June 12, 2014

1968. The North Korean Crisis of 1968

The USS Pueblo Crisis

This is a broadcast of the January 25, 1968 edition of The ABC Evening News with Bob Young. It was during Downs' tenure as ABC's Pentagon correspondent. Here he discussed the USS Pueblo crisis:

This is one of the instances where Downs pegs the turmoil in the Korean peninsula as the most dangerous potential trigger for World War III.

He kept some notes he scribbled while assigned to Korea in 1950. He evaluated the massive intervention by the People's Republic of China. The situation was grim, to say the least, in the first major proxy war of the Cold War.

He noted how the Korean War differed so much from the European Theater of World War II, citing the flagrant disregard of the laws of war and the atypical tactics being employed by fighters in what was essentially a civil war.

When Murrow arrived in Tokyo in 1950, Downs ran up to him and New York Times correspondent Bill Lawrence, flailed his arms and yelled in jest, "Go back, go back, you silly bastards! This ain't our kind of war. This one is for the birds!"