(Editor’s note: Latest update to post here)
Back on February 17, 2012, I blogged about recent declarations from South Korean defense ministry officials suggesting 86,000 U.S.-made M1 Garand rifles would be coming back to the United States from the Republic of Korea (South Korea) to be sold to American Korean War veterans and their families in time for the 62nd anniversary of the Korean War, which falls on June 25 this year. As recent as February 6, Lee Tae-hoon wrote on The Korea Times (South Korea) website:
Washington recently gave the green light to the sale of some 86,000 M1 Garand rifles that were used by allied forces during the Korean War and kept in the South Korean Army’s inventory for the past six decades.
A South Korean defense ministry official even went so far as to tell Tae-hoon weeks earlier that they planned on announcing a bid in January or February for the selection of agencies to sell the M1 Garand rifles to Americans, and that the U.S. government has been reviewing legal procedures for the approval of a third party transfer.
(Editor’s note: The Korea Times claims that the U.S. government rejected Seoul’s proposal to export some 600,000 M1 Carbines back to our shores)
Now, unbeknownst to me, two days before I published my post about the Garand rifles on Survival And Prosperity, Emily Miller discussed President Obama’s proposed 2013 budget on The Washington Times website and wrote:
Mr. Obama’s budget contains other gun-grabbing surprises. The White House is looking to reclaim authority to destroy surplus M1 Garand rifles and M1 Carbines. For 30 years, the Defense Department has been blocked from scrapping these collectible firearms that served our soldiers well in World War II and the Korean War.
(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)
The senior editor for the Opinion pages was able to identify where in the 2013 spending bill language currently prohibiting the destruction of such firearms would be removed upon passage.
So on one hand, the South Korean press is reporting the surplus rifles are coming back to the United States for sale to American Korean War veterans and their families by the summertime. On the other, a member of the American press is claiming the Obama administration is looking to destroy the historical long guns.
That’s all I’ve got for right now, but I’ll keep digging and report back on any new developments.
Tae-hoon, Lee. “[Exclusive] US allows import of 86,000 M1 rifles from Korea.” 18 Jan. 2012. The Korea Times. (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2012/01/116_103154.html). 7 Mar. 2012.
Tae-hoon, Lee. “45 mil. rounds of M1 ammo exported to US.” The Korea Times. 6 Feb. 2012. (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2012/02/116_104268.html). 7 Mar. 2012.
Miller, Emily. “MILLER: Obama’s fast and furious spin.” The Washington Times. 15 Feb. 2012. (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/feb/15/obamas-fast-and-furious-spin/). 7 Mar. 2012.
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