KOREA: Careful Response to an Accident

It was exactly the kind of incident that could have triggered military alerts—or worse—on the volatile frontier between the two Koreas. With a burst of gunfire, North Korean forces downed a U.S. helicopter that had strayed across the demarcation line; within minutes three of the American crewmen lay dead and the one survivor of the flight was taken prisoner. To ward off yet another Korean crisis, the White House moved quickly to defuse the situation created by the accidental incursion and North Korea's brutal response.

Two and a half days later, the incident...

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