Local Veterans React to North and South Korean Peace Pledge

Local Veterans React to North and South Korean Peace Pledge

Kitty Alvarado

Charles McGee fought in the Korean War almost seven decades ago on a destroyer … And Michael Templeton is an Iraq War veteran who’s been there on assignment. 

“We trained in South Korea and we actually did some re enlistment ceremonies for some of our Marines on the DMZ or as close as we can get, the bridge of no return,” says Templeton.

Both are members of the American Legion Post 519 in Palm Springs. McGee leads the color guard and Templeton is the post’s commander.

Both saw the handshake between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Moon Jae – in  that made history

McGee says it will be hard for the North Korean leader to shake his notorious reputation, “It’s unbelievable because this guy you know ‘rocket man’ as Donald Trump called him and rightfully so,” still he feels sorry for the North Korean people, “they’re under a dictatorship, like most dictatorships they don’t dare say a damn thing about their oppressors you know their leaders because they will kill them in a minute and they know that they can’t stand up against them you know those people deserve an opportunity to be free.”

Both think it will take more than a handshake and a pledge to work towards an official end of the Korean War.

“I’m cautiously optimistic I‘ll put it that way,” says McGee.

“I think it’s a good start but I‘ll believe it once they clear the land mines and once the families who have been separated for this long can reunite with family members,” says Templeton.