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tv   Reel America Rebirth of Seoul - 1953  CSPAN  March 26, 2018 9:38am-10:07am EDT

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>> up next on real america, rebirth of seoul. this film produced by the army covers major events of the korean wars and how seoul was heavily damaged by the fighting and documents citizens returning to the city after the end of the war in 1953. and how with the help of the u.s. army, work began to provide the basic needs of life. health care, food and water, shelter and transportation. ♪ >> in the past two decades, the face of disaster reflecting tragedy and despair has become a familiar portrait in every quarter of the world with brief pause touched and scarred the
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people of every continent. no longer is the soldier the soel victim of battle. cities and towns are prime target and the casualties, civilians. despite the repeated experience of the miseries of war, mankind has learned neither to maintain peace nor to accept callously those who suffer most. life the life tame of a present -- a new list is compared with those of ancient history. very names are synonymous with ruin, london, warsaw, hiroshima, berlin and today still another, four times crushed in less than two years, a city which refuses to die, seoul, the korean
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capital since the 14th century, the capital since 1948 lies in the hill surrounded valley. one of the most modern cities in the orient, seoul and summer of 1950 enjoys a democratic form of government and orderly existence. however, above seoul troops of a puppet north korean government installed by the ussr are poised for some days the communist radio has been urging the unification of all korea, now on the 25th of june, with true communist logic the north korean forces go on the defensive by launching a sudden unexpected invasion of south korea. seoul's citizens are unprepared but not ignore rant what to expect. in new york, the united states immediately requests an emergency meeting of the united
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nations security council. when the aggressors failed to heed the council's appeal, the united states announces that forces are being ordered to assist south korea and by a vote of 7-1, the security council votes to supply republic of korea with whatever armed might is needed to turn back the attack. first to aid are american forces from japan, 15 other nations meet the challenge by ordering troops to korea. with this decision, the free world takes its first unified action in halting the tide of communist armed aggression. >> two days following the initial attack, communist troops are on the out skirts of seoul.
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by every available means, carrying whatever possessions they can salvage the civilians travel every road and path. thus begins the week's long march of women and old men and children as they are forced south behind the retreating south korean and small american voices. then safety lies only in caves or behind the alied defense line drawn below the river. the communist armies are caught off guard when the united states tenth corps launches an offensive of its own. at seoul's sea port an amphibious landing is made.
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but counter offensive works like a vice, allied forces break out of the perimeter driving the startled aggressors before them. a second amphibious maneuver is used at the river just south of seoul. once more the republic's capital becomes the focal point of the fighting of the even the communists hold seoul or the north korean army will be destroyed as an effective fighting force. seoul is not to be taken without bitter and costly resistance. every road is a mine field and every corner a barricade and every house a sniper's nest.
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less than 11 days after the start of the couldn'ter offensive, seoul is restored to the rightful inhabit tants, to most koreans it is more than a city or home. it is a symbol of national pride and people's heritage. even before the sound of fighting dies the first refugees reappe reappear, few return to find their homes as they left them. the communist troops have lived off the land sacking and pillaging and raping the city during the brief stay. but in the refugee's eyes what remains can be rebuilt. life can be resumed once more where it was so harshly interrupted. for the communist leaders who gambled with the odds were
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overwhelming in their favor, the reversal achieved by the command is intolerable. a second fairytale is devised and army of chinese people's volunteers armed with weapons of soviet manufacturer is drove south to salvage victory from the ashes of defeat. for the man who fought their way to the border at great cost and blood in their life, the massive offensive launched by the chinese communists comes as a cruel shock. the scores of mountains of valleys fought for and captured return too easily to the enemy as the allied forces make their bitter withdrawal. in the face of the greatest hardships, examples of great bravery and fortitude are many.
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the escape of the united nations units from the trap at the reservoir ranks with the finest maneuvers of military anls, under constant pressure, the allied troops fight south back from pyongyang to seoul and beyond. again battered seoul becomes the scene of a mass exo dus, those who began the task of rebuilding the city see efforts wasted and work redestroyed. for many the routes are famg and number of refugees smaller this seconds time. the number of those who return, smaller still. >> into seoul marks the chinese conquerers supervised by russian comrades. news of seoul's fall is greeted throughout the communist world. a new type of bar barrism awaits
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the american servicemen captured during the red offensive. months of imprisonment by brain washing and crude torture lie ahead. many will not survive the forest winter marches through the compounds north of seoul. by breaking contact with the enemy and rapidly withdrawing to the south, the u.n. command forces the communists to extend their supply lines more than 300 miles. less than a month after the chinese invasion, the united nations returns to the offensive from the defense lines 30 miles below the korean capital.
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although the communists twice gained the advantage through sneak attacks, time and world opinion are on the side of the united nations command. from the free world a steady stream of arms and men poured into south korea. the new u.n. drive is power packed. now for the fourth time seoul changes hands. even before the city is liberated, plans have been made for rehabilitating the stricken
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capital and its population. here in the words of american soldiers, members of the united nations civil assistant teams and koreans themselves is the story of the rebirth of seoul as they witnessed it. >> we moved into seoul on the 13th of march, 1951. as team commander i went with the patrol an engineer detachment detecting mines. except in the fringes there were no people to be seen and downtown seoul opposition had fallen off almost completely. in the center of the city we found practically no one at all. the city was a dead city. because this was the second time we took seoul back from the communists, we were pretty much prepared for what we expected to find. you never get used to it though. >> all in all, the city was in
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awful shape, no water, no transportation, no electricity or power. as a matter of fact the chinese occupation forces took most of the overhead wire. kids are the ones who always suffer most. they never know what's going po. explain after they've seen their family get killed. seoul was in bad shape as far as food was concerned. there just wasn't any. the communist who confessed to be for the working people, live off the land, taking their food, not getting them medical treatment. everyone came back as soon as they could. a lot of them out of caves. our first job was to get water for civilians and troops. >> during occupation by the chinese, there were many parts of the city that could not be
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controlled. this cause a great deal of damage for the city. in order to get water where it is going, in addition to that, sanitary needs of seoul has to be met. it would take six months to get water back into the sea. with much hard work and cooperation between the american army, korean government, within 30 days we were able to produce enough water to reuse it by all units within the city and shortly thereafter we were able to restore 50% of the water supplies to seoul. on td third day after entry into the city, they started to move truckloads of rice for distribution to the people. because for the average civilian, the average korean, it was worth his life to find even a handful of rice.
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even though the city was placed off hands to civilians, except farmers, civilians manage to come home. it was our job to feed them before they starve. the trucks would roll into the city day and night, fighting against time. for an american like me used to eating well, it takes time to understand these people can survive on a few handfuls of rice a day, but that's all it is, survival. we couldn't makeup for a couple of years of war overnight for these people, but we made a good start. rice was just the beginning of a long term of relief distribution. we followed up as fast as possible with milk and clothing and other food.
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the korean farmer is the backbone of korea. despite the devastation, the number of moves he had to make with his family which he had to or be killed, farmers were back on their fields even before the fighting was over. these farmers are doing a lot to relieve the burden of feeding the people who live in the city. >> next to feeding the people of seoul, caring for their healthy would say was the next problem. those who were ill, first all were in knock lated. it would be dangerous for epidemic to start under conditions as they were. they were successful, no epidemics broke out in seoul then or thereafter. when i and my staff were sent
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there, i was terrified. there were patients, there were patients, there were children, men, women. it was a massive humanity suffering. much tuberculosis and surgical cases. as we worked, we trained more doctors and nurses in the methods we needed. mostly, dangerous cases were burn cases from napalm bombs and other bombs and gunshot cases. now, the bomb cases were the first problem. medical supplies most especially plasma. we received supplies and plasma and other things urgently needed. i and my staff and all of the doctors and nurses in the city worked morning to night, and i can say now i am very, very happy and proud of the success we had saving so many lives. >> to keep seoul itself alive
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meant reopening high school, reopening bridges. no field army in history undertook a bigger civil assistance mission than the united states. our policy is to help the koreans help themselves. first of all, get heavy equipment into the city, had to put the railroads back to work. trolley transportation got high priority. the chinese used tracks to place mines alongside of so the detectors, mine detectors couldn't pick up mines. in some cases, mines exploded. in other cases, tracks were hit by fragments of shell fire. a great deal of track had to be replaced. now we've replaced just about all of the existing trolley lines. like any large city, seoul has its downtown business center, its industrial and residential sections. trolleys are a big help bringing workers from their homes to dozens and dozens of construction jobs and factories that are being rebuilt.
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things are well under way. most of us figure seoul is one of the cleanest cities in the orient, certainly the cleanest in korea. right from the start the people started to work rebuilding their homes and hospitals and other buildings with the same determination they showed wanting to get back to their homes in the first place. even without modern construction equipment they set to, and new buildings started to mushroom up, almost overnight. during the years before the war, seoul developed into a good sized industrial city, but various bombings of the city completely destroyed the power plants. to get heavy and light industry back on its feet, we had to restore the power plants. army technicians went to work to repair what was salvaged, missing parts came from japan.
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now power is going out fast where it is needed most. it is the job of civil assistance commission to encourage industry back into operation quickly as possible. by this, we mean we assist these people in reconstruction of their plants and supplying them with necessary material. that is the crude material which can be used for manufacturing purposes. raw materials are the number one priority in the problem of production. in this particular factory about half the cotton comes from the united states, the other half from korean sources. as well as turning out needed products, rehabilitating seoul's industry means more jobs for the city's population. >> with our colleges and universities, seoul is the educational capital of korea. as a people, we koreans put high
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value on education. rebuilding and expanding the school system is one of our chief aims. found more school buildings for classes, we had schools burned or bombed, we had outdoor classes so as not to interrupt education any more than is necessary. in the republic of korea, it is policy everyone goes to school. by law every child over six is entitled to full primary schooling. we can now take only three-quarters of children. poverty prevents some parents from sending their children. in other places there are no schools. but we are educating more children every day. >> some children, the orphans, are less fortunate. these children are found sometimes in the streets, other times at people's doors who have no children. we have over 200 children at this orphanage alone.
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the poor little things have been many days without food or bathing. some die in our hands. other times we get them through all right and it gives us great joy to see them happy again. earlier it was very difficult for us to nourish these children, but now with the help of the american offices and the csc organization, we have much pleasure of giving the children anything they want. we have only to ask for it and we get it. if we need anything at all, we have only to ask. and the children get all the vitamins and anything that they need. we are making the best efforts to make the children good citizens, but there are many, many of them who need support
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and we do all we can, but with thousands of orphans in seoul alone, there are thousands and thousands in all korea. with god's help, we will help them to be happy children and one day good citizens. >> with the same unity and forcefulness with which it met the challenge of communist aggression, the free world responded to the needs of the korean people. food arrives from australia and cambodia, belgium and cuba, new england and the philippines, from mexico and greece. clothing comes from japan, peru, uraguay, from great britain, nicaragua and turkey come medical supplies. from india and norway, from stra israel, sweden, denmark, iceland, france. and from the united states, aid
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totalling $9 million is received. the list of public and private organizations, churches and veteran's groups, private citizens and chiarities which have come to aid, to have done less, to have failed the korean people in their second hour of need would have been to allow defeat by neglect, where defeat by aggression was so determinedly denied. today from the sea ports on the yellow and japanese seas steady streams of urgently needed supplies pour into seoul and other korean villages and cities. tools and machines of industry, the fertilizer and equipment needed to restore the land to fertility, the fast and full rehabilitation is achieved, the sooner it will be a strong,
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vigorous ally. seoul today has regained much of its former stature. the city living testimony to what international cooperation for peaceful goals may accomplish. where a few short years ago tanks were, trollies pass calmly through the streets. where snipers once hid, housewives of seoul calmly do their shopping. the rebirth of seoul is one of mankind's truly great achievements. yet the task of reviving korea completely or even of seoul alone is still far short of completion. more than a million homeless people remain. nearly 100,000 orphans must be cared for. a liveable future must be provided for them.
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in the months since the first communist attack, the children of korea suffered much more than the rightful share of several life times. all have met disaster as participants, not as spectators. yet their faith has conquered despair, hope for their land's future remains strong, if only to guarantee they're players for a life untroubled by death and famili famine, the years will stand as noble ones. >> the big picture is a weekly television report to the nation on activities of the army at home and overseas. produced by the signal corps
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pictorial center. presented by the u.s. army in cooperation with this state. you can be an important part of the big picture. you can proudly serve with the best equipped, the best trained, the best fighting team in the world today, the united states army. on cspan in prime time, tonight, bill gates talking about his foreign aid agenda and the federal budget. >> we need to partner with all of the donors to go after things like polio eradication, the program on hiv is miraculous in terms of holding that disease in check for us to get a vaccine. >> tuesday, perspectives on gun control from the march for our lives rally. wednesday, 8:00 p.m. eastern, former white house communications director anthony scaramucci is interviewed by democratic political consultant
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bob shrum. >> when he got the job, just like building a condominium, just like building a golf course, just like developing a television show, he said okay, i've got this job, i've got to go down to the swamp and i've got to drain the swamp, i've got to hire people that understand the swamp. i think what he learned, you're not going to drain the swamp hiring swamp monsters. >> thursday, 8:00 p.m. eastern, embedded journalists on experiences in mosul, iraq, documenting the fight against isis. >> trying to get you to care about someone that speaks a different language, born in a different country, has a different color skin than you do, totally different background, not born with the same privilege you are, try to make you care about their life and understand parallels between yours and theirs. >> friday, 9:30 p.m. eastern, former reagan adviser, advocate for what's called trickle down economics, arthur laffer.
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>> it is true there are consequences to taxation. those consequences are the same across the whole spectrum. you cannot tax an economy into prosperity, period. >> this week in prime time on cspan. the national institute on drug abuse was established in 1974 with a mission to use science and research to better understand drug abuse and addiction and educate the public about risks associated with drug abuse. up next on real america, drug abuse meeting the challenge. a half hour film produced by the institute in 1987 on their most recent findings regarding causes, treatment and prevention of drug

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