Publication and Information Sales Division in Washington, DC, and is responsible for online and offline marketing of the US Government Online Bookstore (http://bookstore.gpo.gov) and promoting Federal government content to the public.


Remembering the Forgotten War

January 14, 2011

Last year marked the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, but whatever commemorations occurred were pretty low key, maintaining its reputation as “the forgotten war.” Given that many people at the time saw the war as possibly leading to World War III, it’s interesting that it’s receded so much from public consciousness.

Sometimes it’s the byways of history that tell us the most about how things really were. Two pamphlets produced by the National Security Agency’s Center for Cryptologic History on signals intelligence (SIGINT) in the Korean War do just that. The Korean War: the SIGINT Background shows how woefully understaffed and under-skilled the Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA) was in the run-up to war. With most of its efforts focused on the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China, AFSA had neither the motivation nor the Korean language capabilities to track North Korean communications. The betrayal of American penetration of Soviet cipher systems by an NKVD mole in AFSA resulted in even more distraction.

So Power Can be Brought into Play: SIGINT and the Pusan Perimeter takes the story into combat. While recapitulating the failings of AFSA prior to the outbreak of war, it describes how quickly its staff began providing high-quality intelligence to the U.S. forces trapped in the Pusan perimeter after the massive North Korean invasion that pushed them into that pocket southeast of Seoul. Although outnumbered and outgunned, American forces held out until the risky but totally successful amphibious invasion at Inchon. The Korean War: the SIGINT Background then outlines the Chinese phase of the war, the resultant stalemate, and the detailed advance intelligence that led to victories at Hill 395 and Pork Chop Hill prior to the 1953 armistice.

So there is the Korean War in microcosm: initial surprise and near-disaster, furious improvisation, and success followed by stalemate and an indecisive finish. Perhaps that’s why we don’t remember it – hard fighting but no parades. You can read these publications or order copies here or find them in a library.


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