Mr. Lim's Decision a true story from Jim Warmkessel

I was in the Advance Camp sometime in 1959 when I was called to the Joint Duty Officer's (Major McCravey) quarters. It was close to dusk. The JDO called me into his quarters, and informed me that Intelligence reported there were reports that the KPA (Korean Peoples Army) was rumored to be preparing to invade again that night. He handed me a 45 pistol and three hand grenades. I looked at him and said "What are these for, Sir?" He said he wanted me to go up to the Joint Security Area and stay over night. If the invasion did occur, I was instructed to use one grenade to blow up our files and the second one was to blow up our equipment. The third grenade was for me to use discretionarily (throw it at aggressors and and/or use it on myself, if I thought I was going to be captured). I asked what I was to do with the pistol. Major McCravey told me it might be needed to get Mr. Lim (JSA driver) to take me up to the JSA! I reminded Major McCravey that we (staff of the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission) were not allowed to be armed within the JSA. He acknowledged my concern; but he said "You're going there at night, so they won't be seen. Make sure you hide them inside your field jacket".

I went to the site where the Mr. Lim was billeted. I told Mr. Lim that he had to drive me up to the JSA. He said "me no go. Joe (the KPA) come tonight!" I told him all he had to do was drive me to the JSA and come right back down to the Advance Camp. He insisted that there was no way he was driving north. We argued back and forth. Finally, I pulled the pistol on Mr. Lim and told him he will take me to the JSA now. The irony of this was that the Korean driver was aware of the intelligence report before I (and the rest of the Advance Camp personnel) became aware of the invasion rumors. Very reluctantly, Mr. Lim did take me.

Mr. Lim was scared "shitty' and I wasn't too keen on this mission. We drove through the DMZ without lights. Just before we reached the entry into the JSA we turned on the lights. Our own MPs were surprised to see us. We drove up to the Joint Dury Office, I jumped out and went right into the Joint Duty Office. The JDO NCO (can't remember who had the night duty then) was surprised to see me. He, too, was totally unaware of the rumor. Needless to say, Mr. Lim was out of there as soon as my feet hit the dirt when I jumped out of the jeep.

I stayed in the Joint Duty Office that night along with the JDO NCO and our Korean interpreter. Nothing happened, thankfully!

Jim Warmkessel (JSA Dec 58 to Feb 60)

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