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Tuesday, February 27, 2001

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dated February 27, 1951: Attacks on Red China's bases

American newspapers on February 24, published an interview with General Lawton J. Collins, United States Army Chief of Staff, who was reported to have said the United States would ``strike back'' at Chinese land and sea bases if the Communist launched sea or air attacks on the United Nations forces in Korea.

General Collins added, ``In such a case there would no longer be a ``privileged sanctuary for the enemy. The war would enter an entirely new phase, calling for new measure on our part. We would be forced to hit at enemy bases.The newspapers said that since most of the troops in Korea were American, General Collins believed the United States would be justified in acting unilaterally in striking at Communist bases... But, they added, the General was confident the Allies would approve the action as a defensive measure to protect their own troops.

The reports said confidence in Washington over the Korean situation had grown rapidly in the past month, and quoted General Collins as saying. ``We have hurt them badly. We have killed a startling number of their first line troops. No nation can stand such losses in trained manpower over a period of time - and I don't care how many men they have.''

In Tokyo, the United Nations five-day old offensive along the Korean central front struck stronger Communist resistance on February 24 as it neared the main Chinese defence line. The Commonwealth troops taking part in the drive, ``Operation Killer,'' faced heavy mortar and small arms fire from Communists.

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