American Discusses What Life Is Like in the French Foreign Legion

Here is an interesting read about Americans joining the French Foreign Legion that was in the Stars & Stripes:

Edward, an American member of the French Foreign Legion, takes a break during a weapons drill in September at Camp de Carpiagne, home base of the Legion’s First Cavalry Regiment. The 24-year-old former U.S. Marine was given a new identity upon joining the Legion. He now operates a Milan anti-tank missile. Slobodan Leckic/Stars and Stripes

For almost 200 years, the French Foreign Legion has prided itself on offering a haven for men yearning for adventure and a new start in life.

It was just what “Edward,” a 24-year-old Californian, was looking for after he was booted out of the U.S. Marine Corps in 2015 for a disciplinary infraction.

“I can’t go into too much detail about what I did, but I was young and very stupid, and that’s why I’m no longer in the Marines,” Edward said.

Edward — who has a new identity given to him by the Legion — is now an anti-tank missile operator in the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment based near Marseille on the Mediterranean coast.

He is one of what he says are “several dozen” Americans in the elite formation that is still the hard core of the French army. Though many Americans have served with distinction in the Legion’s many wars, their numbers have fallen in recent years.

After drifting through several civilian jobs in southern California, Edward decided he missed the comradeship of military life. He traveled to France, where he reported to a Legion recruitment center in Paris.

“Everyone in the U.S. military knows about the Foreign Legion, but in a general, mythical way, without much solid information,” he said in an interview with Stars and Stripes arranged by the Legion. “So I decided to give it a try.”  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link, but those who are well read about the Korean War may remember that the French Battalion filled with Legionnaires was one of the most colorful and combat hardened units in the war.

Heroes of the Korean War: Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Monclar

Picture of the Day: Remains of French Korean War Veteran to Be Buried in South Korea

Remains of French Korean War vet come to S. Korea

An honor guard carrying the portrait of the late French Korean War veteran Jean Le Houx and a box containing his ashes enters Incheon airport, west of Seoul, on Nov. 1, 2017. Le Houx, who took part in the 1950-53 Korean War, died at 84 in December 2016 and left a will expressing his wish to be buried in South Korea. Soldiers from France and 15 other nations fought for South Korea against invading North Korea under the U.N. flag during the war. (Yonhap)

French Carrier Arrives In Japan In Show of Force Against North Korea

It is pretty clear that over the next month enormous pressure is going to be put on North Korea to give up their nuclear and ICBM programs as even the European powers are now deploying military assets into the region:

A French navy ship arrives at the Sasebo naval base in Sasebo, southwestern Japan, on April 29, 2017

France’s Mistral amphibious assault carrier docked in Nagasaki, Japan on April 29 in advance of military exercises to be conducted with the U.K., U.S., and Japan. Nagasaki is the closest major Japanese port to South Korea, and coming at a time of tension on the peninsula, the French and U.K. naval presence sends a strong message to both China and North Korea. Japan’s increased naval activity is also welcome support for South Korea, and will decrease diplomatic tension between the two natural allies. The U.K. and French presence shows that NATO, including the U.S., is strongly behind South Korea.  [Forbes]

You can read more at the link.

Korean Tourists Attacked and Robbed By Rioters In Paris

It looks like Paris has their own example of apparent police misconduct being used as an excuse by thugs to riot and rob:

A group of South Korean tourists in Paris were robbed of their train tickets and one passport in what appeared to be a case linked to the recent unrest over alleged police brutality, officials said Sunday.

Some 40 Korean tourists were on a bus to their hotel around 9 p.m. Saturday (local time) when three or four black men boarded the bus and fled with the tourists’ Eurostar tickets and the passport of the group’s Korean tour guide, according to officials at the South Korean Embassy in Paris.

The men shouted and brandished what appeared to be glass bottles and struck some of the tourists on their heads. The group included children and senior citizens.

An official at the embassy urged caution in the suburbs north of Paris where the hotel is located, citing safety concerns. More than 2,000 protesters gathered in the nearby suburb of Bobigny the same day to express support for a 22-year-old black man who was alleged raped and subjected to unnecessary violence by police officers during his arrest on Feb. 2.  [Yonhap]

Here is a Arirang News report about the attack:

Picture of the Day: Remains of French Korean War Veteran Returned to Korea

Remains of French Korean War vet come to S. Korea

South Korean honor guard carrying the portrait of the late French Korean War veteran Andre Belaval and a box containing his ashes enter Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on Oct. 24, 2016, followed by his bereaved family members. Belaval, who took part in the 1950-53 Korean War, died at 87 in July 2015 and left a will expressing wish to be buried in South Korea. Soldiers from France and 15 other nations fought for South Korea against invading North Korea under the U.N. flag during the war. (Yonhap)

Ceremony to Be Held Today Honoring French General Ralph Monclar

A Hero of the Korean War, French General Ralph Monclar will be remembered during a ceremony today in Seoul:

A publication ceremony for a book featuring photos of the legendary French Gen. Ralph Monclar will be held at 2 p.m. today at the Soorim Arts Center in Dongdaemun District, central Seoul, by the Foundation for the Remembrance of the Chipyong-ni Battle (FRCB).

Raul Charles Magrin-Vernerey, who later adopted the name Ralph Monclar, was a French soldier with over 30 years of service in the armed forces.

In order to lead his soldiers in the 1950-53 Korean War, the general famously reduced his rank from that of a three-star general to lieutenant colonel to avoid a disruption in the chain of command.

The book features some 30 photos of Monclar and his personal items as well as stories on the bravery of the French battalion Monclar had commanded at the height of the war.

FRCB was founded by veteran lawyer Kim Soung-soo, 73, in 2009 to promote a campaign to raise public awareness of the contribution made by Gen. Monclar during the war.   [Joong Ang Ilbo]

Further Reading:

Heroes of the Korean War: Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Monclar

French Embassy In Seoul Lowers Flags In Remembrance of Terror Attack Victims

Yesterday’s terrorist attack in France is an example of the type of attack these ISIS terrorists could attempt in South Korea with the massive crowds that gather for events in places like Seoul.

French embassy hoists flag at half-staff

The French Embassy in Seoul raises the national flag at half-staff on July 15, 2016, to pay tribute to victims of a deadly terrorist attack which killed at least 80 people and wounded dozens of others in the southern French city of Nice the previous day. (Yonhap)

South Korean Government Accused of Plagiarizing New National Slogan

What an embarrassment for the Park administration if they did in fact plagiarize the new national slogan.  Even if they did not plagiarize it they still should have been aware that a major country like France was already using the slogan:

Rep. Sohn Hye-won says during the Minjoo Party’s interim leadership meeting on Wednesday that the government’s “Creative Korea” slogan and its logo design plagiarized the “Creative France” campaign of Business France. [NEWSIS]

The Park Geun-hye administration’s newly created national slogan celebrating Korean creativity was plagiarized from a French campaign, an opposition lawmaker and renowned designer said Wednesday.

Rep. Sohn Hye-won of the Minjoo Party of Korea said during the interim leadership meeting in the morning that the government’s “Creative Korea” slogan and its logo design plagiarized the “Creative France” campaign of Business France, a French national agency promoting international investment in the country.

“Using the word ‘creative’ in front of the name of the country in the slogan, and using the red and blue colors in the logo design, are blatant acts of plagiarism,” Sohn said. “It is especially embarrassing that the plagiarized slogan is celebrating creativity.”  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read more at the link, but it is pretty ironic that a slogan pushing creativity was possibly plagiarized.

Police Increase Security for French Sites In South Korea

The South Korean government has taken measures to increase security of French sites in South Korea after the deadly ISIS terror attack in Paris:

The South Korean police increase security of the French embassy to Seoul on Nov. 14, 2015. (Yonhap)

The South Korean government went on full alert on Saturday to stem any possible terrorist aggressions in the country following the deadly attacks in Paris that killed around 120 people.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs held an emergency inter-governmental meeting to check the security of Korean nationals in France after the shootings, bombings and a hostage situation at a popular concert venue in the French capital on Friday (local time) reverberated around the world.

“We have to tighten border controls and security in key public facilities in case of an emergency in the country,” said Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn during the meeting.

The police increased police patrols around French facilities in South Korea, including its embassy and schools, in a way to prevent any possibilities of additional terrorist attacks in the country, with other foreign missions also on strict guard.  [Yonhap]

You can read the rest at the link.