April 22, 2024

When NK Commandos Tried To Assassinate South Korea’s President

This Day in the History of the DPRK: January 21, JUCHE 56 (1968)

The soldiers, a self-fulfilling prophecy of impending death, advanced unflinchingly with one goal: kill Park Chung-hee, then President of South Korea.

It was dark when it started, just before midnight on January 17, 1968.  Thirty-one North Korean soldiers moved stealthily through the DMZ.  Reaching a chain-link fence, the men changed into coveralls and army uniforms from the Republic of Korea (ROK).  They cut openings in the fence—ever so quietly—and squeezed through onto South Korean territory.  Nearby American soldiers, less than a 100 feet away, remained stunningly oblivious.  The sun rose on January 18, and the men hid, waiting for the refuge of darkness to move again.  They continued on like this, at one point resting less than two miles from a U.S. Army Divisional Headquarters.

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