Korea: A Truce Without Fireworks

Bettmann / CORBIS

October 20, 1953: Gen. Mark Clark with Mayor and Grover Whalen reviewing Korean Vets who are parading in City Hall Plaza.

Truce came to Korea in a stark, deliberately underplayed ceremony.

At Panmunjom, shortly before 10 a.m. (the hour fixed for the signing), nervous little Communist sentries in baggy pants and wilting red epaulettes scurried about, brushing off the board walk where their masters were to tread. The bleak, new truce building, hastily and especially erected by the Reds, smelled of fresh pine. Outside, it still showed the marks of two big Picasso-style peace doves, put up by the Reds, taken down at Mark Clark's demand. Inside it was stifling hot. Sweating U.N. observers and correspondents, including officers from each national contingent,...

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